WorldWideScience

Sample records for ecological modeling approach

  1. ECOMOD - An ecological approach to radioecological modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sazykina, Tatiana G.

    2000-01-01

    A unified methodology is proposed to simulate the dynamic processes of radionuclide migration in aquatic food chains in parallel with their stable analogue elements. The distinguishing feature of the unified radioecological/ecological approach is the description of radionuclide migration along with dynamic equations for the ecosystem. The ability of the methodology to predict the results of radioecological experiments is demonstrated by an example of radionuclide (iron group) accumulation by a laboratory culture of the algae Platymonas viridis. Based on the unified methodology, the 'ECOMOD' radioecological model was developed to simulate dynamic radioecological processes in aquatic ecosystems. It comprises three basic modules, which are operated as a set of inter-related programs. The 'ECOSYSTEM' module solves non-linear ecological equations, describing the biomass dynamics of essential ecosystem components. The 'RADIONUCLIDE DISTRIBUTION' module calculates the radionuclide distribution in abiotic and biotic components of the aquatic ecosystem. The 'DOSE ASSESSMENT' module calculates doses to aquatic biota and doses to man from aquatic food chains. The application of the ECOMOD model to reconstruct the radionuclide distribution in the Chernobyl Cooling Pond ecosystem in the early period after the accident shows good agreement with observations

  2. Eco-Logic: Logic-Based Approaches to Ecological Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel L. Schmoldt

    1991-01-01

    This paper summarizes the simulation research carried out during 1984-1989 at the University of Edinburgh. Two primary objectives of their research are 1) to provide tools for manipulating simulation models (i.e., implementation tools) and 2) to provide advice on conceptualizing real-world phenomena into an idealized representation for simulation (i.e., model design...

  3. Multimodeling: new approaches for linking ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Louis J.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Scott, J. Michael; Heglund, Patricia J.; Morrison, Michael L.

    2006-01-01

    The Everglades region of South Florida presents one of the major natural system management challenges facing the United States. With its assortment of alligators, crocodiles, manatees, panthers, large mixed flocks of wading birds, highly diverse subtropical flora, and sea of sawgrass, the ecosystem is unique in this country (Davis and Ogden 1994). The region is also perhaps the largest human-controlled system on the planet in that the major environmental factor influencing the region is water, and water flows are managed on a daily basis--subject to the vagaries of rainfall--by a massive system of locks, pumps, canals, and levees constructed over the past century. The changes brought about by such control have led to extensive modifications of historical patterns and magnitudes of flow, causing large declines in many native species, extensive changes in nutrient cycling and vegetation across south Florida, and great increases in pollutants such as mercury. Constrained by the conflicting demands of agriculture, urban human populations, and wildlife for control of water resources, and the varying agendas of hosts of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, there is now an ongoing effort to plan for major changes to the system with expenditure estimates of eight billion dollars or more over the next several decades (USACOE 1999). Carrying out such planning, particularly as it impacts the natural systems of the region, provides one of the major challenges to the new field of computational ecology.

  4. Integrating models with data in ecology and palaeoecology: advances towards a model-data fusion approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Changhui; Guiot, Joel; Wu, Haibin; Jiang, Hong; Luo, Yiqi

    2011-05-01

    It is increasingly being recognized that global ecological research requires novel methods and strategies in which to combine process-based ecological models and data in cohesive, systematic ways. Model-data fusion (MDF) is an emerging area of research in ecology and palaeoecology. It provides a new quantitative approach that offers a high level of empirical constraint over model predictions based on observations using inverse modelling and data assimilation (DA) techniques. Increasing demands to integrate model and data methods in the past decade has led to MDF utilization in palaeoecology, ecology and earth system sciences. This paper reviews key features and principles of MDF and highlights different approaches with regards to DA. After providing a critical evaluation of the numerous benefits of MDF and its current applications in palaeoecology (i.e., palaeoclimatic reconstruction, palaeovegetation and palaeocarbon storage) and ecology (i.e. parameter and uncertainty estimation, model error identification, remote sensing and ecological forecasting), the paper discusses method limitations, current challenges and future research direction. In the ongoing data-rich era of today's world, MDF could become an important diagnostic and prognostic tool in which to improve our understanding of ecological processes while testing ecological theory and hypotheses and forecasting changes in ecosystem structure, function and services. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Stochastic Spatial Models in Ecology: A Statistical Physics Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigolotti, Simone; Cencini, Massimo; Molina, Daniel; Muñoz, Miguel A.

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystems display a complex spatial organization. Ecologists have long tried to characterize them by looking at how different measures of biodiversity change across spatial scales. Ecological neutral theory has provided simple predictions accounting for general empirical patterns in communities of competing species. However, while neutral theory in well-mixed ecosystems is mathematically well understood, spatial models still present several open problems, limiting the quantitative understanding of spatial biodiversity. In this review, we discuss the state of the art in spatial neutral theory. We emphasize the connection between spatial ecological models and the physics of non-equilibrium phase transitions and how concepts developed in statistical physics translate in population dynamics, and vice versa. We focus on non-trivial scaling laws arising at the critical dimension D = 2 of spatial neutral models, and their relevance for biological populations inhabiting two-dimensional environments. We conclude by discussing models incorporating non-neutral effects in the form of spatial and temporal disorder, and analyze how their predictions deviate from those of purely neutral theories.

  6. A Synergistic Approach for Evaluating Climate Model Output for Ecological Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel D. Cavanagh

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Increasing concern about the impacts of climate change on ecosystems is prompting ecologists and ecosystem managers to seek reliable projections of physical drivers of change. The use of global climate models in ecology is growing, although drawing ecologically meaningful conclusions can be problematic. The expertise required to access and interpret output from climate and earth system models is hampering progress in utilizing them most effectively to determine the wider implications of climate change. To address this issue, we present a joint approach between climate scientists and ecologists that explores key challenges and opportunities for progress. As an exemplar, our focus is the Southern Ocean, notable for significant change with global implications, and on sea ice, given its crucial role in this dynamic ecosystem. We combined perspectives to evaluate the representation of sea ice in global climate models. With an emphasis on ecologically-relevant criteria (sea ice extent and seasonality we selected a subset of eight models that reliably reproduce extant sea ice distributions. While the model subset shows a similar mean change to the full ensemble in sea ice extent (approximately 50% decline in winter and 30% decline in summer, there is a marked reduction in the range. This improved the precision of projected future sea ice distributions by approximately one third, and means they are more amenable to ecological interpretation. We conclude that careful multidisciplinary evaluation of climate models, in conjunction with ongoing modeling advances, should form an integral part of utilizing model output.

  7. A participatory systems approach to modeling social, economic, and ecological components of bioenergy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buchholz, Thomas S.; Volk, Timothy A.; Luzadis, Valerie A.

    2007-01-01

    Availability of and access to useful energy is a crucial factor for maintaining and improving human well-being. Looming scarcities and increasing awareness of environmental, economic, and social impacts of conventional sources of non-renewable energy have focused attention on renewable energy sources, including biomass. The complex interactions of social, economic, and ecological factors among the bioenergy system components of feedstock supply, conversion technology, and energy allocation have been a major obstacle to the broader development of bioenergy systems. For widespread implementation of bioenergy to occur there is a need for an integrated approach to model the social, economic, and ecological interactions associated with bioenergy. Such models can serve as a planning and evaluation tool to help decide when, where, and how bioenergy systems can contribute to development. One approach to integrated modeling is by assessing the sustainability of a bioenergy system. The evolving nature of sustainability can be described by an adaptive systems approach using general systems principles. Discussing these principles reveals that participation of stakeholders in all components of a bioenergy system is a crucial factor for sustainability. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is an effective tool to implement this approach. This approach would enable decision-makers to evaluate bioenergy systems for sustainability in a participatory, transparent, timely, and informed manner

  8. Dynamic ecological-economic modeling approach for management of shellfish aquaculture

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nobre, AM

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this report is to conceptualize ecological and economic interactions in mariculture; to implement a dynamic ecological-economic model in order to: simulate the socio-economics of aquaculture production, simulate its effects...

  9. Benefits of using a Social-Ecological Systems Approach to Conceptualize and Model Wetlands Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Using a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective to examine wetland restoration helps decision-makers recognize interdependencies and relations between ecological and social components of coupled systems. Conceptual models are an invaluable tool to capture, visualize, and orga...

  10. Use of an ecologically relevant modelling approach to improve remote sensing-based schistosomiasis risk profiling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Walz

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Schistosomiasis is a widespread water-based disease that puts close to 800 million people at risk of infection with more than 250 million infected, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Transmission is governed by the spatial distribution of specific freshwater snails that act as intermediate hosts and the frequency, duration and extent of human bodies exposed to infested water sources during human water contact. Remote sensing data have been utilized for spatially explicit risk profiling of schistosomiasis. Since schistosomiasis risk profiling based on remote sensing data inherits a conceptual drawback if school-based disease prevalence data are directly related to the remote sensing measurements extracted at the location of the school, because the disease transmission usually does not exactly occur at the school, we took the local environment around the schools into account by explicitly linking ecologically relevant environmental information of potential disease transmission sites to survey measurements of disease prevalence. Our models were validated at two sites with different landscapes in Côte d’Ivoire using high- and moderateresolution remote sensing data based on random forest and partial least squares regression. We found that the ecologically relevant modelling approach explained up to 70% of the variation in Schistosoma infection prevalence and performed better compared to a purely pixelbased modelling approach. Furthermore, our study showed that model performance increased as a function of enlarging the school catchment area, confirming the hypothesis that suitable environments for schistosomiasis transmission rarely occur at the location of survey measurements.

  11. An Integrated Approach to Modelling the Economy-Society-Ecology System in Urbanization Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunqiang Liu

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has become a key part of social and economic progress in the 21st Century, but achieving healthy and safe urban development has a long way to go for many developed and developing countries. Urbanization has been recognized as a complex ecosystem which is affected by economic, social, and ecological factors. With this in mind, this paper looks at many factors to first evaluate based on the matter-element (ME method and then model an Economy-Society-Ecology (ESE subsystem using a hybrid method by a fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP, and then by using the entropy method (EM to determine the relevant index weights. To avoid subjectivity when defining the model’s boundaries, the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS is introduced. Then, a coupling coordination degree model focusing on the degree of coordination in the ESE subsystem is established. Panel data collected from 2003 to 2012 for Chengdu, China, is then simulated to analyze the development process. The results show that: (1 The quality of urbanization continues to improve and the phasic features are presented; (2 The sensitivity analysis of subsystem weight shown that it had less effect on the coupling coordinated system; (3 The coordination in the ESE subsystem has also improved. However, the development rate of the economic subsystem is greater than that of the societal and ecological subsystem. The approach used here therefore, is shown to provide a promising basis for policy-making to support healthy urban development.

  12. Evolving Approaches and Technologies to Enhance the Role of Ecological Modeling in Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric Gustafson; John Nestler; Louis Gross; Keith M. Reynolds; Daniel Yaussy; Thomas P. Maxwell; Virginia H. Dale

    2002-01-01

    Understanding the effects of management activities is difficult for natural resource managers and decision makers because ecological systems are highly complex and their behavior is difficult to predict. Furthermore, the empirical studies necessary to illuminate all management questions quickly become logistically complicated and cost prohibitive. Ecological models...

  13. Teaching and Learning Ecological Modeling over the Web: a Collaborative Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey Voinov

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available A framework for web-based collaborative teaching has been created. This framework is implemented as an ecological modeling course (http://iee.umces.edu/AV/Simmod.html, but should be flexible enough to apply to other disciplines. I have developed a series of tools to facilitate interactive communication between students and instructors, and among students taking the course. The course content consists of reading materials that describe the theory of systems analysis and modeling, guidelines on how models can be built, and numerous examples and illustrations. The interactive part includes exercises that can be discussed with and evaluated by the instructor, and provides a means to mimic class discussions. To what extent this approach can replace conventional in-class tutoring has yet to be tested, but the preliminary applications show great promise. I offer this course format as a framework and a prototype for collaborative "open-source" approaches to education, in which the web provides the means to communicate knowledge and skills asynchronously between geographically dispersed educators and students.

  14. Global Patterns in Ecological Indicators of Marine Food Webs: A Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heymans, Johanna Jacomina; Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Morissette, Lyne; Christensen, Villy

    2014-01-01

    Background Ecological attributes estimated from food web models have the potential to be indicators of good environmental status given their capabilities to describe redundancy, food web changes, and sensitivity to fishing. They can be used as a baseline to show how they might be modified in the future with human impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, or overfishing. Methodology In this study ecological network analysis indicators of 105 marine food web models were tested for variation with traits such as ecosystem type, latitude, ocean basin, depth, size, time period, and exploitation state, whilst also considering structural properties of the models such as number of linkages, number of living functional groups or total number of functional groups as covariate factors. Principal findings Eight indicators were robust to model construction: relative ascendency; relative overhead; redundancy; total systems throughput (TST); primary production/TST; consumption/TST; export/TST; and total biomass of the community. Large-scale differences were seen in the ecosystems of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the Western Atlantic being more complex with an increased ability to mitigate impacts, while the Eastern Atlantic showed lower internal complexity. In addition, the Eastern Pacific was less organised than the Eastern Atlantic although both of these systems had increased primary production as eastern boundary current systems. Differences by ecosystem type highlighted coral reefs as having the largest energy flow and total biomass per unit of surface, while lagoons, estuaries, and bays had lower transfer efficiencies and higher recycling. These differences prevailed over time, although some traits changed with fishing intensity. Keystone groups were mainly higher trophic level species with mostly top-down effects, while structural/dominant groups were mainly lower trophic level groups (benthic primary producers such as seagrass and macroalgae

  15. Global patterns in ecological indicators of marine food webs: a modelling approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Jacomina Heymans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ecological attributes estimated from food web models have the potential to be indicators of good environmental status given their capabilities to describe redundancy, food web changes, and sensitivity to fishing. They can be used as a baseline to show how they might be modified in the future with human impacts such as climate change, acidification, eutrophication, or overfishing. METHODOLOGY: In this study ecological network analysis indicators of 105 marine food web models were tested for variation with traits such as ecosystem type, latitude, ocean basin, depth, size, time period, and exploitation state, whilst also considering structural properties of the models such as number of linkages, number of living functional groups or total number of functional groups as covariate factors. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Eight indicators were robust to model construction: relative ascendency; relative overhead; redundancy; total systems throughput (TST; primary production/TST; consumption/TST; export/TST; and total biomass of the community. Large-scale differences were seen in the ecosystems of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with the Western Atlantic being more complex with an increased ability to mitigate impacts, while the Eastern Atlantic showed lower internal complexity. In addition, the Eastern Pacific was less organised than the Eastern Atlantic although both of these systems had increased primary production as eastern boundary current systems. Differences by ecosystem type highlighted coral reefs as having the largest energy flow and total biomass per unit of surface, while lagoons, estuaries, and bays had lower transfer efficiencies and higher recycling. These differences prevailed over time, although some traits changed with fishing intensity. Keystone groups were mainly higher trophic level species with mostly top-down effects, while structural/dominant groups were mainly lower trophic level groups (benthic primary producers such as

  16. Evaluation of Ecological Environmental Quality in a Coal Mining Area by Modelling Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaodong Yan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to explore the effective method of the comprehensive evaluation of ecological environmental quality in a coal mining area. Firstly, we analyzed the ecological environmental effect of the coal mining area according to Pigovian Tax theory and, according to the results of the analysis and the demand for the selection of evaluation indices by the comprehensive evaluation, built the corresponding comprehensive evaluation index system. We then used the correlation function method to determine the relative weights of each index. We determined the basic standards of a comprehensive evaluation of ecological environmental quality in a coal mining area according to the actual situation of ecological environmental quality assessments in coal mining areas in our country and the relevant provisions of the government. On this basis, we built the two-level extension comprehensive evaluation model for the evaluation of ecological environmental quality in mining areas. Finally, we chose a certain coal mining area of Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited as the specific case. We used the relevant statistic data, technical and economic indices and the extension evaluation model to do the applied research of the comprehensive evaluation and tested the effectiveness of the comprehensive evaluation model.

  17. Drought resilience across ecologically dominant species: An experiment-model integration approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, A. J.; Warren, J.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Smith, M. D.

    2017-12-01

    Poorly understood are the mechanisms contributing to variability in ecosystem recovery following drought. Grasslands of the central U.S. are ecologically and economically important ecosystems, yet are also highly sensitive to drought. Although characteristics of these ecosystems change across gradients of temperature and precipitation, a consistent feature among these systems is the presence of highly abundant, dominant grass species that control biomass production. As a result, the incorporation of these species' traits into terrestrial biosphere models may constrain predictions amid increases in climatic variability. Here we report the results of a modeling-experiment (MODEX) research approach. We investigated the physiological, morphological and growth responses of the dominant grass species from each of the four major grasslands of the central U.S. (ranging from tallgrass prairie to desert grassland) following severe drought. Despite significant differences in baseline values, full recovery in leaf physiological function was evident across species, of which was consistently driven by the production of new leaves. Further, recovery in whole-plant carbon uptake tended to be driven by shifts in allocation from belowground to aboveground structures. However, there was clear variability among species in the magnitude of this dynamic as well as the relative allocation to stem versus leaf production. As a result, all species harbored the physiological capacity to recover from drought, yet we posit that variability in the recovery of whole-plant carbon uptake to be more strongly driven by variability in the sensitivity of species' morphology to soil moisture increases. The next step of this project will be to incorporate these and other existing data on these species and ecosystems into the community land model in an effort to test the sensitivity of this model to these data.

  18. Optimising the management of complex dynamic ecosystems. An ecological-economic modelling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hein, L.G.

    2005-01-01

    Keywords: ecological-economic modelling; ecosystem services; resource use; efficient; sustainability; wetlands, rangelands.

  19. Economic and ecological impacts of bioenergy crop production—a modeling approach applied in Southwestern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans-Georg Schwarz-v. Raumer

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper considers scenarios of cultivating energy crops in the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg to identify potentials and limitations of a sustainable bioenergy production. Trade-offs are analyzed among income and production structure in agriculture, bioenergy crop production, greenhouse gas emissions, and the interests of soil, water and species habitat protection. An integrated modelling approach (IMA was implemented coupling ecological and economic models in a model chain. IMA combines the Economic Farm Emission Model (EFEM; key input: parameter sets on farm production activities, the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate model (EPIC; key input: parameter sets on environmental cropping effects and GIS geo-processing models. EFEM is a supply model that maximizes total gross margins on farm level with simultaneous calculation of greenhouse gas emission from agriculture production. Calculations by EPIC result in estimates for soil erosion by water, nitrate leaching, Soil Organic Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from soil. GIS routines provide land suitability analyses, scenario settings concerning nature conservation and habitat models for target species and help to enable spatial explicit results. The model chain is used to calculate scenarios representing different intensities of energy crop cultivation. To design scenarios which are detailed and in step to practice, comprehensive data research as well as fact and effect analyses were carried out. The scenarios indicate that, not in general but when considering specific farm types, energy crop share extremely increases if not restricted and leads to an increase in income. If so this leads to significant increase in soil erosion by water, nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. It has to be expected that an extension of nature conservation leads to an intensification of the remaining grassland and of the arable land, which were not part of nature conservation measures

  20. How Well Does LCA Model Land Use Impacts on Biodiversity?--A Comparison with Approaches from Ecology and Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curran, Michael; de Souza, Danielle Maia; Antón, Assumpció; Teixeira, Ricardo F M; Michelsen, Ottar; Vidal-Legaz, Beatriz; Sala, Serenella; Milà i Canals, Llorenç

    2016-03-15

    The modeling of land use impacts on biodiversity is considered a priority in life cycle assessment (LCA). Many diverging approaches have been proposed in an expanding literature on the topic. The UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative is engaged in building consensus on a shared modeling framework to highlight best-practice and guide model application by practitioners. In this paper, we evaluated the performance of 31 models from both the LCA and the ecology/conservation literature (20 from LCA, 11 from non-LCA fields) according to a set of criteria reflecting (i) model completeness, (ii) biodiversity representation, (iii) impact pathway coverage, (iv) scientific quality, and (v) stakeholder acceptance. We show that LCA models tend to perform worse than those from ecology and conservation (although not significantly), implying room for improvement. We identify seven best-practice recommendations that can be implemented immediately to improve LCA models based on existing approaches in the literature. We further propose building a "consensus model" through weighted averaging of existing information, to complement future development. While our research focuses on conceptual model design, further quantitative comparison of promising models in shared case studies is an essential prerequisite for future informed model choice.

  1. Making ecological models adequate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getz, Wayne M.; Marshall, Charles R.; Carlson, Colin J.; Giuggioli, Luca; Ryan, Sadie J.; Romañach, Stephanie; Boettiger, Carl; Chamberlain, Samuel D.; Larsen, Laurel; D'Odorico, Paolo; O'Sullivan, David

    2018-01-01

    Critical evaluation of the adequacy of ecological models is urgently needed to enhance their utility in developing theory and enabling environmental managers and policymakers to make informed decisions. Poorly supported management can have detrimental, costly or irreversible impacts on the environment and society. Here, we examine common issues in ecological modelling and suggest criteria for improving modelling frameworks. An appropriate level of process description is crucial to constructing the best possible model, given the available data and understanding of ecological structures. Model details unsupported by data typically lead to over parameterisation and poor model performance. Conversely, a lack of mechanistic details may limit a model's ability to predict ecological systems’ responses to management. Ecological studies that employ models should follow a set of model adequacy assessment protocols that include: asking a series of critical questions regarding state and control variable selection, the determinacy of data, and the sensitivity and validity of analyses. We also need to improve model elaboration, refinement and coarse graining procedures to better understand the relevancy and adequacy of our models and the role they play in advancing theory, improving hind and forecasting, and enabling problem solving and management.

  2. Capturing ecology in modeling approaches applied to environmental risk assessment of endocrine active chemicals in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mintram, Kate S; Brown, A Ross; Maynard, Samuel K; Thorbek, Pernille; Tyler, Charles R

    2018-02-01

    Endocrine active chemicals (EACs) are widespread in freshwater environments and both laboratory and field based studies have shown reproductive effects in fish at environmentally relevant exposures. Environmental risk assessment (ERA) seeks to protect wildlife populations and prospective assessments rely on extrapolation from individual-level effects established for laboratory fish species to populations of wild fish using arbitrary safety factors. Population susceptibility to chemical effects, however, depends on exposure risk, physiological susceptibility, and population resilience, each of which can differ widely between fish species. Population models have significant potential to address these shortfalls and to include individual variability relating to life-history traits, demographic and density-dependent vital rates, and behaviors which arise from inter-organism and organism-environment interactions. Confidence in population models has recently resulted in the EU Commission stating that results derived from reliable models may be considered when assessing the relevance of adverse effects of EACs at the population level. This review critically assesses the potential risks posed by EACs for fish populations, considers the ecological factors influencing these risks and explores the benefits and challenges of applying population modeling (including individual-based modeling) in ERA for EACs in fish. We conclude that population modeling offers a way forward for incorporating greater environmental relevance in assessing the risks of EACs for fishes and for identifying key risk factors through sensitivity analysis. Individual-based models (IBMs) allow for the incorporation of physiological and behavioral endpoints relevant to EAC exposure effects, thus capturing both direct and indirect population-level effects.

  3. 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

  4. Ecological approaches to human nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeClerck, Fabrice A J; Fanzo, Jessica; Palm, Cheryl; Remans, Roseline

    2011-03-01

    Malnutrition affects a large number of people throughout the developing world. Approaches to reducing malnutrition rarely focus on ecology and agriculture to simultaneously improve human nutrition and environmental sustainability. However, evidence suggests that interdisciplinary approaches that combine the knowledge bases of these disciplines can serve as a central strategy in alleviating hidden hunger for the world's poorest. To describe the role that ecological knowledge plays in alleviating hidden hunger, considering human nutrition as an overlooked ecosystem service. We review existing literature and propose a framework that expands on earlier work on econutrition. We provide novel evidence from case studies conducted by the authors in western Kenya and propose a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration to alleviate hidden hunger, increase agricultural productivity, and improve environmental sustainability. Our review supports the concept that an integrated approach will impact human nutrition. We provide evidence that increased functional agrobiodiversity can alleviate anemia, and interventions that contribute to environmental sustainability can have both direct and indirect effects on human health and nutritional well-being. Integrated and interdisciplinary approaches are critical to reaching development goals. Ecologists must begin to consider not only how their field can contribute to biodiversity conservation, but also, the relationship between biodiversity and provisioning of nontraditional ecosystem services such as human health. Likewise, nutritionists and agronomists must recognize that many of the solutions to increasing human wellbeing and health can best be achieved by focusing on a healthy environment and the conservation of ecosystem services.

  5. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  6. Model based approach to Study the Impact of Biofuels on the Sustainability of an Ecological System

    Science.gov (United States)

    The importance and complexity of sustainability has been well recognized and a formal study of sustainability based on system theory approaches is imperative as many of the relationships between various components of the ecosystem could be nonlinear, intertwined and non intuitive...

  7. 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…

  8. Modeling Knowledge in Environmental Analysis: A New Approach to Soundscape Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Milone

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Planning activities are inherently technical, political and organizational exercises, being both constructions of action optimization over time and “social” organizations promoting action. Thus, they require organization and consensus. In this context, the concept of processes that develop based on diffused interactions between different agents appears useful and rather effective. Cognitive agents and reactive agents coexist in a system of relations and interactions. This allows the context in which environmental management and/or planning processes take place to be modeled in its essential parts. Scholars and researchers have often wondered if behavioral proxies of the environment-agent can be singled out for possible inclusion in a multi-agent system (MAS layout. This challenge is of particular interest today, considering the potential offered by the spread of intelligent sensor networks, able to represent and model various “behaviors” of the environment-agent. Today’s growing interest in research in the field of planning is enhanced by an awareness of the complexity issue embedded in planning. In this framework, this paper is realized as a pilot study on the knowledge of sound and soundscapes as elements characterizing the environment-agent in the context of environmental planning processes. The study reflects a contextual difficulty of collecting extensive data in uneasy conditions: nevertheless it reports results and suggestions useful in an innovative MAS-oriented perspective.

  9. Abuse of Older Men in Seven European Countries: A Multilevel Approach in the Framework of an Ecological Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melchiorre, Maria Gabriella; Di Rosa, Mirko; Lamura, Giovanni; Torres-Gonzales, Francisco; Lindert, Jutta; Stankunas, Mindaugas; Ioannidi-Kapolou, Elisabeth; Barros, Henrique; Macassa, Gloria; Soares, Joaquim J F

    2016-01-01

    Several studies on elder abuse indicate that a large number of victims are women, but others report that men in later life are also significantly abused, especially when they show symptoms of disability and poor health, and require help for their daily activities as a result. This study focused on the prevalence of different types of abuse experienced by men and on a comparison of male victims and non-victims concerning demographic/socio-economic characteristics, lifestyle/health variables, social support and quality of life. Additionally, the study identified factors associated with different types of abuse experienced by men and characteristics associated with the victims. The cross-sectional data concerning abuse in the past 12 months were collected by means of interviews and self-response during January-July 2009, from a sample of 4,467 not demented individuals aged between 60-84 years living in seven European countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden). We used a multilevel approach, within the framework of an Ecological Model, to explore the phenomenon of abuse against males as the complex result of factors from multiple levels: individual, relational, community and societal. Multivariate analyses showed that older men educated to higher levels, blue-collar workers and men living in a rented accommodation were more often victims than those educated to lower levels, low-rank white-collar workers and home owners, respectively. In addition, high scores for factors such as somatic and anxiety symptoms seemed linked with an increased probability of being abused. Conversely, factors such as increased age, worries about daily expenses (financial strain) and greater social support seemed linked with a decreased probability of being abused. Male elder abuse is under-recognized, under-detected and under-reported, mainly due to the vulnerability of older men and to social/cultural norms supporting traditional male characteristics of

  10. Abuse of Older Men in Seven European Countries: A Multilevel Approach in the Framework of an Ecological Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Gabriella Melchiorre

    Full Text Available Several studies on elder abuse indicate that a large number of victims are women, but others report that men in later life are also significantly abused, especially when they show symptoms of disability and poor health, and require help for their daily activities as a result. This study focused on the prevalence of different types of abuse experienced by men and on a comparison of male victims and non-victims concerning demographic/socio-economic characteristics, lifestyle/health variables, social support and quality of life. Additionally, the study identified factors associated with different types of abuse experienced by men and characteristics associated with the victims.The cross-sectional data concerning abuse in the past 12 months were collected by means of interviews and self-response during January-July 2009, from a sample of 4,467 not demented individuals aged between 60-84 years living in seven European countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. We used a multilevel approach, within the framework of an Ecological Model, to explore the phenomenon of abuse against males as the complex result of factors from multiple levels: individual, relational, community and societal.Multivariate analyses showed that older men educated to higher levels, blue-collar workers and men living in a rented accommodation were more often victims than those educated to lower levels, low-rank white-collar workers and home owners, respectively. In addition, high scores for factors such as somatic and anxiety symptoms seemed linked with an increased probability of being abused. Conversely, factors such as increased age, worries about daily expenses (financial strain and greater social support seemed linked with a decreased probability of being abused.Male elder abuse is under-recognized, under-detected and under-reported, mainly due to the vulnerability of older men and to social/cultural norms supporting traditional male

  11. 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.

  12. Delineating ecological boundaries of Hanuman langur species complex in peninsular India using MaxEnt modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nag, Chetan; Chetan, Nag; Karanth, K Praveen; Praveen, Karanth K; Gururaja, Kotambylu Vasudeva; Vasudeva, Gururaja Kotambylu

    2014-01-01

    Hanuman langur is one of the widely distributed and extensively studied non-human diurnal primates in India. Until recently it was believed to be a single species - Semnopithecus entellus. Recent molecular and morphological studies suggest that the Hanuman langurs consists of at least three species S. entellus, S. hypoleucos and S. priam. Furthermore, morphological studies suggested that both S. hypoleucos and S. priam have at least three subspecies in each. We explored the use of ecological niche modeling (ENM) to confirm the validity of these seven taxa and an additional taxon S. johnii belonging to the same genus. MaxEnt modeling tool was used with 19 bioclimatic, 12 vegetation and 6 hydrological environmental layers. We reduced total environmental variables to 14 layers after testing for collinearity and an independent test for model prediction was done using ENMTools. A total of 196 non-overlapping data points from primary and secondary sources were used as inputs for ENM. Results showed eight distinct ecological boundaries, corroborating the eight taxa mentioned above thereby confirming validity of these eight taxa. The study, for the first time provided ecological variables that determined the ecological requirements and distribution of members of the Hanuman langur species complex in the Indian peninsula.

  13. Advances in Ecological Speciation: an integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Rui; Renaut, Sebastien; Galindo, Juan; Pinho, Catarina; Melo-Ferreira, José; Melo, Martim; Jones, Felicity; Salzburger, Walter; Schluter, Dolph; Butlin, Roger

    2014-02-01

    The role of natural selection in promoting reproductive isolation has received substantial renewed interest within the last two decades. As a consequence, the study of ecological speciation has become an extremely productive research area in modern evolutionary biology. Recent innovations in sequencing technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to study the mechanisms involved in ecological speciation. Genome scans provide significant insights but have some important limitations; efforts are needed to integrate them with other approaches to make full use of the sequencing data deluge. An international conference 'Advances in Ecological Speciation' organized by the University of Porto (Portugal) aimed to review current progress in ecological speciation. Using some of the examples presented at the conference, we highlight the benefits of integrating ecological and genomic data and discuss different mechanisms of parallel evolution. Finally, future avenues of research are suggested to advance our knowledge concerning the role of natural selection in the establishment of reproductive isolation during ecological speciation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Quantitative approaches in climate change ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brown, Christopher J.; Schoeman, David S.; Sydeman, William J.

    2011-01-01

    Contemporary impacts of anthropogenic climate change on ecosystems are increasingly being recognized. Documenting the extent of these impacts requires quantitative tools for analyses of ecological observations to distinguish climate impacts in noisy data and to understand interactions between...... climate variability and other drivers of change. To assist the development of reliable statistical approaches, we review the marine climate change literature and provide suggestions for quantitative approaches in climate change ecology. We compiled 267 peer‐reviewed articles that examined relationships...

  15. Ecology scientific and practical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medori, P.; Devaux, J.; Faurie, C.; Ferra, Ch.

    1998-01-01

    In this work devoted to ecology and ecosystems, is a chapter relative to the nuclear power and its pollutions in environment. From the nuisances of operating nuclear facilities to the problem of radioactive wastes management, each kind of risk is studied. The fact that any problem can become a world problem, and the example of Chernobyl accident proved it, gives a particular dimension to nuclear energy use. (N.C.)

  16. Social Ecological Model Analysis for ICT Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zagami, Jason

    2013-01-01

    ICT integration of teacher preparation programmes was undertaken by the Australian Teaching Teachers for the Future (TTF) project in all 39 Australian teacher education institutions and highlighted the need for guidelines to inform systemic ICT integration approaches. A Social Ecological Model (SEM) was used to positively inform integration…

  17. Differential models in ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barco Gomez, Carlos; Barco Gomez, German

    2002-01-01

    The models mathematical writings with differential equations are used to describe the populational behavior through the time of the animal species. These models can be lineal or no lineal. The differential models for unique specie include the exponential pattern of Malthus and the logistical pattern of Verlhust. The lineal differential models to describe the interaction between two species include the competition relationships, predation and symbiosis

  18. ECOMOD: Ecological model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sazykina, T.G.; Kryshev, I.I.

    1996-01-01

    The main purpose of the model is a more detailed description of the radionuclide transfer in food chains, including the dynamics in the early period after accidental release. Detailed modelling of the dynamics of radioactive depositions is beyond the purpose of the model. Standard procedures are used for assessing inhalation and external doses. 3 figs, 2 tabs

  19. Spatial Heterogeneity of Habitat Suitability for Rift Valley Fever Occurrence in Tanzania: An Ecological Niche Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sindato, Calvin; Stevens, Kim B.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Paweska, Janusz T.; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with

  20. Using toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modeling as an acute risk assessment refinement approach in vertebrate ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Virginie; Ashauer, Roman; Bednarska, Agnieszka J; Hinarejos, Silvia; Thorbek, Pernille; Weyman, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    Recent guidance identified toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TK-TD) modeling as a relevant approach for risk assessment refinement. Yet, its added value compared to other refinement options is not detailed, and how to conduct the modeling appropriately is not explained. This case study addresses these issues through 2 examples of individual-level risk assessment for 2 hypothetical plant protection products: 1) evaluating the risk for small granivorous birds and small omnivorous mammals of a single application, as a seed treatment in winter cereals, and 2) evaluating the risk for fish after a pulsed treatment in the edge-of-field zone. Using acute test data, we conducted the first tier risk assessment as defined in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance. When first tier risk assessment highlighted a concern, refinement options were discussed. Cases where the use of models should be preferred over other existing refinement approaches were highlighted. We then practically conducted the risk assessment refinement by using 2 different models as examples. In example 1, a TK model accounting for toxicokinetics and relevant feeding patterns in the skylark and in the wood mouse was used to predict internal doses of the hypothetical active ingredient in individuals, based on relevant feeding patterns in an in-crop situation, and identify the residue levels leading to mortality. In example 2, a TK-TD model accounting for toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics, and relevant exposure patterns in the fathead minnow was used to predict the time-course of fish survival for relevant FOCUS SW exposure scenarios and identify which scenarios might lead to mortality. Models were calibrated using available standard data and implemented to simulate the time-course of internal dose of active ingredient or survival for different exposure scenarios. Simulation results were discussed and used to derive the risk assessment refinement endpoints used for decision. Finally, we compared the

  1. Holistic and Ecological Approaches in Talent Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Kristoffer

    the somewhat opposing talent discovery and development approaches by focusing on how an environment manages the balance between these two, and how this balance becomes a part of the environment’s identity. Ecological perspectives on talent development hold rich insights for developing theories, research......Research on athletic talent has evolved from talent detection to talent development with both perspectives focusing on an individual athlete. This individual focus has been mirrored in the applied work of the sport psychology practitioner in youth competitive sport who has primarily focused...... on equipping individual athletes with the psychosocial skills required in a sport career. In contrast, the holistic ecological approach (HEA) to talent development in sport (Henriksen, Stambulova & Roessler, 2010) acknowledges the role of the overall environment in athletes’ development. The HEA integrates...

  2. Ecological approaches to the prevention of unintentional injuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. Allegrante

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available

    Background: Injury as a cause of significant morbidity and mortality has remained fairly stable in countries with developed economies. Although injury prevention often is conceptualised as a biomedical construct, such a reductionist perspective overlooks the importance of the psychological, environmental, and sociocultural conditions as contributing factors to injury and its consequences. This paper describes the potential of the ecological model for understanding the antecedent causes of unintentional injuries and guiding injury prevention approaches. We review the origins and conceptualise the elements of the ecological model and conclude with some examples of applications of ecological approaches to the prevention of unintentional injury and promotion of community safety.

    Methods: A review of the English-language literature on the conceptualization of ecological models in public health and injury prevention, including the application of the ecological model in the prevention of falls and road traffic injuries and in the community safety promotion movement.

    Results: Three dimensions are important in social-ecological systems that comprise key determinants of injuries: 1 the individual and his or her behaviour, 2 the physical environment, and 3 the social environment. Social and environmental determinants have profound impact on population health and in the causation of injuries.

    Conclusions: Social and environmental determinants of injury should be studied with the same energy, urgency, and intellectual rigor as physical determinants. Application of the ecological model in injury prevention shows the most promise in falls injury prevention, road traffic injury prevention, and community safety promotion.

  3. 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,…

  4. Investigating ecological speciation in non-model organisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David

    2012-01-01

    Background: Studies of ecological speciation tend to focus on a few model biological systems. In contrast, few studies on non-model organisms have been able to infer ecological speciation as the underlying mechanism of evolutionary divergence. Questions: What are the pitfalls in studying ecological...... speciation in non-model organisms that lead to this bias? What alternative approaches might redress the balance? Organism: Genetically differentiated types of the killer whale (Orcinus orca) exhibiting differences in prey preference, habitat use, morphology, and behaviour. Methods: Review of the literature...... on killer whale evolutionary ecology in search of any difficulty in demonstrating causal links between variation in phenotype, ecology, and reproductive isolation in this non-model organism. Results: At present, we do not have enough evidence to conclude that adaptive phenotype traits linked to ecological...

  5. Linking microbial and ecosystem ecology using ecological stoichiometry: a synthesis of conceptual and empirical approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.

  6. A modelling approach to evaluating the effectiveness of Ecological Focus Areas: the case of the European brown hare

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Langhammer, Maria; Grimm, Volker; Putz, Sandro

    2016-01-01

    and Man Simulation System (ALMaSS), an established simulation system that has been used to simulate a wide range of farmland species relevant to biodiversity. We analysed the benefits of seven greening scenarios for the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus), which has been in widespread decline throughout......With the current implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for 2014–2020, the European Commission wants to move towards “greener” farming practices in the European Union. Therefore, the EU funds both obligatory measures, such as Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) through the Green Direct...... of each type was increased separately up to 5% of the area in three Danish landscapes, which are characterised by low hare densities. The effects on female and yearling abundance were observed over a period of 30 years. All greening scenarios had significant positive effects on hare populations...

  7. Spatially explicit modeling in ecology: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Yurek, Simeon

    2017-01-01

    The use of spatially explicit models (SEMs) in ecology has grown enormously in the past two decades. One major advancement has been that fine-scale details of landscapes, and of spatially dependent biological processes, such as dispersal and invasion, can now be simulated with great precision, due to improvements in computer technology. Many areas of modeling have shifted toward a focus on capturing these fine-scale details, to improve mechanistic understanding of ecosystems. However, spatially implicit models (SIMs) have played a dominant role in ecology, and arguments have been made that SIMs, which account for the effects of space without specifying spatial positions, have an advantage of being simpler and more broadly applicable, perhaps contributing more to understanding. We address this debate by comparing SEMs and SIMs in examples from the past few decades of modeling research. We argue that, although SIMs have been the dominant approach in the incorporation of space in theoretical ecology, SEMs have unique advantages for addressing pragmatic questions concerning species populations or communities in specific places, because local conditions, such as spatial heterogeneities, organism behaviors, and other contingencies, produce dynamics and patterns that usually cannot be incorporated into simpler SIMs. SEMs are also able to describe mechanisms at the local scale that can create amplifying positive feedbacks at that scale, creating emergent patterns at larger scales, and therefore are important to basic ecological theory. We review the use of SEMs at the level of populations, interacting populations, food webs, and ecosystems and argue that SEMs are not only essential in pragmatic issues, but must play a role in the understanding of causal relationships on landscapes.

  8. Digging deeper on "deep" learning: A computational ecology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buscema, Massimo; Sacco, Pier Luigi

    2017-01-01

    We propose an alternative approach to "deep" learning that is based on computational ecologies of structurally diverse artificial neural networks, and on dynamic associative memory responses to stimuli. Rather than focusing on massive computation of many different examples of a single situation, we opt for model-based learning and adaptive flexibility. Cross-fertilization of learning processes across multiple domains is the fundamental feature of human intelligence that must inform "new" artificial intelligence.

  9. Applied systems ecology: models, data, and statistical methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eberhardt, L L

    1976-01-01

    In this report, systems ecology is largely equated to mathematical or computer simulation modelling. The need for models in ecology stems from the necessity to have an integrative device for the diversity of ecological data, much of which is observational, rather than experimental, as well as from the present lack of a theoretical structure for ecology. Different objectives in applied studies require specialized methods. The best predictive devices may be regression equations, often non-linear in form, extracted from much more detailed models. A variety of statistical aspects of modelling, including sampling, are discussed. Several aspects of population dynamics and food-chain kinetics are described, and it is suggested that the two presently separated approaches should be combined into a single theoretical framework. It is concluded that future efforts in systems ecology should emphasize actual data and statistical methods, as well as modelling.

  10. When mechanism matters: Bayesian forecasting using models of ecological diffusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hefley, Trevor J.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Russell, Robin E.; Walsh, Daniel P.; Powell, James A.

    2017-01-01

    Ecological diffusion is a theory that can be used to understand and forecast spatio-temporal processes such as dispersal, invasion, and the spread of disease. Hierarchical Bayesian modelling provides a framework to make statistical inference and probabilistic forecasts, using mechanistic ecological models. To illustrate, we show how hierarchical Bayesian models of ecological diffusion can be implemented for large data sets that are distributed densely across space and time. The hierarchical Bayesian approach is used to understand and forecast the growth and geographic spread in the prevalence of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We compare statistical inference and forecasts from our hierarchical Bayesian model to phenomenological regression-based methods that are commonly used to analyse spatial occurrence data. The mechanistic statistical model based on ecological diffusion led to important ecological insights, obviated a commonly ignored type of collinearity, and was the most accurate method for forecasting.

  11. A universal simulator for ecological models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holst, Niels

    2013-01-01

    Software design is an often neglected issue in ecological models, even though bad software design often becomes a hindrance for re-using, sharing and even grasping an ecological model. In this paper, the methodology of agile software design was applied to the domain of ecological models. Thus...... the principles for a universal design of ecological models were arrived at. To exemplify this design, the open-source software Universal Simulator was constructed using C++ and XML and is provided as a resource for inspiration....

  12. Sustainable agriculture: how to make it work? : a modeling approach to support management of a mixed ecological farm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wolfert, S.

    2002-01-01

    Keywords: sustainable agriculture; organic farming; whole farm management; decision support; farming systems research; designing; modeling; beta-gamma integration

    The objective of the research described in this thesis was to develop a model that helps

  13. Benefits of using a Social-Ecological Systems Approach to ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Using a social-ecological systems (SES) perspective to examine wetland restoration helps decision-makers recognize interdependencies and relations between ecological and social components of coupled systems. Conceptual models are an invaluable tool to capture, visualize, and organize the key factors in complex social-ecological systems, but can be overwhelming to generate and lead to key concepts being overlooked if development is unstructured. Using a DPSIR approach (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact, Responses), conceptual models can be developed to link decision scenarios and stressors to impacts on ecosystem services. These impacts on priority ecosystem services can then be linked to changes in human health and well-being through benefit functions. Expert input and contributions across disciplines provides appropriate temporal and spatial scales for determination of targets, project implementation, and monitoring strategies. This approach is being applied to create descriptive SES models of two wetland restoration projects. The first, the dredging of a degraded estuarine channel and restoration of mangrove forests in Caño Martìn Peña in San Juan, Puerto Rico is in the planning stage. The second, the restoration of a former cranberry farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts has completed a large restoration of freshwater wetland, and is gearing up for a second phase. Through the development of conceptual models, we are connecting driving forces wi

  14. Introduction to the Special Volume on "Ecology and Ecological Modeling in R"

    OpenAIRE

    Kneib, Thomas; Petzoldt, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    The third special volume in the "Foometrics in R" series of the Journal of Statistical Software collects a number of contributions describing statistical methodology and corresponding implementations related to ecology and ecological modelling. The scope of the papers ranges from theoretical ecology and ecological modelling to statistical methodology relevant for data analyses in ecological applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Luis E; Craft, Meggan E

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Rich dynamics of discrete delay ecological models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peng Mingshu

    2005-01-01

    We study multiple bifurcations and chaotic behavior of a discrete delay ecological model. New form of chaos for the 2-D map is observed: the combination of potential period doubling and reverse period-doubling leads to cascading bubbles

  17. Explanatory models for ecological response surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jager, H.I.; Overton, W.S.

    1991-01-01

    Understanding the spatial organization of ecological systems is a fundamental part of ecosystem study. While discovering the causal relationships of this organization is an important goal, our purpose of spatial description on a regional scale is best met by use of explanatory variables that are somewhat removed from the mechanistic causal level. Regional level understanding is best obtained from explanatory variables that reflect spatial gradients at the regional scale and from categorical variables that describe the discrete constituents of (statistical) populations, such as lakes. In this paper, we use a regression model to predict lake acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) based on environmental predictor variables over a large region. These predictions are used to produce model-based population estimates. Two key features of our modeling approach are that is honors the spatial context and the design of the sample data. The spatial context of the data are brought into the analysis of model residuals through the interpretation of residual maps and semivariograms. The sampling design is taken into account by including stratification variables from the design in the model. This ensures that the model applies to a real population of lakes (the target population), rather than whatever hypothetical population the sample is a random sample of

  18. MELA: Modelling in Ecology with Location Attributes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludovica Luisa Vissat

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecology studies the interactions between individuals, species and the environment. The ability to predict the dynamics of ecological systems would support the design and monitoring of control strategies and would help to address pressing global environmental issues. It is also important to plan for efficient use of natural resources and maintenance of critical ecosystem services. The mathematical modelling of ecological systems often includes nontrivial specifications of processes that influence the birth, death, development and movement of individuals in the environment, that take into account both biotic and abiotic interactions. To assist in the specification of such models, we introduce MELA, a process algebra for Modelling in Ecology with Location Attributes. Process algebras allow the modeller to describe concurrent systems in a high-level language. A key feature of concurrent systems is that they are composed of agents that can progress simultaneously but also interact - a good match to ecological systems. MELA aims to provide ecologists with a straightforward yet flexible tool for modelling ecological systems, with particular emphasis on the description of space and the environment. Here we present four example MELA models, illustrating the different spatial arrangements which can be accommodated and demonstrating the use of MELA in epidemiological and predator-prey scenarios.

  19. Ecological approach in constructing residential areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdanović Ružica

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available As a concept sustainable development has evolved over the past two decades from a concept closely associated with the biophysical environment to become much more complex, embracing social, cultural, economic political and esthetic phenomenon, which are invariably in mutual interaction, so they influence sustainability of natural environment. The very notion of "sustainable" we are meeting today in almost all significance areas of human activities. Contemporary planning, projecting and building techniques undoubtedly implied integration of goals of environmental prevention with goals of socio-economic development, all with respecting the esthetic standards. This paper represents experience from foreign praxis. Project defines and resolves objectives from social, economical, morphological and ecological aspects. Most important is aspect of Ecological Optimisation, which consists of main components: energy use optimization, water concept, exemplary waste management concept and ecological soil management.

  20. Buddhism and Ecology: A Virtue Ethics Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Keown, Damien V.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction: Whether Buddhism has a compelling ecological dimension or not has been a much discussed question in recent years. I think I should put my cards on the table at the outset and say that I count myself among the sceptics in this respect. I see little evidence that the Buddha or his followers, at least down to modern times, have been greatly concerned with questions of ecology. If anything, there is more evidence of a negative presupposition about the value and status of the natural...

  1. Recent changes in Central European landscapes: An integrative ecological approach

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Těšitel, Jan; Kučera, Tomáš

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 1 (2005), s. 3-6 ISSN 1335-342X Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : integrative ecological approach * transdisciplinarity * interdisciplinarity * landscape ecology Subject RIV: DO - Wilderness Conservation Impact factor: 0.085, year: 2005

  2. Cost assessment and ecological effectiveness of nutrient reduction options for mitigating Phaeocystis colony blooms in the Southern North Sea: an integrated modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancelot, Christiane; Thieu, Vincent; Polard, Audrey; Garnier, Josette; Billen, Gilles; Hecq, Walter; Gypens, Nathalie

    2011-05-01

    Nutrient reduction measures have been already taken by wealthier countries to decrease nutrient loads to coastal waters, in most cases however, prior to having properly assessed their ecological effectiveness and their economic costs. In this paper we describe an original integrated impact assessment methodology to estimate the direct cost and the ecological performance of realistic nutrient reduction options to be applied in the Southern North Sea watershed to decrease eutrophication, visible as Phaeocystis blooms and foam deposits on the beaches. The mathematical tool couples the idealized biogeochemical GIS-based model of the river system (SENEQUE-RIVERSTRAHLER) implemented in the Eastern Channel/Southern North Sea watershed to the biogeochemical MIRO model describing Phaeocystis blooms in the marine domain. Model simulations explore how nutrient reduction options regarding diffuse and/or point sources in the watershed would affect the Phaeocystis colony spreading in the coastal area. The reference and prospective simulations are performed for the year 2000 characterized by mean meteorological conditions, and nutrient reduction scenarios include and compare upgrading of wastewater treatment plants and changes in agricultural practices including an idealized shift towards organic farming. A direct cost assessment is performed for each realistic nutrient reduction scenario. Further the reduction obtained for Phaeocystis blooms is assessed by comparison with ecological indicators (bloom magnitude and duration) and the cost for reducing foam events on the beaches is estimated. Uncertainty brought by the added effect of meteorological conditions (rainfall) on coastal eutrophication is discussed. It is concluded that the reduction obtained by implementing realistic environmental measures on the short-term is costly and insufficient to restore well-balanced nutrient conditions in the coastal area while the replacement of conventional agriculture by organic farming

  3. Optimizing sampling approaches along ecological gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schweiger, Andreas; Irl, Severin D. H.; Steinbauer, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    1. Natural scientists and especially ecologists use manipulative experiments or field observations along gradients to differentiate patterns driven by processes from those caused by random noise. A well-conceived sampling design is essential for identifying, analysing and reporting underlying...... patterns in a statistically solid and reproducible manner, given the normal restrictions in labour, time and money. However, a technical guideline about an adequate sampling design to maximize prediction success under restricted resources is lacking. This study aims at developing such a solid...... and reproducible guideline for sampling along gradients in all fields of ecology and science in general. 2. We conducted simulations with artificial data for five common response types known in ecology, each represented by a simple function (no response, linear, exponential, symmetric unimodal and asymmetric...

  4. Stochastic dynamical models for ecological regime shifts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Jan Kloppenborg; Carstensen, Jacob; Madsen, Henrik

    the physical and biological knowledge of the system, and nonlinearities introduced here can generate regime shifts or enhance the probability of regime shifts in the case of stochastic models, typically characterized by a threshold value for the known driver. A simple model for light competition between...... definition and stability of regimes become less subtle. Ecological regime shifts and their modeling must be viewed in a probabilistic manner, particularly if such model results are to be used in ecosystem management....

  5. A Socio-Ecological Approach to GIS Least-Cost Modelling for Regional Mining Infrastructure Planning: A Case Study from South-East Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex M. Lechner

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Regional planning approaches to mining infrastructure aim to reduce the conflict associated with mining operations and existing land uses, such as urban areas and biodiversity conservation, as well as the cumulative impacts that occur offsite. In this paper, we describe a method for conducting Geographical Information System (GIS least-cost path and least-cost corridor analysis for linear mining infrastructure, such as roads. Least-cost path analysis identifies the optimal pathways between two locations as a function of the cost of traveling through different land use/cover types. In a case study from South-East Sulawesi, Indonesia, we identify potential linear networks for road infrastructure connecting mines, smelters, and ports. The method used interview data from government officials to characterise their orientation (perceived importance and positive/negative attitude toward the social and environmental factors associated with mining infrastructure. A cost-surface was constructed by integrating spatial layers representing the social and environmental factors to identify areas that should be avoided and areas that were compatible with linear infrastructure using the least-cost path analysis. We compared infrastructure scenario outputs from local and national government officials by the degree of spatial overlap and found broad spatial agreement for infrastructure corridors. We conclude by discussing this approach in relation to the wider social-ecological and mine planning literature and how quantitative approaches can reduce the conflict associated with infrastructure planning.

  6. Progress and challenges in coupled hydrodynamic-ecological estuarine modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganju, Neil K.; Brush, Mark J.; Rashleigh, Brenda; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; del Barrio, Pilar; Grear, Jason S.; Harris, Lora A.; Lake, Samuel J.; McCardell, Grant; O'Donnell, James; Ralston, David K.; Signell, Richard P.; Testa, Jeremy; Vaudrey, Jamie M. P.

    2016-01-01

    Numerical modeling has emerged over the last several decades as a widely accepted tool for investigations in environmental sciences. In estuarine research, hydrodynamic and ecological models have moved along parallel tracks with regard to complexity, refinement, computational power, and incorporation of uncertainty. Coupled hydrodynamic-ecological models have been used to assess ecosystem processes and interactions, simulate future scenarios, and evaluate remedial actions in response to eutrophication, habitat loss, and freshwater diversion. The need to couple hydrodynamic and ecological models to address research and management questions is clear because dynamic feedbacks between biotic and physical processes are critical interactions within ecosystems. In this review, we present historical and modern perspectives on estuarine hydrodynamic and ecological modeling, consider model limitations, and address aspects of model linkage, skill assessment, and complexity. We discuss the balance between spatial and temporal resolution and present examples using different spatiotemporal scales. Finally, we recommend future lines of inquiry, approaches to balance complexity and uncertainty, and model transparency and utility. It is idealistic to think we can pursue a “theory of everything” for estuarine models, but recent advances suggest that models for both scientific investigations and management applications will continue to improve in terms of realism, precision, and accuracy.

  7. Ecological Economics: Themes, Approaches, and Differences with Environmental Economics

    OpenAIRE

    Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

    2000-01-01

    This provides a short overview of the main themes of ecological economics (EE). It isargued that EE provides a platform that fosters multidisciplinary environmental research bybringing together the core contributing disciplines economics and ecology. In addition, EE isregarded as a pluralistic approach to environmental research that can be set opposite to, and hasindeed developed as a response to, traditional environmental and resource economics. Acomparison of the two fields is presented to ...

  8. Theoretical Approaches in Evolutionary Ecology: Environmental Feedback as a Unifying Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, Sébastien

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary biology and ecology have a strong theoretical underpinning, and this has fostered a variety of modeling approaches. A major challenge of this theoretical work has been to unravel the tangled feedback loop between ecology and evolution. This has prompted the development of two main classes of models. While quantitative genetics models jointly consider the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a focal population, a separation of timescales between ecology and evolution is assumed by evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, and inclusive fitness theory. As a result, theoretical evolutionary ecology tends to be divided among different schools of thought, with different toolboxes and motivations. My aim in this synthesis is to highlight the connections between these different approaches and clarify the current state of theory in evolutionary ecology. Central to this approach is to make explicit the dependence on environmental dynamics of the population and evolutionary dynamics, thereby materializing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. This perspective sheds light on the interplay between environmental feedback and the timescales of ecological and evolutionary processes. I conclude by discussing some potential extensions and challenges to our current theoretical understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

  9. Ecological Niche Modelling of Bank Voles in Western Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Amirpour Haredasht

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-28

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

  11. Crisis in Context Theory: An Ecological Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myer, Rick A.; Moore, Holly B.

    2006-01-01

    This article outlines a theory for understanding the impact of a crisis on individuals and organizations. Crisis in context theory (CCT) is grounded in an ecological model and based on literature in the field of crisis intervention and on personal experiences of the authors. A graphic representation denotes key components and premises of CCT,…

  12. Resilience, political ecology, and well-being: an interdisciplinary approach to understanding social-ecological change in coastal Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia F. Hoque

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The commodification of peasant livelihoods through export-oriented aquaculture has brought about significant social-ecological changes in low-lying coastal areas in many parts of Asia. A better understanding of the underlying drivers and distributional effects of these changes requires integration of social and ecological approaches that often have different epistemological origins. Resilience thinking has gained increased traction in social-ecological systems research because it provides a dynamic analysis of the cross-scalar interactions between multiple conditions and processes. However, the system-oriented perspective inherent in resilience thinking fails to acknowledge the heterogeneous values, interests, and power of social actors and their roles in navigating social-ecological change. Incorporation of political ecology and well-being perspectives can provide an actor-oriented analysis of the trade-offs associated with change and help to determine which state is desirable for whom. However, empirical demonstrations of such interdisciplinary approaches remain scarce. Here, we explore the combined application of resilience, political ecology, and well-being in investigating the root causes of social-ecological change and identifying the winners and losers of system transformation through empirical analysis of the differential changes in farming systems in two villages in coastal Bangladesh. Using the adaptive cycle as a structuring model, we examine the evolution of the shrimp aquaculture system over the past few decades, particularly looking at the power dynamics between households of different wealth classes. We found that although asymmetric land ownership and political ties enabled the wealthier households to reach their desired farming system in one village, social resilience achieved through memory, leadership, and crisis empowered poorer households to exercise their agency in another village. Material dimensions such as improved

  13. Agent-based modeling in ecological economics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heckbert, Scott; Baynes, Tim; Reeson, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Interconnected social and environmental systems are the domain of ecological economics, and models can be used to explore feedbacks and adaptations inherent in these systems. Agent-based modeling (ABM) represents autonomous entities, each with dynamic behavior and heterogeneous characteristics. Agents interact with each other and their environment, resulting in emergent outcomes at the macroscale that can be used to quantitatively analyze complex systems. ABM is contributing to research questions in ecological economics in the areas of natural resource management and land-use change, urban systems modeling, market dynamics, changes in consumer attitudes, innovation, and diffusion of technology and management practices, commons dilemmas and self-governance, and psychological aspects to human decision making and behavior change. Frontiers for ABM research in ecological economics involve advancing the empirical calibration and validation of models through mixed methods, including surveys, interviews, participatory modeling, and, notably, experimental economics to test specific decision-making hypotheses. Linking ABM with other modeling techniques at the level of emergent properties will further advance efforts to understand dynamics of social-environmental systems.

  14. Planning for School Transition: An Ecological-Developmental Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Karen E.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    The paper describes an ecological-developmental model for planning a child's transition from a preschool special education program to a public school classroom. The model stresses interactions between the various environments in which the child functions. A description of a preschool transition program based on the model is also included.…

  15. Mathematical models of ecology and evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Lai

    2012-01-01

    -history processes: net-assimilation mechanism of 􀀀rule and net-reproduction mechanism of size dependence using a simple model comprising a size-structured consumer Daphina and an unstructured resource alge. It is found that in contrast to the former mechanism, the latter tends to destabilize population...... dynamics but as a trade-o promotes species survival by shortening juvenile delay between birth and the onset of reproduction. Paper II compares the size-spectrum and food-web representations of communities using two traits (body size and habitat location) based unstructured population model of Lotka......) based size-structured population model, that is, interference in foraging, maintenance, survival, and recruitment. Their impacts on the ecology and evolution of size-structured populations and communities are explored. Ecologically, interference aects population demographic properties either negatively...

  16. An ecological process model of systems change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirson, Leslea J; Boydell, Katherine M; Ferguson, H Bruce; Ferris, Lorraine E

    2011-06-01

    In June 2007 the American Journal of Community Psychology published a special issue focused on theories, methods and interventions for systems change which included calls from the editors and authors for theoretical advancement in this field. We propose a conceptual model of systems change that integrates familiar and fundamental community psychology principles (succession, interdependence, cycling of resources, adaptation) and accentuates a process orientation. To situate our framework we offer a definition of systems change and a brief review of the ecological perspective and principles. The Ecological Process Model of Systems Change is depicted, described and applied to a case example of policy driven systems level change in publicly funded social programs. We conclude by identifying salient implications for thinking and action which flow from the Model.

  17. Conceptualizing Skill within a Participatory Ecological Approach to Outdoor Adventure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullins, Philip M.

    2014-01-01

    To answer calls for an ecological approach to outdoor adventure that can respond to the crisis of sustainability, this paper suggests greater theoretical and empirical attention to skill and skill development as shaping participant interactions with and experiences of environments, landscapes, places, and inhabitants. The paper reviews calls for…

  18. Questionnaire of Executive Function for Dancers: An Ecological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Alina; Rodriguez, Mabel; Quevedo, Liliana; de Cossio, Lourdes Fernandez; Borges, Ariel; Reyes, Alicia; Corral, Roberto; Blanco, Florentino; Alvarez, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    There is a current debate about the ecological validity of executive function (EF) tests. Consistent with the verisimilitude approach, this research proposes the Ballet Executive Scale (BES), a self-rating questionnaire that assimilates idiosyncratic executive behaviors of classical dance community. The BES was administrated to 149 adolescents,…

  19. [An emergy-ecological footprint model based evaluation of ecological security at the old industrial area in Northeast China: A case study of Liaoning Province.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qing; Lu, Cheng Peng; Zhou, Feng; Geng, Yong; Jing, Hong Shuang; Ren, Wan Xia; Xue, Bing

    2016-05-01

    Based on the integrated model of emergy-ecological footprint approaches, the ecological security of Liaoning Province, a typical case for the old industrial area, was quantitatively evaluated from 2003 to 2012, followed by a scenario analysis on the development trend of the ecological secu-rity by employing the gray kinetic model. The results showed that, from 2003 to 2012, the value of emergy ecological-capacity per capita in Liaoning Province decreased from 3.13 hm 2 to 3.07 hm 2 , while the emergy-ecological footprint increased from 13.88 hm 2 to 21.96 hm 2 , which indicated that the ecological deficit existed in Liaoning Province and the situation was getting worse. The ecological pressure index increased from 4.43 to 7.16 during the studied period, and the alert level of ecological security changed from light to middle level. According to the development trend, the emergy ecological capacity per capita during 2013-2022 would correspondingly decrease from 3.04 hm 2 to 2.98 hm 2 , while the emergy ecological footprint would increase from 22.72 hm 2 to 35.87 hm 2 , the ecological pressure index would increase from 7.46 to 12.04, and the ecological deficit would keep increasing and the ecological security level would slide into slightly unsafe condition. The alert level of ecological security would turn to be middle or serious, suggesting the problems in ecological safety needed to be solved urgently.

  20. Conceptual model development for landscape management in the mountains of the Indian Himalayan region: an approach for sustainable socio-ecological development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil Nautiyal

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aims at presenting a conceptual model for landscape management in the Himalayan region of India, using quantitative/mathematical approach. Keeping in view the requirement, (based on fifteen years empirical field work in the Himalayan region and as well as literature survey the MODAM (Multiple Objectives Decision Support Tools for Landscape Management model along with linear programming approach was adopted with a view to presenting additional methodological perspectives on interdisciplinary landscape research. The work has stemmed out from the original research contribution, which tries to integrate interdisciplinary research planning with landscape management related research in the Himalayan region. This biodiversity hotspot has relatively high complexity in terms of sustainable socioeconomic development vis a vis conservation and management of the resources. The concepts and insights presented in this article will provide the basis for a discussion, on decisionmaking issues among multidisciplinary experts with regard to sustainable socioecological development within complex environments.

  1. An efficient nonlinear finite-difference approach in the computational modeling of the dynamics of a nonlinear diffusion-reaction equation in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macías-Díaz, J E; Macías, Siegfried; Medina-Ramírez, I E

    2013-12-01

    In this manuscript, we present a computational model to approximate the solutions of a partial differential equation which describes the growth dynamics of microbial films. The numerical technique reported in this work is an explicit, nonlinear finite-difference methodology which is computationally implemented using Newton's method. Our scheme is compared numerically against an implicit, linear finite-difference discretization of the same partial differential equation, whose computer coding requires an implementation of the stabilized bi-conjugate gradient method. Our numerical results evince that the nonlinear approach results in a more efficient approximation to the solutions of the biofilm model considered, and demands less computer memory. Moreover, the positivity of initial profiles is preserved in the practice by the nonlinear scheme proposed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Estimation methods for nonlinear state-space models in ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Martin Wæver; Berg, Casper Willestofte; Thygesen, Uffe Høgsbro

    2011-01-01

    The use of nonlinear state-space models for analyzing ecological systems is increasing. A wide range of estimation methods for such models are available to ecologists, however it is not always clear, which is the appropriate method to choose. To this end, three approaches to estimation in the theta...... logistic model for population dynamics were benchmarked by Wang (2007). Similarly, we examine and compare the estimation performance of three alternative methods using simulated data. The first approach is to partition the state-space into a finite number of states and formulate the problem as a hidden...... Markov model (HMM). The second method uses the mixed effects modeling and fast numerical integration framework of the AD Model Builder (ADMB) open-source software. The third alternative is to use the popular Bayesian framework of BUGS. The study showed that state and parameter estimation performance...

  3. Contemporary Ecological Interactions Improve Models of Past Trait Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, Matthew C; Gaiarsa, Marília P; Stouffer, Daniel B

    2018-02-20

    Despite the fact that natural selection underlies both traits and interactions, evolutionary models often neglect that ecological interactions may, and in many cases do, influence the evolution of traits. Here, we explore the interdependence of ecological interactions and functional traits in the pollination associations of hawkmoths and flowering plants. Specifically, we develop an adaptation of the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of trait evolution that allows us to study the influence of plant corolla depth and observed hawkmoth-plant interactions on the evolution of hawkmoth proboscis length. Across diverse modelling scenarios, we find that the inclusion of contemporary interactions can provide a better description of trait evolution than the null expectation. Moreover, we show that the pollination interactions provide more-likely models of hawkmoth trait evolution when interactions are considered at increasingly finescale groups of hawkmoths. Finally, we demonstrate how the results of best-fit modelling approaches can implicitly support the association between interactions and trait evolution that our method explicitly examines. In showing that contemporary interactions can provide insight into the historical evolution of hawkmoth proboscis length, we demonstrate the clear utility of incorporating additional ecological information to models designed to study past trait evolution.

  4. Integrated Spatio-Temporal Ecological Modeling System

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-07-01

    models that we hold in our conscious (and subconscious ) minds. Chapter 3 explores how this approach is being augmented with the more formal capture...This approach makes it possible to add new simulation model components to I- STEMS without having to reprogram existing components. The steps required

  5. A dominance-based approach to map risks of ecological invasions in the presence of severe uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denys Yemshanov; Frank H. Koch; D. Barry Lyons; Mark Ducey; Klaus Koehler

    2012-01-01

    Aim Uncertainty has been widely recognized as one of the most critical issues in predicting the expansion of ecological invasions. The uncertainty associated with the introduction and spread of invasive organisms influences how pest management decision makers respond to expanding incursions. We present a model-based approach to map risk of ecological invasions that...

  6. Identifying perinatal risk factors for infant maltreatment: an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hallisey Elaine J

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Child maltreatment and its consequences are a persistent problem throughout the world. Public health workers, human services officials, and others are interested in new and efficient ways to determine which geographic areas to target for intervention programs and resources. To improve assessment efforts, selected perinatal factors were examined, both individually and in various combinations, to determine if they are associated with increased risk of infant maltreatment. State of Georgia birth records and abuse and neglect data were analyzed using an area-based, ecological approach with the census tract as a surrogate for the community. Cartographic visualization suggested some correlation exists between risk factors and child maltreatment, so bivariate and multivariate regression were performed. The presence of spatial autocorrelation precluded the use of traditional ordinary least squares regression, therefore a spatial regression model coupled with maximum likelihood estimation was employed. Results Results indicate that all individual factors or their combinations are significantly associated with increased risk of infant maltreatment. The set of perinatal risk factors that best predicts infant maltreatment rates are: mother smoked during pregnancy, families with three or more siblings, maternal age less than 20 years, births to unmarried mothers, Medicaid beneficiaries, and inadequate prenatal care. Conclusion This model enables public health to take a proactive stance, to reasonably predict areas where poor outcomes are likely to occur, and to therefore more efficiently allocate resources. U.S. states that routinely collect the variables the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS defines for birth certificates can easily identify areas that are at high risk for infant maltreatment. The authors recommend that agencies charged with reducing child maltreatment target communities that demonstrate the perinatal risks

  7. Putting the "ecology" into environmental flows: ecological dynamics and demographic modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenton, Will; Bond, Nicholas R; Yen, Jian D L; Mac Nally, Ralph

    2012-07-01

    There have been significant diversions of water from rivers and streams around the world; natural flow regimes have been perturbed by dams, barriers and excessive extractions. Many aspects of the ecological 'health' of riverine systems have declined due to changes in water flows, which has stimulated the development of thinking about the maintenance and restoration of these systems, which we refer to as environmental flow methodologies (EFMs). Most existing EFMs cannot deliver information on the population viability of species because they: (1) use habitat suitability as a proxy for population status; (2) use historical time series (usually of short duration) to forecast future conditions and flow sequences; (3) cannot, or do not, handle extreme flow events associated with climate variability; and (4) assume process stationarity for flow sequences, which means the past sequences are treated as good indicators of the future. These assumptions undermine the capacity of EFMs to properly represent risks associated with different flow management options; assumption (4) is untenable given most climate-change predictions. We discuss these concerns and advocate the use of demographic modelling as a more appropriate tool for linking population dynamics to flow regime change. A 'meta-species' approach to demographic modelling is discussed as a useful step from habitat based models towards modelling strategies grounded in ecological theory when limited data are available on flow-demographic relationships. Data requirements of demographic models will undoubtedly expose gaps in existing knowledge, but, in so doing, will strengthen future efforts to link changes in river flows with their ecological consequences.

  8. Putting the "Ecology" into Environmental Flows: Ecological Dynamics and Demographic Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenton, Will; Bond, Nicholas R.; Yen, Jian D. L.; Mac Nally, Ralph

    2012-07-01

    There have been significant diversions of water from rivers and streams around the world; natural flow regimes have been perturbed by dams, barriers and excessive extractions. Many aspects of the ecological `health' of riverine systems have declined due to changes in water flows, which has stimulated the development of thinking about the maintenance and restoration of these systems, which we refer to as environmental flow methodologies (EFMs). Most existing EFMs cannot deliver information on the population viability of species because they: (1) use habitat suitability as a proxy for population status; (2) use historical time series (usually of short duration) to forecast future conditions and flow sequences; (3) cannot, or do not, handle extreme flow events associated with climate variability; and (4) assume process stationarity for flow sequences, which means the past sequences are treated as good indicators of the future. These assumptions undermine the capacity of EFMs to properly represent risks associated with different flow management options; assumption (4) is untenable given most climate-change predictions. We discuss these concerns and advocate the use of demographic modelling as a more appropriate tool for linking population dynamics to flow regime change. A `meta-species' approach to demographic modelling is discussed as a useful step from habitat based models towards modelling strategies grounded in ecological theory when limited data are available on flow-demographic relationships. Data requirements of demographic models will undoubtedly expose gaps in existing knowledge, but, in so doing, will strengthen future efforts to link changes in river flows with their ecological consequences.

  9. Cognitive Comparisons of Students' Systems Modeling in Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Kathleen; Thomas, David

    2001-12-01

    This study examined the cognition of five pairs of high school students over time as they built quantitative ecological models using STELLA software. One pair of students emerged as being particularly proficient at learning to model, and was able to use models productively to explore and explain ecological system behaviors. We present detailed contrasts between this and the other pairs of students' cognitive behaviors while modeling, in three areas that were crucial to their modeling productivity: (a) focusing on model output and net interactions versus on model input and individual relationships when building and revising models, (b) exploring the nature and implications of dependencies and feedbacks versus just creating these as properties of complex systems, and (c) using variables versus constants to represent continuous and periodic functions. We then apply theories of the multifaceted nature of cognition to describe object-level, metalevel, and emotional dimensions of cognitive performance that help to explain the observed differences among students' approaches to STELLA modeling. Finally, we suggest pedagogical strategies for supporting all types of students in learning the central scientific practice of model-based quantitative thinking.

  10. On the specification of structural equation models for ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.; Michael, Anderson T.; Han, O.; Scheiner, S.M.

    2010-01-01

    The use of structural equation modeling (SEM) is often motivated by its utility for investigating complex networks of relationships, but also because of its promise as a means of representing theoretical concepts using latent variables. In this paper, we discuss characteristics of ecological theory and some of the challenges for proper specification of theoretical ideas in structural equation models (SE models). In our presentation, we describe some of the requirements for classical latent variable models in which observed variables (indicators) are interpreted as the effects of underlying causes. We also describe alternative model specifications in which indicators are interpreted as having causal influences on the theoretical concepts. We suggest that this latter nonclassical specification (which involves another variable type-the composite) will often be appropriate for ecological studies because of the multifaceted nature of our theoretical concepts. In this paper, we employ the use of meta-models to aid the translation of theory into SE models and also to facilitate our ability to relate results back to our theories. We demonstrate our approach by showing how a synthetic theory of grassland biodiversity can be evaluated using SEM and data from a coastal grassland. In this example, the theory focuses on the responses of species richness to abiotic stress and disturbance, both directly and through intervening effects on community biomass. Models examined include both those based on classical forms (where each concept is represented using a single latent variable) and also ones in which the concepts are recognized to be multifaceted and modeled as such. To address the challenge of matching SE models with the conceptual level of our theory, two approaches are illustrated, compositing and aggregation. Both approaches are shown to have merits, with the former being preferable for cases where the multiple facets of a concept have widely differing effects in the

  11. An approach to grouping species for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hampton, N.L.; VanHorn, R.L.; Morris, R.; Brewer, R.

    1994-01-01

    The ecological risk assessment (ERA) paradigm acknowledges all levels of ecological organization as having potential for defining assessment and measurement endpoints. However, assessment goals and endpoints are generally concentrated at individual species and population levels. As part of a sitewide, screening-level ERA process at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), a ''functional group'' approach was developed to incorporate assessment at a higher level of ecological organization into the risk analysis process. Functional groups demonstrating biological similarity and similar potential for contaminant exposure were developed using taxonomic, trophic and habitat parameters. As defined, all species are potential surrogates for the other members of the same functional group. Measurement endpoint data for several species may be integrated to address the risk to the group as a whole. The functional group concept was applied throughout the problem formulation, analysis, and risk characterization phases of the assessment process. This approach allows the ERA to be focused on risk to the integrity of individual functional groups, which can subsequently be related to guild and community integrity

  12. Ecological aspects in sustainable development model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurlapov, L.I.

    1996-01-01

    Environment problems are caused by intensive use of natural resources due to scientific progress in combination with the present structure of unlimited consumption. To prevent the impending ecological disaster a model of sustainable development has been worked out. It is aimed at satisfying the ever-growing requirements of the modern man without damaging the environment. Scientifically grounded use of nature mat contribute to solution of the problem. The acceptable use of nature should take account of the land ecosystem resources which is ensured by reliable model including flow balance in particular. Irreversible flows generate entropy which could be the universal measure of technic genetics impact. Entropic condition of the acceptable (sustainable) development are started: techno-genic entropy production must be less than natural entropy production. Particular sciences should be re-oriented towards environmental problems. Environmental monitoring strategy should provide for determination of macro properties as well as flows. (author)

  13. Listening to objects: an ecological approach to the decorative arts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin J. Campbell

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available To transcend the divisions in art historical research between high art and decorative art, this study proposes an ecological approach. Drawing on research in the social sciences and humanities, and using the early modern domestic interior as a case study, the essay develops the concepts of environment, ecology, meshwork, assemblage, distributive agency, vital materiality, and matter as social performance, which appear in the work of political scientist Jane Bennett, feminist philosopher Karen Barad, sociologist Bruno Latour, anthropologist Tim Ingold, and others. As the study argues, such concepts provide a phenomenological, integrative, and non-hierarchical framework for the study of the decorative arts within the institutions and practices of art history, allowing art historians to analyse the processes through which the human and the material are intertwined.

  14. A Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) for synthesising high-frequency sensor data for validation of deterministic ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Hamilton P; Carey, Cayelan C.; Arvola, Lauri; Arzberger, Peter; Brewer, Carol A.; Cole, Jon J; Gaiser, Evelyn; Hanson, Paul C.; Ibelings, Bas W; Jennings, Eleanor; Kratz, Tim K; Lin, Fang-Pang; McBride, Christopher G.; de Motta Marques, David; Muraoka, Kohji; Nishri, Ami; Qin, Boqiang; Read, Jordan S.; Rose, Kevin C.; Ryder, Elizabeth; Weathers, Kathleen C.; Zhu, Guangwei; Trolle, Dennis; Brookes, Justin D

    2014-01-01

    A Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON; www.gleon.org) has formed to provide a coordinated response to the need for scientific understanding of lake processes, utilising technological advances available from autonomous sensors. The organisation embraces a grassroots approach to engage researchers from varying disciplines, sites spanning geographic and ecological gradients, and novel sensor and cyberinfrastructure to synthesise high-frequency lake data at scales ranging from local to global. The high-frequency data provide a platform to rigorously validate process- based ecological models because model simulation time steps are better aligned with sensor measurements than with lower-frequency, manual samples. Two case studies from Trout Bog, Wisconsin, USA, and Lake Rotoehu, North Island, New Zealand, are presented to demonstrate that in the past, ecological model outputs (e.g., temperature, chlorophyll) have been relatively poorly validated based on a limited number of directly comparable measurements, both in time and space. The case studies demonstrate some of the difficulties of mapping sensor measurements directly to model state variable outputs as well as the opportunities to use deviations between sensor measurements and model simulations to better inform process understanding. Well-validated ecological models provide a mechanism to extrapolate high-frequency sensor data in space and time, thereby potentially creating a fully 3-dimensional simulation of key variables of interest.

  15. Consumers' evaluations of ecological packaging - rational and emotional approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Koenig-Lewis, Nicole; Palmer, Adrian; Dermody, Janine; Urbye, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Ecological marketing claims have been criticized for confusing or misleading buyers, leading to calls for more rationality in promoting and evaluating ‘green’ products. However, emotions are important drivers influencing pro-environmental purchase decisions. This study investigates consumers' emotional and rational evaluations of pro-environmental packaging. A conceptual model incorporates individuals' general environmental concerns, their rational beliefs about environmental effects of produ...

  16. Ecological models and pesticide risk assessment: current modeling practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmolke, Amelie; Thorbek, Pernille; Chapman, Peter; Grimm, Volker

    2010-04-01

    Ecological risk assessments of pesticides usually focus on risk at the level of individuals, and are carried out by comparing exposure and toxicological endpoints. However, in most cases the protection goal is populations rather than individuals. On the population level, effects of pesticides depend not only on exposure and toxicity, but also on factors such as life history characteristics, population structure, timing of application, presence of refuges in time and space, and landscape structure. Ecological models can integrate such factors and have the potential to become important tools for the prediction of population-level effects of exposure to pesticides, thus allowing extrapolations, for example, from laboratory to field. Indeed, a broad range of ecological models have been applied to chemical risk assessment in the scientific literature, but so far such models have only rarely been used to support regulatory risk assessments of pesticides. To better understand the reasons for this situation, the current modeling practice in this field was assessed in the present study. The scientific literature was searched for relevant models and assessed according to nine characteristics: model type, model complexity, toxicity measure, exposure pattern, other factors, taxonomic group, risk assessment endpoint, parameterization, and model evaluation. The present study found that, although most models were of a high scientific standard, many of them would need modification before they are suitable for regulatory risk assessments. The main shortcomings of currently available models in the context of regulatory pesticide risk assessments were identified. When ecological models are applied to regulatory risk assessments, we recommend reviewing these models according to the nine characteristics evaluated here. (c) 2010 SETAC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klawonn, M.; Dow, E. M.

    2015-12-01

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

  18. The translational study of apathy – an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flurin eCathomas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Apathy, a quantitative reduction in goal-directed behavior, is a prevalent symptom dimension with a negative impact on functional outcome in various neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and depression. The aim of this review is to show that interview-based assessment of apathy in humans and observation of spontaneous rodent behavior in an ecological setting can serve as an important complementary approach to already existing task-based assessment, to study and understand the neurobiological bases of apathy. We first discuss the paucity of current translational approaches regarding animal equivalents of psychopathological assessment of apathy. We then present the existing evaluation scales for the assessment of apathy in humans and propose five sub-domains of apathy, namely self-care, social interaction, exploration, work/education and recreation. Each of the items in apathy evaluation scales can be assigned to one of these sub-domains. We then show that corresponding, well-validated behavioral readouts exist for rodents and that, indeed, three of the five human apathy sub-domains have a rodent equivalent. In conclusion, the translational ecological study of apathy in humans and mice is possible and will constitute an important approach to increase the understanding of the neurobiological bases of apathy and the development of novel treatments.

  19. Accounting for uncertainty in ecological analysis: the strengths and limitations of hierarchical statistical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cressie, Noel; Calder, Catherine A; Clark, James S; Ver Hoef, Jay M; Wikle, Christopher K

    2009-04-01

    Analyses of ecological data should account for the uncertainty in the process(es) that generated the data. However, accounting for these uncertainties is a difficult task, since ecology is known for its complexity. Measurement and/or process errors are often the only sources of uncertainty modeled when addressing complex ecological problems, yet analyses should also account for uncertainty in sampling design, in model specification, in parameters governing the specified model, and in initial and boundary conditions. Only then can we be confident in the scientific inferences and forecasts made from an analysis. Probability and statistics provide a framework that accounts for multiple sources of uncertainty. Given the complexities of ecological studies, the hierarchical statistical model is an invaluable tool. This approach is not new in ecology, and there are many examples (both Bayesian and non-Bayesian) in the literature illustrating the benefits of this approach. In this article, we provide a baseline for concepts, notation, and methods, from which discussion on hierarchical statistical modeling in ecology can proceed. We have also planted some seeds for discussion and tried to show where the practical difficulties lie. Our thesis is that hierarchical statistical modeling is a powerful way of approaching ecological analysis in the presence of inevitable but quantifiable uncertainties, even if practical issues sometimes require pragmatic compromises.

  20. Improving low health literacy and patient engagement: A social ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, Lauren; Thomas, Veronica; Lewis, Megan A; Rudd, Rima

    2017-01-01

    This article posits four principal objectives related to the overarching goal of broadening the conceptualization of health literacy. We propose a social ecological approach to health literacy and patient engagement by illustrating how this multilevel approach offers an array of strategic options for interventions. A social ecological approach supports a broader understanding of health literacy that aligns with increased patient engagement. The ecological model highlights the importance of context, demonstrates how health literacy and patient engagement are inextricably connected, and gives rise to strategies to enhance them both. We illustrate the five multilevel intervention strategies for addressing low health literacy and promoting patient engagement: accumulation, amplification, facilitation, cascade, and convergence strategies. In addition, we provide a theoretical foundation to facilitate the development of interventions to enhance health literacy and ultimately increase patient engagement. The practice implications of adopting a broader social ecological perspective to address low health literacy shifts the field from thinking about individual educational interventions to how individual interventions may be augmented or supported by interventions at additional levels of influence. The potential benefit of adopting a multilevel intervention approach is that combining interventions could produce synergies that are greater than interventions that only utilize one level of influence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. In search of an adaptive social-ecological approach to understanding a tropical city

    Science.gov (United States)

    A.E. Lugo; C.M. Concepcion; L.E. Santiago-Acevedo; T.A. Munoz-Erickson; J.C. Verdejo Ortiz; R. Santiago-Bartolomei; J. Forero-Montana; C.J. Nytch; H. Manrique; W. Colon-Cortes

    2012-01-01

    This essay describes our effort to develop a practical approach to the integration of the social and ecological sciences in the context of a Latin-American city such as San Juan, Puerto Rico. We describe our adaptive social-ecological approach in the historical context of the developing paradigms of the Anthropocene, new integrative social and ecological sciences, and...

  2. From actors to agents in socio-ecological systems models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rounsevell, M D A; Robinson, D T; Murray-Rust, D

    2012-01-19

    The ecosystem service concept has emphasized the role of people within socio-ecological systems (SESs). In this paper, we review and discuss alternative ways of representing people, their behaviour and decision-making processes in SES models using an agent-based modelling (ABM) approach. We also explore how ABM can be empirically grounded using information from social survey. The capacity for ABM to be generalized beyond case studies represents a crucial next step in modelling SESs, although this comes with considerable intellectual challenges. We propose the notion of human functional types, as an analogy of plant functional types, to support the expansion (scaling) of ABM to larger areas. The expansion of scope also implies the need to represent institutional agents in SES models in order to account for alternative governance structures and policy feedbacks. Further development in the coupling of human-environment systems would contribute considerably to better application and use of the ecosystem service concept.

  3. Urban Ecological Security Simulation and Prediction Using an Improved Cellular Automata (CA) Approach-A Case Study for the City of Wuhan in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yuan; Zhang, Chuanrong; He, Qingsong; Liu, Yaolin

    2017-06-15

    Ecological security is an important research topic, especially urban ecological security. As highly populated eco-systems, cities always have more fragile ecological environments. However, most of the research on urban ecological security in literature has focused on evaluating current or past status of the ecological environment. Very little literature has carried out simulation or prediction of future ecological security. In addition, there is even less literature exploring the urban ecological environment at a fine scale. To fill-in the literature gap, in this study we simulated and predicted urban ecological security at a fine scale (district level) using an improved Cellular Automata (CA) approach. First we used the pressure-state-response (PSR) method based on grid-scale data to evaluate urban ecological security. Then, based on the evaluation results, we imported the geographically weighted regression (GWR) concept into the CA model to simulate and predict urban ecological security. We applied the improved CA approach in a case study-simulating and predicting urban ecological security for the city of Wuhan in Central China. By comparing the simulated ecological security values from 2010 using the improved CA model to the actual ecological security values of 2010, we got a relatively high value of the kappa coefficient, which indicates that this CA model can simulate or predict well future development of ecological security in Wuhan. Based on the prediction results for 2020, we made some policy recommendations for each district in Wuhan.

  4. Market-oriented ecological promotion - The Zurich approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bebie, B.; Hug, F.; Vonbank, A.; Wieland, P.

    2005-01-01

    This article discusses the promotion of sustainable energy use and power-production from renewable resources. In particular, the approach adopted by the City of Zurich in Switzerland is discussed. Changes currently being experienced in the Swiss energy business are looked at. The approach adopted by the City of Zurich, which includes both rewards for increasing energy efficiency as well as the definition of criteria for the evaluation of measures and their effect, is discussed. Instruments and goals are looked at. Other topics discussed include the 'ecologicalisation' of electrical power production and economical incentives for industry. The role played by the labelling of ecologically-produced power is discussed and the economical advantages for the City of Zurich itself are examined

  5. Process-based models are required to manage ecological systems in a changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. Cuddington; M.-J. Fortin; L.R. Gerber; A. Hastings; A. Liebhold; M. OConnor; C. Ray

    2013-01-01

    Several modeling approaches can be used to guide management decisions. However, some approaches are better fitted than others to address the problem of prediction under global change. Process-based models, which are based on a theoretical understanding of relevant ecological processes, provide a useful framework to incorporate specific responses to altered...

  6. Integrated approaches to long-term studies of urban ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nancy B. Grimm; J. Morgan Grove; Steward T.A. Pickett; Charles L. Redman

    2000-01-01

    Urban ecological systems present multiple challenges to ecologists—pervasive human impact and extreme heterogeneity of cities, and the need to integrate social and ecological approaches, concepts, and theory.

  7. Interdisciplinary Industrial Ecology Education: Recommendations for an Inclusive Pedagogical Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Archana

    2009-01-01

    Industrial ecology education is being developed and delivered predominantly within the domains of engineering and management. Such an approach could prove somewhat limiting to the broader goal of developing industrial ecology as an integrated knowledge base inclusive of diverse disciplines, contributing to sustainable development. This paper…

  8. Framework for analyzing ecological trait-based models in multidimensional niche spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biancalani, Tommaso; DeVille, Lee; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2015-05-01

    We develop a theoretical framework for analyzing ecological models with a multidimensional niche space. Our approach relies on the fact that ecological niches are described by sequences of symbols, which allows us to include multiple phenotypic traits. Ecological drivers, such as competitive exclusion, are modeled by introducing the Hamming distance between two sequences. We show that a suitable transform diagonalizes the community interaction matrix of these models, making it possible to predict the conditions for niche differentiation and, close to the instability onset, the asymptotically long time population distributions of niches. We exemplify our method using the Lotka-Volterra equations with an exponential competition kernel.

  9. Quantifying the dilution effect for models in ecological epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, M G; Heesterbeek, J A P

    2018-03-01

    The dilution effect , where an increase in biodiversity results in a reduction in the prevalence of an infectious disease, has been the subject of speculation and controversy. Conversely, an amplification effect occurs when increased biodiversity is related to an increase in prevalence. We explore the conditions under which these effects arise, using multi species compartmental models that integrate ecological and epidemiological interactions. We introduce three potential metrics for quantifying dilution and amplification, one based on infection prevalence in a focal host species, one based on the size of the infected subpopulation of that species and one based on the basic reproduction number. We introduce our approach in the simplest epidemiological setting with two species, and show that the existence and strength of a dilution effect is influenced strongly by the choices made to describe the system and the metric used to gauge the effect. We show that our method can be generalized to any number of species and to more complicated ecological and epidemiological dynamics. Our method allows a rigorous analysis of ecological systems where dilution effects have been postulated, and contributes to future progress in understanding the phenomenon of dilution in the context of infectious disease dynamics and infection risk. © 2018 The Author(s).

  10. Modelling dendritic ecological networks in space: anintegrated network perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Erin E.; Ver Hoef, Jay M.; Isaak, Dan J.; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Jordon, Chris E.; McNyset, Kristina; Monestiez, Pascal; Ruesch, Aaron S.; Sengupta, Aritra; Som, Nicholas; Steel, E. Ashley; Theobald, David M.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Wenger, Seth J.

    2013-01-01

    Dendritic ecological networks (DENs) are a unique form of ecological networks that exhibit a dendritic network topology (e.g. stream and cave networks or plant architecture). DENs have a dual spatial representation; as points within the network and as points in geographical space. Consequently, some analytical methods used to quantify relationships in other types of ecological networks, or in 2-D space, may be inadequate for studying the influence of structure and connectivity on ecological processes within DENs. We propose a conceptual taxonomy of network analysis methods that account for DEN characteristics to varying degrees and provide a synthesis of the different approaches within

  11. A multimetric approach for predicting the ecological integrity of New Zealand streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clapcott J.E.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Integrating multiple measures of stream health into a combined metric can provide a holistic assessment of the ecological integrity of a stream. The aim of this study was to develop a multimetric index (MMI of stream integrity based on predictive modelling of national data sets of water quality, macroinvertebrates, fish and ecosystem process metrics. We used a boosted regression tree approach to calculate an observed/expected score for each metric prior to combining metrics in a MMI based on data availability and the strength of predictive models. The resulting MMI provides a geographically meaningful prediction of the ecological integrity of rivers in New Zealand, but identifies limitations in data and approach, providing focus for ongoing research.

  12. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  13. An Improved Artificial Bee Colony-Based Approach for Zoning Protected Ecological Areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Shao

    Full Text Available China is facing ecological and environmental challenges as its urban growth rate continues to rise, and zoning protected ecological areas is recognized as an effective response measure. Zoning inherently involves both site attributes and aggregation attributes, and the combination of mathematical models and heuristic algorithms have proven advantageous. In this article, an improved artificial bee colony (IABC-based approach is proposed for zoning protected ecological areas at a regional scale. Three main improvements were made: the first is the use of multiple strategies to generate the initial bee population of a specific quality and diversity, the second is an exploitation search procedure to generate neighbor solutions combining "replace" and "alter" operations, and the third is a "swap" strategy to enable a local search for the iterative optimal solution. The IABC algorithm was verified using simulated data. Then it was applied to define an optimum scheme of protected ecological areas of Sanya (in the Hainan province of China, and a reasonable solution was obtained. Finally, a comparison experiment with other methods (agent-based land allocation model, ant colony optimization, and density slicing was conducted and demonstrated that the IABC algorithm was more effective and efficient than the other methods. Through this study, we aimed to provide a scientifically sound, practical approach for zoning procedures.

  14. Integrated models to support multiobjective ecological restoration decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Hannah; Rumpff, Libby; Yen, Jian D L; Robinson, Doug; Wintle, Brendan A

    2017-12-01

    Many objectives motivate ecological restoration, including improving vegetation condition, increasing the range and abundance of threatened species, and improving species richness and diversity. Although models have been used to examine the outcomes of ecological restoration, few researchers have attempted to develop models to account for multiple, potentially competing objectives. We developed a combined state-and-transition, species-distribution model to predict the effects of restoration actions on vegetation condition and extent, bird diversity, and the distribution of several bird species in southeastern Australian woodlands. The actions reflected several management objectives. We then validated the models against an independent data set and investigated how the best management decision might change when objectives were valued differently. We also used model results to identify effective restoration options for vegetation and bird species under a constrained budget. In the examples we evaluated, no one action (improving vegetation condition and extent, increasing bird diversity, or increasing the probability of occurrence for threatened species) provided the best outcome across all objectives. In agricultural lands, the optimal management actions for promoting the occurrence of the Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus), an iconic threatened species, resulted in little improvement in the extent of the vegetation and a high probability of decreased vegetation condition. This result highlights that the best management action in any situation depends on how much the different objectives are valued. In our example scenario, no management or weed control were most likely to be the best management options to satisfy multiple restoration objectives. Our approach to exploring trade-offs in management outcomes through integrated modeling and structured decision-support approaches has wide application for situations in which trade-offs exist between competing

  15. Integrating survey and molecular approaches to better understand wildlife disease ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan D Cowled

    Full Text Available Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design versus transmission (molecular case series study design and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37-45%. The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42-62%. Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is

  16. Integrating Survey and Molecular Approaches to Better Understand Wildlife Disease Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowled, Brendan D.; Ward, Michael P.; Laffan, Shawn W.; Galea, Francesca; Garner, M. Graeme; MacDonald, Anna J.; Marsh, Ian; Muellner, Petra; Negus, Katherine; Quasim, Sumaiya; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Sarre, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    Infectious wildlife diseases have enormous global impacts, leading to human pandemics, global biodiversity declines and socio-economic hardship. Understanding how infection persists and is transmitted in wildlife is critical for managing diseases, but our understanding is limited. Our study aim was to better understand how infectious disease persists in wildlife populations by integrating genetics, ecology and epidemiology approaches. Specifically, we aimed to determine whether environmental or host factors were stronger drivers of Salmonella persistence or transmission within a remote and isolated wild pig (Sus scrofa) population. We determined the Salmonella infection status of wild pigs. Salmonella isolates were genotyped and a range of data was collected on putative risk factors for Salmonella transmission. We a priori identified several plausible biological hypotheses for Salmonella prevalence (cross sectional study design) versus transmission (molecular case series study design) and fit the data to these models. There were 543 wild pig Salmonella observations, sampled at 93 unique locations. Salmonella prevalence was 41% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 37–45%). The median Salmonella DICE coefficient (or Salmonella genetic similarity) was 52% (interquartile range [IQR]: 42–62%). Using the traditional cross sectional prevalence study design, the only supported model was based on the hypothesis that abundance of available ecological resources determines Salmonella prevalence in wild pigs. In the molecular study design, spatial proximity and herd membership as well as some individual risk factors (sex, condition score and relative density) determined transmission between pigs. Traditional cross sectional surveys and molecular epidemiological approaches are complementary and together can enhance understanding of disease ecology: abundance of ecological resources critical for wildlife influences Salmonella prevalence, whereas Salmonella transmission is driven by

  17. Homogenization of Large-Scale Movement Models in Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garlick, M.J.; Powell, J.A.; Hooten, M.B.; McFarlane, L.R.

    2011-01-01

    A difficulty in using diffusion models to predict large scale animal population dispersal is that individuals move differently based on local information (as opposed to gradients) in differing habitat types. This can be accommodated by using ecological diffusion. However, real environments are often spatially complex, limiting application of a direct approach. Homogenization for partial differential equations has long been applied to Fickian diffusion (in which average individual movement is organized along gradients of habitat and population density). We derive a homogenization procedure for ecological diffusion and apply it to a simple model for chronic wasting disease in mule deer. Homogenization allows us to determine the impact of small scale (10-100 m) habitat variability on large scale (10-100 km) movement. The procedure generates asymptotic equations for solutions on the large scale with parameters defined by small-scale variation. The simplicity of this homogenization procedure is striking when compared to the multi-dimensional homogenization procedure for Fickian diffusion,and the method will be equally straightforward for more complex models. ?? 2010 Society for Mathematical Biology.

  18. A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Domains of Applicability of Ecological Models and its Implementation in the Ecological Production Function Library - International Society for Ecological Modelling Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of computational ecological models to inform environmental management and policy has proliferated in the past 25 years. These models have become essential tools as linkages and feedbacks between human actions and ecological responses can be complex, and as funds for sampl...

  19. A hierarchical bayesian approach to ecological count data: a flexible tool for ecologists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Fordyce

    Full Text Available Many ecological studies use the analysis of count data to arrive at biologically meaningful inferences. Here, we introduce a hierarchical bayesian approach to count data. This approach has the advantage over traditional approaches in that it directly estimates the parameters of interest at both the individual-level and population-level, appropriately models uncertainty, and allows for comparisons among models, including those that exceed the complexity of many traditional approaches, such as ANOVA or non-parametric analogs. As an example, we apply this method to oviposition preference data for butterflies in the genus Lycaeides. Using this method, we estimate the parameters that describe preference for each population, compare the preference hierarchies among populations, and explore various models that group populations that share the same preference hierarchy.

  20. Performance analysis of irreversible molten carbonate fuel cell – Braysson heat engine with ecological objective approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Açıkkalp, Emin

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • An irreversible MCFC - Braysson heat engine is considered. • Its performance is investigated with ecological approach. • A new ecological criteria are presented called as modified ecological function. • Result are obtained numerically and discussed. - Abstract: An irreversible hybrid molten carbonate fuel cell-Braysson heat engine is taken into account. Basic thermodynamics parameters including power output, efficiency and exergy destruction rate are considered. In addition ecological function and new criteria, which is based on ecological function, for heat engines called as modified ecological function is suggested. Optimum conditions for mentioned parameters above are determined. Numerical results are obtained and plotted. Finally, results are discussed.

  1. On the general procedure for modelling complex ecological systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    He Shanyu.

    1987-12-01

    In this paper, the principle of a general procedure for modelling complex ecological systems, i.e. the Adaptive Superposition Procedure (ASP) is shortly stated. The result of application of ASP in a national project for ecological regionalization is also described. (author). 3 refs

  2. Validation of ecological state space models using the Laplace approximation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thygesen, Uffe Høgsbro; Albertsen, Christoffer Moesgaard; Berg, Casper Willestofte

    2017-01-01

    Many statistical models in ecology follow the state space paradigm. For such models, the important step of model validation rarely receives as much attention as estimation or hypothesis testing, perhaps due to lack of available algorithms and software. Model validation is often based on a naive...... for estimation in general mixed effects models. Implementing one-step predictions in the R package Template Model Builder, we demonstrate that it is possible to perform model validation with little effort, even if the ecological model is multivariate, has non-linear dynamics, and whether observations...... useful directions in which the model could be improved....

  3. Overview of climate information needs for ecological effects models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peer, R.L.

    1990-01-01

    Atmospheric scientists engaged in climate change research require a basic understanding of how ecological effects models incorporate climate. The report provides an overview of existing ecological models that might be used to model climate change effects on vegetation. Some agricultural models and statistical methods are also discussed. The weather input data requirements, weather simulation methods, and other model characteristics relevant to climate change research are described for a selected number of models. The ecological models are classified as biome, ecosystem, or tree models; the ecosystem models are further subdivided into species dynamics or process models. In general, ecological modelers have had to rely on readily available meteorological data such as temperature and rainfall. Although models are becoming more sophisticated in their treatment of weather and require more kinds of data (such as wind, solar radiation, or potential evapotranspiration), modelers are still hampered by a lack of data for many applications. Future directions of ecological effects models and the climate variables that will be required by the models are discussed.

  4. A landscape ecology approach identifies important drivers of urban biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

    Cities are growing rapidly worldwide, yet a mechanistic understanding of the impact of urbanization on biodiversity is lacking. We assessed the impact of urbanization on arthropod diversity (species richness and evenness) and abundance in a study of six cities and nearby intensively managed agricultural areas. Within the urban ecosystem, we disentangled the relative importance of two key landscape factors affecting biodiversity, namely the amount of vegetated area and patch isolation. To do so, we a priori selected sites that independently varied in the amount of vegetated area in the surrounding landscape at the 500-m scale and patch isolation at the 100-m scale, and we hold local patch characteristics constant. As indicator groups, we used bugs, beetles, leafhoppers, and spiders. Compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems, urban ecosystems supported a higher abundance of most indicator groups, a higher number of bug species, and a lower evenness of bug and beetle species. Within cities, a high amount of vegetated area increased species richness and abundance of most arthropod groups, whereas evenness showed no clear pattern. Patch isolation played only a limited role in urban ecosystems, which contrasts findings from agro-ecological studies. Our results show that urban areas can harbor a similar arthropod diversity and abundance compared to intensively managed agricultural ecosystems. Further, negative consequences of urbanization on arthropod diversity can be mitigated by providing sufficient vegetated space in the urban area, while patch connectivity is less important in an urban context. This highlights the need for applying a landscape ecological approach to understand the mechanisms shaping urban biodiversity and underlines the potential of appropriate urban planning for mitigating biodiversity loss. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Ecological quality of production: accounting approach on sustainable development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.P. Syroid

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The specific weight of resource and power consuming technologies that is typical for Ukrainian economy, the absence of effective legal, administrative and economic mechanisms of management of nature and the low level of ecological society consciousness have led to the significant deterioration of environment state in Ukraine, excessive pollution of waters, air, and soil, accumulation of a large number of waste products. Besides, the produce as a result of such enterprises’ production affects consumers’ health badly. This causes the need to develop theory and methodology of production ecological quality accounting. The problem of quality is the most important factor of increasing of life level, economic, social and ecological security in market economy. This, the current research aims to formulate the essence of concept “ecological quality of production” The research determines that ecological quality is characterized by the following main 6 aspects: social, technical, legal, economic, aesthetic and ecological. If one of these six aspects does not work, we cannot speak about ecological quality of a certain commodity. Many various factors influence upon the level of ecological quality of products and services. According to their contents and directions, they can be united into the following main 6 groups: technical, organizational, economic and social, ecological and aesthetic and legal. The article determines the directions of production ecological quality increasing.

  6. A conceptual approach to the biomonitoring of freshwater: the Ecological Ambience System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel LAFONT

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available The concept of ecological ambience (Ecological Ambience System, EASY is based on the idea that biocenoses (BIO are not only related to the input of organic and mineral substances (IN but also to the way they are stored and processed by the ecosystem. Storage, assimilation and self-purification processes ("ecosystem defences": ED are likely to vary among the different functional units (FUs of the ecosystem. The functional units have been defined on the basis of a simple physical description of sites in an ecosystem, because the physical structure of these units is considered as being of prime importance in the ED processes. For example, mineral and organic substances may be preferentially stored in fine-sediment units, whereas the mineralization rate of organic matter is more likely to be highest in coarse permeable sediments. If the stream ecosystem is viewed as a mosaic, its overall ecological defences will depend upon: 1 the self-purification capacity of the different functional units; 2 their relative proportion within the ecosystem. The EASY concept is now used for ecological researches and also has several applications in the biomonitoring of running waters, illustrated by the study of the River Dore. Biological compartments, specific for each functional unit, are related to operational bio-indicators to build up a global harmonisation system for biomonitoring indices. Four main biological compartments were defined with their related bio-indicators: 1 general biological quality (IBGN biotic index, 2 biological sediment quality (IOBS oligochaete index, 3 biological water quality (diatom index IBD and 4 biological fish quality (study of fish communities. The selected bio-indicators were adjusted to an ecological classification model (Typic concept. A weighting system of the general ecological quality at a site based on the percentage cover of fine sediments is proposed. This approach can be developed using several other compartments. Major

  7. 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.

  8. Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative : a Model of Integrated Ecologically ...

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

    Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative : a Model of Integrated Ecologically-friendly ... which endeavors to integrate social, economic, cultural and environmental objectives. ... Brown Cloud penetrates Bhutan : ambient air quality and trans-boundary ...

  9. Representing and managing uncertainty in qualitative ecological models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nuttle, T.; Bredeweg, B.; Salles, P.; Neumann, M.

    2009-01-01

    Ecologists and decision makers need ways to understand systems, test ideas, and make predictions and explanations about systems. However, uncertainty about causes and effects of processes and parameter values is pervasive in models of ecological systems. Uncertainty associated with incomplete

  10. Application of an Ecological Model for the Cibolo Creek Watershed

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Price, David

    2004-01-01

    The U.S. Army Engineer District, Fort Worth (CESWF) is involved in demon- strating the utility of an ecological model in the performance and interpretation of a comprehensive General Investigations (GI...

  11. A brief introduction to mixed effects modelling and multi-model inference in ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Xavier A; Donaldson, Lynda; Correa-Cano, Maria Eugenia; Evans, Julian; Fisher, David N; Goodwin, Cecily E D; Robinson, Beth S; Hodgson, David J; Inger, Richard

    2018-01-01

    The use of linear mixed effects models (LMMs) is increasingly common in the analysis of biological data. Whilst LMMs offer a flexible approach to modelling a broad range of data types, ecological data are often complex and require complex model structures, and the fitting and interpretation of such models is not always straightforward. The ability to achieve robust biological inference requires that practitioners know how and when to apply these tools. Here, we provide a general overview of current methods for the application of LMMs to biological data, and highlight the typical pitfalls that can be encountered in the statistical modelling process. We tackle several issues regarding methods of model selection, with particular reference to the use of information theory and multi-model inference in ecology. We offer practical solutions and direct the reader to key references that provide further technical detail for those seeking a deeper understanding. This overview should serve as a widely accessible code of best practice for applying LMMs to complex biological problems and model structures, and in doing so improve the robustness of conclusions drawn from studies investigating ecological and evolutionary questions.

  12. 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.

  13. Modeling ecological and economic systems with STELLA : Part III

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costanza, Robert; Voinov, Alexey

    2001-01-01

    This special issue contains a group of eight modeling studies covering a range of ecological and economic systems and problems. The models were all developed using Stella®, an icon-based software package specifically designed for dynamic systems modeling. Models included in the special issue were

  14. Comparison of models used for ecological risk assessment and human health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryti, R.T.; Gallegos, A.F.

    1994-01-01

    Models are used to derive action levels for site screening, or to estimate potential ecological or human health risks posed by potentially hazardous sites. At the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), which is RCRA-regulated, the human-health screening action levels are based on hazardous constituents described in RCRA Subpart S and RESRAD-derived soil guidelines (based on 10 mRem/year) for radiological constituents. Also, an ecological risk screening model was developed for a former firing site, where the primary constituents include depleted uranium, beryllium and lead. Sites that fail the screening models are evaluated with site-specific human risk assessment (using RESRAD and other approaches) and a detailed ecological effect model (ECOTRAN). ECOTRAN is based on pharmacokinetics transport modeling within a multitrophic-level biological-growth dynamics model. ECOTRAN provides detailed temporal records of contaminant concentrations in biota, and annual averages of these body burdens are compared to equivalent site-specific runs of the RESRAD model. The results show that thoughtful interpretation of the results of these models must be applied before they can be used for evaluation of current risk posed by sites and the benefits of various remedial options. This presentation compares the concentrations of biological media in the RESRAD screening runs to the concentrations in ecological endpoints predicted by the ecological screening model. The assumptions and limitations of these screening models and the decision process where these are screening models are applied are discussed

  15. An Integrated Approach to Explore the Relationship Among Economic, Construction Land Use, and Ecology Subsystems in Zhejiang Province, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuyu Xia

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Zhejiang Province, China is experiencing rapid urbanization, facing the challenge of coupling socioeconomic development and ecological conservation. This paper establishes a comprehensive index system to assess coordinating development of economic, construction land use (CLU, and ecology subsystems. A Granger test and a coupling coordination model were applied to explore the causal relationship and the coordinated development state among the three subsystems from 2000 to 2012. The results showed that: (1 changes in the integrated value of the economic subsystem were the Granger cause of changes in the ecology and CLU subsystems, and the changes in the integrated values of ecology and CLU was each other’s Granger cause; (2 the coupling coordination relationship of the integrated value for economic–CLU–ecology was constrained by the relationship between the economic and the CLU subsystems from 2000 to 2004, and that between the ecology and the economic subsystems was the impediment of the sustainable development of economic–CLU–ecology from 2004 to 2012. This research helps to identify approach to sustainable development through analyzing synergistic effects, interdependencies, and trade-offs among the integrated economic–CLU–ecology values, and to make significant contribution to urban planning policies in rapid urbanization region.

  16. Use of traits-based bioassessment approaches in biomonitoring and ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brink, van den P.J.; Alexander, A.; Desrosiers, M.; Goedkoop, W.; Goethals, P.L.M.; Liess, M.; Dyer, S.

    2011-01-01

    We discuss the application of traits-based bioassessment approaches in retrospective bioassessment as well as in prospective ecological risk assessments in regulatory frameworks. Both approaches address the interaction between species and stressors and their consequences at different levels of

  17. Introduction to Hierarchical Bayesian Modeling for Ecological Data

    CERN Document Server

    Parent, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Making statistical modeling and inference more accessible to ecologists and related scientists, Introduction to Hierarchical Bayesian Modeling for Ecological Data gives readers a flexible and effective framework to learn about complex ecological processes from various sources of data. It also helps readers get started on building their own statistical models. The text begins with simple models that progressively become more complex and realistic through explanatory covariates and intermediate hidden states variables. When fitting the models to data, the authors gradually present the concepts a

  18. An Approach to Evaluate Comprehensive Plan and Identify Priority Lands for Future Land Use Development to Conserve More Ecological Values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Zhou

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has significant impacts on the regional environmental quality through altering natural lands, converting them to urban built-up areas. One common strategy applied by urban planners to manage urbanization and preserve natural resources is to make a comprehensive plan and concentrate future land use in certain areas. However, in practice, planners used to make future land use planning mainly based on their subjective interpretations with limited ecological supporting evidence and analysis. Here, we propose a new approach composed of ecological modelling and land use zoning in the spatial matrix to evaluate the comprehensive plan and identify priority lands for sustainable land use planning. We use the city of Corvallis, OR, as the test bed to demonstrate this new approach. The results indicate that the Corvallis Comprehensive Plan 1998–2020 featured with compact development is not performing efficiently in conserving ecological values, and the land use plan featured with mixed-use spreading development generated by the proposed approach meets the city’s land demands for urban growth, and conserves 103% more ecological value of retaining storm water nitrogen, 270% more ecological value of retaining storm water phosphorus and 19% more ecological value in storing carbon in the whole watershed. This study indicates that if planned with scientific analysis and evidence, spreading urban development does not necessarily result in less sustainable urban environment than the compact development recommended in smart growth.

  19. Social network models predict movement and connectivity in ecological landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Robert J.; Acevedo, M.A.; Reichert, Brian E.; Pias, Kyle E.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2011-01-01

    Network analysis is on the rise across scientific disciplines because of its ability to reveal complex, and often emergent, patterns and dynamics. Nonetheless, a growing concern in network analysis is the use of limited data for constructing networks. This concern is strikingly relevant to ecology and conservation biology, where network analysis is used to infer connectivity across landscapes. In this context, movement among patches is the crucial parameter for interpreting connectivity but because of the difficulty of collecting reliable movement data, most network analysis proceeds with only indirect information on movement across landscapes rather than using observed movement to construct networks. Statistical models developed for social networks provide promising alternatives for landscape network construction because they can leverage limited movement information to predict linkages. Using two mark-recapture datasets on individual movement and connectivity across landscapes, we test whether commonly used network constructions for interpreting connectivity can predict actual linkages and network structure, and we contrast these approaches to social network models. We find that currently applied network constructions for assessing connectivity consistently, and substantially, overpredict actual connectivity, resulting in considerable overestimation of metapopulation lifetime. Furthermore, social network models provide accurate predictions of network structure, and can do so with remarkably limited data on movement. Social network models offer a flexible and powerful way for not only understanding the factors influencing connectivity but also for providing more reliable estimates of connectivity and metapopulation persistence in the face of limited data.

  20. Social network models predict movement and connectivity in ecological landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Robert J; Acevedo, Miguel A; Reichert, Brian E; Pias, Kyle E; Kitchens, Wiley M

    2011-11-29

    Network analysis is on the rise across scientific disciplines because of its ability to reveal complex, and often emergent, patterns and dynamics. Nonetheless, a growing concern in network analysis is the use of limited data for constructing networks. This concern is strikingly relevant to ecology and conservation biology, where network analysis is used to infer connectivity across landscapes. In this context, movement among patches is the crucial parameter for interpreting connectivity but because of the difficulty of collecting reliable movement data, most network analysis proceeds with only indirect information on movement across landscapes rather than using observed movement to construct networks. Statistical models developed for social networks provide promising alternatives for landscape network construction because they can leverage limited movement information to predict linkages. Using two mark-recapture datasets on individual movement and connectivity across landscapes, we test whether commonly used network constructions for interpreting connectivity can predict actual linkages and network structure, and we contrast these approaches to social network models. We find that currently applied network constructions for assessing connectivity consistently, and substantially, overpredict actual connectivity, resulting in considerable overestimation of metapopulation lifetime. Furthermore, social network models provide accurate predictions of network structure, and can do so with remarkably limited data on movement. Social network models offer a flexible and powerful way for not only understanding the factors influencing connectivity but also for providing more reliable estimates of connectivity and metapopulation persistence in the face of limited data.

  1. A neural-fuzzy approach to classify the ecological status in surface waters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ocampo-Duque, William; Schuhmacher, Marta; Domingo, Jose L.

    2007-01-01

    A methodology based on a hybrid approach that combines fuzzy inference systems and artificial neural networks has been used to classify ecological status in surface waters. This methodology has been proposed to deal efficiently with the non-linearity and highly subjective nature of variables involved in this serious problem. Ecological status has been assessed with biological, hydro-morphological, and physicochemical indicators. A data set collected from 378 sampling sites in the Ebro river basin has been used to train and validate the hybrid model. Up to 97.6% of sampling sites have been correctly classified with neural-fuzzy models. Such performance resulted very competitive when compared with other classification algorithms. With non-parametric classification-regression trees and probabilistic neural networks, the predictive capacities were 90.7% and 97.0%, respectively. The proposed methodology can support decision-makers in evaluation and classification of ecological status, as required by the EU Water Framework Directive. - Fuzzy inference systems can be used as environmental classifiers

  2. Guide for developing conceptual models for ecological risk assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W., II.

    1996-05-01

    Ecological conceptual models are the result of the problem formulation phase of an ecological risk assessment, which is an important component of the Remedial Investigation process. They present hypotheses of how the site contaminants might affect the site ecology. The contaminant sources, routes, media, routes, and endpoint receptors are presented in the form of a flow chart. This guide is for preparing the conceptual models; use of this guide will standardize the models so that they will be of high quality, useful to the assessment process, and sufficiently consistent so that connections between sources of exposure and receptors can be extended across operable units (OU). Generic conceptual models are presented for source, aquatic integrator, groundwater integrator, and terrestrial OUs

  3. INTEGRATING SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL ANALYSIS TO IMPROVE WILDFIRE MANAGEMENT IN THE U.S.: TESTING A NEW ORGANIZING APPROACH FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conducting an integrated analysis to evaluate the societal and ecological consequences of environmental management actions requires decisions about data collection, theory development, modeling and valuation. Approaching these decisions in coordinated fashion necessitates a syste...

  4. Ecological hierarchies and self-organisation - Pattern analysis, modelling and process integration across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, H.; Jopp, F.; Blanco-Moreno, J. M.; Damgaard, C.; Matsinos, Y.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2010-01-01

    A continuing discussion in applied and theoretical ecology focuses on the relationship of different organisational levels and on how ecological systems interact across scales. We address principal approaches to cope with complex across-level issues in ecology by applying elements of hierarchy theory and the theory of complex adaptive systems. A top-down approach, often characterised by the use of statistical techniques, can be applied to analyse large-scale dynamics and identify constraints exerted on lower levels. Current developments are illustrated with examples from the analysis of within-community spatial patterns and large-scale vegetation patterns. A bottom-up approach allows one to elucidate how interactions of individuals shape dynamics at higher levels in a self-organisation process; e.g., population development and community composition. This may be facilitated by various modelling tools, which provide the distinction between focal levels and resulting properties. For instance, resilience in grassland communities has been analysed with a cellular automaton approach, and the driving forces in rodent population oscillations have been identified with an agent-based model. Both modelling tools illustrate the principles of analysing higher level processes by representing the interactions of basic components.The focus of most ecological investigations on either top-down or bottom-up approaches may not be appropriate, if strong cross-scale relationships predominate. Here, we propose an 'across-scale-approach', closely interweaving the inherent potentials of both approaches. This combination of analytical and synthesising approaches will enable ecologists to establish a more coherent access to cross-level interactions in ecological systems. ?? 2010 Gesellschaft f??r ??kologie.

  5. Exploring the Social Ecological Model Based on National Student Achievements: Extracting Educational Leaders' Role

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapira-Lishchinsky, Orly; Ben-Amram, Miri

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to reexamine the effect of internal school factors such as school violence and class size, and external school factors such as family socio-economic resources on student math achievements, based on the social ecological model, eliciting an integrative approach. Data were collected from an Israeli national database,…

  6. 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

  7. Adding Value to Ecological Risk Assessment with Population Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forbes, Valery E.; Calow, Peter; Grimm, Volker

    2011-01-01

    population models can provide a powerful basis for expressing ecological risks that better inform the environmental management process and thus that are more likely to be used by managers. Here we provide at least five reasons why population modeling should play an important role in bridging the gap between...

  8. Ecological model of the interprise danger of gas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sadygov, A.B.

    2009-01-01

    It has been looked into the basic problems for establishment of ecological model of the enterprise danger of gas. There have been established mathematical model in the base of equation of Novye-Stoks which consists of private reproductive second row differential equation system of three

  9. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DeAngelis, D.L.; Mooij, W.M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential and difference equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis

  10. Stress and adaptation : Toward ecologically relevant animal models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koolhaas, Jaap M.; Boer, Sietse F. de; Buwalda, Bauke

    Animal models have contributed considerably to the current understanding of mechanisms underlying the role of stress in health and disease. Despite the progress made already, much more can be made by more carefully exploiting animals' and humans' shared biology, using ecologically relevant models.

  11. HEDR modeling approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shipler, D.B.; Napier, B.A.

    1992-07-01

    This report details the conceptual approaches to be used in calculating radiation doses to individuals throughout the various periods of operations at the Hanford Site. The report considers the major environmental transport pathways--atmospheric, surface water, and ground water--and projects and appropriate modeling technique for each. The modeling sequence chosen for each pathway depends on the available data on doses, the degree of confidence justified by such existing data, and the level of sophistication deemed appropriate for the particular pathway and time period being considered

  12. Reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome at the worksite: preliminary experience with an ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucini, Daniela; Zanuso, Silvano; Solaro, Nadia; Vigo, Chiara; Malacarne, Mara; Pagani, Massimo

    2016-02-01

    Given the time spent at work, the workplace represents an ideal setting to implement preventive programs for non-communicable diseases, the major cause of mortality and morbidity in Western and developing countries. We sought to verify if an ecological approach based on corporate culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, offering easy opportunity to assume healthy lifestyle, could be associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk. The study involved 1089 workers in two multinational companies following different workplace health promotion policies. Company A offered to all employees the opportunity to access a web platform dedicated to general information on health and diseases. Company B implemented an ecological model encompassing company culture, employees' education and concrete modifications of workplace environment, giving to all employees the opportunity to adopt healthy solutions throughout daily living at workplace. Participants volunteered self-reported clinical information using an IT tool. Numbers of Metabolic Syndrome components (MetS) were taken as proxy of cardiometabolic risk. MetS probability obtained via statistical modeling was lower in company B as compared to company A, and absenteeism was also lower in company B. Our study shows that a work environment favoring assumption of healthy lifestyle, as in company B, is associated with a lower percentage of employees with MetS components and lower absenteeism. Moreover, statistical modeling shows that individual probabilities of being without MetS elements, controlling for age and gender, is remarkably higher in company B. Our data suggest that ecological approaches might be useful in worksite prevention policies.

  13. Mathematical modeling in economics, ecology and the environment

    CERN Document Server

    Hritonenko, Natali

    2013-01-01

    Updated to textbook form by popular demand, this second edition discusses diverse mathematical models used in economics, ecology, and the environmental sciences with emphasis on control and optimization. It is intended for graduate and upper-undergraduate course use, however, applied mathematicians, industry practitioners, and a vast number of interdisciplinary academics will find the presentation highly useful. Core topics of this text are: ·         Economic growth and technological development ·         Population dynamics and human impact on the environment ·         Resource extraction and scarcity ·         Air and water contamination ·         Rational management of the economy and environment ·         Climate change and global dynamics The step-by-step approach taken is problem-based and easy to follow. The authors aptly demonstrate that the same models may be used to describe different economic and environmental processes and that similar invest...

  14. Public sector administration of ecological economics systems using mediated modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Belt, Marjan; Kenyan, Jennifer R; Krueger, Elizabeth; Maynard, Alison; Roy, Matthew Galen; Raphael, Ian

    2010-01-01

    In today's climate of government outsourcing and multiple stakeholder involvement in public sector management and service delivery, it is more important than ever to rethink and redesign the structure of how policy decisions are made, implemented, monitored, and adapted to new realities. The traditional command-and-control approach is now less effective because an increasing amount of responsibility to deliver public goods and services falls on networks of nongovernment agencies. Even though public administrators are seeking new decision-making models in an increasingly more complex environment, the public sector currently only sparsely utilizes Mediated Modeling (MM). There is growing evidence, however, that by employing MM and similar tools, public interest networks can be better equipped to deal with their long-term viability while maintaining the short-term needs of their clients. However, it may require a shift in organizational culture within and between organizations to achieve the desired results. This paper explores the successes and barriers to implementing MM and similar tools in the public sector and offers insights into utilizing them through a review of case studies and interdisciplinary literature. We aim to raise a broader interest in MM and similar tools among public sector administrators at various administrative levels. We focus primarily, but not exclusively, on those cases operating at the interface of ecology and socio-economic systems.

  15. Including Overweight or Obese Students in Physical Education: A Social Ecological Constraint Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weidong; Rukavina, Paul

    2012-01-01

    In this review, we propose a social ecological constraint model to study inclusion of overweight or obese students in physical education by integrating key concepts and assumptions from ecological constraint theory in motor development and social ecological models in health promotion and behavior. The social ecological constraint model proposes…

  16. Divergence is not enough: the use of ecological niche models for the validation of taxon boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino, D; Minuto, L; Casazza, G

    2017-11-01

    Delimiting taxon boundaries is crucial for any evolutionary research and conservation regulation. In order to avoid mistaken description of species, the approach of integrative taxonomy recommends considering multidisciplinary lines of evidence, including ecology. Unfortunately, ecological data are often difficult to quantify objectively. Here we test and discuss the potential use of ecological niche models for validating taxon boundaries, using three pairs of closely related plant taxa endemic to the south-western Alps as a case study. We also discuss the application of ecological niche models for species delimitation and the implementation of different approaches. Niche overlap, niche equivalency and niche similarity were assessed both in multidimensional environmental space and in geographic space to look for differences in the niche of three pairs of closely related plant taxa. We detected a high degree of niche differentiation between taxa although this result seems not due to differences in habitat selection. The different statistical tests gave contrasting outcomes between environmental and geographic spaces. According to our results, niche divergence does not seem to support taxon boundaries at species level, but may have had important consequences for local adaptation and in generating phenotypic diversity at intraspecific level. Environmental space analysis should be preferred to geographic space as it provides more clear results. Even if the different analyses widely disagree in their conclusions about taxon boundaries, our study suggests that ecological niche models may help taxonomists to reach a decision. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. Inferring ecological and behavioral drivers of African elephant movement using a linear filtering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boettiger, Alistair N; Wittemyer, George; Starfield, Richard; Volrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Getz, Wayne M

    2011-08-01

    Understanding the environmental factors influencing animal movements is fundamental to theoretical and applied research in the field of movement ecology. Studies relating fine-scale movement paths to spatiotemporally structured landscape data, such as vegetation productivity or human activity, are particularly lacking despite the obvious importance of such information to understanding drivers of animal movement. In part, this may be because few approaches provide the sophistication to characterize the complexity of movement behavior and relate it to diverse, varying environmental stimuli. We overcame this hurdle by applying, for the first time to an ecological question, a finite impulse-response signal-filtering approach to identify human and natural environmental drivers of movements of 13 free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana) from distinct social groups collected over seven years. A minimum mean-square error (MMSE) estimation criterion allowed comparison of the predictive power of landscape and ecological model inputs. We showed that a filter combining vegetation dynamics, human and physical landscape features, and previous movement outperformed simpler filter structures, indicating the importance of both dynamic and static landscape features, as well as habit, on movement decisions taken by elephants. Elephant responses to vegetation productivity indices were not uniform in time or space, indicating that elephant foraging strategies are more complex than simply gravitation toward areas of high productivity. Predictions were most frequently inaccurate outside protected area boundaries near human settlements, suggesting that human activity disrupts typical elephant movement behavior. Successful management strategies at the human-elephant interface, therefore, are likely to be context specific and dynamic. Signal processing provides a promising approach for elucidating environmental factors that drive animal movements over large time and spatial

  18. Deep ecology: A movement and a new approach to solving environmental problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mišković Milan M.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the industrial society, nature is conceived as a resource for unlimited exploitation, and the entropic effects of its pollution and depletion can be effectively controlled and resolved. Non-human entities are viewed as raw materials for technical manipulation and the increase in the standard of living for consumers in mass societies. Contrary to such utilitarian pragmatism, some new views on the relationship of man, society and nature are appearing, as well as different concepts of environmentally balanced development. According to these views, the transition to ecological society and ecological culture will not be possible without replacing the current anthropocentric ethics with the ecocentric or environmental ethics. Deep ecology arises in the spectrum of environmental ethics theories. It is considered as a movement and a new approach to solving environmental problems. Deep ecology is a type of ecosophy formed by Arne Nes, and it focuses on wisdom and ecological balance. It is based on ecological science, but it asks deeper questions about the causes of the ecological crisis and corresponds to the general discourse on sustainable development. The article discusses the platform of deep ecology movement and gives the basic principles of deep ecology. It gives explanations of the two basic norms of deep ecology (self-understanding and biospheric egalitarianism and criticism of these concepts.

  19. Reconstruction of fire regimes through integrated paleoecological proxy data and ecological modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglesias, Virginia; Yospin, Gabriel I; Whitlock, Cathy

    2014-01-01

    Fire is a key ecological process affecting vegetation dynamics and land cover. The characteristic frequency, size, and intensity of fire are driven by interactions between top-down climate-driven and bottom-up fuel-related processes. Disentangling climatic from non-climatic drivers of past fire regimes is a grand challenge in Earth systems science, and a topic where both paleoecology and ecological modeling have made substantial contributions. In this manuscript, we (1) review the use of sedimentary charcoal as a fire proxy and the methods used in charcoal-based fire history reconstructions; (2) identify existing techniques for paleoecological modeling; and (3) evaluate opportunities for coupling of paleoecological and ecological modeling approaches to better understand the causes and consequences of past, present, and future fire activity.

  20. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential-equation and difference-equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis for IBMs by describing five major types of individual variation in IBMs: spatial, ontogenetic, phenotypic, cognitive, and genetic. IBMs are now used in almost all subfields of ecology and evolutionary biology. We map those subfields and look more closely at selected key papers on fish recruitment, forest dynamics, sympatric speciation, metapopulation dynamics, maintenance of diversity, and species conservation. Theorists are currently divided on whether IBMs represent only a practical tool for extending classical theory to more complex situations, or whether individual-based theory represents a radically new research program. We feel that the tension between these two poles of thinking can be a source of creativity in ecology and evolutionary theory.

  1. Ecological forecasting under climatic data uncertainty: a case study in phenological modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, Benjamin I; Terando, Adam; Steiner, Allison

    2010-01-01

    Forecasting ecological responses to climate change represents a challenge to the ecological community because models are often site-specific and climate data are lacking at appropriate spatial and temporal resolutions. We use a case study approach to demonstrate uncertainties in ecological predictions related to the driving climatic input data. We use observational records, derived observational datasets (e.g. interpolated observations from local weather stations and gridded data products) and output from general circulation models (GCM) in conjunction with site based phenology models to estimate the first flowering date (FFD) for three woody flowering species. Using derived observations over the modern time period, we find that cold biases and temperature trends lead to biased FFD simulations for all three species. Observational datasets resolved at the daily time step result in better FFD predictions compared to simulations using monthly resolution. Simulations using output from an ensemble of GCM and regional climate models over modern and future time periods have large intra-ensemble spreads and tend to underestimate observed FFD trends for the modern period. These results indicate that certain forcing datasets may be missing key features needed to generate accurate hindcasts at the local scale (e.g. trends, temporal resolution), and that standard modeling techniques (e.g. downscaling, ensemble mean, etc) may not necessarily improve the prediction of the ecological response. Studies attempting to simulate local ecological processes under modern and future climate forcing therefore need to quantify and propagate the climate data uncertainties in their simulations.

  2. A 2-D process-based model for suspended sediment dynamics: a first step towards ecological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achete, F. M.; van der Wegen, M.; Roelvink, D.; Jaffe, B.

    2015-06-01

    In estuaries suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is one of the most important contributors to turbidity, which influences habitat conditions and ecological functions of the system. Sediment dynamics differs depending on sediment supply and hydrodynamic forcing conditions that vary over space and over time. A robust sediment transport model is a first step in developing a chain of models enabling simulations of contaminants, phytoplankton and habitat conditions. This works aims to determine turbidity levels in the complex-geometry delta of the San Francisco estuary using a process-based approach (Delft3D Flexible Mesh software). Our approach includes a detailed calibration against measured SSC levels, a sensitivity analysis on model parameters and the determination of a yearly sediment budget as well as an assessment of model results in terms of turbidity levels for a single year, water year (WY) 2011. Model results show that our process-based approach is a valuable tool in assessing sediment dynamics and their related ecological parameters over a range of spatial and temporal scales. The model may act as the base model for a chain of ecological models assessing the impact of climate change and management scenarios. Here we present a modeling approach that, with limited data, produces reliable predictions and can be useful for estuaries without a large amount of processes data.

  3. A 2-D process-based model for suspended sediment dynamics: A first step towards ecological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achete, F. M.; van der Wegen, M.; Roelvink, D.; Jaffe, B.

    2015-01-01

    In estuaries suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is one of the most important contributors to turbidity, which influences habitat conditions and ecological functions of the system. Sediment dynamics differs depending on sediment supply and hydrodynamic forcing conditions that vary over space and over time. A robust sediment transport model is a first step in developing a chain of models enabling simulations of contaminants, phytoplankton and habitat conditions. This works aims to determine turbidity levels in the complex-geometry delta of the San Francisco estuary using a process-based approach (Delft3D Flexible Mesh software). Our approach includes a detailed calibration against measured SSC levels, a sensitivity analysis on model parameters and the determination of a yearly sediment budget as well as an assessment of model results in terms of turbidity levels for a single year, water year (WY) 2011. Model results show that our process-based approach is a valuable tool in assessing sediment dynamics and their related ecological parameters over a range of spatial and temporal scales. The model may act as the base model for a chain of ecological models assessing the impact of climate change and management scenarios. Here we present a modeling approach that, with limited data, produces reliable predictions and can be useful for estuaries without a large amount of processes data.

  4. More Than a Potential Hazard—Approaching Risks from a Social-Ecological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Völker

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Risks have been classically understood as a probability of damage or a potential hazard resulting in appropriate management strategies. However, research on environmental issues such as pollutants in the aquatic environment or the impacts of climate change have shown that classical management approaches do not sufficiently cover these interactions between society and nature. There have been several attempts to develop interdisciplinary approaches to risk that include natural as well as social science contributions. In this paper, the authors aim at developing a social-ecological perspective on risk by drawing on the concept of societal relations to nature and the model of provisioning systems. This perspective is used to analyze four cases, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, semicentralized water infrastructures and forest management, with regard to risk identification, assessment and management. Finally, the paper aims at developing a perspective on risks which takes into account non-intended side-effects, system interdependencies and uncertainty.

  5. Bringing political ecology into critical medical anthropology: a challenge to biocultural approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, H A

    1996-12-01

    This essay presents an effort to incorporate the "environment" into critical medical anthropology. Rather than relying upon the multifactorial approach characteristic of medical ecology or biocultural approaches in medical anthropology, it urges critical medical anthropologists to turn to the burgeoning literature on eco-Marxism, eco-socialism, or political ecology in their efforts to develop a political ecology of health. Given that political ecologists generally advocate democratic eco-socialism as a meaningful alternative to the capitalist world system, this essay also presents a critical examination of the environmental record of post-revolutionary societies.

  6. Global qualitative analysis of a quartic ecological model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broer, Hendrik; Gaiko, Valery A.

    2010-01-01

    in this paper we complete the global qualitative analysis of a quartic ecological model. In particular, studying global bifurcations of singular points and limit cycles, we prove that the corresponding dynamical system has at most two limit cycles. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. On the specification of structural equation models for ecological systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Olff, Han; Scheiner, Samuel M.

    The use of structural equation modeling (SEM) is often motivated by its utility for investigating complex networks of relationships, but also because of its promise as a means of representing theoretical Concepts using latent variables. In this paper, we discuss characteristics of ecological theory

  8. INTEGRATION OF AN ECONOMIC WITH AN ECOLOGICAL MODEL

    Science.gov (United States)

    We summarize our work on integration of an economy under imperfect competition with a simple Lotka-Volterra type ecological model. Firms and households operate within a single period planning horizon, thus there is no savings or investment. Wages are set by a dominant employer. P...

  9. HexSim: a modeling environment for ecology and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    HexSim is a powerful and flexible new spatially-explicit, individual based modeling environment intended for use in ecology, conservation, genetics, epidemiology, toxicology, and other disciplines. We describe HexSim, illustrate past applications that contributed to our >10 year ...

  10. An approach for a complex assessment of the geo-ecological risk from natural disasters in a geographic region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zlateva, Plamena; Stoyanov, Krasimir

    2009-01-01

    The paper proposes an approach for a complex assessment of the geo-ecological risk of a certain geographic region on the basis of quantitative and qualitative datum about the potential natural disasters. A fuzzy logic model is designed. The type of the threats, consequences and interdependencies between infrastructure objects are taken into account. The geographic region is considered as a complex system of interconnected and mutually influencing elements. The expected damages are directly and/or indirectly connected with life quality deterioration. Keywords: Risk, Geo-ecological risk, Damages, Threats, Vulnerabilities, Natural disasters

  11. Ecologic Niche Modeling of Blastomyces dermatitidis in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Kurt D.; Meece, Jennifer K.; Archer, John R.; Peterson, A. Townsend

    2008-01-01

    Background Blastomycosis is a potentially fatal mycosis that is acquired by inhaling infectious spores of Blastomyces dermatitidis present in the environment. The ecology of this pathogen is poorly understood, in part because it has been extremely difficult to identify the niche(s) it occupies based on culture isolation of the organism from environmental samples. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the ecology of blastomycosis by performing maximum entropy modeling of exposure sites from 156 cases of human and canine blastomycosis to provide a regional-scale perspective of the geographic and ecologic distribution of B. dermatitidis in Wisconsin. Based on analysis with climatic, topographic, surface reflectance and other environmental variables, we predicted that ecologic conditions favorable for maintaining the fungus in nature occur predominantly within northern counties and counties along the western shoreline of Lake Michigan. Areas of highest predicted occurrence were often in proximity to waterways, especially in northcentral Wisconsin, where incidence of infection is highest. Ecologic conditions suitable for B. dermatitidis are present in urban and rural environments, and may differ at the extremes of distribution of the species in the state. Conclusions/Significance Our results provide a framework for a more informed search for specific environmental factors modulating B. dermatitidis occurrence and transmission and will be useful for improving public health awareness of relative exposure risks. PMID:18446224

  12. Budget management in the system of solving ecological contradictions of development of the national economy: territorial approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrushenko Mykola M.

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The article analyses organisational and economic factors and forms a theoretical and methodical approach to budget management in the system of solving ecological contradictions of development of territorial systems of the national economy. The article justifies improvement of processes of managing budgets, directed at overcoming ecological contradictions, on the basis of conceptual provisions of the budgeting oriented at the result. It develops a scheme-model of the organisational and structural solution of ecological contradictions, with reinforcement of the integration role of the budgeting method, in the system of managing an administrative and territorial unit using example of the Sumy oblast. The offered theoretical and methodical approach to improvement of the budget management in the territorial and economic system allows development of principles of the on trust management in the field of ecological and economic relations and also activation of practical introduction of managerial instruments of consensual solution of ecologically caused conflict situations with application of specialised management-consulting activity.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Víctor Sánchez-Cordero; Verónica Cirelli; Mariana Munguial; Sahotra Sarkar

    2005-01-01

    Place prioritization for biodiversity representation is essential for conservation planning, particularly in megadiverse countries where high deforestation threatens biodiversity. Given the collecting biases and uneven sampling of biological inventories, there is a need to develop robust models of species’ distributions. By modeling species’ ecological niches using point occurrence data and digitized environmental feature maps, we can predict potential and extant distributions of species in u...

  14. Valuation of ecological impacts - a regional approach using the ecological footprint concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knaus, Michael; Loehr, Dirk; O'Regan, Bernadette

    2006-01-01

    All economic activities impact on the environment but not all environmental impacts are assigned values and taken into consideration in development budgets. At project level, the environmental consequences of proposed economic activities have to be evaluated by conducting an environmental impact assessment. Threshold levels in physical terms are outlined in corresponding laws and regulations. Projects fulfilling the necessary environmental assessment requirements (threshold levels) tend to be permitted without predicting the expected environmental impacts in monetary terms. The economic valuation of environmental impacts tends to be affected by uncertainties. The following example of indirect monetary valuation of environmental impacts uses the Ecological Footprint (EF) concept to calculate the total land use of projects. According to the strong sustainability concept it is assumed that every additional direct or indirect utilisation of land caused by a project requires corresponding offset areas. The offset areas required by different project alternatives are valued with relevant regional guide land values

  15. Beyond positivist ecology: toward an integrated ecological ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Bryan G

    2008-12-01

    A post-positivist understanding of ecological science and the call for an "ecological ethic" indicate the need for a radically new approach to evaluating environmental change. The positivist view of science cannot capture the essence of environmental sciences because the recent work of "reflexive" ecological modelers shows that this requires a reconceptualization of the way in which values and ecological models interact in scientific process. Reflexive modelers are ecological modelers who believe it is appropriate for ecologists to examine the motives for their choices in developing models; this self-reflexive approach opens the door to a new way of integrating values into public discourse and to a more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change. This reflexive building of ecological models is introduced through the transformative simile of Aldo Leopold, which shows that learning to "think like a mountain" involves a shift in both ecological modeling and in values and responsibility. An adequate, interdisciplinary approach to ecological valuation, requires a re-framing of the evaluation questions in entirely new ways, i.e., a review of the current status of interdisciplinary value theory with respect to ecological values reveals that neither of the widely accepted theories of environmental value-neither economic utilitarianism nor intrinsic value theory (environmental ethics)-provides a foundation for an ecologically sensitive evaluation process. Thus, a new, ecologically sensitive, and more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change would include an examination of the metaphors that motivate the models used to describe environmental change.

  16. An industrial ecology approach to municipal solid waste ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be viewed as a feedstock for industrial ecology inspired conversions of wastes to valuable products and energy. The industrial ecology principle of symbiotic processes using waste streams for creating value-added products is applied to MSW, with examples suggested for various residual streams. A methodology is presented to consider individual waste-to-energy or waste-to-product system synergies, evaluating the economic and environmental issues associated with each system. Steps included in the methodology include identifying waste streams, specific waste components of interest, and conversion technologies, plus steps for determining the economic and environmental effects of using wastes and changes due to transport, administrative handling, and processing. In addition to presenting the methodology, technologies for various MSW input streams are categorized as commercialized or demonstrated to provide organizations that are considering processes for MSW with summarized information. The organization can also follow the methodology to analyze interesting processes. Presents information useful for analyzing the sustainability of alternatives for the management of municipal solid waste.

  17. An Industrial Ecology Approach to Municipal Solid Waste ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The organic fraction of municipal solid waste provides abundant opportunities for industrial ecology-based symbiotic use. Energy production, economics, and environmental aspects are analyzed for four alternatives based on different technologies: incineration with energy recovery, gasification, anaerobic digestion, and fermentation. In these cases electricity and ethanol are the products considered, but other products and attempts at symbiosis can be made. The four technologies are in various states of commercial development. To highlight their relative complexities some adjustable parameters which are important for the operability of each process are discussed. While these technologies need to be considered for specific locations and circumstances, generalized economic and environmental information suggests relative comparisons for newly conceptualized processes. The results of industrial ecology-based analysis suggest that anaerobic digestion may improve seven emission categories, while fermentation, gasification, and incineration successively improve fewer emissions. A conceptual level analysis indicates that gasification, anaerobic digestion, and fermentation alternatives lead to positive economic results. In each case the alternatives and their assumptions need further analysis for any particular community. Presents information useful for analyzing the sustainability of alternatives for the management of municipal solid waste.

  18. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation: 1994 revision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1994-08-01

    This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources

  19. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the U.S. Department of Energy`s Oak Ridge Reservation: 1994 revision

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.

    1994-08-01

    This report provides guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). The tiered approach to ecological risk assessment has been implemented, generic conceptual models have been developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints has been agreed upon. The document also includes changes in terminology to agree with the terminology in the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA`s) framework for ecological risk assessment. Although ecological risks are equal in regulatory importance to human health risks, formal procedures for ecological risk assessment are poorly developed. This report will provide specific guidance and promote the use of consistent approaches for ecological risk assessments at individual sites on the ORR. The strategy discussed in this report is consistent with the overall strategy for site management and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) compliance and with relevant EPA guidance. The general approach and strategy presented herein was developed for the ORR, but it should be applicable to other complex CERCLA sites that possess significant ecological resources.

  20. 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.

  1. Building Better Ecological Machines: Complexity Theory and Alternative Economic Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jess Bier

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Computer models of the economy are regularly used to predict economic phenomena and set financial policy. However, the conventional macroeconomic models are currently being reimagined after they failed to foresee the current economic crisis, the outlines of which began to be understood only in 2007-2008. In this article we analyze the most prominent of this reimagining: Agent-Based models (ABMs. ABMs are an influential alternative to standard economic models, and they are one focus of complexity theory, a discipline that is a more open successor to the conventional chaos and fractal modeling of the 1990s. The modelers who create ABMs claim that their models depict markets as ecologies, and that they are more responsive than conventional models that depict markets as machines. We challenge this presentation, arguing instead that recent modeling efforts amount to the creation of models as ecological machines. Our paper aims to contribute to an understanding of the organizing metaphors of macroeconomic models, which we argue is relevant conceptually and politically, e.g., when models are used for regulatory purposes.

  2. Toward the quantification of a conceptual framework for movement ecology using circular statistical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimatani, Ichiro Ken; Yoda, Ken; Katsumata, Nobuhiro; Sato, Katsufumi

    2012-01-01

    To analyze an animal's movement trajectory, a basic model is required that satisfies the following conditions: the model must have an ecological basis and the parameters used in the model must have ecological interpretations, a broad range of movement patterns can be explained by that model, and equations and probability distributions in the model should be mathematically tractable. Random walk models used in previous studies do not necessarily satisfy these requirements, partly because movement trajectories are often more oriented or tortuous than expected from the models. By improving the modeling for turning angles, this study aims to propose a basic movement model. On the basis of the recently developed circular auto-regressive model, we introduced a new movement model and extended its applicability to capture the asymmetric effects of external factors such as wind. The model was applied to GPS trajectories of a seabird (Calonectris leucomelas) to demonstrate its applicability to various movement patterns and to explain how the model parameters are ecologically interpreted under a general conceptual framework for movement ecology. Although it is based on a simple extension of a generalized linear model to circular variables, the proposed model enables us to evaluate the effects of external factors on movement separately from the animal's internal state. For example, maximum likelihood estimates and model selection suggested that in one homing flight section, the seabird intended to fly toward the island, but misjudged its navigation and was driven off-course by strong winds, while in the subsequent flight section, the seabird reset the focal direction, navigated the flight under strong wind conditions, and succeeded in approaching the island.

  3. Autocalibration of a one-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological model (DYRESM 4.0-CAEDYM 3.1) using a Monte Carlo approach: simulations of hypoxic events in a polymictic lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Liancong; Hamilton, David; Lan, Jia; McBride, Chris; Trolle, Dennis

    2018-03-01

    Automated calibration of complex deterministic water quality models with a large number of biogeochemical parameters can reduce time-consuming iterative simulations involving empirical judgements of model fit. We undertook autocalibration of the one-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological lake model DYRESM-CAEDYM, using a Monte Carlo sampling (MCS) method, in order to test the applicability of this procedure for shallow, polymictic Lake Rotorua (New Zealand). The calibration procedure involved independently minimizing the root-mean-square error (RMSE), maximizing the Pearson correlation coefficient (r) and Nash-Sutcliffe efficient coefficient (Nr) for comparisons of model state variables against measured data. An assigned number of parameter permutations was used for 10 000 simulation iterations. The "optimal" temperature calibration produced a RMSE of 0.54 °C, Nr value of 0.99, and r value of 0.98 through the whole water column based on comparisons with 540 observed water temperatures collected between 13 July 2007 and 13 January 2009. The modeled bottom dissolved oxygen concentration (20.5 m below surface) was compared with 467 available observations. The calculated RMSE of the simulations compared with the measurements was 1.78 mg L-1, the Nr value was 0.75, and the r value was 0.87. The autocalibrated model was further tested for an independent data set by simulating bottom-water hypoxia events from 15 January 2009 to 8 June 2011 (875 days). This verification produced an accurate simulation of five hypoxic events corresponding to DO < 2 mg L-1 during summer of 2009-2011. The RMSE was 2.07 mg L-1, Nr value 0.62, and r value of 0.81, based on the available data set of 738 days. The autocalibration software of DYRESM-CAEDYM developed here is substantially less time-consuming and more efficient in parameter optimization than traditional manual calibration which has been the standard tool practiced for similar complex water quality models.

  4. Dynamic complexities in a parasitoid-host-parasitoid ecological model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Hengguo; Zhao Min; Lv Songjuan; Zhu Lili

    2009-01-01

    Chaotic dynamics have been observed in a wide range of population models. In this study, the complex dynamics in a discrete-time ecological model of parasitoid-host-parasitoid are presented. The model shows that the superiority coefficient not only stabilizes the dynamics, but may strongly destabilize them as well. Many forms of complex dynamics were observed, including pitchfork bifurcation with quasi-periodicity, period-doubling cascade, chaotic crisis, chaotic bands with narrow or wide periodic window, intermittent chaos, and supertransient behavior. Furthermore, computation of the largest Lyapunov exponent demonstrated the chaotic dynamic behavior of the model

  5. Dynamic complexities in a parasitoid-host-parasitoid ecological model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu Hengguo [School of Mathematic and Information Science, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 (China); Zhao Min [School of Life and Environmental Science, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325027 (China)], E-mail: zmcn@tom.com; Lv Songjuan; Zhu Lili [School of Mathematic and Information Science, Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 (China)

    2009-01-15

    Chaotic dynamics have been observed in a wide range of population models. In this study, the complex dynamics in a discrete-time ecological model of parasitoid-host-parasitoid are presented. The model shows that the superiority coefficient not only stabilizes the dynamics, but may strongly destabilize them as well. Many forms of complex dynamics were observed, including pitchfork bifurcation with quasi-periodicity, period-doubling cascade, chaotic crisis, chaotic bands with narrow or wide periodic window, intermittent chaos, and supertransient behavior. Furthermore, computation of the largest Lyapunov exponent demonstrated the chaotic dynamic behavior of the model.

  6. Clinicians' Need for an Ecological Approach to Violence Reduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Bandy X; Young, John L

    2018-01-01

    We now know that harmful social policies, such as those that deny health care to some people, can generate structural violence and be far more harmful than any type of direct violence. A health professional who engages in public health promotion must thus consider the adverse effects of structural violence generated by bad policies. On this view, the dictum, "first, do no harm," can be interpreted as a mandate to protect patients from injustice. Health care professionals' responsibilities extend to motivating policies that prevent avoidable deaths and disabilities. As we exist within an ecology, we must each recognize our responsibility to care for one another and for the larger human community. © 2018 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

  7. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Landis, Douglas A.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Swinton, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers—especially those with large farms—appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant. PMID:26955069

  8. Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip Robertson, G; Gross, Katherine L; Hamilton, Stephen K; Landis, Douglas A; Schmidt, Thomas M; Snapp, Sieglinde S; Swinton, Scott M

    2014-05-01

    A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Midwest farmers-especially those with large farms-appear willing to adopt practices that deliver these services in exchange for payments scaled to management complexity and farmstead benefit. Surveyed citizens appear willing to pay farmers for the delivery of specific services, such as cleaner lakes. A new farming for services paradigm in US agriculture seems feasible and could be environmentally significant.

  9. A discrimlnant function approach to ecological site classification in northern New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Fincher; Marie-Louise Smith

    1994-01-01

    Describes one approach to ecologically based classification of upland forest community types of the White and Green Mountain physiographic regions. The classification approach is based on an intensive statistical analysis of the relationship between the communities and soil-site factors. Discriminant functions useful in distinguishing between types based on soil-site...

  10. Plasmodium knowlesi transmission: integrating quantitative approaches from epidemiology and ecology to understand malaria as a zoonosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, P M; Fornace, K M; Parmiter, M; Cox, J; Drakeley, C J; Ferguson, H M; Kao, R R

    2016-04-01

    The public health threat posed by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi appears to be growing: it is increasingly reported across South East Asia, and is the leading cause of malaria in Malaysian Borneo. Plasmodium knowlesi threatens progress towards malaria elimination as aspects of its transmission, such as spillover from wildlife reservoirs and reliance on outdoor-biting vectors, may limit the effectiveness of conventional methods of malaria control. The development of new quantitative approaches that address the ecological complexity of P. knowlesi, particularly through a focus on its primary reservoir hosts, will be required to control it. Here, we review what is known about P. knowlesi transmission, identify key knowledge gaps in the context of current approaches to transmission modelling, and discuss the integration of these approaches with clinical parasitology and geostatistical analysis. We highlight the need to incorporate the influences of fine-scale spatial variation, rapid changes to the landscape, and reservoir population and transmission dynamics. The proposed integrated approach would address the unique challenges posed by malaria as a zoonosis, aid the identification of transmission hotspots, provide insight into the mechanistic links between incidence and land use change and support the design of appropriate interventions.

  11. Assessing ecological sustainability in urban planning - EcoBalance model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wahlgren, I., Email: irmeli.wahlgren@vtt.fi

    2012-06-15

    Urban planning solutions and decisions have large-scale significance for ecological sustainability (eco-efficiency) the consumption of energy and other natural resources, the production of greenhouse gas and other emissions and the costs caused by urban form. Climate change brings new and growing challenges for urban planning. The EcoBalance model was developed to assess the sustainability of urban form and has been applied at various planning levels: regional plans, local master plans and detailed plans. The EcoBalance model estimates the total consumption of energy and other natural resources, the production of emissions and wastes and the costs caused directly and indirectly by urban form on a life cycle basis. The results of the case studies provide information about the ecological impacts of various solutions in urban development. (orig.)

  12. Assessing the accuracy and stability of variable selection methods for random forest modeling in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Random forest (RF) modeling has emerged as an important statistical learning method in ecology due to its exceptional predictive performance. However, for large and complex ecological datasets there is limited guidance on variable selection methods for RF modeling. Typically, e...

  13. Modeling Forest Succession among Ecological Land Units in Northern Minnesota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Host

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Field and modeling studies were used to quantify potential successional pathways among fine-scale ecological classification units within two geomorphic regions of north-central Minnesota. Soil and overstory data were collected on plots stratified across low-relief ground moraines and undulating sand dunes. Each geomorphic feature was sampled across gradients of topography or soil texture. Overstory conditions were sampled using five variable-radius point samples per plot; soil samples were analyzed for carbon and nitrogen content. Climatic, forest composition, and soil data were used to parameterize the sample plots for use with LINKAGES, a forest growth model that simulates changes in composition and soil characteristics over time. Forest composition and soil properties varied within and among geomorphic features. LINKAGES simulations were using "bare ground" and the current overstory as starting conditions. Northern hardwoods or pines dominated the late-successional communities of morainal and dune landforms, respectively. The morainal landforms were dominated by yellow birch and sugar maple; yellow birch reached its maximum abundance in intermediate landscape positions. On the dune sites, pine was most abundant in drier landscape positions, with white spruce increasing in abundance with increasing soil moisture and N content. The differences in measured soil properties and predicted late-successional composition indicate that ecological land units incorporate some of the key variables that govern forest composition and structure. They further show the value of ecological classification and modeling for developing forest management strategies that incorporate the spatial and temporal dynamics of forest ecosystems.

  14. The Development of Wisdom: A Social Ecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, Heidi; Levenson, Michael R; Aldwin, Carolyn M

    2018-02-07

    This study examined the development of wisdom within the context of difficult life events (DLEs), and the importance of individuals and their social environments in this process of growth. Social support has long been studied in adulthood, yet less is known about the ways social transactions can promote wisdom. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with men (n = 14) and women (n = 36), ages 56-91 years (M = 71.71; SD = 8.8) who described a DLE and how they coped with it. The analysis was guided by constructivist grounded theory. DLEs included those from childhood through later life. When personal meaning was disrupted by adversity, the social environment played a key role in facilitating new perspectives that corresponded with aspects of wisdom: self-knowledge, compassion, comfort with uncertainty, and accepting complexity. Wisdom is often studied as an individual characteristic, but this study highlighted the relevance of a social ecological perspective to understanding how wisdom development is also facilitated through social transactions. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Ecological Interventionist Causal Models in Psychosis: Targeting Psychological Mechanisms in Daily Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reininghaus, Ulrich; Depp, Colin A; Myin-Germeys, Inez

    2016-03-01

    Integrated models of psychotic disorders have posited a number of putative psychological mechanisms that may contribute to the development of psychotic symptoms, but it is only recently that a modest amount of experience sampling research has provided evidence on their role in daily life, outside the research laboratory. A number of methodological challenges remain in evaluating specificity of potential causal links between a given psychological mechanism and psychosis outcomes in a systematic fashion, capitalizing on longitudinal data to investigate temporal ordering. In this article, we argue for testing ecological interventionist causal models that draw on real world and real-time delivered, ecological momentary interventions for generating evidence on several causal criteria (association, time order, and direction/sole plausibility) under real-world conditions, while maximizing generalizability to social contexts and experiences in heterogeneous populations. Specifically, this approach tests whether ecological momentary interventions can (1) modify a putative mechanism and (2) produce changes in the mechanism that lead to sustainable changes in intended psychosis outcomes in individuals' daily lives. Future research using this approach will provide translational evidence on the active ingredients of mobile health and in-person interventions that promote sustained effectiveness of ecological momentary interventions and, thereby, contribute to ongoing efforts that seek to enhance effectiveness of psychological interventions under real-world conditions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Ecological Interventionist Causal Models in Psychosis: Targeting Psychological Mechanisms in Daily Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reininghaus, Ulrich; Depp, Colin A.; Myin-Germeys, Inez

    2016-01-01

    Integrated models of psychotic disorders have posited a number of putative psychological mechanisms that may contribute to the development of psychotic symptoms, but it is only recently that a modest amount of experience sampling research has provided evidence on their role in daily life, outside the research laboratory. A number of methodological challenges remain in evaluating specificity of potential causal links between a given psychological mechanism and psychosis outcomes in a systematic fashion, capitalizing on longitudinal data to investigate temporal ordering. In this article, we argue for testing ecological interventionist causal models that draw on real world and real-time delivered, ecological momentary interventions for generating evidence on several causal criteria (association, time order, and direction/sole plausibility) under real-world conditions, while maximizing generalizability to social contexts and experiences in heterogeneous populations. Specifically, this approach tests whether ecological momentary interventions can (1) modify a putative mechanism and (2) produce changes in the mechanism that lead to sustainable changes in intended psychosis outcomes in individuals’ daily lives. Future research using this approach will provide translational evidence on the active ingredients of mobile health and in-person interventions that promote sustained effectiveness of ecological momentary interventions and, thereby, contribute to ongoing efforts that seek to enhance effectiveness of psychological interventions under real-world conditions. PMID:26707864

  17. The painted turtle, Chrysemys picta: a model system for vertebrate evolution, ecology, and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenzuela, Nicole

    2009-07-01

    Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) are representatives of a vertebrate clade whose biology and phylogenetic position hold a key to our understanding of fundamental aspects of vertebrate evolution. These features make them an ideal emerging model system. Extensive ecological and physiological research provide the context in which to place new research advances in evolutionary genetics, genomics, evolutionary developmental biology, and ecological developmental biology which are enabled by current resources, such as a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of C. picta, and the imminent development of additional ones such as genome sequences and cDNA and expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries. This integrative approach will allow the research community to continue making advances to provide functional and evolutionary explanations for the lability of biological traits found not only among reptiles but vertebrates in general. Moreover, because humans and reptiles share a common ancestor, and given the ease of using nonplacental vertebrates in experimental biology compared with mammalian embryos, painted turtles are also an emerging model system for biomedical research. For example, painted turtles have been studied to understand many biological responses to overwintering and anoxia, as potential sentinels for environmental xenobiotics, and as a model to decipher the ecology and evolution of sexual development and reproduction. Thus, painted turtles are an excellent reptilian model system for studies with human health, environmental, ecological, and evolutionary significance.

  18. Defining acceptable levels for ecological indicators: an approach for considering social values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Robyn L; Watzin, Mary C; Manning, Robert E

    2007-03-01

    Ecological indicators can facilitate an adaptive management approach, but only if acceptable levels for those indicators have been defined so that the data collected can be interpreted. Because acceptable levels are an expression of the desired state of the ecosystem, the process of establishing acceptable levels should incorporate not just ecological understanding but also societal values. The goal of this research was to explore an approach for defining acceptable levels of ecological indicators that explicitly considers social perspectives and values. We used a set of eight indicators that were related to issues of concern in the Lake Champlain Basin. Our approach was based on normative theory. Using a stakeholder survey, we measured respondent normative evaluations of varying levels of our indicators. Aggregated social norm curves were used to determine the level at which indicator values shifted from acceptable to unacceptable conditions. For seven of the eight indicators, clear preferences were interpretable from these norm curves. For example, closures of public beaches because of bacterial contamination and days of intense algae bloom went from acceptable to unacceptable at 7-10 days in a summer season. Survey respondents also indicated that the number of fish caught from Lake Champlain that could be safely consumed each month was unacceptably low and the number of streams draining into the lake that were impaired by storm water was unacceptably high. If indicators that translate ecological conditions into social consequences are carefully selected, we believe the normative approach has considerable merit for defining acceptable levels of valued ecological system components.

  19. Selected developments and applications of Leontief models in industrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stroemman, Anders Hammer

    2005-01-01

    Thesis Outline: This thesis investigates issues of environmental repercussions on processes of three spatial scales; a single process plant, a regional value chain and the global economy. The first paper investigates environmental repercussions caused by a single process plant using an open Leontief model with combined physical and monetary units in what is commonly referred to as a hybrid life cycle model. Physical capital requirements are treated as any other good. Resources and environmental stressors, thousands in total, are accounted for and assessed by aggregation using standard life cycle impact assessment methods. The second paper presents a methodology for establishing and combining input-output matrices and life-cycle inventories in a hybrid life cycle inventory. Information contained within different requirements matrices are combined and issues of double counting that arise are addressed and methods for eliminating these are developed and presented. The third paper is an extension of the first paper. Here the system analyzed is increased from a single plant and component in the production network to a series of nodes, constituting a value chain. The hybrid framework proposed in paper two is applied to analyze the use of natural gas, methanol and hydrogen as transportation fuels. The fourth paper presents the development of a World Trade Model with Bilateral Trade, an extension of the World Trade Model (Duchin, 2005). The model is based on comparative advantage and is formulated as a linear program. It endogenously determines the regional output of sectors and bilateral trade flows between regions. The model may be considered a Leontief substitution model where substitution of production is allowed between regions. The primal objective of the model requires the minimization of global factor costs. The fifth paper demonstrates how the World Trade Model with Bilateral Trade can be applied to address questions relevant for industrial ecology. The model is

  20. Autocalibration of a one-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological model (DYRESM 4.0-CAEDYM 3.1 using a Monte Carlo approach: simulations of hypoxic events in a polymictic lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Luo

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Automated calibration of complex deterministic water quality models with a large number of biogeochemical parameters can reduce time-consuming iterative simulations involving empirical judgements of model fit. We undertook autocalibration of the one-dimensional hydrodynamic-ecological lake model DYRESM-CAEDYM, using a Monte Carlo sampling (MCS method, in order to test the applicability of this procedure for shallow, polymictic Lake Rotorua (New Zealand. The calibration procedure involved independently minimizing the root-mean-square error (RMSE, maximizing the Pearson correlation coefficient (r and Nash–Sutcliffe efficient coefficient (Nr for comparisons of model state variables against measured data. An assigned number of parameter permutations was used for 10 000 simulation iterations. The "optimal" temperature calibration produced a RMSE of 0.54 °C, Nr value of 0.99, and r value of 0.98 through the whole water column based on comparisons with 540 observed water temperatures collected between 13 July 2007 and 13 January 2009. The modeled bottom dissolved oxygen concentration (20.5 m below surface was compared with 467 available observations. The calculated RMSE of the simulations compared with the measurements was 1.78 mg L−1, the Nr value was 0.75, and the r value was 0.87. The autocalibrated model was further tested for an independent data set by simulating bottom-water hypoxia events from 15 January 2009 to 8 June 2011 (875 days. This verification produced an accurate simulation of five hypoxic events corresponding to DO  <  2 mg L−1 during summer of 2009–2011. The RMSE was 2.07 mg L−1, Nr value 0.62, and r value of 0.81, based on the available data set of 738 days. The autocalibration software of DYRESM-CAEDYM developed here is substantially less time-consuming and more efficient in parameter optimization than traditional manual calibration which has been the standard tool practiced for similar

  1. A social ecology approach to understanding urban ecosystems and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Morgan Grove; Karen E. Hinson; Robert J. Northrop

    2003-01-01

    The shape and dynamics of cities are the result of physical, biological, and social forces. We include the term dynamic to emphasize that cities change over time and are the result of both idiosyncratic events and dominant trends. To begin to understand the patterns and processes of cities, we approach the idiosyncratic and dominant - whether it is physical, biological...

  2. Decision Making under Ecological Regime Shift: An Experimental Economic Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Kawata, Yukichika

    2011-01-01

    Environmental economics postulates the assumption of homo economicus and presumes that externality occurs as a result of the rational economic activities of economic agents. This paper examines this assumption using an experimental economic approach in the context of regime shift, which has been receiving increasing attention. We observe that when externality does not exist, economic agents (subjects of experimemt) act economically rationally, but when externality exists, economic agents avoi...

  3. Ecological prediction with nonlinear multivariate time-frequency functional data models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wen-Hsi; Wikle, Christopher K.; Holan, Scott H.; Wildhaber, Mark L.

    2013-01-01

    Time-frequency analysis has become a fundamental component of many scientific inquiries. Due to improvements in technology, the amount of high-frequency signals that are collected for ecological and other scientific processes is increasing at a dramatic rate. In order to facilitate the use of these data in ecological prediction, we introduce a class of nonlinear multivariate time-frequency functional models that can identify important features of each signal as well as the interaction of signals corresponding to the response variable of interest. Our methodology is of independent interest and utilizes stochastic search variable selection to improve model selection and performs model averaging to enhance prediction. We illustrate the effectiveness of our approach through simulation and by application to predicting spawning success of shovelnose sturgeon in the Lower Missouri River.

  4. Macroscale hydrologic modeling of ecologically relevant flow metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenger, Seth J.; Luce, Charles H.; Hamlet, Alan F.; Isaak, Daniel J.; Neville, Helen M.

    2010-09-01

    Stream hydrology strongly affects the structure of aquatic communities. Changes to air temperature and precipitation driven by increased greenhouse gas concentrations are shifting timing and volume of streamflows potentially affecting these communities. The variable infiltration capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrologic model has been employed at regional scales to describe and forecast hydrologic changes but has been calibrated and applied mainly to large rivers. An important question is how well VIC runoff simulations serve to answer questions about hydrologic changes in smaller streams, which are important habitat for many fish species. To answer this question, we aggregated gridded VIC outputs within the drainage basins of 55 streamflow gages in the Pacific Northwest United States and compared modeled hydrographs and summary metrics to observations. For most streams, several ecologically relevant aspects of the hydrologic regime were accurately modeled, including center of flow timing, mean annual and summer flows and frequency of winter floods. Frequencies of high and low flows in the summer were not well predicted, however. Predictions were worse for sites with strong groundwater influence, and some sites showed errors that may result from limitations in the forcing climate data. Higher resolution (1/16th degree) modeling provided small improvements over lower resolution (1/8th degree). Despite some limitations, the VIC model appears capable of representing several ecologically relevant hydrologic characteristics in streams, making it a useful tool for understanding the effects of hydrology in delimiting species distributions and predicting the potential effects of climate shifts on aquatic organisms.

  5. Ecosystem management via interacting models of political and ecological processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haas, T. C.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The decision to implement environmental protection options is a political one. Political realities may cause a country to not heed the most persuasive scientific analysis of an ecosystem's future health. A predictive understanding of the political processes that result in ecosystem management decisions may help guide ecosystem management policymaking. To this end, this article develops a stochastic, temporal model of how political processes influence and are influenced by ecosystem processes. This model is realized in a system of interacting influence diagrams that model the decision making of a country's political bodies. These decisions interact with a model of the ecosystem enclosed by the country. As an example, a model for Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus management in Kenya is constructed and fitted to decision and ecological data.

  6. RBCA-based approaches to ecological risk assessment for TPH-contaminated areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hummell, R.; Vedagiri, U.

    1995-01-01

    The RBCA guidelines proposed by ASTM form an evaluation and decision-making framework for sites potentially contaminated by petroleum releases. They present a three-tiered approach of decreasing conservatism and increasing site-specificity that primarily evaluates risks to human health. While RBCA includes consideration of environmental impacts, there are no specific recommendations on how this is to be achieved. A RBCA-based ecological risk assessment approach was developed for TPH-contaminated areas in Alaska. The approach presents a habitat-based selection process for surrogate chemicals and indicator chemicals of ecological relevance, evaluation of ecotoxicity, derivation of matrix-specific Tier 1 RBSLs (including soils) and determination of Tier 2 and 3 SSTLS. Chemicals are considered by class, aquatic (freshwater and saltwater) and terrestrial habitats are evaluated independently, and chemical concentrations are screened in all media of concern (air, soil, water, sediment). Data needs and decision points specific to ecological receptors are identified for each tier of the approach. Other aspects of the approach include consideration of contaminant migration pathways and habitats that are typical of Arctic conditions. Areas where ecological and human risk concerns may overlap are identified

  7. Ecosystem-based fishery management: a critical review of concepts and ecological economic models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nguyen, Thanh Viet

      An ecosystem approach means different things to different people. As a result the concept of ecosystem-based fishery management is evolving and it has no universal definition or consistent application. As regards ecosystem modeling, most economic models of fishery ignore the linkages to lower...... trophic levels. In particular, environmental data and other bottom-up information is widely disregarded. The objective of this paper is to provide a critical review of concepts and ecological economic models relating to ecosystem-based fishery management....

  8. Approaches for integrated assessment of ecological and eutrophication status of surface waters in Nordic Countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H.; Aroviita, Jukka; Carstensen, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles for...... principles applied within BQEs are critical and in need of harmonisation if we want a better understanding of potential transition in ecological status between surface water types, e.g. when riverine water enters a downstream lake or coastal water body.......We review approaches and tools currently used in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) for integrated assessment of ‘ecological status’ sensu the EU Water Framework Directive as well as assessment of ‘eutrophication status’ in coastal and marine waters. Integration principles...

  9. The systems approach to ecological research. | B.H. | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The first adopts the principle of successive approximation towards an increasingly complex description of the system, and aims to identify key research questions in the process. The second involves the use of an objective function, the variables within which are predicted by means of simulation modelling. Some guidelines ...

  10. Ecological plant epigenetics: Evidence from model and non-model species, and the way forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Christina L; Alonso, Conchita; Becker, Claude; Bossdorf, Oliver; Bucher, Etienne; Colomé-Tatché, Maria; Durka, Walter; Engelhardt, Jan; Gaspar, Bence; Gogol-Döring, Andreas; Grosse, Ivo; van Gurp, Thomas P; Heer, Katrin; Kronholm, Ilkka; Lampei, Christian; Latzel, Vít; Mirouze, Marie; Opgenoorth, Lars; Paun, Ovidiu; Prohaska, Sonja J; Rensing, Stefan A; Stadler, Peter F; Trucchi, Emiliano; Ullrich, Kristian; Verhoeven, Koen J F

    2017-12-01

    Growing evidence shows that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to complex traits, with implications across many fields of biology. In plant ecology, recent studies have attempted to merge ecological experiments with epigenetic analyses to elucidate the contribution of epigenetics to plant phenotypes, stress responses, adaptation to habitat, and range distributions. While there has been some progress in revealing the role of epigenetics in ecological processes, studies with non-model species have so far been limited to describing broad patterns based on anonymous markers of DNA methylation. In contrast, studies with model species have benefited from powerful genomic resources, which contribute to a more mechanistic understanding but have limited ecological realism. Understanding the significance of epigenetics for plant ecology requires increased transfer of knowledge and methods from model species research to genomes of evolutionarily divergent species, and examination of responses to complex natural environments at a more mechanistic level. This requires transforming genomics tools specifically for studying non-model species, which is challenging given the large and often polyploid genomes of plants. Collaboration among molecular geneticists, ecologists and bioinformaticians promises to enhance our understanding of the mutual links between genome function and ecological processes. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Dynamically linking economic models to ecological condition for coastal zone management: Application to sustainable tourism planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dvarskas, Anthony

    2017-03-01

    While the development of the tourism industry can bring economic benefits to an area, it is important to consider the long-run impact of the industry on a given location. Particularly when the tourism industry relies upon a certain ecological state, those weighing different development options need to consider the long-run impacts of increased tourist numbers upon measures of ecological condition. This paper presents one approach for linking a model of recreational visitor behavior with an ecological model that estimates the impact of the increased visitors upon the environment. Two simulations were run for the model using initial parameters available from survey data and water quality data for beach locations in Croatia. Results suggest that the resilience of a given tourist location to the changes brought by increasing tourism numbers is important in determining its long-run sustainability. Further work should investigate additional model components, including the tourism industry, refinement of the relationships assumed by the model, and application of the proposed model in additional areas. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Gang Involvement among Immigrant and Refugee Youth: A Developmental Ecological Systems Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrum, Nada M.; Chan, Wing Yi; Latzman, Robert D.

    2015-01-01

    Immigrant and refugee youth are at elevated risk for joining gangs, which, in turn, is associated with a host of maladaptive outcomes. Previous literature on risk and protective factors for immigrant and refugee youth gang involvement has been inconclusive. Applying a developmental ecological systems approach, this study investigated contextual…

  14. Ecological risks of an old wood impregnation mill: application of the triad approach.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karjalainen, A.-M.; Kilpi-Koski, J.; Väisänen, A.O.; Penttinen, S.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Penttinen, O.-P.

    2009-01-01

    Although many studies deal with the distribution and mobility of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) metals in soil, the ecotoxicity of CCA-contaminated soils is rarely studied. The Triad approach was applied to determine the ecological risks posed by a CCA mixture at a decommissioned wood impregnation

  15. A landscape approach for ecologically based management of Great Basin shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael J. Wisdom; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2009-01-01

    Native shrublands dominate the Great Basin of western of North America, and most of these communities are at moderate or high risk of loss from non-native grass invasion and woodland expansion. Landscape-scale management based on differences in ecological resistance and resilience of shrublands can reduce these risks. We demonstrate this approach with an example that...

  16. Methodological approach to simulation and choice of ecologically efficient and energetically economic wind turbines (WT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bespalov, Vadim; Udina, Natalya; Samarskaya, Natalya

    2017-10-01

    Use of wind energy is related to one of the prospective directions among renewed energy sources. A methodological approach is reviewed in the article to simulation and choice of ecologically efficient and energetically economic wind turbines on the designing stage taking into account characteristics of natural-territorial complex and peculiarities of anthropogenic load in the territory of WT location.

  17. Political violence and development: an ecologic approach to children in war zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boothby, Neil

    2008-07-01

    This article looks at the experiences of children in war from a psychosocial and social ecologic perspective. In contrast to clinical approaches, it offers a conceptualization of how the impacts of political violence and war are socially mediated. It suggests that psychologic assistance to war-affected children often occurs not through the provision of therapy by outsiders but via support from insiders.

  18. Modeling abundance using N-mixture models: the importance of considering ecological mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Liana N; Elkin, Ché; Martin, Tara G; Possinghami, Hugh P

    2009-04-01

    Predicting abundance across a species' distribution is useful for studies of ecology and biodiversity management. Modeling of survey data in relation to environmental variables can be a powerful method for extrapolating abundances across a species' distribution and, consequently, calculating total abundances and ultimately trends. Research in this area has demonstrated that models of abundance are often unstable and produce spurious estimates, and until recently our ability to remove detection error limited the development of accurate models. The N-mixture model accounts for detection and abundance simultaneously and has been a significant advance in abundance modeling. Case studies that have tested these new models have demonstrated success for some species, but doubt remains over the appropriateness of standard N-mixture models for many species. Here we develop the N-mixture model to accommodate zero-inflated data, a common occurrence in ecology, by employing zero-inflated count models. To our knowledge, this is the first application of this method to modeling count data. We use four variants of the N-mixture model (Poisson, zero-inflated Poisson, negative binomial, and zero-inflated negative binomial) to model abundance, occupancy (zero-inflated models only) and detection probability of six birds in South Australia. We assess models by their statistical fit and the ecological realism of the parameter estimates. Specifically, we assess the statistical fit with AIC and assess the ecological realism by comparing the parameter estimates with expected values derived from literature, ecological theory, and expert opinion. We demonstrate that, despite being frequently ranked the "best model" according to AIC, the negative binomial variants of the N-mixture often produce ecologically unrealistic parameter estimates. The zero-inflated Poisson variant is preferable to the negative binomial variants of the N-mixture, as it models an ecological mechanism rather than a

  19. An Ecological Approach to the Design of UAV Ground Control Station (GCS) Status Displays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowell, Susan; Morphew, Ephimia; Shively, Jay

    2003-01-01

    Use of UAVs in military and commercial applications will continue to increase. However, there has been limited research devoted to UAV GCS design. The current study employed an ecological approach to interfac e design. Ecological Interface Design (EID) can be characterized as r epresenting the properties of a system, such that an operator is enco uraged to use skill-based behavior when problem solving. When more ef fortful cognitive processes become necessary due to unfamiliar situations, the application of EID philosophy supports the application of kn owledge-based behavior. With advances toward multiple UAV command and control, operators need GCS interfaces designed to support understan ding of complex systems. We hypothesized that use of EID principles f or the display of UAV status information would result in better opera tor performance and situational awareness, while decreasing workload. Pilots flew a series of missions with three UAV GCS displays of statu s information (Alphanumeric, Ecological, and Hybrid display format). Measures of task performance, Situational Awareness, and workload dem onstrated the benefits of using an ecological approach to designing U AV GCS displays. The application of ecological principles to the design of UAV GCSs is a promising area for improving UAV operations.

  20. An approach for balancing health and ecological risks at hazardous waste sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Hull, R.N.; Stack, M.; Cornaby, B.W.; Hadden, C.T.; Zafran, F.A.

    1995-01-01

    Human health and ecological risks must be balanced at hazardous waste sites in order to ensure that remedial actions prevent unacceptable risks of either type. Actions that are designed to protect humans may fail to protect nonhuman populations and ecosystems or may damage ecosystems. However, there is no common scale of health and ecological risk that would allow comparisons to be performed. This paper presents an approach to addressing this problem based on classifying all risks (i.e., health and ecological risks due contaminants and remediation) as insignificant (de minimis), highly significant (de manifestis), or intermediate. For health risks the classification is based on standard criteria. However, in the absence of national guidance concerning the acceptability of ecological risks, new ecological criteria are proposed based on an analysis of regulatory precedents. Matrices and flow charts are presented to guide the use of these risk categories in remedial decision making. The assessment of mercury contamination of the East Fork Poplar Creek is presented as an example of the implementation of the approach. 15 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  1. Valuing the Unmarketable: An Ecological Approach to the Externalities Estimate in Fishing Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piero Franzoi

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In a rapidly changing world, sustainability, if it can be said to exist at all, is concept that has attained mythic status, often pursued and rarely reached. In order to improve our capability to cope with environmental problems, adopting an Ecosystem Approach has been suggested. One of the major challenges in the implementation of this new paradigm relates to control of externalities. The recognition and quantification of externalities is often cast as valuing the unmarketable, and there are several approaches that have been proposed. Here, we analyze the opportunity to “feed” the economic valuation with ecological concepts. From an ecological perspective, the energy required to sustain a biomass unit at a given trophic level (TL is the same, whatever the species. We build on this central tenet of ecology to assess the value of a TL unit for each trophic position using fish market data. The results obtained were then used to assign a value to each species living in a given habitat, together with consideration of their ecological role within the community. Estimates of both natural capital and functional value were applied to assess the ecological impacts of mechanical clam harvesting versus the multi-species artisanal fishery in the Venice lagoon. Results are discussed in relation to possible contribution to the implementation of a different management strategy.

  2. Application of genetic algorithm in radio ecological models parameter determination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pantelic, G. [Institute of Occupatioanl Health and Radiological Protection ' Dr Dragomir Karajovic' , Belgrade (Serbia)

    2006-07-01

    The method of genetic algorithms was used to determine the biological half-life of 137 Cs in cow milk after the accident in Chernobyl. Methodologically genetic algorithms are based on the fact that natural processes tend to optimize themselves and therefore this method should be more efficient in providing optimal solutions in the modeling of radio ecological and environmental events. The calculated biological half-life of 137 Cs in milk is (32 {+-} 3) days and transfer coefficient from grass to milk is (0.019 {+-} 0.005). (authors)

  3. Application of genetic algorithm in radio ecological models parameter determination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pantelic, G.

    2006-01-01

    The method of genetic algorithms was used to determine the biological half-life of 137 Cs in cow milk after the accident in Chernobyl. Methodologically genetic algorithms are based on the fact that natural processes tend to optimize themselves and therefore this method should be more efficient in providing optimal solutions in the modeling of radio ecological and environmental events. The calculated biological half-life of 137 Cs in milk is (32 ± 3) days and transfer coefficient from grass to milk is (0.019 ± 0.005). (authors)

  4. A socio-ecological adaptive approach to contaminated mega-site management: From 'control and correct' to 'coping with change'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmer, Mario; Lyon, Ken; Armstrong, James E.; Farrell, Katharine N.

    2012-01-01

    Mega-sites have a notable impact on surrounding ecological systems. At such sites there are substantial risks associated with complex socio-ecological interactions that are hard to characterize, let alone model and predict. While the urge to control and clean-up mega-sites (control and correct) is understandable, rather than setting a goal of cleaning up such sites, we suggest a more realistic response strategy is to address these massive and persistent sources of contamination by acknowledging their position as new features of the socio-ecological landscapes within which they are located. As it seems nearly impossible to clean up such sites, we argue for consideration of a 'coping with change' rather than a 'control and correct' approach. This strategy recognizes that the current management option for a mega-site, in light of its physical complexities and due to changing societal preferences, geochemical transformations, hydrogeology knowledge and remedial technology options may not remain optimal in future, and therefore needs to be continuously adapted, as community, ecology, technology and understanding change over time. This approach creates an opportunity to consider the relationship between a mega-site and its human and ecological environments in a different and more dynamic way. Our proposed approach relies on iterative adaptive management to incorporate mega-site management into the overall socio-ecological systems of the site's context. This approach effectively embeds mega-site management planning in a triple bottom line and environmental sustainability structure, rather than simply using single measures of success, such as contaminant-based guidelines. Recognizing that there is probably no best solution for managing a mega-site, we present a starting point for engaging constructively with this seemingly intractable issue. Therefore, we aim to initiate discussion about a new approach to mega-site management, in which the complexity of the problems posed

  5. Spatial modelling and ecology of Echinococcus multilocularis transmission in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danson, F Mark; Giraudoux, Patrick; Craig, Philip S

    2006-01-01

    Recent research in central China has suggested that the most likely transmission mechanism for Echinococcus multilocularis to humans is via domestic dogs which are allowed to roam freely and hunt (infected) small mammals within areas close to villages or in areas of tented pasture. This assertion has led to the hypothesis that there is a landscape control on transmission risk since the proximity of suitable habitat for susceptible small mammals appears to be the key. We have tested this hypothesis in a number of endemic areas in China, notably south Gansu Province and the Tibetan region of western Sichuan Province. The fundamental landscape control is its effect at a regional scale on small mammal species assemblages (susceptible species are not ubiquitous) and, at a local scale, the spatial distributions of small mammal populations. To date the research has examined relationships between landscape composition and patterns of human infection, landscape and small mammal distributions and recently the relationships between landscape and dog infection rates. The key tool to characterize landscape is satellite remote sensing and these data are used as inputs to drive spatial models of transmission risk. This paper reviews the progress that has been made so far in spatial modeling of the ecology of E. multilocularis with particular reference to China, outlines current research issues, and describes a framework for building a spatial-temporal model of transmission ecology.

  6. MAIN LAND USE PLANNING APPROACHES TO STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS LOCAL ECOLOGICAL NETWORK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TretiakV.M.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In modern conditions of social development, changes in land eco-system of economic relations in Ukraine, the problem of providing conditions for the creation of sustainable land use and creation of protected areas get the status of special urgency. Ideology establishment of ecological networks became logical continuation of environmental thought in general. Considering the methodological approach to the establishment of ecological networks we can constitute, that it is an environmental frame of spatial infrastructure, land conservation and environmental areas, major part of land is the basis of the structural elements of ecological network. Designing an ecological network is made through developing regional schemes of Econet formation, regional and local schemes for establishing an ecological network areas, settlements and other areas. Land Management uses design of structural elements of the ecological network in the village council, as a rule, begins with ecological and landscape mikrozonationof the village council, held during the preparatory work for the land drafting and finishing the formation of environmentally homogeneous regions, which represents the tied system components of ecological network, environmental measures in the form of local environmental restrictions (encumbrances to use land and other natural resources. Additionally, there are some project organization and territorial measures that increase the sustainability area, such as: key, binders, buffer areas and renewable ecological network. Land management projects on the formation of structural elements of ecological network as territorial restrictions (encumbrances in land are used within the territories Councils determined the location and size of land: - Protection zones around especially valuable natural objects of cultural heritage, meteorological stations, etc. in order to protect them from adverse human impacts; - Protection zones along telecommunication lines, power

  7. 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.

  8. An online database for informing ecological network models: http://kelpforest.ucsc.edu.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beas-Luna, Rodrigo; Novak, Mark; Carr, Mark H; Tinker, Martin T; Black, August; Caselle, Jennifer E; Hoban, Michael; Malone, Dan; Iles, Alison

    2014-01-01

    Ecological network models and analyses are recognized as valuable tools for understanding the dynamics and resiliency of ecosystems, and for informing ecosystem-based approaches to management. However, few databases exist that can provide the life history, demographic and species interaction information necessary to parameterize ecological network models. Faced with the difficulty of synthesizing the information required to construct models for kelp forest ecosystems along the West Coast of North America, we developed an online database (http://kelpforest.ucsc.edu/) to facilitate the collation and dissemination of such information. Many of the database's attributes are novel yet the structure is applicable and adaptable to other ecosystem modeling efforts. Information for each taxonomic unit includes stage-specific life history, demography, and body-size allometries. Species interactions include trophic, competitive, facilitative, and parasitic forms. Each data entry is temporally and spatially explicit. The online data entry interface allows researchers anywhere to contribute and access information. Quality control is facilitated by attributing each entry to unique contributor identities and source citations. The database has proven useful as an archive of species and ecosystem-specific information in the development of several ecological network models, for informing management actions, and for education purposes (e.g., undergraduate and graduate training). To facilitate adaptation of the database by other researches for other ecosystems, the code and technical details on how to customize this database and apply it to other ecosystems are freely available and located at the following link (https://github.com/kelpforest-cameo/databaseui).

  9. Modelling the ecological vulnerability to forest fires in mediterranean ecosystems using geographic information technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duguy, Beatriz; Alloza, José Antonio; Baeza, M Jaime; De la Riva, Juan; Echeverría, Maite; Ibarra, Paloma; Llovet, Juan; Cabello, Fernando Pérez; Rovira, Pere; Vallejo, Ramon V

    2012-12-01

    Forest fires represent a major driver of change at the ecosystem and landscape levels in the Mediterranean region. Environmental features and vegetation are key factors to estimate the ecological vulnerability to fire; defined as the degree to which an ecosystem is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of fire (provided a fire occurs). Given the predicted climatic changes for the region, it is urgent to validate spatially explicit tools for assessing this vulnerability in order to support the design of new fire prevention and restoration strategies. This work presents an innovative GIS-based modelling approach to evaluate the ecological vulnerability to fire of an ecosystem, considering its main components (soil and vegetation) and different time scales. The evaluation was structured in three stages: short-term (focussed on soil degradation risk), medium-term (focussed on changes in vegetation), and coupling of the short- and medium-term vulnerabilities. The model was implemented in two regions: Aragón (inland North-eastern Spain) and Valencia (eastern Spain). Maps of the ecological vulnerability to fire were produced at a regional scale. We partially validated the model in a study site combining two complementary approaches that focused on testing the adequacy of model's predictions in three ecosystems, all very common in fire-prone landscapes of eastern Spain: two shrublands and a pine forest. Both approaches were based on the comparison of model's predictions with values of NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), which is considered a good proxy for green biomass. Both methods showed that the model's performance is satisfactory when applied to the three selected vegetation types.

  10. Data Assimilation at FLUXNET to Improve Models towards Ecological Forecasting (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Dramatically increased volumes of data from observational and experimental networks such as FLUXNET call for transformation of ecological research to increase its emphasis on quantitative forecasting. Ecological forecasting will also meet the societal need to develop better strategies for natural resource management in a world of ongoing global change. Traditionally, ecological forecasting has been based on process-based models, informed by data in largely ad hoc ways. Although most ecological models incorporate some representation of mechanistic processes, today’s ecological models are generally not adequate to quantify real-world dynamics and provide reliable forecasts with accompanying estimates of uncertainty. A key tool to improve ecological forecasting is data assimilation, which uses data to inform initial conditions and to help constrain a model during simulation to yield results that approximate reality as closely as possible. In an era with dramatically increased availability of data from observational and experimental networks, data assimilation is a key technique that helps convert the raw data into ecologically meaningful products so as to accelerate our understanding of ecological processes, test ecological theory, forecast changes in ecological services, and better serve the society. This talk will use examples to illustrate how data from FLUXNET have been assimilated with process-based models to improve estimates of model parameters and state variables; to quantify uncertainties in ecological forecasting arising from observations, models and their interactions; and to evaluate information contributions of data and model toward short- and long-term forecasting of ecosystem responses to global change.

  11. [A process of aquatic ecological function regionalization: The dual tree framework and conceptual model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Shu Hai; Wu, Bo

    2017-12-01

    Aquatic ecological regionalization and aquatic ecological function regionalization are the basis of water environmental management of a river basin and rational utilization of an aquatic ecosystem, and have been studied in China for more than ten years. Regarding the common problems in this field, the relationship between aquatic ecological regionalization and aquatic ecological function regionalization was discussed in this study by systematic analysis of the aquatic ecological zoning and the types of aquatic ecological function. Based on the dual tree structure, we put forward the RFCH process and the diamond conceptual model. Taking Liaohe River basin as an example and referring to the results of existing regionalization studies, we classified the aquatic ecological function regions based on three-class aquatic ecological regionalization. This study provided a process framework for aquatic ecological function regionalization of a river basin.

  12. Material Modelling - Composite Approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lauge Fuglsang

    1997-01-01

    is successfully justified comparing predicted results with experimental data obtained in the HETEK-project on creep, relaxation, and shrinkage of very young concretes cured at a temperature of T = 20^o C and a relative humidity of RH = 100%. The model is also justified comparing predicted creep, shrinkage......, and internal stresses caused by drying shrinkage with experimental results reported in the literature on the mechanical behavior of mature concretes. It is then concluded that the model presented applied in general with respect to age at loading.From a stress analysis point of view the most important finding...... in this report is that cement paste and concrete behave practically as linear-viscoelastic materials from an age of approximately 10 hours. This is a significant age extension relative to earlier studies in the literature where linear-viscoelastic behavior is only demonstrated from ages of a few days. Thus...

  13. Modeling socioeconomic and ecologic aspects of land-use change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dale, V.H.; Pedlowski, M.A.; O'Neill, R.V.; Southworth, F.

    1992-01-01

    Land use change is one of the major factors affecting global environmental conditions. Prevalent types of land-use change include replacing forests with agriculture, mines or ranches; forest degradation from collection of firewood; and forest logging. A global effect of wide-scale deforestation is an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, which may affect climate. Regional effects include loss of biodiversity and disruption of hydrologic regimes. Local effects include soil erosion, siltation and decreases in soil fertility, loss of extractive reserves, and disruption of indigenous people. Modeling land use change requires combining socioeconomic and ecological factors because socioeconomic forces frequently initiate land-use change and are affected by the subsequent ecological degradation. This paper describes a modeling system that integrates submodels of human colonization and impacts to estimate patterns and rates of deforestation under different immigration and land use scenarios. Immigration which follows road building or paving is a major factor in the rapid deforestation of previously inaccessible areas. Roads facilitate colonization, allow access for large machines, and provide transportation routes for mort of raw materials and produce

  14. Simulation of socio-ecological impacts: Modeling a fishing village

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Philip C.

    1982-03-01

    The interrelationship of society and environment is addressed here through the study of a remote fishing village of 750 people. An interdisciplinary study evaluated demographic, economic, and social aspects of the community, and simulation modeling was used to integrate these societal characteristics with environmental factors. The population of the village had grown gradually until the 1960's, when a decline began. Out-migration correlated with declining fish harvests and with increased communications with urban centers. Fishing had provided the greatest economic opportunity, followed by logging. A survey was conducted to investigate the costs and revenues of village fishermen. Diversification characterized the local fleet, and analysis showed that rates of return on investment in the current year were equal between vessel types. The variable levels and rate parameters of the demographic, economic, and social components of the model were specified through static and time series data. Sensitivity analysis to assess the effects of uncertainty, and validation tests against known historical changes were also conducted. Forecast scenarios identified the development options under several levels of fish abundance and investment. The weight given to ecological versus economic resource management registered disproportionate effects due to the interaction between investment and migration rates and resource stochasticity. This finding argues against a “golden mean” rule for evaluating policy trade-offs and argues for the importance of using a dynamic, socio-ecological perspective in designing development policies for rural communities.

  15. Effect of methodological and ecological approaches on heterogeneity of nest-site selection of a long-lived vulture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén Moreno-Opo

    Full Text Available The application of scientific-based conservation measures requires that sampling methodologies in studies modelling similar ecological aspects produce comparable results making easier their interpretation. We aimed to show how the choice of different methodological and ecological approaches can affect conclusions in nest-site selection studies along different Palearctic meta-populations of an indicator species. First, a multivariate analysis of the variables affecting nest-site selection in a breeding colony of cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus in central Spain was performed. Then, a meta-analysis was applied to establish how methodological and habitat-type factors determine differences and similarities in the results obtained by previous studies that have modelled the forest breeding habitat of the species. Our results revealed patterns in nesting-habitat modelling by the cinereous vulture throughout its whole range: steep and south-facing slopes, great cover of large trees and distance to human activities were generally selected. The ratio and situation of the studied plots (nests/random, the use of plots vs. polygons as sampling units and the number of years of data set determined the variability explained by the model. Moreover, a greater size of the breeding colony implied that ecological and geomorphological variables at landscape level were more influential. Additionally, human activities affected in greater proportion to colonies situated in Mediterranean forests. For the first time, a meta-analysis regarding the factors determining nest-site selection heterogeneity for a single species at broad scale was achieved. It is essential to homogenize and coordinate experimental design in modelling the selection of species' ecological requirements in order to avoid that differences in results among studies would be due to methodological heterogeneity. This would optimize best conservation and management practices for habitats and species in

  16. A high school ecology curriculum employing currere: A critical postmodern approach to pedagogy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerr, Marilyn Noble

    2000-10-01

    This classroom research is a case study of a high school ecology curriculum based on William Pinar's currere. The author, both the practitioner in the classroom and the curriculum developer, uses the dissertation to analyze the success of the ecology course. A successful course, she feels, not only teaches the students the rudiments of ecology but also introduces them to the political and moral issues surrounding ecological principles. Currere is curriculum as autobiographical text. It is phenomenological, exploring students' lived experiences and their interpretations of those experiences. With the focus on introspection and hermeneutics, curriculum becomes something to be encountered and the student immerses her/himself in trying to understand that encounter. In this study, currere is adapted for use in an ecology classroom through what the author terms "the Environmental Autobiography," or EA. The paper explores qualitative data collected from the researcher and 50 students, mostly high school seniors, who took the class over a two-year period. The researcher analyzes and interprets a generous selection of excerpts from these EAs when considering the efficacy of using the currere process in this course. The researcher then examines five frequently-appearing themes in the writings: caring, insecurities and gender issues, egocentrism, politicization, and definitions of success. The researcher finds that the use of currere in this way brought a postmodern approach to the teaching of this most holistic of the sciences---ecology. This non-traditional method allowed students to begin to see ecological problems in context and to realize that knowledge is always partial. For many students this currere-based ecology curriculum moved them from "I know" to "I care," and on to "I want to do something about this." Finally, the researcher concludes that the EA gave a richness and energy to the class that was unlike any of her past teaching experiences. The paper explores

  17. An Integrated Framework for Process-Driven Model Construction in Disease Ecology and Animal Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancy, Rebecca; Brock, Patrick M; Kao, Rowland R

    2017-01-01

    Process models that focus on explicitly representing biological mechanisms are increasingly important in disease ecology and animal health research. However, the large number of process modelling approaches makes it difficult to decide which is most appropriate for a given disease system and research question. Here, we discuss different motivations for using process models and present an integrated conceptual analysis that can be used to guide the construction of infectious disease process models and comparisons between them. Our presentation complements existing work by clarifying the major differences between modelling approaches and their relationship with the biological characteristics of the epidemiological system. We first discuss distinct motivations for using process models in epidemiological research, identifying the key steps in model design and use associated with each. We then present a conceptual framework for guiding model construction and comparison, organised according to key aspects of epidemiological systems. Specifically, we discuss the number and type of disease states, whether to focus on individual hosts (e.g., cows) or groups of hosts (e.g., herds or farms), how space or host connectivity affect disease transmission, whether demographic and epidemiological processes are periodic or can occur at any time, and the extent to which stochasticity is important. We use foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis in cattle to illustrate our discussion and support explanations of cases in which different models are used to address similar problems. The framework should help those constructing models to structure their approach to modelling decisions and facilitate comparisons between models in the literature.

  18. A tiered approach for probabilistic ecological risk assessment of contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zolezzi, M.; Nicolella, C.; Tarazona, J.V.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a tiered methodology for probabilistic ecological risk assessment. The proposed approach starts from deterministic comparison (ratio) of single exposure concentration and threshold or safe level calculated from a dose-response relationship, goes through comparison of probabilistic distributions that describe exposure values and toxicological responses of organisms to the chemical of concern, and finally determines the so called distribution-based quotients (DBQs). In order to illustrate the proposed approach, soil concentrations of 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (1,2,4- TCB) measured in an industrial contaminated site were used for site-specific probabilistic ecological risks assessment. By using probabilistic distributions, the risk, which exceeds a level of concern for soil organisms with the deterministic approach, is associated to the presence of hot spots reaching concentrations able to affect acutely more than 50% of the soil species, while the large majority of the area presents 1,2,4- TCB concentrations below those reported as toxic [it

  19. Ecology and equity in global fisheries: Modelling policy options using theoretical distributions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rammelt, C.F.; van Schie, Maarten

    2016-01-01

    Global fisheries present a typical case of political ecology or environmental injustice, i.e. a problem of distribution of resources within ecological limits. We built a stock-flow model to visualize this challenge and its dynamics, with both an ecological and a social dimension. We incorporated

  20. Theorizing benefits and constraints in collaborative environmental governance: a transdisciplinary social-ecological network approach for empirical investigations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Örjan Bodin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available When environmental processes cut across socioeconomic boundaries, traditional top-down government approaches struggle to effectively manage and conserve ecosystems. In such cases, governance arrangements that foster multiactor collaboration are needed. The effectiveness of such arrangements, however, depends on how well any ecological interdependencies across governed ecosystems are aligned with patterns of collaboration. This inherent interdisciplinary and complex problem has impeded progress in developing a better understanding of how to govern ecosystems for conservation in an increasingly interconnected world. We argue for the development of empirically informed theories, which are not only able to transcend disciplinary boundaries, but are also explicit in taking these complex social-ecological interdependences into account. We show how this emerging research frontier can be significantly improved by incorporating recent advances in stochastic modeling of multilevel social networks. An empirical case study from an agricultural landscape in Madagascar is reanalyzed to demonstrate these improvements.

  1. A Citizen Science Approach: A Detailed Ecological Assessment of Subtropical Reefs at Point Lookout, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelfsema, Chris; Thurstan, Ruth; Beger, Maria; Dudgeon, Christine; Loder, Jennifer; Kovacs, Eva; Gallo, Michele; Flower, Jason; Gomez Cabrera, K-le; Ortiz, Juan; Lea, Alexandra; Kleine, Diana

    2016-01-01

    Subtropical reefs provide an important habitat for flora and fauna, and proper monitoring is required for conservation. Monitoring these exposed and submerged reefs is challenging and available resources are limited. Citizen science is increasing in momentum, as an applied research tool and in the variety of monitoring approaches adopted. This paper aims to demonstrate an ecological assessment and mapping approach that incorporates both top-down (volunteer marine scientists) and bottom-up (divers/community) engagement aspects of citizen science, applied at a subtropical reef at Point Lookout, Southeast Queensland, Australia. Marine scientists trained fifty citizen scientists in survey techniques that included mapping of habitat features, recording of substrate, fish and invertebrate composition, and quantifying impacts (e.g., occurrence of substrate damage, presence of litter). In 2014 these volunteers conducted four seasonal surveys along semi-permanent transects, at five sites, across three reefs. The project presented is a model on how citizen science can be conducted in a marine environment through collaboration of volunteer researchers, non-researchers and local marine authorities. Significant differences in coral and algal cover were observed among the three sites, while fluctuations in algal cover were also observed seasonally. Differences in fish assemblages were apparent among sites and seasons, with subtropical fish groups observed more commonly in colder seasons. The least physical damage occurred in the most exposed sites (Flat Rock) within the highly protected marine park zones. The broad range of data collected through this top-down/bottom-up approach to citizen science exemplifies the projects' value and application for identifying ecosystem trends or patterns. The results of the project support natural resource and marine park management, providing a valuable contribution to existing scientific knowledge and the conservation of local reefs.

  2. Modelling non-Euclidean movement and landscape connectivity in highly structured ecological networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Christopher; Fuller, Angela K.; Royle, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Movement is influenced by landscape structure, configuration and geometry, but measuring distance as perceived by animals poses technical and logistical challenges. Instead, movement is typically measured using Euclidean distance, irrespective of location or landscape structure, or is based on arbitrary cost surfaces. A recently proposed extension of spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models resolves this issue using spatial encounter histories of individuals to calculate least-cost paths (ecological distance: Ecology, 94, 2013, 287) thereby relaxing the Euclidean assumption. We evaluate the consequences of not accounting for movement heterogeneity when estimating abundance in highly structured landscapes, and demonstrate the value of this approach for estimating biologically realistic space-use patterns and landscape connectivity.

  3. A Single-Granule-Level Approach Reveals Ecological Heterogeneity in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyohei Kuroda

    Full Text Available Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a "macro"-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA-degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. "Candidatus Aminicenantes" and Methanosaeta are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach.

  4. A Single-Granule-Level Approach Reveals Ecological Heterogeneity in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei, Ran; Narihiro, Takashi; Bocher, Benjamin T. W.; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2016-01-01

    Upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has served as an effective process to treat industrial wastewater such as purified terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater. For optimal UASB performance, balanced ecological interactions between syntrophs, methanogens, and fermenters are critical. However, much of the interactions remain unclear because UASB have been studied at a “macro”-level perspective of the reactor ecosystem. In reality, such reactors are composed of a suite of granules, each forming individual micro-ecosystems treating wastewater. Thus, typical approaches may be oversimplifying the complexity of the microbial ecology and granular development. To identify critical microbial interactions at both macro- and micro- level ecosystem ecology, we perform community and network analyses on 300 PTA–degrading granules from a lab-scale UASB reactor and two full-scale reactors. Based on MiSeq-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of individual granules, different granule-types co-exist in both full-scale reactors regardless of granule size and reactor sampling depth, suggesting that distinct microbial interactions occur in different granules throughout the reactor. In addition, we identify novel networks of syntrophic metabolic interactions in different granules, perhaps caused by distinct thermodynamic conditions. Moreover, unseen methanogenic relationships (e.g. “Candidatus Aminicenantes” and Methanosaeta) are observed in UASB reactors. In total, we discover unexpected microbial interactions in granular micro-ecosystems supporting UASB ecology and treatment through a unique single-granule level approach. PMID:27936088

  5. Network approaches for understanding rainwater management from a social-ecological systems perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven D. Prager

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The premise of this research is to better understand how approaches to implementing rainwater management practices can be informed by understanding how the people living and working in agroecosystems are connected to one another. Because these connections are via both social interactions and functional characteristics of the landscape, a social-ecological network emerges. Using social-ecological network theory, we ask how understanding the structure of interactions can lead to improved rainwater management interventions. Using a case study situated within a small sub-basin in the Fogera area of the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia, we build networks of smallholders based both on the biophysical and social-institutional landscapes present in the study site, with the smallholders themselves as the common element between the networks. In turn we explore how structures present in the networks may serve to guide decision making regarding both where and with whom rainwater management interventions could be developed. This research thus illustrates an approach for constructing a social-ecological network and demonstrates how the structures of the network yield insights for tailoring the implementation of rainwater management practices to the social and ecological setting.

  6. A DPSIR model for ecological security assessment through indicator screening: a case study at Dianchi Lake in China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

    Full Text Available Given the important role of lake ecosystems in social and economic development, and the current severe environmental degradation in China, a systematic diagnosis of the ecological security of lakes is essential for sustainable development. A Driving-force, Pressure, Status, Impact, and Risk (DPSIR model, combined with data screening for lake ecological security assessment was developed to overcome the disadvantages of data selection in existing assessment methods. Correlation and principal component analysis were used to select independent and representative data. The DPSIR model was then applied to evaluate the ecological security of Dianchi Lake in China during 1988-2007 using an ecological security index. The results revealed a V-shaped trend. The application of the DPSIR model with data screening provided useful information regarding the status of the lake's ecosystem, while ensuring information efficiency and eliminating multicollinearity. The modeling approach described here is practical and operationally efficient, and provides an attractive alternative approach to assess the ecological security of lakes.

  7. Hydrodynamic and Ecological Assessment of Nearshore Restoration: A Modeling Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Zhaoqing; Sobocinski, Kathryn L.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Khangaonkar, Tarang; Thom, Ronald M.; Fuller, Roger

    2010-01-01

    Along the Pacific Northwest coast, much of the estuarine habitat has been diked over the last century for agricultural land use, residential and commercial development, and transportation corridors. As a result, many of the ecological processes and functions have been disrupted. To protect coastal habitats that are vital to aquatic species, many restoration projects are currently underway to restore the estuarine and coastal ecosystems through dike breaches, setbacks, and removals. Information on physical processes and hydrodynamic conditions are critical for the assessment of the success of restoration actions. Restoration of a 160- acre property at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River in Puget Sound has been proposed. The goal is to restore native tidal habitats and estuary-scale ecological processes by removing the dike. In this study, a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model was developed for the Stillaguamish River estuary to simulate estuarine processes. The model was calibrated to observed tide, current, and salinity data for existing conditions and applied to simulate the hydrodynamic responses to two restoration alternatives. Responses were evaluated at the scale of the restoration footprint. Model data was combined with biophysical data to predict habitat responses at the site. Results showed that the proposed dike removal would result in desired tidal flushing and conditions that would support four habitat types on the restoration footprint. At the estuary scale, restoration would substantially increase the proportion of area flushed with freshwater (< 5 ppt) at flood tide. Potential implications of predicted changes in salinity and flow dynamics are discussed relative to the distribution of tidal marsh habitat.

  8. A Bayesian approach to landscape ecological risk assessment applied to the upper Grande Ronde watershed, Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimberley K. Ayre; Wayne G. Landis

    2012-01-01

    We present a Bayesian network model based on the ecological risk assessment framework to evaluate potential impacts to habitats and resources resulting from wildfire, grazing, forest management activities, and insect outbreaks in a forested landscape in northeastern Oregon. The Bayesian network structure consisted of three tiers of nodes: landscape disturbances,...

  9. Positioning functional foods in an ecological approach to the prevention of overweight and obesity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wieringa, N.F.; van der Windt, H.J.; Zuiker, R.R.M.; Dijkhuizen, L.; Verkerk, M.A.; Vonk, R.J.; Swart, J.A.A.

    2008-01-01

    To contribute to the social debate about the role of functional foods in the prevention of overweight and obesity using an ecological model to study the positioning of functional foods and their social implications. Positioning was conceptualized as the relative attention given to functional foods

  10. Optimizing the Role of Physical Education in Promoting Physical Activity: A Social-Ecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solmon, Melinda A

    2015-01-01

    The benefits associated with being physically active are well documented, but a significant proportion of the population is insufficiently active. Physical inactivity is a major health risk factor in our society, and physical education programs are consistently identified as a means to address this concern. The purpose of this article is to use the social-ecological model as a framework to examine ways in which physical education programs can play an important role in promoting physical activity. Policies that require time allocations and resources for physical education and physical activity in schools and community designs that provide infrastructure that makes being physically active accessible and convenient are important factors in making schools and communities healthier spaces. It is clear, however, that policies alone are not sufficient to address concerns about physical inactivity. We must consider individual factors that influence decisions to be physically active in efforts to engage children in physical education programs that promote active lifestyles. The learning climate that teachers create determines what students do and learn in physical education classes. Ensuring that students see value in the content presented and structuring classes so that students believe they can experience success when they exert effort are key elements in an effective motivational climate. Efforts to address public health concerns about physical inactivity require a comprehensive approach including quality physical education. It is critical that kinesiology professionals emerge as leaders in these efforts to place physical education programs at the center of promoting children's physical activity.

  11. Scenario analysis for biodiversity conservation: a social-ecological system approach in the Australian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Michael; Lockwood, Michael; Moore, Susan A; Clement, Sarah

    2015-03-01

    Current policy interventions are having limited success in addressing the ongoing decline in global biodiversity. In part, this is attributable to insufficient attention being paid to the social and governance processes that drive decisions and can undermine their implementation. Scenario planning that draws on social-ecological systems (SES) analysis provides a useful means to systematically explore and anticipate future uncertainties regarding the interaction between humans and biodiversity outcomes. However, the effective application of SES models has been limited by the insufficient attention given to governance influences. Understanding the influence governance attributes have on the future trajectory of SES is likely to assist choice of effective interventions, as well as needs and opportunities for governance reform. In a case study in the Australian Alps, we explore the potential of joint SES and scenario analyses to identify how governance influences landscape-scale biodiversity outcomes. Novel aspects of our application of these methods were the specification of the focal system's governance attributes according to requirements for adaptive capacity, and constraining scenarios according to the current governance settings while varying key social and biophysical drivers. This approach allowed us to identify how current governance arrangements influence landscape-scale biodiversity outcomes, and establishes a baseline from which the potential benefits of governance reform can be assessed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. System dynamic modelling to assess economic viability and risk trade-offs for ecological restoration in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crookes, D J; Blignaut, J N; de Wit, M P; Esler, K J; Le Maitre, D C; Milton, S J; Mitchell, S A; Cloete, J; de Abreu, P; Fourie nee Vlok, H; Gull, K; Marx, D; Mugido, W; Ndhlovu, T; Nowell, M; Pauw, M; Rebelo, A

    2013-05-15

    Can markets assist by providing support for ecological restoration, and if so, under what conditions? The first step in addressing this question is to develop a consistent methodology for economic evaluation of ecological restoration projects. A risk analysis process was followed in which a system dynamics model was constructed for eight diverse case study sites where ecological restoration is currently being pursued. Restoration costs vary across each of these sites, as do the benefits associated with restored ecosystem functioning. The system dynamics model simulates the ecological, hydrological and economic benefits of ecological restoration and informs a portfolio mapping exercise where payoffs are matched against the likelihood of success of a project, as well as a number of other factors (such as project costs and risk measures). This is the first known application that couples ecological restoration with system dynamics and portfolio mapping. The results suggest an approach that is able to move beyond traditional indicators of project success, since the effect of discounting is virtually eliminated. We conclude that systems dynamic modelling with portfolio mapping can guide decisions on when markets for restoration activities may be feasible. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Coupling ecological and social network models to assess “transmission” and “contagion” of an aquatic invasive species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haak, Danielle M.; Fath, Brian D.; Forbes, Valery E.; Martin, Dustin R.; Pope, Kevin L.

    2017-01-01

    Network analysis is used to address diverse ecological, social, economic, and epidemiological questions, but few efforts have been made to combine these field-specific analyses into interdisciplinary approaches that effectively address how complex systems are interdependent and connected to one another. Identifying and understanding these cross-boundary connections improves natural resource management and promotes proactive, rather than reactive, decisions. This research had two main objectives; first, adapt the framework and approach of infectious disease network modeling so that it may be applied to the socio-ecological problem of spreading aquatic invasive species, and second, use this new coupled model to simulate the spread of the invasive Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) in a reservoir network in Southeastern Nebraska, USA. The coupled model integrates an existing social network model of how anglers move on the landscape with new reservoir-specific ecological network models. This approach allowed us to identify 1) how angler movement among reservoirs aids in the spread of B. chinensis, 2) how B. chinensisalters energy flows within individual-reservoir food webs, and 3) a new method for assessing the spread of any number of non-native or invasive species within complex, social-ecological systems.

  14. A practical procedure for assessing resilience of social-ecological system using the System Dynamics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newton Paulo Bueno

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available While growing attention has been paid to the idea of resilience of social-ecological systems, it seems that there still are a number of gaps to bridge before we could really use this concept for practical purposes. The main problem is that the most of the works in the field are unclear on how to unequivocally measure the degree of resilience of particular social-ecological systems. In this paper, we suggest to be possible identifying the loss of resilience of social-ecological systems as a process of loop dominance shift. In order to illustrate the argument, we use a very stylized system dynamics model for irrigation systems developed by scholars associated to the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University.

  15. [Measuring water ecological carrying capacity with the ecosystem-service-based ecological footprint (ESEF) method: Theory, models and application].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Wen-jun; Min, Qing-wen; Li, Wen-hua; Fuller, Anthony M

    2015-04-01

    Integrated watershed management based on aquatic ecosystems has been increasingly acknowledged. Such a change in the philosophy of water environment management requires recognizing the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems for human society from a more general perspective. The concept of the water ecological carrying capacity is therefore put forward, which considers both water resources and water environment, connects socio-economic development to aquatic ecosystems and provides strong support for integrated watershed management. In this paper, the authors proposed an ESEF-based measure of water ecological carrying capacity and constructed ESEF-based models of water ecological footprint and capacity, aiming to evaluate water ecological carrying capacity with footprint methods. A regional model of Taihu Lake Basin was constructed and applied to evaluate the water ecological carrying capacity in Changzhou City which located in the upper reaches of the basin. Results showed that human demand for water ecosystem services in this city had exceeded the supply capacity of local aquatic ecosystems and the significant gap between demand and supply had jeopardized the sustainability of local aquatic ecosystems. Considering aqua-product provision, water supply and pollutant absorption in an integrated way, the scale of population and economy aquatic ecosystems in Changzhou could bear only 54% of the current status.

  16. Exchange processes at geosphere-biosphere interface. Current SKB approach and example of coupled hydrological-ecological approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woerman, Anders [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Biometry and Technology

    2003-09-01

    The design of the repository for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel proposed by SKB is based on a multi-barrier system, in which the geosphere and biosphere are the utmost barrier surrounding the engineer barriers. This report briefly reviews the current approach taken by SKB to account for hydrological and ecological processes at the geosphere-biosphere interface (GBI) and their future plans in this area. A simple analysis was performed to shift the focus of performance assessment involving geosphere-biosphere interface modelling from the very simplistic assumption that the quaternary sediments are bypassed to one in which a more detailed model for sub-surface flows is included. This study indicated that, for many assumed ecosystem descriptions, the presence of the GBI leads to lower maximum doses to individual humans compared to a case when the GBI is neglected. This effect is due to the additional 'barrier' offered by the GBI. The main exposure pathways were assumed to occur through the food web. However, particularly the leakage on land through the stream-network and lakes can lead to higher doses due to ecosystem interaction with arable land. A scenario that gives particularly long duration of doses occurs due to land rise and with the transformation of the former bay and lake bed sediments into agricultural land. This effect is due to the significant retention or accumulation in aquatic sediment, which causes high activities to build up with time. Particularly, in combination with changing conditions in climate, humans life-style or geographic conditions (land rise, deforestation,etc.) doses to individual humans can be large.

  17. Exchange processes at geosphere-biosphere interface. Current SKB approach and example of coupled hydrological-ecological approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woerman, Anders

    2003-09-01

    The design of the repository for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel proposed by SKB is based on a multi-barrier system, in which the geosphere and biosphere are the utmost barrier surrounding the engineer barriers. This report briefly reviews the current approach taken by SKB to account for hydrological and ecological processes at the geosphere-biosphere interface (GBI) and their future plans in this area. A simple analysis was performed to shift the focus of performance assessment involving geosphere-biosphere interface modelling from the very simplistic assumption that the quaternary sediments are bypassed to one in which a more detailed model for sub-surface flows is included. This study indicated that, for many assumed ecosystem descriptions, the presence of the GBI leads to lower maximum doses to individual humans compared to a case when the GBI is neglected. This effect is due to the additional 'barrier' offered by the GBI. The main exposure pathways were assumed to occur through the food web. However, particularly the leakage on land through the stream-network and lakes can lead to higher doses due to ecosystem interaction with arable land. A scenario that gives particularly long duration of doses occurs due to land rise and with the transformation of the former bay and lake bed sediments into agricultural land. This effect is due to the significant retention or accumulation in aquatic sediment, which causes high activities to build up with time. Particularly, in combination with changing conditions in climate, humans life-style or geographic conditions (land rise, deforestation,etc.) doses to individual humans can be large

  18. Sensitivity analysis of Repast computational ecology models with R/Repast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prestes García, Antonio; Rodríguez-Patón, Alfonso

    2016-12-01

    Computational ecology is an emerging interdisciplinary discipline founded mainly on modeling and simulation methods for studying ecological systems. Among the existing modeling formalisms, the individual-based modeling is particularly well suited for capturing the complex temporal and spatial dynamics as well as the nonlinearities arising in ecosystems, communities, or populations due to individual variability. In addition, being a bottom-up approach, it is useful for providing new insights on the local mechanisms which are generating some observed global dynamics. Of course, no conclusions about model results could be taken seriously if they are based on a single model execution and they are not analyzed carefully. Therefore, a sound methodology should always be used for underpinning the interpretation of model results. The sensitivity analysis is a methodology for quantitatively assessing the effect of input uncertainty in the simulation output which should be incorporated compulsorily to every work based on in-silico experimental setup. In this article, we present R/Repast a GNU R package for running and analyzing Repast Simphony models accompanied by two worked examples on how to perform global sensitivity analysis and how to interpret the results.

  19. An ecological approach to seeking and utilising the views of young people with intellectual disabilities in transition planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Neil; Raghavan, Raghu; Pawson, Nicole

    2013-12-01

    Transition planning using a person-centred approach has, in the main, failed to shape service provision. We offer an alternative based on an ecological understanding of human development linked to public health approaches that prioritise whole system planning. A total of 43 young people with intellectual disabilities, in Bradford, England, who were approaching transition from school or college were recruited to a qualitative study. Their ethnic breakdown was as follows: 16 white British, 24 Pakistani, 2 Bangladeshi and 1 Black African. Each young person was interviewed twice, at recruitment and a year later, to observe any changes in their social networks during transition. Interviews were undertaken with a semi-structured interview schedule and with the pictorial approach of Talking Mats. Both the networks the young people live within, and their sense of what the future might hold for them, are described and linked to Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of human development. The importance of the family and school is emphasised, as is the absence of engagement in leisure activities and work. Transition planning needs to start with mapping the systems individuals live within, areas of strength should be supported and parts of the system, which are not fit for purpose for these young people, should be prioritised for interventions.

  20. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems

    OpenAIRE

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B.; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E.; Biggs, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for chara...

  1. Humans and Seagrasses in East Africa : A social-ecological systems approach

    OpenAIRE

    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela

    2006-01-01

    The present study is one of the first attempts to analyze the societal importance of seagrasses (marine flowering plants) from a Natural Resource Management perspective, using a social-ecological systems (SES) approach. The interdisciplinary study takes place in East Africa (Western Indian Ocean, WIO) and includes in-depth studies in Chwaka Bay, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Natural and social sciences methods were used. The results are presented in six articles, showing that seagrass ecosystems are ri...

  2. Does niche divergence accompany allopatric divergence in Aphelocoma jays as predicted under ecological speciation? Insights from tests with niche models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, John E; Zellmer, Amanda J; Knowles, L Lacey

    2010-05-01

    The role of ecology in the origin of species has been the subject of long-standing interest to evolutionary biologists. New sources of spatially explicit ecological data allow for large-scale tests of whether speciation is associated with niche divergence or whether closely related species tend to be similar ecologically (niche conservatism). Because of the confounding effects of spatial autocorrelation of environmental variables, we generate null expectations for niche divergence for both an ecological-niche modeling and a multivariate approach to address the question: do allopatrically distributed taxa occupy similar niches? In a classic system for the study of niche evolution--the Aphelocoma jays--we show that there is little evidence for niche divergence among Mexican Jay (A. ultramarina) lineages in the process of speciation, contrary to previous results. In contrast, Aphelocoma species that exist in partial sympatry in some regions show evidence for niche divergence. Our approach is widely applicable to the many cases of allopatric lineages in the beginning stages of speciation. These results do not support an ecological speciation model for Mexican Jay lineages because, in most cases, the allopatric environments they occupy are not significantly more divergent than expected under a null model.

  3. Eco-Anthropic Compatibility - a Multidisciplinary Model in Urban Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARIANO L. BIANCA

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper I propose a multidisciplinary model of urban development which goes beyond the notion of ecological sustainability, by building on the concept of eco-anthropic compatibility. First of all I will sketch the historical development of human aggregations and I will underline the difference between ancient and modern aggregations. On the basis of this analysis, I will take into consideration the notion of sustainability and its possible application to present conurbations. I will underline several limits of the notion of sustainable development and I will propose a multidisciplinary model grounded on a broader and new notion: the eco-anthropic compatibility. Using this notion, which includes the idea of sustainability, it is possible to handle, within the model, the human factors and human living conditions inside an urban aggregation. Finally, I will state that the actual urban model is decaying and therefore, sooner or later, we will have to face the end of urban civilization; for this reason we can start imagining new future ways for human aggregations on the planet based on the notion of eco-anthropic compatibility.

  4. Advantages and limitations of quantitative PCR (Q-PCR)-based approaches in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cindy J; Osborn, A Mark

    2009-01-01

    Quantitative PCR (Q-PCR or real-time PCR) approaches are now widely applied in microbial ecology to quantify the abundance and expression of taxonomic and functional gene markers within the environment. Q-PCR-based analyses combine 'traditional' end-point detection PCR with fluorescent detection technologies to record the accumulation of amplicons in 'real time' during each cycle of the PCR amplification. By detection of amplicons during the early exponential phase of the PCR, this enables the quantification of gene (or transcript) numbers when these are proportional to the starting template concentration. When Q-PCR is coupled with a preceding reverse transcription reaction, it can be used to quantify gene expression (RT-Q-PCR). This review firstly addresses the theoretical and practical implementation of Q-PCR and RT-Q-PCR protocols in microbial ecology, highlighting key experimental considerations. Secondly, we review the applications of (RT)-Q-PCR analyses in environmental microbiology and evaluate the contribution and advances gained from such approaches. Finally, we conclude by offering future perspectives on the application of (RT)-Q-PCR in furthering understanding in microbial ecology, in particular, when coupled with other molecular approaches and more traditional investigations of environmental systems.

  5. Strategies for fitting nonlinear ecological models in R, AD Model Builder, and BUGS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolker, Benjamin M.; Gardner, Beth; Maunder, Mark; Berg, Casper W.; Brooks, Mollie; Comita, Liza; Crone, Elizabeth; Cubaynes, Sarah; Davies, Trevor; de Valpine, Perry; Ford, Jessica; Gimenez, Olivier; Kéry, Marc; Kim, Eun Jung; Lennert-Cody, Cleridy; Magunsson, Arni; Martell, Steve; Nash, John; Nielson, Anders; Regentz, Jim; Skaug, Hans; Zipkin, Elise

    2013-01-01

    1. Ecologists often use nonlinear fitting techniques to estimate the parameters of complex ecological models, with attendant frustration. This paper compares three open-source model fitting tools and discusses general strategies for defining and fitting models. 2. R is convenient and (relatively) easy to learn, AD Model Builder is fast and robust but comes with a steep learning curve, while BUGS provides the greatest flexibility at the price of speed. 3. Our model-fitting suggestions range from general cultural advice (where possible, use the tools and models that are most common in your subfield) to specific suggestions about how to change the mathematical description of models to make them more amenable to parameter estimation. 4. A companion web site (https://groups.nceas.ucsb.edu/nonlinear-modeling/projects) presents detailed examples of application of the three tools to a variety of typical ecological estimation problems; each example links both to a detailed project report and to full source code and data.

  6. A new quantitative model of ecological compensation based on ecosystem capital in Zhejiang Province, China*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Yan; Huang, Jing-feng; Peng, Dai-liang

    2009-01-01

    Ecological compensation is becoming one of key and multidiscipline issues in the field of resources and environmental management. Considering the change relation between gross domestic product (GDP) and ecological capital (EC) based on remote sensing estimation, we construct a new quantitative estimate model for ecological compensation, using county as study unit, and determine standard value so as to evaluate ecological compensation from 2001 to 2004 in Zhejiang Province, China. Spatial differences of the ecological compensation were significant among all the counties or districts. This model fills up the gap in the field of quantitative evaluation of regional ecological compensation and provides a feasible way to reconcile the conflicts among benefits in the economic, social, and ecological sectors. PMID:19353749

  7. Ecological models for regulatory risk assessments of pesticides: Developing a strategy for the future.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thorbek, P.; Forbes, V.; Heimbach, F.; Hommen, U.; Thulke, H.H.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2010-01-01

    Ecological Models for Regulatory Risk Assessments of Pesticides: Developing a Strategy for the Future provides a coherent, science-based view on ecological modeling for regulatory risk assessments. It discusses the benefits of modeling in the context of registrations, identifies the obstacles that

  8. An Ecological Inventory Approach to Developing Curricula for Rural Areas of Developing Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baine, David; Puhan, Biranchi; Puhan, Gautam; Puhan, Siba

    2000-05-01

    The paper describes a curriculum development pilot study in a rural village in India. The purpose of the study was to develop and test application of an ecological inventory approach to curriculum development integrating academic and functional skill training. Ecologically valid curricula teach the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required by students to function effectively in current and future environments (e.g., urban and/or rural, academic, vocational, domestic, community and recreational) in which the students perform. The discussion illustrates application of ecological inventories and describes several related data collection instruments and procedures. The paper also describes an Integrated Core Curriculum Structure (ICCS) as a guide for designing curricula based on ecological inventories. An example is provided of a practical Thematic Unit Plan derived from the ICCS and integrating a variety of functional and academic skills into a guide for instruction and evaluation. The discussion provides a clear insight into many of the problems faced by students, school leavers and graduates in rural areas of developing countries, both in their daily lives and as they plan for their futures.

  9. Novel two-tiered approach of ecological risk assessment for pesticide mixtures based on joint effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Dayong; Mao, Haichen; Lv, Huichao; Zheng, Yong; Peng, Conghu; Hou, Shaogang

    2018-02-01

    Ecological risk assessments for mixtures have attracted considerable attention. In this study, 38 pesticides in the real environment were taken as objects and their toxicities to different organisms from three trophic levels were employed to assess the ecological risk of the mixture. The first tier assessment was based on the CA effect and the obtained sum of risk quotients (SRQ species-CA ) were 3.06-9.22. The second tier assessment was based on non-CA effects and the calculated SRQ species-TU are 5.37-9.29 using joint effects (TU sum ) as modified coefficients, which is higher than SRQ species-CA and indicates that ignoring joint effects might run the risk of underestimating the actual impact of pesticide mixtures. Due to the influences of synergistic and antagonistic effects, risk contribution of components to mixture risks based on non-CA effects are different from those based on the CA effect. Moreover, it was found that the top 8 dominating components explained 95.5%-99.8% of mixture risks in this study. The dominating components are similar in the two tiers for a given species. Accordingly, a novel two-tiered approach was proposed to assess the ecological risks of mixtures based on joint effects. This study provides new insights for ecological risk assessments with the consideration of joint effects of components in the pesticide mixtures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Equation-free modeling unravels the behavior of complex ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Yurek, Simeon

    2015-01-01

    Ye et al. (1) address a critical problem confronting the management of natural ecosystems: How can we make forecasts of possible future changes in populations to help guide management actions? This problem is especially acute for marine and anadromous fisheries, where the large interannual fluctuations of populations, arising from complex nonlinear interactions among species and with varying environmental factors, have defied prediction over even short time scales. The empirical dynamic modeling (EDM) described in Ye et al.’s report, the latest in a series of papers by Sugihara and his colleagues, offers a promising quantitative approach to building models using time series to successfully project dynamics into the future. With the term “equation-free” in the article title, Ye et al. (1) are suggesting broader implications of their approach, considering the centrality of equations in modern science. From the 1700s on, nature has been increasingly described by mathematical equations, with differential or difference equations forming the basic framework for describing dynamics. The use of mathematical equations for ecological systems came much later, pioneered by Lotka and Volterra, who showed that population cycles might be described in terms of simple coupled nonlinear differential equations. It took decades for Lotka–Volterra-type models to become established, but the development of appropriate differential equations is now routine in modeling ecological dynamics. There is no question that the injection of mathematical equations, by forcing “clarity and precision into conjecture” (2), has led to increased understanding of population and community dynamics. As in science in general, in ecology equations are a key method of communication and of framing hypotheses. These equations serve as compact representations of an enormous amount of empirical data and can be analyzed by the powerful methods of mathematics.

  11. Ecological risk assessment of mixtures of radiological and chemical stressors: Methodology to implement an msPAF approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beaumelle, Léa; Della Vedova, Claire; Beaugelin-Seiller, Karine; Garnier-Laplace, Jacqueline; Gilbin, Rodolphe

    2017-01-01

    A main challenge in ecological risk assessment is to account for the impact of multiple stressors. Nuclear facilities can release both radiological and chemical stressors in the environment. This study is the first to apply species sensitivity distribution (SSD) combined with mixture models (concentration addition (CA) and independent action (IA)) to derive an integrated proxy of the ecological impact of combined radiological and chemical stressors: msPAF (multisubstance potentially affected fraction of species). The approach was tested on the routine liquid effluents from nuclear power plants that contain both radioactive and stable chemicals. The SSD of ionising radiation was significantly flatter than the SSD of 8 stable chemicals (namely Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, B, chlorides and sulphates). This difference in shape had strong implications for the selection of the appropriate mixture model: contrarily to the general expectations the IA model gave more conservative (higher msPAF) results than the CA model. The msPAF approach was further used to rank the relative potential impact of radiological versus chemical stressors. - Highlights: • msPAF methodology was applied on mixtures of radiological and chemical stressors. • A consistent set of chronic SSDs was collected for ionising radiation and 8 stable chemicals. • The SSD of ionising radiation had lower steepness than the SSD of stable chemicals. • This resulted in higher msPAF values based on the IA than on the CA mixture model. - The msPAF approach combining SSD and mixture models was used for the first time on mixtures of radiological and chemical stressors.

  12. An Ecological Approach to Understanding Assessment for Learning in Support of Student Writing Achievement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwen Cowie

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we report on a project conducted in a New Zealand primary school that aimed to enhance the writing achievement of primary school boys who were achieving just below the national standard for their age or level through the use of peer feedback and information and communication technologies (ICTs. The project involved a teacher collaborative inquiry approach where all seven teachers in the school and the school principal participated to achieve the project aim. We adopt an ecological approach as a lens to offer a holistic and comprehensive view of how peer assessment and use of ICTs can be facilitated to improve writing achievement. Data were collected through teacher interviews and written reflections of practice and student learning, teacher analysis of student work, team meeting notes, classroom observations, and student focus group interviews. Findings from the thematic analysis of textual data illustrate the potential of adopting an ecological approach to consider how teacher classroom practices are shaped by the school, community, and wider policy context. At the classroom level, our ecological analysis highlighted a productive synergy between commonplace writing pedagogy strategies and assessment for learning (AfL practices as part of teacher orchestration of an ensemble of interdependent routines, tools, and activities. Diversity, redundancy, and local adaptations of resources to provide multiple pathways and opportunities—social and material and digital—emerged as important in fostering peer assessment and ICT use in support of writing achievement. Importantly, these practices were made explicit and taken up across the school and in the parent community because of whole staff involvement in the project. The wider policy context allowed for and supported teachers developing more effective pedagogy to impact student learning outcomes. We propose that an ecological orientation offers the field a productive insight into the

  13. Ecological Assimilation of Land and Climate Observations - the EALCO model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, S.; Zhang, Y.; Trishchenko, A.

    2004-05-01

    Ecosystems are intrinsically dynamic and interact with climate at a highly integrated level. Climate variables are the main driving factors in controlling the ecosystem physical, physiological, and biogeochemical processes including energy balance, water balance, photosynthesis, respiration, and nutrient cycling. On the other hand, ecosystems function as an integrity and feedback on the climate system through their control on surface radiation balance, energy partitioning, and greenhouse gases exchange. To improve our capability in climate change impact assessment, a comprehensive ecosystem model is required to address the many interactions between climate change and ecosystems. In addition, different ecosystems can have very different responses to the climate change and its variation. To provide more scientific support for ecosystem impact assessment at national scale, it is imperative that ecosystem models have the capability of assimilating the large scale geospatial information including satellite observations, GIS datasets, and climate model outputs or reanalysis. The EALCO model (Ecological Assimilation of Land and Climate Observations) is developed for such purposes. EALCO includes the comprehensive interactions among ecosystem processes and climate, and assimilates a variety of remote sensing products and GIS database. It provides both national and local scale model outputs for ecosystem responses to climate change including radiation and energy balances, water conditions and hydrological cycles, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas exchange, and nutrient (N) cycling. These results form the foundation for the assessment of climate change impact on ecosystems, their services, and adaptation options. In this poster, the main algorithms for the radiation, energy, water, carbon, and nitrogen simulations were diagrammed. Sample input data layers at Canada national scale were illustrated. Model outputs including the Canada wide spatial distributions of net

  14. Linking Bayesian and agent-based models to simulate complex social-ecological systems in semi-arid regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aloah J Pope

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Interdependencies of ecologic, hydrologic, and social systems challenge traditional approaches to natural resource management in semi-arid regions. As a complex social-ecological system, water demands in the Sonoran Desert from agricultural and urban users often conflicts with water needs for its ecologically-significant riparian corridors. To explore this system, we developed an agent-based model to simulate complex feedbacks between human decisions and environmental conditions in the Rio Sonora Watershed. Cognitive mapping in conjunction with stakeholder participation produced a Bayesian model of conditional probabilities of local human decision-making processes resulting to changes in water demand. Probabilities created in the Bayesian model were incorporated into the agent-based model, so that each agent had a unique probability to make a positive decision based on its perceived environment at each point in time and space. By using a Bayesian approach, uncertainty in the human decision-making process could be incorporated. The spatially-explicit agent-based model simulated changes in depth-to-groundwater by well pumping based on an agent’s water demand. Changes in depth-to-groundwater feedback to influence agent behavior, as well as determine unique vegetation classes within the riparian corridor. Each vegetation class then provides varying stakeholder-defined quality values of ecosystem services. Using this modeling approach allowed us to examine effects on both the ecological and social system of semi-arid riparian corridors under various scenarios. The insight provided by the model contributes to understanding how specific interventions may alter the complex social-ecological system in the future.

  15. Calibration and analysis of genome-based models for microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louca, Stilianos; Doebeli, Michael

    2015-10-16

    Microbial ecosystem modeling is complicated by the large number of unknown parameters and the lack of appropriate calibration tools. Here we present a novel computational framework for modeling microbial ecosystems, which combines genome-based model construction with statistical analysis and calibration to experimental data. Using this framework, we examined the dynamics of a community of Escherichia coli strains that emerged in laboratory evolution experiments, during which an ancestral strain diversified into two coexisting ecotypes. We constructed a microbial community model comprising the ancestral and the evolved strains, which we calibrated using separate monoculture experiments. Simulations reproduced the successional dynamics in the evolution experiments, and pathway activation patterns observed in microarray transcript profiles. Our approach yielded detailed insights into the metabolic processes that drove bacterial diversification, involving acetate cross-feeding and competition for organic carbon and oxygen. Our framework provides a missing link towards a data-driven mechanistic microbial ecology.

  16. Practical guidelines for modelling post-entry spread in invasion ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hazel Parry

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In this article we review a variety of methods to enable understanding and modelling the spread of a pest or pathogen post-entry. Building upon our experience of multidisciplinary research in this area, we propose practical guidelines and a framework for model development, to help with the application of mathematical modelling in the field of invasion ecology for post-entry spread. We evaluate the pros and cons of a range of methods, including references to examples of the methods in practice. We also show how issues of data deficiency and uncertainty can be addressed. The aim is to provide guidance to the reader on the most suitable elements to include in a model of post-entry dispersal in a risk assessment, under differing circumstances. We identify both the strengths and weaknesses of different methods and their application as part of a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to biosecurity research.

  17. The role of ecological models in linking ecological risk assessment to ecosystem services in agroecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galic, N.G.; Schmolke, A.; Forbes, V.; Baveco, J.M.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2012-01-01

    Agricultural practices are essential for sustaining the human population, but at the same time they can directly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecological risk assessment (ERA) aims to estimate possible adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems and their parts. Current ERA practices,

  18. A new approach to homeostatic regulation: towards a unified view of physiological and ecological concepts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric L Meunier

    Full Text Available Stoichiometric homeostasis is the ability of an organism to keep its body chemical composition constant, despite varying inputs. Stoichiometric homeostasis therefore constrains the metabolic needs of consumers which in turn often feed on resources not matching these requirements. In a broader context, homeostasis also relates to the capacity of an organism to maintain other biological parameters (e.g. body temperature at a constant level over ambient environmental variations. Unfortunately, there are discrepancies in the literature and ecological and physiological definitions of homeostasis are disparate and partly contradictory. Here, we address this matter by reviewing the existing knowledge considering two distinct groups, regulators and conformers and, based on examples of thermo- and osmoregulation, we propose a new approach to stoichiometric homeostasis, unifying ecological and physiological concepts. We suggest a simple and precise graphical way to identify regulators and conformers: for any given biological parameter (e.g. nutrient stoichiometry, temperature, a sigmoidal relation between internal and external conditions can be observed for conformers while an inverse sigmoidal response is characteristic of regulators. This new definition and method, based on well-studied physiological mechanisms, unifies ecological and physiological approaches and is a useful tool for understanding how organisms are affected by and affect their environment.

  19. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation: 1995 revision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.; Loar, J.M.

    1995-09-01

    The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). It is the third such document prepared for this purpose. The first ecorisk strategy document described the ERA process and presented a tiered approach to ERAs appropriate to complex sites. The first revision was necessitated by the considerable progress that has been made by the parties to the Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) for the ORR in resolving specific issues relating to ERA as a result of a series of data quality objectives (DQOs) meetings. The tiered approach to ERAs as recommended in the first document was implemented, generic conceptual models were developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints was agreed upon. This revision is necessitated by comments from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Region IV and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) which clarified and modified the positions taken during the DQO process. In particular, support for the collection of data that would support ERAs for all OUs on the ORR have been withdrawn. Therefore, the work plan developed to fill the reservation-wide data needs identified in the DQO process has also been withdrawn, and portions that are still relevant have been incorporated into this document. The reader should be aware that this guidance is complex and lengthy because it attempts to cover all the reasonable contingencies that were considered to be potentially important to the FFA parties

  20. Modelling dendritic ecological networks in space: An integrated network perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erin E. Peterson; Jay M. Ver Hoef; Dan J. Isaak; Jeffrey A. Falke; Marie-Josee Fortin; Chris E. Jordan; Kristina McNyset; Pascal Monestiez; Aaron S. Ruesch; Aritra Sengupta; Nicholas Som; E. Ashley Steel; David M. Theobald; Christian E. Torgersen; Seth J. Wenger

    2013-01-01

    Dendritic ecological networks (DENs) are a unique form of ecological networks that exhibit a dendritic network topology (e.g. stream and cave networks or plant architecture). DENs have a dual spatial representation; as points within the network and as points in geographical space. Consequently, some analytical methods used to quantify relationships in other types of...

  1. Ecological modeling for forest management in the Shawnee National Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard G. Thurau; J.F. Fralish; S. Hupe; B. Fitch; A.D. Carver

    2008-01-01

    Land managers of the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois are challenged to meet the needs of a diverse populace of stakeholders. By classifying National Forest holdings into management units, U.S. Forest Service personnel can spatially allocate resources and services to meet local management objectives. Ecological Classification Systems predict ecological site...

  2. Assessing the accuracy and stability of variable selection methods for random forest modeling in ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Eric W; Hill, Ryan A; Leibowitz, Scott G; Olsen, Anthony R; Thornbrugh, Darren J; Weber, Marc H

    2017-07-01

    Random forest (RF) modeling has emerged as an important statistical learning method in ecology due to its exceptional predictive performance. However, for large and complex ecological data sets, there is limited guidance on variable selection methods for RF modeling. Typically, either a preselected set of predictor variables are used or stepwise procedures are employed which iteratively remove variables according to their importance measures. This paper investigates the application of variable selection methods to RF models for predicting probable biological stream condition. Our motivating data set consists of the good/poor condition of n = 1365 stream survey sites from the 2008/2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment, and a large set (p = 212) of landscape features from the StreamCat data set as potential predictors. We compare two types of RF models: a full variable set model with all 212 predictors and a reduced variable set model selected using a backward elimination approach. We assess model accuracy using RF's internal out-of-bag estimate, and a cross-validation procedure with validation folds external to the variable selection process. We also assess the stability of the spatial predictions generated by the RF models to changes in the number of predictors and argue that model selection needs to consider both accuracy and stability. The results suggest that RF modeling is robust to the inclusion of many variables of moderate to low importance. We found no substantial improvement in cross-validated accuracy as a result of variable reduction. Moreover, the backward elimination procedure tended to select too few variables and exhibited numerous issues such as upwardly biased out-of-bag accuracy estimates and instabilities in the spatial predictions. We use simulations to further support and generalize results from the analysis of real data. A main purpose of this work is to elucidate issues of model selection bias and instability to ecologists interested in

  3. Evaluating a Bayesian approach to improve accuracy of individual photographic identification methods using ecological distribution data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Stafford

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Photographic identification of individual organisms can be possible from natural body markings. Data from photo-ID can be used to estimate important ecological and conservation metrics such as population sizes, home ranges or territories. However, poor quality photographs or less well-studied individuals can result in a non-unique ID, potentially confounding several similar looking individuals. Here we present a Bayesian approach that uses known data about previous sightings of individuals at specific sites as priors to help assess the problems of obtaining a non-unique ID. Using a simulation of individuals with different confidence of correct ID we evaluate the accuracy of Bayesian modified (posterior probabilities. However, in most cases, the accuracy of identification decreases. Although this technique is unsuccessful, it does demonstrate the importance of computer simulations in testing such hypotheses in ecology.

  4. Multiple Stressors and Ecological Complexity Require A New Approach to Coral Reef Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linwood Hagan Pendleton

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification, climate change, and other environmental stressors threaten coral reef ecosystems and the people who depend upon them. New science reveals that these multiple stressors interact and may affect a multitude of physiological and ecological processes in complex ways. The interaction of multiple stressors and ecological complexity may mean that the negative effects on coral reef ecosystems will happen sooner and be more severe than previously thought. Yet, most research on the effects of global change on coral reefs focus on one or few stressors and pathways or outcomes (e.g. bleaching. Based on a critical review of the literature, we call for a regionally targeted strategy of mesocosm-level research that addresses this complexity and provides more realistic projections about coral reef impacts in the face of global environmental change. We believe similar approaches are needed for other ecosystems that face global environmental change.

  5. An Improved Approach for Forecasting Ecological Impacts from Future Drilling in Unconventional Shale Oil and Gas Plays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolaver, Brad D; Pierre, Jon Paul; Ikonnikova, Svetlana A; Andrews, John R; McDaid, Guinevere; Ryberg, Wade A; Hibbitts, Toby J; Duran, Charles M; Labay, Benjamin J; LaDuc, Travis J

    2018-04-13

    Directional well drilling and hydraulic fracturing has enabled energy production from previously inaccessible resources, but caused vegetation conversion and landscape fragmentation, often in relatively undisturbed habitats. We improve forecasts of future ecological impacts from unconventional oil and gas play developments using a new, more spatially-explicit approach. We applied an energy production outlook model, which used geologic and economic data from thousands of wells and three oil price scenarios, to map future drilling patterns and evaluate the spatial distribution of vegetation conversion and habitat impacts. We forecast where future well pad construction may be most intense, illustrating with an example from the Eagle Ford Shale Play of Texas. We also illustrate the ecological utility of this approach using the Spot-tailed Earless Lizard (Holbrookia lacerata) as the focal species, which historically occupied much of the Eagle Ford and awaits a federal decision for possible Endangered Species Act protection. We found that ~17,000-45,500 wells would be drilled 2017‒2045 resulting in vegetation conversion of ~26,485-70,623 ha (0.73-1.96% of pre-development vegetation), depending on price scenario ($40-$80/barrel). Grasslands and row crop habitats were most affected (2.30 and 2.82% areal vegetation reduction). Our approach improves forecasts of where and to what extent future energy development in unconventional plays may change land-use and ecosystem services, enabling natural resource managers to anticipate and direct on-the-ground conservation actions to places where they will most effectively mitigate ecological impacts of well pads and associated infrastructure.

  6. The dynamic of urban and protected areas at Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve, Riau, Indonesia: a social ecology approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwondo; Darmadi; Yunus, M.

    2018-01-01

    The development process has resulted in deforestation. A comprehensive study is needed to obtain an objective solution by integrating the ecological dimension and human dimension. This study was conducted within Balai Raja Wildlife Reserve (BRWR), Bengkalis Regency, Riau Province, Indonesia. We used the social-ecological systems (SES) approach based on local characteristics, categorized into ecological status, social status and actors. Each factoris ranked using Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS).BRWR sustainability levels are in moderate condition. The ecological dimension is in a less sustainable state, with leverage: (1) forest conversion; (2) local ecological knowledge; (3) high conservation value. The social dimension is in a less sustainable state, with leverage: (1) community empowerment; (2) social conflict; (3) participation in landscape management. Dimensions actors are on a fairly sustainable status, with leverage: (1) institutional interaction; (2) stakeholder’s commitment; (3) law enforcement. We recommend strengthening community empowerment, local ecological knowledge, interaction, and stakeholder commitment

  7. Increasing the reliability of ecological models using modern software engineering techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert M. Scheller; Brian R. Sturtevant; Eric J. Gustafson; Brendan C. Ward; David J. Mladenoff

    2009-01-01

    Modern software development techniques are largely unknown to ecologists. Typically, ecological models and other software tools are developed for limited research purposes, and additional capabilities are added later, usually in an ad hoc manner. Modern software engineering techniques can substantially increase scientific rigor and confidence in ecological models and...

  8. Life-time contributions of Joop Ringelberg to new approaches in aquatic ecology, father of modern aquatic ecology in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flik, B.J.G.; Daan, N.; Meulemans, J.; Gulati, R.D.

    1997-01-01

    Two studies of complicated ecological phenomena in Lake Maarsseveen (The Netherlands) are presented to illustrate that a combination of field and laboratory analysis might be a successful approach. In the first one, the yearly varying ratio of population abundance of two diatoms, Asterionella

  9. Ecological models in support of regulatory risk assessments of pesticides: developing a strategy for the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Valery E; Hommen, Udo; Thorbek, Pernille; Heimbach, Fred; Van den Brink, Paul J; Wogram, Jörn; Thulke, Hans-Hermann; Grimm, Volker

    2009-01-01

    This brief communication reports on the main findings of the LEMTOX workshop, held from 9 to 12 September 2007, at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Leipzig, Germany. The workshop brought together a diverse group of stakeholders from academia, regulatory authorities, contract research organizations, and industry, representing Europe, the United States, and Asia, to discuss the role of ecological modeling in risk assessments of pesticides, particularly under the European regulatory framework. The following questions were addressed: What are the potential benefits of using ecological models in pesticide registration and risk assessment? What obstacles prevent ecological modeling from being used routinely in regulatory submissions? What actions are needed to overcome the identified obstacles? What recommendations should be made to ensure good modeling practice in this context? The workshop focused exclusively on population models, and discussion was focused on those categories of population models that link effects on individuals (e.g., survival, growth, reproduction, behavior) to effects on population dynamics. The workshop participants concluded that the overall benefits of ecological modeling are that it could bring more ecology into ecological risk assessment, and it could provide an excellent tool for exploring the importance of, and interactions among, ecological complexities. However, there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome before such models will receive wide acceptance for pesticide risk assessment, despite having been used extensively in other contexts (e.g., conservation biology). The need for guidance on Good Modeling Practice (on model development, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, documentation, and communication), as well as the need for case studies that can be used to explore the added value of ecological models for risk assessment, were identified as top priorities. Assessing recovery potential of exposed

  10. 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

  11. School Food Environment Promotion Program: Applying the Socio-ecological Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Bakhtari Aghdam

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Despite of healthy nutrition recommendations have been offered in recent decades, researches show an increasing rate of unhealthy junk food consumption among primary school children. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of health promotion intervention on the school food buffets and the changes in nutritional behaviors of the students. Materials and Methods In this Quasi-interventional study, eight schools agreed to participate in Tabriz city, Iran. The schools were randomly selected and divided into an intervention and a control group, and a pretest was given to both groups. A four weeks interventional program was conducted in eight randomly selected schools of the city based on the socio-ecological model. A check list was designed for the assessment of food items available at the schools’ buffets, a 60-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ was used to assess the rate of food consumption and energy intake. Results evaluation and practice were analyzed using the Wilcoxon, Mann Whitney-U and Chi-square tests. Results The findings revealed reduction in the intervention group between before and after intervention with regard the range of junk food consumption, except for the sweets consumption. The number of junk foods provided in the schools buffets reduced in the intervention group. After the intervention on the intervention group significant decreases were found in the intake of energy, fat and saturated fatty acids compared to the control group (p = 0.00.   Conclusion In order to design effective school food environment promotion programs, school healthcare providers should consider multifaceted approaches.

  12. Strategies for fitting nonlinear ecological models in R, AD Model Builder, and BUGS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolker, B.M.; Gardner, B.; Maunder, M.

    2013-01-01

    Ecologists often use nonlinear fitting techniques to estimate the parameters of complex ecological models, with attendant frustration. This paper compares three open-source model fitting tools and discusses general strategies for defining and fitting models. R is convenient and (relatively) easy...... to learn, AD Model Builder is fast and robust but comes with a steep learning curve, while BUGS provides the greatest flexibility at the price of speed. Our model-fitting suggestions range from general cultural advice (where possible, use the tools and models that are most common in your subfield...

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. Rice production model based on the concept of ecological footprint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faiz, S. A.; Wicaksono, A. D.; Dinanti, D.

    2017-06-01

    Pursuant to what had been stated in Region Spatial Planning (RTRW) of Malang Regency for period 2010-2030, Malang Regency was considered as the center of agricultural development, including districts bordered with Malang City. To protect the region functioning as the provider of rice production, then the policy of sustainable food farming-land (LP2B) was made which its implementation aims to protect rice-land. In the existing condition, LP2B system was not maximally executed, and it caused a limited extend of rice-land to deliver rice production output. One cause related with the development of settlements and industries due to the effect of Malang City that converted land-function. Location of research focused on 30 villages with direct border with Malang City. Review was conducted to develop a model of relation between farming production output and ecological footprint variables. These variables include rice-land area (X1), built land percentage (X2), and number of farmers (X3). Analysis technique was regression. Result of regression indicated that the model of rice production output Y=-207,983 + 10.246X1. Rice-land area (X1) was the most influential independent variable. It was concluded that of villages directly bordered with Malang City, there were 11 villages with higher production potential because their rice production yield was more than 1,000 tons/year, while 12 villages were threatened with low production output because its rice production yield only attained 500 tons/year. Based on the model and the spatial direction of RTRW, it can be said that the direction for the farming development policy must be redesigned to maintain rice-land area on the regions on which agricultural activity was still dominant. Because rice-land area was the most influential factor to farming production. Therefore, the wider the rice-land is, the higher rice production output is on each village.

  16. Evaporator modeling - A hybrid approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ding Xudong; Cai Wenjian; Jia Lei; Wen Changyun

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, a hybrid modeling approach is proposed to model two-phase flow evaporators. The main procedures for hybrid modeling includes: (1) Based on the energy and material balance, and thermodynamic principles to formulate the process fundamental governing equations; (2) Select input/output (I/O) variables responsible to the system performance which can be measured and controlled; (3) Represent those variables existing in the original equations but are not measurable as simple functions of selected I/Os or constants; (4) Obtaining a single equation which can correlate system inputs and outputs; and (5) Identify unknown parameters by linear or nonlinear least-squares methods. The method takes advantages of both physical and empirical modeling approaches and can accurately predict performance in wide operating range and in real-time, which can significantly reduce the computational burden and increase the prediction accuracy. The model is verified with the experimental data taken from a testing system. The testing results show that the proposed model can predict accurately the performance of the real-time operating evaporator with the maximum error of ±8%. The developed models will have wide applications in operational optimization, performance assessment, fault detection and diagnosis

  17. Using ecological niche modeling to determine avian richness hotspots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mirzaei

    2017-04-01

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

  18. OMWS: A Web Service Interface for Ecological Niche Modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato De Giovanni

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Ecological niche modelling (ENM experiments often involve a high number of tasks to be performed. Such tasks may consume a significant amount of computing resources and take a long time to complete, especially when using personal computers. OMWS is a Web service interface that allows more powerful computing back-ends to be remotely exploited by other applications to carry out ENM tasks. Its latest version includes a new operation that can be used to specify complex workflows in a single request, adding the possibility of using workflow management systems on parallel computing back-end. In this paper we describe the OMWS protocol and compare its most recent version with the previous one by running the same ENM experiment using two functionally equivalent clients, each designed for one of the OMWS interface versions. Different back-end configurations were used to investigate how the performance scales for each protocol version when more processing power is made available. Results show that the new version outperforms (in a factor of 2 the previous one when more computing resources are used.

  19. Modeling the ecological impacts of Flaming Gorge Dam operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin, S.C.L.; LaGory, K.E.; Hayse, J.W.; Hlohowskyj, I.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.A.; Cho, H.E.

    1996-01-01

    Hydropower operations at Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River in Utah, US, can produce rapid downstream changes in flow and stage during a day. These changes can, in turn, affect ecological resources below the dam, including riparian vegetation, trout, and endangered fish. Four hydropower operational scenarios featuring varying degrees of hydropower-induced flow fluctuation were evaluated with hydrologic models and multispectral aerial videography of the river. Year-round high fluctuations would support the least amount of stable spawning habitat for trout and nursery habitat for endangered fish, and would have the greatest potential for reducing growth and over winter survival of fish. Seasonally, adjusted moderate fluctuation and seasonally adjusted steady flow scenarios could increase food production and over winter survival and would provide the greatest amount of spawning and nursery habitat for fish. The year-round high fluctuation, seasonally adjusted high fluctuation, and seasonally adjusted moderate fluctuation scenarios would result in a 5% decrease in upper riparian zone habitat. the seasonally adjusted steady flow scenario would result in an 8% increase in upper riparian zone habitat. Lower riparian zone habitat would increase by about 17% for year-round and seasonally adjusted high fluctuating flow scenarios but decrease by about 24% and 69% for seasonally adjusted moderate fluctuating and steady flow scenarios, respectively

  20. Candidate innate immune system gene expression in the ecological model Daphnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decaestecker, Ellen; Labbé, Pierrick; Ellegaard, Kirsten; Allen, Judith E; Little, Tom J

    2011-10-01

    The last ten years have witnessed increasing interest in host-pathogen interactions involving invertebrate hosts. The invertebrate innate immune system is now relatively well characterised, but in a limited range of genetic model organisms and under a limited number of conditions. Immune systems have been little studied under real-world scenarios of environmental variation and parasitism. Thus, we have investigated expression of candidate innate immune system genes in the water flea Daphnia, a model organism for ecological genetics, and whose capacity for clonal reproduction facilitates an exceptionally rigorous control of exposure dose or the study of responses at many time points. A unique characteristic of the particular Daphnia clones and pathogen strain combinations used presently is that they have been shown to be involved in specific host-pathogen coevolutionary interactions in the wild. We choose five genes, which are strong candidates to be involved in Daphnia-pathogen interactions, given that they have been shown to code for immune effectors in related organisms. Differential expression of these genes was quantified by qRT-PCR following exposure to the bacterial pathogen Pasteuria ramosa. Constitutive expression levels differed between host genotypes, and some genes appeared to show correlated expression. However, none of the genes appeared to show a major modification of expression level in response to Pasteuria exposure. By applying knowledge from related genetic model organisms (e.g. Drosophila) to models for the study of evolutionary ecology and coevolution (i.e. Daphnia), the candidate gene approach is temptingly efficient. However, our results show that detection of only weak patterns is likely if one chooses target genes for study based on previously identified genome sequences by comparison to homologues from other related organisms. Future work on the Daphnia-Pasteuria system will need to balance a candidate gene approach with more comprehensive

  1. An Integrated Framework for Process-Driven Model Construction in Disease Ecology and Animal Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Mancy

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Process models that focus on explicitly representing biological mechanisms are increasingly important in disease ecology and animal health research. However, the large number of process modelling approaches makes it difficult to decide which is most appropriate for a given disease system and research question. Here, we discuss different motivations for using process models and present an integrated conceptual analysis that can be used to guide the construction of infectious disease process models and comparisons between them. Our presentation complements existing work by clarifying the major differences between modelling approaches and their relationship with the biological characteristics of the epidemiological system. We first discuss distinct motivations for using process models in epidemiological research, identifying the key steps in model design and use associated with each. We then present a conceptual framework for guiding model construction and comparison, organised according to key aspects of epidemiological systems. Specifically, we discuss the number and type of disease states, whether to focus on individual hosts (e.g., cows or groups of hosts (e.g., herds or farms, how space or host connectivity affect disease transmission, whether demographic and epidemiological processes are periodic or can occur at any time, and the extent to which stochasticity is important. We use foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis in cattle to illustrate our discussion and support explanations of cases in which different models are used to address similar problems. The framework should help those constructing models to structure their approach to modelling decisions and facilitate comparisons between models in the literature.

  2. Green Buildings in Denmark – From radical ecology to consumer oriented market approaches?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Ole; Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten

    2004-01-01

    Gram-Hanssen and Jensen explore the development of green buildings in Denmark over the last three decades, identifying differences in design philosophies and techniques. They look at four approaches to green buildings: as energy-saving devices, as ecological grassroots alternatives, as subsidised...... large-scale urban projects, and as consumer products in a market approach. Using detailed case descriptions, the chapter asks to what extent it is possible to define some buildings or some approaches as more 'green' than others. The authors suggest that in order to more fully understand sustainable...... buildings we must account for the social structuring of both the identification of environmental problems and their resulting embodiment in built form....

  3. Regional scale ecological risk assessment: using the relative risk model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Landis, Wayne G

    2005-01-01

    ...) in the performance of regional-scale ecological risk assessments. The initial chapters present the methodology and the critical nature of the interaction between risk assessors and decision makers...

  4. An ecosystem services approach to the ecological effects of salvage logging: valuation of seed dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leverkus, Alexandro B; Castro, Jorge

    2017-06-01

    Forest disturbances diminish ecosystem services and boost disservices. Because post-disturbance management intends to recover the greatest possible value, selling timber often prevails over other considerations. Ecological research has shown diverse effects of salvage logging, yet such research has focused on the biophysical component of post-disturbance ecosystems and lacks the link with human well-being. Here we bridge that gap under the ecosystem services framework by assessing the impact of post-fire management on a non-timber value. By employing the replacement cost method, we calculated the value of the post-fire natural regeneration of Holm oaks in southern Spain under three post-fire management options by considering the cost of planting instead. The value of this ecosystem service in non-intervention areas doubled that of salvage-logged stands due to the preference for standing dead trees by the main seed disperser. Still, most of the value resulted from the resprouting capacity of oaks. The value of this and other ecosystem services should be added to traditional cost/benefit analyses of post-disturbance management. We thus call for a more holistic approach to salvage logging research, one that explicitly links ecological processes with human well-being through ecosystem services, to better inform decision-makers on the outcomes of post-disturbance management. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  5. The development of an ecological approach to manage the pollution risk from highway runoff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crabtree, B; Dempsey, P; Johnson, I; Whitehead, M

    2009-01-01

    In the UK, the Highways Agency is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England. One focus of the Highways Agency's ongoing research into the nature and impact of highway runoff is aimed at ensuring that the Highways Agency will meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. A research programme, undertaken in partnership with the Environment Agency, is in progress to develop a better understanding of pollutants in highway runoff and their ecological impact. The paper presents the outcome of a study to: (1) monitor pollutants in highway runoff under different climate and traffic conditions; (2) develop standards to assess potential ecological risks from soluble pollutants in highway runoff; and (3) develop a model to predict pollutant concentrations in highway runoff. The model has been embedded in a design tool incorporating risk assessment procedures and receiving water standards for soluble and insoluble pollutants--the latter has been developed elsewhere in another project within the research programme. The design tool will be used to support improved guidance on where, and to what level, treatment of runoff is required for highway designers to manage the risk of ecological impact from highway runoff.

  6. Violence in context: Embracing an ecological approach to violent media exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glackin, Erin; Gray, Sarah A O

    2016-12-01

    This commentary expands on Anderson, Bushman, Donnerstein, Hummer, and Warburton's agenda for minimizing the impacts of violent media exposure (VME) on youth aggression. We argue that in order to effectively intervene in the development of aggression and other maladaptive traits, researchers and policymakers should take an ecological, developmental psychopathology approach to understanding children's exposure to VME within developmental, relational, environmental, and cultural contexts. Such a framework holds the most promise for identifying at-risk groups, establishing targets of intervention, and testing mechanisms of change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Sánchez-Cordero

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Coupled economic-ecological models for ecosystem-based fishery management: Exploration of trade-offs between model complexity and management needs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thunberg, Eric; Holland, Dan; Nielsen, J. Rasmus

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem based fishery management has moved beyond rhetorical statements calling for a more holistic approach to resource management, to implementing decisions on resource use that are compatible with goals of maintaining ecosystem health and resilience. Coupled economic-ecological models...... are a primary tool for informing these decisions. Recognizing the importance of these models, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) formed a Study Group on Integration of Economics, Stock Assessment and Fisheries Management (SGIMM) to explore alternative modelling approaches...... and ecological systems are inherently complex, models are abstractions of these systems incorporating varying levels of complexity depending on available data and the management issues to be addressed. The objective of this special session was to assess the pros and cons of increasing model complexity...

  9. Biosemiotics and ecological monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2001-01-01

    of the qualitative and relational aspects that can only be grasped by considering the semiotic networks operative in complex ecological and cultural systems. In this paper, it is suggested that a biosemiotic approach to ecology may prove useful for the modelling process, which in turn will allow the construction...... of meaningful monitoring systems. It is also contended that a biosemiotic approach may also serve to better integrate our understanding and monitoring of ecosystems into the cultural process of searching for (human) sustainability....

  10. Applications of contaminant fate and bioaccumulation models in assessing ecological risks of chemicals: A case study for gasoline hydrocarbons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacLeod, Matthew; McKone, Thomas E.; Foster, Karen L.; Maddalena, Randy L.; Parkerton, Thomas F.; Mackay, Don

    2004-02-01

    Mass balance models of chemical fate and transport can be applied in ecological risk assessments for quantitative estimation of concentrations in air, water, soil and sediment. These concentrations can, in turn, be used to estimate organism exposures and ultimately internal tissue concentrations that can be compared to mode-of-action-based critical body residues that correspond to toxic effects. From this comparison, risks to the exposed organism can be evaluated. To illustrate the practical utility of fate models in ecological risk assessments of commercial products, the EQC model and a simple screening level biouptake model including three organisms, (a bird, a mammal and a fish) is applied to gasoline. In this analysis, gasoline is divided into 24 components or ''blocks'' with similar environmental fate properties that are assumed to elicit ecotoxicity via a narcotic mode of action. Results demonstrate that differences in chemical properties and mode of entry into the environment lead to profound differences in the efficiency of transport from emission to target biota. We discuss the implications of these results and insights gained into the regional fate and ecological risks associated with gasoline. This approach is particularly suitable for assessing mixtures of components that have similar modes of action. We conclude that the model-based methodologies presented are widely applicable for screening level ecological risk assessments that support effective chemicals management.

  11. A socio-ecological model for unintentional injuries in minorities: a case study of Arab Israeli children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron-Epel, Orna; Ivancovsky, Michal

    2015-01-01

    Minority children have often been reported to be at high risk of injury. The higher levels of reported unintentional injuries among Arab children compared to Jewish children in Israel are mainly due to pedestrian traffic crashes, falls and burns. Arab children aged 1-4 years have a higher relative risk of injury compared to Jews. We suggest a socio-ecological model to explain these differences in risk based on individual, interpersonal, community and societal ecological levels of society. Each level is divided into social and physical environments and behaviour. Two main factors may contribute to the high rates of injury among Arab children: the quality of the physical environment in which the children live and play and the levels of child supervision. Socio-economic status may contribute to these differences at all ecological levels of society. This approach could be useful for researchers and practitioners to analyse similar issues in other communities and help develop appropriate interventions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  13. Inhabiting the Delta: A Landscape Approach to Transformative Socio-Ecological Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Milligan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available doi: https://doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2017v15iss3art3Current legislation and plans for the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta call for large-scale restoration of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, which will require significant changes in waterways, land uses, and cultural patterns. These re-made landscapes will be subject to a variety of new human uses, which Delta planning and adaptive management literature has yet to adequately consider. Failing to account for human uses and evolving place values can lead to diminished performance and public support for Delta restoration efforts. Our empirical study examined restored and naturalized Delta landscapes using an integrative landscape approach that seeks to reconcile multiple goals and land-use agendas that span ecological, social, economic, and political domains. The research design consisted of six overlapping methods that included a planning, policy, and law review specific to the Delta; surveys and interviews with approximately 100 land managers, scientists, land-owners, law-enforcement personnel, agency representatives, and Delta residents; nine case studies of restored and naturalized delta landscapes; GIS mapping; and extensive field work. Findings derived from the synthesis of these methods show that human uses of the Delta’s re-wilded landscapes are diverse and pervasive. Given the infrastructural and urbanized context of the region, these environments are subject to multiple and sometimes conflicting uses, perceptions, and place values. Though these myriad uses cannot be fully predicted or controlled (nor should they be, findings showed that more proactive and inclusive planning for human uses can encourage or discourage particular uses while also building constituency, support, and active engagement in ecological restoration efforts. We conclude that reconciling human uses with ecological recovery in the Delta will require a more localized, multi-functional, and creative approach to

  14. Double coupling: modeling subjectivity and asymmetric organization in social-ecological systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Manuel-Navarrete

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Social-ecological organization is a multidimensional phenomenon that combines material and symbolic processes. However, the coupling between social and ecological subsystem is often conceptualized as purely material, thus reducing the symbolic dimension to its behavioral and actionable expressions. In this paper I conceptualize social-ecological systems as doubly coupled. On the one hand, material expressions of socio-cultural processes affect and are affected by ecological dynamics. On the other hand, coupled social-ecological material dynamics are concurrently coupled with subjective dynamics via coding, decoding, personal experience, and human agency. This second coupling operates across two organizationally heterogeneous dimensions: material and symbolic. Although resilience thinking builds on the recognition of organizational asymmetry between living and nonliving systems, it has overlooked the equivalent asymmetry between ecological and socio-cultural subsystems. Three guiding concepts are proposed to formalize double coupling. The first one, social-ecological asymmetry, expands on past seminal work on ecological self-organization to incorporate reflexivity and subjectivity in social-ecological modeling. Organizational asymmetry is based in the distinction between social rules, which are symbolically produced and changed through human agents' reflexivity and purpose, and biophysical rules, which are determined by functional relations between ecological components. The second guiding concept, conscious power, brings to the fore human agents' distinctive capacity to produce our own subjective identity and the consequences of this capacity for social-ecological organization. The third concept, congruence between subjective and objective dynamics, redefines sustainability as contingent on congruent relations between material and symbolic processes. Social-ecological theories and analyses based on these three guiding concepts would support the

  15. Violent Victimization and Perpetration during Adolescence: Developmental Stage Dependent Ecological Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matjasko, Jennifer L.; Needham, Belinda L.; Grunden, Leslie N.; Farb, Amy Feldman

    2010-01-01

    Using a variant of the ecological-transactional model and developmental theories of delinquency on a nationally representative sample of adolescents, the current study explored the ecological predictors of violent victimization, perpetration, and both for three different developmental stages during adolescence. We examined the relative influence…

  16. Informative-Consulting Model for Ecological Estimation of Influence of NPP on Surrounding Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vlasenko, N.I.; Vlasova, E.V.; Korotenko, M.N.; Pyshnaya, D.V.

    2006-01-01

    In the NAEK 'Energoatom' the development of informative-consulting model (ICM) for ecological estimation of influence of NPP on surrounding an environment has began. In ICM the use of modern program complexes is foreseen that will allow to analyses data of the radio ecological monitoring in the real-time mode and promote the validity of administrative decisions

  17. Multi-Attribute Modelling of Economic and Ecological Impacts of Cropping Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bohanec, M.; Dzeroski, S.; Znidarsic, M.; Messéan, A.; Scatasta, S.; Wesseler, J.H.H.

    2004-01-01

    Modelling of economic and ecological impacts of genetically modified crops is a demanding task. We present some preliminary attempts made for the purpose of the ECOGEN project "Soil ecological and economic evaluation of genetically modified crops". One of the goals of the project is to develop a

  18. Improving communication and validation of ecological models : a case study on the dispersal of aquatic macroinvertebrates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Augusiak, Jacqueline A.

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, ecological effect models have been put forward as tools for supporting environmental decision-making. Often they are the only way to take the relevant spatial and temporal scales and the multitude of processes characteristic to ecological systems into account. Particularly for

  19. A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Domains of Applicability of Ecological Models and its Implementation in the Ecological Production Function Library

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of computational ecological models to inform environmental management and policy has proliferated in the past 25 years. These models have become essential tools as linkages and feedbacks between human actions and ecological responses can be complex, and as funds for sampl...

  20. A protocol for classifying ecologically relevant marine zones, a statistical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verfaillie, Els; Degraer, Steven; Schelfaut, Kristien; Willems, Wouter; Van Lancker, Vera

    2009-06-01

    Mapping ecologically relevant zones in the marine environment has become increasingly important. Biological data are however often scarce and alternatives are being sought in optimal classifications of abiotic variables. The concept of 'marine landscapes' is based on a hierarchical classification of geological, hydrographic and other physical data. This approach is however subject to many assumptions and subjective decisions. An objective protocol for zonation is being proposed here where abiotic variables are subjected to a statistical approach, using principal components analysis (PCA) and a cluster analysis. The optimal number of clusters (or zones) is being defined using the Calinski-Harabasz criterion. The methodology has been applied on datasets of the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS), a shallow sandy shelf environment with a sandbank-swale topography. The BPNS was classified into 8 zones that represent well the natural variability of the seafloor. The internal cluster consistency was validated with a split-run procedure, with more than 99% correspondence between the validation and the original dataset. The ecological relevance of 6 out of the 8 zones was demonstrated, using indicator species analysis. The proposed protocol, as exemplified for the BPNS, can easily be applied to other areas and provides a strong knowledge basis for environmental protection and management of the marine environment. A SWOT-analysis, showing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the protocol was performed.

  1. Energetic Sustainability and the Environment: A Transdisciplinary, Economic–Ecological Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan G. Pop

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper combines original concepts about eco-energetic systems, in a transdisciplinary sustainable context. Firstly, it introduces the concept of M.E.N. (Mega-Eco-Nega-Watt, the eco-energetic paradigm based on three different but complementary ecological economic spaces: the Megawatt as needed energy, the Ecowatt as ecological energy, and the Negawatt as preserved energy. The paper also deals with the renewable energies and technologies in the context of electrical energy production. Secondly, in the context of the M.E.N. eco-energetic paradigm, comprehensive definitions are given about eco-energetic systems and for pollution. Thirdly, the paper introduces a new formula for the eco-energetic efficiency which correlates the energetic efficiency of the system and the necessary newly defined ecological coefficient. The proposed formula for eco-energetic efficiency enables an interesting form of relating to different situations in which the input energy, output energy, lost energy, and externalities involved in an energetic process, interact to produce energy in a specific energetic system, in connection with the circular resilient economy model. Finally, the paper presents an original energetic diagram to explain different channels to produce electricity in a resilience regime, with high eco-energetic efficiency from primary external energetic sources (gravitation and solar sources, fuels (classical and radioactive, internal energetic sources (geothermal, volcanoes and other kind of sources. Regardless the kind of energetic sources used to obtain electricity, the entire process should be sustainable in what concerns the transdisciplinary integration of the different representative spheres as energy, socio-economy, and ecology (environment.

  2. A hierarchical approach to ecological assessment of contaminated soils at Aberdeen Proving Ground, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuperman, R.G.

    1995-12-31

    Despite the expansion of environmental toxicology studies over the past decade, soil ecosystems have largely been ignored in ecotoxicological studies in the United States. The objective of this project was to develop and test the efficacy of a comprehensive methodology for assessing ecological impacts of soil contamination. A hierarchical approach that integrates biotic parameters and ecosystem processes was used to give insight into the mechanisms that lead to alterations in the structure and function of soil ecosystems in contaminated areas. This approach involved (1) a thorough survey of the soil biota to determine community structure, (2) laboratory and field tests on critical ecosystem processes, (3) toxicity trials, and (4) the use of spatial analyses to provide input to the decision-making, process. This methodology appears to, offer an efficient and potentially cost-saving tool for remedial investigations of contaminated sites.

  3. Considerations in representing human individuals in social ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfredo, Michael J.; Teel, Tara L.; Gavin, Michael C.; Fulton, David C.

    2017-01-01

    In this chapter we focus on how to integrate the human individual into social-ecological systems analysis, and how to improve research on individual thought and action regarding the environment by locating it within the broader social-ecological context. We discuss three key questions as considerations for future research: (1) is human thought conceptualized as a dynamic and adaptive process, (2) is the individual placed in a multi-level context (including within-person levels, person-group interactions, and institutional and structural factors), and (3) is human thought seen as mutually constructed with the social and natural environment. Increased emphasis on the individual will be essential if we are to understand agency, innovation, and adaptation in social-ecological systems.

  4. Setting conservation management thresholds using a novel participatory modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addison, P F E; de Bie, K; Rumpff, L

    2015-10-01

    We devised a participatory modeling approach for setting management thresholds that show when management intervention is required to address undesirable ecosystem changes. This approach was designed to be used when management thresholds: must be set for environmental indicators in the face of multiple competing objectives; need to incorporate scientific understanding and value judgments; and will be set by participants with limited modeling experience. We applied our approach to a case study where management thresholds were set for a mat-forming brown alga, Hormosira banksii, in a protected area management context. Participants, including management staff and scientists, were involved in a workshop to test the approach, and set management thresholds to address the threat of trampling by visitors to an intertidal rocky reef. The approach involved trading off the environmental objective, to maintain the condition of intertidal reef communities, with social and economic objectives to ensure management intervention was cost-effective. Ecological scenarios, developed using scenario planning, were a key feature that provided the foundation for where to set management thresholds. The scenarios developed represented declines in percent cover of H. banksii that may occur under increased threatening processes. Participants defined 4 discrete management alternatives to address the threat of trampling and estimated the effect of these alternatives on the objectives under each ecological scenario. A weighted additive model was used to aggregate participants' consequence estimates. Model outputs (decision scores) clearly expressed uncertainty, which can be considered by decision makers and used to inform where to set management thresholds. This approach encourages a proactive form of conservation, where management thresholds and associated actions are defined a priori for ecological indicators, rather than reacting to unexpected ecosystem changes in the future. © 2015 The

  5. A Sense of Place: Integrating Environmental Psychology into Marine Socio-Ecological Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Putten, I. E.; Fleming, A.; Fulton, E.; Plaganyi-Lloyd, E.

    2016-02-01

    Sense of place is a concept that is increasingly applied in different social research contexts where it can act as a bridge between disciplines that might otherwise work in parallel. A sense of place is a well established and flexible concept that has been empirically measured using different survey methods. The psychological principals and theories that underpin sense of place have been inextricably linked to the quality of ecological systems and the impact on development of the system, and vice versa. Ecological models and scenario analyses play an important role in characterising, assessing and predicting the potential impacts of alternative developments and other changes affecting ecological systems. To improve the predictive accuracy of ecological models, human drivers, interactions, and uses have been dynamically incorporated, for instance, through management strategy evaluation applied to marine ecosystem models. However, to date no socio-ecological models (whether terrestrial or marine) have been developed that incorporate a dynamic feedback between ecosystem characteristics and peoples' sense of place. These models thus essentially ignore the influence of environmental psychology on the way people use and interact with ecosystems. We develop a proof of concept and provide a mathematical basis for a Sense of Place Index (SoPI) that allows the quantitative integration of environmental psychology into socio-ecological models. Incorporating dynamic feedback between the SoPI for different resource user groups and the ecological system improves the accuracy and precision of predictions regarding future resource use as well as, ultimately, the potential state of the resource to be developed.

  6. Efficient ensemble forecasting of marine ecology with clustered 1D models and statistical lateral exchange: application to the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Dreano, Denis; Tsiaras, Kostas; Triantafyllou, George; Hoteit, Ibrahim

    2017-01-01

    Forecasting the state of large marine ecosystems is important for many economic and public health applications. However, advanced three-dimensional (3D) ecosystem models, such as the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), are computationally expensive, especially when implemented within an ensemble data assimilation system requiring several parallel integrations. As an alternative to 3D ecological forecasting systems, we propose to implement a set of regional one-dimensional (1D) water-column ecological models that run at a fraction of the computational cost. The 1D model domains are determined using a Gaussian mixture model (GMM)-based clustering method and satellite chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) data. Regionally averaged Chl-a data is assimilated into the 1D models using the singular evolutive interpolated Kalman (SEIK) filter. To laterally exchange information between subregions and improve the forecasting skills, we introduce a new correction step to the assimilation scheme, in which we assimilate a statistical forecast of future Chl-a observations based on information from neighbouring regions. We apply this approach to the Red Sea and show that the assimilative 1D ecological models can forecast surface Chl-a concentration with high accuracy. The statistical assimilation step further improves the forecasting skill by as much as 50%. This general approach of clustering large marine areas and running several interacting 1D ecological models is very flexible. It allows many combinations of clustering, filtering and regression technics to be used and can be applied to build efficient forecasting systems in other large marine ecosystems.

  7. Efficient ensemble forecasting of marine ecology with clustered 1D models and statistical lateral exchange: application to the Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Dreano, Denis

    2017-05-24

    Forecasting the state of large marine ecosystems is important for many economic and public health applications. However, advanced three-dimensional (3D) ecosystem models, such as the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), are computationally expensive, especially when implemented within an ensemble data assimilation system requiring several parallel integrations. As an alternative to 3D ecological forecasting systems, we propose to implement a set of regional one-dimensional (1D) water-column ecological models that run at a fraction of the computational cost. The 1D model domains are determined using a Gaussian mixture model (GMM)-based clustering method and satellite chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) data. Regionally averaged Chl-a data is assimilated into the 1D models using the singular evolutive interpolated Kalman (SEIK) filter. To laterally exchange information between subregions and improve the forecasting skills, we introduce a new correction step to the assimilation scheme, in which we assimilate a statistical forecast of future Chl-a observations based on information from neighbouring regions. We apply this approach to the Red Sea and show that the assimilative 1D ecological models can forecast surface Chl-a concentration with high accuracy. The statistical assimilation step further improves the forecasting skill by as much as 50%. This general approach of clustering large marine areas and running several interacting 1D ecological models is very flexible. It allows many combinations of clustering, filtering and regression technics to be used and can be applied to build efficient forecasting systems in other large marine ecosystems.

  8. Spatial ecology across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastings, Alan; Petrovskii, Sergei; Morozov, Andrew

    2011-04-23

    The international conference 'Models in population dynamics and ecology 2010: animal movement, dispersal and spatial ecology' took place at the University of Leicester, UK, on 1-3 September 2010, focusing on mathematical approaches to spatial population dynamics and emphasizing cross-scale issues. Exciting new developments in scaling up from individual level movement to descriptions of this movement at the macroscopic level highlighted the importance of mechanistic approaches, with different descriptions at the microscopic level leading to different ecological outcomes. At higher levels of organization, different macroscopic descriptions of movement also led to different properties at the ecosystem and larger scales. New developments from Levy flight descriptions to the incorporation of new methods from physics and elsewhere are revitalizing research in spatial ecology, which will both increase understanding of fundamental ecological processes and lead to tools for better management.

  9. HEDR modeling approach: Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shipler, D.B.; Napier, B.A.

    1994-05-01

    This report is a revision of the previous Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction (HEDR) Project modeling approach report. This revised report describes the methods used in performing scoping studies and estimating final radiation doses to real and representative individuals who lived in the vicinity of the Hanford Site. The scoping studies and dose estimates pertain to various environmental pathways during various periods of time. The original report discussed the concepts under consideration in 1991. The methods for estimating dose have been refined as understanding of existing data, the scope of pathways, and the magnitudes of dose estimates were evaluated through scoping studies

  10. System dynamic modelling of industrial growth and landscape ecology in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jian; Kang, Jian; Shao, Long; Zhao, Tianyu

    2015-09-15

    With the rapid development of large industrial corridors in China, the landscape ecology of the country is currently being affected. Therefore, in this study, a system dynamic model with multi-dimensional nonlinear dynamic prediction function that considers industrial growth and landscape ecology is developed and verified to allow for more sustainable development. Firstly, relationships between industrial development and landscape ecology in China are examined, and five subsystems are then established: industry, population, urban economy, environment and landscape ecology. The main influencing factors are then examined for each subsystem to establish flow charts connecting those factors. Consequently, by connecting the subsystems, an overall industry growth and landscape ecology model is established. Using actual data and landscape index calculated based on GIS of the Ha-Da-Qi industrial corridor, a typical industrial corridor in China, over the period 2005-2009, the model is validated in terms of historical behaviour, logical structure and future prediction, where for 84.8% of the factors, the error rate of the model is less than 5%, the mean error rate of all factors is 2.96% and the error of the simulation test for the landscape ecology subsystem is less than 2%. Moreover, a model application has been made to consider the changes in landscape indices under four industrial development modes, and the optimal industrial growth plan has been examined for landscape ecological protection through the simulation prediction results over 2015-2020. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Modelling a Learning Journey towards Teacher Ecological Self

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raus, Rea

    2016-01-01

    The article discusses the notion of the ecological self as a key concept for teacher identity construction during teacher education in the context of sustainable development (SD). Substantial amount of literature supports the understanding that the solution to the global sustainability crisis lies in the field of education where teacher identity,…

  12. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria: A model for molecular microbial ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Stephen, J.R.

    2001-01-01

    The eutrophication of many ecosystems in recent decades has led to an increased interest in the ecology of nitrogen transformation. Chemolitho-autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are responsible for the rate-limiting step of nitrification in a wide variety of environments, making them important

  13. The use of particle packing models to design ecological concrete

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fennis, S.A.A.M.; Walraven, J.C.; Den Uijl, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    Ecological concrete can be designed by replacing cement with fillers. With low amounts of cement it becomes increasingly important to control the water demand of concrete mixtures. In this paper a cyclic design method based on particle packing is presented and evaluated on the basis of experiments

  14. A modelling framework for improving plant establishment during ecological restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plants seeded during ecological restoration projects often perish en masse, and researchers are currently searching for traits promoting increased survival. In this study of a big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) ecosystem, we found survivorship rankings of seeded grass species varied across 3...

  15. Examples of Video to Communicate Scientific Findings to Non-Scientists-Bayesian Ecological Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorman, M.; Harned, D. A.; Cuffney, T.; Qian, S.

    2011-12-01

    The U.S Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) provides information about (1) water-quality conditions and how those conditions vary locally, regionally, and nationally, (2) water-quality trends, and (3) factors that affect those conditions. As part of the NAWQA Program, the Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems (EUSE) study examined the vulnerability and resilience of streams to urbanization. Completion of the EUSE study has resulted in over 20 scientific publications. Video podcasts are being used in addition to these publications to communicate the relevance of these scientific findings to more general audiences such as resource managers, educational groups, public officials, and the general public. An example of one of the podcasts is a film about the results of modeling the effects urbanization on stream ecology. The film describes some of the results of the EUSE ecological modeling effort and the advantages of the Bayesian and multi-level statistical modeling approaches, while relating the science to fly fishing. The complex scientific discussion combined with the lighter, more popular activity of fly fishing leads to an entertaining forum while educating viewers about a complex topic. This approach is intended to represent the scientists as interesting people with diverse interests. Video can be an effective scientific communication tool for presenting scientific findings to a broad audience. The film is available for access from the EUSE website (http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/urban/html/podcasts.html). Additional films are planned to be released in 2012 on other USGS project results and programs.

  16. [Systemic approach to ecologic safety at objects with radiation jeopardy, involved into localization of low and medium radioactive waste].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veselov, E I

    2011-01-01

    The article deals with specifying systemic approach to ecologic safety of objects with radiation jeopardy. The authors presented stages of work and algorithm of decisions on preserving reliability of storage for radiation jeopardy waste. Findings are that providing ecologic safety can cover 3 approaches: complete exemption of radiation jeopardy waste, removal of more dangerous waste from present buildings and increasing reliability of prolonged localization of radiation jeopardy waste at the initial place. The systemic approach presented could be realized at various radiation jeopardy objects.

  17. An ecological function and services approach to total maximum daily load (TMDL) prioritization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Robert K; Guiliano, David; Swanson, Sherman; Philbin, Michael J; Lin, John; Aron, Joan L; Schafer, Robin J; Heggem, Daniel T

    2014-04-01

    Prioritizing total maximum daily load (TMDL) development starts by considering the scope and severity of water pollution and risks to public health and aquatic life. Methodology using quantitative assessments of in-stream water quality is appropriate and effective for point source (PS) dominated discharge, but less so in watersheds with mostly nonpoint source (NPS) related impairments. For NPSs, prioritization in TMDL development and implementation of associated best management practices should focus on restoration of ecosystem physical functions, including how restoration effectiveness depends on design, maintenance and placement within the watershed. To refine the approach to TMDL development, regulators and stakeholders must first ask if the watershed, or ecosystem, is at risk of losing riparian or other ecologically based physical attributes and processes. If so, the next step is an assessment of the spatial arrangement of functionality with a focus on the at-risk areas that could be lost, or could, with some help, regain functions. Evaluating stream and wetland riparian function has advantages over the traditional means of water quality and biological assessments for NPS TMDL development. Understanding how an ecosystem functions enables stakeholders and regulators to determine the severity of problem(s), identify source(s) of impairment, and predict and avoid a decline in water quality. The Upper Reese River, Nevada, provides an example of water quality impairment caused by NPS pollution. In this river basin, stream and wetland riparian proper functioning condition (PFC) protocol, water quality data, and remote sensing imagery were used to identify sediment sources, transport, distribution, and its impact on water quality and aquatic resources. This study found that assessments of ecological function could be used to generate leading (early) indicators of water quality degradation for targeting pollution control measures, while traditional in-stream water

  18. An Ecological Approach to Seeking and Utilising the Views of Young People with Intellectual Disabilities in Transition Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Neil; Raghavan, Raghu; Pawson, Nicole

    2013-01-01

    Transition planning using a person-centred approach has, in the main, failed to shape service provision. We offer an alternative based on an ecological understanding of human development linked to public health approaches that prioritise whole system planning. A total of 43 young people with intellectual disabilities, in Bradford, England, who…

  19. Conceptual ecological models to guide integrated landscape monitoring of the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D.M.; Finn, S.P.; Woodward, Andrea; Torregrosa, Alicia; Miller, M.E.; Bedford, D.R.; Brasher, A.M.

    2010-01-01

    The Great Basin Integrated Landscape Monitoring Pilot Project was developed in response to the need for a monitoring and predictive capability that addresses changes in broad landscapes and waterscapes. Human communities and needs are nested within landscapes formed by interactions among the hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere. Understanding the complex processes that shape landscapes and deriving ways to manage them sustainably while meeting human needs require sophisticated modeling and monitoring. This document summarizes current understanding of ecosystem structure and function for many of the ecosystems within the Great Basin using conceptual models. The conceptual ecosystem models identify key ecological components and processes, identify external drivers, develop a hierarchical set of models that address both site and landscape attributes, inform regional monitoring strategy, and identify critical gaps in our knowledge of ecosystem function. The report also illustrates an approach for temporal and spatial scaling from site-specific models to landscape models and for understanding cumulative effects. Eventually, conceptual models can provide a structure for designing monitoring programs, interpreting monitoring and other data, and assessing the accuracy of our understanding of ecosystem functions and processes.

  20. Ecological monitoring in a discrete-time prey-predator model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gámez, M; López, I; Rodríguez, C; Varga, Z; Garay, J

    2017-09-21

    The paper is aimed at the methodological development of ecological monitoring in discrete-time dynamic models. In earlier papers, in the framework of continuous-time models, we have shown how a systems-theoretical methodology can be applied to the monitoring of the state process of a system of interacting populations, also estimating certain abiotic environmental changes such as pollution, climatic or seasonal changes. In practice, however, there may be good reasons to use discrete-time models. (For instance, there may be discrete cycles in the development of the populations, or observations can be made only at discrete time steps.) Therefore the present paper is devoted to the development of the monitoring methodology in the framework of discrete-time models of population ecology. By monitoring we mean that, observing only certain component(s) of the system, we reconstruct the whole state process. This may be necessary, e.g., when in a complex ecosystem the observation of the densities of certain species is impossible, or too expensive. For the first presentation of the offered methodology, we have chosen a discrete-time version of the classical Lotka-Volterra prey-predator model. This is a minimal but not trivial system where the methodology can still be presented. We also show how this methodology can be applied to estimate the effect of an abiotic environmental change, using a component of the population system as an environmental indicator. Although this approach is illustrated in a simplest possible case, it can be easily extended to larger ecosystems with several interacting populations and different types of abiotic environmental effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. A systematic approach for watershed ecological restoration strategy making: An application in the Taizi River Basin in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Mengdi; Fan, Juntao; Zhang, Yuan; Guo, Fen; Liu, Lusan; Xia, Rui; Xu, Zongxue; Wu, Fengchang

    2018-05-15

    Aiming to protect freshwater ecosystems, river ecological restoration has been brought into the research spotlight. However, it is challenging for decision makers to set appropriate objectives and select a combination of rehabilitation acts from numerous possible solutions to meet ecological, economic, and social demands. In this study, we developed a systematic approach to help make an optimal strategy for watershed restoration, which incorporated ecological security assessment and multi-objectives optimization (MOO) into the planning process to enhance restoration efficiency and effectiveness. The river ecological security status was evaluated by using a pressure-state-function-response (PSFR) assessment framework, and MOO was achieved by searching for the Pareto optimal solutions via Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II) to balance tradeoffs between different objectives. Further, we clustered the searched solutions into three types in terms of different optimized objective function values in order to provide insightful information for decision makers. The proposed method was applied in an example rehabilitation project in the Taizi River Basin in northern China. The MOO result in the Taizi River presented a set of Pareto optimal solutions that were classified into three types: I - high ecological improvement, high cost and high benefits solution; II - medial ecological improvement, medial cost and medial economic benefits solution; III - low ecological improvement, low cost and low economic benefits solution. The proposed systematic approach in our study can enhance the effectiveness of riverine ecological restoration project and could provide valuable reference for other ecological restoration planning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Of Models and Meanings: Cultural Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd A. Crane

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Modeling has emerged as a key technology in analysis of social-ecological systems. However, the tendency for modeling to focus on the mechanistic materiality of biophysical systems obscures the diversity of performative social behaviors and normative cultural positions of actors within the modeled system. The fact that changes in the biophysical system can be culturally constructed in different ways means that the perception and pursuit of adaptive pathways can be highly variable. Furthermore, the adoption of biophysically resilient livelihoods can occur under conditions that are subjectively experienced as the radical transformation of cultural systems. The objectives of this work are to: (1 highlight the importance of understanding the place of culture within social-ecological systems, (2 explore the tensions between empirical and normative positions in the analysis of social-ecological resilience, and (3 suggest how empirical modeling of social-ecological systems can synergistically interact with normative aspects of livelihoods and lifeways.

  3. Leaving school: Analysis of a case study from the angle of the ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stepanović-Ilić Ivana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Leaving school has far reaching consequences both for the individual and the society. We tackled this problem by using Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory to analyse case studies of 12 children (elementary and secondary schools who quit schooling or are under risk to do so. It is an adequate frame of reference for understanding the causes of school-leaving since it considers different levels of development and their relations. The children and four parents took part in semi-structured interviews. Other data were gathered by interviewing the focus groups of school principals, school pedagogues and psychologists, teachers, Parent Councils, and pupils. The qualitative analysis shows a disturbed structure and functioning even at the level of microsystem (family, school, peers which may be linked with school-leaving. The relations between microsystems are sporadic and inadequate (mesosystem which additionally stimulates school-leaving. Higher levels of environment (exo and macro systems in which children do not participate, yet depend upon their indirect influence, stimulate school leaving, too. Many children were faced with nonnormative life events (chrono-system: divorce or death of parent/s, underage pregnancy, family moving. We view this research as the initial step which will identify the problems and lead to future directions of research which would, based on Bronfenbrenner's approach, systematically examine different levels of environment and form the basis for creating ecologically valid measures for prevention of school-leaving.

  4. A Multi-Scalar Approach to Theorizing Socio-Ecological Dynamics of Urban Residential Landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinku Roy Chowdhury

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban residential expansion increasingly drives land use, land cover and ecological changes worldwide, yet social science theories explaining such change remain under-developed. Existing theories often focus on processes occurring at one scale, while ignoring other scales. Emerging evidence from four linked U.S. research sites suggests it is essential to examine processes at multiple scales simultaneously when explaining the evolution of urban residential landscapes. Additionally, focusing on urbanization dynamics across multiple sites with a shared research design may yield fruitful comparative insights. The following processes and social-hierarchical scales significantly influence the spatial configurations of residential landscapes: household-level characteristics and environmental attitudes; formal and informal institutions at the neighborhood scale; and municipal-scale land-use governance. While adopting a multi-scale and multi-site approach produces research challenges, doing so is critical to advancing understanding of coupled socio-ecological systems and associated vulnerabilities in a dynamic and environmentally important setting: residential landscapes.

  5. Non-technical approach to the challenges of ecological architecture: Learning from Van der Laan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María-Jesús González-Díaz

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Up to now, ecology has a strong influence on the development of technical and instrumental aspects of architecture, such as renewable and efficient of resources and energy, CO2 emissions, air quality, water reuse, some social and economical aspects. These concepts define the physical keys and codes of the current ׳sustainable׳ architecture, normally instrumental but rarely and insufficiently theorised. But is not there another way of bringing us to nature? We need a theoretical referent. This is where we place the Van der Laan׳s thoughts: he considers that art completes nature and he builds his theoretical discourse on it, trying to better understand many aspects of architecture. From a conceptual point of view, we find in his works sense of timelessness, universality, special attention on the ׳locus׳ and a strict sense of proportions and use of materials according to nature. Could these concepts complement our current sustainable architecture? How did Laan apply the current codes of ecology in his architecture? His work may help us to get a theoretical interpretation of nature and not only physical. This paper develops this idea through the comparison of thoughts and works of Laan with the current technical approach to ׳sustainable׳ architecture.

  6. Improving ecosystem-scale modeling of evapotranspiration using ecological mechanisms that account for compensatory responses following disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, David J.; Ewers, Brent E.; Mackay, D. Scott; Peckham, Scott; Reed, David E.; Sekoni, Adewale

    2017-09-01

    Mountain pine beetle outbreaks in western North America have led to extensive forest mortality, justifiably generating interest in improving our understanding of how this type of ecological disturbance affects hydrological cycles. While observational studies and simulations have been used to elucidate the effects of mountain beetle mortality on hydrological fluxes, an ecologically mechanistic model of forest evapotranspiration (ET) evaluated against field data has yet to be developed. In this work, we use the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES) to incorporate the ecohydrological impacts of mountain pine beetle disturbance on ET for a lodgepole pine-dominated forest equipped with an eddy covariance tower. An existing degree-day model was incorporated that predicted the life cycle of mountain pine beetles, along with an empirically derived submodel that allowed sap flux to decline as a function of temperature-dependent blue stain fungal growth. The eddy covariance footprint was divided into multiple cohorts for multiple growing seasons, including representations of recently attacked trees and the compensatory effects of regenerating understory, using two different spatial scaling methods. Our results showed that using a multiple cohort approach matched eddy covariance-measured ecosystem-scale ET fluxes well, and showed improved performance compared to model simulations assuming a binary framework of only areas of live and dead overstory. Cumulative growing season ecosystem-scale ET fluxes were 8 - 29% greater using the multicohort approach during years in which beetle attacks occurred, highlighting the importance of including compensatory ecological mechanism in ET models.

  7. The big data-big model (BDBM) challenges in ecological research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The field of ecology has become a big-data science in the past decades due to development of new sensors used in numerous studies in the ecological community. Many sensor networks have been established to collect data. For example, satellites, such as Terra and OCO-2 among others, have collected data relevant on global carbon cycle. Thousands of field manipulative experiments have been conducted to examine feedback of terrestrial carbon cycle to global changes. Networks of observations, such as FLUXNET, have measured land processes. In particular, the implementation of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), which is designed to network different kinds of sensors at many locations over the nation, will generate large volumes of ecological data every day. The raw data from sensors from those networks offer an unprecedented opportunity for accelerating advances in our knowledge of ecological processes, educating teachers and students, supporting decision-making, testing ecological theory, and forecasting changes in ecosystem services. Currently, ecologists do not have the infrastructure in place to synthesize massive yet heterogeneous data into resources for decision support. It is urgent to develop an ecological forecasting system that can make the best use of multiple sources of data to assess long-term biosphere change and anticipate future states of ecosystem services at regional and continental scales. Forecasting relies on big models that describe major processes that underlie complex system dynamics. Ecological system models, despite great simplification of the real systems, are still complex in order to address real-world problems. For example, Community Land Model (CLM) incorporates thousands of processes related to energy balance, hydrology, and biogeochemistry. Integration of massive data from multiple big data sources with complex models has to tackle Big Data-Big Model (BDBM) challenges. Those challenges include interoperability of multiple

  8. Estimation of the species richness of fish parasite fauna: an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ieshko Evgeny Pavlovich

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the biological diversity of the parasite fauna in pike from four habitats found in northern lakes of Karelia. The curves of the expected species richness versus sampling effort (the number of examined specimens dependency were plotted. A universal approach to the description of the new species replenishment dynamics is proposed – including finding (through combinatorial analysis the median value between the fastest and the slowest paths of the species richness growth followed by approximation using logistic function . Our analysis showed that the leading ecological factors controlling the formation of the parasite species richness in a specific waterbody are the richness of infracommunities and the age composition of the host sample. The sample of 15 host specimens contains at least 80% of all species in the parasite community.

  9. 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

    The South Florida Ecosystem Portfolio Model (EPM) prototype is a regional land-use planning Web tool that integrates ecological, economic, and social information and values of relevance to decision-makers and stakeholders. The EPM uses a multicriteria evaluation framework that builds on geographic information system-based (GIS) analysis and spatially-explicit models that characterize important ecological, economic, and societal endpoints and consequences that are sensitive to regional land-use/land-cover (LULC) change. The EPM uses both economics (monetized) and multiattribute utility (nonmonetized) approaches to valuing these endpoints and consequences. This hybrid approach represents a methodological middle ground between rigorous economic and ecological/ environmental scientific approaches. The EPM sacrifices some degree of economic- and ecological-forecasting precision to gain methodological transparency, spatial explicitness, and transferability, while maintaining credibility. After all, even small steps in the direction of including ecosystem services evaluation are an improvement over current land-use planning practice (Boyd and Wainger, 2003). There are many participants involved in land-use decision-making in South Florida, including local, regional, State, and Federal agencies, developers, environmental groups, agricultural groups, and other stakeholders (South Florida Regional Planning Council, 2003, 2004). The EPM's multicriteria evaluation framework is designed to cut across the objectives and knowledge bases of all of these participants. This approach places fundamental importance on social equity and stakeholder participation in land-use decision-making, but makes no attempt to determine normative socially 'optimal' land-use plans. The EPM is thus a map-based set of evaluation tools for planners and stakeholders to use in their deliberations of what is 'best', considering a balancing of disparate interests within a regional perspective. Although

  10. Ecological-economic modeling for biodiversity management: potential, pitfalls, and prospects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wätzold, F.; Drechsler, M.; Armstrong, C.W.; Baumgärtner, S.; Grimm, V.; Huth, A.; Perrings, C.; Possingham, H.P.; Shogren, J.F.; Skonhoft, A.; Verboom-Vasiljev, J.; Wissel, C.

    2006-01-01

    Ecologists and economists both use models to help develop strategies for biodiversity management. The practical use of disciplinary models, however, can be limited because ecological models tend not to address the socioeconomic dimension of biodiversity management, whereas economic models tend to

  11. Genome-Wide Association Studies In Plant Pathosystems: Toward an Ecological Genomics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Bartoli

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The emergence and re-emergence of plant pathogenic microorganisms are processes that imply perturbations in both host and pathogen ecological niches. Global change is largely assumed to drive the emergence of new etiological agents by altering the equilibrium of the ecological habitats which in turn places hosts more in contact with pathogen reservoirs. In this context, the number of epidemics is expected to increase dramatically in the next coming decades both in wild and crop plants. Under these considerations, the identification of the genetic variants underlying natural variation of resistance is a pre-requisite to estimate the adaptive potential of wild plant populations and to develop new breeding resistant cultivars. On the other hand, the prediction of pathogen's genetic determinants underlying disease emergence can help to identify plant resistance alleles. In the genomic era, whole genome sequencing combined with the development of statistical methods led to the emergence of Genome Wide Association (GWA mapping, a powerful tool for detecting genomic regions associated with natural variation of disease resistance in both wild and cultivated plants. However, GWA mapping has been less employed for the detection of genetic variants associated with pathogenicity in microbes. Here, we reviewed GWA studies performed either in plants or in pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and oomycetes. In addition, we highlighted the benefits and caveats of the emerging joint GWA mapping approach that allows for the simultaneous identification of genes interacting between genomes of both partners. Finally, based on co-evolutionary processes in wild populations, we highlighted a phenotyping-free joint GWA mapping approach as a promising tool for describing the molecular landscape underlying plant - microbe interactions.

  12. An automated approach to mapping ecological sites using hyper-temporal remote sensing and SVM classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of ecological sites as management units has emerged as a highly effective land management framework, but its utility has been limited by spatial ambiguity of ecological site locations in the U.S., lack of ecological site concepts in many other parts of the world, and the inability to...

  13. Ecological-economical approach to assessment of environment state at the Semipalatinsk test site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chugunova, N.S.; Balykbaeva, S.Y.

    2002-01-01

    The paper presents methods used for ecological-economical assessment of the environment condition at the former Semipalatinsk Test Site. It also presents methodology of calculating ecological and economical parameters for different options. Besides, the paper provides data describing assessment of ecological and economical damage caused by defense establishment activities at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. (author)

  14. Development and application of the SSD approach in scientific case studies for ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Signore, Anastasia; Hendriks, A Jan; Lenders, H J Rob; Leuven, Rob S E W; Breure, A M

    2016-09-01

    Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) are used in ecological risk assessment for extrapolation of the results of toxicity tests with single species to a toxicity threshold considered protective of ecosystem structure and functioning. The attention to and importance of the SSD approach has increased in scientific and regulatory communities since the 1990s. Discussion and criticism have been triggered on the concept of the approach as well as its technical aspects (e.g., distribution type, number of toxicity endpoints). Various questions remain unanswered, especially with regard to different endpoints, statistical methods, and protectiveness of threshold levels, for example. In the present literature review (covering the period 2002-2013), case studies are explored in which the SSD approach was applied, as well as how endpoint types, species choice, and data availability affect SSDs. How statistical methods may be used to construct reliable SSDs and whether the lower 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) from a generic SSD can be protective for a specific local community are also investigated. It is shown that estimated protective concentrations were determined by taxonomic groups rather than the statistical method used to construct the distribution. Based on comparisons between semifield and laboratory-based SSDs, the output from a laboratory SSD was protective of semifield communities in the majority of studies. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2149-2161. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  16. INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY AND LEGISLATION OF THE ECOLOGICAL APPROACH TO PRODUCTION IN THE COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION AND THE EU

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljko Vuković

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available It is on the way of producing that how many resources and how much energy we would spend, how many harmful substances would appear in the environment, as well as how the life cycle of a product would be like depends. Through certain interventions in the production process we can have a favorable impact on all these parameters. By using higher quality materials we have a direct impact on quality and longer life cycle of the product, by using a better technology we reduce the consumption of energy and resources, by a better and more efficient design we have an impact on the energy consumption throughout life cycle of the product, and by all of the aforementioned things we contribute to less pollution and sustainability of our environment. Therefore, it is quite clear that today the industrial ecology is one of the most significant aspects of the production issues in the Republic of Srpska and the EU.

  17. Ecological risk estimation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartell, S.M.; Gardner, R.H.; O'Neill, R.V.

    1992-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment, the process that evaluates the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors, is being developed by the US EPA as a tool for decision making. This book presents one approach to risk assessment-that of applying laboratory toxicity data within an ecosystem model to predict the potential ecological consequences of toxic chemicals. Both Standard Water Column Model (SWACOM), using zooplankton and fish, and Monte Carlo simulations are discussed in detail, along with quantitative explanations for many responses. Simplifying assumptions are explicitly presented. The final chapter discusses strengths, weaknesses, and future directions of the approach. The book is appropriate for anyone who does or uses ecological risk assessment methodologies

  18. Environmental Radiation Effects on Mammals A Dynamical Modeling Approach

    CERN Document Server

    Smirnova, Olga A

    2010-01-01

    This text is devoted to the theoretical studies of radiation effects on mammals. It uses the framework of developed deterministic mathematical models to investigate the effects of both acute and chronic irradiation in a wide range of doses and dose rates on vital body systems including hematopoiesis, small intestine and humoral immunity, as well as on the development of autoimmune diseases. Thus, these models can contribute to the development of the system and quantitative approaches in radiation biology and ecology. This text is also of practical use. Its modeling studies of the dynamics of granulocytopoiesis and thrombocytopoiesis in humans testify to the efficiency of employment of the developed models in the investigation and prediction of radiation effects on these hematopoietic lines. These models, as well as the properly identified models of other vital body systems, could provide a better understanding of the radiation risks to health. The modeling predictions will enable the implementation of more ef...

  19. ECOLOGICAL MODELING OF LOCUSTA MIGRATORIA L. BREEDING CONDITIONS IN SOUTH-EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. V. Malakhov

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background. The method of ecological niche modeling (ENM was applied to reconstruct the nesting conditions of one of the most widely-known pest species, Locusta migratoria asiatica, with a focus of nesting in Balkhash-Alakol basin. The ENM uses a set of input environmental variables to analyze and select the key factors from the entire input set. The key factors are the climatic variables which define the wellbeing of an organism; and the range of these variables may be calculated with statistical and GIS approaches. Materials and methods. The method of ENM used in current paper is referred to as “presence-only” since it utilizes the known localities of the animal (in our study, egg-clutches to develop a model. The model outlines the area where the successful development of locust egg-boxes is most probable, rather than the actual nesting area. Further analysis of the identified key variables allows definition of the most vulnerable stages of the locust life-cycle. Results. The most important factors, influencing the development of the locust over its life-cycle, are: the ambient air temperature; the temperature of the soil during the cold season of the year; and soil moisture. The locust is an ectotherm organism, which has a restricted ability to regulate its body temperature; and the ambient temperature thus serves as a major factor affecting the animal’s behavior. Wintering egg-boxes are immobile and face even more environmental challenges than nymphs or adults do. The soil temperature may not depend upon a single variable, like the air temperature, but is a function of the complex relationship between the thermal properties of the air and soil. The process of the energy flux between soil and atmosphere incudes many factors, particularly related to soil-moisture content and the physical properties of the soil. The analysis of key variables should not be performed without an understanding of the complex relationships between the abiotic

  20. Integration of research infrastructures and ecosystem models toward development of predictive ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Y.; Huang, Y.; Jiang, J.; MA, S.; Saruta, V.; Liang, G.; Hanson, P. J.; Ricciuto, D. M.; Milcu, A.; Roy, J.

    2017-12-01

    The past two decades have witnessed rapid development in sensor technology. Built upon the sensor development, large research infrastructure facilities, such as National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and FLUXNET, have been established. Through networking different kinds of sensors and other data collections at many locations all over the world, those facilities generate large volumes of ecological data every day. The big data from those facilities offer an unprecedented opportunity for advancing our understanding of ecological processes, educating teachers and students, supporting decision-making, and testing ecological theory. The big data from the major research infrastructure facilities also provides foundation for developing predictive ecology. Indeed, the capability to predict future changes in our living environment and natural resources is critical to decision making in a world where the past is no longer a clear guide to the future. We are living in a period marked by rapid climate change, profound alteration of biogeochemical cycles, unsustainable depletion of natural resources, and deterioration of air and water quality. Projecting changes in future ecosystem services to the society becomes essential not only for science but also for policy making. We will use this panel format to outline major opportunities and challenges in integrating research infrastructure and ecosystem models toward developing predictive ecology. Meanwhile, we will also show results from an interactive model-experiment System - Ecological Platform for Assimilating Data into models (EcoPAD) - that have been implemented at the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental change (SPRUCE) experiment in Northern Minnesota and Montpellier Ecotron, France. EcoPAD is developed by integrating web technology, eco-informatics, data assimilation techniques, and ecosystem modeling. EcoPAD is designed to streamline data transfer seamlessly from research infrastructure

  1. Advancing population ecology with integral projection models: a practical guide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Merow, Cory; Dahlgren, Johan; Metcall, C. Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    (e.g., environment). By combining regressions of vital rates, an IPM provides mechanistic insight into emergent ecological patterns such as population dynamics, species geographic distributions, or life history strategies. Here, we review important resources for building IPMs and provide...... a comprehensive guide, with extensive R code, for their construction. IPMs can be applied to any stage-structured population; here we illustrate IPMs for a series of plant life histories of increasing complexity and biological realism, highlighting the utility of various regression methods for capturing...

  2. Triatominae as a model of morphological plasticity under ecological pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dujardin JP

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of biochemical and genetic characters to explore species or population relationships has been applied to taxonomic questions since the 60s. In responding to the central question of the evolutionary history of Triatominae, i.e. their monophyletic or polyphyletic origin, two important questions arise (i to what extent is the morphologically-based classification valid for assessing phylogenetic relationships? and (ii what are the main mechanisms underlying speciation in Triatominae? Phenetic and genetic studies so far developed suggest that speciation in Triatominae may be a rapid process mainly driven by ecological factors.

  3. [Assessment on the ecological suitability in Zhuhai City, Guangdong, China, based on minimum cumulative resistance model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian-fei; Li, Lin; Guo, Luo; Du, Shi-hong

    2016-01-01

    Urban landscape has the characteristics of spatial heterogeneity. Because the expansion process of urban constructive or ecological land has different resistance values, the land unit stimulates and promotes the expansion of ecological land with different intensity. To compare the effect of promoting and hindering functions in the same land unit, we firstly compared the minimum cumulative resistance value of promoting and hindering functions, and then looked for the balance of two landscape processes under the same standard. According to the ecology principle of minimum limit factor, taking the minimum cumulative resistance analysis method under two expansion processes as the evaluation method of urban land ecological suitability, this research took Zhuhai City as the study area to estimate urban ecological suitability by relative evaluation method with remote sensing image, field survey, and statistics data. With the support of ArcGIS, five types of indicators on landscape types, ecological value, soil erosion sensitivity, sensitivity of geological disasters, and ecological function were selected as input parameters in the minimum cumulative resistance model to compute urban ecological suitability. The results showed that the ecological suitability of the whole Zhuhai City was divided into five levels: constructive expansion prohibited zone (10.1%), constructive expansion restricted zone (32.9%), key construction zone (36.3%), priority development zone (2.3%), and basic cropland (18.4%). Ecological suitability of the central area of Zhuhai City was divided into four levels: constructive expansion prohibited zone (11.6%), constructive expansion restricted zone (25.6%), key construction zone (52.4%), priority development zone (10.4%). Finally, we put forward the sustainable development framework of Zhuhai City according to the research conclusion. On one hand, the government should strictly control the development of the urban center area. On the other hand, the

  4. Interactions between ecology and economics

    OpenAIRE

    Bittig, Bernhard

    1983-01-01

    Interactions between economics and ecology are analyzed by means of a deductive approach as well as by means of an iteration model. Additional approaches are briefly touched upon, with the Black box approach being considered as particularly suitable. Finally, the limits of all thought models are defined.

  5. Of Models and Meanings: Cultural Resilience in Social–Ecological Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crane, T.A.

    2010-01-01

    Modeling has emerged as a key technology in analysis of social–ecological systems. However, the tendency for modeling to focus on the mechanistic materiality of biophysical systems obscures the diversity of performative social behaviors and normative cultural positions of actors within the modeled

  6. [Uncertainty characterization approaches for ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in Taihu Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guang-Hui; Wu, Feng-Chang; He, Hong-Ping; Feng, Cheng-Lian; Zhang, Rui-Qing; Li, Hui-Xian

    2012-04-01

    Probabilistic approaches, such as Monte Carlo Sampling (MCS) and Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS), and non-probabilistic approaches, such as interval analysis, fuzzy set theory and variance propagation, were used to characterize uncertainties associated with risk assessment of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake. The results from MCS and LHS were represented by probability distributions of hazard quotients of sigma PAH8 in surface waters of Taihu Lake. The probabilistic distribution of hazard quotient were obtained from the results of MCS and LHS based on probabilistic theory, which indicated that the confidence intervals of hazard quotient at 90% confidence level were in the range of 0.000 18-0.89 and 0.000 17-0.92, with the mean of 0.37 and 0.35, respectively. In addition, the probabilities that the hazard quotients from MCS and LHS exceed the threshold of 1 were 9.71% and 9.68%, respectively. The sensitivity analysis suggested the toxicity data contributed the most to the resulting distribution of quotients. The hazard quotient of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms ranged from 0.000 17 to 0.99 using interval analysis. The confidence interval was (0.001 5, 0.016 3) at the 90% confidence level calculated using fuzzy set theory, and the confidence interval was (0.000 16, 0.88) at the 90% confidence level based on the variance propagation. These results indicated that the ecological risk of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms were low. Each method has its own set of advantages and limitations, which was based on different theory; therefore, the appropriate method should be selected on a case-by-case to quantify the effects of uncertainties on the ecological risk assessment. Approach based on the probabilistic theory was selected as the most appropriate method to assess the risk of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake, which provided an important scientific foundation of risk management and control for organic pollutants in water.

  7. A theoretical reassessment of microbial maintenance and implications for microbial ecology modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Gangsheng; Post, Wilfred M

    2012-09-01

    We attempted to reconcile three microbial maintenance models (Herbert, Pirt, and Compromise) through a theoretical reassessment. We provided a rigorous proof that the true growth yield coefficient (Y(G)) is the ratio of the specific maintenance rate (a in Herbert) to the maintenance coefficient (m in Pirt). Other findings from this study include: (1) the Compromise model is identical to the Herbert for computing microbial growth and substrate consumption, but it expresses the dependence of maintenance on both microbial biomass and substrate; (2) the maximum specific growth rate in the Herbert (μ(max,H)) is higher than those in the other two models (μ(max,P) and μ(max,C)), and the difference is the physiological maintenance factor (m(q) = a); and (3) the overall maintenance coefficient (m(T)) is more sensitive to m(q) than to the specific growth rate (μ(G)) and Y(G). Our critical reassessment of microbial maintenance provides a new approach for quantifying some important components in soil microbial ecology models. © This article is a US government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  8. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, Amanda; Holness, Stephen; Holden, Petra; Scorgie, Sarshen; Donatti, Camila I.; Midgley, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from rural South Africa

  9. A Socio-Ecological Approach for Identifying and Contextualising Spatial Ecosystem-Based Adaptation Priorities at the Sub-National Level.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Bourne

    Full Text Available Climate change adds an additional layer of complexity to existing sustainable development and biodiversity conservation challenges. The impacts of global climate change are felt locally, and thus local governance structures will increasingly be responsible for preparedness and local responses. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA options are gaining prominence as relevant climate change solutions. Local government officials seldom have an appropriate understanding of the role of ecosystem functioning in sustainable development goals, or access to relevant climate information. Thus the use of ecosystems in helping people adapt to climate change is limited partially by the lack of information on where ecosystems have the highest potential to do so. To begin overcoming this barrier, Conservation South Africa in partnership with local government developed a socio-ecological approach for identifying spatial EbA priorities at the sub-national level. Using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis and vegetation distribution models, the authors have spatially integrated relevant ecological and social information at a scale appropriate to inform local level political, administrative, and operational decision makers. This is the first systematic approach of which we are aware that highlights spatial priority areas for EbA implementation. Nodes of socio-ecological vulnerability are identified, and the inclusion of areas that provide ecosystem services and ecological resilience to future climate change is innovative. The purpose of this paper is to present and demonstrate a methodology for combining complex information into user-friendly spatial products for local level decision making on EbA. The authors focus on illustrating the kinds of products that can be generated from combining information in the suggested ways, and do not discuss the nuance of climate models nor present specific technical details of the model outputs here. Two representative case studies from

  10. 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

  11. An ecological assessment of pasturelands in the Balkhash area of Kazakhstan with remote sensing and models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lebed, L; Qi, J; Heilman, P

    2012-01-01

    The 187 million hectares of pasturelands in Kazakhstan play a key role in the nation’s economy, as livestock production accounted for 54% of total agricultural production in 2010. However, more than half of these lands have been degraded as a result of unregulated grazing practices. Therefore, effective long term ecological monitoring of pasturelands in Kazakhstan is imperative to ensure sustainable pastureland management. As a case study in this research, we demonstrated how the ecological conditions could be assessed with remote sensing technologies and pastureland models. The example focuses on the southern Balkhash area with study sites on a foothill plain with Artemisia-ephemeral plants and a sandy plain with psammophilic vegetation in the Turan Desert. The assessment was based on remotely sensed imagery and meteorological data, a geobotanical archive and periodic ground sampling. The Pasture agrometeorological model was used to calculate biological, ecological and economic indicators to assess pastureland condition. The results showed that field surveys, meteorological observations, remote sensing and ecological models, such as Pasture, could be combined to effectively assess the ecological conditions of pasturelands and provide information about forage production that is critically important for balancing grazing and ecological conservation. (letter)

  12. Modelling of thermal processes and optimization of energy-ecology characteristics of the modern boiler plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filkoski, Risto V.

    2004-01-01

    The investigation accomplished in the framework of this work is concerned with the thermal processes in the furnaces of modern steam and hot-water boilers on fossil fuels. Aerodynamic and thermal conditions in the furnaces are described and models for separate processes and phenomena that occur there are presented. By using proper CFD technique, three-dimensional models of furnaces of coal-fired power boiler, hot-water boiler with circulating fluidized bed combustion and steam boiler on liquid/gaseous fuel are created. Graphical pre-processor is used for geometry creation and mesh generation of the investigated boiler plants. Mathematical model for the gas-solids mixture flow is based on Lagrange approach for the discrete phase simulations, in addition to the transport equations for the gas phase. A standard steady semi-empirical k-E model is employed for description of the turbulent flow. Coupling of velocity and pressure is achieved by the SIMPLEC method. Coal combustion is modelled as non-premixed kinetics/diffusion-limited process by the mixture fraction/probability density function approach for the reaction chemistry, with equilibrium assumption applied for description of the system chemistry. Radiation heat transfer is computed by means of the P-1 model, which is simplified variance of the P-N model, based on the expansion of the radiation intensity into an orthogonal series of spherical harmonics. Presence of discrete solid phase in the main gas stream is effectively taken into consideration through additional terms in the radiation energy transfer equation and in other model equations. Variable emissivity coefficient of the combustion products is modelled with the weighted-sum-of-grey gases-model. A model for NO x formation and reduction is included in the computations. Numerical simulations provide results concerning the boilers operation in several regimes. A methodology for optimisation of energetic-ecological characteristics of boiler plants is proposed

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Participatory Social-Ecological Modeling in Eutrophication Management: the Case of Himmerfjärden, Sweden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frida Franzén

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Stakeholder participation is increasingly seen as central in natural resource management. It is also required by the European Union Water Framework Directive, which identifies three levels of participation; information, consultation, and active involvement. In this paper we discuss the active involvement of stakeholders, using our experience from a case study in the Himmerfjärden region, which is a coastal area southwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Our study used the systems approach proposed by the European Union research project called Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System Assessment (SPICOSA, in which local stakeholders and a study site team constructed an integrated simulation model of a crucial coastal management issue. In this case the issue was nitrogen enrichment. We showed how stakeholder participation in the modeling process helped identify interesting and currently relevant management scenarios, and how the modeling process facilitated communication of the likely ecological, economic, and social effects of these scenarios to the stakeholders. In addition, stakeholders also reported social gains in terms of network building. We managed to actively involve local stakeholders in water issues, and the research process clearly strengthened the social capital in the Himmerfjärden region, and created a basis for future collaboration regarding water management. Our experience indicates that the approach we tried is a useful tool for promoting active stakeholder involvement in water management projects. Also, the results of our science and policy integration approach indicated that the study site team assumed a leadership role, which is a commonly recognized factor in successful natural resource management.

  16. Automated Techniques for the Qualitative Analysis of Ecological Models: Continuous Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynn van Coller

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available The mathematics required for a detailed analysis of the behavior of a model can be formidable. In this paper, I demonstrate how various computer packages can aid qualitative analyses by implementing techniques from dynamical systems theory. Because computer software is used to obtain the results, the techniques can be used by nonmathematicians as well as mathematicians. In-depth analyses of complicated models that were previously very difficult to study can now be done. Because the paper is intended as an introduction to applying the techniques to ecological models, I have included an appendix describing some of the ideas and terminology. A second appendix shows how the techniques can be applied to a fairly simple predator-prey model and establishes the reliability of the computer software. The main body of the paper discusses a ratio-dependent model. The new techniques highlight some limitations of isocline analyses in this three-dimensional setting and show that the model is structurally unstable. Another appendix describes a larger model of a sheep-pasture-hyrax-lynx system. Dynamical systems techniques are compared with a traditional sensitivity analysis and are found to give more information. As a result, an incomplete relationship in the model is highlighted. I also discuss the resilience of these models to both parameter and population perturbations.

  17. Online Course Increases Nutrition Professionals' Knowledge, Skills, and Self-Efficacy in Using an Ecological Approach to Prevent Childhood Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Christina M.; Graham-Kiefer, Meredith L.; Devine, Carol M.; Dollahite, Jamie S.; Olson, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To assess the impact of an online continuing education course on the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of nutrition professionals to use an ecological approach to prevent childhood obesity. Design: Quasi-experimental design using intervention and delayed intervention comparison groups with pre/post-course assessments. Setting: Online…

  18. A review of gastrointestinal microbiology with special emphasis on molecular microbial ecology approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackie, R.I.; Cann, I.K.O.

    2005-01-01

    All animals, including humans, are adapted to life in a microbial world. Large populations of micro-organisms inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of all animals and form a closely integrated ecological unit with the host. This complex, mixed, microbial culture can be considered the most metabolically adaptable and rapidly renewable organ of the body, which plays a vital role in the normal nutritional, physiological, immunological and protective functions of the host animal. Bacteria have traditionally been classified mainly on the basis of phenotypic properties. Despite the vast amount of knowledge generated for ruminal and other intestinal ecosystems using traditional techniques, the basic requisites for ecological studies, namely, enumeration and identification of all community members, have limitations. The two major problems faced by microbial ecologists are bias introduced by culture-based enumeration and characterization techniques, and the lack of a phylogenetically-based classification scheme. Modem molecular ecology techniques based on sequence comparisons of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) can be used to provide molecular characterization while at the same time providing a classification scheme that predicts natural evolutionary relationships. These molecular methods provide results that are independent of growth conditions and media used. Also, using these techniques, bacteria can be classified and identified before they can be grown in pure culture. These nucleic acid-based techniques will enable gut microbiologists to answer the most difficult question in microbial ecology: namely, describing the exact role or function a specific bacterium plays in its natural environment and its quantitative contribution to the whole. However, rather than replacing the classical culture-based system, the new molecular-based techniques can be used in combination with the classical approach to improve cultivation, speciation and evaluation of diversity. The study of microbial

  19. Development of Triad approach based system for ecological risk assessment for contaminated areas of Kyrgyzstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kydralieva, Kamilia; Uzbekov, Beksultan; Khudaibergenova, Bermet; Terekhova, Vera; Jorobekova, Sharipa

    2014-05-01

    substances), 2) ecological parameters (assessing changes in microorganism's community structure and functions, bioindication); and 3) toxicological bioassays (utilizing classical endpoints such as survival and reproduction rates, genotoxicity). The output will be consisted of 3 indexes: 1) Environmental Risk Index, quantifying the level of biological damage at population-community level, 2) Biological Vulnerability Index, assessing the potential threats to biological equilibria, and 3) Genotoxicity Index, screening genotoxic effects. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) will be used to integrate a set of environmental Triad data to be obtained during the project, which will be carried out in order to estimate the potential risk from soil contamination of the highly anthropized areas of Kadzhi-Say, which have been impacted by deposition of heavy metals. The basis of the development under this research is studies with a particular focus concerning the biocenosis mapping of Kyrgyz soils (Mamytova et al., 2003, 2010), investigations on interaction of humic substances with soil contaminants (Jorobekova, Kydralieva, Khudaibergenova, 2004; Khudaibergenova, 2005, 2007), and in addition, technical approach for ecotoxicological assessment of soils (Terekhova, 2007, 2011). Soil ecotoxicological estimation has been studied with a battery of tests using test-organisms of many trophic levels. Currently, bioindication of soils with various humus states is under study (Senesi, Yakimenko 2007; Yakimenko, et al., 2008).

  20. A Bayesian approach to model uncertainty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buslik, A.

    1994-01-01

    A Bayesian approach to model uncertainty is taken. For the case of a finite number of alternative models, the model uncertainty is equivalent to parameter uncertainty. A derivation based on Savage's partition problem is given

  1. Using circuit theory to model connectivity in ecology, evolution, and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McRae, Brad H; Dickson, Brett G; Keitt, Timothy H; Shah, Viral B

    2008-10-01

    Connectivity among populations and habitats is important for a wide range of ecological processes. Understanding, preserving, and restoring connectivity in complex landscapes requires connectivity models and metrics that are reliable, efficient, and process based. We introduce a new class of ecological connectivity models based in electrical circuit theory. Although they have been applied in other disciplines, circuit-theoretic connectivity models are new to ecology. They offer distinct advantages over common analytic connectivity models, including a theoretical basis in random walk theory and an ability to evaluate contributions of multiple dispersal pathways. Resistance, current, and voltage calculated across graphs or raster grids can be related to ecological processes (such as individual movement and gene flow) that occur across large population networks or landscapes. Efficient algorithms can quickly solve networks with millions of nodes, or landscapes with millions of raster cells. Here we review basic circuit theory, discuss relationships between circuit and random walk theories, and describe applications in ecology, evolution, and conservation. We provide examples of how circuit models can be used to predict movement patterns and fates of random walkers in complex landscapes and to identify important habitat patches and movement corridors for conservation planning.

  2. The Effect of Learning Cycle Model on Students’ Reducing Ecological Footprints

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Özgül Keleş

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to investigate effect of ecological footprint education, in which 5E learning cycle model is used, in reducing primary school students’ ecological footprints. The working group of the study is composed of 124 primary school students studying in 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th classes. In this study, 5E learning model is used in teaching a course in order to increase the participating students’ knowledge about ecological footprints and to calculate ecological footprints. Experimental method is used in this study. In data analysis, the paired samples t-test is used in for relevant samplings. The findings gathered indicate that ecological footprints of the participating students to the study decreased at the end of the study. It is determined that the mean of primary students’ ecological footprints differ from meaningfully according to level of the class and sex. Prospective solution offers are developed by handling the prospective effects of conclusions of the study on sustainable life and environmental education and conclusions’ importance in terms of learning and developing learning programmes with a critical point of view

  3. Developing predictive systems models to address complexity and relevance for ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbes, Valery E; Calow, Peter

    2013-07-01

    Ecological risk assessments (ERAs) are not used as well as they could be in risk management. Part of the problem is that they often lack ecological relevance; that is, they fail to grasp necessary ecological complexities. Adding realism and complexity can be difficult and costly. We argue that predictive systems models (PSMs) can provide a way of capturing complexity and ecological relevance cost-effectively. However, addressing complexity and ecological relevance is only part of the problem. Ecological risk assessments often fail to meet the needs of risk managers by not providing assessments that relate to protection goals and by expressing risk in ratios that cannot be weighed against the costs of interventions. Once more, PSMs can be designed to provide outputs in terms of value-relevant effects that are modulated against exposure and that can provide a better basis for decision making than arbitrary ratios or threshold values. Recent developments in the modeling and its potential for implementation by risk assessors and risk managers are beginning to demonstrate how PSMs can be practically applied in risk assessment and the advantages that doing so could have. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  4. Social Network Analysis and Nutritional Behavior: An Integrated Modeling Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senior, Alistair M; Lihoreau, Mathieu; Buhl, Jerome; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-01-01

    Animals have evolved complex foraging strategies to obtain a nutritionally balanced diet and associated fitness benefits. Recent research combining state-space models of nutritional geometry with agent-based models (ABMs), show how nutrient targeted foraging behavior can also influence animal social interactions, ultimately affecting collective dynamics and group structures. Here we demonstrate how social network analyses can be integrated into such a modeling framework and provide a practical analytical tool to compare experimental results with theory. We illustrate our approach by examining the case of nutritionally mediated dominance hierarchies. First we show how nutritionally explicit ABMs that simulate the emergence of dominance hierarchies can be used to generate social networks. Importantly the structural properties of our simulated networks bear similarities to dominance networks of real animals (where conflicts are not always directly related to nutrition). Finally, we demonstrate how metrics from social network analyses can be used to predict the fitness of agents in these simulated competitive environments. Our results highlight the potential importance of nutritional mechanisms in shaping dominance interactions in a wide range of social and ecological contexts. Nutrition likely influences social interactions in many species, and yet a theoretical framework for exploring these effects is currently lacking. Combining social network analyses with computational models from nutritional ecology may bridge this divide, representing a pragmatic approach for generating theoretical predictions for nutritional experiments.

  5. Health-promotion research over three decades: The social-ecological model and challenges in implementation of interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wold, Bente; Mittelmark, Maurice B

    2018-02-01

    This debate paper traces the development of innovative methods for undertaking health promotion research with a socialecological orientation, with a few examples drawn from 30 years of research on adolescent health promotion research at the University of Bergen. We aim to show how the social-ecological model is becoming more evident as a guide to research, using three cases that illustrate progress and potential. The first case is the Norwegian part of the European Network of Health Promoting Schools. The second case is a project just underway, The COMPLETE study, which is a community-led effort to promote students' mental health and create a good psychosocial learning environment. The third case is a developing idea for the next generation of social-ecological research on adolescent well-being, using an asset approach to foster social inclusion and sense of community in multiple settings.

  6. The use of GIS and modelling approaches in squirrel population management and conservation: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    P. W. W. Lurz; J. L. Koprowski; D. J. A. Wood

    2008-01-01

    We review modelling approaches in relation to three key areas of sciurid ecology: management, disease risk assessments and conservation. Models enable us to explore different scenarios to develop effective management and conservation strategies. They may also assist in identifying and targeting research needs for tree and flying squirrels. However, there is a need to...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Yañez-Arenas

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Range bagging: a new method for ecological niche modelling from presence-only data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, John M

    2015-06-06

    The ecological niche is the set of environments in which a population of a species can persist without introduction of individuals from other locations. A good mathematical or computational representation of the niche is a prerequisite to addressing many questions in ecology, biogeography, evolutionary biology and conservation. A particularly challenging question for ecological niche modelling is the problem of presence-only modelling. That is, can an ecological niche be identified from records drawn only from the set of niche environments without records from non-niche environments for comparison? Here, I introduce a new method for ecological niche modelling from presence-only data called range bagging. Range bagging draws on the concept of a species' environmental range, but was inspired by the empirical performance of ensemble learning algorithms in other areas of ecological research. This paper extends the concept of environmental range to multiple dimensions and shows that range bagging is computationally feasible even when the number of environmental dimensions is large. The target of the range bagging base learner is an environmental tolerance of the species in a projection of its niche and is therefore an ecologically interpretable property of a species' biological requirements. The computational complexity of range bagging is linear in the number of examples, which compares favourably with the main alternative, Qhull. In conclusion, range bagging appears to be a reasonable choice for niche modelling in applications in which a presence-only method is desired and may provide a solution to problems in other disciplines where one-class classification is required, such as outlier detection and concept learning.

  10. 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.

  11. Self-consistent approach for neutral community models with speciation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haegeman, Bart; Etienne, Rampal S.

    Hubbell's neutral model provides a rich theoretical framework to study ecological communities. By incorporating both ecological and evolutionary time scales, it allows us to investigate how communities are shaped by speciation processes. The speciation model in the basic neutral model is

  12. Guidelines for developing and updating Bayesian belief networks applied to ecological modeling and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    B.G. Marcot; J.D. Steventon; G.D. Sutherland; R.K. McCann

    2006-01-01

    We provide practical guidelines for developing, testing, and revising Bayesian belief networks (BBNs). Primary steps in this process include creating influence diagrams of the hypothesized "causal web" of key factors affecting a species or ecological outcome of interest; developing a first, alpha-level BBN model from the influence diagram; revising the model...

  13. A Framework for Linking Population Model Development with Ecological Risk Assessment Objectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The value of models that link organism‐level impacts to the responses of a population in ecological risk assessments (ERAs) has been demonstrated extensively over the past few decades. There is little debate about the utility of these models to translate multiple organism&#...

  14. Spatial agent-based models for socio-ecological systems: challenges and prospects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Filatova, T.; Verburg, P.H.; Parker, D.C.; Stannard, S.R.

    2013-01-01

    Departing from the comprehensive reviews carried out in the field, we identify the key challenges that agent-based methodology faces when modeling coupled socio-ecological systems. Focusing primarily on the papers presented in this thematic issue, we review progress in spatial agent-based models

  15. COMPARING THE UTILITY OF MULTIMEDIA MODELS FOR HUMAN AND ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE ANALYSIS: TWO CASES

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of models are available for exposure assessment; however, few are used as tools for both human and ecosystem risks. This discussion will consider two modeling frameworks that have recently been used to support human and ecological decision making. The study will compare ...

  16. What's that smell? An ecological approach to understanding preferences for familiar odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schloss, Karen B; Goldberger, Carolyn S; Palmer, Stephen E; Levitan, Carmel A

    2015-01-01

    How do odor preferences arise? Following Palmer and Schloss's (2010, PNAS, 107, 8877-8882) ecological valence theory of color preferences, we propose that preference for an odor is determined by preferences for all objects and/or entities associated with that odor. The present results showed that preferences for familiar odors were strongly predicted by average preferences for all things associated with the odors (eg people liked the apple odor which was associated with mostly positive things, such as apples, soap, and candy, but disliked the fish odor, which was associated with mostly negative things, such as dead fish, trash, and vomit). The odor WAVEs (weighted affective valence estimates) performed significantly better than one based on preference for only the namesake object (eg predicting preference for the apple odor based on preference for apples). These results suggest that preferences for familiar odors are based on a summary statistic, coding the valence of previous odor-related experiences. We discuss how this account of odor preferences is consistent with the idea that odor preferences exist to guide organisms to approach beneficial objects and situations and avoid harmful ones.

  17. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E; Biggs, Catherine A

    2014-11-15

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Putative bacterial interactions from metagenomic knowledge with an integrative systems ecology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordron, Philippe; Latorre, Mauricio; Cortés, Maria-Paz; González, Mauricio; Thiele, Sven; Siegel, Anne; Maass, Alejandro; Eveillard, Damien

    2016-02-01

    Following the trend of studies that investigate microbial ecosystems using different metagenomic techniques, we propose a new integrative systems ecology approach that aims to decipher functional roles within a consortium through the integration of genomic and metabolic knowledge at genome scale. For the sake of application, using public genomes of five bacterial strains involved in copper bioleaching: Acidiphilium cryptum, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans, we first reconstructed a global metabolic network. Next, using a parsimony assumption, we deciphered sets of genes, called Sets from Genome Segments (SGS), that (1) are close on their respective genomes, (2) take an active part in metabolic pathways and (3) whose associated metabolic reactions are also closely connected within metabolic networks. Overall, this SGS paradigm depicts genomic functional units that emphasize respective roles of bacterial strains to catalyze metabolic pathways and environmental processes. Our analysis suggested that only few functional metabolic genes are horizontally transferred within the consortium and that no single bacterial strain can accomplish by itself the whole copper bioleaching. The use of SGS pinpoints a functional compartmentalization among the investigated species and exhibits putative bacterial interactions necessary for promoting these pathways. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Host-parasite interactions and ecology of the malaria parasite-a bioinformatics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izak, Dariusz; Klim, Joanna; Kaczanowski, Szymon

    2018-04-25

    Malaria remains one of the highest mortality infectious diseases. Malaria is caused by parasites from the genus Plasmodium. Most deaths are caused by infections involving Plasmodium falciparum, which has a complex life cycle. Malaria parasites are extremely well adapted for interactions with their host and their host's immune system and are able to suppress the human immune system, erase immunological memory and rapidly alter exposed antigens. Owing to this rapid evolution, parasites develop drug resistance and express novel forms of antigenic proteins that are not recognized by the host immune system. There is an emerging need for novel interventions, including novel drugs and vaccines. Designing novel therapies requires knowledge about host-parasite interactions, which is still limited. However, significant progress has recently been achieved in this field through the application of bioinformatics analysis of parasite genome sequences. In this review, we describe the main achievements in 'malarial' bioinformatics and provide examples of successful applications of protein sequence analysis. These examples include the prediction of protein functions based on homology and the prediction of protein surface localization via domain and motif analysis. Additionally, we describe PlasmoDB, a database that stores accumulated experimental data. This tool allows data mining of the stored information and will play an important role in the development of malaria science. Finally, we illustrate the application of bioinformatics in the development of population genetics research on malaria parasites, an approach referred to as reverse ecology.

  20. Using the weight-of-evidence approach for ecological risk assessment at a DOE facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hull, R.N.; Suter, G.W.

    1994-01-01

    The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS), an uranium enrichment plant, has released various contaminants into the environment. An ecological risk assessment is underway for the site, which includes an evaluation of Little Beaver Creek, which flows along the eastern and northern sides of PORTS. For this assessment, the creek was divided into reaches which were defined in terms of contaminant sources. This creek receives contaminants from permitted outfalls, groundwater discharge, non-point sources, and accidental releases. Metal contamination is the major concern at the site. Receptors include the fish and benthic communities in the creek, and soil invertebrates and plants in the floodplain. A weight-of-evidence approach was used to evaluate risks to those receptors, based on chemical analyses, toxicity tests and field surveys. The fish and benthic communities are impacted on Little Beaver Creek in a reach near a permitted discharge, with improvements seen downstream of this location. Ambient water, sediment and soil samples were not toxic to laboratory organisms. Either these toxicity tests were not sufficiently sensitive to detect toxicity, or the observed changes in the aquatic communities did not result from toxicity. Because conditions improved downstream from the permitted discharge, it was concluded that this is the major source of toxicity in the creek

  1. An industrial ecology approach to municipal solid waste management: I. Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be viewed as a feedstock for industrial ecology inspired conversions of wastes to valuable products and energy. The industrial ecology principle of symbiotic processes using waste streams for creating value-added products is applied to MSW, with e...

  2. Risk-informed approaches to assess ecological safety of facilities with radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vashchenko, V.N.; Zlochevskij, V.V.; Skalozubov, V.I.

    2011-01-01

    Ingenious risk-informed methods to assess ecological safety of facilities with radioactive waste are proposed in the paper. Probabilistic norms on lethal outcomes and reliability of safety barriers are used as safety criteria. Based on the probability measures, it is established that ecological safety conditions are met for the standard criterion of lethal outcomes

  3. System Behavior Models: A Survey of Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-01

    OF FIGURES Spiral Model .................................................................................................3 Figure 1. Approaches in... spiral model was chosen for researching and structuring this thesis, shown in Figure 1. This approach allowed multiple iterations of source material...applications and refining through iteration. 3 Spiral Model Figure 1. D. SCOPE The research is limited to a literature review, limited

  4. Computational modeling for eco engineering: Making the connections between engineering and ecology (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowles, C.

    2013-12-01

    Ecological engineering, or eco engineering, is an emerging field in the study of integrating ecology and engineering, concerned with the design, monitoring, and construction of ecosystems. According to Mitsch (1996) 'the design of sustainable ecosystems intends to integrate human society with its natural environment for the benefit of both'. Eco engineering emerged as a new idea in the early 1960s, and the concept has seen refinement since then. As a commonly practiced field of engineering it is relatively novel. Howard Odum (1963) and others first introduced it as 'utilizing natural energy sources as the predominant input to manipulate and control environmental systems'. Mtisch and Jorgensen (1989) were the first to define eco engineering, to provide eco engineering principles and conceptual eco engineering models. Later they refined the definition and increased the number of principles. They suggested that the goals of eco engineering are: a) the restoration of ecosystems that have been substantially disturbed by human activities such as environmental pollution or land disturbance, and b) the development of new sustainable ecosystems that have both human and ecological values. Here a more detailed overview of eco engineering is provided, particularly with regard to how engineers and ecologists are utilizing multi-dimensional computational models to link ecology and engineering, resulting in increasingly successful project implementation. Descriptions are provided pertaining to 1-, 2- and 3-dimensional hydrodynamic models and their use at small- and large-scale applications. A range of conceptual models that have been developed to aid the in the creation of linkages between ecology and engineering are discussed. Finally, several case studies that link ecology and engineering via computational modeling are provided. These studies include localized stream rehabilitation, spawning gravel enhancement on a large river system, and watershed-wide floodplain modeling of

  5. Advancing Empirical Approaches to the Concept of Resilience: A Critical Examination of Panarchy, Ecological Information, and Statistical Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Kharrazi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite its ambiguities, the concept of resilience is of critical importance to researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers in dealing with dynamic socio-ecological systems. In this paper, we critically examine the three empirical approaches of (i panarchy; (ii ecological information-based network analysis; and (iii statistical evidence of resilience to three criteria determined for achieving a comprehensive understanding and application of this concept. These criteria are the ability: (1 to reflect a system’s adaptability to shocks; (2 to integrate social and environmental dimensions; and (3 to evaluate system-level trade-offs. Our findings show that none of the three currently applied approaches are strong in handling all three criteria. Panarchy is strong in the first two criteria but has difficulty with normative trade-offs. The ecological information-based approach is strongest in evaluating trade-offs but relies on common dimensions that lead to over-simplifications in integrating the social and environmental dimensions. Statistical evidence provides suggestions that are simplest and easiest to act upon but are generally weak in all three criteria. This analysis confirms the value of these approaches in specific instances but also the need for further research in advancing empirical approaches to the concept of resilience.

  6. Managing for No Net Loss of Ecological Services: An Approach for Quantifying Loss of Coastal Wetlands due to Sea Level Rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kassakian, Jennifer; Jones, Ann; Martinich, Jeremy; Hudgens, Daniel

    2017-05-01

    Sea level rise has the potential to substantially alter the extent and nature of coastal wetlands and the critical ecological services they provide. In making choices about how to respond to rising sea level, planners are challenged with weighing easily quantified risks (e.g., loss of property value due to inundation) against those that are more difficult to quantify (e.g., loss of primary production or carbon sequestration services provided by wetlands due to inundation). Our goal was to develop a cost-effective, appropriately-scaled, model-based approach that allows planners to predict, under various sea level rise and response scenarios, the economic cost of wetland loss-with the estimates proxied by the costs of future restoration required to maintain the existing level of wetland habitat services. Our approach applies the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model to predict changes in wetland habitats over the next century, and then applies Habitat Equivalency Analysis to predict the cost of restoration projects required to maintain ecological services at their present, pre-sea level rise level. We demonstrate the application of this approach in the Delaware Bay estuary and in the Indian River Lagoon (Florida), and discuss how this approach can support future coastal decision-making.

  7. An ecological model to factors associated with booster seat use: A population based study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimony Kanat, Sarit; Gofin, Rosa

    2017-11-01

    Belt-positioning booster seat use (BPB) is an effective technology to prevent severe child injury in cases of car crash. However, in many countries, age-appropriate car restraint use for children aged 4-7 years old remains the lowest among all age groups. The aim of this study was to identify the main determinants of BPB use through a comprehensive approach. An ecological model was used to analyze individual, parent-child relationships, and neighborhood characteristics. Parents of children enrolled in the first and second grades completed a self-reported questionnaire (n=745). The data were subjected to multilevel modeling. The first level examined individual and parent-child relationship variables; in addition the second level tested between neighborhood variance. According to parental self- reports, 56.6% of their children had used a BPB on each car trip during the previous month. The results indicated that the determinants positively related to BPB use were individual and parental; namely, the number of children in the family, the parents' car seat belt use, parental knowledge of children's car safety principles, and a highly authoritative parenting style. Children's temperaments and parental supervision were not associated with BPB use. At the neighborhood level, a small difference was found between neighborhoods for BPB users compared to non-users. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Understanding complex urban systems multidisciplinary approaches to modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Gurr, Jens; Schmidt, J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding Complex Urban Systems takes as its point of departure the insight that the challenges of global urbanization and the complexity of urban systems cannot be understood – let alone ‘managed’ – by sectoral and disciplinary approaches alone. But while there has recently been significant progress in broadening and refining the methodologies for the quantitative modeling of complex urban systems, in deepening the theoretical understanding of cities as complex systems, or in illuminating the implications for urban planning, there is still a lack of well-founded conceptual thinking on the methodological foundations and the strategies of modeling urban complexity across the disciplines. Bringing together experts from the fields of urban and spatial planning, ecology, urban geography, real estate analysis, organizational cybernetics, stochastic optimization, and literary studies, as well as specialists in various systems approaches and in transdisciplinary methodologies of urban analysis, the volum...

  9. Learning Actions Models: Qualitative Approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolander, Thomas; Gierasimczuk, Nina

    2015-01-01

    In dynamic epistemic logic, actions are described using action models. In this paper we introduce a framework for studying learnability of action models from observations. We present first results concerning propositional action models. First we check two basic learnability criteria: finite ident...

  10. Approaches to modelling hydrology and ecosystem interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberstein, Richard P.

    2014-05-01

    As the pressures of industry, agriculture and mining on groundwater resources increase there is a burgeoning un-met need to be able to capture these multiple, direct and indirect stresses in a formal framework that will enable better assessment of impact scenarios. While there are many catchment hydrological models and there are some models that represent ecological states and change (e.g. FLAMES, Liedloff and Cook, 2007), these have not been linked in any deterministic or substantive way. Without such coupled eco-hydrological models quantitative assessments of impacts from water use intensification on water dependent ecosystems under changing climate are difficult, if not impossible. The concept would include facility for direct and indirect water related stresses that may develop around mining and well operations, climate stresses, such as rainfall and temperature, biological stresses, such as diseases and invasive species, and competition such as encroachment from other competing land uses. Indirect water impacts could be, for example, a change in groundwater conditions has an impact on stream flow regime, and hence aquatic ecosystems. This paper reviews previous work examining models combining ecology and hydrology with a view to developing a conceptual framework linking a biophysically defensable model that combines ecosystem function with hydrology. The objective is to develop a model capable of representing the cumulative impact of multiple stresses on water resources and associated ecosystem function.

  11. The impacts of multiple stressors to model ecological structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landis, W.G.; Kelly, S.A.; Markiewicz, A.J.; Matthews, R.A.; Matthews, G.B.

    1995-01-01

    The basis of the community conditioning hypothesis is that ecological structures are the result of their unique etiology. Systems that have been exposed to a variety of stressors should reflect this history. The authors how conducted a series of microcosm experiments that can compare the effects of multiple stressors upon community dynamics. The microcosm protocols are derived from the Standardized Aquatic Microcosm (SAM) and have Lemma and additional protozoan species. Two multiple stressor experiments have been conducted. In an extended length SAM (ELSAM), two of four treatments were dosed with the turbine fuel JP-8 one week into the experiment. Two treatments were later exposed to the heat stress, one that had received jet fuel and one that had not. Similarly, an ELSAM was conducted with the second stressor being the further addition of JP-8 replacing the heat shock. Biological, physical and chemical data were analyzed with multivariate techniques including nonmetric clustering and association analysis. Space-time worms and phase diagrams were also employed to ascertain the dynamic relationships of variables identified as important by the multivariate techniques. The experiments do not result in a simple additive linear response to the additional stressor. Examination of the relative population dynamics reveal alterations in trajectories that suggest treatment related effects. As in previous single stressor experiments, recovery does not occur even after extended experimental periods. The authors are now attempting to measure the resulting trajectories, changes in similarity vectors and overall dynamics. However, community conditioning does appear to be an important framework in understanding systems with a heterogeneous array of stressors

  12. Forest Productivity and Diversity: Using Ecological Theory and Landscape Models to Guide Sustainable Forest Management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huston, M.A.

    1998-11-01

    Sustainable forest management requires maintaining or increasing ecosystem productivity, while preserving or restoring natural levels of biodiversity. Application of general concepts from ecological theory, along with use of mechanistic, landscape-based computer models, can contribute to the successful achievement of both of these objectives. Ecological theories based on the energetics and dynamics of populations can be used to predict the general distribution of individual species, the diversity of different types of species, ecosystem process rates and pool sizes, and patterns of spatial and temporal heterogeneity over a broad range of environmental conditions. This approach requires subdivision of total biodiversity into functional types of organisms, primarily because different types of organisms respond very differently to the spatial and temporal variation of environmental conditions on landscapes. The diversity of species of the same functional type (particularly among plants) tends to be highest at relatively low levels of net primary productivity, while the total number of different functional types (particularly among animals) tends to be highest at high levels of productivity (e.g., site index or potential net primary productivity). In general, the diversity of animals at higher trophic levels (e.g., predators) reaches its maximum at much higher levels of productivity than the diversity of lower trophic levels (e.g., plants). This means that a single environment cannot support high diversity of all types of organisms. Within the framework of the general patterns described above, the distributions, population dynamics, and diversity of organisms in specific regions can be predicted more precisely using a combination of computer simulation models and GIS data based on satellite information and ground surveys. Biophysical models that use information on soil properties, climate, and hydrology have been developed to predict how the abundance and spatial

  13. Understanding protected area resilience: a multi-scale, social-ecological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cumming, Graeme S.; Allen, Craig R.; Ban, Natalie C.; Biggs, Duan; Biggs, Harry C.; Cumming, David H.M; De Vos, Alta; Epstein, Graham; Etienne, Michel; Maciejewski, Kristine; Mathevet, Raphael; Moore, Christine; Nenadovic, Mateja; Schoon, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) remain central to the conservation of biodiversity. Classical PAs were conceived as areas that would be set aside to maintain a natural state with minimal human influence. However, global environmental change and growing cross-scale anthropogenic influences mean that PAs can no longer be thought of as ecological islands that function independently of the broader social-ecological system in which they are located. For PAs to be resilient (and to contribute to broader social-ecological resilience), they must be able to adapt to changing social and ecological conditions over time in a way that supports the long-term persistence of populations, communities, and ecosystems of conservation concern. We extend Ostrom's social-ecological systems framework to consider the long-term persistence of PAs, as a form of land use embedded in social-ecological systems, with important cross-scale feedbacks. Most notably, we highlight the cross-scale influences and feedbacks on PAs that exist from the local to the global scale, contextualizing PAs within multi-scale social-ecological functional landscapes. Such functional landscapes are integral to understand and manage individual PAs for long-term sustainability. We illustrate our conceptual contribution with three case studies that highlight cross-scale feedbacks and social-ecological interactions in the functioning of PAs and in relation to regional resilience. Our analysis suggests that while ecological, economic, and social processes are often directly relevant to PAs at finer scales, at broader scales, the dominant processes that shape and alter PA resilience are primarily social and economic.

  14. 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...

  15. Dynamic two state stochastic models for ecological regime shifts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Jan Kloppenborg; Carstensen, Niels Jacob; Madsen, Henrik

    2009-01-01

    of the model illustrates that hysteresis effect and regime shifts can be obtained for a limited range of parameter values only. The effect of multiplicative noise components entering at different levels of the model is presented and discussed. Including noise leads to very different results on the stability...

  16. Evolutionary ecology in silico: Does mathematical modelling help

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Keywords. Computer simulation; extinction; food web; population dynamics; speciation; unified model ... Moreover, because of the availability of sufficiently fast computers, it has become possible to carry out detailed computer simulations of these models. For the sake of completeness and to put these recent developments ...

  17. The ecological impact assessment of a proposed road development (the Slovak approach)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Igondova, Erika; Pavlickova, Katarina; Majzlan, Oto

    2016-01-01

    The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the Ec

  18. The ecological impact assessment of a proposed road development (the Slovak approach)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Igondova, Erika, E-mail: erika.igondova@gmail.com; Pavlickova, Katarina, E-mail: pavlickova60@gmail.com; Majzlan, Oto, E-mail: majzlan@fns.uniba.sk

    2016-07-15

    The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the

  19. Urban Optimum Population Size and Development Pattern Based on Ecological Footprint Model: Case of Zhoushan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan LU

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The agglomeration of population in the city can reflect the prosperity in the economy, society and culture. However, it has also brought a series of problems like environmental pollution, traffic congestion, housing shortage and jobs crisis. The results can be shown as the failure of urban comprehensive function, the decline of city benefits, and the contradiction between socioeconomic circumstance and ecosystem. Therefore, a reasonable population capacity, which is influenced by ecological resources, urban environment, geographical elements, social and economic factors, etc., is objectively needed. How to deal with the relationship between the utilization of natural capital and development of the city is extremely essential. This paper takes Zhoushan Island as an example, which is the fourth largest island off the coast of China. Firstly, the interactively influencing factors of urban optimal population are illustrated. And method is chosen to study the optimal population size. Secondly, based on the model of ecological footprint (EP, the paper calculates and analyzes the ecological footprint and ecological capacity of the Zhoushan Island, in order to explore the optimal population size of the city. Thirdly, analysis and evaluation of the resources and urban environment carrying capacity is made. Finally, the solution of the existing population problems and the suggestion for the future development pattern of the city are proposed in the urban eco-planning of Zhoushan Island. The main strategies can be summarized in two aspects: one is to reduce the ecological footprint, the other is to increase the ecological supply. The conclusion is that the current population of Zhoushan Island is far beyond the optimum population size calculated by the ecological footprint model. Therefore, sustainable development should be the guidance for urban planning in Zhoushan Island, and a low-carbon development pattern for the city is advocated.

  20. Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation of Ecological Risk Based on Cloud Model: Taking Chengchao Iron Mine as Example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Jinghua; Chen, Yong; Xiao, Xiao; Yong, Gan; Huang, Ranran; Miao, Zuohua

    2018-01-01

    Aimed at the fuzziness and randomness during the evaluation process, this paper constructed a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method based on cloud model. The evaluation index system was established based on the inherent risk, present level and control situation, which had been proved to be able to convey the main contradictions of ecological risk in mine on the macro level, and be advantageous for comparison among mines. The comment sets and membership functions improved by cloud model could reflect the uniformity of ambiguity and randomness effectively. In addition, the concept of fuzzy entropy was introduced to further characterize the fuzziness of assessments results and the complexities of ecological problems in target mine. A practical example in Chengchao Iron Mine evidenced that, the assessments results can reflect actual situations appropriately and provide a new theoretic guidance for comprehensive ecological risk evaluation of underground iron mine.

  1. Integrated ecological-economic fisheries models - evaluation, review and challenges for implementation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, J. Rasmus; Thunberg, Eric; Holland, Daniel S.

    2018-01-01

    and comparative evaluation of 35 IESFM´s applied to marine fisheries and marine ecosystem resources to identify the characteristics that determine their usefulness, effectiveness and implementation. The focus is on fully integrated models that allow for feedbacks between ecological and human processes though......Marine ecosystems evolve under many interconnected and area-specific pressures. In order to fulfill society's intensifying and diversifying needs whilst ensuring ecologically sustainable development, more effective marine spatial planning and broader-scope management of marine resources...... is necessary. Integrated ecological–socioeconomic fisheries models (IESFM) of marine systems are nee¬ded to evaluate impacts and sustainability of potential management actions and understand, and anti¬ci¬pate ecological, economic, and social dynamics at a range of scales from local to national and regional...

  2. Error and Uncertainty Analysis for Ecological Modeling and Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-12-01

    nitrate flux to the Gulf of Mexico. Nature (Brief Communication) 414: 166-167. (Uncertainty analysis done with SERDP software) Gertner, G., G...D. Goolsby 2001. Relating N inputs to the Mississippi River Basin and nitrate flux in the Lower Mississippi River: A comparison of approaches...Journal of Remote Sensing, 25(4):367-380. Wu, J., D.E. Jelinski, M. Luck, and P.T. Tueller, 2000. Multiscale analysis of landscape heterogeneity: scale

  3. Integrated Ecological-Economic Modeling of Regions with the use of GIS Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.N. Bulatova

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The paper shows the process of modeling the integrated map “Scheme of the ecological and economic regionalization of the territory of the Russian Federation on the basis of the mineral and raw materials base of natural adsorbents” using GIS technologies. The map is based on three main groups of indicators: natural, economic and environmental. The ecological content of the map is characterized by indicators that are potential or actual sources of pollutant release into the environment (nuclear power plants, nuclear reactors, radioactive waste storage and disposal sites, nuclear test sites, industrial enterprises, railways, operating and under construction oil pipelines, hydrocarbon fields, etc.. The economic component of the map is the reserves estimated by the indicators of study and development, the relationship to the subsoil fund and forecast resources. The natural group of indicators is represented by the mineral and raw material base of natural adsorbents (fields and objects of forecast resources that can be used to prevent harmful emissions and for the ecological and economic rehabilitation of contaminated areas. Based on the analysis of cartographic data, the ecological and economic areas of the territorial distribution of man-caused environmental impacts and the presence of adsorption raw materials are identified. As an example, a description is given of the ecological and economic model of the regionalization of the Privolzhsky Federal District using the GIS “Mineral resource base of natural adsorbents of Russia” developed at the Federal State Unitary Enterprise TsNIIgeolnerud.

  4. Importance of ocean circulation in ecological modeling: An example from the North Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skogen, Morten D.; Moll, Andreas

    2005-09-01

    There is an increasing number of ecological models for the North Sea around. Skogen and Moll (2000) [Skogen, M.D., Moll, A. 2000. Interannual variability of the North Sea primary production: comparison from two model studies. Continental Shelf Research 20 (2), 129-151] compared the interannual variability of the North Sea primary production using two state-of-the-art ecological models, NORWECOM and ECOHAM1. Their conclusion was that the two models agreed on an annual mean primary production, its variability and the timing and size of the peak production. On the other hand, there was a low (even negative dependent of area) correlation in the production in different years between the two models. In the present work, these conclusions are brought further. To try to better understand the observed differences between the two models, the two ecological models are run in an identical physical setting. With such a set-up also the interannual variability between the two models is in agreement, and it is concluded that the single most important factor for a reliable modeling of phytoplankton and nutrient distributions and transports within the North Sea is a proper physical model.

  5. Collaboration, interdisciplinary thinking, and communication: new approaches to K-12 ecology education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecologists often engage in global-scale research through partnerships among scientists from many disciplines. Such research projects require collaboration, interdisciplinary thinking, and strong communication skills. We advocate including these three practices as an integral part of ecology educatio...

  6. The application of new economic and ecological approaches to energetics in Czechoslovakia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Libich, V.; Kadrnozka, J.; Drahos, I.

    1986-10-01

    Orientation on local low-grade coal and nuclear sources also for heat supply, with which the construction of large heating systems and heat transport on large distances is connected, these are specific features of energy economy in Czechoslovakia. The development programme is challenging in economic respect, it causes numerous ecological problems, as well as those connected with coverage of variable loads. In case of additional construction at a later date many problems appear requiring differentiated approach that depends on concrete conditions. In the paper there are described possibilities and conditions of heat accumulation in feed water, in gravity accumulators at very quick changes of output, the accumulation systems involving steam release facilities and heat accumulation in heat conducting systems. Also the manufacture of heat generating equipment has an important role to play. There are given the outlines of construction of hot water accumulators. Specific conditions of the Czechoslovak energy economy also include the problem of efficient combustion of low-grade coal with a high sulfur content. In this connection it is especially the fluidized bed combustion that is under consideration. This combustion process can be run by clinkering of ash particles or a klinkerless process can be used. The combustion process can be either single-stage or double-stage. All these combustion methods are used in boilers made in Czechoslovakia. In the paper two types of boilers are described: the boiler with cooled fluidized bed and the fluidized bed reactor installed in front of a powdered coal fired boiler. There is briefly outlined the experience obtained from the operation of these boilers

  7. COMPETITIVENESS OF NIGERIAN RICE AND MAIZE PRODUCTION ECOLOGIES: A POLICY ANALYSIS APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    Victor Olusegun Okoruwa

    2011-01-01

    The Nigerian rice and maize sectors are faced with decreasing supply and increasing demand as rice and maize have taken a strategic place of other staples leading to excessive importation and increasing government intervention. This study therefore assesses the competitiveness of Nigerian rice and maize production ecologies using the policy analysis matrix (PAM) on a sample of 122 farmers. Results of the PAM revealed that outputs from the production ecologies are taxed. This is further confir...

  8. Carbon sequestration by patch fertilization: A comprehensive assessment using coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarmiento, Jorge L. [Princeton Univ., NJ (United States); Gnanadesikan, Anand [Princeton Univ., NJ (United States); Gruber, Nicolas [Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Jin, Xin [Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Armstrong, Robert [State Univ. of New York (SUNY), Plattsburgh, NY (United States)

    2007-06-21

    This final report summarizes research undertaken collaboratively between Princeton University, the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory on the Princeton University campus, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of California, Los Angeles between September 1, 2000, and November 30, 2006, to do fundamental research on ocean iron fertilization as a means to enhance the net oceanic uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere. The approach we proposed was to develop and apply a suite of coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models in order to (i) determine to what extent enhanced carbon fixation from iron fertilization will lead to an increase in the oceanic uptake of atmospheric CO2 and how long this carbon will remain sequestered (efficiency), and (ii) examine the changes in ocean ecology and natural biogeochemical cycles resulting from iron fertilization (consequences). The award was funded in two separate three-year installments: September 1, 2000 to November 30, 2003, for a project entitled “Ocean carbon sequestration by fertilization: An integrated biogeochemical assessment.” A final report was submitted for this at the end of 2003 and is included here as Appendix 1; and, December 1, 2003 to November 30, 2006, for a follow-on project under the same grant number entitled “Carbon sequestration by patch fertilization: A comprehensive assessment using coupled physical-ecological-biogeochemical models.” This report focuses primarily on the progress we made during the second period of funding subsequent to the work reported on in Appendix 1. When we began this project, we were thinking almost exclusively in terms of long-term fertilization over large regions of the ocean such as the Southern Ocean, with much of our focus being on how ocean circulation and biogeochemical cycling would interact to control the response to a given fertilization scenario. Our research on these types of scenarios, which was carried out largely during the

  9. 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.

  10. A Distributed Model of Oilseed Biorefining, via Integrated Industrial Ecology Exchanges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrell, Jeremy C.

    As the demand for direct petroleum substitutes increases, biorefineries are poised to become centers for conversion of biomass into fuels, energy, and biomaterials. A distributed model offers reduced transportation, tailored process technology to available feedstock, and increased local resilience. Oilseeds are capable of producing a wide variety of useful products additive to food, feed, and fuel needs. Biodiesel manufacturing technology lends itself to smaller-scale distributed facilities able to process diverse feedstocks and meet demand of critical diesel fuel for basic municipal services, safety, sanitation, infrastructure repair, and food production. Integrating biodiesel refining facilities as tenants of eco-industrial parks presents a novel approach for synergistic energy and material exchanges whereby environmental and economic metrics can be significantly improved upon compared to stand alone models. This research is based on the Catawba County NC EcoComplex and the oilseed crushing and biodiesel processing facilities (capacity-433 tons biodiesel per year) located within. Technical and environmental analyses of the biorefinery components as well as agronomic and economic models are presented. The life cycle assessment for the two optimal biodiesel feedstocks, soybeans and used cooking oil, resulted in fossil energy ratios of 7.19 and 12.1 with carbon intensity values of 12.51 gCO2-eq/MJ and 7.93 gCO2-eq/MJ, respectively within the industrial ecology system. Economic modeling resulted in a biodiesel conversion cost of 1.43 per liter of fuel produced with used cooking oil, requiring a subsidy of 0.58 per liter to reach the break-even point. As subsidies continue significant fluctuation, metrics other than operating costs are required to justify small-scale biofuel projects.

  11. Global energy modeling - A biophysical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dale, Michael

    2010-09-15

    This paper contrasts the standard economic approach to energy modelling with energy models using a biophysical approach. Neither of these approaches includes changing energy-returns-on-investment (EROI) due to declining resource quality or the capital intensive nature of renewable energy sources. Both of these factors will become increasingly important in the future. An extension to the biophysical approach is outlined which encompasses a dynamic EROI function that explicitly incorporates technological learning. The model is used to explore several scenarios of long-term future energy supply especially concerning the global transition to renewable energy sources in the quest for a sustainable energy system.

  12. Adaptive developmental delay in Chagas disease vectors: an evolutionary ecology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Menu

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae, vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability.We applied four methods: (1 an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2 a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3 a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4 a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause.85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5(th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5(th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of "bad" environmental conditions are sufficiently high.Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test this hypothesis. The importance of these findings is

  13. Ensuring that ecological science contributes to natural resource management using a Delphi-derived approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wolfe, Amy K [ORNL; Dale, Virginia H [ORNL; Arthur, Taryn A [ORNL; Baskaran, Latha Malar [ORNL

    2017-01-01

    This chapter approaches participatory modeling in environmental decision making from an atypical perspective. It broadly addresses the question of how to assure that science conducted to assist practitioners improves resource management. More specifically, it describes a case involving environmental science and natural resource management at Fort Benning, a U.S. Army installation in the southeastern United States where disparate environmental research projects were funded by a single federal agency to enhance the ability of Fort Benning resource managers to achieve their resource management goals. The role of our effort was to integrate the scientific studies in a manner that would be meaningful and useful for resource managers. Hence we assembled a team consisting of an anthropologist, ecologist, microbiologist, statistician, and geographic information systems specialist who developed a common framework that served as the basis for this integration. The team first used a Delphi expert elicitation, which evolved into an approach more akin to facilitated negotiation. This second approach arose organically, particularly when our team took advantage of an opportunity for face-to-face interaction. Although the shift in our approach was unplanned, it proved to be highly productive. We discuss the potential utility of our approach for other situations and suggest that it would be useful to initiate at the beginning of research where the aim is to produce scientific results that meet practitioners needs, specifically in the realm of environmental science and resource management.

  14. METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES FOR MODELING THE RURAL SETTLEMENT DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gorbenkova Elena Vladimirovna

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Subject: the paper describes the research results on validation of a rural settlement developmental model. The basic methods and approaches for solving the problem of assessment of the urban and rural settlement development efficiency are considered. Research objectives: determination of methodological approaches to modeling and creating a model for the development of rural settlements. Materials and methods: domestic and foreign experience in modeling the territorial development of urban and rural settlements and settlement structures was generalized. The motivation for using the Pentagon-model for solving similar problems was demonstrated. Based on a systematic analysis of existing development models of urban and rural settlements as well as the authors-developed method for assessing the level of agro-towns development, the systems/factors that are necessary for a rural settlement sustainable development are identified. Results: we created the rural development model which consists of five major systems that include critical factors essential for achieving a sustainable development of a settlement system: ecological system, economic system, administrative system, anthropogenic (physical system and social system (supra-structure. The methodological approaches for creating an evaluation model of rural settlements development were revealed; the basic motivating factors that provide interrelations of systems were determined; the critical factors for each subsystem were identified and substantiated. Such an approach was justified by the composition of tasks for territorial planning of the local and state administration levels. The feasibility of applying the basic Pentagon-model, which was successfully used for solving the analogous problems of sustainable development, was shown. Conclusions: the resulting model can be used for identifying and substantiating the critical factors for rural sustainable development and also become the basis of

  15. Scale of association: hierarchical linear models and the measurement of ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sean M. McMahon; Jeffrey M. Diez

    2007-01-01

    A fundamental challenge to understanding patterns in ecological systems lies in employing methods that can analyse, test and draw inference from measured associations between variables across scales. Hierarchical linear models (HLM) use advanced estimation algorithms to measure regression relationships and variance-covariance parameters in hierarchically structured...

  16. On the missing link in ecology: improving communication between modellers and experimentalists

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heuschele, Jan; Ekvall, Mikael T.; Mariani, Patrizio

    2017-01-01

    limit the usage of empirical data and thereby the impact of ecological studies. We discuss ways to advance collaboration; how to improve communication and the design of experiments; and the sharing of data. We hope to start a much-needed conversation between modellers and experimentalists, to further...

  17. Application of spatial models to the stopover ecology of trans-Gulf migrants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodore R. Simons; Scott M. Pearson; Frank R. Moore

    2000-01-01

    Studies at migratory stopover sites along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico are providing an understanding of how weather, habitat, and energetic factors combine to shape the stopover ecology of trans-Gulf migrants. We are coupling this understanding with analyses of landscape-level patterns of habitat availability by using spatially explicit models to simulate...

  18. Application of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model to Ecological Site Descriptions and Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    The utility of Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) and State-and-Transition Models (STMs) concepts in guiding rangeland management hinges on their ability to accurately describe and predict community dynamics and the associated consequences. For many rangeland ecosystems, plant community dynamics ar...

  19. An Ecological Risk Model for Early Childhood Anxiety: The Importance of Early Child Symptoms and Temperament

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mian, Nicholas D.; Wainwright, Laurel; Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J.; Carter, Alice S.

    2011-01-01

    Childhood anxiety is impairing and associated with later emotional disorders. Studying risk factors for child anxiety may allow earlier identification of at-risk children for prevention efforts. This study applied an ecological risk model to address how early childhood anxiety symptoms, child temperament, maternal anxiety and depression symptoms,…

  20. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Field Office Environmental Restoration Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Redfearn, A.; White, R.K.; Shaw, R.A.

    1992-07-01

    This document is intended to supplement exiting US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance for ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites by providing guidance that is more specific and more tailored to US Department of Energy sites than the guidance available from the EPA. However, it is a conceptual strategy document and does not include specific guidance on data, assumptions, and models. That detailed guidance is under development and will be presented in subsequent documents. Ecological risk assessments are equal to human health risk assessments in regulatory importance and can use many of the same data and some of the same estimation methods. However, they also have peculiar data needs and methods. Ecological risk assessments begin with an initial scoping phase, termed hazard definition, that characterizes the sources, the potentially environment, and the assessment endpoints. In the subsequent measurement and estimation phase, in which data are obtained concerning source of the endpoint biota to the contaminants and the effects of those exposures, and assumptions and models are used to relate the data to the desired exposure and effects parameters. Finally, in an integration phase, termed risk characterization, the various exposure and effects estimates are combined to infer the existence, cause, magnitude, and extent of effects of contaminants on the ecological endpoints. This phase is much more complicated for ecological risk assessments than for human health assessments because more types of data are available. Ecological risk assessments estimate effects using laboratory toxicity test results, like human health assessments, but also use results of ambient toxicity tests and biological surveys

  1. Beyond Cultural Relativism: An Ecological Model for Rhetorical Ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackin, Jim

    A model intended to overcome the cultural relativism of determining what is an ethical act draws an analogy to environmental studies. Beginning with the concepts of "telos" (final purpose) and "archai" (priority), the notion of an ecosystem of ethics avoids limitation to a particular historical definition of good. Since the…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

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

  3. Model Configuration and Innovative Design of College Students’ Ecological Civilization Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chengwen, Yang

    2018-02-01

    This study is based on Marxist eco-civilization thought, combining with Eco management theory, puts forward solutions for college students’ ecological civilization construction. The paper based on the perspective of ecological management theory to analyze the main elements of eco-civilization construction of college students, mainly including five categories. In view of above-mentioned analyze, constructed the model of college students’ eco-civilization which is based on the theory of eco-management, and put forward on concrete methods to improve it.

  4. A Unified Approach to Modeling and Programming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Ole Lehrmann; Møller-Pedersen, Birger

    2010-01-01

    of this paper is to go back to the future and get inspiration from SIMULA and propose a unied approach. In addition to reintroducing the contributions of SIMULA and the Scandinavian approach to object-oriented programming, we do this by discussing a number of issues in modeling and programming and argue3 why we......SIMULA was a language for modeling and programming and provided a unied approach to modeling and programming in contrast to methodologies based on structured analysis and design. The current development seems to be going in the direction of separation of modeling and programming. The goal...

  5. Radiation, ecology and the invalid LNT model: the evolutionary imperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Peter A

    2006-09-27

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-no threshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substantially beyond common background levels, can be explained by metabolic interactions among multiple abiotic stresses. Demographic and experimental data are mainly in accord with this expectation. Therefore, non-linearity becomes the primary model for assessing risks from low-dose ionizing radiation. This is the evolutionary imperative upon which risk assessment for radiation should be based.

  6. Radiation, Ecology and the Invalid LNT Model: The Evolutionary Imperative

    OpenAIRE

    Parsons, Peter A.

    2006-01-01

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-nothreshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substanti...

  7. An ecological response model for the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanahan, Jennifer; Baker, Daniel; Bledsoe, Brian P.; Poff, LeRoy; Merritt, David M.; Bestgen, Kevin R.; Auble, Gregor T.; Kondratieff, Boris C.; Stokes, John; Lorie, Mark; Sanderson, John

    2014-01-01

    The Poudre River Ecological Response Model (ERM) is a collaborative effort initiated by the City of Fort Collins and a team of nine river scientists to provide the City with a tool to improve its understanding of the past, present, and likely future conditions of the Cache la Poudre River ecosystem. The overall ecosystem condition is described through the measurement of key ecological indicators such as shape and character of the stream channel and banks, streamside plant communities and floodplain wetlands, aquatic vegetation and insects, and fishes, both coolwater trout and warmwater native species. The 13- mile-long study area of the Poudre River flows through Fort Collins, Colorado, and is located in an ecological transition zone between the upstream, cold-water, steep-gradient system in the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains and the downstream, warm-water, low-gradient reach in the Colorado high plains.

  8. From patterns to causal understanding: Structural equation modeling (SEM) in soil ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Powell, Jeff R; Grace, James B.; Bowker, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    In this perspectives paper we highlight a heretofore underused statistical method in soil ecological research, structural equation modeling (SEM). SEM is commonly used in the general ecological literature to develop causal understanding from observational data, but has been more slowly adopted by soil ecologists. We provide some basic information on the many advantages and possibilities associated with using SEM and provide some examples of how SEM can be used by soil ecologists to shift focus from describing patterns to developing causal understanding and inspiring new types of experimental tests. SEM is a promising tool to aid the growth of soil ecology as a discipline, particularly by supporting research that is increasingly hypothesis-driven and interdisciplinary, thus shining light into the black box of interactions belowground.

  9. MODEL-BASED CLUSTERING FOR CLASSIFICATION OF AQUATIC SYSTEMS AND DIAGNOSIS OF ECOLOGICAL STRESS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clustering approaches were developed using the classification likelihood, the mixture likelihood, and also using a randomization approach with a model index. Using a clustering approach based on the mixture and classification likelihoods, we have developed an algorithm that...

  10. Linking removal targets to the ecological effects of invaders: a predictive model and field test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Brooks, Annabelle M L; Akins, John L; Cooper, Andrew B; Miller, Skylar; Côté, Isabelle M

    Species invasions have a range of negative effects on recipient ecosystems, and many occur at a scale and magnitude that preclude complete eradication. When complete extirpation is unlikely with available management resources, an effective strategy may be to suppress invasive populations below levels predicted to cause undesirable ecological change. We illustrated this approach by developing and testing targets for the control of invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) on Western Atlantic coral reefs. We first developed a size-structured simulation model of predation by lionfish on native fish communities, which we used to predict threshold densities of lionfish beyond which native fish biomass should decline. We then tested our predictions by experimentally manipulating lionfish densities above or below reef-specific thresholds, and monitoring the consequences for native fish populations on 24 Bahamian patch reefs over 18 months. We found that reducing lionfish below predicted threshold densities effectively protected native fish community biomass from predation-induced declines. Reductions in density of 25–92%, depending on the reef, were required to suppress lionfish below levels predicted to overconsume prey. On reefs where lionfish were kept below threshold densities, native prey fish biomass increased by 50–70%. Gains in small (15 cm total length), including ecologically important grazers and economically important fisheries species, had increased by 10–65% by the end of the experiment. Crucially, similar gains in prey fish biomass were realized on reefs subjected to partial and full removal of lionfish, but partial removals took 30% less time to implement. By contrast, the biomass of small native fishes declined by >50% on all reefs with lionfish densities exceeding reef-specific thresholds. Large inter-reef variation in the biomass of prey fishes at the outset of the study, which influences the threshold density of lionfish

  11. Using Urban Landscape Trajectories to Develop a Multi-Temporal Land Cover Database to Support Ecological Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Alberti

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization and the resulting changes in land cover have myriad impacts on ecological systems. Monitoring these changes across large spatial extents and long time spans requires synoptic remotely sensed data with an appropriate temporal sequence. We developed a multi-temporal land cover dataset for a six-county area surrounding the Seattle, Washington State, USA, metropolitan region. Land cover maps for 1986, 1991, 1995, 1999, and 2002 were developed from Landsat TM images through a combination of spectral unmixing, image segmentation, multi-season imagery, and supervised classification approaches to differentiate an initial nine land cover classes. We then used ancillary GIS layers and temporal information to define trajectories of land cover change through multiple updating and backdating rules and refined our land cover classification for each date into 14 classes. We compared the accuracy of the initial approach with the landscape trajectory modifications and determined that the use of landscape trajectory rules increased our ability to differentiate several classes including bare soil (separated into cleared for development, agriculture, and clearcut forest and three intensities of urban. Using the temporal dataset, we found that between 1986 and 2002, urban land cover increased from 8 to 18% of our study area, while lowland deciduous and mixed forests decreased from 21 to 14%, and grass and agriculture decreased from 11 to 8%. The intensity of urban land cover increased with 252 km2 in Heavy Urban in 1986 increasing to 629 km2 by 2002. The ecological systems that are present in this region were likely significantly altered by these changes in land cover. Our results suggest that multi-temporal (i.e., multiple years and multiple seasons within years Landsat data are an economical means to quantify land cover and land cover change across large and highly heterogeneous urbanizing landscapes. Our data, and similar temporal land cover change

  12. Local Geostatistical Models and Big Data in Hydrological and Ecological Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hristopulos, Dionissios

    2015-04-01

    The advent of the big data era creates new opportunities for environmental and ecological modelling but also presents significant challenges. The availability of remote sensing images and low-cost wireless sensor networks implies that spatiotemporal environmental data to cover larger spatial domains at higher spatial and temporal resolution for longer time windows. Handling such voluminous data presents several technical and scientific challenges. In particular, the geostatistical methods used to process spatiotemporal data need to overcome the dimensionality curse associated with the need to store and invert large covariance matrices. There are various mathematical approaches for addressing the dimensionality problem, including change of basis, dimensionality reduction, hierarchical schemes, and local approximations. We present a Stochastic Local Interaction (SLI) model that can be used to model local correlations in spatial data. SLI is a random field model suitable for data on discrete supports (i.e., regular lattices or irregular sampling grids). The degree of localization is determined by means of kernel functions and appropriate bandwidths. The strength of the correlations is determined by means of coefficients. In the "plain vanilla" version the parameter set involves scale and rigidity coefficients as well as a characteristic length. The latter determines in connection with the rigidity coefficient the correlation length of the random field. The SLI model is based on statistical field theory and extends previous research on Spartan spatial random fields [2,3] from continuum spaces to explicitly discrete supports. The SLI kernel functions employ adaptive bandwidths learned from the sampling spatial distribution [1]. The SLI precision matrix is expressed explicitly in terms of the model parameter and the kernel function. Hence, covariance matrix inversion is not necessary for parameter inference that is based on leave-one-out cross validation. This property

  13. COMPETITIVENESS OF NIGERIAN RICE AND MAIZE PRODUCTION ECOLOGIES: A POLICY ANALYSIS APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Olusegun Okoruwa

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The Nigerian rice and maize sectors are faced with decreasing supply and increasing demand as rice and maize have taken a strategic place of other staples leading to excessive importation and increasing government intervention. This study therefore assesses the competitiveness of Nigerian rice and maize production ecologies using the policy analysis matrix (PAM on a sample of 122 farmers. Results of the PAM revealed that outputs from the production ecologies are taxed. This is further confirmed by the Effective protection coefficient (EPC and Subsidy ratio to producers (SRP values, however, the production ecologies are subsidized on the use of tradable inputs. The production ecologies show a strong competitiveness at the farm level (under irrigated rice, upland rice and upland maize and a strong comparative advantage. Sensitivity analysis indicated that a 50 percent increase in output and a 13.3 percent depreciation of the domestic currency will increase competitiveness and comparative advantage of rice and maize production in all ecologies. The study recommends that government should ensure a level of policy stability in the rice and maize sectors, assist farmers with irrigated water scheme to ensure constant water supply, and increase the level of output through provision of improved seed varieties.

  14. Developing ecological site and state-and-transition models for grazed riparian pastures at Tejon Ranch, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix P. Ratcliff; James Bartolome; Michele Hammond; Sheri Spiegal; Michael White

    2015-01-01

    Ecological site descriptions and associated state-and-transition models are useful tools for understanding the variable effects of management and environment on range resources. Models for woody riparian sites have yet to be fully developed. At Tejon Ranch, in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California, we are using ecological site theory to investigate the role of...

  15. Detecting relationships between the interannual variability in climate records and ecological time series using a multivariate statistical approach - four case studies for the North Sea region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heyen, H. [GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH (Germany). Inst. fuer Gewaesserphysik

    1998-12-31

    A multivariate statistical approach is presented that allows a systematic search for relationships between the interannual variability in climate records and ecological time series. Statistical models are built between climatological predictor fields and the variables of interest. Relationships are sought on different temporal scales and for different seasons and time lags. The possibilities and limitations of this approach are discussed in four case studies dealing with salinity in the German Bight, abundance of zooplankton at Helgoland Roads, macrofauna communities off Norderney and the arrival of migratory birds on Helgoland. (orig.) [Deutsch] Ein statistisches, multivariates Modell wird vorgestellt, das eine systematische Suche nach potentiellen Zusammenhaengen zwischen Variabilitaet in Klima- und oekologischen Zeitserien erlaubt. Anhand von vier Anwendungsbeispielen wird der Klimaeinfluss auf den Salzgehalt in der Deutschen Bucht, Zooplankton vor Helgoland, Makrofauna vor Norderney, und die Ankunft von Zugvoegeln auf Helgoland untersucht. (orig.)

  16. Using structural equation modeling to investigate relationships among ecological variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaeb, Z.A.; Kevin, Summers J.; Pugesek, B.H.

    2000-01-01

    Structural equation modeling is an advanced multivariate statistical process with which a researcher can construct theoretical concepts, test their measurement reliability, hypothesize and test a theory about their relationships, take into account measurement errors, and consider both direct and indirect effects of variables on one another. Latent variables are theoretical concepts that unite phenomena under a single term, e.g., ecosystem health, environmental condition, and pollution (Bollen, 1989). Latent variables are not measured directly but can be expressed in terms of one or more directly measurable variables called indicators. For some researchers, defining, constructing, and examining the validity of latent variables may be the end task of itself. For others, testing hypothesized relationships of latent variables may be of interest. We analyzed the correlation matrix of eleven environmental variables from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program for Estuaries (EMAP-E) using methods of structural equation modeling. We hypothesized and tested a conceptual model to characterize the interdependencies between four latent variables-sediment contamination, natural variability, biodiversity, and growth potential. In particular, we were interested in measuring the direct, indirect, and total effects of sediment contamination and natural variability on biodiversity and growth potential. The model fit the data well and accounted for 81% of the variability in biodiversity and 69% of the variability in growth potential. It revealed a positive total effect of natural variability on growth potential that otherwise would have been judged negative had we not considered indirect effects. That is, natural variability had a negative direct effect on growth potential of magnitude -0.3251 and a positive indirect effect mediated through biodiversity of magnitude 0.4509, yielding a net positive total effect of 0

  17. Can Microbial Ecology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Inform Climate Change Models?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hofmockel, Kirsten; Hobbie, Erik

    2017-07-31

    Our funded research focused on soil organic matter dynamics and plant-microbe interactions by examining the role of belowground processes and mechanisms across scales, including decomposition of organic molecules, microbial interactions, and plant-microbe interactions associated with a changing climate. Research foci included mycorrhizal mediated priming of soil carbon turnover, organic N use and depolymerization by free-living microbes and mycorrhizal fungi, and the use of isotopes as additional constraints for improved modeling of belowground processes. This work complemented the DOE’s mandate to understand both the consequences of atmospheric and climatic change for key ecosystems and the feedbacks on C cycling.

  18. The social ecology of resolving family conflict among West African immigrants in New York: a grounded theory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Andrew; Chu, Tracy; Akinsulure-Smith, Adeyinka M; Keatley, Eva

    2013-09-01

    The current study employs a grounded theory approach to examine West African immigrants' resolution of parent-child conflict and intimate partner conflict. Data from 59 participants present an interactive social ecological framework, where a lack of resolution at one level results in attempts to resolve problems at higher levels. Four levels are identified within West African immigrants' problem solving ecology, each with specific actors in positions of authority: individual/dyadic (parents and spouses), extended family (which includes distant relatives and relatives living in home countries), community leadership (non-family elders and religious leaders), and state authorities. From participants' descriptions of family challenges emerged a picture of a social ecology in flux, with traditional, socially conservative modes of resolving family conflict transposed across migration into the more liberal and state-oriented familial context of the United States. This transposition results in a loss spiral for the traditional social ecology, differentially affecting individual actors within families. Implications for helping professionals working with new immigrant communities include identifying variability in openness to adapting structures that are not working well (e.g., patriarchal protection of abusive husbands) and supporting structures known to be associated with well being (e.g., collective monitoring of youth).

  19. Ecological correlates of multiple sexual partnerships among adolescents and young adults in urban Cape Town: a cumulative risk factor approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchiri, Evans; Odimegwu, Clifford; Banda, Pamela; Ntoimo, Lorreta; Adedini, Sunday

    2017-07-01

    Studies in South Africa have reported unsafe levels of risky sexual behvaiours among adolescents and young adults, with the country reporting the highest burden of HIV/AIDS globally, as well as a high rate of teenage pregnancy. While determinants of risky sexual behaviours have been investigated for factors occurring at the individual and household levels, not fully explored in the literature is the effect of community level factors. Furthermore, it is unclear whether risk factors occurring within the ecology of adolescents and young adults act cumulatively to influence their sexual practices. This article aims to address this knowledge gap using a case study of the Cape Area Panel Study of adolescents and young adults in urban Cape Town, South Africa. The ecological framework was adopted to guide the selection of risk factors at the individual, household, and community levels. Multivariate linear discriminant function analyses were used to select significant risk factors for multiple sexual partnerships and used to produce risk indices for the respondents. The cumulative risk approach was applied to test whether significant risk factors acted cumulatively. Findings point to the importance of ecological factors in influencing outcomes of multiple sexual partnerships among respondents and further demonstrate that ecological risk factors may act cumulatively. These findings are important for South Africa that is grappling with teenage pregnancy and disproportionate HIV epidemic among the youth.

  20. Towards an integrated approach to modelling the risks and impacts of invasive forest species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denys Yemshanov; Daniel McKenney; John Pedlar; Frank Koch; David Cook

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we provide an overview of an integrated approach to modelling the risks and impacts associated with non-indigenous forest pest species. This is a broad and important topic given the scale of ecological and economic consequences associated with non-indigenous species in north america and elsewhere. Assessments of risk and impacts remain difficult due to...

  1. Segmented Assimilation Theory and the Life Model: An Integrated Approach to Understanding Immigrants and Their Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piedra, Lissette M.; Engstrom, David W.

    2009-01-01

    The life model offers social workers a promising framework to use in assisting immigrant families. However, the complexities of adaptation to a new country may make it difficult for social workers to operate from a purely ecological approach. The authors use segmented assimilation theory to better account for the specificities of the immigrant…

  2. A coupled geomorphic and ecological model of tidal marsh evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Murray, A Brad

    2007-04-10

    The evolution of tidal marsh platforms and interwoven channel networks cannot be addressed without treating the two-way interactions that link biological and physical processes. We have developed a 3D model of tidal marsh accretion and channel network development that couples physical sediment transport processes with vegetation biomass productivity. Tidal flow tends to cause erosion, whereas vegetation biomass, a function of bed surface depth below high tide, influences the rate of sediment deposition and slope-driven transport processes such as creek bank slumping. With a steady, moderate rise in sea level, the model builds a marsh platform and channel network with accretion rates everywhere equal to the rate of sea-level rise, meaning water depths and biological productivity remain temporally constant. An increase in the rate of sea-level rise, or a reduction in sediment supply, causes marsh-surface depths, biomass productivity, and deposition rates to increase while simultaneously causing the channel network to expand. Vegetation on the marsh platform can promote a metastable equilibrium where the platform maintains elevation relative to a rapidly rising sea level, although disturbance to vegetation could cause irreversible loss of marsh habitat.

  3. The spatial optimism model research for the regional land use based on the ecological constraint

    Science.gov (United States)

    XU, K.; Lu, J.; Chi, Y.

    2013-12-01

    The study focuses on the Yunnan-Guizhou (i.e. Yunnan province and Guizhou province) Plateau in China. Since the Yunnan-Guizhou region consists of closed basins, the land resources suiting for development are in a shortage, and the ecological problems in the area are quite complicated. In such circumstance, in order to get the applicable basins area and distribution, certain spatial optimism model is needed. In this research, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and land use data are used to get the boundary rules of the basins distribution. Furthermore, natural risks, ecological risks and human-made ecological risks are integrated to be analyzed. Finally, the spatial overlay analysis method is used to model the developable basins area and distribution for industries and urbanization. The study process can be divided into six steps. First, basins and their distribution need to be recognized. In this way, the DEM data is used to extract the geomorphology characteristics. The plaque regions with gradient under eight degrees are selected. Among these regions, the total area of the plaque with the area above 8 km2 is 54,000 km2, 10% of the total area. These regions are selected to the potential application of industries and urbanization. In the later five steps, analyses are aimed at these regions. Secondly, the natural risks are analyzed. The conditions of the earthquake, debris flow and rainstorm and flood are combined to classify the natural risks. Thirdly, the ecological risks are analyzed containing the ecological sensibility and ecosystem service function importance. According to the regional ecologic features, the sensibility containing the soil erosion, acid rain, stony desertification and survive condition factors is derived and classified according to the medium value to get the ecological sensibility partition. The ecosystem service function importance is classified and divided considering the biology variation protection and water conservation factors. The fourth

  4. Sound therapy and aural rehabilitation for tinnitus: a person centred therapy framework based on an ecological model of tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Searchfield, Grant D; Linford, Tania; Durai, Mithila

    2018-03-23

    Tinnitus is a common oto-neurological complaint often accompanying hearing loss. In this perspective on rehabilitation we describe a framework for sound therapy and aural rehabilitation of tinnitus based on the ecological model of tinnitus. A thematic network analysis-based approach was used to relate aural rehabilitation methods to the ecological model of tinnitus and the client-oriented scale of improvement in tinnitus. Aural rehabilitation methods were mapped to concepts of: (1) Context, (2) presence of sound and (3) reaction to sound. A global theme was: adaptation to sound. The framework is the result of an iterative and cumulative research program exploring tinnitus as the outcome of the relationship between individual psychoacoustics and psychosocial factors including context of perception. The intent of this framework is to help guide audiologists managing tinnitus. The framework has been useful in our clinic as illustrated by a case study. The benefits of this approach relative to standard care needs to be independently ascertained. Implications for Rehabilitation Tinnitus is a common oto-neurological complaint that when severe can be very disabling. Tinnitus is very heterogeneous as a consequence of this no one treatment is suitable for everyone. The sound therapy and aural rehabilitation for tinnitus framework is designed to assist audiologists in clinical planning that addresses individual needs. The framework is the result of an iterative and cumulative research program exploring tinnitus as the outcome of the relationship between individual psychoacoustics and psychosocial factors including context of perception.

  5. Towards an Agro-Industrial Ecology: A review of nutrient flow modelling and assessment tools in agro-food systems at the local scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Mena, Hugo; Nesme, Thomas; Pellerin, Sylvain

    2016-02-01

    Improvement in nutrient recycling in agriculture is essential to maintain food production while minimising nutrient pollution of the environment. For this purpose, understanding and modelling nutrient cycles in food and related agro-industrial systems is a crucial task. Although nutrient management has been addressed at the plot and farm scales for many years now in the agricultural sciences, there is a need to upscale these approaches to capture the additional drivers of nutrient cycles that may occur at the local, i.e. district, scale. Industrial ecology principles provide sound bases to analyse nutrient cycling in complex systems. However, since agro-food social-ecological systems have specific ecological and social dimensions, we argue that a new field, referred to as "Agro-Industrial Ecology", is needed to study these systems. In this paper, we review the literature on nutrient cycling in complex social-ecological systems that can provide a basis for Agro-Industrial Ecology. We identify and describe three major approaches: Environmental Assessment tools, Stock and Flow Analysis methods and Agent-based models. We then discuss their advantages and drawbacks for assessing and modelling nutrient cycles in agro-food systems in terms of their purpose and scope, object representation and time-spatial dynamics. We finally argue that combining stock-flow methods with both agent-based models and environmental impact assessment tools is a promising way to analyse the role of economic agents on nutrient flows and losses and to explore scenarios that better close the nutrient cycles at the local scale. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Child mental-health policy development in sub-Saharan Africa: broadening the perspectives using Bronfenbrenner's ecological model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atilola, Olayinka

    2017-04-01

    Despite socio-economic, demographic and epidemiological facts and realities that point to a potential risk for explosion in the prevalence of childhood mental health problems in sub-Saharan Africa, there is still a severe dearth of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) policy or strategy to respond to the situation in the region. Unfortunately, current attempts at suggesting courses of action in this regard appear to be focused on narrow reactionary approaches. There is a need for theoretical frameworks to capture the full ramification of childhood in sub-Saharan Africa, from which multi-level, context-appropriate and holistic CAMH policy directions can be understood. In this commentary, we propose an amended version of the Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of childhood as such framework that captures proximal, intermediate and distal factors that influence the care environment of children. We then used the insights provided by the model to identify and prioritize intervention points and appropriate intervention strategies in charting a tentative course for CAMH policy development in the region. Though the ecological model provides a distinct perspective to the structure and dynamics of the care environment of children, the proposed framework using the model is still largely theoretical and need to be further integrated into future studies on CAMH policy development in the region. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. An ecological public health approach to understanding the relationships between sustainable urban environments, public health and social equity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Michael

    2014-09-01

    The environmental determinants of public health and social equity present many challenges to a sustainable urbanism-climate change, water shortages and oil dependency to name a few. There are many pathways from urban environments to human health. Numerous links have been described but some underlying mechanisms behind these relationships are less understood. Combining theory and methods is a way of understanding and explaining how the underlying structures of urban environments relate to public health and social equity. This paper proposes a model for an ecological public health, which can be used to explore these relationships. Four principles of an ecological public health-conviviality, equity, sustainability and global responsibility-are used to derive theoretical concepts that can inform ecological public health thinking, which, among other things, provides a way of exploring the underlying mechanisms that link urban environments to public health and social equity. Theories of more-than-human agency inform ways of living together (conviviality) in urban areas. Political ecology links the equity concerns about environmental and social justice. Resilience thinking offers a better way of coming to grips with sustainability. Integrating ecological ethics into public health considers the global consequences of local urban living and thus attends to global responsibility. This way of looking at the relationships between urban environments, public health and social equity answers the call to craft an ecological public health for the twenty-first century by re-imagining public health in a way that acknowledges humans as part of the ecosystem, not separate from it, though not central to it. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Ecological and Social Dynamics in Simple Models of Ecosystem Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen R. Carpenter

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Simulation models were developed to explore and illustrate dynamics of socioecological systems. The ecosystem is a lake subject to phosphorus pollution. Phosphorus flows from agriculture to upland soils, to surface waters, where it cycles between water and sediments. The ecosystem is multistable, and moves among domains of attraction depending on the history of pollutant inputs. The alternative states yield different economic benefits. Agents form expectations about ecosystem dynamics, markets, and/or the actions of managers, and choose levels of pollutant inputs accordingly. Agents have heterogeneous beliefs and/or access to information. Their aggregate behavior determines the total rate of pollutant input. As the ecosystem changes, agents update their beliefs and expectations about the world they co-create, and modify their actions accordingly. For a wide range of scenarios, we observe irregular oscillations among ecosystem states and patterns of agent behavior. These oscillations resemble some features of the adaptive cycle of panarchy theory.

  9. Multiple Model Approaches to Modelling and Control,

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    on the ease with which prior knowledge can be incorporated. It is interesting to note that researchers in Control Theory, Neural Networks,Statistics, Artificial Intelligence and Fuzzy Logic have more or less independently developed very similar modelling methods, calling them Local ModelNetworks, Operating......, and allows direct incorporation of high-level and qualitative plant knowledge into themodel. These advantages have proven to be very appealing for industrial applications, and the practical, intuitively appealing nature of the framework isdemonstrated in chapters describing applications of local methods...... to problems in the process industries, biomedical applications and autonomoussystems. The successful application of the ideas to demanding problems is already encouraging, but creative development of the basic framework isneeded to better allow the integration of human knowledge with automated learning...

  10. Geometrical approach to fluid models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuvshinov, B.N.; Schep, T.J.

    1997-01-01

    Differential geometry based upon the Cartan calculus of differential forms is applied to investigate invariant properties of equations that describe the motion of continuous media. The main feature of this approach is that physical quantities are treated as geometrical objects. The geometrical notion of invariance is introduced in terms of Lie derivatives and a general procedure for the construction of local and integral fluid invariants is presented. The solutions of the equations for invariant fields can be written in terms of Lagrange variables. A generalization of the Hamiltonian formalism for finite-dimensional systems to continuous media is proposed. Analogously to finite-dimensional systems, Hamiltonian fluids are introduced as systems that annihilate an exact two-form. It is shown that Euler and ideal, charged fluids satisfy this local definition of a Hamiltonian structure. A new class of scalar invariants of Hamiltonian fluids is constructed that generalizes the invariants that are related with gauge transformations and with symmetries (Noether). copyright 1997 American Institute of Physics

  11. Sensitivity of ecological soil-screening levels for metals to exposure model parameterization and toxicity reference values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sample, Bradley E; Fairbrother, Anne; Kaiser, Ashley; Law, Sheryl; Adams, Bill

    2014-10-01

    Ecological soil-screening levels (Eco-SSLs) were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for the purposes of setting conservative soil screening values that can be used to eliminate the need for further ecological assessment for specific analytes at a given site. Ecological soil-screening levels for wildlife represent a simplified dietary exposure model solved in terms of soil concentrations to produce exposure equal to a no-observed-adverse-effect toxicity reference value (TRV). Sensitivity analyses were performed for 6 avian and mammalian model species, and 16 metals/metalloids for which Eco-SSLs have been developed. The relative influence of model parameters was expressed as the absolute value of the range of variation observed in the resulting soil concentration when exposure is equal to the TRV. Rank analysis of variance was used to identify parameters with greatest influence on model output. For both birds and mammals, soil ingestion displayed the broadest overall range (variability), although TRVs consistently had the greatest influence on calculated soil concentrations; bioavailability in food was consistently the least influential parameter, although an important site-specific variable. Relative importance of parameters differed by trophic group. Soil ingestion ranked 2nd for carnivores and herbivores, but was 4th for invertivores. Different patterns were exhibited, depending on which parameter, trophic group, and analyte combination was considered. The approach for TRV selection was also examined in detail, with Cu as the representative analyte. The underlying assumption that generic body-weight-normalized TRVs can be used to derive protective levels for any species is not supported by the data. Whereas the use of site-, species-, and analyte-specific exposure parameters is recommended to reduce variation in exposure estimates (soil protection level), improvement of TRVs is more problematic. © 2014 The Authors

  12. Current approaches to gene regulatory network modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brazma Alvis

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Many different approaches have been developed to model and simulate gene regulatory networks. We proposed the following categories for gene regulatory network models: network parts lists, network topology models, network control logic models, and dynamic models. Here we will describe some examples for each of these categories. We will study the topology of gene regulatory networks in yeast in more detail, comparing a direct network derived from transcription factor binding data and an indirect network derived from genome-wide expression data in mutants. Regarding the network dynamics we briefly describe discrete and continuous approaches to network modelling, then describe a hybrid model called Finite State Linear Model and demonstrate that some simple network dynamics can be simulated in this model.

  13. Stories and Maps, Images and Archives: Multimethod Approach to the Political Ecology of Native Property Rights and Natural Resource Management in Sabah, Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Amity A.

    2010-01-01

    The study of human-environmental relations is complex and by nature draws on theories and practices from multiple disciplines. There is no single research strategy or universal set of methods to which researchers must adhere. Particularly for scholars interested in a political ecology approach to understanding human-environmental relationships, very little has been written examining the details of “how to” design a project, develop appropriate methods, produce data, and, finally, integrate multiple forms of data into an analysis. A great deal of attention has been paid, appropriately, to the theoretical foundations of political ecology, and numerous scholarly articles and books have been published recently. But beyond Andrew Vayda’s “progressive contextualization” and Piers Blaikie and Harold Brookfield’s “chains of explanation,” remarkably little is written that provides a research model to follow, modify, and expand. Perhaps one of the reasons for this gap in scholarship is that, as expected in interdisciplinary research, researchers use a variety of methods that are suitable (and perhaps unique) to the questions they are asking. To start a conversation on the methods available for researchers interested in adopting a political ecology perspective to human-environmental interactions, I use my own research project as a case study. This research is by no means flawless or inclusive of all possible methods, but by using the details of this particular research process as a case study I hope to provide insights into field research that will be valuable for future scholarship.

  14. Stories and maps, images and archives: multimethod approach to the political ecology of native property rights and natural resource management in Sabah, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Amity A

    2010-01-01

    The study of human-environmental relations is complex and by nature draws on theories and practices from multiple disciplines. There is no single research strategy or universal set of methods to which researchers must adhere. Particularly for scholars interested in a political ecology approach to understanding human-environmental relationships, very little has been written examining the details of "how to" design a project, develop appropriate methods, produce data, and, finally, integrate multiple forms of data into an analysis. A great deal of attention has been paid, appropriately, to the theoretical foundations of political ecology, and numerous scholarly articles and books have been published recently. But beyond Andrew Vayda's "progressive contextualization" and Piers Blaikie and Harold Brookfield's "chains of explanation," remarkably little is written that provides a research model to follow, modify, and expand. Perhaps one of the reasons for this gap in scholarship is that, as expected in interdisciplinary research, researchers use a variety of methods that are suitable (and perhaps unique) to the questions they are asking. To start a conversation on the methods available for researchers interested in adopting a political ecology perspective to human-environmental interactions, I use my own research project as a case study. This research is by no means flawless or inclusive of all possible methods, but by using the details of this particular research process as a case study I hope to provide insights into field research that will be valuable for future scholarship.

  15. Forensic Entomology: Evaluating Uncertainty Associated With Postmortem Interval (PMI) Estimates With Ecological Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faris, A M; Wang, H-H; Tarone, A M; Grant, W E

    2016-05-31

    Estimates of insect age can be informative in death investigations and, when certain assumptions are met, can be useful for estimating the postmortem interval (PMI). Currently, the accuracy and precision of PMI estimates is unknown, as error can arise from sources of variation such as measurement error, environmental variation, or genetic variation. Ecological models are an abstract, mathematical representation of an ecological system that can make predictions about the dynamics of the real system. To quantify the variation associated with the pre-appearance interval (PAI), we developed an ecological model that simulates the colonization of vertebrate remains by Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae), a primary colonizer in the southern United States. The model is based on a development data set derived from a local population and represents the uncertainty in local temperature variability to address PMI estimates at local sites. After a PMI estimate is calculated for each individual, the model calculates the maximum, minimum, and mean PMI, as well as the range and standard deviation for stadia collected. The model framework presented here is one manner by which errors in PMI estimates can be addressed in court when no empirical data are available for the parameter of interest. We show that PAI is a potential important source of error and that an ecological model is one way to evaluate its impact. Such models can be re-parameterized with any development data set, PAI function, temperature regime, assumption of interest, etc., to estimate PMI and quantify uncertainty that arises from specific prediction systems. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Culturally compelling strategies for behaviour change: a social ecology model and case study in malaria prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panter-Brick, Catherine; Clarke, Sian E; Lomas, Heather; Pinder, Margaret; Lindsay, Steve W

    2006-06-01

    Behaviour change is notoriously difficult to initiate and sustain, and the reasons why efforts to promote healthy behaviours fail are coming under increasing scrutiny. To be successful, health interventions should build on existing practices, skills and priorities, recognise the constraints on human behaviour, and either feature community mobilisation or target those most receptive to change. Furthermore, interventions should strive to be culturally compelling, not merely culturally appropriate: they must engage local communities and nestle within social and ecological landscapes. In this paper, we propose a social ecology perspective to make explicit the links between intention to change, actual behaviour change, and subsequent health impact, as relating to both theory-based models and practical strategies for triggering behaviour change. A social ecology model focuses attention on the contexts of behaviour when designing, implementing or critically evaluating interventions. As a case study, we reflect on a community-directed intervention in rural Gambia designed to reduce malaria by promoting a relatively simple and low-cost behaviour: repairing holes in mosquito bednets. In phase 1, contextual information on bednet usage, transactions and repairs (the 'social lives' of nets) was documented. In phase 2 (intervention), songs were composed and posters displayed by community members to encourage repairs, creating a sense of ownership and a compelling medium for the transmission of health messages. In phase 3 (evaluation), qualitative and quantitative data showed that household responses were particularly rapid and extensive, with significant increase in bednet repairs (psocial ecology-of behaviour practices that are the bedrock of health interventions.

  17. 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

    different views of all stakeholders should be reconciled in a pragmatic approach to social-ecological system management.

  18. Approach and strategy for performing ecological risk assessments for the US Department of Energy`s Oak Ridge Reservation: 1995 revision

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suter, G.W. II; Sample, B.E.; Jones, D.S.; Ashwood, T.L.; Loar, J.M.

    1995-09-01

    The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for planning and performing ecological risk assessments (ERAs) on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR). It is the third such document prepared for this purpose. The first ecorisk strategy document described the ERA process and presented a tiered approach to ERAs appropriate to complex sites. The first revision was necessitated by the considerable progress that has been made by the parties to the Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) for the ORR in resolving specific issues relating to ERA as a result of a series of data quality objectives (DQOs) meetings. The tiered approach to ERAs as recommended in the first document was implemented, generic conceptual models were developed, and a general approach for developing ecological assessment endpoints and measurement endpoints was agreed upon. This revision is necessitated by comments from the US Environmental Protection Agency`s Region IV and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) which clarified and modified the positions taken during the DQO process. In particular, support for the collection of data that would support ERAs for all OUs on the ORR have been withdrawn. Therefore, the work plan developed to fill the reservation-wide data needs identified in the DQO process has also been withdrawn, and portions that are still relevant have been incorporated into this document. The reader should be aware that this guidance is complex and lengthy because it attempts to cover all the reasonable contingencies that were considered to be potentially important to the FFA parties.

  19. Simulation of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal in Ecological Ditch Based on EFDC Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, S. M.; Wang, X. L.; Zhou, Q. Y.; Han, N. N.

    2018-03-01

    Agricultural non-point source pollution threatens water quality and ecological system recently. To control it, the first and most important task is to control the migration and transformation of nitrogen and phosphorus in the agricultural ditches. An ecological ditch was designed, and according to the design a pilot device was built, the mechanism of N and P removal in ditches under the collaboration of aquatic organisms-hydraulic power was studied through the dynamic and static experiments, in order to find out the specific influences of different environmental factors such as influent concentration, influent flow and water level. The transport and diffusion of N and P in the ditch was simulated by a three dimensional water quality model EFDC, the simulation results and the experimental data were compared. The average relative errors of EFDC model simulated results were all less than 15%, which verified the reliability of the model.

  20. A multi-scalar approach to theorizing socio-ecological dynamics of urban residential landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinku Roy Chowdhury; Kelli Larson; Morgan Grove; Colin Polsky; Elizabeth Cook; Jeffrey Onsted; Laura. Ogden

    2011-01-01

    Urban residential expansion increasingly drives land use, land cover and ecological changes worldwide, yet social science theories explaining such change remain under-developed. Existing theories often focus on processes occurring at one scale, while ignoring other scales. Emerging evidence from four linked U.S. research sites suggests it is essential to examine...

  1. Undertaking an Ecological Approach to Advance Game-Based Learning: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Mamta; Foster, Aroutis

    2014-01-01

    Systematic incorporation of digital games in schools is largely unexplored. This case study explored the ecological conditions necessary for implementing a game-based learning course by examining the interaction between three domains (the innovator, the innovation, and the context). From January-April 2012, one in-service teacher learned and…

  2. Implementing ecological networks through the Red for Green approach in a densely populated country

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grift-Simeonova, van der Vanya; Achterberg, E.; Grift, van der E.A.

    2017-01-01

    Regional and local governments in Europe are often challenged with establishing suitable institutional practices to meet ecological targets within urban spatial development plans and address the ultimate goal of the Environmental Policy Integration (EPI). EPI has been proliferated by the European

  3. A landscape approach for assessing the ecological feasibility of a black bear population recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    There is great interest in recovering populations of large carnivores in locations where they previously were extirpated or severely reduced in size as a result of human activity. Determining the ecological feasibility (i.e., is adequate habitat available?) of a species is diffi...

  4. Energize It! An Ecologically Integrated Approach to the Study of the Digestive System and Energy Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derting, Terry L.

    1992-01-01

    Develops a research-oriented method of studying the digestive system that integrates species' ecology with the form and function of this system. Uses problem-posing, problem-probing, and peer persuasion. Presents information for mammalian systems. (27 references) (MKR)

  5. Nutritional ecology of insect-plant interactions: persistent handicaps and the need for innovative approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Loon, van J.J.A.; Casas, J.; Pincebourde, S.

    2005-01-01

    Quantifying the flow of matter and energy in food webs is indispensable when assessing the effects of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, ozone level and temperature as a result of global climate change. In insect nutritional ecology, quantification of digestive and metabolic efficiency is

  6. Assessment of ecological passages along road networks within the Mediterranean forest using GIS-based multi criteria evaluation approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gülci, Sercan; Akay, Abdullah Emin

    2015-12-01

    Major roads cause barrier effect and fragmentation on wildlife habitats that are suitable places for feeding, mating, socializing, and hiding. Due to wildlife collisions (Wc), human-wildlife conflicts result in lost lives and loss of biodiversity. Geographical information system (GIS)-based multi criteria evaluation (MCE) methods have been successfully used in short-term planning of road networks considering wild animals. Recently, wildlife passages have been effectively utilized as road engineering structures provide quick and certain solutions for traffic safety and wildlife conservation problems. GIS-based MCE methods provide decision makers with optimum location for ecological passages based on habitat suitability models (HSMs) that classify the areas based on ecological requirements of target species. In this study, ecological passages along Motorway 52 within forested areas in Mediterranean city of Osmaniye in Turkey were evaluated. Firstly, HSM coupled with nine eco-geographic decision variables were developed based on ecological requirements of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) that were chosen as target species. Then specified decision variables were evaluated using GIS-based weighted linear combination (WLC) method to estimate movement corridors and mitigation points along the motorway. In the solution process, two linkage nodes were evaluated for eco-passages which were determined based on the least-cost movement corridor intersecting with the motorway. One of the passages was identified as a natural wildlife overpass while the other was suggested as underpass construction. The results indicated that computer-based models provide accurate and quick solutions for positioning ecological passages to reduce environmental effects of road networks on wild animals.

  7. Conventional and ecological public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayner, G

    2009-09-01

    This paper suggests that current models of public health are no longer sufficient as a means for understanding the health challenges of the anthropogenic age, and argues for an alternative based upon an ecological model. The roots of this perspective originated within the Victorian era, although it found only limited expression at that time. Ecological thinking in public health has only been revived relatively recently. Derived from an analysis of obesity, this paper proposes the development of an approach to ecological public health based on four dimensions of existence: the material, the physiological, the social and the cultural-cognitive. The implications for public policy are considered.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. An ecological approach to problems of Dark Energy, Dark Matter, MOND and Neutrinos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao HongSheng [Scottish University Physics Alliance, University of St Andrews, KY16 8SB (United Kingdom); Sterrewacht Leiden, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)], E-mail: hz4@st-andrews.ac.uk

    2008-11-01

    Modern astronomical data on galaxy and cosmological scales have revealed powerfully the existence of certain dark sectors of fundamental physics, i.e., existence of particles and fields outside the standard models and inaccessible by current experiments. Various approaches are taken to modify/extend the standard models. Generic theories introduce multiple de-coupled fields A, B, C, each responsible for the effects of DM (cold supersymmetric particles), DE (Dark Energy) effect, and MG (Modified Gravity) effect respectively. Some theories use adopt vanilla combinations like AB, BC, or CA, and assume A, B, C belong to decoupled sectors of physics. MOND-like MG and Cold DM are often taken as antagnising frameworks, e.g. in the muddled debate around the Bullet Cluster. Here we argue that these ad hoc divisions of sectors miss important clues from the data. The data actually suggest that the physics of all dark sectors is likely linked together by a self-interacting oscillating field, which governs a chameleon-like dark fluid, appearing as DM, DE and MG in different settings. It is timely to consider an interdisciplinary approach across all semantic boundaries of dark sectors, treating the dark stress as one identity, hence accounts for several 'coincidences' naturally.

  11. Distributed simulation a model driven engineering approach

    CERN Document Server

    Topçu, Okan; Oğuztüzün, Halit; Yilmaz, Levent

    2016-01-01

    Backed by substantive case studies, the novel approach to software engineering for distributed simulation outlined in this text demonstrates the potent synergies between model-driven techniques, simulation, intelligent agents, and computer systems development.

  12. Towards an Agro-Industrial Ecology: A review of nutrient flow modelling and assessment tools in agro-food systems at the local scale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez-Mena, Hugo; Nesme, Thomas; Pellerin, Sylvain

    2016-01-01

    Improvement in nutrient recycling in agriculture is essential to maintain food production while minimising nutrient pollution of the environment. For this purpose, understanding and modelling nutrient cycles in food and related agro-industrial systems is a crucial task. Although nutrient management has been addressed at the plot and farm scales for many years now in the agricultural sciences, there is a need to upscale these approaches to capture the additional drivers of nutrient cycles that may occur at the local, i.e. district, scale. Industrial ecology principles provide sound bases to analyse nutrient cycling in complex systems. However, since agro-food social-ecological systems have specific ecological and social dimensions, we argue that a new field, referred to as “Agro-Industrial Ecology”, is needed to study these systems. In this paper, we review the literature on nutrient cycling in complex social-ecological systems that can provide a basis for Agro-Industrial Ecology. We identify and describe three major approaches: Environmental Assessment tools, Stock and Flow Analysis methods and Agent-based models. We then discuss their advantages and drawbacks for assessing and modelling nutrient cycles in agro-food systems in terms of their purpose and scope, object representation and time-spatial dynamics. We finally argue that combining stock-flow methods with both agent-based models and environmental impact assessment tools is a promising way to analyse the role of economic agents on nutrient flows and losses and to explore scenarios that better close the nutrient cycles at the local scale. - Highlights: • An Agro-Industrial Ecology perspective is essential to model local agro-food systems. • We provide a classification of nutrient (N, P) models, methods and assessment tools. • We distinguished Environmental Assessment, Stock and flow and Agent-based approaches