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Sample records for ecological niche partitioning

  1. Overlap and partitioning of the ecological and isotopic niches

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    Elizabeth A. Flaherty; Merav Ben-David

    2010-01-01

    Recently, it was proposed that stable isotope patterns can be used to quantify the width of the ecological niche of animals. However, the potential effects of habitat use on isotopic patterns of consumers have not been fully explored and consequently isotopic patterns may yield deceptive estimates of niche width. Here, we simulated four different scenarios of a...

  2. Ecological niche partitioning between Anopheles gambiae molecular forms in Cameroon: the ecological side of speciation

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    Fotsing Jean-Marie

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Speciation among members of the Anopheles gambiae complex is thought to be promoted by disruptive selection and ecological divergence acting on sets of adaptation genes protected from recombination by polymorphic paracentric chromosomal inversions. However, shared chromosomal polymorphisms between the M and S molecular forms of An. gambiae and insufficient information about their relationship with ecological divergence challenge this view. We used Geographic Information Systems, Ecological Niche Factor Analysis, and Bayesian multilocus genetic clustering to explore the nature and extent of ecological and chromosomal differentiation of M and S across all the biogeographic domains of Cameroon in Central Africa, in order to understand the role of chromosomal arrangements in ecological specialisation within and among molecular forms. Results Species distribution modelling with presence-only data revealed differences in the ecological niche of both molecular forms and the sibling species, An. arabiensis. The fundamental environmental envelope of the two molecular forms, however, overlapped to a large extent in the rainforest, where they occurred in sympatry. The S form had the greatest niche breadth of all three taxa, whereas An. arabiensis and the M form had the smallest niche overlap. Correspondence analysis of M and S karyotypes confirmed that molecular forms shared similar combinations of chromosomal inversion arrangements in response to the eco-climatic gradient defining the main biogeographic domains occurring across Cameroon. Savanna karyotypes of M and S, however, segregated along the smaller-scale environmental gradient defined by the second ordination axis. Population structure analysis identified three chromosomal clusters, each containing a mixture of M and S specimens. In both M and S, alternative karyotypes were segregating in contrasted environments, in agreement with a strong ecological adaptive value of

  3. Niche divergence facilitated by fine-scale ecological partitioning in a recent cichlid fish adaptive radiation.

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    Ford, Antonia G P; Rüber, Lukas; Newton, Jason; Dasmahapatra, Kanchon K; Balarin, John D; Bruun, Kristoffer; Day, Julia J

    2016-12-01

    Ecomorphological differentiation is a key feature of adaptive radiations, with a general trend for specialization and niche expansion following divergence. Ecological opportunity afforded by invasion of a new habitat is thought to act as an ecological release, facilitating divergence, and speciation. Here, we investigate trophic adaptive morphology and ecology of an endemic clade of oreochromine cichlid fishes (Alcolapia) that radiated along a herbivorous trophic axis following colonization of an isolated lacustrine environment, and demonstrate phenotype-environment correlation. Ecological and morphological divergence of the Alcolapia species flock are examined in a phylogenomic context, to infer ecological niche occupation within the radiation. Species divergence is observed in both ecology and morphology, supporting the importance of ecological speciation within the radiation. Comparison with an outgroup taxon reveals large-scale ecomorphological divergence but shallow genomic differentiation within the Alcolapia adaptive radiation. Ancestral morphological reconstruction suggests lake colonization by a generalist oreochromine phenotype that diverged in Lake Natron to varied herbivorous morphologies akin to specialist herbivores in Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Ecological niche partitioning of the invasive dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum and its native congeners in the Baltic Sea.

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    Telesh, Irena V; Schubert, Hendrik; Skarlato, Sergei O

    2016-11-01

    This study analyses three decades of the peculiar bloom-formation history of the potentially toxic invasive planktonic dinoflagellates Prorocentrum minimum (Pavillard) Schiller in the SW Baltic Sea. We tested a research hypothesis that the unexpectedly long delay (nearly two decades) in population development of P. minimum prior to its first bloom was caused by competition with one or several closely related native dinoflagellate species due to ecological niche partitioning which hampered the spread and bloom-forming potential of the invader. We applied the ecological niche concept to a large, long-term phytoplankton database and analysed the invasion history and population dynamics of P. minimum in the SW Baltic Sea coastal waters using the data on phytoplankton composition, abundance and biomass. The ecological niche dimensions of P. minimum and its congener P. balticum were identified as the optimum environmental conditions for the species during the bloom events based on water temperature, salinity, pH, concentration of nutrients (PO 4 3- ; total phosphorus, TP; total nitrogen, TN; SiO 4 4- ), TN/TP-ratio and habitat type. The data on spatial distribution and ecological niche dimensions of P. minimum have contributed to the development of the "protistan species maximum concept". High microplankton diversity at critical salinities in the Baltic Sea may be considered as a possible reason for the significant niche overlap and strong competitive interactions among congeners leading to prolonged delay in population growth of P. minimum preceding its first bloom in the highly variable brackishwater environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

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    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  6. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

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    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important for the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread.

  7. Isotopic niche partitioning between two apex predators over time.

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    Drago, Massimiliano; Cardona, Luis; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Crespo, Enrique A; Vales, Damián G; Borella, Florencia; Zenteno, Lisette; Gonzáles, Enrique M; Inchausti, Pablo

    2017-07-01

    Stable isotope analyses have become an important tool in reconstructing diets, analysing resource use patterns, elucidating trophic relations among predators and understanding the structure of food webs. Here, we use stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in bone collagen to reconstruct and compare the isotopic niches of adult South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis; n = 86) and sea lions (Otaria flavescens; n = 49) - two otariid species with marked morphological differences - in the Río de la Plata estuary (Argentina - Uruguay) and the adjacent Atlantic Ocean during the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. Samples from the middle Holocene (n = 7 fur seals and n = 5 sea lions) are also included in order to provide a reference point for characterizing resource partitioning before major anthropogenic modifications of the environment. We found that the South American fur seals and South American sea lions had distinct isotopic niches during the middle Holocene. Isotopic niche segregation was similar at the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, but has diminished over time. The progressive convergence of the isotopic niches of these two otariids during the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century is most likely due to the increased reliance of South American fur seals on demersal prey. This recent dietary change in South American fur seals can be explained by at least two non-mutually exclusive mechanisms: (i) the decrease in the abundance of sympatric South American sea lions as a consequence of small colony size and high pup mortality resulting from commercial sealing; and (ii) the decrease in the average size of demersal fishes due to intense fishing of the larger class sizes, which may have increased their accessibility to those eared seals with a smaller mouth gape, that is, South American fur seals of both sexes and female South American sea lions. © 2017 The Authors

  8. Reproductive Interference and Niche Partitioning in Aphidophagous Insects

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    Suzuki Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The range and quality of prey species differ greatly among closely related species of predators. However, the factors responsible for this diversified niche utilization are unclear. This is because the predation and resource competition do not always prevent species coexistence. In this paper, we present evidence in support of reproductive interference as a driver of niche partitioning, focusing on aphidophagous insect. Firstly, we present closely related generalist and specialist species pairs in aphidophagous lacewings to compare the reproductive interference hypothesis with two other hypotheses that have been proposed to explain niche partitioning in lacewings and sympatric speciation through host race formation and sexual selection. Secondly, we present a case study that shows how reproductive interference can drive niche partitioning in sibling ladybird species. Thirdly, we show that many ladybird genera include species inhabiting the same region but having different food and habitat preferences, raising the possibility that reproductive interference might occur in these groups. Finally, we show that intraguild predation cannot always explain the niche partitioning in aphidophagous insects including hoverflies and parasitoids. On the basis of the evidence presented, we urge that future studies investigating predator communities should take account of the role of reproductive interference.

  9. Ecological niches of open ocean phytoplankton taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brun, Philipp Georg; Vogt, Meike; Payne, Mark

    2015-01-01

    We characterize the realized ecological niches of 133 phytoplankton taxa in the open ocean based on observations from the MAREDAT initiative and a statistical species distribution model (MaxEnt). The models find that the physical conditions (mixed layer depth, temperature, light) govern large...... conditions in the open ocean. Our estimates of the realized niches roughly match the predictions of Reynolds' C-S-R model for the global ocean, namely that taxa classified as nutrient stress tolerant have niches at lower nutrient and higher irradiance conditions than light stress tolerant taxa. Yet...

  10. Doctoral education in a successful ecological niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mette Krogh; Lund, Ole

    2014-01-01

    Scholarly communities are dependent on and often measured by their ability to attract and develop doctoral students. Recent literature suggests that most scholarly communities entail ecological niches in which the doctoral students learn the codes and practices of research. In this article, we...... successful doctoral education because it: 1) fleshes out the professional attitude that is necessary for becoming a successful researcher in the department, 2) shapes and adapts the doctoral students’ desires to grasp and identify with the department’s practices, and 3) provides the doctoral students...... explore the microclimate in an ecological niche of doctoral education. Based on a theoretical definition of microclimate as the emotional atmosphere that ties group members together and affects their actions, we conducted a case study that aimed to describe the key features of the microclimate...

  11. Trophic niche partitioning between two native and two exotic carnivores in SW Portugal

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    M. J. Santos

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of exotic species is one of the most pervasive consequences of the increased human mobility. The most known negative effects are the decrease or extinction of natives. The common-genet, Genetta genetta, and the Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, were introduced in the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th and 19th centuries, respectively. The competitive exclusion principle defines that two ecologically similar species cannot coexist. Thus, some degree of partitioning has to occur in species realized niche, which can occur at the trophic level. To test this hypothesis of partitioning we compared the diet of these two exotic species with that of two native species (stone marten, Martes foina, and red fox, Vulpes vulpes. The results show a high degree of overlap (>45% between the diets of species similar in their feeding strategies (arboreal and ground feeding. Nonetheless, at the finer scale of prey consumed at the species level some differences are found between the native and exotic species. These results suggest that if coexistence is due to trophic niche partitioning it only occurs at the level of the consumed species. However, coexistence may also be due to a combination of different strategies (home-range size, time and space use that structured the different realized niches of each species.

  12. [Trophic niche partitioning of pelagic sharks in Central Eastern Pacific inferred from stable isotope analysis.

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    Li, Yun Kai; Gao, Xiao di; Wang, Lin Yu; Fang, Lin

    2018-01-01

    As the apex predators of the open ocean ecosystems, pelagic sharks play important roles in stabilizing the marine food web through top-down control. Stable isotope analysis is a powerful tool to investigate the feeding ecology. The carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios can be used to trace food source and evaluate the trophic position of marine organisms. In this study, the isotope values of 130 pelagic sharks from 8 species in Central Eastern Pacific were analyzed and their trophic position and niche were calculated to compare the intra/inter-specific resource partitioning in the Central Eastern Pacific ecosystem. The results exhibited significant differences in both carbon and nitrogen isotope values among the shark species. The trophic levels ranged from 4.3 to 5.4 in the Central Eastern Pacific shark community. The trophic niche of blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks showed no overlap with the other shark species, exhibiting unique ecological roles in the open ocean food web. These data highlighted the diverse roles among pelagic sharks, supporting previous findings that this species is not trophically redundant and the trophic niche of pelagic sharks can not be simply replaced by those of other top predator species.

  13. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of niche construction for its agent.

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    Kylafis, Grigoris; Loreau, Michel

    2008-10-01

    Niche construction can generate ecological and evolutionary feedbacks that have been underinvestigated so far. We present an eco-evolutionary model that incorporates the process of niche construction to reveal its effects on the ecology and evolution of the niche-constructing agent. We consider a simple plant-soil nutrient ecosystem in which plants have the ability to increase the input of inorganic nutrient as an example of positive niche construction. On an ecological time scale, the model shows that niche construction allows the persistence of plants under infertile soil conditions that would otherwise lead to their extinction. This expansion of plants' niche, however, requires a high enough rate of niche construction and a high enough initial plant biomass to fuel the positive ecological feedback between plants and their soil environment. On an evolutionary time scale, we consider that the rates of niche construction and nutrient uptake coevolve in plants while a trade-off constrains their values. Different evolutionary outcomes are possible depending on the shape of the trade-off. We show that niche construction results in an evolutionary feedback between plants and their soil environment such that plants partially regulate soil nutrient content. The direct benefit accruing to plants, however, plays a crucial role in the evolutionary advantage of niche construction.

  14. Ecological niche transferability using invasive species as a case study.

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    Miguel Fernández

    Full Text Available Species distribution modeling is widely applied to predict invasive species distributions and species range shifts under climate change. Accurate predictions depend upon meeting the assumption that ecological niches are conserved, i.e., spatially or temporally transferable. Here we present a multi-taxon comparative analysis of niche conservatism using biological invasion events well documented in natural history museum collections. Our goal is to assess spatial transferability of the climatic niche of a range of noxious terrestrial invasive species using two complementary approaches. First we compare species' native versus invasive ranges in environmental space using two distinct methods, Principal Components Analysis and Mahalanobis distance. Second we compare species' native versus invaded ranges in geographic space as estimated using the species distribution modeling technique Maxent and the comparative index Hellinger's I. We find that species exhibit a range of responses, from almost complete transferability, in which the invaded niches completely overlap with the native niches, to a complete dissociation between native and invaded ranges. Intermediate responses included expansion of dimension attributable to either temperature or precipitation derived variables, as well as niche expansion in multiple dimensions. We conclude that the ecological niche in the native range is generally a poor predictor of invaded range and, by analogy, the ecological niche may be a poor predictor of range shifts under climate change. We suggest that assessing dimensions of niche transferability prior to standard species distribution modeling may improve the understanding of species' dynamics in the invaded range.

  15. Synergistic selection between ecological niche and mate preference primes diversification.

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    Boughman, Janette W; Svanbäck, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The ecological niche and mate preferences have independently been shown to be important for the process of speciation. Here, we articulate a novel mechanism by which ecological niche use and mate preference can be linked to promote speciation. The degree to which individual niches are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent natural selection and population splitting. Similarly, the degree to which individual mate preferences are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent sexual selection and assortative mating between diverging forms. This novel perspective is inspired by the literature on ecological niches; it also explores mate preferences and how they may contribute to speciation. Unlike much comparative work, we do not search for evolutionary patterns using proxies for adaptation and sexual selection, but rather we elucidate how ideas from niche theory relate to mate preference, and how this relationship can foster speciation. Recognizing that individual and population niches are conceptually and ecologically linked to individual and population mate preference functions will significantly increase our understanding of rapid evolutionary diversification in nature. It has potential to help solve the difficult challenge of testing the role of sexual selection in the speciation process. We also identify ecological factors that are likely to affect individual niche and individual mate preference in synergistic ways and as a consequence to promote speciation. The ecological niche an individual occupies can directly affect its mate preference. Clusters of individuals with narrow, differentiated niches are likely to have narrow, differentiated mate preference functions. Our approach integrates ecological and sexual selection research to further our understanding of diversification processes. Such integration may be necessary for progress because these processes seem inextricably linked in the natural world. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution

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

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    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.

  17. Phylogenetic niche conservatism and the evolutionary basis of ecological speciation.

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    Pyron, R Alexander; Costa, Gabriel C; Patten, Michael A; Burbrink, Frank T

    2015-11-01

    Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) typically refers to the tendency of closely related species to be more similar to each other in terms of niche than they are to more distant relatives. This has been implicated as a potential driving force in speciation and other species-richness patterns, such as latitudinal gradients. However, PNC has not been very well defined in most previous studies. Is it a pattern or a process? What are the underlying endogenous (e.g. genetic) and exogenous (e.g. ecological) factors that cause niches to be conserved? What degree of similarity is necessary to qualify as PNC? Is it possible for the evolutionary processes causing niches to be conserved to also result in niche divergence in different habitats? Here, we revisit these questions, codifying a theoretical and operational definition of PNC as a mechanistic evolutionary process resulting from several factors. We frame this both from a macroevolutionary and population-genetic perspective. We discuss how different axes of physical (e.g. geographic) and environmental (e.g. climatic) heterogeneity interact with the fundamental process of PNC to produce different outcomes of ecological speciation. We also review tests for PNC, and suggest ways that these could be improved or better utilized in future studies. Ultimately, PNC as a process has a well-defined mechanistic basis in organisms, and future studies investigating ecological speciation would be well served to consider this, and frame hypothesis testing in terms of the processes and expected patterns described herein. The process of PNC may lead to patterns where niches are conserved (more similar than expected), constrained (divergent within a limited subset of available niches), or divergent (less similar than expected), based on degree of phylogenetic relatedness between species. © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  18. Intersexual trophic niche partitioning in an ant-eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae.

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    Stano Pekár

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Divergence in trophic niche between the sexes may function to reduce competition between the sexes ("intersexual niche partitioning hypothesis", or may be result from differential selection among the sexes on maximizing reproductive output ("sexual selection hypothesis". The latter may lead to higher energy demands in females driven by fecundity selection, while males invest in mate searching. We tested predictions of the two hypotheses underlying intersexual trophic niche partitioning in a natural population of spiders. Zodarion jozefienae spiders specialize on Messor barbarus ants that are polymorphic in body size and hence comprise potential trophic niches for the spider, making this system well-suited to study intersexual trophic niche partitioning.Comparative analysis of trophic morphology (the chelicerae and body size of males, females and juveniles demonstrated highly female biased SSD (Sexual Size Dimorphism in body size, body weight, and in the size of chelicerae, the latter arising from sex-specific growth patterns in trophic morphology. In the field, female spiders actively selected ant sub-castes that were larger than the average prey size, and larger than ants captured by juveniles and males. Female fecundity was highly positively correlated with female body mass, which reflects foraging success during the adult stage. Females in laboratory experiments preferred the large ant sub-castes and displayed higher capture efficiency. In contrast, males occupied a different trophic niche and showed reduced foraging effort and reduced prey capture and feeding efficiency compared with females and juveniles.Our data indicate that female-biased dimorphism in trophic morphology and body size correlate with sex-specific reproductive strategies. We propose that intersexual trophic niche partitioning is shaped primarily by fecundity selection in females, and results from sex-differences in the route to successful reproduction where females are

  19. Ecological Niche Modelling of Bank Voles in Western Europe

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Ecological allometries and niche use dynamics across Komodo dragon ontogeny.

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    Purwandana, Deni; Ariefiandy, Achmad; Imansyah, M Jeri; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Letnic, Mike; Jessop, Tim S

    2016-04-01

    Ontogenetic allometries in ecological habits and niche use are key responses by which individuals maximize lifetime fitness. Moreover, such allometries have significant implications for how individuals influence population and community dynamics. Here, we examined how body size variation in Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) influenced ecological allometries in their: (1) prey size preference, (2) daily movement rates, (3) home range area, and (4) subsequent niche use across ontogeny. With increased body mass, Komodo dragons increased prey size with a dramatic switch from small (≤10 kg) to large prey (≥50 kg) in lizards heavier than 20 kg. Rates of foraging movement were described by a non-linear concave down response with lizard increasing hourly movement rates up until ∼20 kg body mass before decreasing daily movement suggesting reduced foraging effort in larger lizards. In contrast, home range area exhibited a sigmoid response with increased body mass. Intrapopulation ecological niche use and overlap were also strongly structured by body size. Thus, ontogenetic allometries suggest Komodo dragon's transition from a highly active foraging mode exploiting small prey through to a less active sit and wait feeding strategy focused on killing large ungulates. Further, our results suggest that as body size increases across ontogeny, the Komodo dragon exhibited marked ontogenetic niche shifts that enabled it to function as an entire vertebrate predator guild by exploiting prey across multiple trophic levels.

  2. Ecological allometries and niche use dynamics across Komodo dragon ontogeny

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    Purwandana, Deni; Ariefiandy, Achmad; Imansyah, M. Jeri; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Letnic, Mike; Jessop, Tim S.

    2016-04-01

    Ontogenetic allometries in ecological habits and niche use are key responses by which individuals maximize lifetime fitness. Moreover, such allometries have significant implications for how individuals influence population and community dynamics. Here, we examined how body size variation in Komodo dragons ( Varanus komodoensis) influenced ecological allometries in their: (1) prey size preference, (2) daily movement rates, (3) home range area, and (4) subsequent niche use across ontogeny. With increased body mass, Komodo dragons increased prey size with a dramatic switch from small (≤10 kg) to large prey (≥50 kg) in lizards heavier than 20 kg. Rates of foraging movement were described by a non-linear concave down response with lizard increasing hourly movement rates up until ˜20 kg body mass before decreasing daily movement suggesting reduced foraging effort in larger lizards. In contrast, home range area exhibited a sigmoid response with increased body mass. Intrapopulation ecological niche use and overlap were also strongly structured by body size. Thus, ontogenetic allometries suggest Komodo dragon's transition from a highly active foraging mode exploiting small prey through to a less active sit and wait feeding strategy focused on killing large ungulates. Further, our results suggest that as body size increases across ontogeny, the Komodo dragon exhibited marked ontogenetic niche shifts that enabled it to function as an entire vertebrate predator guild by exploiting prey across multiple trophic levels.

  3. Intersexual Trophic Niche Partitioning in an Ant-Eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekár, Stanislav; Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.

    2011-01-01

    lead to higher energy demands in females driven by fecundity selection, while males invest in mate searching. We tested predictions of the two hypotheses underlying intersexual trophic niche partitioning in a natural population of spiders. Zodarion jozefienae spiders specialize on Messor barbarus ants...... that are polymorphic in body size and hence comprise potential trophic niches for the spider, making this system well-suited to study intersexual trophic niche partitioning. Methodology/Principal Findings Comparative analysis of trophic morphology (the chelicerae) and body size of males, females and juveniles...... demonstrated highly female biased SSD (Sexual Size Dimorphism) in body size, body weight, and in the size of chelicerae, the latter arising from sex-specific growth patterns in trophic morphology. In the field, female spiders actively selected ant sub-castes that were larger than the average prey size...

  4. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

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    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

  5. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species’ ecological niches distances

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    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.

  6. Intraspecific ecological niche divergence and reproductive shifts foster cytotype displacement and provide ecological opportunity to polyploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunarathne, Piyal; Schedler, Mara; Martínez, Eric J; Honfi, Ana I; Novichkova, Anastasiia; Hojsgaard, Diego

    2018-05-11

    Niche divergence between polyploids and their lower ploidy progenitors is one of the primary mechanisms fostering polyploid establishment and adaptive divergence. However, within-species chromosomal and reproductive variability have usually been neglected in community ecology and biodiversity analyses even though they have been recognized to play a role in the adaptive diversification of lineages. We used Paspalum intermedium, a grass species with diverging genetic systems (diploidy vs. autopolyploidy, allogamy vs. autogamy and sexuality vs. apomixis), to recognize the causality of biogeographic patterns, adaptation and ecological flexibility of cytotypes. Chromosome counts and flow cytometry were used to characterize within-species genetic systems diversity. Environmental niche modelling was used to evaluate intraspecific ecological attributes associated with environmental and climatic factors and to assess correlations among ploidy, reproductive modes and ecological conditions ruling species' population dynamics, range expansion, adaptation and evolutionary history. Two dominant cytotypes non-randomly distributed along local and regional geographical scales displayed niche differentiation, a directional shift in niche optima and signs of disruptive selection on ploidy-related ecological aptitudes for the exploitation of environmental resources. Ecologically specialized allogamous sexual diploids were found in northern areas associated with higher temperature, humidity and productivity, while generalist autogamous apomictic tetraploids occurred in southern areas, occupying colder and less productive environments. Four localities with a documented shift in ploidy and four mixed populations in a zone of ecological transition revealed an uneven replacement between cytotypes. Polyploidy and contrasting reproductive traits between cytotypes have promoted shifts in niche optima, and increased ecological tolerance and niche divergence. Ecologically specialized diploids

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Niche Partitioning among Mesocarnivores in a Brazilian Wetland.

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    Rita de Cassia Bianchi

    Full Text Available We investigated the home range size, habitat selection, as well as the spatial and activity overlap, of four mid-sized carnivore species in the Central Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. From December 2005 to September 2008, seven crab-eating foxes Cerdocyon thous, seven brown-nosed coatis Nasua nasua, and six ocelots Leopardus pardalis were radio-collared and monitored. Camera trap data on these species were also collected for the crab-eating raccoon Procyon cancrivorus. We hypothesized that there would be large niche differentiation in preferred habitat-type or active period between generalist species with similar diet, and higher similarity in habitat-type or activity time between the generalist species (crab-eating foxes and coatis and the more specialized ocelot. Individual home ranges were estimated using the utilization distribution index (UD- 95% fixed Kernel. With data obtained from radio-collared individuals, we evaluated habitat selection using compositional analysis. Median home range size of ocelots was 8 km2. The proportion of habitats within the home ranges of ocelots did not differ from the overall habitat proportion in the study area, but ocelots preferentially used forest within their home range. The median home range size of crab-eating foxes was 1.4 km2. Foxes showed second-order habitat selection and selected savanna over shrub-savanna vegetation. The median home range size for coati was 1.5 km2. Coati home ranges were located randomly in the study area. However, within their home range, coatis occurred more frequently in savanna than in other vegetation types. Among the four species, the overlap in activity period was the highest (87% between ocelots and raccoons, with the least overlap occurring between the ocelot and coati (25%. We suggest that temporal segregation of carnivores was more important than spatial segregation, notably between the generalist coati, crab-eating fox and crab-eating raccoon.

  11. Ecological niche dimensionality and the evolutionary diversification of stick insects.

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    Patrik Nosil

    Full Text Available The degree of phenotypic divergence and reproductive isolation between taxon pairs can vary quantitatively, and often increases as evolutionary divergence proceeds through various stages, from polymorphism to population differentiation, ecotype and race formation, speciation, and post-speciational divergence. Although divergent natural selection promotes divergence, it does not always result in strong differentiation. For example, divergent selection can fail to complete speciation, and distinct species pairs sometimes collapse ('speciation in reverse'. Widely-discussed explanations for this variability concern genetic architecture, and the geographic arrangement of populations. A less-explored possibility is that the degree of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between taxon pairs is positively related to the number of ecological niche dimensions (i.e., traits subject to divergent selection. Some data supporting this idea stem from laboratory experimental evolution studies using Drosophila, but tests from nature are lacking. Here we report results from manipulative field experiments in natural populations of herbivorous Timema stick insects that are consistent with this 'niche dimensionality' hypothesis. In such insects, divergent selection between host plants might occur for cryptic colouration (camouflage to evade visual predation, physiology (to detoxify plant chemicals, or both of these niche dimensions. We show that divergent selection on the single niche dimension of cryptic colouration can result in ecotype formation and intermediate levels of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between populations feeding on different hosts. However, greater divergence between a species pair involved divergent selection on both niche dimensions. Although further replication of the trends reported here is required, the results suggest that dimensionality of selection may complement genetic and geographic explanations for the degree of

  12. 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.

  13. Stochastic dynamics for two biological species and ecological niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruziska, Flávia M.; Arashiro, Everaldo; Tomé, Tânia

    2018-01-01

    We consider an ecological system in which two species interact with two niches. To this end we introduce a stochastic model with four states. Our analysis is founded in three approaches: Monte Carlo simulations of the model on a square lattice, mean-field approximation, and birth and death master equation. From this last approach we obtain a description in terms of Langevin equations which show in an explicit way the role of noise in population biology. We focus mainly on the description of time oscillations of the species population and the alternating dominance between them. The model treated here may provide insights on these properties.

  14. Evidence of niche partitioning under ontogenetic influences among three morphologically similar siluriformes in small subtropical streams.

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    Karine Orlandi Bonato

    Full Text Available Ontogenetic influences in patterns of niche breadth and feeding overlap were investigated in three species of Siluriformes (Heptapterus sp., Rhamdia quelen and Trichomycterus poikilos aiming at understanding the species coexistence. Samplings were conducted bimonthly by electrofishing technique from June/2012 to June/2013 in ten streams of the northwestern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The stomach contents of 1,948 individuals were analyzed by volumetric method, with 59 food items identified. In general Heptapterus sp. consumed a high proportion of Aegla sp., terrestrial plant remains and Megaloptera; R. quelen consumed fish, and Oligochaeta, followed by Aegla sp.; while the diet of T. poikilos was based on Simuliidae, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera. Specie segregation was observed in the NMDS. Through PERMANOVA analysis feeding differences among species, and between a combination of species plus size classes were observed. IndVal showed which items were indicators of these differences. Niche breadth values were high for all species. The niche breadth values were low only for the larger size of R. quelen and Heptapterus sp. while T. poikilos values were more similar. Overall the species were a low feeding overlap values. The higher frequency of high feeding overlap was observed for interaction between Heptapterus sp. and T. poikilos. The null model confirmed the niche partitioning between the species. The higher frequency of high and intermediate feeding overlap values were reported to smaller size classes. The null model showed resource sharing between the species/size class. Therefore, overall species showed a resource partitioning because of the use of occasional items. However, these species share resources mainly in the early ontogenetic stages until the emphasized change of morphological characteristics leading to trophic niche expansion and the apparent segregation observed.

  15. Niche overlap and resource partitioning among five sympatric bufonids (Anura, Bufonidae from northeastern Argentina

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    Marta I. Duré

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The niche overlap and resource partitioning were analyzed for five sympatric bufonids from Northeastern Argentina: Rhinella schneideri, R. bergi, R. fernandezae, R. granulosa, and Melanophryniscus cupreuscapularis. The primary objectives were to analyze the diet and pattern of coexistence relative to the microhabitats among species. The bufonids, which are primarily terrestrial, exhibited a preference for small, hard prey such as formicids or coleopterans. The smallest species preferably consumed ants, while R. schneideri preferred beetles. Significant differences were detected for the diets of these five species. In addition, significant overlap in the trophic niche was noted for all species except between R. granulosa and R. schneideri. Studying the diet behaviors and trophic parameters of sympatric species provides important data for understandingthe community and for the development of conservation guidelines.

  16. Compatible ecological niche signals between biological and archaeological datasets for late-surviving Neandertals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bible, Rachael C; Peterson, A Townsend

    2018-04-17

    To assess ecological niche similarity for biological and archaeological samples representing late-surviving Neandertals in Europe to evaluate the validity of combining these two types of data in ecological niche modeling analyses. Tests of niche conservatism were used to assess niche similarity and niche identity of samples of morphologically diagnostic Neandertal remains and Middle Paleolithic (MP) archaeological sites dating to the time period leading up to Neandertal extinction. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions for the Pre-H4 (43.3-40.2 ky cal BP) were used as environmental space analyses. Null hypotheses of niche similarity and identity of the two types of samples could not be rejected. As primary and secondary evidence of Neandertal occurrence during the Pre-H4 show high levels of niche similarity and identity, combining the two types of occurrence data to create larger samples for niche analyses is justified without the concern that different environmental signals could complicate future research. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Niche partitioning within genus Nitrospira is affected by environmental copper concentration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fowler, Jane; Dechesne, Arnaud; Wagner, Florian Benedikt

    and at times limiting nutrient in nitrifying environments. We sought to examine the effects of copper on niche partitioning within the genus Nitrospira in full-scale filters. Sand samples from the top of an after-filter that displayed incomplete ammonium oxidation at Nærum waterworks were taken prior to Cu...... once copper limitation was removed, likely resulting in the out-competition of Clade B Nitrospira ammonium oxidizers. These results suggest that copper availability plays a role in determining the diversity and distribution of Nitrospira spp. in nitrifying environments....

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Using ecological niche modeling to determine avian richness hotspots

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    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.

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

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    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.

  2. Ecological partitioning and diversity in tropical planktonic foraminifera

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    Seears Heidi A

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological processes are increasingly being viewed as an important mode of diversification in the marine environment, where the high dispersal potential of pelagic organisms, and a lack of absolute barriers to gene flow may limit the occurrence of allopatric speciation through vicariance. Here we focus on the potential role of ecological partitioning in the diversification of a widely distributed group of marine protists, the planktonic foraminifera. Sampling was conducted in the tropical Arabian Sea, during the southwest (summer monsoon, when pronounced environmental conditions result in a strong disparity in temperature, salinity and productivity between distinct northern and southern water masses. Results We uncovered extensive genetic diversity within the Arabian Sea planktonic foraminifera, identifying 13 morphospecies, represented by 20 distinct SSU rRNA genetic types. Several morphospecies/genetic types displayed non-random biogeographical distributions, partitioning between the northern and southern water masses, giving a strong indication of independent ecological adaptations. Conclusions We propose sea-surface primary productivity as the main factor driving the geographical segregation of Arabian Sea planktonic foraminifera, during the SW monsoon, with variations in symbiotic associations possibly playing a role in the specific ecological adaptations observed. Our findings suggest that ecological partitioning could be contributing to the high levels of 'cryptic' genetic diversity observed within the planktonic foraminifera, and support the view that ecological processes may play a key role in the diversification of marine pelagic organisms.

  3. 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.

  4. Niche partitioning of marine group I Crenarchaeota in the euphotic and upper mesopelagic zones of the East China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Anyi; Jiao, Nianzhi; Zhang, Rui; Yang, Zao

    2011-11-01

    Marine group I Crenarchaeota (MGI) represents a ubiquitous and numerically predominant microbial population in marine environments. An understanding of the spatial dynamics of MGI and its controlling mechanisms is essential for an understanding of the role of MGI in energy and element cycling in the ocean. In the present study, we investigated the diversity and abundance of MGI in the East China Sea (ECS) by analysis of crenarchaeal 16S rRNA gene, the ammonia monooxygenase gene amoA, and the biotin carboxylase gene accA. Quantitative PCR analyses revealed that these genes were higher in abundance in the mesopelagic than in the euphotic zone. In addition, the crenarchaeal amoA gene was positively correlated with the copy number of the MGI 16S rRNA gene, suggesting that most of the MGI in the ECS are nitrifiers. Furthermore, the ratios of crenarchaeal accA to amoA or to MGI 16S rRNA genes increased from the euphotic to the mesopelagic zone, suggesting that the role of MGI in carbon cycling may change from the epipelagic to the mesopelagic zones. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoretic profiling of the 16S rRNA genes revealed depth partitioning in MGI community structures. Clone libraries of the crenarchaeal amoA and accA genes showed both "shallow" and "deep" groups, and their relative abundances varied in the water column. Ecotype simulation analysis revealed that MGI in the upper ocean could diverge into special ecotypes associated with depth to adapt to the light gradient across the water column. Overall, our results showed niche partitioning of the MGI population and suggested a shift in their ecological functions between the euphotic and mesopelagic zones of the ECS.

  5. 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

  6. Ecology: a niche for cyanobacteria containing chlorophyll d

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kühl, Michael; Chen, Min; Ralph, Peter J

    2005-01-01

    we demonstrate photosynthetic activity in Acaryochloris-like phototrophs that live underneath minute coral-reef invertebrates (didemnid ascidians) in a shaded niche enriched in near-infrared light. This discovery clarifies how these cyanobacteria are able to thrive as free-living organisms...

  7. Niche divergence builds the case for ecological speciation in skinks of the Plestiodon skiltonianus species complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wogan, Guinevere O.U.; Richmond, Jonathan Q.

    2015-01-01

    Adaptation to different thermal environments has the potential to cause evolutionary changes that are sufficient to drive ecological speciation. Here, we examine whether climate-based niche divergence in lizards of the Plestiodon skiltonianus species complex is consistent with the outcomes of such a process. Previous work on this group shows that a mechanical sexual barrier has evolved between species that differ mainly in body size and that the barrier may be a by-product of selection for increased body size in lineages that have invaded xeric environments; however, baseline information on niche divergence among members of the group is lacking. We quantified the climatic niche using mechanistic physiological and correlative niche models and then estimated niche differences among species using ordination techniques and tests of niche overlap and equivalency. Our results show that the thermal niches of size-divergent, reproductively isolated morphospecies are significantly differentiated and that precipitation may have been as important as temperature in causing increased shifts in body size in xeric habitats. While these findings alone do not demonstrate thermal adaptation or identify the cause of speciation, their integration with earlier genetic and behavioral studies provides a useful test of phenotype–environment associations that further support the case for ecological speciation in these lizards.

  8. Evolutionary dynamics of ecological niche in three Rhinogobio fishes from the upper Yangtze River inferred from morphological traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Meirong; Liu, Fei; Lin, Pengcheng; Yang, Shaorong; Liu, Huanzhang

    2015-01-01

    In the past decades, it has been debated whether ecological niche should be conserved among closely related species (phylogenetic niche conservatism, PNC) or largely divergent (traditional ecological niche theory and ecological speciation) and whether niche specialist and generalist might remain in equilibrium or niche generalist could not appear. In this study, we employed morphological traits to describe ecological niche and test whether different niche dimensions exhibit disparate evolutionary patterns. We conducted our analysis on three Rhinogobio fish species (R. typus,R. cylindricus, and R. ventralis) from the upper Yangtze River, China. Among the 32 measured morphological traits except body length, PCA extracted the first four principal components with their loading scores >1.000. To find the PNC among species, Mantel tests were conducted with the Euclidean distances calculated from the four principal components (representing different niche dimensions) against the pairwise distances calculated from mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence variations. The results showed that the second and the third niche dimension, both related to swimming ability and behavior, exhibited phylogenetic conservatism. Further comparison on niche breadth among these three species revealed that the fourth dimension of R. typus showed the greatest width, indicating that this dimension exhibited niche generalism. In conclusion, our results suggested that different niche dimensions could show different evolutionary dynamic patterns: they may exhibit PNC or not, and some dimensions may evolve generalism. PMID:25691981

  9. Commodifying snow, taming the waters. Socio-ecological niche construction in an Alpine village.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Robert; Winiwarter, Verena

    White belts of snow clad mountains all over the world each winter. Even if there is no snow, the tourism industry is able to produce the white finery at the push of the button, thereby consuming large amounts of water. Studying Damüls, a well-known ski resort in Austria's westernmost province Vorarlberg, we can show that the development of a service sector within agro-pastoral landscapes was connected with novel water uses and massive interventions into Alpine landscapes. Human niche construction theory offers a unique avenue for studying the development of Alpine communities, but also highlights side effects accompanying the change from agrarian to tourism livelihoods. One aim of this paper is to broaden the scope of human niche construction theory. Inceptive, counteractive and relocational niche construction activities were coupled to the differentiation of actor groups. To incorporate social dynamics, indispensable for studies in environmental history, we propose the concept of socio-ecological niche construction. The paper investigates how villagers balanced resource limitations typical for an agrarian society with the differentiation of sub-niches, mediating selective forces on the population. When the valleys were industrialized, Damüls was almost given up as a permanent settlement. Then, tourists entered the stage, by and by turning the wheel of local development into a different direction. A tourism niche based on natural snow evolved from the 1930s onwards. While the socio-ecological niches of agriculture and tourism coexisted in the interwar years, this changed when ski lifts were built, embedded into a debt-based economy that made the tourism niche vulnerable to snow availability. Snow-dependency became a powerful selective force. It was mediated by the ski lift companies through a range of niche construction activities that turned water into an important resource of snowmaking systems.

  10. Nitrite oxidation kinetics of two Nitrospira strains: The quest for competition and ecological niche differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ushiki, Norisuke; Jinno, Masaru; Fujitani, Hirotsugu; Suenaga, Toshikazu; Terada, Akihiko; Tsuneda, Satoshi

    2017-05-01

    Nitrite oxidation is an aerobic process of the nitrogen cycle in natural ecosystems, and is performed by nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). Also, nitrite oxidation is a rate-limiting step of nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Although Nitrospira is known as dominant NOB in WWTPs, information on their physiological properties and kinetic parameters is limited. Here, we report the kinetic parameters and inhibition of nitrite oxidation by free ammonia in pure cultures of Nitrospira sp. strain ND1 and Nitrospira japonica strain NJ1, which were previously isolated from activated sludge in a WWTP. The maximum nitrite uptake rate ( [Formula: see text] ) and the half-saturation constant for nitrite uptake ( [Formula: see text] ) of strains ND1 and NJ1 were 45 ± 7 and 31 ± 5 (μmol NO 2 - /mg protein/h), and 6 ± 1 and 10 ± 2 (μM NO 2 - ), respectively. The [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] of two strains indicated that they adapt to low-nitrite-concentration environments like activated sludge. The half-saturation constants for oxygen uptake ( [Formula: see text] ) of the two strains were 4.0±2.5 and 2.6±1.1 (μM O 2 ), respectively. The [Formula: see text] values of the two strains were lower than those of other NOB, suggesting that Nitrospira in activated sludge could oxidize nitrite in the hypoxic environments often found in the interiors of biofilms and flocs. The inhibition thresholds of the two strains by free ammonia were 0.85 and 4.3 (mg-NH 3 l -1 ), respectively. Comparing the physiological properties of the two strains, we suggest that tolerance for free ammonia determines competition and partitioning into ecological niches among Nitrospira populations. Copyright © 2017 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Disease and community structure: white-nose syndrome alters spatial and temporal niche partitioning in sympatric bat species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jachowski, David S.; Dobony, Christopher A.; Coleman, Laci S.; Ford, W. Mark; Britzke, Eric R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.

    2014-01-01

    AimEmerging infectious diseases present a major perturbation with apparent direct effects such as reduced population density, extirpation and/or extinction. Comparatively less is known about the potential indirect effects of disease that likely alter community structure and larger ecosystem function. Since 2006, white-nose syndrome (WNS) has resulted in the loss of over 6 million hibernating bats in eastern North America. Considerable evidence exists concerning niche partitioning in sympatric bat species in this region, and the unprecedented, rapid decline in multiple species following WNS may provide an opportunity to observe a dramatic restructuring of the bat community.LocationWe conducted our study at Fort Drum Army Installation in Jefferson and Lewis counties, New York, USA, where WNS first impacted extant bat species in winter 2007–2008.MethodsAcoustical monitoring during 2003–2011 allowed us to test the hypothesis that spatial and temporal niche partitioning by bats was relaxed post-WNS.ResultsWe detected nine bat species pre- and post-WNS. Activity for most bat species declined post-WNS. Dramatic post-WNS declines in activity of little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus, MYLU), formerly the most abundant bat species in the region, were associated with complex, often species-specific responses by other species that generally favoured increased spatial and temporal overlap with MYLU.Main conclusionsIn addition to the obvious direct effects of disease on bat populations and activity levels, our results provide evidence that disease can have cascading indirect effects on community structure. Recent occurrence of WNS in North America, combined with multiple existing stressors, is resulting in dramatic shifts in temporal and spatial niche partitioning within bat communities. These changes might influence long-term population viability of some bat species as well as broader scale ecosystem structure and function.

  13. Bioenergetics, Trophic Ecology, and Niche Separation of Tunas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, R J; Young, J W; Ménard, F; Potier, M; Allain, V; Goñi, N; Logan, J M; Galván-Magaña, F

    Tunas are highly specialized predators that have evolved numerous adaptations for a lifestyle that requires large amounts of energy consumption. Here we review our understanding of the bioenergetics and feeding dynamics of tunas on a global scale, with an emphasis on yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, albacore, and Atlantic bluefin tunas. Food consumption balances bioenergetics expenditures for respiration, growth (including gonad production), specific dynamic action, egestion, and excretion. Tunas feed across the micronekton and some large zooplankton. Some tunas appear to time their life history to take advantage of ephemeral aggregations of crustacean, fish, and molluscan prey. Ontogenetic and spatial diet differences are substantial, and significant interdecadal changes in prey composition have been observed. Diet shifts from larger to smaller prey taxa highlight ecosystem-wide changes in prey availability and diversity and provide implications for changing bioenergetics requirements into the future. Where tunas overlap, we show evidence of niche separation between them; resources are divided largely by differences in diet percentages and size ranges of prey taxa. The lack of long-term data limits the ability to predict impacts of climate change on tuna feeding behaviour. We note the need for systematic collection of feeding data as part of routine monitoring of these species, and we highlight the advantages of using biochemical techniques for broad-scale analyses of trophic relations. We support the continued development of ecosystem models, which all too often lack the regional-specific trophic data needed to adequately investigate climate and fishing impacts. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Insights from ecological niche modeling on the taxonomic distinction and niche differentiation between the black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckoes (Gekko gecko).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yueyun; Chen, Chongtao; Li, Li; Zhao, Chengjian; Chen, Weicai; Huang, Yong

    2014-09-01

    The black-spotted tokay and the red-spotted tokay are morphologically distinct and have largely allopatric distributions. The black-spotted tokay is characterized by a small body size and dark skin with sundry spots, while the red-spotted tokay has a relatively large body size and red spots. Based on morphological, karyotypic, genetic, and distribution differences, recent studies suggested their species status; however, their classifications remain controversial, and additional data such as ecological niches are necessary to establish firm hypotheses regarding their taxonomic status. We reconstructed their ecological niches models using climatic and geographic data. We then performed niche similarity tests (niche identity and background tests) and point-based analyses to explore whether ecological differentiation has occurred, and whether such differences are sufficient to explain the maintenance of their separate segments of environmental ranges. We found that both niche models of the black- and the red-spotted tokay had a good fit and a robust performance, as indicated by the high area under the curve (AUC) values ("black" = 0.982, SD = ± 0.002, "red" = 0.966 ± 0.02). Significant ecological differentiation across the entire geographic range was found, indicating that the involvement of ecological differentiation is important for species differentiation. Divergence along the environmental axes is highly associated with climatic conditions, with isothermality being important for the "black" form, while temperature seasonality, precipitation of warmest quarter, and annual temperature range together being important for the "red" form. These factors are likely important factors in niche differentiation between the two forms, which result in morphological replacement. Overall, beside morphological and genetic differentiation information, our results contribute to additional insights into taxonomic distinction and niche differentiation between the black- and the red

  15. Niche construction through phenological plasticity: life history dynamics and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donohue, Kathleen

    2005-04-01

    The ability of an organism to alter the environment that it experiences has been termed 'niche construction'. Plants have several ways whereby they can determine the environment to which they are exposed at different life stages. This paper discusses three of these: plasticity in dispersal, flowering timing and germination timing. It reviews pathways through which niche construction alters evolutionary and ecological trajectories by altering the selective environment to which organisms are exposed, the phenotypic expression of plastic characters, and the expression of genetic variation. It provides examples whereby niche construction creates positive or negative feedbacks between phenotypes and environments, which in turn cause novel evolutionary constraints and novel life-history expression. Copyright New Phytologist (2005).

  16. Climatic niche conservatism and ecological opportunity in the explosive radiation of arvicoline rodents (Arvicolinae, Cricetidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Xue; Xia, Lin; Ge, Deyan; Wu, Yongjie; Yang, Qisen

    2016-05-01

    Climatic niche conservatism shapes patterns of diversity in many taxonomic groups, while ecological opportunity (EO) can trigger rapid speciation that is less constrained by the amount of time a lineage has occupied a given habitat. These two processes are well studied, but limited research has considered their joint and relative roles in shaping diversity patterns. We characterized climatic and biogeographic variables for 102 species of arvicoline rodents (Arvicolinae, Cricetidae), testing the effects of climatic niche conservatism and EO on arvicoline diversification as lineages transitioned between biogeographic regions. We found that the amount of time a lineage has occupied a precipitation niche is positively correlated with diversity along a precipitation gradient, suggesting climatic niche conservatism. In contrast, shift in diversification rate explained diversity patterns along a temperature gradient. Our results suggest that an indirect relationship exists between temperature and diversification that is associated with EO as arvicoline rodents colonized warm Palearctic environments. Climatic niche conservatism alone did not fully explain diversity patterns under density-dependence, highlighting the additional importance of EO-related processes in promoting the explosive radiation in arvicoline rodents and shaping diversity pattern among biogeographic regions and along climatic gradients. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Trophic niche partitioning in communities of African annual fish: evidence from stable isotopes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Polačik, Matej; Harrod, C.; Blažek, Radim; Reichard, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 721, č. 1 (2014), s. 99-106 ISSN 0018-8158 R&D Projects: GA ČR GPP505/11/P646 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Nothobranchius * Coexistence * Niche separation * Sympatric * Extreme environment * Africa Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.275, year: 2014

  18. Baboon feeding ecology informs the dietary niche of Paranthropus boisei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele A Macho

    Full Text Available Hominins are generally considered eclectic omnivores like baboons, but recent isotope studies call into question the generalist status of some hominins. Paranthropus boisei and Australopithecus bahrelghazali derived 75%-80% of their tissues' δ(13C from C4 sources, i.e. mainly low-quality foods like grasses and sedges. Here I consider the energetics of P. boisei and the nutritional value of C4 foods, taking into account scaling issues between the volume of food consumed and body mass, and P. boisei's food preference as inferred from dento-cranial morphology. Underlying the models are empirical data for Papio cynocephalus dietary ecology. Paranthropus boisei only needed to spend some 37%-42% of its daily feeding time (conservative estimate on C4 sources to meet 80% of its daily requirements of calories, and all its requirements for protein. The energetic requirements of 2-4 times the basal metabolic rate (BMR common to mammals could therefore have been met within a 6-hour feeding/foraging day. The findings highlight the high nutritional yield of many C4 foods eaten by baboons (and presumably hominins, explain the evolutionary success of P. boisei, and indicate that P. boisei was probably a generalist like other hominins. The diet proposed is consistent with the species' derived morphology and unique microwear textures. Finally, the results highlight the importance of baboon/hominin hand in food acquisition and preparation.

  19. Anaerobic animals from an ancient, anoxic ecological niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin William

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Tiny marine animals that complete their life cycle in the total absence of light and oxygen are reported by Roberto Danovaro and colleagues in this issue of BMC Biology. These fascinating animals are new members of the phylum Loricifera and possess mitochondria that in electron micrographs look very much like hydrogenosomes, the H2-producing mitochondria found among several unicellular eukaryotic lineages. The discovery of metazoan life in a permanently anoxic and sulphidic environment provides a glimpse of what a good part of Earth's past ecology might have been like in 'Canfield oceans', before the rise of deep marine oxygen levels and the appearance of the first large animals in the fossil record roughly 550-600 million years ago. The findings underscore the evolutionary significance of anaerobic deep sea environments and the anaerobic lifestyle among mitochondrion-bearing cells. They also testify that a fuller understanding of eukaryotic and metazoan evolution will come from the study of modern anoxic and hypoxic habitats.

  20. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

    Full Text Available The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  2. Fossil mice and rats show isotopic evidence of niche partitioning and change in dental ecomorphology related to dietary shift in Late Miocene of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuri; Jacobs, Louis L; Cerling, Thure E; Uno, Kevin T; Ferguson, Kurt M; Flynn, Lawrence J; Patnaik, Rajeev

    2013-01-01

    Stable carbon isotope analysis in tooth enamel is a well-established approach to infer C3 and C4 dietary composition in fossil mammals. The bulk of past work has been conducted on large herbivorous mammals. One important finding is that their dietary habits of fossil large mammals track the late Miocene ecological shift from C3 forest and woodland to C4 savannah. However, few studies on carbon isotopes of fossil small mammals exist due to limitations imposed by the size of rodent teeth, and the isotopic ecological and dietary behaviors of small mammals to climate change remain unknown. Here we evaluate the impact of ecological change on small mammals by fine-scale comparisons of carbon isotope ratios (δ(13)C) with dental morphology of murine rodents, spanning 13.8 to ∼2.0 Ma, across the C3 to C4 vegetation shift in the Miocene Siwalik sequence of Pakistan. We applied in-situ laser ablation GC-IRMS to lower first molars and measured two grazing indices on upper first molars. Murine rodents yield a distinct, but related, record of past ecological conditions from large herbivorous mammals, reflecting available foods in their much smaller home ranges. In general, larger murine species show more positive δ(13)C values and have higher grazing indices than smaller species inhabiting the same area at any given age. Two clades of murine rodents experienced different rates of morphological change. In the faster-evolving clade, the timing and trend of morphological innovations are closely tied to consumption of C4 diet during the vegetation shift. This study provides quantitative evidence of linkages among diet, niche partitioning, and dental morphology at a more detailed level than previously possible.

  3. Fossil Mice and Rats Show Isotopic Evidence of Niche Partitioning and Change in Dental Ecomorphology Related to Dietary Shift in Late Miocene of Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yuri; Jacobs, Louis L.; Cerling, Thure E.; Uno, Kevin T.; Ferguson, Kurt M.; Flynn, Lawrence J.; Patnaik, Rajeev

    2013-01-01

    Stable carbon isotope analysis in tooth enamel is a well-established approach to infer C3 and C4 dietary composition in fossil mammals. The bulk of past work has been conducted on large herbivorous mammals. One important finding is that their dietary habits of fossil large mammals track the late Miocene ecological shift from C3 forest and woodland to C4 savannah. However, few studies on carbon isotopes of fossil small mammals exist due to limitations imposed by the size of rodent teeth, and the isotopic ecological and dietary behaviors of small mammals to climate change remain unknown. Here we evaluate the impact of ecological change on small mammals by fine-scale comparisons of carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) with dental morphology of murine rodents, spanning 13.8 to ∼2.0 Ma, across the C3 to C4 vegetation shift in the Miocene Siwalik sequence of Pakistan. We applied in-situ laser ablation GC-IRMS to lower first molars and measured two grazing indices on upper first molars. Murine rodents yield a distinct, but related, record of past ecological conditions from large herbivorous mammals, reflecting available foods in their much smaller home ranges. In general, larger murine species show more positive δ13C values and have higher grazing indices than smaller species inhabiting the same area at any given age. Two clades of murine rodents experienced different rates of morphological change. In the faster-evolving clade, the timing and trend of morphological innovations are closely tied to consumption of C4 diet during the vegetation shift. This study provides quantitative evidence of linkages among diet, niche partitioning, and dental morphology at a more detailed level than previously possible. PMID:23936324

  4. Fossil mice and rats show isotopic evidence of niche partitioning and change in dental ecomorphology related to dietary shift in Late Miocene of Pakistan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Kimura

    Full Text Available Stable carbon isotope analysis in tooth enamel is a well-established approach to infer C3 and C4 dietary composition in fossil mammals. The bulk of past work has been conducted on large herbivorous mammals. One important finding is that their dietary habits of fossil large mammals track the late Miocene ecological shift from C3 forest and woodland to C4 savannah. However, few studies on carbon isotopes of fossil small mammals exist due to limitations imposed by the size of rodent teeth, and the isotopic ecological and dietary behaviors of small mammals to climate change remain unknown. Here we evaluate the impact of ecological change on small mammals by fine-scale comparisons of carbon isotope ratios (δ(13C with dental morphology of murine rodents, spanning 13.8 to ∼2.0 Ma, across the C3 to C4 vegetation shift in the Miocene Siwalik sequence of Pakistan. We applied in-situ laser ablation GC-IRMS to lower first molars and measured two grazing indices on upper first molars. Murine rodents yield a distinct, but related, record of past ecological conditions from large herbivorous mammals, reflecting available foods in their much smaller home ranges. In general, larger murine species show more positive δ(13C values and have higher grazing indices than smaller species inhabiting the same area at any given age. Two clades of murine rodents experienced different rates of morphological change. In the faster-evolving clade, the timing and trend of morphological innovations are closely tied to consumption of C4 diet during the vegetation shift. This study provides quantitative evidence of linkages among diet, niche partitioning, and dental morphology at a more detailed level than previously possible.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  6. Ecological divergence and conservatism: spatiotemporal patterns of niche evolution in a genus of livebearing fishes (Poeciliidae: Xiphophorus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culumber, Zachary W; Tobler, Michael

    2016-02-19

    Ecological factors often have a strong impact on spatiotemporal patterns of biodiversity. The integration of spatial ecology and phylogenetics allows for rigorous tests of whether speciation is associated with niche conservatism (constraints on ecological divergence) or niche divergence. We address this question in a genus of livebearing fishes for which the role of sexual selection in speciation has long been studied, but in which the potential role of ecological divergence during speciation has not been tested. By combining reconstruction of ancestral climate tolerances and disparity indices, we show that the earliest evolutionary split in Xiphophorus was associated with significant divergence for temperature variables. Niche evolution and present day niches were most closely associated with each species' geographic distribution relative to a biogeographic barrier, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Tests for similarity of the environmental backgrounds of closely related species suggested that the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence during speciation varied among the primary clades of Xiphophorus. Closely related species in the two swordtail clades exhibited higher levels of niche overlap than expected given environmental background similarity indicative of niche conservatism. In contrast, almost all species of platyfish had significantly divergent niches compared to environmental backgrounds, which is indicative of niche divergence. The results suggest that the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence differed among the clades of Xiphophorus and that traits associated with niche evolution may be more evolutionarily labile in the platyfishes. Our results ultimately suggest that the taxonomic scale of tests for conservatism and divergence could greatly influence inferences of their relative importance in the speciation process.

  7. Shifts in the ecological niche of Lutzomyia peruensis under climate change scenarios in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, D A; Arque-Chunga, W; Carmona-Castro, O; Yañez-Arenas, C; Yañez-Trujillano, H H; Cheverría-Pacheco, L; Baak-Baak, C M; Cáceres, A G

    2017-06-01

    The Peruvian Andes presents a climate suitable for many species of sandfly that are known vectors of leishmaniasis or bartonellosis, including Lutzomyia peruensis (Diptera: Psychodidae), among others. In the present study, occurrences data for Lu. peruensis were compiled from several items in the scientific literature from Peru published between 1927 and 2015. Based on these data, ecological niche models were constructed to predict spatial distributions using three algorithms [Support vector machine (SVM), the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) and Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt)]. In addition, the environmental requirements of Lu. peruensis and three niche characteristics were modelled in the context of future climate change scenarios: (a) potential changes in niche breadth; (b) shifts in the direction and magnitude of niche centroids, and (c) shifts in elevation range. The model identified areas that included environments suitable for Lu. peruensis in most regions of Peru (45.77%) and an average altitude of 3289 m a.s.l. Under climate change scenarios, a decrease in the distribution areas of Lu. peruensis was observed for all representative concentration pathways. However, the centroid of the species' ecological niche showed a northwest direction in all climate change scenarios. The information generated in this study may help health authorities responsible for the supervision of strategies to control leishmaniasis to coordinate, plan and implement appropriate strategies for each area of risk, taking into account the geographic distribution and potential dispersal of Lu. peruensis. © 2017 The Royal Entomological Society.

  8. Allometry, sexual size dimorphism, and niche partitioning in the Mediterranean gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    James B. Johnson; Lance D. McBrayer; Daniel Saenz

    2005-01-01

    Hemidactylus tucrius is a small gekkonid lizard native to the Middle East and Asia that is known to exhibit sexual dimorphism in head size. Several potential explanations exist for the evolution and maintenance of sexual dimorphism in lizards. We tested 2 of these competing hypotheses concerning diet partitioning and differential growth. We found no...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-02

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Elias

    2008-12-01

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

  11. Modeling the Ecological Niche of Bacillus anthracis to Map Anthrax Risk in Kyrgyzstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Matakarimov, Saitbek; Kozhokeeva, Sabira; Tagaeva, Zhyldyz; Bell, Lindsay K; Kracalik, Ian T; Zhunushov, Asankadyr

    2017-03-01

    AbstractAnthrax, caused by the environmental bacterium Bacillus anthracis , is an important zoonosis nearly worldwide. In Central Asia, anthrax represents a major veterinary and public health concern. In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, ongoing anthrax outbreaks have been reported in humans associated with handling infected livestock and contaminated animal by-products such as meat or hides. The current anthrax situation has prompted calls for improved insights into the epidemiology, ecology, and spatial distribution of the disease in Kyrgyzstan to better inform control and surveillance. Disease control for both humans and livestock relies on annual livestock vaccination ahead of outbreaks. Toward this, we used a historic database of livestock anthrax reported from 1932 to 2006 mapped at high resolution to develop an ecological niche model-based prediction of B. anthracis across Kyrgyzstan and identified spatial clusters of livestock anthrax using a cluster morphology statistic. We also defined the seasonality of outbreaks in livestock. Cattle were the most frequently reported across the time period, with the greatest number of cases in late summer months. Our niche models defined four areas as suitable to support pathogen persistence, the plateaus near Talas and Bishkek, the valleys of western Kyrgyzstan along the Fergana Valley, and the low-lying areas along the shore of Lake Isyk-Kul. These areas should be considered "at risk" for livestock anthrax and subsequent human cases. Areas defined by the niche models can be used to prioritize anthrax surveillance and inform efforts to target livestock vaccination campaigns.

  12. Ecological niche models reveal the importance of climate variability for the biogeography of protosteloid amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, María; Lado, Carlos

    2012-08-01

    Habitat availability and environmental preferences of species are among the most important factors in determining the success of dispersal processes and therefore in shaping the distribution of protists. We explored the differences in fundamental niches and potential distributions of an ecological guild of slime moulds-protosteloid amoebae-in the Iberian Peninsula. A large set of samples collected in a north-east to south-west transect of approximately 1000 km along the peninsula was used to test the hypothesis that, together with the existence of suitable microhabitats, climate conditions may determine the probability of survival of species. Although protosteloid amoebae share similar morphologies and life history strategies, canonical correspondence analyses showed that they have varied ecological optima, and that climate conditions have an important effect in niche differentiation. Maxent environmental niche models provided consistent predictions of the probability of presence of the species based on climate data, and they were used to generate maps of potential distribution in an 'everything is everywhere' scenario. The most important climatic factors were, in both analyses, variables that measure changes in conditions throughout the year, confirming that the alternation of fruiting bodies, cysts and amoeboid stages in the life cycles of protosteloid amoebae constitutes an advantage for surviving in a changing environment. Microhabitat affinity seems to be influenced by climatic conditions, which suggests that the micro-environment may vary at a local scale and change together with the external climate at a larger scale.

  13. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  14. Geographic distribution and ecological niche of plague in sub-Saharan Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Neerinckx, Simon B; Peterson, Andrew T; Gulinck, Hubert

    2008-01-01

    Background Plague is a rapidly progressing, serious illness in humans that is likely to be fatal if not treated. It remains a public health threat, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In spite of plague's highly focal nature, a thorough ecological understanding of the general distribution pattern...... of plague across sub-Saharan Africa has not been established to date. In this study, we used human plague data from sub-Saharan Africa for 1970-2007 in an ecological niche modeling framework to explore the potential geographic distribution of plague and its ecological requirements across Africa. Results We...... predict a broad potential distributional area of plague occurrences across sub-Saharan Africa. General tests of model's transferability suggest that our model can anticipate the potential distribution of plague occurrences in Madagascar and northern Africa. However, generality and predictive ability tests...

  15. Niche conservatism as an emerging principle in ecology and conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, John J; Ackerly, David D; Allen, Andrew P; Anacker, Brian L; Buckley, Lauren B; Cornell, Howard V; Damschen, Ellen I; Jonathan Davies, T; Grytnes, John-Arvid; Harrison, Susan P; Hawkins, Bradford A; Holt, Robert D; McCain, Christy M; Stephens, Patrick R

    2010-10-01

    The diversity of life is ultimately generated by evolution, and much attention has focused on the rapid evolution of ecological traits. Yet, the tendency for many ecological traits to instead remain similar over time [niche conservatism (NC)] has many consequences for the fundamental patterns and processes studied in ecology and conservation biology. Here, we describe the mounting evidence for the importance of NC to major topics in ecology (e.g. species richness, ecosystem function) and conservation (e.g. climate change, invasive species). We also review other areas where it may be important but has generally been overlooked, in both ecology (e.g. food webs, disease ecology, mutualistic interactions) and conservation (e.g. habitat modification). We summarize methods for testing for NC, and suggest that a commonly used and advocated method (involving a test for phylogenetic signal) is potentially problematic, and describe alternative approaches. We suggest that considering NC: (1) focuses attention on the within-species processes that cause traits to be conserved over time, (2) emphasizes connections between questions and research areas that are not obviously related (e.g. invasives, global warming, tropical richness), and (3) suggests new areas for research (e.g. why are some clades largely nocturnal? why do related species share diseases?). 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  16. The ecological niche and reciprocal prediction of the disjunct distribution of an invasive species: the example of Ailanthus altissima

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Albright; Hao Chen; Lijun Chen; Qinfeng Guo

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge of the ecological niches of invasive species in native and introduced ranges can inform management as well as ecological and evolutionary theory. Here, we identified and compared factors associated with the distribution of an invasive tree, Ailanthus altissima, in both its native Chinese and introduced US ranges and predicted potential US...

  17. Constant Flux of Spatial Niche Partitioning through High-Resolution Sampling of Magnetotactic Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Kuang; Gilder, Stuart A; Orsi, William D; Zhao, Xiangyu; Petersen, Nikolai

    2017-10-15

    Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) swim along magnetic field lines in water. They are found in aquatic habitats throughout the world, yet knowledge of their spatial and temporal distribution remains limited. To help remedy this, we took MTB-bearing sediment from a natural pond, mixed the thoroughly homogenized sediment into two replicate aquaria, and then counted three dominant MTB morphotypes (coccus, spirillum, and rod-shaped MTB cells) at a high spatiotemporal sampling resolution: 36 discrete points in replicate aquaria were sampled every ∼30 days over 198 days. Population centers of the MTB coccus and MTB spirillum morphotypes moved in continual flux, yet they consistently inhabited separate locations, displaying significant anticorrelation. Rod-shaped MTB were initially concentrated toward the northern end of the aquaria, but at the end of the experiment, they were most densely populated toward the south. The finding that the total number of MTB cells increased over time during the experiment argues that population reorganization arose from relative changes in cell division and death and not from migration. The maximum net growth rates were 10, 3, and 1 doublings day -1 and average net growth rates were 0.24, 0.11, and 0.02 doublings day -1 for MTB cocci, MTB spirilla, and rod-shaped MTB, respectively; minimum growth rates for all three morphotypes were -0.03 doublings day -1 Our results suggest that MTB cocci and MTB spirilla occupy distinctly different niches: their horizontal positioning in sediment is anticorrelated and under constant flux. IMPORTANCE Little is known about the horizontal distribution of magnetotactic bacteria in sediment or how the distribution changes over time. We therefore measured three dominant magnetotactic bacterium morphotypes at 36 places in two replicate aquaria each month for 7 months. We found that the spatial positioning of population centers changed over time and that the two most abundant morphotypes (MTB cocci and MTB spirilla

  18. Plant diversification promotes biocontrol services in peach orchards by shaping the ecological niches of insect herbivores and their natural enemies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wan, Nian Feng; Ji, Xiang Yun; Deng, Jian Yu

    2018-01-01

    Ecological niche indicators have been scarcely adopted to assess the biological control of insect herbivores by their natural enemies. We hypothesize that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by narrowing the niches of herbivores and broadening the niches of natural enemies....... Our study reveals that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by shaping the niche of herbivores and natural enemies, and provides a new assessment method to understand the biodiversity-niche-ecosystem management interactions........ In a large-scale experiment, we found that the abundance of natural enemies was increased by 38.1%, and the abundance of insect herbivores was decreased by 16.9% in peach orchards with plant diversification (treatment) compared to ones with monoculture (control). Stratified sampling indicated...

  19. An example of niche partitioning between Dikerogammarus villosus and other invasive and native gammarids: a field study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard MAIER

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available The invasive gammarid Dikerogammarus villosus is known to be a strong predator preying voraciously on a wide array of prey organisms including other gammarids. Predation by D. villosus on other gammarids is regarded as a main reason which led to the elimination of native and invasive gammarids in many reaches of European streams. At several sites in the River Danube and in a Rhine tributary, D. villosus was found co-existing with other gammarids. We studied whether predatory D. villosus is spatially segregated from other gammarids which would reduce predatory interactions. Two sites were investigated, one in the Danube (site 1 where D. villosus co-existed with the invasives Echinogammarus ischnus and Dikerogammarus bispinosus and another site in a Rhine tributary (site 2 where D. villosus co-existed with the invasive gammarid Echinogammarus berilloni and two native gammarids, Gammarus pulex and Gammarus roeseli. At site 1, D. villosus was spatially segregated from E. ischnus but not from D. bispinosus; E. ischnus lived at the uppermost shoreline in boulder substrate while Dikerogammarus spp. lived in greater depth in stony to gravelly substrate. At site 2, D. villosus prevailed in greater depth and gravelly to stony substrate where Corbicula molluscs were present while the other species lived in near-shore areas in macrophytes. Our results suggest that co-existence of predatory D. villosus with gammarids is possible by niche partitioning and that high habitat complexity as at site 2 facilitates co-existence. The fact that at site 1 D. bispinosus occupied approximately the same spatial niche than D. villosus cannot be explained at present time.

  20. Niche partitioning among frugivorous fishes in response to fluctuating resources in the Amazonian floodplain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, Sandra Bibiana; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2014-01-01

    stable isotope ratios of consumer tissues during this period resulted in trophic niche segregation in a pattern consistent with competition theory.

  1. Spatial patterns, ecological niches, and interspecific competition of avian brood parasites: inferring from a case study of Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin-Won; Noh, Hee-Jin; Lee, Yunkyoung; Kwon, Young-Soo; Kim, Chang-Hoe; Yoo, Jeong-Chil

    2014-09-01

    Since obligate avian brood parasites depend completely on the effort of other host species for rearing their progeny, the availability of hosts will be a critical resource for their life history. Circumstantial evidence suggests that intense competition for host species may exist not only within but also between species. So far, however, few studies have demonstrated whether the interspecific competition really occurs in the system of avian brood parasitism and how the nature of brood parasitism is related to their niche evolution. Using the occurrence data of five avian brood parasites from two sources of nationwide bird surveys in South Korea and publically available environmental/climatic data, we identified their distribution patterns and ecological niches, and applied species distribution modeling to infer the effect of interspecific competition on their spatial distribution. We found that the distribution patterns of five avian brood parasites could be characterized by altitude and climatic conditions, but overall their spatial ranges and ecological niches extensively overlapped with each other. We also found that the predicted distribution areas of each species were generally comparable to the realized distribution areas, and the numbers of individuals in areas where multiple species were predicted to coexist showed positive relationships among species. In conclusion, despite following different coevolutionary trajectories to adapt to their respect host species, five species of avian brood parasites breeding in South Korea occupied broadly similar ecological niches, implying that they tend to conserve ancestral preferences for ecological conditions. Furthermore, our results indicated that contrary to expectation interspecific competition for host availability between avian brood parasites seemed to be trivial, and thus, play little role in shaping their spatial distributions and ecological niches. Future studies, including the complete ranges of avian brood

  2. How could sympatric megaherbivores coexist? Example of niche partitioning within a proboscidean community from the Miocene of Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calandra, Ivan; Göhlich, Ursula B.; Merceron, Gildas

    2008-09-01

    Although low in diversity, megaherbivores (mammals weighting over 103 kg) and especially proboscideans have a powerful impact on the structure and dynamics of present-day ecosystems. During the Neogene (23 to 2.6 Ma) of Europe, the diversity and geographic distribution of these megaherbivores was much greater. Nonetheless, their role in past ecosystems is unclear. Nutrition is one of the main bonds between organisms and their environment. Therefore, the ecology of organisms can be inferred from their dietary habits. The present study is aimed at characterizing the feeding habits of diverse megaherbivores through dental microwear analyses. This method was applied on cheek teeth of three sympatric species of proboscideans from the middle/late Miocene of the Molasse Basin in Southern Germany: Gomphotherium subtapiroideum, Gomphotherium steinheimense, and Deinotherium giganteum. The microwear signatures are significantly different between these taxa, suggesting differences in feeding habits and ecological niches within a woodland environment. D. giganteum probably browsed on dicotyledonous foliages whereas the two species of gomphotheres were neither strict grazers nor strict browsers and instead probably fed on a large spectrum of vegetal resources. The differences of occlusal molar morphology between the two gomphotheres are supported by the dental microwear pattern. Indeed, G. subtapiroideum probably ingested more abrasive material than G. steinheimense. Thus, our results suggest that these proboscideans did not compete for food resources.

  3. Division within the North American boreal forest: Ecological niche divergence between the Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) and Gray-cheeked Thrush (C. minimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    FitzGerald, Alyssa M

    2017-07-01

    Sister species that diverged in allopatry in similar environments are expected to exhibit niche conservatism. Using ecological niche modeling and a multivariate analysis of climate and habitat data, I test the hypothesis that the Bicknell's Thrush ( Catharus bicknelli ) and Gray-cheeked Thrush ( C. mimimus ), sister species that breed in the North American boreal forest, show niche conservatism. Three tree species that are important components of breeding territories of both thrush species were combined with climatic variables to create niche models consisting of abiotic and biotic components. Abiotic-only, abiotic+biotic, and biotic-only models were evaluated using the area under the curve (AUC) criterion. Abiotic+biotic models had higher AUC scores and did not over-project thrush distributions compared to abiotic-only or biotic-only models. From the abiotic+biotic models, I tested for niche conservatism or divergence by accounting for the differences in the availability of niche components by calculating (1) niche overlap from ecological niche models and (2) mean niche differences of environmental values at occurrence points. Niche background similarity tests revealed significant niche divergence in 10 of 12 comparisons, and multivariate tests revealed niche divergence along 2 of 3 niche axes. The Bicknell's Thrush breeds in warmer and wetter regions with a high abundance of balsam fir ( Abies balsamea ), whereas Gray-cheeked Thrush often co-occurs with black spruce ( Picea mariana ). Niche divergence, rather than conservatism, was the predominant pattern for these species, suggesting that ecological divergence has played a role in the speciation of the Bicknell's Thrush and Gray-cheeked Thrush. Furthermore, because niche models were improved by the incorporation of biotic variables, this study validates the inclusion of relevant biotic factors in ecological niche modeling to increase model accuracy.

  4. Postglacial species displacement in Triturus newts deduced from asymmetrically introgressed mitochondrial DNA and ecological niche models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wielstra Ben

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background If the geographical displacement of one species by another is accompanied by hybridization, mitochondrial DNA can introgress asymmetrically, from the outcompeted species into the invading species, over a large area. We explore this phenomenon using the two parapatric crested newt species, Triturus macedonicus and T. karelinii, distributed on the Balkan Peninsula in south-eastern Europe, as a model. Results We first delimit a ca. 54,000 km2 area in which T. macedonicus contains T. karelinii mitochondrial DNA. This introgression zone bisects the range of T. karelinii, cutting off a T. karelinii enclave. The high similarity of introgressed mitochondrial DNA haplotypes with those found in T. karelinii suggests a recent transfer across the species boundary. We then use ecological niche modeling to explore habitat suitability of the location of the present day introgression zone under current, mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum conditions. This area was inhospitable during the Last Glacial Maximum for both species, but would have been habitable at the mid-Holocene. Since the mid-Holocene, habitat suitability generally increased for T. macedonicus, whereas it decreased for T. karelinii. Conclusion The presence of a T. karelinii enclave suggests that T. karelinii was the first to colonize the area where the present day introgression zone is positioned after the Last Glacial Maximum. Subsequently, we propose T. karelinii was outcompeted by T. macedonicus, which captured T. karelinii mitochondrial DNA via introgressive hybridization in the process. Ecological niche modeling suggests that this replacement was likely facilitated by a shift in climate since the mid-Holocene. We suggest that the northwestern part of the current introgression zone was probably never inhabited by T. karelinii itself, and that T. karelinii mitochondrial DNA spread there through T. macedonicus exclusively. Considering the spatial distribution of the

  5. Inter-specific and seasonal comparison of the niches occupied by small cetaceans off north-west Iberia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez Garcia, Rut; MacLeod, C. D.; Pierce, G. J.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of species' ecological niches can be used to assess ecological interactions between different taxa. Sixteen species of cetaceans have been recorded in Galician waters and niche partitioning is expected to occur among these species in order to allow them to co-exist. In this study, the n...

  6. Cryptococcus gattii: Emergence in Western North America: Exploitation of a Novel Ecological Niche

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    Kausik Datta

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The relatively uncommon fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii recently emerged as a significant cause of cryptococcal disease in human and animals in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Although genetic studies indicated its possible presence in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years, C. gattii as an etiological agent was largely unknown in this region prior to 1999. The recent emergence may have been encouraged by changing conditions of climate or land use and/or host susceptibility, and predictive ecological niche modeling indicates a potentially wider spread. C. gattii can survive wide climatic variations and colonize the environment in tropical, subtropical, temperate, and dry climates. Long-term climate changes, such as the significantly elevated global temperature in the last 100 years, influence patterns of disease among plants and animals and create niche microclimates habitable by emerging pathogens. C. gattii may have exploited such a hitherto unrecognized but clement environment in the Pacific Northwest to provide a wider exposure and risk of infection to human and animal populations.

  7. 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.

  8. Ecological niche differentiation of polyploidization is not supported by environmental differences among species in a cosmopolitan grass genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Vernon; Molofsky, Jane

    2015-01-01

    • Polyploidization frequently results in the creation of new plant species, the establishment of which is thought to often be facilitated by ecological niche differentiation from the diploid species. We tested this hypothesis using the cosmopolitan grass genus Phalaris (Poaceae), consisting of 19 species that range from diploid to tetraploid to hexaploid. Specifically, we tested whether (1) polyploids occupy more extreme environments and/or (2) have broader niche breadths and/or (3) whether the polyploid species' distributions indicate a niche shift from diploid species.• We employed a bootstrapping approach using distribution data for each species and eight environmental variables to investigate differences between species in the means, extremes, and breadths of each environmental variable. We used a kernel smoothing technique to quantify niche overlap between species.• Although we found some support for the three hypotheses for a few diploid-polyploid pairs and for specific environmental variables, none of these hypotheses were generally supported.• Our results suggest that these commonly held hypotheses about the effects of polyploidization on ecological distributions are not universally applicable. Correlative biogeographic studies like ours provide a necessary first step for suggesting specific hypotheses that require experimental verification. A combination of genetic, physiological, and ecological studies will be required to achieve a better understanding of the role of polyploidization in niche evolution. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  9. Reconciling phylogeography and ecological niche models for New Zealand beetles looking beyond glacial refugia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marske, Katharine Ann; Leschen, Richard; Buckley, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    stochastic search variable selection incorporated in BEAST to identify historical dispersal patterns via ancestral state reconstruction. Ecological niche models (ENMs) were incorporated to reconstruct the potential geographic distribution of each species during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Coalescent...... analyses suggest a North Island origin for E. lawsoni, with gene flow predominately north–south between adjacent regions. ENMs for E. lawsoni indicated glacial refugia in coastal regions of both main islands, consistent with phylogenetic patterns but at odds with the coalescent dates, which implicate much...... on both main islands is evident. Divergence dates for both species are consistent with the topographic evolution of New Zealand over the last 10 Ma, whereas the signature of the LGM is less apparent in the time-scaled phylogeny....

  10. 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.

  11. Ecological Niche Modeling of Risk Factors for H7N9 Human Infection in China

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    Min Xu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available China was attacked by a serious influenza A (H7N9 virus in 2013. The first human infection case was confirmed in Shanghai City and soon spread across most of eastern China. Using the methods of Geographic Information Systems (GIS and ecological niche modeling (ENM, this research quantitatively analyzed the relationships between the H7N9 occurrence and the main environmental factors, including meteorological variables, human population density, bird migratory routes, wetland distribution, and live poultry farms, markets, and processing factories. Based on these relationships the probability of the presence of H7N9 was predicted. Results indicated that the distribution of live poultry processing factories, farms, and human population density were the top three most important determinants of the H7N9 human infection. The relative contributions to the model of live poultry processing factories, farms and human population density were 39.9%, 17.7% and 17.7%, respectively, while the maximum temperature of the warmest month and mean relative humidity had nearly no contribution to the model. The paper has developed an ecological niche model (ENM that predicts the spatial distribution of H7N9 cases in China using environmental variables. The area under the curve (AUC values of the model were greater than 0.9 (0.992 for the training samples and 0.961 for the test data. The findings indicated that most of the high risk areas were distributed in the Yangtze River Delta. These findings have important significance for the Chinese government to enhance the environmental surveillance at multiple human poultry interfaces in the high risk area.

  12. Interpreting the process behind endemism in China by integrating the phylogeography and ecological niche models of the Stachyridopsis ruficeps.

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    Huatao Liu

    Full Text Available An area of endemism (AOE is a complex expression of the ecological and evolutionary history of a species. Here we aim to address the principal drivers of avian diversification in shaping patterns of endemism in China by integrating genetic, ecological, and distributional data on the Red-headed Tree Babbler (Stachyridopsis ruficeps, which is distributed across the eastern Himalayas and south China. We sequenced two mtDNA markers from 182 individuals representing all three of the primary AOEs in China. Phylogenetic inferences were used to reconstruct intraspecific phylogenetic relationships. Divergence time and population demography were estimated to gain insight into the evolutionary history of the species. We used Ecological niche modeling to predict species' distributions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM and in the present. Finally, we also used two quantitative tests, an identity test and background test to assess the similarity of ecological niche preferences between adjacent lineages. We found five primary reciprocally monophyletic clades, typically separated approximately 0.2-2.27 MYA, of which three were deeply isolated endemic lineages located in the three AOEs. All phylogroups were detected to have undergone population expansion during the past 0.3 MY. Niche models showed discontinuous habitats, and there were three barriers of less suitable habitat during the LGM and in modern times. Ecoclimatic niches may diverge significantly even over recent timescales, as each phylogroup had a unique distribution, and unique niche characteristics. Vicariant events associated with geographical and ecological barriers, glacial refuges and ecological differentiation may be the main drivers forming the pattern of endemism in China.

  13. New evidence for diet and niche partitioning in Rudapithecus and Anapithecus from Rudabánya, Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deane, Andrew S; Nargolwalla, Mariam C; Kordos, László; Begun, David R

    2013-12-01

    Rudabánya is rare among Eurasian Miocene fossil primate localities in preserving both a hominid and pliopithecoid, and as such provides the unique opportunity to reconstruct the nature of sympatry and niche partitioning in these taxa. Rudapithecus and Anapithecus have similar locomotor and positional behavior and overlapping body mass ranges. While prior analyses of molar occlusal anatomy and microwear identify Rudapithecus as a soft-object frugivore, reconstructing the dietary behavior of Anapithecus has been more problematic. This taxon has been interpreted to be more folivorous by some, and more frugivorous by others. Here, we use high-resolution polynomial curve fitting (HR-PCF) to quantify and evaluate the mesiodistal and cervico-incisal curvatures of the incisor crowns of Rudapithecus and Anapithecus to identify diet-specific morphological variation in these taxa. Results are consistent with the interpretation that Anapithecus and Rudapithecus were primarily frugivorous and had diets that included similar resource types. However, Anapithecus may have consumed greater amounts of foliage, similar to extant mixed folivore-frugivores (i.e., Gorilla gorilla gorilla, Symphalangus syndactylus), while Rudapithecus generated elevated compressive loads in the incisor region consistent with a specialized role for the anterior dentition in food processing (i.e., removal of tough protective fruit pericarps). We interpret these findings in light of the paleoecology at Rudabánya and conclude that, if these taxa were indeed sympatric, Anapithecus may have used additional leaf consumption as a seasonal fallback resource to avoid direct competition with Rudapithecus. Conversely, Rudapithecus may have relied on less preferred and harder fruiting resources as a seasonal fallback resource during periods of fruit scarcity. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Introducing Meta-Partition, a Useful Methodology to Explore Factors That Influence Ecological Effect Sizes.

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    Zaida Ortega

    Full Text Available The study of the heterogeneity of effect sizes is a key aspect of ecological meta-analyses. Here we propose a meta-analytic methodology to study the influence of moderators in effect sizes by splitting heterogeneity: meta-partition. To introduce this methodology, we performed a meta-partition of published data about the traits that influence species sensitivity to habitat loss, that have been previously analyzed through meta-regression. Thus, here we aim to introduce meta-partition and to make an initial comparison with meta-regression. Meta-partition algorithm consists of three steps. Step 1 is to study the heterogeneity of effect sizes under the assumption of fixed effect model. If heterogeneity is found, we perform step 2, that is, to partition the heterogeneity by the moderator that minimizes heterogeneity within a subset while maximizing heterogeneity between subsets. Then, if effect sizes of the subset are still heterogeneous, we repeat step 1 and 2 until we reach final subsets. Finally, step 3 is to integrate effect sizes of final subsets, with fixed effect model if there is homogeneity, and with random effects model if there is heterogeneity. Results show that meta-partition is valuable to assess the importance of moderators in explaining heterogeneity of effect sizes, as well as to assess the directions of these relations and to detect possible interactions between moderators. With meta-partition we have been able to evaluate the importance of moderators in a more objective way than with meta-regression, and to visualize the complex relations that may exist between them. As ecological issues are often influenced by several factors interacting in complex ways, ranking the importance of possible moderators and detecting possible interactions would make meta-partition a useful exploration tool for ecological meta-analyses.

  15. [Application of land economic ecological niche in landscape pattern analysis at county level: A case study of Jinghe County in Xinjiang, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hai-yang; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Juan; Zhou, Mei

    2015-12-01

    The theory of land economic ecological niche was used to analyze the regional landscape pattern in this article, with an aim to provide a new method for the characterization and representation of landscape pattern. The Jinghe County region, which is ecologically fragile, was selected as an example for the study, and the Landsat images of 1990, 1998, 2011 and 2013 were selected as remote sensing data. The land economic ecological niche of land use types calculated by ecostate-ecorole theory, combined with landscape ecology theory, was discussed in application of land economic ecological niche in county landscape pattern analysis. The results showed that, during the study period, the correlations between land economic ecological niche of farmland, construction land, and grassland with the parameters, including landscape patch number (NP), aggregated index (AI), fragmented index (FN) and fractal dimension (FD), were significant. Regional landscape was driven by the changes of land economic ecological niche, and the trend of economic development could be represented by land economic ecological niche change in Jinghe County. Land economic ecological niche was closely related with the land use types which could yield direct economic benefits, which could well explain the landscape pattern characteristics in Jinghe County when combined with the landscape indices.

  16. Geographic Distribution of Chagas Disease Vectors in Brazil Based on Ecological Niche Modeling

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    Rodrigo Gurgel-Gonçalves

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although Brazil was declared free from Chagas disease transmission by the domestic vector Triatoma infestans, human acute cases are still being registered based on transmission by native triatomine species. For a better understanding of transmission risk, the geographic distribution of Brazilian triatomines was analyzed. Sixteen out of 62 Brazilian species that both occur in >20 municipalities and present synanthropic tendencies were modeled based on their ecological niches. Panstrongylus geniculatus and P. megistus showed broad ecological ranges, but most of the species sort out by the biome in which they are distributed: Rhodnius pictipes and R. robustus in the Amazon; R. neglectus, Triatoma sordida, and T. costalimai in the Cerrado; R. nasutus, P. lutzi, T. brasiliensis, T. pseudomaculata, T. melanocephala, and T. petrocchiae in the Caatinga; T. rubrovaria in the southern pampas; T. tibiamaculata and T. vitticeps in the Atlantic Forest. Although most occurrences were recorded in open areas (Cerrado and Caatinga, our results show that all environmental conditions in the country are favorable to one or more of the species analyzed, such that almost nowhere is Chagas transmission risk negligible.

  17. The genotypic structure of a multi-host bumblebee parasite suggests a role for ecological niche overlap.

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    Rahel M Salathé

    Full Text Available The genotypic structure of parasite populations is an important determinant of ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite interactions with consequences for pest management and disease control. Genotypic structure is especially interesting where multiple hosts co-exist and share parasites. We here analyze the natural genotypic distribution of Crithidia bombi, a trypanosomatid parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp., in two ecologically different habitats over a time period of three years. Using an algorithm to reconstruct genotypes in cases of multiple infections, and combining these with directly identified genotypes from single infections, we find a striking diversity of infection for both data sets, with almost all multi-locus genotypes being unique, and are inferring that around half of the total infections are resulting from multiple strains. Our analyses further suggest a mixture of clonality and sexuality in natural populations of this parasite species. Finally, we ask whether parasite genotypes are associated with host species (the phylogenetic hypothesis or whether ecological factors (niche overlap in flower choice shape the distribution of parasite genotypes (the ecological hypothesis. Redundancy analysis demonstrates that in the region with relatively high parasite prevalence, both host species identity and niche overlap are equally important factors shaping the distribution of parasite strains, whereas in the region with lower parasite prevalence, niche overlap more strongly contributes to the distribution observed. Overall, our study underlines the importance of ecological factors in shaping the natural dynamics of host-parasite systems.

  18. The use of ecological niche modeling to infer potential risk areas of snakebite in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

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    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.

  19. 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).

  20. Towards Defining the Ecological Niches of Novel Coastal Gulf of Mexico Bacterial Isolates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henson, M. W.; Thrash, C.; Nall, E.

    2016-02-01

    The study of microbial contributions to biogeochemistry is critical to understanding the cycles of fundamental compounds and gain predictive capabilities in a changing environment. Such study requires observation of microbial communities and genetics in nature, coupled with experimental testing of hypotheses both in situ and in laboratory settings. This study combines dilution-to-extinction based high-throughput culturing (HTC) with cultivation-independent and geochemical measurements to define potential ecological niches of novel bacterial isolates from the coastal northern Gulf of Mexico (cnGOM). Here we report findings from the first of a three-year project. In total, 43 cultures from seven HTC experiments were capable of being repeatedly transferred. Sanger sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene identified these isolates as belonging to the phyla Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Betaproteobacteria. Eight are being genome sequenced, with two selected for further physiological characterization due to their phylogenic novelty and potential ecological significance. Strain LSUCC101 likely represents a novel family of Gammaproteobacteria (best blast hit to a cultured representative showed 91% sequence identity) and strain LSUCC96 belongs to the OM252 clade, with the Hawaiian isolate HIMB30 as its closest relative. Both are small (0.3-0.5 µm) cocci. The environmental importance of both LSUCC101 and LSUCC96 was illustrated by their presence within the top 30 OTU0.03 of cnGOM 16S rRNA gene datasets as well as within clone libraries from coastal regions around the world. Ongoing work is determining growth efficiencies, substrate utilization profiles, and metabolic potential to elucidate the roles of these organisms in the cnGOM. Comparative genomics will examine the evolutionary divergence of these organisms from their closest neighbors, and metagenomic recruitment to genomes will help identify strain-based variation from different coastal regions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions.

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    Boivin, Nicole L; Zeder, Melinda A; Fuller, Dorian Q; Crowther, Alison; Larson, Greger; Erlandson, Jon M; Denham, Tim; Petraglia, Michael D

    2016-06-07

    The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity-the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences.

  3. Impact of Mycobacterium ulcerans biofilm on transmissibility to ecological niches and Buruli ulcer pathogenesis.

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    Laurent Marsollier

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The role of biofilms in the pathogenesis of mycobacterial diseases remains largely unknown. Mycobacterium ulcerans, the etiological agent of Buruli ulcer, a disfiguring disease in humans, adopts a biofilm-like structure in vitro and in vivo, displaying an abundant extracellular matrix (ECM that harbors vesicles. The composition and structure of the ECM differs from that of the classical matrix found in other bacterial biofilms. More than 80 proteins are present within this extracellular compartment and appear to be involved in stress responses, respiration, and intermediary metabolism. In addition to a large amount of carbohydrates and lipids, ECM is the reservoir of the polyketide toxin mycolactone, the sole virulence factor of M. ulcerans identified to date, and purified vesicles extracted from ECM are highly cytotoxic. ECM confers to the mycobacterium increased resistance to antimicrobial agents, and enhances colonization of insect vectors and mammalian hosts. The results of this study support a model whereby biofilm changes confer selective advantages to M. ulcerans in colonizing various ecological niches successfully, with repercussions for Buruli ulcer pathogenesis.

  4. GEOMORPHOLOGICAL ECOGEOGRAPHICAL VARIABLES DEFINIG FEATURES OF ECOLOGICAL NICHE OF COMMON MILKWEED (ASCLEPIAS SYRIACA L.

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    O. M. Kunah

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The role of geomorphological ecogeographical variables have been shown, which are received by means of the digital elevation model created on the basis of remote sensing data as markers of an ecological niche of weeds on an example common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.. The research range chooses territory which is in settlement Vovnjanka district (the Poltava region. The range has the linear sizes of 26 kilometres in a direction from the east on the west and 15 kilometres in a direction from the north on the south, the range total area makes 390 км2. As geomorphological variables the topographical wetness index, topographic position index, mass balance index, erosion LS-factor, direct and disseminated insolation, altitude above channel network, multiresolution valley bottom flatness, multiresolution ridge top flatness index, vector ruggedness measure have been considered. It is established, that on set of the geomorphological indicators received by means of digital model of a relief, it is possible to assert, that within a separate agricultural field a wide variety of microconditions which is caused by relief features is formed. Possibly, the variation of thermal and water modes, moisture redistribution, and also productivity mechanical processings of soil and efforts under the control of number of weeds make a background in which limits there is possible a moving of weed plants, including common milkweed.

  5. Ecological niche modelling of Rift Valley fever virus vectors in Baringo, Kenya

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    Alfred O. Ochieng

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Rift Valley fever (RVF is a vector-borne zoonotic disease that has an impact on human health and animal productivity. Here, we explore the use of vector presence modelling to predict the distribution of RVF vector species under climate change scenario to demonstrate the potential for geographic spread of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV. Objectives: To evaluate the effect of climate change on RVF vector distribution in Baringo County, Kenya, with an aim of developing a risk map for spatial prediction of RVF outbreaks. Methodology: The study used data on vector presence and ecological niche modelling (MaxEnt algorithm to predict the effect of climatic change on habitat suitability and the spatial distribution of RVF vectors in Baringo County. Data on species occurrence were obtained from longitudinal sampling of adult mosquitoes and larvae in the study area. We used present (2000 and future (2050 Bioclim climate databases to model the vector distribution. Results: Model results predicted potential suitable areas with high success rates for Culex quinquefasciatus, Culex univitattus, Mansonia africana, and Mansonia uniformis. Under the present climatic conditions, the lowlands were found to be highly suitable for all the species. Future climatic conditions indicate an increase in the spatial distribution of Cx. quinquefasciatus and M. africana. Model performance was statistically significant. Conclusion: Soil types, precipitation in the driest quarter, precipitation seasonality, and isothermality showed the highest predictive potential for the four species.

  6. Distribution and Conservation of Davilla (Dilleniaceae in Brazilian Atlantic Forest Using Ecological Niche Modeling

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    Ismael Martins Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We have modeled the ecological niche for 12 plant species belonging to the genus Davilla (Dilleniaceae which occur in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. This group includes endemic species lianas threatened by extinction and is therefore a useful indicator for forest areas requiring conservation. The aims are to compare the distribution and richness of species within the protected areas, assessing the degree of protection and gap analysis of reserves for this group. We used the Maxent algorithm with environmental and occurrence data, and produced geographic distribution maps. The results show that high species richness occurs in forest and coastal forest of Espírito Santo to Bahia states. The endemic species comprise D. flexuosa, D. macrocarpa, D. flexuosa, D. grandifolia, and D. sessilifolia. In the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil, the following endemic species occur: D. tintinnabulata and D. glaziovii, with this latter species being included in the “red list” due habitat loss and predatory extractivism. The indicators of species richness in the coastal region of Bahia correspond with floristic inventories that point to this area having a high biodiversity. Although this region has several protected areas, there are gaps in reserves, which, combined with anthropogenic threats and fragmentation, have caused several problems for biodiversity.

  7. Predicting geographic distributions of Phacellodomus species (Aves: Furnariidae in South America based on ecological niche modeling

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    Maria da Salete Gurgel Costa

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Phacellodomus Reichenbach, 1853, comprises nine species of Furnariids that occur in South America in open and generally dry areas. This study estimated the geographic distributions of Phacellodomus species in South America by ecological niche modeling. Applying maximum entropy method, models were produced for eight species based on six climatic variables and 949 occurrence records. Since highest climatic suitability for Phacellodomus species has been estimated in open and dry areas, the Amazon rainforest areas are not very suitable for these species. Annual precipitation and minimum temperature of the coldest month are the variables that most influence the models. Phacellodomus species occurred in 35 ecoregions of South America. Chaco and Uruguayan savannas were the ecoregions with the highest number of species. Despite the overall connection of Phacellodomus species with dry areas, species such as P. ruber, P. rufifrons, P. ferrugineigula and P. erythrophthalmus occurred in wet forests and wetland ecoregions.

  8. Evaluation of the impacts of climate change on disease vectors through ecological niche modelling.

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    Carvalho, B M; Rangel, E F; Vale, M M

    2017-08-01

    Vector-borne diseases are exceptionally sensitive to climate change. Predicting vector occurrence in specific regions is a challenge that disease control programs must meet in order to plan and execute control interventions and climate change adaptation measures. Recently, an increasing number of scientific articles have applied ecological niche modelling (ENM) to study medically important insects and ticks. With a myriad of available methods, it is challenging to interpret their results. Here we review the future projections of disease vectors produced by ENM, and assess their trends and limitations. Tropical regions are currently occupied by many vector species; but future projections indicate poleward expansions of suitable climates for their occurrence and, therefore, entomological surveillance must be continuously done in areas projected to become suitable. The most commonly applied methods were the maximum entropy algorithm, generalized linear models, the genetic algorithm for rule set prediction, and discriminant analysis. Lack of consideration of the full-known current distribution of the target species on models with future projections has led to questionable predictions. We conclude that there is no ideal 'gold standard' method to model vector distributions; researchers are encouraged to test different methods for the same data. Such practice is becoming common in the field of ENM, but still lags behind in studies of disease vectors.

  9. Lifestyle of the biotroph Agrobacterium tumefaciens in the ecological niche constructed on its host plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Mula, Almudena; Lang, Julien; Grandclément, Catherine; Naquin, Delphine; Ahmar, Mohammed; Soulère, Laurent; Queneau, Yves; Dessaux, Yves; Faure, Denis

    2018-07-01

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens constructs an ecological niche in its host plant by transferring the T-DNA from its Ti plasmid into the host genome and by diverting the host metabolism. We combined transcriptomics and genetics for understanding the A. tumefaciens lifestyle when it colonizes Arabidopsis thaliana tumors. Transcriptomics highlighted: a transition from a motile to sessile behavior that mobilizes some master regulators (Hfq, CtrA, DivK and PleD); a remodeling of some cell surface components (O-antigen, succinoglucan, curdlan, att genes, putative fasciclin) and functions associated with plant defense (Ef-Tu and flagellin pathogen-associated molecular pattern-response and glycerol-3-phosphate and nitric oxide signaling); and an exploitation of a wide variety of host resources, including opines, amino acids, sugars, organic acids, phosphate, phosphorylated compounds, and iron. In addition, construction of transgenic A. thaliana lines expressing a lactonase enzyme showed that Ti plasmid transfer could escape host-mediated quorum-quenching. Finally, construction of knock-out mutants in A. tumefaciens showed that expression of some At plasmid genes seemed more costly than the selective advantage they would have conferred in tumor colonization. We provide the first overview of A. tumefaciens lifestyle in a plant tumor and reveal novel signaling and trophic interplays for investigating host-pathogen interactions. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Three-dimensional foraging habitat use and niche partitioning in two sympatric seabird species, Phalacrocorax auritus and P. penicillatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck-Richardson, Adam G.; Lyons, Donald E.; Roby, Daniel D.; Cushing, Daniel A.; Lerczak, James A.

    2018-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that co-existing, morphologically similar species will partition prey resources when faced with resource limitations. We investigated local movements, foraging dive behavior, and foraging habitat selection by breeding adults of 2 closely related cormorant species, double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus and Brandt’s cormorants P. penicillatus. These species nest sympatrically at East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary at the border of Oregon and Washington states, USA. Breeding individuals of each species were tracked using GPS tags with integrated temperature and depth data-loggers. The overall foraging areas and core foraging areas (defined as the 95% and 50% kernel density estimates of dive locations, respectively) of double-crested cormorants were much larger and covered a broader range of riverine, mixed-estuarine, and nearshore marine habitats. Brandt’s cormorant foraging areas were less expansive, were exclusively marine, and mostly overlapped with double-crested cormorant foraging areas. Within these areas of overlap, Brandt’s cormorants tended to dive deeper (median depth = 6.48 m) than double-crested cormorants (median depth = 2.67 m), and selected dive locations where the water was deeper. Brandt’s cormorants also utilized a deeper, more benthic portion of the water column than did double-crested cormorants. Nevertheless, the substantial overlap in foraging habitat between the 2 cormorant species in the Columbia River estuary, particularly for Brandt’s cormorants, suggests that superabundant prey resources allow these 2 large and productive cormorant colonies to coexist on a single island near the mouth of the Columbia River.

  11. Niche partitioning of feeding microhabitats produces a unique function for herbivorous rabbitfishes (Perciformes, Siganidae) on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, R. J.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2013-03-01

    Niche theory predicts that coexisting species minimise competition by evolving morphological or behavioural specialisations that allow them to spread out along resource axes such as space, diet and temporal activity. These specialisations define how a species interacts with its environment and, by extension, determine its functional role. Here, we examine the feeding niche of three species of coral reef-dwelling rabbitfishes (Siganidae, Siganus). By comparing aspects of their feeding behaviour (bite location, bite rate, foraging distance) with that of representative species from two other abundant herbivorous fish families, the parrotfishes (Labridae, Scarus) and surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae, Acanthurus), we examine whether rabbitfishes have a feeding niche distinct from other members of the herbivore guild. Measurements of the penetration of the fishes' snouts and bodies into reef concavities when feeding revealed that rabbitfish fed to a greater degree from reef crevices and interstices than other herbivores. There was just a 40 % overlap in the penetration-depth niche between rabbitfish and surgeonfish and a 45 % overlap between rabbitfish and parrotfish, compared with the almost complete niche overlap (95 %) recorded for parrotfish and surgeonfish along this spatial niche axis. Aspects of the morphology of rabbitfish which may contribute to this niche segregation include a comparatively longer, narrower snout and narrower head. Our results suggest that sympatric coexistence of rabbitfish and other reef herbivores is facilitated by segregation along a spatial (and potentially dietary) axis. This segregation results in a unique functional role for rabbitfishes among roving herbivores that of "crevice-browser": a group that specifically feeds on crevice-dwelling algal or benthic organisms. This functional trait may have implications for reef ecosystem processes in terms of controlling the successional development of crevice-based algal communities, reducing their

  12. Predicting the current and future potential distributions of lymphatic filariasis in Africa using maximum entropy ecological niche modelling.

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    Hannah Slater

    Full Text Available Modelling the spatial distributions of human parasite species is crucial to understanding the environmental determinants of infection as well as for guiding the planning of control programmes. Here, we use ecological niche modelling to map the current potential distribution of the macroparasitic disease, lymphatic filariasis (LF, in Africa, and to estimate how future changes in climate and population could affect its spread and burden across the continent. We used 508 community-specific infection presence data collated from the published literature in conjunction with five predictive environmental/climatic and demographic variables, and a maximum entropy niche modelling method to construct the first ecological niche maps describing potential distribution and burden of LF in Africa. We also ran the best-fit model against climate projections made by the HADCM3 and CCCMA models for 2050 under A2a and B2a scenarios to simulate the likely distribution of LF under future climate and population changes. We predict a broad geographic distribution of LF in Africa extending from the west to the east across the middle region of the continent, with high probabilities of occurrence in the Western Africa compared to large areas of medium probability interspersed with smaller areas of high probability in Central and Eastern Africa and in Madagascar. We uncovered complex relationships between predictor ecological niche variables and the probability of LF occurrence. We show for the first time that predicted climate change and population growth will expand both the range and risk of LF infection (and ultimately disease in an endemic region. We estimate that populations at risk to LF may range from 543 and 804 million currently, and that this could rise to between 1.65 to 1.86 billion in the future depending on the climate scenario used and thresholds applied to signify infection presence.

  13. Ecological niche modelling and nDNA sequencing support a new, morphologically cryptic beetle species unveiled by DNA barcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawlitschek, Oliver; Porch, Nick; Hendrich, Lars; Balke, Michael

    2011-02-09

    DNA sequencing techniques used to estimate biodiversity, such as DNA barcoding, may reveal cryptic species. However, disagreements between barcoding and morphological data have already led to controversy. Species delimitation should therefore not be based on mtDNA alone. Here, we explore the use of nDNA and bioclimatic modelling in a new species of aquatic beetle revealed by mtDNA sequence data. The aquatic beetle fauna of Australia is characterised by high degrees of endemism, including local radiations such as the genus Antiporus. Antiporus femoralis was previously considered to exist in two disjunct, but morphologically indistinguishable populations in south-western and south-eastern Australia. We constructed a phylogeny of Antiporus and detected a deep split between these populations. Diagnostic characters from the highly variable nuclear protein encoding arginine kinase gene confirmed the presence of two isolated populations. We then used ecological niche modelling to examine the climatic niche characteristics of the two populations. All results support the status of the two populations as distinct species. We describe the south-western species as Antiporus occidentalis sp.n. In addition to nDNA sequence data and extended use of mitochondrial sequences, ecological niche modelling has great potential for delineating morphologically cryptic species.

  14. Under niche construction: an operational bridge between ecology, evolution, and ecosystem science

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matthews, B.; De Meester, L.; Jones, C.G.; Ibelings, B.W.; Bouma, T.J.; Nuutinen, V.; van de Koppel, J.; Odling-Smee, J.

    2014-01-01

    All living organisms modify their biotic and abiotic environment. Niche construction theory posits that organism-mediated modifications to the environment can change selection pressures and influence the evolutionary trajectories of natural populations. While there is broad support for this

  15. Ecological niche comparison and molecular phylogeny segregate the invasive moss species Campylopus introflexus (Leucobryaceae, Bryophyta) from its closest relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gama, Renato; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Stech, Michael

    2017-10-01

    The delimitation of the invasive moss species Campylopus introflexus from its closest relative, Campylopus pilifer , has been long debated based on morphology. Previous molecular phylogenetic reconstructions based on the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacers (ITS) 1 and 2 showed that C. pilifer is split into an Old World and a New World lineage, but remained partly inconclusive concerning the relationships between these two clades and C. introflexus . Analyses of an extended ITS dataset displayed statistically supported incongruence between ITS1 and ITS2. ITS1 separates the New World clade of C. pilifer from a clade comprising C. introflexus and the Old World C. pilifer . Ancestral state reconstruction showed that this topology is morphologically supported by differences in the height of the dorsal costal lamellae in leaf cross-section (despite some overlap). ITS2, in contrast, supports the current morphological species concept, i.e., separating C. introflexus from C. pilifer , which is morphologically supported by the orientation of the hyaline hair point at leaf apex as well as costal lamellae height. Re-analysis of published and newly generated plastid atpB-rbcL spacer sequences supported the three ITS lineages. Ecological niche modeling proved a useful approach and showed that all three molecular lineages occupy distinct environmental spaces that are similar, but undoubtedly not equivalent. In line with the ITS1 topology, the C. pilifer lineage from the New World occupies the most distinct environmental niche, whereas the niches of Old World C. pilifer and C. introflexus are very similar. Taking the inferences from ecological niche comparisons, phylogenetics, and morphology together, we conclude that all three molecular lineages represent different taxa that should be recognized as independent species, viz. C. introflexus , C. pilifer (Old World clade), and the reinstated C. lamellatus Mont. (New World clade).

  16. Local-scale models reveal ecological niche variability in amphibian and reptile communities from two contrasting biogeographic regions

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    Alberto Muñoz

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecological Niche Models (ENMs are widely used to describe how environmental factors influence species distribution. Modelling at a local scale, compared to a large scale within a high environmental gradient, can improve our understanding of ecological species niches. The main goal of this study is to assess and compare the contribution of environmental variables to amphibian and reptile ENMs in two Spanish national parks located in contrasting biogeographic regions, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area. The ENMs were built with maximum entropy modelling using 11 environmental variables in each territory. The contributions of these variables to the models were analysed and classified using various statistical procedures (Mann–Whitney U tests, Principal Components Analysis and General Linear Models. Distance to the hydrological network was consistently the most relevant variable for both parks and taxonomic classes. Topographic variables (i.e., slope and altitude were the second most predictive variables, followed by climatic variables. Differences in variable contribution were observed between parks and taxonomic classes. Variables related to water availability had the larger contribution to the models in the Mediterranean park, while topography variables were decisive in the Atlantic park. Specific response curves to environmental variables were in accordance with the biogeographic affinity of species (Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean species and taxonomy (amphibians and reptiles. Interestingly, these results were observed for species located in both parks, particularly those situated at their range limits. Our findings show that ecological niche models built at local scale reveal differences in habitat preferences within a wide environmental gradient. Therefore, modelling at local scales rather than assuming large-scale models could be preferable for the establishment of conservation strategies for herptile species in natural

  17. Local-scale models reveal ecological niche variability in amphibian and reptile communities from two contrasting biogeographic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Xavier; Felicísimo, Ángel M.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) are widely used to describe how environmental factors influence species distribution. Modelling at a local scale, compared to a large scale within a high environmental gradient, can improve our understanding of ecological species niches. The main goal of this study is to assess and compare the contribution of environmental variables to amphibian and reptile ENMs in two Spanish national parks located in contrasting biogeographic regions, i.e., the Mediterranean and the Atlantic area. The ENMs were built with maximum entropy modelling using 11 environmental variables in each territory. The contributions of these variables to the models were analysed and classified using various statistical procedures (Mann–Whitney U tests, Principal Components Analysis and General Linear Models). Distance to the hydrological network was consistently the most relevant variable for both parks and taxonomic classes. Topographic variables (i.e., slope and altitude) were the second most predictive variables, followed by climatic variables. Differences in variable contribution were observed between parks and taxonomic classes. Variables related to water availability had the larger contribution to the models in the Mediterranean park, while topography variables were decisive in the Atlantic park. Specific response curves to environmental variables were in accordance with the biogeographic affinity of species (Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean species) and taxonomy (amphibians and reptiles). Interestingly, these results were observed for species located in both parks, particularly those situated at their range limits. Our findings show that ecological niche models built at local scale reveal differences in habitat preferences within a wide environmental gradient. Therefore, modelling at local scales rather than assuming large-scale models could be preferable for the establishment of conservation strategies for herptile species in natural parks. PMID

  18. Integrating life stages into ecological niche models: a case study on tiger beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taboada, Angela; von Wehrden, Henrik; Assmann, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    Detailed understanding of a species' natural history and environmental needs across spatial scales is a primary requisite for effective conservation planning, particularly for species with complex life cycles in which different life stages occupy different niches and respond to the environment at different scales. However, niche models applied to conservation often neglect early life stages and are mostly performed at broad spatial scales. Using the endangered heath tiger beetle (Cicindela sylvatica) as a model species, we relate presence/absence and abundance data of locally dispersing adults and sedentary larvae to abiotic and biotic variables measured in a multiscale approach within the geographic extent relevant to active conservation management. At the scale of hundreds of meters, fine-grained abiotic conditions (i.e., vegetation structure) are fundamental determinants of the occurrence of both life stages, whereas the effect of biotic factors is mostly contained in the abiotic signature. The combination of dense heath vegetation and bare ground areas is thus the first requirement for the species' preservation, provided that accessibility to the suitable habitat is ensured. At a smaller scale (centimetres), the influence of abiotic factors on larval occurrence becomes negligible, suggesting the existence of important additional variables acting within larval proximity. Sustained significant correlations between neighbouring larvae in the models provide an indication of the potential impact of neighbourhood crowding on the larval niche within a few centimetres. Since the species spends the majority of its life cycle in the larval stage, it is essential to consider the hierarchical abiotic and biotic processes affecting the larvae when designing practical conservation guidelines for the species. This underlines the necessity for a more critical evaluation of the consequences of disregarding niche variation between life stages when estimating niches and

  19. Ecological niche of Neanderthals from Spy Cave revealed by nitrogen isotopes of individual amino acids in collagen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yuichi I; Chikaraishi, Yoshito; Drucker, Dorothée G; Ohkouchi, Naohiko; Semal, Patrick; Wißing, Christoph; Bocherens, Hervé

    2016-04-01

    This study provides a refined view on the diet and ecological niche of Neanderthals. The traditional view is that Neanderthals obtained most of their dietary protein from terrestrial animals, especially from large herbivores that roamed the open landscapes. Evidence based on the conventional carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of bulk collagen has supported this view, although recent findings based on plant remains in the tooth calculus, microwear analyses, and small game and marine animal remains from archaeological sites have raised some questions regarding this assumption. However, the lack of a protein source other than meat in the Neanderthal diet may be due to methodological difficulties in defining the isotopic composition of plants. Based on the nitrogen isotopic composition of glutamic acid and phenylalanine in collagen for Neanderthals from Spy Cave (Belgium), we show that i) there was an inter-individual dietary heterogeneity even within one archaeological site that has not been evident in bulk collagen isotopic compositions, ii) they occupied an ecological niche different from those of hyenas, and iii) they could rely on plants for up to ∼20% of their protein source. These results are consistent with the evidence found of plant consumption by the Spy Neanderthals, suggesting a broader subsistence strategy than previously considered. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Persistence of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus defined by agro-ecological niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogerwerf, Lenny; Wallace, Rob G.; Ottaviani, Daniela; Slingenbergh, Jan; Prosser, Diann; Bergmann, Luc; Gilbert, Marius

    2010-01-01

    The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus has spread across Eurasia and into Africa. Its persistence in a number of countries continues to disrupt poultry production, impairs smallholder livelihoods, and raises the risk a genotype adapted to human-to-human transmission may emerge. While previous studies identified domestic duck reservoirs as a primary risk factor associated with HPAI H5N1 persistence in poultry in Southeast Asia, little is known of such factors in countries with different agro-ecological conditions, and no study has investigated the impact of such conditions on HPAI H5N1 epidemiology at the global scale. This study explores the patterns of HPAI H5N1 persistence worldwide, and for China, Indonesia, and India includes individual provinces that have reported HPAI H5N1 presence during the 2004–2008 period. Multivariate analysis of a set of 14 agricultural, environmental, climatic, and socio-economic factors demonstrates in quantitative terms that a combination of six variables discriminates the areas with human cases and persistence: agricultural population density, duck density, duck by chicken density, chicken density, the product of agricultural population density and chicken output/input ratio, and purchasing power per capita. The analysis identifies five agro-ecological clusters, or niches, representing varying degrees of disease persistence. The agro-ecological distances of all study areas to the medoid of the niche with the greatest number of human cases are used to map HPAI H5N1 risk globally. The results indicate that few countries remain where HPAI H5N1 would likely persist should it be introduced.

  1. High-co-occurrence genera: weak but consistent relationships with global richness, niche partitioning, hybridization and decline

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Prinzing, A.; Powrie, L. W.; Hennekens, S.M.; Bartish, Igor V.; Ozinga, W.A.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 1 (2016), s. 55-64 ISSN 1466-822X Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) Fellowship J. E. Purkyně Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity * community assembly * macroevolution and microecology Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  2. Niche partitioning in arbuscular mycorrhizal communities in temperate grasslands: a lesson from adjacent serpentine and nonserpentine habitats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Petr; Doubková, Pavla; Bahram, M.; Suda, Jan; Tedersoo, L.; Voříšková, Jana; Sudová, Radka

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 8 (2015), s. 1831-1843 ISSN 0962-1083 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi * community ecology * NDA barcoding Subject RIV: EF - Botanics; EE - Microbiology, Virology (MBU-M) Impact factor: 5.947, year: 2015

  3. Investigating niche partitioning of ectomycorrhizal fungi in specialized rooting zones of the monodominant leguminous tree Dicymbe corymbosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Matthew E; Henkel, Terry W; Williams, Gwendolyn C; Aime, M Catherine; Fremier, Alexander K; Vilgalys, Rytas

    2017-07-01

    Temperate ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi show segregation whereby some species dominate in organic layers and others favor mineral soils. Weak layering in tropical soils is hypothesized to decrease niche space and therefore reduce the diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The Neotropical ECM tree Dicymbe corymbosa forms monodominant stands and has a distinct physiognomy with vertical crown development, adventitious roots and massive root mounds, leading to multi-stemmed trees with spatially segregated rooting environments: aerial litter caches, aerial decayed wood, organic root mounds and mineral soil. We hypothesized that these microhabitats host distinct fungal assemblages and therefore promote diversity. To test our hypothesis, we sampled D. corymbosa ectomycorrhizal root tips from the four microhabitats and analyzed community composition based on pyrosequencing of fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) barcode markers. Several dominant fungi were ubiquitous but analyses nonetheless suggested that communities in mineral soil samples were statistically distinct from communities in organic microhabitats. These data indicate that distinctive rooting zones of D. corymbosa contribute to spatial segregation of the fungal community and likely enhance fungal diversity. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Summer co-existence of small-sized cyprinid and percid individuals in natural and impounded stretches of a lowland river: food niche partitioning among fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lik, J; Dukowska, M; Grzybkowska, M; Leszczyńska, J

    2017-04-01

    Due to changes of discharge regime downstream of a dam reservoir, an alluvial natural stretch of the Warta River changed to a macrophyte-dominated ecosystem. Large patches of submersed, aquatic macrophytes appeared in summer and their effect is analysed in this study. These patches contained enriched macroinvertebrate assemblages (epiphyton and benthos) and they were refuge for both zooplankton and young fishes released from the reservoir. Despite these altered conditions in this stretch, roach Rutilus rutilus, perch Perca fluviatilis and ruffe Gymnocephalus cernua dominated, as they did in the natural backwater. Fishes were sampled every 2 weeks from June to August, together with their food resources to assess the partitioning of the diet among small individuals of the three species in both stretches (the natural and affected ones). The aim of the analysis was to answer how animal food associated with water plants was partitioned between the species. In both stretches, G. cernua were primarily benthivorous, but epiphytic fauna, zooplankton and large-sized benthic chironomid larvae replaced lack of many large, benthic insects in the tailwater. Levins' food breath index decreased from 0·36 in the backwater to 0·29 in the tailwater. An opposite trend was observed for P. fluviatilis occurring among macrophytes. Perca fluviatilis were competitors of R. rutilus and took food not only in or on the river bed, but also in the water column. They ate zooplankton and epiphytic fauna and Levins' index increased from 0·32 to 0·44 in the tailwater. Rutilus rutilus fed on adult insects, algae and plant fragments in the natural stretch. In the tailwater, these food types were chiefly complemented by zooplankton. Despite this, the niche breadth of R. rutilus was similar at the two sites. Abundance of food associated with the macrophytes appeared to facilitate cohabitation in the abundant fish populations, but P. fluviatilis appeared to benefit the most in the altered river

  5. Assessing the potential for establishment of western cherry fruit fly using ecological niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sunil; Neven, Lisa G; Yee, Wee L

    2014-06-01

    Sweet cherries, Prunus avium (L.) L., grown in the western United States are exported to many countries around the world. Some of these countries have enforced strict quarantine rules and trade restrictions owing to concerns about the potential establishment and subsequent spread of western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens Curran (Diptera: Tephritidae), a major quarantine pest of sweet cherry. We used 1) niche models (CLIMEX and MaxEnt) to map the climatic suitability, 2) North Carolina State University-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Pest Forecasting System to examine chilling requirement, and 3) host distribution and availability to assess the potential for establishment of R. indifferens in areas of western North America where it currently does not exist and eight current or potential fresh sweet cherry markets: Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Results from niche models conformed well to the current distribution of R. indifferens in western North America. MaxEnt and CLIMEX models had high performance and predicted climatic suitability in some of the countries (e.g., Andean range in Colombia and Venezuela, northern and northeastern India, central Taiwan, and parts of Vietnam). However, our results showed no potential for establishment of R. indifferens in Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam when the optimal chilling requirement to break diapause (minimum temperature policy makers.

  6. Using Geographic Information System-based Ecologic Niche Models to Forecast the Risk of Hantavirus Infection in Shandong Province, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Lan; Qian, Quan; Wang, Zhi-Qiang; Glass, Gregory E.; Song, Shao-Xia; Zhang, Wen-Yi; Li, Xiu-Jun; Yang, Hong; Wang, Xian-Jun; Fang, Li-Qun; Cao, Wu-Chun

    2011-01-01

    Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is an important public health problem in Shandong Province, China. In this study, we combined ecologic niche modeling with geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to identify the risk factors and affected areas of hantavirus infections in rodent hosts. Land cover and elevation were found to be closely associated with the presence of hantavirus-infected rodent hosts. The averaged area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.864, implying good performance. The predicted risk maps based on the model were validated both by the hantavirus-infected rodents' distribution and HFRS human case localities with a good fit. These findings have the applications for targeting control and prevention efforts. PMID:21363991

  7. A new method to quantify and compare the multiple components of fitness--a study case with kelp niche partition by divergent microstage adaptations to temperature.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasco M N C S Vieira

    Full Text Available Management of crops, commercialized or protected species, plagues or life-cycle evolution are subjects requiring comparisons among different demographic strategies. The simpler methods fail in relating changes in vital rates with changes in population viability whereas more complex methods lack accuracy by neglecting interactions among vital rates.The difference between the fitness (evaluated by the population growth rate λ of two alternative demographies is decomposed into the contributions of the differences between the pair-wised vital rates and their interactions. This is achieved through a full Taylor expansion (i.e. remainder = 0 of the demographic model. The significance of each term is determined by permutation tests under the null hypothesis that all demographies come from the same pool.An example is given with periodic demographic matrices of the microscopic haploid phase of two kelp cryptic species observed to partition their niche occupation along the Chilean coast. The method provided clear and synthetic results showing conditional differentiation of reproduction is an important driver for their differences in fitness along the latitudinal temperature gradient. But it also demonstrated that interactions among vital rates cannot be neglected as they compose a significant part of the differences between demographies.This method allows researchers to access the effects of multiple effective changes in a life-cycle from only two experiments. Evolutionists can determine with confidence the effective causes for changes in fitness whereas population managers can determine best strategies from simpler experimental designs.

  8. Socio-ecological Niches for Minimum Tillage and Crop-residue Retention in Continuous Maize Cropping Systems in Smallholder Farms of Central Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guto, S.N.; Pypers, P.; Vanlauwe, B.; Ridder, de N.; Giller, K.E.

    2012-01-01

    Soil fertility gradients develop on smallholder farms due to preferential allocation of inputs. A multi-location on-farm trial was conducted in Meru South, Central Kenya whose overall aim was to test minimum tillage and crop-residue retention practices in socio-ecological niches across heterogeneous

  9. Investigation of trophic level and niche partitioning of 7 cetacean species by stable isotopes, and cadmium and arsenic tissue concentrations in the western Pacific Ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, J.-Y.; Chou, L.-S.; Chen, M.-H.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Muscular δ 13 C and δ 15 N data of cetaceans were used to identify their ecological niche • Inshore–offshore distribution pattern was found for four sympatric neritic odontocetes. • Horizontal and vertical movements found in sympatric odontocetes as they grow. • Taiwan’s Chinese white dolphins is an exclusive fish eater. • Prey-derived As- and Cd-induced health threats were found for some dolphins. - Abstract: A total of 24 stranded or bycatch cetaceans, including Balaenoptera omurai, Lagenodelphis hosei, Kogia sima, Stenella attenuata, Grampus griseus, Neophocaena phocaenoides, and Sousa chinensis, were collected from 2001 to 2011 in Taiwan. Using the muscular δ 13 C and δ 15 N data, three ecological groups were identified as the oceanic baleen whale, the neritic, and the coastal toothed whale groups, coinciding with their taxonomy, feeding habits and geographical distribution. A horizontal inshore to offshore distribution was found for the sympatric neritic toothed dolphins, G. griseus, K. sima, S. attenuata, and L. hosei in the outermost offshore waters, accompanying their growth. For the first time we identify Taiwan’s Chinese white dolphin, S. chinensis, as an exclusive fish eater. Cd and As bioaccumulated in the G. griseus, L. hosei and S. attenuata increase as they grow. Prey-derived As- and Cd-induced health threats were found in L. hosei, and G. griseus

  10. Phylogeography and Ecological Niche Modeling of the Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis, Baird & Girard 1852) in the Baja California Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Carrillo, Tania; García-De León, Francisco J; Blázquez, Ma Carmen; Gutiérrez-Flores, Carina; González Zamorano, Patricia

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the factors that explain the patterns of genetic structure or phylogeographic breaks at an intraspecific level is key to inferring the mechanisms of population differentiation in its early stages. These topics have been well studied in the Baja California region, with vicariance and the dispersal ability of individuals being the prevailing hypothesis for phylogeographic breaks. In this study, we evaluated the phylogeographic patterns in the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), a species with a recent history in the region and spatial variation in life history traits. We analyzed a total of 307 individuals collected throughout 19 localities across the Baja California Peninsula with 15 microsatellite DNA markers. Our data reveal the existence of 3 geographically discrete genetic populations with moderate gene flow and an isolation-by-distance pattern presumably produced by the occurrence of a refugium in the Cape region during the Pleistocene Last Glacial Maximum. Bayesian methods and ecological niche modeling were used to assess the relationship between population genetic structure and present and past climatic preferences of the desert iguana. We found that the present climatic heterogeneity of the Baja California Peninsula has a marked influence on the population genetic structure of the species, suggesting that there are alternative explanations besides vicariance. The information obtained in this study provides data allowing a better understanding of how historical population processes in the Baja California Peninsula can be understood from an ecological perspective. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Modeling of the ecological niches of the anopheles spp in Ecuador by the use of geo-informatic tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla, Oswaldo; Rosas, Pablo; Moreno, Wilson; Toulkeridis, Theofilos

    2017-06-01

    Ecuador in the northwestern edge of South America is struggling by vector-borne diseases with an endemic-epidemic behavior leading to an enormous public health problem. Malaria, which has a cyclicality in its dynamics, is closely related to climatic, ecological and socio-economic phenomena. The main objective of this research has been to compare three different prediction species models, the so-called Maxent, logistic regression and multi criteria evaluation with fuzzy logic, in order to determine the model which best describes the ecological niche of the Anopheles spp species, which transmits malaria within Ecuador. After performing a detailed data collection and data processing, we applied the mentioned models and validated them with a statistical analysis in order to discover that the Maxent model has been the model that best defines the distribution of Anopheles spp within the territory. The determined sites, which are of high strategic value and important for the increasing national development, will now be able to initiate preventive countermeasures based on this study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. ECOLOGICAL NICHE MODELING AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT UNITS (UMAS: AN APPLICATION TO DEER IN CAMPECHE, MÉXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Escalante

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The Units for the Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use of Wildlife (UMAs are instruments of conservation and management of specific species in Mexico. UMAs represent in southeastern Mexico an important way for deer management, but they have major problems related to the monitoring of species. In this paper, we propose a methodology based on the use of a ‘niche centroid approach’ for estimating ecological distances to the niche centroid in order to produce distribution maps containing information on the potential relative abundance of species to evaluate the capability of UMAs to maintain populations of deers. We modeled the abundance for Mazama temama, M. pandora and Odocoileus virginianus on the state of Campeche, Mexico. Our predictions of areas with most abundance of deer coincided with reports from literature. We identified the UMAs “Ik Balam” and “Ejido Carlos Cano Cruz” as areas with high proportion of suitable environment, while UMAs “Betito y Lupita”, “El Huanal”, “Puh”, “Refugio faunístico Jalotum”, “Ría Lagartos-Ría Celestun” and “Yocol Cab Balam” have not environmental conditions adequate to maintain deer populations. Although this is a preliminary study, it can be a starting point to establish institutional standards for the management of species.

  13. Consequences of packaging on bacterial growth. Meat is an ecological niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labadie, J

    1999-07-01

    Meat is a good support for bacterial growth and particularly for bacteria which are specific of meat and meat products. Little is known about the physiological and biochemical factors which could explain why some bacterial species are only isolated from meat. This review tentatively points out, from an ecological point of view, some of these factors in Gram negative and Gram positive micro-organisms influencing storage life.

  14. Ecological-niche modeling and prioritization of conservation-area networks for Mexican herpetofauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbina-Cardona, J Nicolás; Flores-Villela, Oscar

    2010-08-01

    One of the most important tools in conservation biology is information on the geographic distribution of species and the variables determining those patterns. We used maximum-entropy niche modeling to run distribution models for 222 amphibian and 371 reptile species (49% endemics and 27% threatened) for which we had 34,619 single geographic records. The planning region is in southeastern Mexico, is 20% of the country's area, includes 80% of the country's herpetofauna, and lacks an adequate protected-area system. We used probabilistic data to build distribution models of herpetofauna for use in prioritizing conservation areas for three target groups (all species and threatened and endemic species). The accuracy of species-distribution models was better for endemic and threatened species than it was for all species. Forty-seven percent of the region has been deforested and additional conservation areas with 13.7% to 88.6% more native vegetation (76% to 96% of the areas are outside the current protected-area system) are needed. There was overlap in 26 of the main selected areas in the conservation-area network prioritized to preserve the target groups, and for all three target groups the proportion of vegetation types needed for their conservation was constant: 30% pine and oak forests, 22% tropical evergreen forest, 17% low deciduous forest, and 8% montane cloud forests. The fact that different groups of species require the same proportion of habitat types suggests that the pine and oak forests support the highest proportion of endemic and threatened species and should therefore be given priority over other types of vegetation for inclusion in the protected areas of southeastern Mexico.

  15. Linking niche theory to ecological impacts of successful invaders: insights from resource fluctuation-specialist herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gidoin, Cindy; Roques, Lionel; Boivin, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Theories of species coexistence and invasion ecology are fundamentally connected and provide a common theoretical framework for studying the mechanisms underlying successful invasions and their ecological impacts. Temporal fluctuations in resource availability and differences in life-history traits between invasive and resident species are considered as likely drivers of the dynamics of invaded communities. Current critical issues in invasion ecology thus relate to the extent to which such mechanisms influence coexistence between invasive and resident species and to the ability of resident species to persist in an invasive-dominated ecosystem. We tested how a fluctuating resource, and species trait differences may explain and help predict long-term impacts of biological invasions in forest specialist insect communities. We used a simple invasion system comprising closely related invasive and resident seed-specialized wasps (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) competing for a well-known fluctuating resource and displaying divergent diapause, reproductive and phenological traits. Based on extensive long-term field observations (1977-2010), we developed a combination of mechanistic and statistical models aiming to (i) obtain a realistic description of the population dynamics of these interacting species over time, and (ii) clarify the respective contributions of fluctuation-dependent and fluctuation-independent mechanisms to long-term impact of invasion on the population dynamics of the resident wasp species. We showed that a fluctuation-dependent mechanism was unable to promote coexistence of the resident and invasive species. Earlier phenology of the invasive species was the main driver of invasion success, enabling the invader to exploit an empty niche. Phenology also had the greatest power to explain the long-term negative impact of the invasive on the resident species, through resource pre-emption. This study provides strong support for the critical role of species

  16. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique G. de la Riva

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-occurring species may reduce competition, promoting different functional niches. Different functional habits associated with leaf life-span or growth forms are associated with different strategies for resource uptake, which could promote niche partitioning. In the present study, based on the biogeochemical niche concept and the use of resources in different proportions, we have focused on leaf traits (morphological and chemical associated with resource uptake, and explored the niche partitioning among functional habits: leaf life-span (deciduous, evergreen, and semideciduous and growth (tree, shrub, and arborescent-shrub. To this end, we have quantified the hypervolume of the leaf functional trait space (both structure and chemical composition in a sample of 45 Mediterranean woody species from Sierra Morena Mountains (Spain growing along a local soil resource gradient. Our results show consistent variation in functional space for woody communities distributed along the environmental gradient. Thus, communities dominated by deciduous trees with faster growth and a predominant acquisitive strategy were characteristic of bottom forests and showed highest leaf biogeochemical space. While semideciduous shrubs and evergreen (arborescent, trees species, characterized by a conservative strategy, dominated ridge forests and showed smaller functional space. In addition, within each topographical zone or environment type, the foliar biogeochemical niche partitioning

  17. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Riva, Enrique G; Marañón, Teodoro; Violle, Cyrille; Villar, Rafael; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M

    2017-01-01

    According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-occurring species may reduce competition, promoting different functional niches. Different functional habits associated with leaf life-span or growth forms are associated with different strategies for resource uptake, which could promote niche partitioning. In the present study, based on the biogeochemical niche concept and the use of resources in different proportions, we have focused on leaf traits (morphological and chemical) associated with resource uptake, and explored the niche partitioning among functional habits: leaf life-span (deciduous, evergreen, and semideciduous) and growth (tree, shrub, and arborescent-shrub). To this end, we have quantified the hypervolume of the leaf functional trait space (both structure and chemical composition) in a sample of 45 Mediterranean woody species from Sierra Morena Mountains (Spain) growing along a local soil resource gradient. Our results show consistent variation in functional space for woody communities distributed along the environmental gradient. Thus, communities dominated by deciduous trees with faster growth and a predominant acquisitive strategy were characteristic of bottom forests and showed highest leaf biogeochemical space. While semideciduous shrubs and evergreen (arborescent, trees) species, characterized by a conservative strategy, dominated ridge forests and showed smaller functional space. In addition, within each topographical zone or environment type, the foliar biogeochemical niche partitioning would underlie the

  18. Ecological explanations to island gigantism: dietary niche divergence, predation, and size in an endemic lizard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runemark, Anna; Sagonas, Kostas; Svensson, Erik I

    2015-08-01

    Although rapid evolution of body size on islands has long been known, the ecological mechanisms behind this island phenomenon remain poorly understood. Diet is an important selective pressure for morphological divergence. Here we investigate if selection for novel diets has contributed to the multiple independent cases of island gigantism in the Skyros wall lizard (Podarcis gaigeae) and if diet, predation, or both factors best explain island gigantism. We combined data on body size, shape, bite force, and realized and available diets to address this. Several lines of evidence suggest that diet has contributed to the island gigantism. The larger islet lizards have relatively wider heads and higher bite performance in relation to mainland lizards than would be expected from size differences alone. The proportions of consumed and available hard prey are higher on islets than mainland localities, and lizard body size is significantly correlated with the proportion of hard prey. Furthermore, the main axis of divergence in head shape is significantly correlated with dietary divergence. Finally, a model with only diet and one including diet and predation regime explain body size divergence equally well. Our results suggest that diet is an important ecological factor behind insular body size divergence, but could be consistent with an additional role for predation.

  19. Genome sequence of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus reveals mechanisms governing adaptation to a humic-rich ecological niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Emmanuelle; Kohler, Annegret; Baker, Adam R.; Foulongne-Oriol, Marie; Lombard, Vincent; Nagye, Laszlo G.; Ohm, Robin A.; Patyshakuliyeva, Aleksandrina; Brun, Annick; Aerts, Andrea L.; Bailey, Andrew M.; Billette, Christophe; Coutinho, Pedro M.; Deakin, Greg; Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan; Floudas, Dimitrios; Grimwood, Jane; Hildén, Kristiina; Kües, Ursula; LaButti, Kurt M.; Lapidus, Alla; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan M.; Murat, Claude; Riley, Robert W.; Salamov, Asaf A.; Schmutz, Jeremy; Subramanian, Venkataramanan; Wösten, Han A. B.; Xu, Jianping; Eastwood, Daniel C.; Foster, Gary D.; Sonnenberg, Anton S. M.; Cullen, Dan; de Vries, Ronald P.; Lundell, Taina; Hibbett, David S.; Henrissat, Bernard; Burton, Kerry S.; Kerrigan, Richard W.; Challen, Michael P.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Martin, Francis

    2012-01-01

    Agaricus bisporus is the model fungus for the adaptation, persistence, and growth in the humic-rich leaf-litter environment. Aside from its ecological role, A. bisporus has been an important component of the human diet for over 200 y and worldwide cultivation of the “button mushroom” forms a multibillion dollar industry. We present two A. bisporus genomes, their gene repertoires and transcript profiles on compost and during mushroom formation. The genomes encode a full repertoire of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes similar to that of wood-decayers. Comparative transcriptomics of mycelium grown on defined medium, casing-soil, and compost revealed genes encoding enzymes involved in xylan, cellulose, pectin, and protein degradation are more highly expressed in compost. The striking expansion of heme-thiolate peroxidases and β-etherases is distinctive from Agaricomycotina wood-decayers and suggests a broad attack on decaying lignin and related metabolites found in humic acid-rich environment. Similarly, up-regulation of these genes together with a lignolytic manganese peroxidase, multiple copper radical oxidases, and cytochrome P450s is consistent with challenges posed by complex humic-rich substrates. The gene repertoire and expression of hydrolytic enzymes in A. bisporus is substantially different from the taxonomically related ectomycorrhizal symbiont Laccaria bicolor. A common promoter motif was also identified in genes very highly expressed in humic-rich substrates. These observations reveal genetic and enzymatic mechanisms governing adaptation to the humic-rich ecological niche formed during plant degradation, further defining the critical role such fungi contribute to soil structure and carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Genome sequence will expedite mushroom breeding for improved agronomic characteristics. PMID:23045686

  20. Genome sequence of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus reveals mechanisms governing adaptation to a humic-rich ecological niche

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morin, Emmanuelle; Kohler, Annegret; Baker, Adam R.; Foulongne-Oriol, Marie; Lombard, Vincent; Nagy, Laszlo G.; Ohm, Robin A.; Patyshakuliyeva, Aleksandrina; Brun, Annick; Aerts, Andrea L.; Bailey, Andrew M.; Billette, Christophe; Coutinho, Pedro M.; Deakin, Greg; Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan; Floudas, Dimitrios; Grimwood, Jane; Hilden, Kristiina; Kues, Ursula; LaButti, Kurt M.; Lapidus, Alla; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan M.; Murat, Claude; Riley, Robert W.; Salamov, Asaf A.; Schmutz, Jeremy; Subramanian, Venkataramanan; Wosten, Han A. B.; Xu, Jianping; Eastwood, Daniel C.; Foster, Gary D.; Sonnenberg, Anton S. M.; Cullen, Dan; de Vries, Ronald P.; Lundell, Taina; Hibbett, David S.; Henrissat, Bernard; Burton, Kerry S.; Kerrigan, Richard W.; Challen, Michael P.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Martin, Francis

    2012-04-27

    Agaricus bisporus is the model fungus for the adaptation, persistence, and growth in the humic-rich leaf-litter environment. Aside from its ecological role, A. bisporus has been an important component of the human diet for over 200 y and worldwide cultivation of the button mushroom forms a multibillion dollar industry. We present two A. bisporus genomes, their gene repertoires and transcript profiles on compost and during mushroom formation. The genomes encode a full repertoire of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes similar to that of wood-decayers. Comparative transcriptomics of mycelium grown on defined medium, casing-soil, and compost revealed genes encoding enzymes involved in xylan, cellulose, pectin, and protein degradation are more highly expressed in compost. The striking expansion of heme-thiolate peroxidases and etherases is distinctive from Agaricomycotina wood-decayers and suggests a broad attack on decaying lignin and related metabolites found in humic acid-rich environment. Similarly, up-regulation of these genes together with a lignolytic manganese peroxidase, multiple copper radical oxidases, and cytochrome P450s is consistent with challenges posed by complex humic-rich substrates. The gene repertoire and expression of hydrolytic enzymes in A. bisporus is substantially different from the taxonomically related ectomycorrhizal symbiont Laccaria bicolor. A common promoter motif was also identified in genes very highly expressed in humic-rich substrates. These observations reveal genetic and enzymatic mechanisms governing adaptation to the humic-rich ecological niche formed during plant degradation, further defining the critical role such fungi contribute to soil structure and carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Genome sequence will expedite mushroom breeding for improved agronomic characteristics.

  1. Genome sequence of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus reveals mechanisms governing adaptation to a humic-rich ecological niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Emmanuelle; Kohler, Annegret; Baker, Adam R; Foulongne-Oriol, Marie; Lombard, Vincent; Nagy, Laszlo G; Ohm, Robin A; Patyshakuliyeva, Aleksandrina; Brun, Annick; Aerts, Andrea L; Bailey, Andrew M; Billette, Christophe; Coutinho, Pedro M; Deakin, Greg; Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan; Floudas, Dimitrios; Grimwood, Jane; Hildén, Kristiina; Kües, Ursula; Labutti, Kurt M; Lapidus, Alla; Lindquist, Erika A; Lucas, Susan M; Murat, Claude; Riley, Robert W; Salamov, Asaf A; Schmutz, Jeremy; Subramanian, Venkataramanan; Wösten, Han A B; Xu, Jianping; Eastwood, Daniel C; Foster, Gary D; Sonnenberg, Anton S M; Cullen, Dan; de Vries, Ronald P; Lundell, Taina; Hibbett, David S; Henrissat, Bernard; Burton, Kerry S; Kerrigan, Richard W; Challen, Michael P; Grigoriev, Igor V; Martin, Francis

    2012-10-23

    Agaricus bisporus is the model fungus for the adaptation, persistence, and growth in the humic-rich leaf-litter environment. Aside from its ecological role, A. bisporus has been an important component of the human diet for over 200 y and worldwide cultivation of the "button mushroom" forms a multibillion dollar industry. We present two A. bisporus genomes, their gene repertoires and transcript profiles on compost and during mushroom formation. The genomes encode a full repertoire of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes similar to that of wood-decayers. Comparative transcriptomics of mycelium grown on defined medium, casing-soil, and compost revealed genes encoding enzymes involved in xylan, cellulose, pectin, and protein degradation are more highly expressed in compost. The striking expansion of heme-thiolate peroxidases and β-etherases is distinctive from Agaricomycotina wood-decayers and suggests a broad attack on decaying lignin and related metabolites found in humic acid-rich environment. Similarly, up-regulation of these genes together with a lignolytic manganese peroxidase, multiple copper radical oxidases, and cytochrome P450s is consistent with challenges posed by complex humic-rich substrates. The gene repertoire and expression of hydrolytic enzymes in A. bisporus is substantially different from the taxonomically related ectomycorrhizal symbiont Laccaria bicolor. A common promoter motif was also identified in genes very highly expressed in humic-rich substrates. These observations reveal genetic and enzymatic mechanisms governing adaptation to the humic-rich ecological niche formed during plant degradation, further defining the critical role such fungi contribute to soil structure and carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems. Genome sequence will expedite mushroom breeding for improved agronomic characteristics.

  2. Ecological niche model of Phlebotomus perniciosus, the main vector of canine leishmaniasis in north-eastern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela Signorini

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available With respect to the epidemiology of leishmaniasis, it is crucial to take into account the ecoclimatic and environ- mental characteristics that influence the distribution patterns of the vector sand fly species. It is also important to consider the possible impact of on-going climate changes on the emergence of this disease. In order to map the potential distribu- tion of Phlebotomus perniciosus, the main vector species of canine leishmaniasis in north-eastern Italy, geographical information systems tools, ecological niche models (ENM and remotely sensed environmental data were applied for a retrospective analysis of an entomological survey conducted in north-eastern Italy over 12 years. Sand fly trapping was conducted from 2001 to 2012 in 175 sites in the provinces of Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige. We developed a predictive model of potential distribution of P. perniciosus using the maximum entropy algorithm software, based on seasonal normalized difference vegetation index, day and night land surface temperature, the Corine land cover 2006, a digital elevation model (GTOPO30 and climate layers obtained from the WorldClim database. The MaxEnt pre- diction found the more suitable habitat for P. perniciosus to be hilly areas (100-300 m above the mean sea level charac- terised by temperate climate during the winter and summer seasons, high winter vegetation cover and moderate rainfall during the activity season of vector sand fly. ENM provided a greater understanding of the geographical distribution and ecological requirements of P. perniciosus in the study area, which can be applied for the development of future surveil- lance strategies.

  3. Molecular data and ecological niche modelling reveal a highly dynamic evolutionary history of the East Asian Tertiary relict Cercidiphyllum (Cercidiphyllaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Xin-Shuai; Chen, Chen; Comes, Hans Peter; Sakaguchi, Shota; Liu, Yi-Hui; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Sakio, Hitoshi; Qiu, Ying-Xiong

    2012-10-01

    East Asia's temperate deciduous forests served as sanctuary for Tertiary relict trees, but their ages and response to past climate change remain largely unknown. To address this issue, we elucidated the evolutionary and population demographic history of Cercdiphyllum, comprising species in China/Japan (Cercdiphyllum japonicum) and central Japan (Cercdiphyllum magnificum). Fifty-three populations were genotyped using chloroplast and ribosomal DNA sequences and microsatellite loci to assess molecular structure and diversity in relation to past (Last Glacial Maximum) and present distributions based on ecological niche modelling. Late Tertiary climate cooling was reflected in a relatively recent speciation event, dated at the Mio-/Pliocene boundary. During glacials, the warm-temperate C. japonicum experienced massive habitat losses in some areas (north-central China/north Japan) but increases in others (southwest/-east China, East China Sea landbridge, south Japan). In China, the Sichuan Basin and/or the middle-Yangtze were source areas of postglacial northward recolonization; in Japan, this may have been facilitated through introgressive hybridization with the cool-temperate C. magnificum. Our findings challenge the notion of relative evolutionary and demographic stability of Tertiary relict trees, and may serve as a guideline for assessing the impact of Neogene climate change on the evolution and distribution of East Asian temperate plants. © 2012 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2012 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Anne-Isola Nekaris

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.

  5. Mycorrhizal hyphae as ecological niche for highly specialized hypersymbionts – or just soil free-riders?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan eJansa

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Mycorrhizal fungi interconnect two different kinds of environments, namely the plant roots with the surrounding soil. This widespread coexistence of plants and fungi has important consequences for plant mineral nutrition, water acquisition, carbon allocation, tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses and interplant competition. Yet some current research indicates a number of important roles to be played by hyphae-associated microbes, in addition to the hyphae themselves, in foraging for and acquisition of soil resources and in transformation of organic carbon in the soil-plant systems. We critically review the available scientific evidence for the theory that the surface of mycorrhizal hyphae in soil is colonized by highly specialized microbial communities, and that these fulfill important functions in the ecology of mycorrhizal fungal hyphae such as accessing recalcitrant forms of mineral nutrients, and production of signaling and other compounds in the vicinity of the hyphae. The validity of another hypothesis will then be addressed, namely that the specific associative microbes are rewarded with exclusive access to fungal carbon, which would qualify them as hypersymbionts (i.e. symbionts of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi. Thereafter, we ask whether recruitment of functionally different microbial assemblages by the hyphae is required under different soil conditions (questioning what evidence is available for such an effect, and we identify knowledge gaps requiring further attention.

  6. Ecological niche shifts and environmental space anisotropy: a cautionary note Desplazamientos en el nicho y la anisotropía del espacio ambiental: una nota precautoria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Soberón

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The anisotropic structure of climatic space may cause significant (and to a large extent unappreciated non-evolutionary niche shifts. This can be seen mostly in the context of spatial transferability of ecological niche models. We explore this effect using a virtual species in the United States. We created a simple virtual species by postulating its fundamental niche as an ellipse in a two-dimensional realistic climatic space. The climatic combinations defined by the ellipse were projected in the geography of the United States and 2 regions of equal area were selected. The structure of niche in the 2 areas is compared. It is shown that the 2 regions have differently positioned subsets of the environmental space, which creates "shifts" in the realized niches despite the fact that no evolution and no biotic interactions are present. The most parsimonious hypothesis when ecological niche modeling reveals shifts in the realized niche is that environmental space is heterogeneous. Without considering differences in the structure of environmental space no speculation about niche evolution or the role of competitors should be attempted.La estructura anisotrópica del espacio climático puede causar desplazamientos significativos no evolutivos en los nichos de las especies. Este efecto poco apreciado en la literatura se manifiesta con gran claridad cuando se realizan transferencias espaciales de modelos de nicho ecológico. Se explora este efecto utilizando una especie virtual en los Estados Unidos. Se creó una especie virtual simplificada postulando su nicho fundamental en forma de una elipse en un espacio realista de 2 dimensiones. Las combinaciones climáticas definidas por la elipse se proyectaron en la geografía de los Estados Unidos y se seleccionaron 2 regiones de igual superficie espacial. Se compara la estructura del nicho en las 2 regiones, mostrando que estas 2 regiones espaciales presentan subconjuntos distintos del espacio de variables

  7. Use of ecological niche modeling as a tool for predicting the potential distribution of Microcystis sp (cyanobacteria in the Aguamilpa Dam, Nayarit, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Martinez-Meyer

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Ecological niche modeling is an important tool to evaluate the spatial distribution of terrestrial species, however, its applicability has been little explored in the aquatic environment. Microcystis sp., a species of cyanobacteria, is widely recognized for its ability to produce a group of toxins known as microcystins, which can cause death of animals as fish, birds and mammals depending on the amount of toxin absorbed. Like any taxonomic group, cyanobacteria has environmental thresholds, therefore, a suitable ecological niche will define their distribution. This study was conducted in Aguamilpa Hydroelectric Reservoir, an artificial ecosystem that started operations in 1994. In this system we evaluated the potential distribution of Microcystis sp., by generating a prediction model based on the concept of ecological niche MAXENT, using a Digital Elevation Model in cells of 100 m x 100 m (1 ha spatial resolution and monitoring eleven physicochemical and biological variables and nutrients in water. The distribution maps were developed using ArcMap 9.2®. The results indicated that Microcystis sp., is distributed mainly in the upper tributary basin (Huaynamota basin during the dry season. There was less chance to find cyanobacteria in the entire system during the cold dry season, while during the warm dry season cyanobacteria was recognized at the confluence of two rivers. During the rainfall season there were no reports of cyanobacteria presence. This species is often associated with arising trophic processes of anthropogenic origin; therefore, attention is required in specific areas that have been identified in this work to improve Aguamilpa’s watershed management and restoration. It was also recognized the importance of phosphorus and nitrogen interaction, which determines the distribution of Microcystis sp., in the Aguamilpa Reservoir. The results of this study demonstrated that ecological niche modeling was a suitable tool to assess the

  8. 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

  9. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-12

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language--the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices.

  10. Species-specific ecological niche modelling predicts different range contractions for Lutzomyia intermedia and a related vector of Leishmania braziliensis following climate change in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Shannon; Rangel, Elizabeth F; Ready, Paul D; Carvalho, Bruno M

    2017-03-24

    Before 1996 the phlebotomine sand fly Lutzomyia neivai was usually treated as a synonym of the morphologically similar Lutzomyia intermedia, which has long been considered a vector of Leishmania braziliensis, the causative agent of much cutaneous leishmaniasis in South America. This report investigates the likely range changes of both sand fly species in response to a stabilisation climate change scenario (RCP4.5) and a high greenhouse gas emissions one (RCP8.5). Ecological niche modelling was used to identify areas of South America with climates currently suitable for each species, and then the future distributions of these climates were predicted based on climate change scenarios. Compared with the previous ecological niche model of L. intermedia (sensu lato) produced using the GARP algorithm in 2003, the current investigation modelled the two species separately, making use of verified presence records and additional records after 2001. Also, the new ensemble approach employed ecological niche modelling algorithms (including Maximum Entropy, Random Forests and Support Vector Machines) that have been widely adopted since 2003 and perform better than GARP, as well as using a more recent climate change model (HadGEM2) considered to have better performance at higher resolution than the earlier one (HadCM2). Lutzomyia intermedia was shown to be the more tropical of the two species, with its climatic niche defined by higher annual mean temperatures and lower temperature seasonality, in contrast to the more subtropical L. neivai. These different latitudinal ranges explain the two species' predicted responses to climate change by 2050, with L. intermedia mostly contracting its range (except perhaps in northeast Brazil) and L. neivai mostly shifting its range southwards in Brazil and Argentina. This contradicts the findings of the 2003 report, which predicted more range expansion. The different findings can be explained by the improved data sets and modelling methods. Our

  11. Coexistence of fish species in a large lowland river: food niche partitioning between small-sized percids, cyprinids and sticklebacks in submersed macrophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dukowska, Małgorzata; Grzybkowska, Maria

    2014-01-01

    In the spring and summer of each year, large patches of submersed aquatic macrophytes overgrow the bottom of the alluvial Warta River downstream of a large dam reservoir owing to water management practices. Environmental variables, macroinvertebrates (zoobenthos and epiphytic fauna, zooplankton) and fish abundance and biomass were assessed at this biologically productive habitat to learn intraseasonal dynamics of food types, and their occurrence in the gut contents of small-sized roach, dace, perch, ruffe and three-spined stickleback. Gut fullness coefficient, niche breadth and niche overlap indicated how the fishes coexist in the macrophytes. Chironomidae dominated in the diet of the percids. However, ruffe consumed mostly benthic chironomids, while perch epiphytic chironomids and zooplankton. The diet of dace resembled that in fast flowing water although this rheophilic species occurred at unusual density there. The generalist roach displayed the lowest gut fullness coefficient values and widest niche breadth; consequently, intraspecific rather than interspecific competition decided the fate of roach. Three-spined stickleback differed from the other fishes by consuming epiphytic simuliids and fish eggs. The diet overlap between fishes reaching higher gut fullness coefficient values was rather low when the food associated with the submersed aquatic macrophytes was most abundant; this is congruent with the niche overlap hypothesis that maximal tolerable niche overlap can be higher in less intensely competitive conditions.

  12. Modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animal hosts to delineate sources of human exposure in the western United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Walsh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Plague has been established in the western United States (US since 1900 following the West Coast introduction of commensal rodents infected with Yersinia pestis via early industrial shipping. Over the last century, plague ecology has transitioned through cycles of widespread human transmission, urban domestic transmission among commensal rodents, and ultimately settled into the predominantly sylvan foci that remain today where it is maintained alternatively by enzootic and epizootic transmission. While zoonotic transmission to humans is much less common in modern times, significant plague risk remains in parts of the western US. Moreover, risk to some threatened species that are part of the epizootic cycle can be quite substantive. This investigation attempted to predict the risk of plague across the western US by modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animals identified between 2000 and 2015. A Maxent machine learning algorithm was used to predict this niche based on climate, altitude, land cover, and the presence of an important enzootic species, Peromyscus maniculatus. This model demonstrated good predictive ability (AUC = 86% and identified areas of high risk in central Colorado, north-central New Mexico, and southwestern and northeastern California. The presence of P. maniculatus, altitude, precipitation during the driest and wettest quarters, and distance to artificial surfaces, all contributed substantively to maximizing the gain function. These findings add to the known landscape epidemiology and infection ecology of plague in the western US and may suggest locations of particular risk to be targeted for wild and domestic animal intervention.

  13. Growth of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi in light- and nutrient-limited batch reactors: relevance for the BIOSOPE deep ecological niche of coccolithophores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrin, Laura; Probert, Ian; Langer, Gerald; Aloisi, Giovanni

    2016-11-01

    Coccolithophores are unicellular calcifying marine algae that play an important role in the oceanic carbon cycle via their cellular processes of photosynthesis (a CO2 sink) and calcification (a CO2 source). In contrast to the well-studied, surface-water coccolithophore blooms visible from satellites, the lower photic zone is a poorly known but potentially important ecological niche for coccolithophores in terms of primary production and carbon export to the deep ocean. In this study, the physiological responses of an Emiliania huxleyi strain to conditions simulating the deep niche in the oligotrophic gyres along the BIOSOPE transect in the South Pacific Gyre were investigated. We carried out batch culture experiments with an E. huxleyi strain isolated from the BIOSOPE transect, reproducing the in situ conditions of light and nutrient (nitrate and phosphate) limitation. By simulating coccolithophore growth using an internal stores (Droop) model, we were able to constrain fundamental physiological parameters for this E. huxleyi strain. We show that simple batch experiments, in conjunction with physiological modelling, can provide reliable estimates of fundamental physiological parameters for E. huxleyi that are usually obtained experimentally in more time-consuming and costly chemostat experiments. The combination of culture experiments, physiological modelling and in situ data from the BIOSOPE cruise show that E. huxleyi growth in the deep BIOSOPE niche is limited by availability of light and nitrate. This study contributes more widely to the understanding of E. huxleyi physiology and behaviour in a low-light and oligotrophic environment of the ocean.

  14. Inferring the past and present connectivity across the range of a North American leaf beetle: combining ecological niche modeling and a geographically explicit model of coalescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellicour, Simon; Fearnley, Shannon; Lombal, Anicée; Heidl, Sarah; Dahlhoff, Elizabeth P; Rank, Nathan E; Mardulyn, Patrick

    2014-08-01

    The leaf beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis occurs across Western North America, either at high elevation or in small, isolated populations along the coast, and thus has a highly fragmented distribution. DNA sequence data (three loci) were collected from five regions across the species range. Population connectivity was examined using traditional ecological niche modeling, which suggested that gene flow could occur among regions now and in the past. We developed geographically explicit coalescence models of sequence evolution that incorporated a two-dimensional representation of the hypothesized ranges suggested by the niche-modeling estimates. We simulated sequence data according to these models and compared them to observed sequences to identify most probable scenarios regarding the migration history of C. aeneicollis. Our results disagreed with initial niche-modeling estimates by clearly rejecting recent connectivity among regions, and were instead most consistent with a long period of range fragmentation, extending well beyond the last glacial maximum. This application of geographically explicit models of coalescence has highlighted some limitations of the use of climatic variables for predicting the present and past range of a species and has explained aspects of the Pleistocene evolutionary history of a cold-adapted organism in Western North America. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  15. Evolutionary game theory and organizational ecology: The case of resource-partitioning theory

    OpenAIRE

    ZHOU, Chaohong; VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen

    2009-01-01

    Abstract: In this paper, we construct a mathematical model that applies tools from evolutionary game theory to issues in organizational ecology. Evolutionary game theory shares the key feature of mathematical rigor with the industrial organization tradition, but is similar to organizational ecology by emphasizing evolutionary dynamics. Evolutionary game theory may well be a complementary modeling tool for the analytical study of organizational ecology issues, next to formal logic, standard ga...

  16. PSA-NCAM expression in the teleost optic tectum is related to ecological niche and use of vision in finding food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labak, I; Pavić, V; Zjalić, M; Blažetić, S; Viljetić, B; Merdić, E; Heffer, M

    2017-08-01

    In this study, tangential migration and neuronal connectivity organization were analysed in the optic tectum of seven different teleosts through the expression of polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) in response to ecological niche and use of vision. Reduced PSA-NCAM expression in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss optic tectum occurred in efferent layers, while in pike Esox lucius and zebrafish Danio rerio it occurred in afferent and efferent layers. Zander Sander lucioperca and European eel Anguilla anguilla had very low PSA-NCAM expression in all tectal layers except in the stratum marginale. Common carp Cyprinus carpio and wels catfish Silurus glanis had the same intensity of PSA-NCAM expression in all tectal layers. The optic tectum of all studied fishes was also a site of tangential migration with sustained PSA-NCAM and c-series ganglioside expression. Anti-c-series ganglioside immunoreactivity was observed in all tectal layers of all analysed fishes, even in layers where PSA-NCAM expression was reduced. Since the optic tectum is indispensable for visually guided prey capture, stabilization of synaptic contact and decrease of neurogenesis and tangential migration in the visual map are an expected adjustment to ecological niche. The authors hypothesize that this stabilization would probably be achieved by down-regulation of PSA-NCAM rather than c-series of ganglioside. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  17. 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

  18. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaume Terradas

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Classical approaches to niche in coexisting plants have undervalued temporal fluctuations. We propose that fluctuation niche is an important dimension of the total niche and interacts with habitat and life-history niches to provide a better understanding of the multidimensional niche space where ecological interactions occur. To scale a fluctuation niche, it is necessary to relate environmental constrictions or species performance not only to the absolute values of the usual environmental and ecophysiological variables but also to their variances or other measures of variability. We use Mediterranean plant communities as examples, because they present characteristic large seasonal and interannual fluctuations in water and nutrient availabilities, along an episodic-constant gradient, and because the plant responses include a number of syndromes coupled to this gradient.

  19. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terradas, J.; Penuelas, J.; Lloret, F.; Penuelas, J.

    2009-01-01

    Classical approaches to niche in coexisting plants have undervalued temporal fluctuations. We propose that fluctuation niche is an important dimension of the total niche and interacts with habitat and life-history niches to provide a better understanding of the multidimensional niche space where ecological interactions occur. To scale a fluctuation niche, it is necessary to relate environmental constrictions or species performance not only to the absolute values of the usual environmental and eco physiological variables but also to their variances or other measures of variability. We use Mediterranean plant communities as examples, because they present characteristic large seasonal and inter annual fluctuations in water and nutrient availabilities, along an episodic-constant gradient, and because the plant responses include a number of syndromes coupled to this gradient.

  20. An introduction to niche construction theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin; Matthews, Blake; Feldman, Marcus W

    Niche construction refers to the modification of selective environments by organisms. Theoretical and empirical studies of niche construction are increasing in importance as foci in evolutionary ecology. This special edition presents theoretical and empirical research that illustrates the significance of niche construction to the field. Here we set the scene for the following papers by (1) discussing the history of niche construction research, (2) providing clear definitions that distinguish niche construction from related concepts such as ecosystem engineering and the extended phenotype, (3) providing a brief summary of the findings of niche construction research, (4) discussing the contribution of niche construction and ecological inheritance to (a) expanded notions of inheritance, and (b) the extended evolutionary synthesis, and (5) briefly touching on some of the issues that underlie the controversies over niche construction.

  1. Habitats and ecological niches of root-hemiparasitic plants: an assessment based on a large database of vegetation plots

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Těšitel, J.; Fibich, P.; de Bello, Francesco; Chytrý, M.; Lepš, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 87, č. 2 (2015), s. 87-108 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/12/1390 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : Bartsia * beals index * Euphrasia Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.711, year: 2015 http://www. sci .muni.cz/botany/chytry/Tesitel_etal2015_Preslia.pdf

  2. Measurement Method and Empirical Research on the Sustainable Development Capability of a Regional Industrial System Based on Ecological Niche Theory in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hang Yin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available From the analytical view of a recycling economy, the regional system achieves the goal of sustainable development through improving resource utilization efficiency, reducing energy consumption and ameliorating the quality of water and air. The regional economic system’s potential for sustainable development is significantly influenced by regional industrial operational efficiency, which measures the cost of ecology, environment, energy and resources accompanying the economic growth. It is vital for national and regional governments to accelerate harmonious development between products of industrial department, consumption of energy and pollutants discharged. Under the guidance of ecological niche theory and recycling economy theory, the theoretical analysis on efficient relations between regional industrial growth, energy consumption, resources utilization and environmental carrying capacity has been carried out from horizontal and vertical respects. Industrial operational efficiency and the sensitivity coefficient in response to the change of every input and output index can be calculated and critical factors, which restrict sustainable development capability, can be found out so that quantitative references could be provided for administrative decisions. As for the measurement method, a super efficiency mixed data envelopment analysis model, which wipes off self-limited condition and either contains both meeting cone characteristic indexes or not, has been established and applied. Statistics from 1993 to 2012 in China are collected to carry out empirical research. On the basis of further analysis, an adjustment strategy can be constituted to improve the capability for sustainable development.

  3. Genome sequence of the button mushroom Agaricus bisporus reveals mechanisms governing adaptation to a humic-rich ecological niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmanuelle Morin; Annegret Kohler; Adam R. Baker; Marie Foulongne-Oriol; Vincent Lombard; Laszlo G. Nagy; Robin A. Ohm; Aleksandrina Patyshakuliyeva; Annick Brun; Andrea L. Aerts; Andrew M. Bailey; Christophe Billette; Pedro M. Coutinho; Greg Deakin; Harshavardhan Doddapaneni; Dimitrios Floudas; Jane Grimwood; Kristiina Hild& #233; n; Ursula K& #252; es; Kurt M. LaButti; Alla Lapidus; Erika A. Lindquist; Susan M. Lucas; Claude Murat; Robert W. Riley; Asaf A. Salamov; Jeremy Schmutz; Venkataramanan Subrananian; Han A.B. W& #246; sten; Jianping Xu; Daniel C. Eastwood; Gary D. Foster; Anton S.M. Sonnenberg; Daniel Cullen; Ronald P. de Vries; Taina Lundell; David S. Hibbett; Bernard Henrissat; Kerry S. Burton; Richard W. Kerrigan; Michael P. Challen; Igor V. Grigoriev; Francis Martin

    2012-01-01

    Agaricus bisporus is the model fungus for the adaptation, persistence,and growth in the humic-rich leaf-litter environment. Aside from its ecological role, A. bisporus has been an important component of the human diet for over 200 y and worldwide cultivation of the "button mushroom" forms a multibillion dollar...

  4. Assessment of the in vitro bioactive properties of lactic acid bacteria isolated from native ecological niches of Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benavides, Ana B; Ulcuango, Mario; Yépez, Lucía; Tenea, Gabriela N

    Lactic acid bacteria are known for their biotechnological potential. In various regions of Ecuador numerous indigenous biological resources are largely undocumented. In this study, we evaluated the potential probiotic characteristics and antagonistic in vitro properties of some lactic acid bacteria from native niches of the subtropical rain forests of Ecuador. These isolates were identified according to their morphological properties, standard API50CH fermentation profile and RAPD-DNA polymorphism pattern. The selected isolates were further evaluated for their probiotic potential. The isolates grew at 15°C and 45°C, survived at a pH ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 in the presence of 0.3% bile (>90%) and grew under sodium chloride conditions. All selected isolates were sensitive to ampicillin, amoxicillin and cefuroxime and some showed resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin and tetracycline. Moreover, the agar well diffusion assay showed that the supernatant of each strain at pH 3.0 and pH 4.0, but not at pH 7.0 exhibited increased antimicrobial activity (inhibition zone >15mm) against two foodborne pathogens, Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the antagonistic activity against two foodborne pathogens and the probiotic in vitro potential of lactic acid bacteria isolated from native biota of Ecuador. Copyright © 2016 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  5. Ecological Niche Modelling Predicts Southward Expansion of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia flaviscutellata (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae, Vector of Leishmania (Leishmania amazonensis in South America, under Climate Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno M Carvalho

    Full Text Available Vector borne diseases are susceptible to climate change because distributions and densities of many vectors are climate driven. The Amazon region is endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis and is predicted to be severely impacted by climate change. Recent records suggest that the distributions of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia flaviscutellata and the parasite it transmits, Leishmania (Leishmania amazonensis, are expanding southward, possibly due to climate change, and sometimes associated with new human infection cases. We define the vector's climatic niche and explore future projections under climate change scenarios. Vector occurrence records were compiled from the literature, museum collections and Brazilian Health Departments. Six bioclimatic variables were used as predictors in six ecological niche model algorithms (BIOCLIM, DOMAIN, MaxEnt, GARP, logistic regression and Random Forest. Projections for 2050 used 17 general circulation models in two greenhouse gas representative concentration pathways: "stabilization" and "high increase". Ensemble models and consensus maps were produced by overlapping binary predictions. Final model outputs showed good performance and significance. The use of species absence data substantially improved model performance. Currently, L. flaviscutellata is widely distributed in the Amazon region, with records in the Atlantic Forest and savannah regions of Central Brazil. Future projections indicate expansion of the climatically suitable area for the vector in both scenarios, towards higher latitudes and elevations. L. flaviscutellata is likely to find increasingly suitable conditions for its expansion into areas where human population size and density are much larger than they are in its current locations. If environmental conditions change as predicted, the range of the vector is likely to expand to southeastern and central-southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and further into the Amazonian areas of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador

  6. Ecological Niche Modelling Predicts Southward Expansion of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) flaviscutellata (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae), Vector of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis in South America, under Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Bruno M; Rangel, Elizabeth F; Ready, Paul D; Vale, Mariana M

    2015-01-01

    Vector borne diseases are susceptible to climate change because distributions and densities of many vectors are climate driven. The Amazon region is endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis and is predicted to be severely impacted by climate change. Recent records suggest that the distributions of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia) flaviscutellata and the parasite it transmits, Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis, are expanding southward, possibly due to climate change, and sometimes associated with new human infection cases. We define the vector's climatic niche and explore future projections under climate change scenarios. Vector occurrence records were compiled from the literature, museum collections and Brazilian Health Departments. Six bioclimatic variables were used as predictors in six ecological niche model algorithms (BIOCLIM, DOMAIN, MaxEnt, GARP, logistic regression and Random Forest). Projections for 2050 used 17 general circulation models in two greenhouse gas representative concentration pathways: "stabilization" and "high increase". Ensemble models and consensus maps were produced by overlapping binary predictions. Final model outputs showed good performance and significance. The use of species absence data substantially improved model performance. Currently, L. flaviscutellata is widely distributed in the Amazon region, with records in the Atlantic Forest and savannah regions of Central Brazil. Future projections indicate expansion of the climatically suitable area for the vector in both scenarios, towards higher latitudes and elevations. L. flaviscutellata is likely to find increasingly suitable conditions for its expansion into areas where human population size and density are much larger than they are in its current locations. If environmental conditions change as predicted, the range of the vector is likely to expand to southeastern and central-southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and further into the Amazonian areas of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela

  7. Stitch the niche - a practical philosophy and visual schematic for the niche concept

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    2012-01-01

    By over-focusing on precise definitions, ecology has produced a confused idea of the niche concept. This, our second paper, develops a practical philosophy for the niche that approaches the concept at the correct level of abstraction. We deconstruct the niche into effect and response components and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

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

  9. Interspecific Differences in Metabolic Rate and Metabolic Temperature Sensitivity Create Distinct Thermal Ecological Niches in Lizards (Plestiodon).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Charles M; Burggren, Warren W

    2016-01-01

    Three congeneric lizards from the southeastern United States (Plestiodon fasciatus, P. inexpectatus, and P. laticeps) exhibit a unique nested distribution. All three skink species inhabit the US Southeast, but two extend northward to central Ohio (P. fasciatus and P. laticeps) and P. fasciatus extends well into Canada. Distinct interspecific differences in microhabitat selection and behavior are associated with the cooler temperatures of the more Northern ranges. We hypothesized that interspecific differences in metabolic temperature sensitivity locally segregates them across their total range. Resting oxygen consumption was measured at 20°, 25° and 30°C. Plestiodon fasciatus, from the coolest habitats, exhibited greatly elevated oxygen consumption compared to the other species at high ecologically-relevant temperatures (0.10, 0.17 and 0.83 ml O2. g-1. h-1 at 20°, 25° and 30°C, respectively). Yet, P. inexpectatus, from the warmest habitats, exhibited sharply decreased oxygen consumption compared to the other species at lower ecologically-relevant temperatures (0.09, 0.27 and 0.42 ml O2. g-1. h-1 at 20°, 25° and 30°C, respectively). Plestiodon laticeps, from both open and closed microhabitats and intermediate latitudinal range, exhibited oxygen consumptions significantly lower than the other two species (0.057, 0.104 and 0.172 ml O2. g-1. h-1 at 20°, 25° and 30°C, respectively). Overall, Plestiodon showed metabolic temperature sensitivities (Q10s) in the range of 2-3 over the middle of each species' normal temperature range. However, especially P. fasciatus and P. inexpectatus showed highly elevated Q10s (9 to 25) at the extreme ends of their temperature range. While morphologically similar, these skinks are metabolically distinct across the genus' habitat, likely having contributed to their current distribution.

  10. Time-Specific Ecologic Niche Models Forecast the Risk of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome in Dongting Lake District, China, 2005–2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xiao-Ling; Li, Xiu-Jun; Ma, Gui-Hua; Huang, Ru; Yang, Hui-Suo; Tian, Huaiyu; Xiao, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Background Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), a rodent-borne infectious disease, is one of the most serious public health threats in China. Increasing our understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns of HFRS infections could guide local prevention and control strategies. Methodology/Principal Findings We employed statistical models to analyze HFRS case data together with environmental data from the Dongting Lake district during 2005–2010. Specifically, time-specific ecologic niche models (ENMs) were used to quantify and identify risk factors associated with HFRS transmission as well as forecast seasonal variation in risk across geographic areas. Results showed that the Maximum Entropy model provided the best predictive ability (AUC = 0.755). Time-specific Maximum Entropy models showed that the potential risk areas of HFRS significantly varied across seasons. High-risk areas were mainly found in the southeastern and southwestern areas of the Dongting Lake district. Our findings based on models focused on the spring and winter seasons showed particularly good performance. The potential risk areas were smaller in March, May and August compared with those identified for June, July and October to December. Both normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land use types were found to be the dominant risk factors. Conclusions/Significance Our findings indicate that time-specific ENMs provide a useful tool to forecast the spatial and temporal risk of HFRS. PMID:25184252

  11. Niche partitioning in sympatric Gorilla and Pan from Cameroon: implications for life history strategies and for reconstructing the evolution of hominin life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macho, Gabriele A; Lee-Thorp, Julia A

    2014-01-01

    Factors influencing the hominoid life histories are poorly understood, and little is known about how ecological conditions modulate the pace of their development. Yet our limited understanding of these interactions underpins life history interpretations in extinct hominins. Here we determined the synchronisation of dental mineralization/eruption with brain size in a 20th century museum collection of sympatric Gorilla gorilla and Pan troglodytes from Central Cameroon. Using δ13C and δ15N of individuals' hair, we assessed whether and how differences in diet and habitat use may have impacted on ape development. The results show that, overall, gorilla hair δ13C and δ15N values are more variable than those of chimpanzees, and that gorillas are consistently lower in δ13C and δ15N compared to chimpanzees. Within a restricted, isotopically-constrained area, gorilla brain development appears delayed relative to dental mineralization/eruption [or dental development is accelerated relative to brains]: only about 87.8% of adult brain size is attained by the time first permanent molars come into occlusion, whereas it is 92.3% in chimpanzees. Even when M1s are already in full functional occlusion, gorilla brains lag behind those of chimpanzee (91% versus 96.4%), relative to tooth development. Both bootstrap analyses and stable isotope results confirm that these results are unlikely due to sampling error. Rather, δ15N values imply that gorillas are not fully weaned (physiologically mature) until well after M1 are in full functional occlusion. In chimpanzees the transition from infant to adult feeding appears (a) more gradual and (b) earlier relative to somatic development. Taken together, the findings are consistent with life history theory that predicts delayed development when non-density dependent mortality is low, i.e. in closed habitats, and with the "risk aversion" hypothesis for frugivorous species as a means to avert starvation. Furthermore, the results highlight

  12. Niche partitioning in sympatric Gorilla and Pan from Cameroon: implications for life history strategies and for reconstructing the evolution of hominin life history.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele A Macho

    Full Text Available Factors influencing the hominoid life histories are poorly understood, and little is known about how ecological conditions modulate the pace of their development. Yet our limited understanding of these interactions underpins life history interpretations in extinct hominins. Here we determined the synchronisation of dental mineralization/eruption with brain size in a 20th century museum collection of sympatric Gorilla gorilla and Pan troglodytes from Central Cameroon. Using δ13C and δ15N of individuals' hair, we assessed whether and how differences in diet and habitat use may have impacted on ape development. The results show that, overall, gorilla hair δ13C and δ15N values are more variable than those of chimpanzees, and that gorillas are consistently lower in δ13C and δ15N compared to chimpanzees. Within a restricted, isotopically-constrained area, gorilla brain development appears delayed relative to dental mineralization/eruption [or dental development is accelerated relative to brains]: only about 87.8% of adult brain size is attained by the time first permanent molars come into occlusion, whereas it is 92.3% in chimpanzees. Even when M1s are already in full functional occlusion, gorilla brains lag behind those of chimpanzee (91% versus 96.4%, relative to tooth development. Both bootstrap analyses and stable isotope results confirm that these results are unlikely due to sampling error. Rather, δ15N values imply that gorillas are not fully weaned (physiologically mature until well after M1 are in full functional occlusion. In chimpanzees the transition from infant to adult feeding appears (a more gradual and (b earlier relative to somatic development. Taken together, the findings are consistent with life history theory that predicts delayed development when non-density dependent mortality is low, i.e. in closed habitats, and with the "risk aversion" hypothesis for frugivorous species as a means to avert starvation. Furthermore, the

  13. Comparative single-cell genomics reveals potential ecological niches for the freshwater acI Actinobacteria lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghylin, Trevor W; Garcia, Sarahi L; Moya, Francisco; Oyserman, Ben O; Schwientek, Patrick; Forest, Katrina T; Mutschler, James; Dwulit-Smith, Jeffrey; Chan, Leong-Keat; Martinez-Garcia, Manuel; Sczyrba, Alexander; Stepanauskas, Ramunas; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Woyke, Tanja; Warnecke, Falk; Malmstrom, Rex; Bertilsson, Stefan; McMahon, Katherine D

    2014-12-01

    Members of the acI lineage of Actinobacteria are the most abundant microorganisms in most freshwater lakes; however, our understanding of the keys to their success and their role in carbon and nutrient cycling in freshwater systems has been hampered by the lack of pure cultures and genomes. We obtained draft genome assemblies from 11 single cells representing three acI tribes (acI-A1, acI-A7, acI-B1) from four temperate lakes in the United States and Europe. Comparative analysis of acI SAGs and other available freshwater bacterial genomes showed that acI has more gene content directed toward carbohydrate acquisition as compared to Polynucleobacter and LD12 Alphaproteobacteria, which seem to specialize more on carboxylic acids. The acI genomes contain actinorhodopsin as well as some genes involved in anaplerotic carbon fixation indicating the capacity to supplement their known heterotrophic lifestyle. Genome-level differences between the acI-A and acI-B clades suggest specialization at the clade level for carbon substrate acquisition. Overall, the acI genomes appear to be highly streamlined versions of Actinobacteria that include some genes allowing it to take advantage of sunlight and N-rich organic compounds such as polyamines, di- and oligopeptides, branched-chain amino acids and cyanophycin. This work significantly expands the known metabolic potential of the cosmopolitan freshwater acI lineage and its ecological and genetic traits.

  14. Partitioning ecosystems for sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Martyn G

    2016-03-01

    Decline in the abundance of renewable natural resources (RNRs) coupled with increasing demands of an expanding human population will greatly intensify competition for Earth's natural resources during this century, yet curiously, analytical approaches to the management of productive ecosystems (ecological theory of wildlife harvesting, tragedy of the commons, green economics, and bioeconomics) give only peripheral attention to the driving influence of competition on resource exploitation. Here, I apply resource competition theory (RCT) to the exploitation of RNRs and derive four general policies in support of their sustainable and equitable use: (1) regulate resource extraction technology to avoid damage to the resource base; (2) increase efficiency of resource use and reduce waste at every step in the resource supply chain and distribution network; (3) partition ecosystems with the harvesting niche as the basic organizing principle for sustainable management of natural resources by multiple users; and (4) increase negative feedback between consumer and resource to bring about long-term sustainable use. A simple policy framework demonstrates how RCT integrates with other elements of sustainability science to better manage productive ecosystems. Several problem areas of RNR management are discussed in the light of RCT, including tragedy of the commons, overharvesting, resource collapse, bycatch, single species quotas, and simplification of ecosystems.

  15. Present and future ecological niche modeling of garter snake species from the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Vázquez, Uri; D’Addario, Maristella

    2018-01-01

    Land use and climate change are affecting the abundance and distribution of species. The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt (TMVB) is a very diverse region due to geological history, geographic position, and climate. It is also one of the most disturbed regions in Mexico. Reptiles are particularly sensitive to environmental changes due to their low dispersal capacity and thermal ecology. In this study, we define the important environmental variables (considering climate, topography, and land use) and potential distribution (present and future) of the five Thamnophis species present in TMVB. To do so, we used the maximum entropy modeling software (MAXENT). First, we modeled to select the most important variables to explain the distribution of each species, then we modeled again using only the most important variables and projected these models to the future considering a middle-moderate climate change scenario (rcp45), and land use and vegetation variables for the year 2050 (generated according to land use changes that occurred between years 2002 and 2011). Arid vegetation had an important negative effect on habitat suitability for all species, and minimum temperature of the coldest month was important for four of the five species. Thamnophis cyrtopsis was the species with the lowest tolerance to minimum temperatures. The maximum temperature of the warmest month was important for T. scalaris and T. cyrtopsis. Low percentages of agriculture were positive for T. eques and T. melanogaster but, at higher values, agriculture had a negative effect on habitat suitability for both species. Elevation was the most important variable to explain T. eques and T. melanogaster potential distribution while distance to Abies forests was the most important variable for T. scalaris and T. scaliger. All species had a high proportion of their potential distribution in the TMVB. However, according to our models, all Thamnophis species will experience reductions in their potential

  16. Niche players

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seandel, Marco; Falciatori, Ilaria; Shmelkov, Sergey V.; Kim, Jiyeon; James, Daylon; Rafii, Shahin

    2010-01-01

    The undifferentiated spermatogonia of adult mouse testes are composed of both true stem cells and committed progenitors. It is unclear what normally prevents these adult germ cells from manifesting multipotency. The critical elements of the spermatogonial stem cell niche, while poorly understood, are thought to be composed of Sertoli cells with several other somatic cell types in close proximity. We recently discovered a novel orphan G-protein coupled receptor (GPR125) that is restricted to undifferentiated spermatogonia within the testis. GPR125 expression was maintained when the progenitor cells were extracted from the in vivo niche and propagated under growth conditions that recapitulate key elements of the niche. Such conditions preserved the ability of the cells to generate multipotent derivatives, known as multipotent adult spermatogonial derived progenitor cells (MASCs). Upon differentiation, the latter produced a variety tissues including functional endothelium, illustrating the potential applications of such cells. Thus, GPR125 represents a novel target for purifying adult stem and progenitors from tissues, with the goal of developing autologous multipotent cell lines. PMID:18256534

  17. Tuna and dolphin associations in the North-east Atlantic: Evidence of different ecological niches from stable isotope and heavy metal measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, K.; Lepoint, G.; Loizeau, V.; Debacker, V.; Dauby, P.; Bouquegneau, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    Associations of tunas and dolphins in the wild are quite frequent events and the question arises how predators requiring similar diet in the same habitat share their environmental resources. As isotopic composition of an animal is related to that of its preys, stable isotope ( 13 C/ 12 C and 15 N/ 14 N) analyses were performed in three predator species from the North-east Atlantic: the striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, the common dolphin Delphinus delphis and the albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, and compared to their previously described stomach content. Heavy metals (Cd, Zn, Cu and Fe) are mainly transferred through the diet and so, have been determined in the tissues of the animals. Tuna muscles display higher δ 15 N than in common and striped dolphins (mean: 11.4 vs. 10.3%o and 10.4%o, respectively) which reflects their higher trophic level nutrition. Higher δ 13 C are found in common (-18.4%o) and striped dolphin (-18.1%o) muscles than in albacore tuna (-19.3%o) probably in relation with its migratory pattern. The most striking feature is the presence of two levels of cadmium concentrations in the livers of the tunas (32 mg kg -1 dry weight (DW) vs. 5 mg kg -1 DW). These two groups also differ by their iron concentrations and their δ 15 N and δ 13 C liver values. These results suggest that in the Biscay Bay, tunas occupy two different ecological niches probably based on different squid inputs in their diet

  18. Mitochondrial DNA analyses and ecological niche modeling reveal post-LGM expansion of the Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis) in the foothills of Nepal Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanal, Laxman; Chalise, Mukesh K; He, Kai; Acharya, Bipin K; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Jiang, Xuelong

    2018-03-01

    Genetic diversity of a species is influenced by multiple factors, including the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles and geophysical barriers. Such factors are not yet well documented for fauna from the southern border of the Himalayan region. This study used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and ecological niche modeling (ENM) to explore how the late Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and complex geography of the Himalayan region have shaped genetic diversity, population genetic structure, and demographic history of the Nepalese population of Assam macaques (Macaca assamensis) in the Himalayan foothills. A total of 277 fecal samples were collected from 39 wild troops over almost the entire distribution of the species in Nepal. The mtDNA fragment encompassing the complete control region (1121 bp) was recovered from 208 samples, thus defining 54 haplotypes. Results showed low nucleotide diversity (0.0075 ± SD 0.0001) but high haplotype diversity (0.965 ± SD 0.004). The mtDNA sequences revealed a shallow population genetic structure with a moderate but statistically significant effect of isolation by distance. Demographic history analyses using mtDNA sequences suggested a post-pleistocene population expansion. Paleodistribution reconstruction projected that the potential habitat of the Assam macaque was confined to the lower elevations of central Nepal during the Last Glacial Maximum. With the onset of the Holocene climatic optimum, the glacial refugia population experienced eastward range expansion to higher elevations. We conclude that the low genetic diversity and shallow population genetic structure of the Assam macaque population in the Nepal Himalaya region are the consequence of recent demographic and spatial expansion. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. The importance of relative humidity and trophic resources in governing ecological niche of the invasive carabid beetle Merizodus soledadinus in the Kerguelen archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouisse, Tiphaine; Bonte, Dries; Lebouvier, Marc; Hendrickx, Frederik; Renault, David

    Comprehensive studies to identify species-specific drivers of survival to environmental stress, reproduction, growth, and recruitment are vital to gaining a better understanding of the main ecological factors shaping species habitat distribution and dispersal routes. The present study performed a field-based assessment of habitat distribution in the invasive carabid beetle Merizodus soledadinus for the Kerguelen archipelago. The results emphasised humid habitats as a key element of the insect's realised niche. In addition, insects faced food and water stress during dispersal events. We evaluated quantitatively how water availability and trophic resources governed the spatial distribution of this invasive predatory insect at Îles Kerguelen. Food and water stress survival durations [in 100%, 70%, and 30% relative humidity (RH) conditions] and changes in a set of primary metabolic compounds (metabolomics) were determined. Adult M. soledadinus supplied with water ad libitum were highly tolerant to prolonged starvation (LT 50 =51.7±6.2d). However, food-deprived insect survival decreased rapidly in moderate (70% RH, LT 50 =30.37±1.39h) and low (30% RH, LT 50 =13.03±0.48h) RH conditions. Consistently, body water content decreased rapidly in insects exposed to 70% and 30% RH. Metabolic variation evidenced the effects of food deprivation in control insects (exposed to 100% RH), which exhibited a progressive decline of most glycolytic sugars and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates. Most metabolite levels were elevated levels during the first few hours of exposure to 30% and 70% RH. Augmented alanine and lactate levels suggested a shift to anaerobic metabolism. Simultaneously, peaks in threonine and glycolytic sugars pointed to metabolic disruption and a progressive physiological breakdown in dehydrating individuals. Overall, the results of our study indicate that the geographic distribution of M. soledadinus populations is highly dependent on habitat RH and water

  20. Family routines within the ecological niche: An analysis of the psychological well-being of U.S. caregivers of children with disabilities

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    Elizabeth Ann Larson

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Using mixed methods, this study examined the relationship of caregivers of children with disabilities’ psychological well-being and their orchestration of daily routines within their ecological niche. Thirty-nine U.S. caregivers completed in-depth interviews, Psychological Well-being Scales (PWB, and Family Time and Routines Index (FTRI. We used a multi-step analysis. Interview data was coded and vignettes created without knowledge of PWB and FTRI ratings. Next, the relationship of quantitative measures was analyzed. Four groups were created using FTRI-extent and PWB means: (1 low routine-low PWB, (2 low routine-high PWB, (3 high routine-low PWB, and (4 high routine-high PWB. We examined qualitative differences in key features between groups. Findings: Total PWB and FTRI scores were not significantly correlated, PWB Purpose in Life and FTRI-extent scores were moderately positively correlated, and PWB Environmental Mastery and FTRI-extent correlation approached significance. Qualitative findings describe caregivers’ structuring of routines, intensity of oversight, support in routines, management of dinner, paid work, and needs for respite. The four groups differed in paid work, household support, degree the child could self-occupy, Environmental Mastery, and opportunities to recuperate. Caregivers with higher levels of well-being and more regular routines did paid work, had supportive spouses, had children who more often could follow routines, had higher Environmental Mastery, could orchestrate a family meal, and had breaks from care in either work or leisure. All Native American caregivers and Mexican American caregivers with spouses were in the high routine-high PWB group. Insight into this complex negotiation between family members within daily routines may provide practitioners a better understanding of how to work within family circles to foster therapeutic alliances, identify focused intervention targets, and promote positive family

  1. Ecogeographical determinants of the ecological niche of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca on the basis of indices of remote sensing of land images

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    O. M. Kunah

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The patterns of variation in vegetative indices received by means of data of remote land sensing are described as being dependant on geomorphological predictors and the sizes of agricultural fields in an experimental polygon within Poltava region. The possibilities of application of vegetative indices have been explored through ecogeographical determinants of the ecological niche of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L. and other weeds. On the basis of images of the land surface taken on 23 March and 27 August 2015 by the sensor control Operational Land Imager (OLI, installed on the satellite Landsat 8, vegetative indices have been calculated (AC-Index – aerosol/coastal index, Hydrothermal Composite, NDTI – Normalized Difference Tillage Index, NDVI – Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, VI – Vegetation Index, MNDW – Modified Normalized Difference Water Index, LSWI – Land Surface Water Index, NBR – Normalized Burn Ratio, M15. The data obtained have been subjected to principal component analysis and the revealed principal components have been interpreted with the help of regression analysis, in which geomorphological variables have been applied as predictors. It was possible to explain the trends of variability of the vegetative cover, formalized in the form of the principal component, by means of indices which quantitatively characterise features of relief. The various aspects of variation of vegetative cover have been shown to be characterised by the specificity of the influence of relief factors. A prominent aspect of the variation of the vegetative cover of agroecosystems is variability within a field. The degree of a variation of conditions is proportional to the size of a field. Large fields occupy level plain positions. In turn, within small fields sources of variation are changes in ecological conditions which arise owing to unevenness of relief, which increases in proximity to gullies and ravines. We have identified

  2. Individual diet variation in a marine fish assemblage: Optimal Foraging Theory, Niche Variation Hypothesis and functional identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachera, M.; Ernande, B.; Villanueva, M. C.; Lefebvre, S.

    2017-02-01

    Individual diet variation (i.e. diet variation among individuals) impacts intra- and inter-specific interactions. Investigating its sources and relationship with species trophic niche organization is important for understanding community structure and dynamics. Individual diet variation may increase with intra-specific phenotypic (or "individual state") variation and habitat variability, according to Optimal Foraging Theory (OFT), and with species trophic niche width, according to the Niche Variation Hypothesis (NVH). OFT proposes "proximate sources" of individual diet variation such as variations in habitat or size whereas NVH relies on "ultimate sources" related to the competitive balance between intra- and inter-specific competitions. The latter implies as a corollary that species trophic niche overlap, taken as inter-specific competition measure, decreases as species niche width and individual niche variation increase. We tested the complementary predictions of OFT and NVH in a marine fish assemblage using stomach content data and associated trophic niche metrics. The NVH predictions were tested between species of the assemblage and decomposed into a between- and a within-functional group component to assess the potential influence of species' ecological function. For most species, individual diet variation and niche overlap were consistently larger than expected. Individual diet variation increased with intra-specific variability in individual state and habitat, as expected from OFT. It also increased with species niche width but in compliance with the null expectation, thus not supporting the NVH. In contrast, species niche overlap increased significantly less than null expectation with both species niche width and individual diet variation, supporting NVH corollary. The between- and within-functional group components of the NVH relationships were consistent with those between species at the assemblage level. Changing the number of prey categories used to

  3. Niche versus neutrality: a dynamical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael Kalyuzhny; Efrat Seri; Rachel Chocron; Curtis H. Flather; Ronen Kadmon; Nadav M. Shnerb

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the forces shaping ecological communities is of crucial importance for basic science and conservation. After 50 years in which ecological theory has focused on either stable communities driven by niche-based forces or nonstable “neutral” communities driven by demographic stochasticity, contemporary theories suggest that ecological communities are driven...

  4. The shared preference niche of sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in a tropical forest mosaic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Robert; Garshelis, David L; Chutipong, Wanlop; Seuaturien, Naret

    2011-01-20

    Ecologically similar species often coexist by partitioning use of habitats or resources. Such partitioning can occur through divergent or shared niches. We investigated overlap in habitat use and spatial co-occurrence by sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in three habitats in Thailand, and thereby assessed which niche model best accounts for their coexistence. We used density of species-specific signs to assess habitat use. Signs of both bear species occurred in all three habitats, and on >60% of sampling transects. Both species fed mostly on fruit; insect feeding signs were uncommon, and were mostly from sun bears. Significant differences in habitat use occurred only in montane forest, the habitat in which fruit was most abundant; incidence of black bear sign there was six times higher than that of sun bears. Habitat use was similar between the two species in the other habitats, which comprised 85% of the area. Of 10 habitat attributes examined, fruiting tree density was the best predictor of occurrence for both species. Models that included interspecific competition (fresh foraging activity of the other species) were less supported than the top models without competition. Bear species co-occurrence at both coarse and fine spatial scales and use of the same resources (fruit trees) indicated common niche preferences. However, their habitat use differed in ways expected from their physical differences: larger black bears dominated in the most fruit-rich habitat, and smaller sun bears used less-preferred insects. These results indicate broadly overlapping fundamental niches combined with asymmetric competition-features consistent with the concept of shared preference niches. This model of the niche has received little attention in ecology, but appears to be relatively common in nature.

  5. The shared preference niche of sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in a tropical forest mosaic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Steinmetz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecologically similar species often coexist by partitioning use of habitats or resources. Such partitioning can occur through divergent or shared niches. We investigated overlap in habitat use and spatial co-occurrence by sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in three habitats in Thailand, and thereby assessed which niche model best accounts for their coexistence.We used density of species-specific signs to assess habitat use. Signs of both bear species occurred in all three habitats, and on >60% of sampling transects. Both species fed mostly on fruit; insect feeding signs were uncommon, and were mostly from sun bears. Significant differences in habitat use occurred only in montane forest, the habitat in which fruit was most abundant; incidence of black bear sign there was six times higher than that of sun bears. Habitat use was similar between the two species in the other habitats, which comprised 85% of the area. Of 10 habitat attributes examined, fruiting tree density was the best predictor of occurrence for both species. Models that included interspecific competition (fresh foraging activity of the other species were less supported than the top models without competition.Bear species co-occurrence at both coarse and fine spatial scales and use of the same resources (fruit trees indicated common niche preferences. However, their habitat use differed in ways expected from their physical differences: larger black bears dominated in the most fruit-rich habitat, and smaller sun bears used less-preferred insects. These results indicate broadly overlapping fundamental niches combined with asymmetric competition-features consistent with the concept of shared preference niches. This model of the niche has received little attention in ecology, but appears to be relatively common in nature.

  6. Phylogeography and Ecological Niche Modeling Reveal Reduced Genetic Diversity and Colonization Patterns of Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus; Araceae From Glacial Refugia in Eastern North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seon-Hee Kim

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Alternating glacial and interglacial periods during the Quaternary have dramatically affected the distribution and population genetic structure of plant and animal species throughout the northern hemisphere. Surprisingly, little is known about the post-glacial recolonization history of wetland herbaceous perennials that are widely distributed in the understory of deciduous or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests in eastern North America. In this study, we investigated infraspecific variation among 32 populations of skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, to test the hypothesis that the extant species diversity of skunk cabbage is the result of a post-glacial range expansion from southern refugia during the Quaternary Ice Age. A total of 4041 base pairs (bp of the chloroplast intergenic spacer region (cpDNA was sequenced from 485 individuals sampled from glaciated (18 populations, 275 individuals and unglaciated (14 populations, 210 individuals regions east and west of the Appalachian Mountains. Haplotype number, haplotype diversity, and nucleotide diversity were calculated, and genetic variation within and among populations was assessed by analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA. The geographic pattern of genetic differentiation was further investigated with a spatial analysis of molecular variance (SAMOVA. A total of eight haplotypes and three genetic groups (SAMOVA were recovered and a much higher haplotype number (eight haplotypes and haplotype diversity (0.7425 was observed in unglaciated compared to glaciated populations (five haplotypes, haplotype diversity = 0.6099. All haplotypes found in glaciated regions represented a subset of haplotypes found in unglaciated regions. Haplotypes of S. foetidus likely diverged during the Tertiary (mid-Miocene and late Pliocene, predating the last glacial maximum (LGM. Predictions based on ecological niche modeling (ENM suggested that there was considerably less suitable habitat for skunk cabbage during the LGM

  7. Functional traits, convergent evolution, and periodic tables of niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winemiller, Kirk O; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Bower, Luke M; Pianka, Eric R

    2015-08-01

    Ecology is often said to lack general theories sufficiently predictive for applications. Here, we examine the concept of a periodic table of niches and feasibility of niche classification schemes from functional trait and performance data. Niche differences and their influence on ecological patterns and processes could be revealed effectively by first performing data reduction/ordination analyses separately on matrices of trait and performance data compiled according to logical associations with five basic niche 'dimensions', or aspects: habitat, life history, trophic, defence and metabolic. Resultant patterns then are integrated to produce interpretable niche gradients, ordinations and classifications. Degree of scheme periodicity would depend on degrees of niche conservatism and convergence causing species clustering across multiple niche dimensions. We analysed a sample data set containing trait and performance data to contrast two approaches for producing niche schemes: species ordination within niche gradient space, and niche categorisation according to trait-value thresholds. Creation of niche schemes useful for advancing ecological knowledge and its applications will depend on research that produces functional trait and performance datasets directly related to niche dimensions along with criteria for data standardisation and quality. As larger databases are compiled, opportunities will emerge to explore new methods for data reduction, ordination and classification. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Limited trophic partitioning among sympatric delphinids off a tropical oceanic atoll.

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    Hillary Young

    Full Text Available Understanding trophic relationships among marine predators in remote environments is challenging, but it is critical to understand community structure and dynamics. In this study, we used stable isotope analysis of skin biopsies to compare the isotopic, and thus, trophic niches of three sympatric delphinids in the waters surrounding Palmyra Atoll, in the Central Tropical Pacific: the melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra, Gray's spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris longirostris, and the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus. δ15N values suggested that T. truncatus occupied a significantly higher trophic position than the other two species. δ13C values did not significantly differ between the three delphinds, potentially indicating no spatial partitioning in depth or distance from shore in foraging among species. The dietary niche area-determined by isotopic variance among individuals-of T. truncatus was also over 30% smaller than those of the other species taken at the same place, indicating higher population specialization or lower interindividual variation. For P. electra only, there was some support for intraspecific variation in foraging ecology across years, highlighting the need for temporal information in studying dietary niche. Cumulatively, isotopic evidence revealed surprisingly little evidence for trophic niche partitioning in the delphinid community of Palmyra Atoll compared to other studies. However, resource partitioning may happen via other behavioral mechanisms, or prey abundance or availability may be adequate to allow these three species to coexist without any such partitioning. It is also possible that isotopic signatures are inadequate to detect trophic partitioning in this environment, possibly because isotopes of prey are highly variable or insufficiently resolved to allow for differentiation.

  9. Predicting the distribution of a parasite using the ecological niche model, GARP Predicción de la distribución de un parásito usando el modelo de nicho ecológico, GARP

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    Terry R. Haverkost

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The ecological niche of a parasite exists only at the nexus of certain abiotic and biotic conditions suitable for both the definitive and intermediate hosts. However, the life cycles of most parasites are not known, or are poorly known, and using known ranges of hosts to find endemic parasitic infections has been difficult. However, with ecological niche modeling, we can create potential range maps using known localities of infection. Testing the validity of such maps requires knowledge of the localities of other parasites with common history. Here, we find that the ecological niche of a tapeworm parasite of voles, Paranoplocephala macrocephala (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae, allows prediction of the presence (in ecological and geographic space of 19 related parasite species from 3 genera in 23 different hosts throughout the Nearctic. These results give credence to the idea that this group shares similar life cycle requirements despite phylogenetic distance. This work further validates ecological niche modeling as a means by which to predict occurrence of parasites when not all facets of the life cycle are confirmed. Such inductive methods create the opportunity for deducing potential reservoir or intermediate hosts, and complementing studies of parasite biodiversity and community ecology.El nicho ecológico de un parásito existe sólo cuando coinciden condiciones abióticas y bióticas necesarias para los hospederos definitivos e intermediarios. No obstante, los ciclos de vida de la mayoría de los parásitos son poco conocidos; el usar áreas de distribución de hospederos para encontrar áreas endémicas de parasitismo ha resultado difícil. Con el modelado de nicho, se pueden producir mapas del área de distribución potencial con base en sitios conocidos de presencia. Para probar la validez de estos mapas, se requiere el conocimiento de sitios de presencia de otros parásitos relacionados. En este estudio, encontramos que el nicho ecol

  10. Toward a Periodic Table of Niches, or Exploring the Lizard Niche Hypervolume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pianka, Eric R; Vitt, Laurie J; Pelegrin, Nicolás; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2017-11-01

    Widespread niche convergence suggests that species can be organized according to functional trait combinations to create a framework analogous to a periodic table. We compiled ecological data for lizards to examine patterns of global and regional niche diversification, and we used multivariate statistical approaches to develop the beginnings for a periodic table of niches. Data (50+ variables) for five major niche dimensions (habitat, diet, life history, metabolism, defense) were compiled for 134 species of lizards representing 24 of the 38 extant families. Principal coordinates analyses were performed on niche dimensional data sets, and species scores for the first three axes were used as input for a principal components analysis to ordinate species in continuous niche space and for a regression tree analysis to separate species into discrete niche categories. Three-dimensional models facilitate exploration of species positions in relation to major gradients within the niche hypervolume. The first gradient loads on body size, foraging mode, and clutch size. The second was influenced by metabolism and terrestrial versus arboreal microhabitat. The third was influenced by activity time, life history, and diet. Natural dichotomies are activity time, foraging mode, parity mode, and habitat. Regression tree analysis identified 103 cases of extreme niche conservatism within clades and 100 convergences between clades. Extending this approach to other taxa should lead to a wider understanding of niche evolution.

  11. THE NICHE CONSTRUCTION PERSPECTIVE: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Laland, Kevin N; Shuker, David M; Dickins, Thomas E; West, Stuart A

    2014-01-01

    Niche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of evolution, in which niche construction and its legacy over time (ecological inheritance) are described as evolutionary processes, equivalent in importance to natural selection. Here, we subject NCT to critical evaluation, in the form of a collaboration between one prominent advocate of NCT, and a team of skeptics. We discuss whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance. We also consider whether the literature that promotes NCT overstates the significance of niche construction, whether it is internally coherent, and whether it accurately portrays standard evolutionary theory. Our disagreements reflect a wider dispute within evolutionary theory over whether the neo-Darwinian synthesis is in need of reformulation, as well as different usages of some key terms (e.g., evolutionary process). PMID:24325256

  12. The niche construction perspective: a critical appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Laland, Kevin N; Shuker, David M; Dickins, Thomas E; West, Stuart A

    2014-05-01

    Niche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of evolution, in which niche construction and its legacy over time (ecological inheritance) are described as evolutionary processes, equivalent in importance to natural selection. Here, we subject NCT to critical evaluation, in the form of a collaboration between one prominent advocate of NCT, and a team of skeptics. We discuss whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance. We also consider whether the literature that promotes NCT overstates the significance of niche construction, whether it is internally coherent, and whether it accurately portrays standard evolutionary theory. Our disagreements reflect a wider dispute within evolutionary theory over whether the neo-Darwinian synthesis is in need of reformulation, as well as different usages of some key terms (e.g., evolutionary process). © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Niche conservatism and the invasive potential of the wild boar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Lilian Patrícia; Ribeiro, Bruno R; Hayward, Matt Warrington; Paglia, Adriano; Passamani, Marcelo; Loyola, Rafael

    2017-09-01

    Niche conservatism, i.e. the retention of a species' fundamental niche through evolutionary time, is cornerstone for biological invasion assessments. The fact that species tend to maintain their original climate niche allows predictive maps of invasion risk to anticipate potential invadable areas. Unravelling the mechanisms driving niche shifts can shed light on the management of invasive species. Here, we assessed niche shifts in one of the world's worst invasive species: the wild boar Sus scrofa. We also predicted potential invadable areas based on an ensemble of three ecological niche modelling methods, and evaluated the performance of models calibrated with native vs. pooled (native plus invaded) species records. By disentangling the drivers of change on the exotic wild boar population's niches, we found strong evidence for niche conservatism during biological invasion. Ecological niche models calibrated with both native and pooled range records predicted convergent areas. Also, observed niche shifts are mostly explained by niche unfilling, i.e. there are unoccupied areas in the exotic range where climate is analogous to the native range. Niche unfilling is expected as result of recent colonization and ongoing dispersal, and was potentially stronger for the Neotropics, where a recent wave of introductions for pig-farming and game-hunting has led to high wild boar population growth rates. The invasive potential of wild boar in the Neotropics is probably higher than in other regions, which has profound management implications if we are to prevent their invasion into species-rich areas, such as Amazonia, coupled with expansion of African swine fever and possibly great economic losses. Although the originally Eurasian-wide distribution suggests a pre-adaptation to a wide array of climates, the wild boar world-wide invasion does not exhibit evidence of niche evolution. The invasive potential of the wild boar therefore probably lies on the reproductive, dietary and

  14. Coding Partitions

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    Fabio Burderi

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Motivated by the study of decipherability conditions for codes weaker than Unique Decipherability (UD, we introduce the notion of coding partition. Such a notion generalizes that of UD code and, for codes that are not UD, allows to recover the ``unique decipherability" at the level of the classes of the partition. By tacking into account the natural order between the partitions, we define the characteristic partition of a code X as the finest coding partition of X. This leads to introduce the canonical decomposition of a code in at most one unambiguouscomponent and other (if any totally ambiguouscomponents. In the case the code is finite, we give an algorithm for computing its canonical partition. This, in particular, allows to decide whether a given partition of a finite code X is a coding partition. This last problem is then approached in the case the code is a rational set. We prove its decidability under the hypothesis that the partition contains a finite number of classes and each class is a rational set. Moreover we conjecture that the canonical partition satisfies such a hypothesis. Finally we consider also some relationships between coding partitions and varieties of codes.

  15. {sup 137}Cs and {sup 40}K partitioning in the system soil-plant under different ecological conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luksiene, B. [Center for Physical Sciences and Technology (Lithuania); Marciulioniene, D. [Nature Research Centre (Lithuania)

    2014-07-01

    In the environment {sup 137}Cs is exclusively of the anthropogenic origin. Among different released fission radionuclides, {sup 137}Cs is the most significant one as it contributes to long-term doses to population. It belongs to the group of radionuclides which under accidental situations can disperse worldwide because of air mass transport. {sup 137}Cs deposition in the Lithuanian terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is basically related to the global fallout and contaminated air masses from the Chernobyl NPP accident. An extra load of {sup 137}Cs to the Lithuanian terrestrial ecosystems was determined after the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident as well. Over the recent decades evident changes in the approach to the radiation protection of non-human species from ionizing radiation have taken place. Furthermore, long-term predictions of the mobility and bioavailability of {sup 137}Cs are required because of its penetration into the food chain. {sup 40}K is a typical lithophilic element and its geochemistry could be similar to that of {sup 137}Cs because they both are of the same valence state, +1. Investigation results of {sup 137}Cs and {sup 40}K behavior in the environmental systems in the literature are rather contradictory. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to assess {sup 137}Cs and {sup 40}K activity concentration in soil and various plants of a different root system and to compare bioavailability of these radionuclides under different environmental ecological conditions. {sup 137}Cs deposition distribution in the upper soil layer is different in the studied territory. The mean {sup 137}Cs activity concentrations in soil and plants in the post-Chernobyl period varied in a wide range. {sup 137}Cs activity concentrations in soil varied from about 30 Bq/kg to 340 Bq/kg, while in various plants and grasses the range was 45-119 Bq/kg. Mean values of the {sup 137}Cs transfer factor ranged from 0.1 to 1.4. The discrimination factor was determined to evaluate the

  16. Niche construction game cancer cells play.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

    Niche construction concept was originally defined in evolutionary biology as the continuous interplay between natural selection via environmental conditions and the modification of these conditions by the organism itself. Processes unraveling during cancer metastasis include construction of niches, which cancer cells use towards more efficient survival, transport into new environments and preparation of the remote sites for their arrival. Many elegant experiments were done lately illustrating, for example, the premetastatic niche construction, but there is practically no mathematical modeling done which would apply the niche construction framework. To create models useful for understanding niche construction role in cancer progression, we argue that a) genetic, b) phenotypic and c) ecological levels are to be included. While the model proposed here is phenomenological in its current form, it can be converted into a predictive outcome model via experimental measurement of the model parameters. Here we give an overview of an experimentally formulated problem in cancer metastasis and propose how niche construction framework can be utilized and broadened to model it. Other life science disciplines, such as host-parasite coevolution, may also benefit from niche construction framework adaptation, to satisfy growing need for theoretical considerations of data collected by experimental biology.

  17. Niche construction game cancer cells play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

    Niche construction concept was originally defined in evolutionary biology as the continuous interplay between natural selection via environmental conditions and the modification of these conditions by the organism itself. Processes unraveling during cancer metastasis include construction of niches, which cancer cells use towards more efficient survival, transport into new environments and preparation of the remote sites for their arrival. Many elegant experiments were done lately illustrating, for example, the premetastatic niche construction, but there is practically no mathematical modeling done which would apply the niche construction framework. To create models useful for understanding niche construction role in cancer progression, we argue that a) genetic, b) phenotypic and c) ecological levels are to be included. While the model proposed here is phenomenological in its current form, it can be converted into a predictive outcome model via experimental measurement of the model parameters. Here we give an overview of an experimentally formulated problem in cancer metastasis and propose how niche construction framework can be utilized and broadened to model it. Other life science disciplines, such as host-parasite coevolution, may also benefit from niche construction framework adaptation, to satisfy growing need for theoretical considerations of data collected by experimental biology.

  18. 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.

  19. Niche separation in flycatcher-like species in the lowland rainforests of Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-07-01

    Niche theory suggests that sympatric species reduce interspecific competition through segregation of shared resources by adopting different attack manoeuvres. However, the fact that flycatcher-like bird species exclusively use the sally manoeuvre may thus challenge this view. We studied the foraging ecology of three flycatcher-like species (i.e. Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone sp., Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea, and Rufous-winged Philentoma Philentoma pyrhoptera) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in central Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated foraging preferences of each bird species and the potential niche partitioning via spatial or behavioural segregation. Foraging substrate was important parameter that effectively divided paradise-flycatcher from Black-naped Monarch and Rufous-winged Philentoma, where monarch and philentoma foraged mainly on live green leaves, while paradise-flycatcher foraged on the air. They also exhibited different foraging height preferences. Paradise-flycatcher, for instance, preferred the highest studied strata, while Black-naped Monarch foraged mostly in lower strata, and Rufous-winged Philentoma made use of the lowest strata. This study indicates that niche segregation occurs among sympatric species through foraging substrate and attack manoeuvres selection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Calcium isotopes offer clues on resource partitioning among Cretaceous predatory dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, A; Martin, J E; Amiot, R; Tacail, T; Godet, F Arnaud; Allain, R; Balter, V

    2018-04-11

    Large predators are overabundant in mid-Cretaceous continental dinosaur assemblages of North Africa. Such unbalanced ecosystem structure involves, among predatory dinosaurs, typical abelisaurid or carcharodontosaurid theropods co-occurring with long-snouted spinosaurids of debated ecology. Here, we report calcium (Ca) isotope values from tooth enamel (expressed as δ 44/42 Ca) to investigate resource partitioning in mid-Cretaceous assemblages from Niger (Gadoufaoua) and Morocco (Kem Kem Beds). In both assemblages, spinosaurids display a distinct isotopic signature, the most negative in our dataset. This distinct taxonomic clustering in Ca isotope values observed between spinosaurids and other predators provides unambiguous evidence for niche partitioning at the top of the trophic chains: spinosaurids foraged on aquatic environments while abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods relied almost exclusively on terrestrial resources. © 2018 The Author(s).

  1. Coexistence via resource partitioning fails to generate an increase in community function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P DeLong

    Full Text Available Classic ecological theory suggests that resource partitioning facilitates the coexistence of species by reducing inter-specific competition. A byproduct of this process is an increase in overall community function, because a greater spectrum of resources can be used. In contrast, coexistence facilitated by neutral mechanisms is not expected to increase function. We studied coexistence in laboratory microcosms of the bactivorous ciliates Paramecium aurelia and Colpidium striatum to understand the relationship between function and coexistence mechanism. We quantified population and community-level function (biomass and oxygen consumption, competitive interactions, and resource partitioning. The two ciliates partitioned their bacterial resource along a size axis, with the larger ciliate consuming larger bacteria than the smaller ciliate. Despite this, there was no gain in function at the community level for either biomass or oxygen consumption, and competitive effects were symmetrical within and between species. Because other potential coexistence mechanisms can be ruled out, it is likely that inter-specific interference competition diminished the expected gain in function generated by resource partitioning, leading to a system that appeared competitively neutral even when structured by niche partitioning. We also analyzed several previous studies where two species of protists coexisted and found that the two-species communities showed a broad range of biomass levels relative to the single-species states.

  2. From the ecological niche to the mass market with 'Green Power Marketing' - 1st European Conference on Green Power Marketing 2001

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    This report summarises the information presented at the European Conference on Green Power Marketing held in 2001 in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It takes a look at the market chances of ecologically produced electricity for use in Switzerland and for export. The opinions of experts from the areas of research, business, politics, marketing and non-governmental organisations that were presented at the meeting are summarised. European perspectives and trends in the USA are discussed and examples of green power marketing in the USA and Holland are given. Marketing issues and price policies are discussed, as are labelling strategies and customer perception of 'Green Power' issues. Also, sales issues including e-marketing, power-market rules and certificate trading are dealt with

  3. Ecological niche modeling for visceral leishmaniasis in the state of Bahia, Brazil, using genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction and growing degree day-water budget analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prixia Nieto

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Two predictive models were developed within a geographic information system using Genetic Algorithm Rule-Set Prediction (GARP and the growing degree day (GDD-water budget (WB concept to predict the distribution and potential risk of visceral leishmaniasis (VL in the State of Bahia, Brazil. The objective was to define the environmental suitability of the disease as well as to obtain a deeper understanding of the eco-epidemiology of VL by associating environmental and climatic variables with disease prevalence. Both the GARP model and the GDDWB model, using different analysis approaches and with the same human prevalence database, predicted similar distribution and abundance patterns for the Lutzomyia longipalpis-Leishmania chagasi system in Bahia. High and moderate prevalence sites for VL were significantly related to areas of high and moderate risk prediction by: (i the area predicted by the GARP model, depending on the number of pixels that overlapped among eleven annual model years, and (ii the number of potential generations per year that could be completed by the Lu. longipalpis-L. chagasi system by GDD-WB analysis. When applied to the ecological zones of Bahia, both the GARP and the GDD-WB prediction models suggest that the highest VL risk is in the interior region of the state, characterized by a semi-arid and hot climate known as Caatinga, while the risk in the Bahia interior forest and the Cerrado ecological regions is lower. The Bahia coastal forest was predicted to be a low-risk area due to the unsuitable conditions for the vector and VL transmission.

  4. Remote Sensing-Based Detection and Spatial Pattern Analysis for Geo-Ecological Niche Modeling of Tillandsia SPP. In the Atacama, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, N.; Siegmund, A.; del Río, C.; Osses, P.; García, J. L.

    2016-06-01

    In the coastal Atacama Desert in Northern Chile plant growth is constrained to so-called `fog oases' dominated by monospecific stands of the genus Tillandsia. Adapted to the hyperarid environmental conditions, these plants specialize on the foliar uptake of fog as main water and nutrient source. It is this characteristic that leads to distinctive macro- and micro-scale distribution patterns, reflecting complex geo-ecological gradients, mainly affected by the spatiotemporal occurrence of coastal fog respectively the South Pacific Stratocumulus clouds reaching inlands. The current work employs remote sensing, machine learning and spatial pattern/GIS analysis techniques to acquire detailed information on the presence and state of Tillandsia spp. in the Tarapacá region as a base to better understand the bioclimatic and topographic constraints determining the distribution patterns of Tillandsia spp. Spatial and spectral predictors extracted from WorldView-3 satellite data are used to map present Tillandsia vegetation in the Tarapaca region. Regression models on Vegetation Cover Fraction (VCF) are generated combining satellite-based as well as topographic variables and using aggregated high spatial resolution information on vegetation cover derived from UAV flight campaigns as a reference. The results are a first step towards mapping and modelling the topographic as well as bioclimatic factors explaining the spatial distribution patterns of Tillandsia fog oases in the Atacama, Chile.

  5. REMOTE SENSING-BASED DETECTION AND SPATIAL PATTERN ANALYSIS FOR GEO-ECOLOGICAL NICHE MODELING OF TILLANDSIA SPP. IN THE ATACAMA, CHILE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wolf

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In the coastal Atacama Desert in Northern Chile plant growth is constrained to so-called ‘fog oases’ dominated by monospecific stands of the genus Tillandsia. Adapted to the hyperarid environmental conditions, these plants specialize on the foliar uptake of fog as main water and nutrient source. It is this characteristic that leads to distinctive macro- and micro-scale distribution patterns, reflecting complex geo-ecological gradients, mainly affected by the spatiotemporal occurrence of coastal fog respectively the South Pacific Stratocumulus clouds reaching inlands. The current work employs remote sensing, machine learning and spatial pattern/GIS analysis techniques to acquire detailed information on the presence and state of Tillandsia spp. in the Tarapacá region as a base to better understand the bioclimatic and topographic constraints determining the distribution patterns of Tillandsia spp. Spatial and spectral predictors extracted from WorldView-3 satellite data are used to map present Tillandsia vegetation in the Tarapaca region. Regression models on Vegetation Cover Fraction (VCF are generated combining satellite-based as well as topographic variables and using aggregated high spatial resolution information on vegetation cover derived from UAV flight campaigns as a reference. The results are a first step towards mapping and modelling the topographic as well as bioclimatic factors explaining the spatial distribution patterns of Tillandsia fog oases in the Atacama, Chile.

  6. Phylogenetic signals in the climatic niches of the world's amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2010-01-01

    amphibian orders and across biogeographical regions. To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic signal in species climatic niches for an entire clade across the world. Even though our results do not provide a strong test of the niche conservatism......The question of whether closely related species share similar ecological requirements has attracted increasing attention, because of its importance for understanding global diversity gradients and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. In fact, the assumption that related species...... are also ecologically similar has often been made, although the prevalence of such a phylogenetic signal in ecological niches remains heavily debated. Here, we provide a global analysis of phylogenetic niche relatedness for the world's amphibians. In particular, we assess which proportion of the variance...

  7. Niche construction drives social dependence in hermit crabs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, Mark E

    2012-10-23

    Organisms can receive not only a genetic inheritance from their ancestors but also an ecological inheritance, involving modifications their ancestors made to the environment through niche construction. Ecological inheritances may persist as a legacy, potentially generating selection pressures that favor sociality. Yet, most proposed cases of sociality being impacted by an ecological inheritance come from organisms that live among close kin and were highly social before their niche construction began. Here, I show that in terrestrial hermit crabs (Coenobita compressus)--organisms that do not live with kin and reside alone, each in its own shell--niche-construction drives social dependence, such that individuals can only survive in remodeled shells handed down from conspecifics. These results suggest that niche construction can be an important initiator of evolutionary pressures to socialize, even among unrelated and otherwise asocial organisms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. TRANSCRIPTOME ANALYSES REVEAL DIFFERENTIAL GENE EXPRESSION PATTERNS BETWEEN THE LIFE-CYCLE STAGES OF EMILIANIA HUXLEYI (HAPTOPHYTA) AND REFLECT SPECIALIZATION TO DIFFERENT ECOLOGICAL NICHES(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rokitta, Sebastian D; de Nooijer, Lennart J; Trimborn, Scarlett; de Vargas, Colomban; Rost, Björn; John, Uwe

    2011-08-01

    Coccolithophores, especially the abundant, cosmopolitan species Emiliania huxleyi (Lohmann) W. W. Hay et H. P. Mohler, are one of the main driving forces of the oceanic carbonate pump and contribute significantly to global carbon cycling, due to their ability to calcify. A recent study indicates that termination of diploid blooms by viral infection induces life-cycle transition, and speculation has arisen about the role of the haploid, noncalcifying stage in coccolithophore ecology. To explore gene expression patterns in both life-cycle stages, haploid and diploid cells of E. huxleyi (RCC 1217 and RCC 1216) were acclimated to limiting and saturating photon flux densities. Transcriptome analyses were performed to assess differential genomic expression related to different ploidy levels and acclimation light intensities. Analyses indicated that life-cycle stages exhibit different properties of regulating genome expression (e.g., pronounced gene activation and gene silencing in the diploid stage), proteome maintenance (e.g., increased turnover of proteins in the haploid stage), as well as metabolic processing (e.g., pronounced primary metabolism and motility in the haploid stage and calcification in the diploid stage). Furthermore, higher abundances of transcripts related to endocytotic and digestive machinery were observed in the diploid stage. A qualitative feeding experiment indicated that both life-cycle stages are capable of particle uptake (0.5 μm diameter) in late-stationary growth phase. Results showed that the two life-cycle stages represent functionally distinct entities that are evolutionarily shaped to thrive in the environment they typically inhabit. © 2011 Phycological Society of America.

  9. Phylogenetic constraints in key functional traits behind species' climate niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kellermann, Vanessa; Loeschcke, Volker; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2012-01-01

    Species distributions are often constrained by climatic tolerances that are ultimately determined by evolutionary history and/or adaptive capacity, but these factors have rarely been partitioned. Here, we experimentally determined two key climatic niche traits (desiccation and cold resistance) fo...

  10. Distribution survey, ecological niche modelling and conservation assessment of the Peruvian Night Monkey: Aotus Miconax Thomas, 1927 (Mammalia: Primates: Aotidae in north-eastern Peru, with notes on the distributions of Aotus spp. Gray, 1870

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam Shanee

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Aotus miconax is endemic to Peru and remains one of the least studied of all Neotropical primate taxa.  It has an altitudinally restricted distribution and is limited to areas of premontane and montane cloud forest in the countries north.  Deforestation in the area is the highest in the country.  In many areas deforestation has fragmented remnant populations of A. miconax to isolated forest fragments with high hunting pressure.  Our aim was to gather information on the current distribution of A. miconax and other Aotus species in northeastern Peru.  Through field surveys we found evidence of the presence of Aotus spp. at 44 localities in the departments of Amazonas, Huánuco, La Libertad and San Martin, including 23 visual observations and four aural detections and from secondary evidence at a further 17 sites.  Aotus miconax was found at sites between 1200–3100 m.  Combining GIS and maximum entropy ecological niche modelling we predicted the probable original distribution of A. miconax.  We also evaluated the current area of occupancy, level of fragmentation and anthropogenic threats faced by this species.  The current area of occupancy of A. miconax is much reduced and anthropogenic threats to this species are severe and increasing.  The current IUCN Red List status (VU underestimates actual habitat loss and disturbance.  Sympatric species which suffer from similar levels of hunting and habitat loss are considered ‘Critically Endangered’ (IUCN 2011 and based on our estimate of ~60% habitat loss, with much of the remaining habitat highly fragmented; we would like to suggest that A. miconax be classified as Endangered.

  11. Niche dimensions in fishes: an integrative view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pörtner, H O; Schulte, P M; Wood, C M; Schiemer, F

    2010-01-01

    Current shifts in ecosystem composition and function emphasize the need for an understanding of the links between environmental factors and organism fitness and tolerance. The examples discussed here illustrate how recent progress in the field of comparative physiology may provide a better mechanistic understanding of the ecological concepts of the fundamental and realized niches and thus provide insights into the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance. Here we argue that, as a link between physiological and ecological indicators of organismal performance, the mechanisms shaping aerobic scope and passive tolerance set the dimensions of an animal's niche, here defined as its capacity to survive, grow, behave, and interact with other species. We demonstrate how comparative studies of cod or killifish populations in a latitudinal cline have unraveled mitochondrial mechanisms involved in establishing a species' niche, performance, and energy budget. Riverine fish exemplify how the performance windows of various developmental stages follow the dynamic regimes of both seasonal temperatures and river hydrodynamics, as synergistic challenges. Finally, studies of species in extreme environments, such as the tilapia of Lake Magadi, illustrate how on evolutionary timescales functional and morphological shifts can occur, associated with new specializations. We conclude that research on the processes and time course of adaptations suitable to overcome current niche limits is urgently needed to assess the resilience of species and ecosystems to human impact, including the challenges of global climate change.

  12. Phylogenetic climatic niche conservatism and evolution of climatic suitability in Neotropical Angraecinae (Vandeae, Orchidaceae) and their closest African relatives

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolanowska, Marta; Grochocka, E.; Konowalik, K.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 5, may (2017), č. článku e3328. ISSN 2167-8359 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : campylocentrum orchidaceae * molecular phylogenetics * environmental niches * costa-rica * diversity * models * speciation * ecology * pollination * divergence * Angraecinae * Ecological niche modeling * Orchidaceae * Phylogenetic niche conservatism * Angraecum * Campylocentrum * Dendrophylax Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 2.177, year: 2016

  13. Plant stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aichinger, Ernst; Kornet, Noortje; Friedrich, Thomas; Laux, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Multicellular organisms possess pluripotent stem cells to form new organs, replenish the daily loss of cells, or regenerate organs after injury. Stem cells are maintained in specific environments, the stem cell niches, that provide signals to block differentiation. In plants, stem cell niches are situated in the shoot, root, and vascular meristems-self-perpetuating units of organ formation. Plants' lifelong activity-which, as in the case of trees, can extend over more than a thousand years-requires that a robust regulatory network keep the balance between pluripotent stem cells and differentiating descendants. In this review, we focus on current models in plant stem cell research elaborated during the past two decades, mainly in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We address the roles of mobile signals on transcriptional modules involved in balancing cell fates. In addition, we discuss shared features of and differences between the distinct stem cell niches of Arabidopsis.

  14. Plant stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Yvonne; Simon, Rüdiger

    2005-01-01

    Stem cells are required to support the indeterminate growth style of plants. Meristems are a plants stem cell niches that foster stem cell survival and the production of descendants destined for differentiation. In shoot meristems, stem cell fate is decided at the populational level. The size of the stem cell domain at the meristem tip depends on signals that are exchanged with cells of the organizing centre underneath. In root meristems, individual stem cells are controlled by direct interaction with cells of the quiescent centre that lie in the immediate neighbourhood. Analysis of the interactions and signaling processes in the stem cell niches has delivered some insights into the molecules that are involved and revealed that the two major niches for plant stem cells are more similar than anticipated.

  15. Ecological niche models and patterns of richness and endemism of the southern Andean genus Eurymetopum (Coleoptera, Cleridae Modelos de nicho ecológico y patrones de riqueza y endemismo del género andino austral Eurymetopum (Coleoptera, Cleridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Escalante

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Eurymetopum is an Andean clerid genus with 22 species. We modeled the ecological niches of 19 species with Maxent and used them as potential distributional maps to identify patterns of richness and endemicity. All modeled species maps were overlapped in a single map in order to determine richness. We performed an optimality analysis with NDM/VNDM in a grid of 1º latitude-longitude in order to identify endemism. We found a highly rich area, located between 32º and 41º south latitude, where the richest pixels have 16 species. One area of endemism was identified, located in the Maule and Valdivian Forest biogeographic provinces, which extends also to the Santiago province of the Central Chilean subregion, and contains four endemic species (E. parallelum, E. prasinum, E. proteus, and E. viride, as well as 16 non-endemic species. The sympatry of these phylogenetically unrelated species might indicate ancient vicariance processes, followed by episodes of dispersal. Based on our results, we suggest a close relationship between these provinces, with the Maule representing a complex area.Eurymetopum es un género de cléridos andinos con 22 especies. Modelamos los nichos ecológicos de 19 especies con Maxent y los utilizamos como mapas de distribución potencial para identificar patrones de riqueza y endemismo. Todos los mapas de las especies se superpusieron en un mapa único para determinar la riqueza. Realizamos un análisis de optimalidad con NDM/VNDM en una cuadrícula de 1º de latitud-longitud para identificar el endemismo. Hallamos un área de mayor riqueza, localizada entre los 32º y 41º de latitud sur, donde los pixeles más ricos poseen 16 especies. Se identificó un área de endemismo en las provincias biogeográficas del Maule y el Bosque Valdiviano, la cual se extiende también a la provincia de Santiago de la subregión Chilena Central, y que contiene cuatro especies endémicas (E. parallelum, E. prasinum, E. proteus y E. viride, as

  16. Microbial minorities modulate methane consumption through niche partitioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Meima-Franke, M.; Hordijk, C.A.; Steenbergh, A.K.; Hefting, M.M.; Bodrossy, L.; von Bergen, M.; Seifert, J.

    2013-01-01

    Microbes catalyze all major geochemical cycles on earth. However, the role of microbial traits and community composition in biogeochemical cycles is still poorly understood mainly due to the inability to assess the community members that are actually performing biogeochemical conversions in complex

  17. Urban niche dynamics of Kaifeng city%开封市的城市生态位变化分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁圣彦; 李志恒

    2007-01-01

    Niche theory is one of the most important ecological theories. It is widely applied to analyzing such phenomena as competition among, and evolution of, urban ecosystem functional modules. This paper describes a study concerningdifferent functional modules of Kaifeng city urban ecosystem. Niche theory and techniques were used to analyze the changes of these functional modules in the period 1994-2003. The results showed that, in the period 1994-2003: (1) Niche value of the atmospheric environment and urban virescence modules increased, while niche value of the water environment and sound environment modules decreased; (2) niche value of the tertiary industry module increased, niche value of the secondary industry module decreased, while niche value of the primary industry module showed little change; and (3) niche value of the infrastructure, resource distribution, and production & social security modules increased, while niche value of the population module decreased. This study may contribute to macroscopic planning of urban functional modules,economic development, and environmental protection.

  18. Diet and trophic niche of Lithobates catesbeianus (Amphibia: Anura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peterson T. Leivas

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802 is an invasive anuran introduced in Brazil that is associated with the displacement and the decline of populations of native species worldwide. There is evidence that biological invasions are facilitated by certain attributes of the invading species, for instance niche breath, and that invasive species have a broader ecological niche with respect to native ones. We designed a study to ascertain the temporal, ontogenetic, and sex differences in the niche dynamics of the American bullfrog. We sampled monthly from June 2008 to May 2009 in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. For each individual, we gathered biometric and stomach content data. We then estimated the niche breath of the juveniles and adults, and compared it between the sexes. A total of 104 females and 77 males were sampled. Lithobates catesbeianus has a generalist diet, preying upon invertebrates and vertebrates. Even though the diet of the studied population varied seasonally, it did not differ between the sexes nor did it respond to biometric variables. Niche breadth was more restricted in the winter than in the autumn. The trophic niche of juveniles and adults did not overlap much when compared with the trophic niche overlap between males and females. Adult males and females had a considerable niche overlap, but females had a broader trophic niche than males in the winter and in the spring. These niche characteristics point to an opportunistic predation strategy that may have facilitated the process of invasion and establishment of this species in the study area.

  19. A 12,000 year record of changes in herbivore niche separation and palaeoclimate (Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecker, Michaela; Brink, James; Horwitz, Liora Kolska; Scott, Louis; Lee-Thorp, Julia A.

    2018-01-01

    The large mammalian fauna of southern Africa is characterised by strong niche separation into grazer and browser species, with few falling into the intermediate mixed-feeder niche. Moreover, the modern fauna is reduced in species diversity compared to the Pleistocene, following the extinction of several specialized grazers in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. How did this state develop, and how might it be connected to climatic change during the Holocene? To better understand this development, we obtained extensive carbon and oxygen stable light isotope data from herbivore tooth enamel samples from Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa, spanning about 12,000-500 cal. BP. This is a unique dataset since it is the only site in the southern Kalahari with a robust chronometric record and well-preserved faunal remains for the last 12,000 years without significant gaps. Combining the stable isotopes with pollen and micromammal data from Wonderwerk Cave, we have explored shifts in the proportions of C3 and C4 plants and moisture availability. Although climate remained generally semi-arid for much of this period, the results show significant hydrological and vegetation shifts in the sequence, particularly with the strengthening of summer rainfall in the mid-Holocene. The results for the sixteen herbivore species reveal a reinforcement of the grazer-browser niche partitioning through the Holocene and shows how niche specialization follows changes in local vegetation composition. In the light of this reconstruction of the local ecology we discuss grazer extinctions, human adaptations, and the drivers behind climatic changes in the summer rainfall zone of southern Africa.

  20. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Enrique G. de la Riva; Enrique G. de la Riva; Teodoro Marañón; Cyrille Violle; Rafael Villar; Ignacio M. Pérez-Ramos

    2017-01-01

    According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-oc...

  1. Disentangling the phylogenetic and ecological components of spider phenotypic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure.

  2. Niche conservatism in Gynandropaa frogs on the southeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Junhua; Broennimann, Olivier; Guisan, Antoine; Wang, Bin; Huang, Yan; Jiang, Jianping

    2016-09-07

    The role of ecological niche in lineage diversification has been the subject of long-standing interest of ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Gynandropaa frogs diversified into three independent clades endemic to the southeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Here, we address the question whether these clades kept the same niche after separation, and what it tells us about possible diversification processes. We applied predictions in geographical (G)-space and tests of niche conservatism in environmental (E)-space. Niche models in G-space indicate separate regions with high suitability for the different clades, with some potential areas of sympatry. While the pair of central and eastern clades displayed the largest niche overlap for most variables, and strict niche equivalency was rejected for all clade-pairs, we found no strong evidence for niche divergence, but rather the signature of niche conservatism compared to null models in E-space. These results suggest a common ancestral ecological niche, and as such give good support to divergence through allopatric speciation, but alternative explanations are also possible. Our findings illustrate how testing for niche conservatism in lineage diversification can provide insights into underlying speciation processes, and how this information may guide further research and conservation practices, as illustrated here for amphibians on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  3. Niche conservatism and phylogenetic clustering in a tribe of arid-adapted marsupial mice, the Sminthopsini.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Navas, Vicente; Westerman, Michael

    2018-05-28

    The progressive expansion of the Australian arid zone during the last 20 Ma appears to have spurred the diversification of several families of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, yet such taxonomic groups appear to show limited niche radiation. Here, we test whether speciation is associated with niche conservatism (constraints on ecological divergence) or niche divergence in a tribe of marsupial mice (Sminthopsini; 23 taxa) that includes the most speciose genus of living dasyurids, the sminthopsins. To that end, we integrated phylogenetic data with ecological niche modelling, to enable us to reconstruct the evolution of climatic suitability within Sminthopsini. Niche overlap among species was low-moderate (but generally higher than expected given environmental background similarity), and the degree of phylogenetic clustering increased with aridity. Climatic niche reconstruction illustrates that there has been little apparent evolution of climatic tolerance within clades. Accordingly, climatic disparity tends to be accumulated among clades, suggesting considerable niche conservatism. Our results also indicate that evolution of climatic tolerances has been heterogeneous across different dimensions of climate (temperature vs. precipitation) and across phylogenetic clusters (Sminthopsis murina group vs. other groups). Although some results point to the existence of shifts in climatic niches during the speciation of sminthopsins, our study provides evidence for substantial phylogenetic niche conservatism in the group. We conclude that niche diversification had a low impact on the speciation of this tribe of small, but highly mobile marsupials. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Diet reconstruction and resource partitioning of a Caribbean marine mesopredator using stable isotope bayesian modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilley, Alexander; López-Angarita, Juliana; Turner, John R

    2013-01-01

    The trophic ecology of epibenthic mesopredators is not well understood in terms of prey partitioning with sympatric elasmobranchs or their effects on prey communities, yet the importance of omnivores in community trophic dynamics is being increasingly realised. This study used stable isotope analysis of (15)N and (13)C to model diet composition of wild southern stingrays Dasyatis americana and compare trophic niche space to nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum and Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi on Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models were used to investigate prey choice as well as viable Diet-Tissue Discrimination Factors for use with stingrays. Stingray δ(15)N values showed the greatest variation and a positive relationship with size, with an isotopic niche width approximately twice that of sympatric species. Shark species exhibited comparatively restricted δ(15)N values and greater δ(13)C variation, with very little overlap of stingray niche space. Mixing models suggest bivalves and annelids are proportionally more important prey in the stingray diet than crustaceans and teleosts at Glovers Reef, in contrast to all but one published diet study using stomach contents from other locations. Incorporating gut contents information from the literature, we suggest diet-tissue discrimination factors values of Δ(15)N ≈ 2.7‰ and Δ(13)C ≈ 0.9‰ for stingrays in the absence of validation experiments. The wide trophic niche and lower trophic level exhibited by stingrays compared to sympatric sharks supports their putative role as important base stabilisers in benthic systems, with the potential to absorb trophic perturbations through numerous opportunistic prey interactions.

  5. Diet reconstruction and resource partitioning of a Caribbean marine mesopredator using stable isotope bayesian modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Tilley

    Full Text Available The trophic ecology of epibenthic mesopredators is not well understood in terms of prey partitioning with sympatric elasmobranchs or their effects on prey communities, yet the importance of omnivores in community trophic dynamics is being increasingly realised. This study used stable isotope analysis of (15N and (13C to model diet composition of wild southern stingrays Dasyatis americana and compare trophic niche space to nurse sharks Ginglymostoma cirratum and Caribbean reef sharks Carcharhinus perezi on Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models were used to investigate prey choice as well as viable Diet-Tissue Discrimination Factors for use with stingrays. Stingray δ(15N values showed the greatest variation and a positive relationship with size, with an isotopic niche width approximately twice that of sympatric species. Shark species exhibited comparatively restricted δ(15N values and greater δ(13C variation, with very little overlap of stingray niche space. Mixing models suggest bivalves and annelids are proportionally more important prey in the stingray diet than crustaceans and teleosts at Glovers Reef, in contrast to all but one published diet study using stomach contents from other locations. Incorporating gut contents information from the literature, we suggest diet-tissue discrimination factors values of Δ(15N ≈ 2.7‰ and Δ(13C ≈ 0.9‰ for stingrays in the absence of validation experiments. The wide trophic niche and lower trophic level exhibited by stingrays compared to sympatric sharks supports their putative role as important base stabilisers in benthic systems, with the potential to absorb trophic perturbations through numerous opportunistic prey interactions.

  6. Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J

    2014-11-22

    The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  7. Widespread correlations between climatic niche evolution and species diversification in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooney, Christopher R; Seddon, Nathalie; Tobias, Joseph A

    2016-07-01

    The adaptability of species' climatic niches can influence the dynamics of colonization and gene flow across climatic gradients, potentially increasing the likelihood of speciation or reducing extinction in the face of environmental change. However, previous comparative studies have tested these ideas using geographically, taxonomically and ecologically restricted samples, yielding mixed results, and thus the processes linking climatic niche evolution with diversification remain poorly understood. Focusing on birds, the largest and most widespread class of terrestrial vertebrates, we test whether variation in species diversification among clades is correlated with rates of climatic niche evolution and the extent to which these patterns are modified by underlying gradients in biogeography and species' ecology. We quantified climatic niches, latitudinal distribution and ecological traits for 7657 (˜75%) bird species based on geographical range polygons and then used Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to test whether niche evolution was related to species richness and rates of diversification across genus- and family-level clades. We found that the rate of climatic niche evolution has a positive linear relationship with both species richness and diversification rate at two different taxonomic levels (genus and family). Furthermore, this positive association between labile climatic niches and diversification was detected regardless of variation in clade latitude or key ecological traits. Our findings suggest either that rapid adaptation to unoccupied areas of climatic niche space promotes avian diversification, or that diversification promotes adaptation. Either way, we propose that climatic niche evolution is a fundamental process regulating the link between climate and biodiversity at global scales, irrespective of the geographical and ecological context of speciation and extinction. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  8. Pre-metastatic niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peinado, Héctor; Zhang, Haiying; Matei, Irina R.

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that organs of future metastasis are not passive receivers of circulating tumour cells, but are instead selectively and actively modified by the primary tumour before metastatic spread has even occurred. Sowing the 'seeds' of metastasis requires the action of tumour......-secreted factors and tumour-shed extracellular vesicles that enable the 'soil' at distant metastatic sites to encourage the outgrowth of incoming cancer cells. In this Review, we summarize the main processes and new mechanisms involved in the formation of the pre-metastatic niche....

  9. Behavioural manipulation of insect hosts by Baculoviridae as a process of niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamblin, Steven; Tanaka, Mark M

    2013-08-16

    Niche construction has received increasing attention in recent years as a vital force in evolution and examples of niche construction have been identified in a wide variety of taxa, but viruses are conspicuously absent. In this study we explore how niche construction can lead to viruses engineering their hosts (including behavioural manipulation) with feedback on selective pressures for viral transmission and virulence. To illustrate this concept we focus on Baculoviridae, a family of invertebrate viruses that have evolved to modify the feeding behaviour of their lepidopteran hosts and liquefy their cadavers as part of the course of infection. We present a mathematical model showing how niche construction leads to feedback from the behavioural manipulation to the liquefaction of the host, linking the evolution of both of these traits, and show how this association arises from the action of niche construction. Model results show that niche construction is plausible in this system and delineates the conditions under which niche construction will occur. Niche construction in this system is also shown to be sensitive to parameter values that reflect ecological forces. Our model demonstrates that niche construction can be a potent force in viral evolution and can lead to the acquisition and maintenance of the behavioural manipulation and liquefaction traits in Baculoviridae via the niche constructing effects on the host. These results show the potential for niche construction theory to provide new insights into viral evolution.

  10. Co-niche construction between hosts and symbionts: ideas and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    RENEE M. BORGES

    2017-07-05

    Jul 5, 2017 ... Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru 560 012, India ... Symbiosis is a process that can generate evolutionary novelties and can extend the phenotypic niche ..... order to facilitate interactions with ants, plants provide ... of mutualistic pollinators develops within the pollinated ...

  11. Evidence of niche shift and invasion potential of Lithobates catesbeianus in the habitat of Mexican endemic frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra López

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species are one of most severe threats to biodiversity and natural resources. These biological invasions have been studied from the niche conservatism and niche shifts perspective. Niche differentiation may result from changes in fundamental niche or realized niche or both; in biological invasions, niche differences between native and non-native ranges can appear through niche expansion, niche unfilling and niche stability. The American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus is an invasive species that can have negative impacts on native amphibian populations. This research examines the climate niche shifts of this frog, its potential range of expansion in Mexico and the risk of invasion by bullfrog in the habitats of 82 frog species endemic to Mexico, that based on their climatic niche similarity were divided in four ecological groups. The results indicate that species in two ecological groups were the most vulnerable to invasion by bullfrog. However, the climate niche shifts of L. catesbeianus may allow it to adapt to new environmental conditions, so species from the two remaining groups cannot be dismissed as not vulnerable. This information is valuable for decision making in prioritizing areas for conservation of Mexican endemic frogs.

  12. Beware batch culture: Seasonality and niche construction predicted to favor bacterial adaptive diversification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Rocabert

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic cross-feeding interactions between microbial strains are common in nature, and emerge during evolution experiments in the laboratory, even in homogeneous environments providing a single carbon source. In sympatry, when the environment is well-mixed, the reasons why emerging cross-feeding interactions may sometimes become stable and lead to monophyletic genotypic clusters occupying specific niches, named ecotypes, remain unclear. As an alternative to evolution experiments in the laboratory, we developed Evo2Sim, a multi-scale model of in silico experimental evolution, equipped with the whole tool case of experimental setups, competition assays, phylogenetic analysis, and, most importantly, allowing for evolvable ecological interactions. Digital organisms with an evolvable genome structure encoding an evolvable metabolic network evolved for tens of thousands of generations in environments mimicking the dynamics of real controlled environments, including chemostat or batch culture providing a single limiting resource. We show here that the evolution of stable cross-feeding interactions requires seasonal batch conditions. In this case, adaptive diversification events result in two stably co-existing ecotypes, with one feeding on the primary resource and the other on by-products. We show that the regularity of serial transfers is essential for the maintenance of the polymorphism, as it allows for at least two stable seasons and thus two temporal niches. A first season is externally generated by the transfer into fresh medium, while a second one is internally generated by niche construction as the provided nutrient is replaced by secreted by-products derived from bacterial growth. In chemostat conditions, even if cross-feeding interactions emerge, they are not stable on the long-term because fitter mutants eventually invade the whole population. We also show that the long-term evolution of the two stable ecotypes leads to character

  13. Niche construction, sources of selection and trait coevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin; Odling-Smee, John; Endler, John

    2017-10-06

    Organisms modify and choose components of their local environments. This 'niche construction' can alter ecological processes, modify natural selection and contribute to inheritance through ecological legacies. Here, we propose that niche construction initiates and modifies the selection directly affecting the constructor, and on other species, in an orderly, directed and sustained manner. By dependably generating specific environmental states, niche construction co-directs adaptive evolution by imposing a consistent statistical bias on selection. We illustrate how niche construction can generate this evolutionary bias by comparing it with artificial selection. We suggest that it occupies the middle ground between artificial and natural selection. We show how the perspective leads to testable predictions related to: (i) reduced variance in measures of responses to natural selection in the wild; (ii) multiple trait coevolution, including the evolution of sequences of traits and patterns of parallel evolution; and (iii) a positive association between niche construction and biodiversity. More generally, we submit that evolutionary biology would benefit from greater attention to the diverse properties of all sources of selection.

  14. Unique Path Partitions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bessenrodt, Christine; Olsson, Jørn Børling; Sellers, James A.

    2013-01-01

    We give a complete classification of the unique path partitions and study congruence properties of the function which enumerates such partitions.......We give a complete classification of the unique path partitions and study congruence properties of the function which enumerates such partitions....

  15. Social intelligence, human intelligence and niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterelny, Kim

    2007-04-29

    This paper is about the evolution of hominin intelligence. I agree with defenders of the social intelligence hypothesis in thinking that externalist models of hominin intelligence are not plausible: such models cannot explain the unique cognition and cooperation explosion in our lineage, for changes in the external environment (e.g. increasing environmental unpredictability) affect many lineages. Both the social intelligence hypothesis and the social intelligence-ecological complexity hybrid I outline here are niche construction models. Hominin evolution is hominin response to selective environments that earlier hominins have made. In contrast to social intelligence models, I argue that hominins have both created and responded to a unique foraging mode; a mode that is both social in itself and which has further effects on hominin social environments. In contrast to some social intelligence models, on this view, hominin encounters with their ecological environments continue to have profound selective effects. However, though the ecological environment selects, it does not select on its own. Accidents and their consequences, differential success and failure, result from the combination of the ecological environment an agent faces and the social features that enhance some opportunities and suppress others and that exacerbate some dangers and lessen others. Individuals do not face the ecological filters on their environment alone, but with others, and with the technology, information and misinformation that their social world provides.

  16. Trophic Niche Differentiation in Rodents and Marsupials Revealed by Stable Isotopes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Galetti

    Full Text Available Tropical rainforests support the greatest diversity of small mammals in the world, yet we have little understanding about the mechanisms that promote the coexistence of species. Diet partitioning can favor coexistence by lessening competition, and interspecific differences in body size and habitat use are usually proposed to be associated with trophic divergence. However, the use of classic dietary methods (e.g. stomach contents is challenging in small mammals, particularly in community-level studies, thus we used stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N to infer about trophic niche. We investigated i how trophic niche is partitioned among rodent and marsupial species in three Atlantic forest sites and ii if interspecific body size and locomotor habit inequalities can constitute mechanisms underlying the isotopic niche partitioning. We found that rodents occupied a broad isotopic niche space with species distributed in different trophic levels and relying on diverse basal carbon sources (C3 and C4 plants. Surprisingly, on the other hand, marsupials showed a narrow isotopic niche, both in δ13C and δ15N dimensions, which is partially overlapped with rodents, contradicting their description as omnivores and generalists proposed classic dietary studies. Although body mass differences did not explained the divergence in isotopic values among species, groups of species with different locomotor habit presented clear differences in the position of the isotopic niche space, indicating that the use of different forest strata can favor trophic niche partitioning in small mammals communities. We suggest that anthropogenic impacts, such as habitat modification (logging, harvesting, can simplify the vertical structure of ecosystems and collapse the diversity of basal resources, which might affect negatively small mammals communities in Atlantic forests.

  17. Cellular population dynamics control the robustness of the stem cell niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L. MacLean

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Within populations of cells, fate decisions are controlled by an indeterminate combination of cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic factors. In the case of stem cells, the stem cell niche is believed to maintain ‘stemness’ through communication and interactions between the stem cells and one or more other cell-types that contribute to the niche conditions. To investigate the robustness of cell fate decisions in the stem cell hierarchy and the role that the niche plays, we introduce simple mathematical models of stem and progenitor cells, their progeny and their interplay in the niche. These models capture the fundamental processes of proliferation and differentiation and allow us to consider alternative possibilities regarding how niche-mediated signalling feedback regulates the niche dynamics. Generalised stability analysis of these stem cell niche systems enables us to describe the stability properties of each model. We find that although the number of feasible states depends on the model, their probabilities of stability in general do not: stem cell–niche models are stable across a wide range of parameters. We demonstrate that niche-mediated feedback increases the number of stable steady states, and show how distinct cell states have distinct branching characteristics. The ecological feedback and interactions mediated by the stem cell niche thus lend (surprisingly high levels of robustness to the stem and progenitor cell population dynamics. Furthermore, cell–cell interactions are sufficient for populations of stem cells and their progeny to achieve stability and maintain homeostasis. We show that the robustness of the niche – and hence of the stem cell pool in the niche – depends only weakly, if at all, on the complexity of the niche make-up: simple as well as complicated niche systems are capable of supporting robust and stable stem cell dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. [Niche and interspecific association of the dominant fish in the south coastal waters of Wenzhou, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Jing Rui; Shui, Bo Nian; Hu, Cheng Ye; Shui, Yu Yue; DU, Xiao; Tian, Kuo

    2017-05-18

    The studies about the niche and interspecific association in China were mainly focused on the plants, birds and marine animals, and seldom on fish. Based on the fishery resources survey in spring (May) and autumn (September) in 2015, the associations among major fish species in south coastal waters of Wenzhou were investigated. The methods including niche breadth, niche overlap, variance ratio (VR), Χ 2 -test, association coefficient (AC), percentage of co-occurrence (PC) and point correlation coefficients (Ф) were used. The results showed that 47 fish species were identified, including 9 orders, 27 families and 41 genera. Four species were dominant species and 9 were important species, which together accounted for 17%. The niche breadth cluster analysis demonstrated two clearly identifiable ecological niches. The first one referred to wide niche that included Harpodon nehereus, Collichthys lucidus, Engraulis japonicas, Pampus echinogaster, Argyrosomus argentatus, Polynemus sextarius, Decapterus maruadsi and Trichiurus haumela, and the second one was narrow niche that included Muraenesox cinereus, Amblychaeturichthys hexanema, Cunoglossus robustus, Pseudosciaena polyactis and Ilisha elongate. The niche overlap value of the main fish was 0-0.90, indicating that there was difference in the resource utilization among the species. The ecological niche widths of C. robustus and M. cinereus were narrow, and the overlap values were high. This indicated that there was competition between these two species. The VR analysis revealed significant positive correlation among the main fish species. In view of the advantages of Ф value, which could reduce the impact of the analysis results of Χ 2 -test, AC and PC to the interspecific association, the Ф value method was selected in this study, and the association of 63 couples were positive. Both the interspecific association and ecological niche had different degrees of correlation with the stability of community structure

  20. Niche-specific cognitive strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulgard, K.; Ratcliffe, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Related species with different diets are predicted to rely on different cognitive strategies: those best suited for locating available and appropriate foods. Here we tested two predictions of the niche-specific cognitive strategies hypothesis in bats, which suggests that predatory species should...... the niche-specific cognitive strategies hypothesis and suggest that for gleaning and clutter-resistant aerial hawking bats, learning to associate shape with food interferes with subsequent spatial memory learning....

  1. Climatic niche evolution is faster in sympatric than allopatric lineages of the butterfly genus Pyrgus

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pitteloud, C.; Arrigo, N.; Suchan, T.; Mastretta-Yanes, A.; Vila, R.; Dincă, V.; Hernández-Roldán, J.; Brockmann, E.; Chittaro, Y.; Klečková, Irena; Fumagalli, L.; Buerki, S.; Pellissier, L.; Alvarez, N.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 284, č. 1852 (2017), č. článku 20170208. ISSN 0962-8452 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : climatic niche * macro-evolutionary processes * parametric biogeography Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.940, year: 2016 http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1852/20170208

  2. Chemical ecology of fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiteller, Peter

    2015-07-01

    Fungi are widespread in nature and have conquered nearly every ecological niche. Fungi occur not only in terrestrial but also in freshwater and marine environments. Moreover, fungi are known as a rich source of secondary metabolites. Despite these facts, the ecological role of many of these metabolites is still unknown and the chemical ecology of fungi has not been investigated systematically so far. This review intends to present examples of the various chemical interactions of fungi with other fungi, plants, bacteria and animals and to give an overview of the current knowledge of fungal chemical ecology.

  3. Host specialist clownfishes are environmental niche generalists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litsios, Glenn; Kostikova, Anna; Salamin, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Why generalist and specialist species coexist in nature is a question that has interested evolutionary biologists for a long time. While the coexistence of specialists and generalists exploiting resources on a single ecological dimension has been theoretically and empirically explored, biological systems with multiple resource dimensions (e.g. trophic, ecological) are less well understood. Yet, such systems may provide an alternative to the classical theory of stable evolutionary coexistence of generalist and specialist species on a single resource dimension. We explore such systems and the potential trade-offs between different resource dimensions in clownfishes. All species of this iconic clade are obligate mutualists with sea anemones yet show interspecific variation in anemone host specificity. Moreover, clownfishes developed variable environmental specialization across their distribution. In this study, we test for the existence of a relationship between host-specificity (number of anemones associated with a clownfish species) and environmental-specificity (expressed as the size of the ecological niche breadth across climatic gradients). We find a negative correlation between host range and environmental specificities in temperature, salinity and pH, probably indicating a trade-off between both types of specialization forcing species to specialize only in a single direction. Trade-offs in a multi-dimensional resource space could be a novel way of explaining the coexistence of generalist and specialists. PMID:25274370

  4. Language, embodiment, and the cognitive niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Andy

    2006-08-01

    Embodied agents use bodily actions and environmental interventions to make the world a better place to think in. Where does language fit into this emerging picture of the embodied, ecologically efficient agent? One useful way to approach this question is to consider language itself as a cognition-enhancing animal-built structure. To take this perspective is to view language as a kind of self-constructed cognitive niche: a persisting but never stationary material scaffolding whose crucial role in promoting thought and reason remains surprisingly poorly understood. It is the very materiality of this linguistic scaffolding, I suggest, that gives it some key benefits. By materializing thought in words, we create structures that are themselves proper objects of perception, manipulation, and (further) thought.

  5. Vital affordances, occupying niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dokumaci, Arseli

    2017-01-01

    This article proposes a new conceptual approach to disability and performance through a contribution that comes entirely from outside the disciplines; a re-theorisation of Gibson’s [1979. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates] theory of affordances....... Drawing on three visual ethnographies with differently disabled individuals, and building upon my previous consideration of performance as ‘affordance creation’ in itself [Dokumaci, A. 2013. “On Falling Ill.” Performance Research 18 (4): 107–115], the article conceptualises affordances as a form of micro......-activism–one that can allow us to unpack the entanglements of disability, performance, and matter. Putting Gibson’s theory in conversation with Canguilhem’s philosophy of life, it proposes the concept ‘vital affordances’ as a new way to think through this micro-activism, and the way disabled individuals might transform...

  6. Modeling ecological niches and predicting geographic distributions: a test of six presence-only methods Modelado de nichos ecológicos y predicción de distribuciones geográficas: comparación de seis métodos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel A. Ortega-Huerta

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Modeling ecological niches of species as a means to predict geographic distributions is a growing field that has been applied to numerous challenges of importance in ecology, systematics, and human well-being. The increasing availability and variety of such predictive algorithms requires testing their performance. In this study, we compare 6 such algorithms (Maxent, BioMapper, DOMAIN, FloraMap, the genetic algorithm GARP, and weights of evidence as regards their ability to predict the geographic distributions of 10 species of Mexican birds for which ample distributional data are available. The results of this study nevertheless led to reflections on how model quality should be evaluated.La predicción de las distribuciones geográficas de las especies obtenida mediante el modelado de sus nichos ecológicos, representa una línea de investigación en expansión, la cual ha sido aplicada en múltiples áreas de conocimiento tales como ecología, sistemática y salud pública. La creciente disponibilidad y variedad de tales métodos y algoritmos de predicción determina su evaluación como necesaria. En este estudio, comparamos 6 algoritmos (Maxent, BioMapper, Domain, FloraMap, GARP, Weights of Evidence con respecto a su habilidad para predecir las distribuciones geográficas de 10 especies de aves de México, para las cuales se cuenta con suficientes datos distribucionales. No obstante, los resultados de nuestro estudio sugieren la necesidad de elaborar nuevos criterios para la evaluación de modelos.

  7. The thermal niche of Neotropical nectar-feeding bats: Its evolution and application to predict responses to global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-García, Stephanie; Guevara, Lázaro; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Lindig-Cisneros, Roberto; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique; Vega, Ernesto; Schondube, Jorge E

    2017-09-01

    The thermal niche of a species is one of the main determinants of its ecology and biogeography. In this study, we determined the thermal niche of 23 species of Neotropical nectar-feeding bats of the subfamily Glossophaginae (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae). We calculated their thermal niches using temperature data obtained from collection records, by generating a distribution curve of the maximum and minimum temperatures per locality, and using the inflection points of the temperature distributions to estimate the species optimal (STZ) and suboptimal (SRZ) zones of the thermal niche. Additionally, by mapping the values of the STZ and SRZ on a phylogeny of the group, we generated a hypothesis of the evolution of the thermal niches of this clade of nectar-feeding bats. Finally, we used the characteristics of their thermal niches to predict the responses of these organisms to climate change. We found a large variation in the width and limits of the thermal niches of nectar-feeding bats. Additionally, while the upper limits of the thermal niches varied little among species, their lower limits differ wildly. The ancestral reconstruction of the thermal niche indicated that this group of Neotropical bats evolved under cooler temperatures. The two clades inside the Glossophaginae differ in the evolution of their thermal niches, with most members of the clade Choeronycterines evolving "colder" thermal niches, while the majority of the species in the clade Glossophagines evolving "warmer" thermal niches. By comparing thermal niches with climate change models, we found that all species could be affected by an increase of 1°C in temperature at the end of this century. This suggests that even nocturnal species could suffer important physiological costs from global warming. Our study highlights the value of scientific collections to obtain ecologically significant physiological data for a large number of species.

  8. Feeding ecology of Rhabdosargus holubi (family Sparidae) in multiple vegetated refugia of selected warm temperate estuaries in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nel, L.; Strydom, N. A.; Perissinotto, R.; Adams, J. B.; Lemley, D. A.

    2017-10-01

    Estuarine marine-dependent species, such as Rhabdosargus holubi, depend greatly on structured sheltered environments and important feeding areas provided by estuaries. In this study, we investigate the ecological feeding niches of the estuarine marine-dependent sparid, R. holubi, by using conventional stomach contents and stable isotope methods (δ13C and δ15N signatures). The study has been carried out in five temperate estuaries in order to understand how fish feed in multiple intertidal vegetated habitats. These habitats included the submerged seagrass, Zostera capensis, and both previously unexplored small intertidal cord grass, Spartina maritima, and the common reed, Phragmites australis. The diet varied amongst habitats, estuaries and fish sizes and data consistently confirmed their omnivorous diet relating to ontogenetic niche shifts. Stomach contents revealed the importance of benthic prey within both the S. maritima and P. australis habitats in the absence of large intertidal vegetation, available during low tides. Similarly, isotopic mixing models showed that R. holubi from these habitats have a greater isotopic niche compared to the Z. capensis habitat, due to their limited availability during the falling tide, suggesting migration between available habitats. Stable isotopes confirmed that R. holubi actively feeds on the epiphytic algae (especially diatoms) covering the leaves and stalks of plant matter, as supported by Bayesian mixing models. These findings add to the current knowledge regarding habitat partitioning in multiple aquatic vegetation types critical to fish ecology and the effective management and conservation of estuaries.

  9. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Michalet, Richard; Pellerin, Sylvain; Augusto, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation) due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development) as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se) and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat). PMID:26098877

  10. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Delerue

    Full Text Available The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat.

  11. Are species' responses to global change predicted by past niche evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, Sébastien; Evans, Margaret E. K.; Burfield, Ian J.; Jiguet, Frederic; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Predicting how and when adaptive evolution might rescue species from global change, and integrating this process into tools of biodiversity forecasting, has now become an urgent task. Here, we explored whether recent population trends of species can be explained by their past rate of niche evolution, which can be inferred from increasingly available phylogenetic and niche data. We examined the assemblage of 409 European bird species for which estimates of demographic trends between 1970 and 2000 are available, along with a species-level phylogeny and data on climatic, habitat and trophic niches. We found that species' proneness to demographic decline is associated with slow evolution of the habitat niche in the past, in addition to certain current-day life-history and ecological traits. A similar result was found at a higher taxonomic level, where families prone to decline have had a history of slower evolution of climatic and habitat niches. Our results support the view that niche conservatism can prevent some species from coping with environmental change. Thus, linking patterns of past niche evolution and contemporary species dynamics for large species samples may provide insights into how niche evolution may rescue certain lineages in the face of global change. PMID:23209172

  12. Niche evolution and diversification in a Neotropical radiation of birds (Aves: Furnariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeholzer, Glenn F; Claramunt, Santiago; Brumfield, Robb T

    2017-03-01

    Rapid diversification may be caused by ecological adaptive radiation via niche divergence. In this model, speciation is coupled with niche divergence and lineage diversification is predicted to be correlated with rates of niche evolution. Studies of the role of niche evolution in diversification have generally focused on ecomorphological diversification but climatic-niche evolution may also be important. We tested these alternatives using a phylogeny of 298 species of ovenbirds (Aves: Furnariidae). We found that within Furnariidae, variation in species richness and diversification rates of subclades were best predicted by rate of climatic-niche evolution than ecomorphological evolution. Although both are clearly important, univariate regression and multivariate model averaging more consistently supported the climatic-niche as the best predictor of lineage diversification. Our study adds to the growing body of evidence, suggesting that climatic-niche divergence may be an important driver of rapid diversification in addition to ecomorphological evolution. However, this pattern may depend on the phylogenetic scale at which rate heterogeneity is examined. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  13. Microhabitat and Climatic Niche Change Explain Patterns of Diversification among Frog Families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Wiens, John J

    2017-07-01

    A major goal of ecology and evolutionary biology is to explain patterns of species richness among clades. Differences in rates of net diversification (speciation minus extinction over time) may often explain these patterns, but the factors that drive variation in diversification rates remain uncertain. Three important candidates are climatic niche position (e.g., whether clades are primarily temperate or tropical), rates of climatic niche change among species within clades, and microhabitat (e.g., aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal). The first two factors have been tested separately in several studies, but the relative importance of all three is largely unknown. Here we explore the correlates of diversification among families of frogs, which collectively represent ∼88% of amphibian species. We assemble and analyze data on phylogeny, climate, and microhabitat for thousands of species. We find that the best-fitting phylogenetic multiple regression model includes all three types of variables: microhabitat, rates of climatic niche change, and climatic niche position. This model explains 67% of the variation in diversification rates among frog families, with arboreal microhabitat explaining ∼31%, niche rates ∼25%, and climatic niche position ∼11%. Surprisingly, we show that microhabitat can have a much stronger influence on diversification than climatic niche position or rates of climatic niche change.

  14. Current and future niche of North and Central American sand flies (Diptera: psychodidae in climate change scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Moo-Llanes

    Full Text Available Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i potential change in niche breadth, ii direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3, for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%, while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases.

  15. Current and Future Niche of North and Central American Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Climate Change Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, David; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N.; Rebollar-Téllez, Eduardo A.; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; González, Camila; Ramsey, Janine M.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i) potential change in niche breadth, ii) direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii) shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3), for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%), while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases. PMID:24069478

  16. Individual and species-specific traits explain niche size and functional role in spiders as generalist predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Vogel, Esther; Knop, Eva

    2015-01-01

    The function of a predator within a community is greatly based on its trophic niche, that is the number and the strength of feeding links. In generalist predators, which feed on a wide range of prey, the size and position of the trophic niche is likely determined by traits such as hunting mode, the stratum they occur in, their body size and age. We used stable isotope analyses ((13)C and (15)N) to measure the trophic niche size of nine spider species within a forest hedge community and tested for species traits and individual traits that influence stable isotope enrichment, niche size and resource use. The spiders Enoplognatha, Philodromus, Floronia, and Heliophanus had large isotopic niches, which correspond to a more generalistic feeding behaviour. In contrast, Araneus, Metellina and Agelena, as top predators in the system, had rather narrow niches. We found a negative correlation between trophic position and niche size. Differences in trophic position in spiders were explained by body size, hunting modes and stratum, while niche size was influenced by hunting mode. In Philodromus, the size of the trophic niche increased significantly with age. Fitting spiders to functional groups according to their mean body size, hunting mode and their habitat domain resulted in largely separated niches, which indicates that these traits are meaningful for separating functional entities in spiders. Functional groups based on habitat domain (stratum) caught the essential functional differences between the species with species higher up in the vegetation feeding on flying insects and herb and ground species also preying on forest floor decomposers. Interestingly, we found a gradient from large species using a higher habitat domain and having a smaller niche to smaller species foraging closer to the ground and having a larger niche. This shows that even within generalist predators, such as spiders, there is a gradient of specialism that can be predicted by functional traits.

  17. The niche party concept and its measurement

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Thomas M; Miller, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    The concept of the niche party has become increasingly popular in analyses of party competition. Yet, existing approaches vary in their definitions and their measurement approaches. We propose using a minimal definition that allows us to compare political parties in terms of their ?nicheness?. We argue that the conceptual core of the niche party concept is based on issue emphasis and that a niche party emphasizes policy areas neglected by its rivals. Based on this definition, we propose a con...

  18. Evolution of niche preference in Sphagnum peat mosses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matthew G; Granath, Gustaf; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Pouliot, Remy; Stenøien, Hans K; Rochefort, Line; Rydin, Håkan; Shaw, A Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Peat mosses (Sphagnum) are ecosystem engineers-species in boreal peatlands simultaneously create and inhabit narrow habitat preferences along two microhabitat gradients: an ionic gradient and a hydrological hummock-hollow gradient. In this article, we demonstrate the connections between microhabitat preference and phylogeny in Sphagnum. Using a dataset of 39 species of Sphagnum, with an 18-locus DNA alignment and an ecological dataset encompassing three large published studies, we tested for phylogenetic signal and within-genus changes in evolutionary rate of eight niche descriptors and two multivariate niche gradients. We find little to no evidence for phylogenetic signal in most component descriptors of the ionic gradient, but interspecific variation along the hummock-hollow gradient shows considerable phylogenetic signal. We find support for a change in the rate of niche evolution within the genus-the hummock-forming subgenus Acutifolia has evolved along the multivariate hummock-hollow gradient faster than the hollow-inhabiting subgenus Cuspidata. Because peat mosses themselves create some of the ecological gradients constituting their own habitats, the classic microtopography of Sphagnum-dominated peatlands is maintained by evolutionary constraints and the biological properties of related Sphagnum species. The patterns of phylogenetic signal observed here will instruct future study on the role of functional traits in peatland growth and reconstruction. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. Niche separation of pollen beetle parasitoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef eBerger

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Species with similar resource requirements are commonly assumed to competitively exclude each other, unless they differentiate their ecological niches. Hence, parasitoid wasps that use the same host species need to find some way to avoid competition. The aim of this study was to identify the role of volatile cues from oilseed rape plants and the larval host in niche separation between three coexisting parasitoid species. We examined how Phradis interstitialis, Phradis morionellus and Tersilochus heterocerus, sympatric parasitoids of Brassicogethes aeneus, differ in their abundances, distribution on buds and flowers, and oviposition behavior in the field. Furthermore, we tested their preferences for odours from uninfested and infested oilseed rape plants in the bud and flowering stage, and their preferences for odours from three developmental stages of pollen beetle larvae in a two-choice olfactometer bioassay.P. interstitialis was active in the field early in the season, preferred odours of infested buds versus uninfested, and oviposited into buds which contained only pollen beetle eggs, while P. morionellus was active late in the season, preferred odours of infested buds as well as odours of infested flowers over uninfested, and oviposited into buds which contained only larvae. T. heterocerus was active throughout the season, and preferred odours of infested flowers over uninfested. Neither Phradis species were attracted to larval odours, whereas T. heterocerus was attracted to odours from first-instar pollen beetle larvae both in the absence of plant odours, and when presented simultaneously with uninfested plant odour.This suggests that the two Phradis species are separated on a temporal scale and that they parasitize different host stages, while the larval parasitoids P. morionellus and T. heterocerus are separated by choice of microhabitat. The former oviposits into larvae in buds, and the latter in flowers.

  20. Climatic niche evolution is faster in sympatric than allopatric lineages of the butterfly genus Pyrgus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitteloud, Camille; Arrigo, Nils; Suchan, Tomasz; Mastretta-Yanes, Alicia; Vila, Roger; Dincă, Vlad; Hernández-Roldán, Juan; Brockmann, Ernst; Chittaro, Yannick; Kleckova, Irena; Fumagalli, Luca; Buerki, Sven; Pellissier, Loïc; Alvarez, Nadir

    2017-04-12

    Understanding how speciation relates to ecological divergence has long fascinated biologists. It is assumed that ecological divergence is essential to sympatric speciation, as a mechanism to avoid competition and eventually lead to reproductive isolation, while divergence in allopatry is not necessarily associated with niche differentiation. The impact of the spatial context of divergence on the evolutionary rates of abiotic dimensions of the ecological niche has rarely been explored for an entire clade. Here, we compare the magnitude of climatic niche shifts between sympatric versus allopatric divergence of lineages in butterflies. By combining next-generation sequencing, parametric biogeography and ecological niche analyses applied to a genus-wide phylogeny of Palaearctic Pyrgus butterflies, we compare evolutionary rates along eight climatic dimensions across sister lineages that diverged in large-scale sympatry versus allopatry. In order to examine the possible effects of the spatial scale at which sympatry is defined, we considered three sets of biogeographic assignments, ranging from narrow to broad definition. Our findings suggest higher rates of niche evolution along all climatic dimensions for sister lineages that diverge in sympatry, when using a narrow delineation of biogeographic areas. This result contrasts with significantly lower rates of climatic niche evolution found in cases of allopatric speciation, despite the biogeographic regions defined here being characterized by significantly different climates. Higher rates in allopatry are retrieved when biogeographic areas are too widely defined-in such a case allopatric events may be recorded as sympatric. Our results reveal the macro-evolutionary significance of abiotic niche differentiation involved in speciation processes within biogeographic regions, and illustrate the importance of the spatial scale chosen to define areas when applying parametric biogeographic analyses. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Trophic niches of sympatric tropical tuna in the Western Indian Ocean inferred by stable isotopes and neutral fatty acids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardenne, Fany; Bodin, Nathalie; Chassot, Emmanuel; Amiel, Aurélien; Fouché, Edwin; Degroote, Maxime; Hollanda, Stéphanie; Pethybridge, Heidi; Lebreton, Benoit; Guillou, Gaël; Ménard, Frédéric

    2016-08-01

    This study examined the trophic ecology of three sympatric tropical tuna species (bigeye BET, skipjack SKJ, and yellowfin YFT) sampled in the Western Indian Ocean throughout 2013. Specifically we explored inter-specific resource partitioning and ontogenetic variability using neutral fatty acids and stable isotope analysis of liver and muscle from small (⩽100 cm fork length, FL) and large (>100 cm FL) tuna collected in mixed schools at the surface by purse-seine. Both biochemical tracers were used to calculate trophic niche indices that collectively revealed high potential for resource overlap, especially among small tuna. Resource overlap appeared strongest between BET and YFT, with SKJ tissues having high carbon isotope (δ13C) values (-17 ± 0.3‰), lower nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values (11.4 ± 0.6‰), and higher relative proportion of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) than the two other species, indicating a different diet. Size was found to be a strong predictor for most biochemical tracers in the three species with δ13C, δ15N and total lipid content in the liver. In the larger species (YFT and BET), proportions of mono-unsaturated fatty acids typically increased with size, while quantities of PUFA decreased. In addition to ontogenetic variability, trophic markers were shown to vary between sampling area and season: higher lipid reserves and δ15N values, and lower δ13C values occurred during monsoon periods around Seychelles than in the Mozambique Channel (parted from about 1500 km). Our multi-tracer approach reveals the magnitude of potential competitive interactions in mixed tropical tuna schools at both small and large sizes and demonstrates that ontogenetic niche differentiation acts as a major factor of coexistence in tropical tuna.

  2. UNTANGLING THE FUNGAL NICHE: A TRAIT-BASED APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas W Crowther

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Fungi are prominent components of most terrestrial ecosystems, both in terms of biomass and ecosystem functioning, but the hyper-diverse nature of most communities has obscured the search for unifying principles governing community organization. In particular, unlike plants and animals, observational studies provide little evidence for the existence of niche processes in structuring fungal communities at broad spatial scales. This limits our capacity to predict how communities, and their functioning, vary across landscapes. We outline how a shift in focus, from taxonomy towards functional traits, might prove to be valuable in the search for general patterns in fungal ecology. We build on theoretical advances in plant and animal ecology to provide an empirical framework for a trait-based approach in fungal community ecology. Drawing upon specific characteristics of the fungal system, we highlight the significance of drought stress and combat in structuring free-living fungal communities. We propose a conceptual model to formalize how trade-offs between stress-tolerance and combative dominance are likely to organize communities across environmental gradients. Given that the survival of a fungus in a given environment is contingent on its ability to tolerate antagonistic competitors, measuring variation in combat trait expression along environmental gradients provides a means of elucidating realized, from fundamental niche spaces. We conclude that, using a trait-based understanding of how niche processes structure fungal communities across time and space, we can ultimately link communities with ecosystem functioning. Our trait-based framework highlights fundamental uncertainties that require testing in the fungal system, given their potential to uncover general mechanisms in fungal ecology.

  3. Niche energy markets in rural areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, M.; McCarthy, S.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this project is the development of a standard methodology for integrating non-food crops in rural areas with niche energy markets. This has involved a number of steps including (i) identification of 3 niche markets for energy crops which are of common interest to the partners, (ii) application of the standard costing methodology to investigate these three niche markets and (iii) comparison of the results from this work in three workshops (one for each market). Three tightly defined niche markets were identified; these were chosen following an examination of the national energy marekts in each of the partners countries (Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Greece and Portugal). This paper gives an overview of the national energy markets which were examined. The three niche markets are introduced and the reasons for their selection given. The application of the methodology to each of the niche markets is presented along with the conclusions of the partners regarding the niche markets. (Author)

  4. Niche conservatism of Eulophia alta, a trans-Atlantic orchid species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Kolanowska

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The genus Eulophia embraces over 230 species distributed through the tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. In Neotropics it is represented by a sole species – E. alta. The aim of the presented study was to evaluate the difference between ecological niches occupied by American and African populations of this species based on the ecological niche modeling. The similarity between the glacial and present niches occupied by E. alta was calculated and the factors limiting the species occurrence were identified. Areas of seasonal tropical forest, tropical savanna and woodland served as refugia for the studied species during last glacial maximum and they were more widespread in Neotropics than in Africa. No significant niche shift after last glacial maximum was observed. The distribution of E. alta in its whole range is restricted mainly by temperature seasonality. The differences in the niches occupied by African and Neotropical populations of E. alta suggest preglacial disjunction of the species range and independent adaptation of both groups. Despite the significant range disjunction of E. alta the species is characterized by relatively high degree of niche conservatism.

  5. The multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm: Analysis and applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cedeno, Walter [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    1995-09-01

    The ability of organisms to evolve and adapt to the environment has provided mother nature with a rich and diverse set of species. Only organisms well adapted to their environment can survive from one generation to the next, transferring on the traits, that made them successful, to their offspring. Competition for resources and the ever changing environment drives some species to extinction and at the same time others evolve to maintain the delicate balance in nature. In this disertation we present the multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm, a computational metaphor to the survival of species in ecological niches in the face of competition. The multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm maintains stable subpopulations of solutions in multiple niches in multimodal landscapes. The algorithm introduces the concept of crowding selection to promote mating among members with qirnilar traits while allowing many members of the population to participate in mating. The algorithm uses worst among most similar replacement policy to promote competition among members with similar traits while allowing competition among members of different niches as well. We present empirical and theoretical results for the success of the multiniche crowding genetic algorithm for multimodal function optimization. The properties of the algorithm using different parameters are examined. We test the performance of the algorithm on problems of DNA Mapping, Aquifer Management, and the File Design Problem. Applications that combine the use of heuristics and special operators to solve problems in the areas of combinatorial optimization, grouping, and multi-objective optimization. We conclude by presenting the advantages and disadvantages of the algorithm and describing avenues for future investigation to answer other questions raised by this study.

  6. Mechanistic species distribution modeling reveals a niche shift during invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Daniel S; Scalone, Romain; Štefanić, Edita; Bullock, James M

    2017-06-01

    Niche shifts of nonnative plants can occur when they colonize novel climatic conditions. However, the mechanistic basis for niche shifts during invasion is poorly understood and has rarely been captured within species distribution models. We quantified the consequence of between-population variation in phenology for invasion of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) across Europe. Ragweed is of serious concern because of its harmful effects as a crop weed and because of its impact on public health as a major aeroallergen. We developed a forward mechanistic species distribution model based on responses of ragweed development rates to temperature and photoperiod. The model was parameterized and validated from the literature and by reanalyzing data from a reciprocal common garden experiment in which native and invasive populations were grown within and beyond the current invaded range. It could therefore accommodate between-population variation in the physiological requirements for flowering, and predict the potentially invaded ranges of individual populations. Northern-origin populations that were established outside the generally accepted climate envelope of the species had lower thermal requirements for bud development, suggesting local adaptation of phenology had occurred during the invasion. The model predicts that this will extend the potentially invaded range northward and increase the average suitability across Europe by 90% in the current climate and 20% in the future climate. Therefore, trait variation observed at the population scale can trigger a climatic niche shift at the biogeographic scale. For ragweed, earlier flowering phenology in established northern populations could allow the species to spread beyond its current invasive range, substantially increasing its risk to agriculture and public health. Mechanistic species distribution models offer the possibility to represent niche shifts by varying the traits and niche responses of individual

  7. Correlated evolution of thermal niches and functional physiology in tropical freshwater fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culumber, Zachary W; Tobler, Michael

    2018-05-01

    The role of ecology in phenotypic and species diversification is widely documented. Nonetheless, numerous nonadaptive processes can shape realized niches and phenotypic variation in natural populations, complicating inferences about adaptive evolution at macroevolutionary scales. We tested for evolved differences in thermal tolerances and their association with the realized thermal niche (including metrics describing diurnal and seasonal patterns of temperature extremes and variability) across a genus of tropical freshwater fishes reared in a standardized environment. There was limited evolution along the thermal niche axis associated with variation in maximum temperature and in upper thermal limits. In contrast, there was considerable diversification along the first major axis of the thermal niche associated with minimum temperatures and in lower thermal limits. Across our adaptive landscape analyses, 70% of species exhibited evidence of divergence in thermal niches. Most importantly, the first two major axes of thermal niche variation were significantly correlated with variation in lower thermal limits. Our results indicate adaptation to divergent thermal niches and adaptive evolution of related functional traits, and highlight the importance of divergence in lower thermal limits for the evolution of tropical biodiversity. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Equilibrium Partitioning Sediment Benchmarks (ESBs) for the ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    This document describes procedures to determine the concentrations of nonionic organic chemicals in sediment interstitial waters. In previous ESB documents, the general equilibrium partitioning (EqP) approach was chosen for the derivation of sediment benchmarks because it accounts for the varying bioavailability of chemicals in different sediments and allows for the incorporation of the appropriate biological effects concentration. This provides for the derivation of benchmarks that are causally linked to the specific chemical, applicable across sediments, and appropriately protective of benthic organisms.  This equilibrium partitioning sediment benchmark (ESB) document was prepared by scientists from the Atlantic Ecology Division, Mid-Continent Ecology Division, and Western Ecology Division, the Office of Water, and private consultants. The document describes procedures to determine the interstitial water concentrations of nonionic organic chemicals in contaminated sediments. Based on these concentrations, guidance is provided on the derivation of toxic units to assess whether the sediments are likely to cause adverse effects to benthic organisms. The equilibrium partitioning (EqP) approach was chosen because it is based on the concentrations of chemical(s) that are known to be harmful and bioavailable in the environment.  This document, and five others published over the last nine years, will be useful for the Program Offices, including Superfund, a

  9. COREMIC: a web-tool to search for a niche associated CORE MICrobiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R. Rodrigues

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Microbial diversity on earth is extraordinary, and soils alone harbor thousands of species per gram of soil. Understanding how this diversity is sorted and selected into habitat niches is a major focus of ecology and biotechnology, but remains only vaguely understood. A systems-biology approach was used to mine information from databases to show how it can be used to answer questions related to the core microbiome of habitat-microbe relationships. By making use of the burgeoning growth of information from databases, our tool “COREMIC” meets a great need in the search for understanding niche partitioning and habitat-function relationships. The work is unique, furthermore, because it provides a user-friendly statistically robust web-tool (http://coremic2.appspot.com or http://core-mic.com, developed using Google App Engine, to help in the process of database mining to identify the “core microbiome” associated with a given habitat. A case study is presented using data from 31 switchgrass rhizosphere community habitats across a diverse set of soil and sampling environments. The methodology utilizes an outgroup of 28 non-switchgrass (other grasses and forbs to identify a core switchgrass microbiome. Even across a diverse set of soils (five environments, and conservative statistical criteria (presence in more than 90% samples and FDR q-val <0.05% for Fisher’s exact test a core set of bacteria associated with switchgrass was observed. These included, among others, closely related taxa from Lysobacter spp., Mesorhizobium spp, and Chitinophagaceae. These bacteria have been shown to have functions related to the production of bacterial and fungal antibiotics and plant growth promotion. COREMIC can be used as a hypothesis generating or confirmatory tool that shows great potential for identifying taxa that may be important to the functioning of a habitat (e.g. host plant. The case study, in conclusion, shows that COREMIC can identify key habitat

  10. Niche evolution and adaptive radiation: Testing the order of trait divergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, D.D.; Schwilk, D.W.; Webb, C.O.

    2006-01-01

    In the course of an adaptive radiation, the evolution of niche parameters is of particular interest for understanding modes of speciation and the consequences for coexistence of related species within communities. We pose a general question: In the course of an evolutionary radiation, do traits related to within-community niche differences (?? niche) evolve before or after differentiation of macrohabitat affinity or climatic tolerances (?? niche)? Here we introduce a new test to address this question, based on a modification of the method of independent contrasts. The divergence order test (DOT) is based on the average age of the nodes on a tree, weighted by the absolute magnitude of the contrast at each node for a particular trait. The comparison of these weighted averages reveals whether large divergences for one trait have occurred earlier or later in the course of diversification, relative to a second trait; significance is determined by bootstrapping from maximum-likelihood ancestral state reconstructions. The method is applied to the evolution of Ceanothus, a woody plant group in California, in which co-occurring species exhibit significant differences in a key leaf trait (specific leaf area) associated with contrasting physiological and life history strategies. Co-occurring species differ more for this trait than expected under a null model of community assembly. This ?? niche difference evolved early in the divergence of two major subclades within Ceanothus, whereas climatic distributions (?? niche traits) diversified later within each of the subclades. However, rapid evolution of climate parameters makes inferences of early divergence events highly uncertain, and differentiation of the ?? niche might have taken place throughout the evolution of the group, without leaving a clear phylogenetic signal. Similar patterns observed in several plant and animal groups suggest that early divergence of ?? niche traits might be a common feature of niche evolution in

  11. Spatial distributions of niche-constructing populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaozhuo Han

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Niche construction theory regards organisms not only as the object of natural selection but also an active subject that can change their own selective pressure through eco-evolutionary feedbacks. Through reviewing the existing works on the theoretical models of niche construction, here we present the progress made on how niche construction influences genetic structure of spatially structured populations and the spatial-temporal dynamics of metapopulations, with special focuses on mathematical models and simulation methods. The majority of results confirmed that niche construction can significantly alter the evolutionary trajectories of structured populations. Organism-environmental interactions induced by niche construction can have profound influence on the dynamics, competition and diversity of metapopulations. It can affect fine-scale spatially distribution of species and spatial heterogeneity of the environment. We further propose a few research directions with potentials, such as applying adaptive dynamics or spatial game theory to explore the effect of niche construction on phenotypic evolution and diversification.

  12. Phylogenetic climatic niche conservatism and evolution of climatic suitability in Neotropical Angraecinae (Vandeae, Orchidaceae) and their closest African relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolanowska, Marta; Grochocka, Elżbieta; Konowalik, Kamil

    2017-01-01

    In the present study we investigate the concept of phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) within the American species of angraecoid orchids ( Campylocentrum and Dendrophylax ) and their closest relatives in the Old World ( Angraecum ) using ecological niche modelling (ENM). The predicted niche occupancy profiles were matched with the outcomes of previous phylogenetic studies to reconstruct the evolution of climatic suitability within the orchid group studied and evaluate the role of niche differentiation in the speciation of Angraecinae. No correlation between preferred niches and taxonomic relationships within the orchid group studied was revealed. The climatic suitability of the majority of the species overlapped each other, either fully or partially. This pattern is also present in the species of other orchid genera. Our research confirms a significant level of PNC in Orchidaceae, even within taxa exhibiting a transatlantic disjunction. The analysis of the evolution of climatic suitability indicated that the adaptation to various climatic conditions is not a factor that has driven speciation within orchids studied.

  13. A Parent-Offspring Trade-Off Limits the Evolution of an Ontogenetic Niche Shift

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    ten Brink, H.; de Roos, A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Many free-living animal species, including the majority of fish, insects, and amphibians, change their food and habitat during their life. Even though these ontogenetic changes in niche are common, it is not well understood which ecological conditions have favored the evolution of these shifts.

  14. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Andrew D; Newton, Jason; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Samaniego, Jose A; Post, Klaas; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2013-10-07

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic ratios spanned a range similar to the difference in isotopic values of two known prey items, herring Clupea harengus and harbour seal Phoca vitulina. Two proxies of the stage of speciation, lineage sorting of mitogenomes and genotypic clustering, were both weak to intermediate indicating that speciation has made little progress. Thus, our study confirms that even with the necessary ecological conditions, i.e. among-individual variation in ecology, it is difficult for sympatric speciation to progress in the face of gene flow. In contrast to some theoretical models, our empirical results suggest that sympatric speciation driven by among-individual differences in ecological niche is a slow process and may not reach completion. We argue that sympatric speciation is constrained in this system owing to the plastic nature of the behavioural traits under selection when hunting either mammals or fish.

  15. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i) how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii) how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause’ law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist. PMID:28253284

  16. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Saiful Mansor

    Full Text Available Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause' law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist.

  17. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i) how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii) how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause' law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist.

  18. Macrophytes: Ecology of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bornette, G.; Puijalon, S.

    2009-01-01

    Aquatic plants contribute to maintaining key functions and related biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems, and to provide the needs of human societies. The way the ecological niches of macrophytes are determined by abiotic filters and biotic ones is considered. A simple, broadly applicable model of

  19. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe): the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Andrea G; Alò, Dominique; González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio

    2018-01-01

    The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe ), to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species ( L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe ). We used maximum entropy to model lineage's climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. We show that: (a) the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b) future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c) a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d) current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution area is expected, this may come with an important

  20. Niche segregation amongst sympatric species at exposed sandy shores with contrasting wrack availabilities illustrated by stable isotopic analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Bessa, Filipa; Baeta, Alexandra; Marques, João Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Wrack supplies (macroalgae, seagrasses and carrion) are a common feature of sandy beaches worldwide. These allochthonous inputs are a potential high-quality food subsidy for beach fauna, but little is known about the feeding ecology and niche segregation strategies of these species in beaches with limited wrack availabilities. We used stable isotopic ratios of nitrogen and carbon to examine the diets and niche segregation among three sympatric crustaceans, the amphipods Talitrus s...

  1. River classification is important for reporting ecological status and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    River classification is important for reporting ecological status and for the general ecological management of river systems by partitioning natural variability. A priori river classification by abiotic variables and validation of classifications obtained.

  2. Periarteriolar Glioblastoma Stem Cell Niches Express Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche Proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hira, Vashendriya V. V.; Wormer, Jill R.; Kakar, Hala; Breznik, Barbara; van der Swaan, Britt; Hulsbos, Renske; Tigchelaar, Wikky; Tonar, Zbynek; Khurshed, Mohammed; Molenaar, Remco J.; van Noorden, Cornelis J. F.

    2018-01-01

    In glioblastoma, a fraction of malignant cells consists of therapy-resistant glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) residing in protective niches that recapitulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches in bone marrow. We have previously shown that HSC niche proteins stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α),

  3. Competition and niche separation of pelagic bacteria in freshwater habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pernthaler, Jakob

    2017-06-01

    Freshwater bacterioplankton assemblages are composed of sympatric populations that can be delineated, for example, by ribosomal RNA gene relatedness and that differ in key ecophysiological properties. They may be free-living or attached, specialized for particular concentrations or subsets of substrates, or invest a variable amount of their resources in defence traits against protistan predators and viruses. Some may be motile and tactic whereas others are not, with far-reaching implications for their respective life styles and niche partitioning. The co-occurrence of competitors with overlapping growth requirements has profound consequences for the stability of community functions; it can to some extent be explained by habitat factors such as the microscale complexity and spatiotemporal variability of the lacustrine environments. On the other hand, the composition and diversity of freshwater microbial assemblages also reflects non-equilibrium states, dispersal and the stochasticity of community assembly processes. This review synoptically discusses the competition and niche separation of heterotrophic bacterial populations (defined at various levels of phylogenetic resolution) in the pelagic zone of inland surface waters from a variety of angles, focusing on habitat heterogeneity and the resulting biogeographic distribution patterns, the ecophysiological adaptations to the substrate field and the interactions of prokaryotes with predators and viruses. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Adaptation and niche construction in human prehistory: a case study from the southern Scandinavian Late Glacial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Felix

    2011-03-27

    The niche construction model postulates that human bio-social evolution is composed of three inheritance domains, genetic, cultural and ecological, linked by feedback selection. This paper argues that many kinds of archaeological data can serve as proxies for human niche construction processes, and presents a method for investigating specific niche construction hypotheses. To illustrate this method, the repeated emergence of specialized reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) hunting/herding economies during the Late Palaeolithic (ca 14.7-11.5 kyr BP) in southern Scandinavia is analysed from a niche construction/triple-inheritance perspective. This economic relationship resulted in the eventual domestication of Rangifer. The hypothesis of whether domestication was achieved as early as the Late Palaeolithic, and whether this required the use of domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris) as hunting, herding or transport aids, is tested via a comparative analysis using material culture-based phylogenies and ecological datasets in relation to demographic/genetic proxies. Only weak evidence for sustained niche construction behaviours by prehistoric hunter-gatherer in southern Scandinavia is found, but this study nonetheless provides interesting insights into the likely processes of dog and reindeer domestication, and into processes of adaptation in Late Glacial foragers.

  5. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J.

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment. PMID:25136323

  6. Nest-niche differentiation in two sympatric columbid species from a Mediterranean Tetraclinis woodland: Considerations for forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanane, Saâd; Yassin, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Studies of niche partitioning among Columbid species have mainly addressed food habits and foraging activities, while partitioning in relation to nest-niche differentiation has been little studied. Here we investigate whether two sympatric columbid species-Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) and Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur)-occupy similar niches. A total of 74 nests were monitored: 37 nests for each species. The study, conducted in June 2016, attempted to determine the factors that may play a role in nest-niche differentiation among the two sympatric columbid species in a Moroccan Thuya (Tetraclinis articulata) forest. We used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to test the relevance of nest placement, proximity of food resources, forest edge and human presence variables in the nest distribution of the two species. The results show substantial niche segregation in the T. articulata nest-trees selected by Woodpigeons and Turtle doves, with selection depending primarily on the tree size and nest height. Observed nest-niche partitioning may diminish the potential for competition between these species and enhance opportunities for their coexistence. Management policies and practices aimed at ensuring the presence of mixed-sized class of Thuya trees must be prioritized. We recommend additional studies designed to: (1) reproduce the same experimental approach on other Mediterranean Thuya forests to improve our understanding of the effects of different levels of anthropogenic disturbance on the breeding behaviour of these two game species; (2) better understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of Woodpigeon and Turtle dove coexistence in the region; and (3) better identify the spatio-temporal extent of the effect of forest management on Woodpigeon and Turtle dove site occupancy.

  7. Plane partition vesicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rensburg, E J Janse van; Ma, J

    2006-01-01

    We examine partitions and their natural three-dimensional generalizations, plane partitions, as models of vesicles undergoing an inflation-deflation transition. The phase diagrams of these models include a critical point corresponding to an inflation-deflation transition, and exhibits multicritical scaling in the vicinity of a multicritical point located elsewhere on the critical curve. We determine the locations of the multicritical points by analysing the generating functions using analytic and numerical means. In addition, we determine the numerical values of the multicritical scaling exponents associated with the multicritical scaling regimes in these models

  8. Matrix string partition function

    CERN Document Server

    Kostov, Ivan K; Kostov, Ivan K.; Vanhove, Pierre

    1998-01-01

    We evaluate quasiclassically the Ramond partition function of Euclidean D=10 U(N) super Yang-Mills theory reduced to a two-dimensional torus. The result can be interpreted in terms of free strings wrapping the space-time torus, as expected from the point of view of Matrix string theory. We demonstrate that, when extrapolated to the ultraviolet limit (small area of the torus), the quasiclassical expressions reproduce exactly the recently obtained expression for the partition of the completely reduced SYM theory, including the overall numerical factor. This is an evidence that our quasiclassical calculation might be exact.

  9. Phylogeny and niche conservatism in North and Central American triatomine bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae), vectors of Chagas' disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N; Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro; Peterson, A Townsend; Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; Ramsey, Janine M

    2014-10-01

    The niche conservatism hypothesis states that related species diverge in niche characteristics at lower rates than expected, given their lineage divergence. Here we analyze whether niche conservatism is a common pattern among vector species (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) of Trypanosoma cruzi that inhabit North and Central America, a highly heterogeneous landmass in terms of environmental gradients. Mitochondrial and nuclear loci were used in a multi-locus phylogenetic framework to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among species and estimate time of divergence of selected clades to draw biogeographic inferences. Then, we estimated similarity between the ecological niche of sister species and tested the niche conservatism hypothesis using our best estimate of phylogeny. Triatoma is not monophyletic. A primary clade with all North and Central American (NCA) triatomine species from the genera Triatoma, Dipetalogaster, and Panstrongylus, was consistently recovered. Nearctic species within the NCA clade (T. p. protracta, T. r. rubida) diverged during the Pliocene, whereas the Neotropical species (T. phyllosoma, T. longipennis, T. dimidiata complex) are estimated to have diverged more recently, during the Pleistocene. The hypothesis of niche conservatism could not be rejected for any of six sister species pairs. Niche similarity between sister species best fits a retention model. While this framework is used here to infer niche evolution, it has a direct impact on spatial vector dynamics driven by human population movements, expansion of transportation networks and climate change scenarios.

  10. Ecological niche modelling of bank voles in Western Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amirpour Haredasht, S.; Barrios, J.M.; Farifteh, J.; Maes, P.; Clement, J.; Verstraeten, W.W.; Tersago, K.; Van Ranst, M.; Coppin, P.; Berckmans, D.; Aerts, J.

    2013-01-01

    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

  11. Target Article with Commentaries: Developmental Niche Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Emma G.; Laland, Kevin N.; Kendal, Rachel L.; Kendal, Jeremy R.

    2013-01-01

    Niche construction is the modification of components of the environment through an organism's activities. Humans modify their environments mainly through ontogenetic and cultural processes, and it is this reliance on learning, plasticity and culture that lends human niche construction a special potency. In this paper we aim to facilitate…

  12. A variational approach to niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constant, Axel; Ramstead, Maxwell J D; Veissière, Samuel P L; Campbell, John O; Friston, Karl J

    2018-04-01

    In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of living systems, and their selection in evolution, in terms of variational inference. We argue that niche construction can be described using a variational approach. We propose new arguments to support the niche construction perspective, and to extend the variational approach to niche construction to current perspectives in various scientific fields. © 2018 The Authors.

  13. The niche party concept and its measurement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Thomas M; Miller, Bernhard

    2015-03-01

    The concept of the niche party has become increasingly popular in analyses of party competition. Yet, existing approaches vary in their definitions and their measurement approaches. We propose using a minimal definition that allows us to compare political parties in terms of their 'nicheness'. We argue that the conceptual core of the niche party concept is based on issue emphasis and that a niche party emphasizes policy areas neglected by its rivals. Based on this definition, we propose a continuous measure that allows for more fine-grained measurement of a party's 'nicheness' than the dominant, dichotomous approaches and thereby limits the risk of measurement error. Drawing on data collected by the Comparative Manifesto Project, we show that (1) our measure has high face validity and (2) exposes differences among parties that are not captured by alternative, static or dichotomous measures.

  14. When does it pay to invest in a patch? The evolution of intentional niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohlenhoff, Kathryn A; Codding, Brian F

    2017-09-01

    Humans modify their environments in ways that significantly transform the earth's ecosystems. Recent research suggests that such niche-constructing behaviors are not passive human responses to environmental variation, but instead should be seen as active and intentional management of the environment. Although such research is useful in highlighting the interactive dynamics between humans and their natural world, the niche-construction framework, as currently applied, fails to explain why people would decide to modify their environments in the first place. To help resolve this problem, we use a model of technological intensification to analyze the cost-benefit trade-offs associated with niche construction as a form of patch investment. We use this model to assess the costs and benefits of three paradigmatic cases of intentional niche construction in Western North America: the application of fire in acorn groves, the manufacture of fishing weirs, and the adoption of maize agriculture. Intensification models predict that investing in patch modification (niche construction) only provides a net benefit when the amount of resources needed crosses a critical threshold that makes the initial investment worthwhile. From this, it follows that low-cost investments, such as burning in oak groves, should be quite common, while more costly investments, such as maize agriculture, should be less common and depend on the alternatives available in the local environment. We examine how patterns of mobility, risk management, territoriality, and private property also co-evolve with the costs and benefits of niche construction. This approach illustrates that explaining niche-constructing behavior requires understanding the economic trade-offs involved in patch investment. Integrating concepts from niche construction and technological intensification models within a behavioral ecological framework provides insights into the coevolution and active feedback between adaptive behaviors and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

    Despite many efforts to resolve evolutionary relationships among major clades of Cyprinidae, some nodes have been especially problematic and remain unresolved. In this study, we employ four nuclear gene fragments (3.3kb) to infer interrelationships of the Cyprinidae. A reconstruction of the phylogenetic relationships within the family using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses is presented. Among the taxa within the monophyletic Cyprinidae, Rasborinae is the basal-most lineage; Cyprinine is sister to Leuciscine. The monophyly for the subfamilies Gobioninae, Leuciscinae and Acheilognathinae were resolved with high nodal support. Although our results do not completely resolve relationships within Cyprinidae, this study presents novel and significant findings having major implications for a highly diverse and enigmatic clade of East-Asian cyprinids. Within this monophyletic group five closely-related subgroups are identified. Tinca tinca, one of the most phylogenetically enigmatic genera in the family, is strongly supported as having evolutionary affinities with this East-Asian clade; an established yet remarkable association because of the natural variation in phenotypes and generalized ecological niches occupied by these taxa. Our results clearly argue that the choice of partitioning strategies has significant impacts on the phylogenetic reconstructions, especially when multiple genes are being considered. The most highly partitioned model (partitioned by codon positions within genes) extracts the strongest phylogenetic signals and performs better than any other partitioning schemes supported by the strongest 2Δln Bayes factor. Future studies should include higher levels of taxon sampling and partitioned, model-based analyses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Affordances and Landscapes: Overcoming the Nature–Culture Dichotomy through Niche Construction Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heras-Escribano, Manuel; De Pinedo-García, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we reject the nature–culture dichotomy by means of the idea of affordance or possibility for action, which has important implications for landscape theory. Our hypothesis is that, just as the idea of affordance can serve to overcome the subjective–objective dichotomy, the ideas of landscape and ecological niche, properly defined, would allow us to also transcend the nature–culture dichotomy. First, we introduce an overview of landscape theory, emphasizing processual landscape theory as the most suitable approach for satisfying both cultural and naturalist approaches. After that, we introduce the idea of affordance and we analyze a tension between sociocultural and transcultural affordances (affordances that depend on cultural conventions and affordances that depend on lawful information and bodily aspects of agents). This tension has various implications for landscape theory and ecological niches. Our proposal is that sociocultural and transcultural aspects of affordances could be systematically accommodated if we apply niche construction theory (the theory that explains the process by which organisms modify their selective environments) as a methodological framework for explaining the emergence of ecological niches. This approach will lead us to an integrative account of landscapes as the products of the interaction between human and environmental elements, making it a clear example of a concept that transcends the nature–culture dichotomy. PMID:29375426

  17. Affordances and Landscapes: Overcoming the Nature-Culture Dichotomy through Niche Construction Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heras-Escribano, Manuel; De Pinedo-García, Manuel

    2017-01-01

    In this paper we reject the nature-culture dichotomy by means of the idea of affordance or possibility for action, which has important implications for landscape theory. Our hypothesis is that, just as the idea of affordance can serve to overcome the subjective-objective dichotomy, the ideas of landscape and ecological niche, properly defined, would allow us to also transcend the nature-culture dichotomy. First, we introduce an overview of landscape theory, emphasizing processual landscape theory as the most suitable approach for satisfying both cultural and naturalist approaches. After that, we introduce the idea of affordance and we analyze a tension between sociocultural and transcultural affordances (affordances that depend on cultural conventions and affordances that depend on lawful information and bodily aspects of agents). This tension has various implications for landscape theory and ecological niches. Our proposal is that sociocultural and transcultural aspects of affordances could be systematically accommodated if we apply niche construction theory (the theory that explains the process by which organisms modify their selective environments) as a methodological framework for explaining the emergence of ecological niches. This approach will lead us to an integrative account of landscapes as the products of the interaction between human and environmental elements, making it a clear example of a concept that transcends the nature-culture dichotomy.

  18. Long term patterns in the late summer trophic niche of the invasive pumpkinseed sunfish Lepomis gibbosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gkenas C.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the trophic dynamics of invasive species in novel habitats is important for predicting the success of potential invaders and evaluating their ecological effects. The North American pumpkinseed sunfish Lepomis gibbosus is a successful invader in Europe, where it has caused negative ecological effects primarily through trophic interactions. Here, we quantified variations in the late summer trophic niche of pumpkinseed during establishment and integration in the mainstem of the Guadiana river, using stomach content analyses over a period of 40 years. Pumpkinseed showed a shift from trophic specialization during establishment to trophic generalism during integration. These results were concomitant with an increase in diet breadth that was accompanied by higher individual diet specialization particularly in large individuals. Irrespective of their drivers, these changes in trophic niche suggest that the potential ecological effects of pumpkinseed on recipient ecosystems can vary temporally along the invasion process.

  19. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winck, Gisele R; Hatano, Fabio; Vrcibradic, Davor; VAN Sluys, Monique; Rocha, Carlos F D

    2016-01-01

    Communities are structured by interactions of historical and ecological factors, which influence the use of different resources in time and space. We acquired data on time of activity, microhabitat use and diet of a lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat in a coastal area, southeastern Brazil (Restinga de Jurubatiba). We analyzed the data of niche overlap among species in these three axes (temporal, spatial and trophic) using null models. We found a significant overlap within the trophic niche, whereas the overlap for the other axes did not differ from the expected. Based on this result, we discuss the factors acting on the structure of the local lizard community.

  20. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GISELE R. WINCK

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Communities are structured by interactions of historical and ecological factors, which influence the use of different resources in time and space. We acquired data on time of activity, microhabitat use and diet of a lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat in a coastal area, southeastern Brazil (Restinga de Jurubatiba. We analyzed the data of niche overlap among species in these three axes (temporal, spatial and trophic using null models. We found a significant overlap within the trophic niche, whereas the overlap for the other axes did not differ from the expected. Based on this result, we discuss the factors acting on the structure of the local lizard community.

  1. Neutral theory and the species abundance distribution: recent developments and prospects for unifying niche and neutral perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Thomas J; Whittaker, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Published in 2001, The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (UNTB) emphasizes the importance of stochastic processes in ecological community structure, and has challenged the traditional niche-based view of ecology. While neutral models have since been applied to a broad range of ecological and macroecological phenomena, the majority of research relating to neutral theory has focused exclusively on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Here, we synthesize the large body of work on neutral theory in the context of the species abundance distribution, with a particular focus on integrating ideas from neutral theory with traditional niche theory. First, we summarize the basic tenets of neutral theory; both in general and in the context of SADs. Second, we explore the issues associated with neutral theory and the SAD, such as complications with fitting and model comparison, the underlying assumptions of neutral models, and the difficultly of linking pattern to process. Third, we highlight the advances in understanding of SADs that have resulted from neutral theory and models. Finally, we focus consideration on recent developments aimed at unifying neutral- and niche-based approaches to ecology, with a particular emphasis on what this means for SAD theory, embracing, for instance, ideas of emergent neutrality and stochastic niche theory. We put forward the argument that the prospect of the unification of niche and neutral perspectives represents one of the most promising future avenues of neutral theory research. PMID:25360266

  2. Neutral theory and the species abundance distribution: recent developments and prospects for unifying niche and neutral perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Thomas J; Whittaker, Robert J

    2014-06-01

    Published in 2001, The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (UNTB) emphasizes the importance of stochastic processes in ecological community structure, and has challenged the traditional niche-based view of ecology. While neutral models have since been applied to a broad range of ecological and macroecological phenomena, the majority of research relating to neutral theory has focused exclusively on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Here, we synthesize the large body of work on neutral theory in the context of the species abundance distribution, with a particular focus on integrating ideas from neutral theory with traditional niche theory. First, we summarize the basic tenets of neutral theory; both in general and in the context of SADs. Second, we explore the issues associated with neutral theory and the SAD, such as complications with fitting and model comparison, the underlying assumptions of neutral models, and the difficultly of linking pattern to process. Third, we highlight the advances in understanding of SADs that have resulted from neutral theory and models. Finally, we focus consideration on recent developments aimed at unifying neutral- and niche-based approaches to ecology, with a particular emphasis on what this means for SAD theory, embracing, for instance, ideas of emergent neutrality and stochastic niche theory. We put forward the argument that the prospect of the unification of niche and neutral perspectives represents one of the most promising future avenues of neutral theory research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFadden, Bruce J; Higgins, Pennilyn

    2004-06-01

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

  4. Evolution is a cooperative process: the biodiversity-related niches differentiation theory (BNDT) can explain why.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, Roberto Cazzolla

    2011-01-01

    A. McFayden and G.E. Hutchinson defined a niche as a multidimensional space or hypervolume within the environment that allows an individual or a species to survive, we consider niches as a fundamental ecological variable that regulate species' composition and relation in ecosystems. Successively the niche concept has been associated to the genetic term "phenotype" by MacArthurstressing the importance on what a species or a genome can show outside, either in the environmental functions or in body characteristics. Several indexes have been developed to evaluate the grade of overlapping and similarities of species' niches, even utilizing the theory of information. However, which are the factors that determine the number of species that can coexist in a determinate environment and why a generalist species do not compete until the exclusion of the remaining species to maximize its fitness, is still quite unknown. Moreover, there are few studies and theories that clearly explain why the number of niches is so variable through ecosystems and how can several species live in the same basal niche, intended in a comprehensive sense as the range of basic conditions (temperature, humidity, food-guild, etc.). Here I show that the number of niches in an ecosystem depends on the number of species present in a particular moment and that the species themselves allow the enhancement of niches in terms of space and number. I found that using a three-dimensional model as hypervolume and testing the theory on a Mediterranean, temperate and tropical forest ecosystem it is possible to demonstrate that each species plays a fundamental role in facilitating the colonization by other species by simply modifying the environment and exponentially increasing the available niches' space and number. I resumed these hypothesis, after some preliminary empiric tests, in the Biodiversity-related Niches Differentiation Theory (BNDT), stressing with these definition that the process of niches

  5. The United States pork niche market phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeyman, M S; Pirog, R S; Huber, G H; Lammers, P J; Hermann, J R

    2006-08-01

    After the broad industrialization of the US pork industry, there has been a development of niche markets for export and domestic pork; that is, there is a pork niche market phenomenon. The US pork niche market phenomenon is characterized, and 2 of the major markets are explained in detail. With the Midwest's tradition of a diversified family-based agriculture and record low hog prices of the late 1990s, the conditions were conducive for this phenomenon to develop. Pork niche markets utilize various sales methods including Internet sales, local abattoir sales, direct marketing, farmer networks, and targeting to organized groups. In 2003, there were approximately 35 to 40 active pork niche marketing efforts in Iowa. The Berkshire breed is an example of a swine breed that has had a recent resurgence because of niche markets. Berkshire pork is known for tenderness and excellent quality. Berkshire registrations have increased 4-fold in the last 10 yr. One of the larger niche marketers of "natural pork" is Niman Ranch Pork, which has more than 400 farmer-producers and processes about 2,500 pigs weekly. Many US consumers of pork are interested in issues concerning the environment, food safety, pig welfare, and pig farm ownership and structure. These consumers may be willing to pay more for pork from farmers who are also concerned about these issues. Small- and medium-sized swine farmers are active in pork niche markets. Niche markets claim product differentiation by superior or unique product quality and social attributes. Quality attributes include certain swine breeds, and meat quality, freshness, taste or flavor, and tenderness. Social or credence attributes often are claimed and include freedom from antibiotics and growth promotants; local family farm production; natural, organic, outdoor, or bedded rearing; humane rearing; known origin; environmentally friendly production; and the absence of animal by-products in the feed. Niche pork markets and alternative swine

  6. The dimensionality of ecological networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eklöf, Anna; Jacob, Ute; Kopp, Jason

    2013-01-01

    How many dimensions (trait-axes) are required to predict whether two species interact? This unanswered question originated with the idea of ecological niches, and yet bears relevance today for understanding what determines network structure. Here, we analyse a set of 200 ecological networks......, including food webs, antagonistic and mutualistic networks, and find that the number of dimensions needed to completely explain all interactions is small (... the most to explaining network structure. We show that accounting for a few traits dramatically improves our understanding of the structure of ecological networks. Matching traits for resources and consumers, for example, fruit size and bill gape, are the most successful combinations. These results link...

  7. Partitional clustering algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    2015-01-01

    This book summarizes the state-of-the-art in partitional clustering. Clustering, the unsupervised classification of patterns into groups, is one of the most important tasks in exploratory data analysis. Primary goals of clustering include gaining insight into, classifying, and compressing data. Clustering has a long and rich history that spans a variety of scientific disciplines including anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, statistics, mathematics, engineering, and computer science. As a result, numerous clustering algorithms have been proposed since the early 1950s. Among these algorithms, partitional (nonhierarchical) ones have found many applications, especially in engineering and computer science. This book provides coverage of consensus clustering, constrained clustering, large scale and/or high dimensional clustering, cluster validity, cluster visualization, and applications of clustering. Examines clustering as it applies to large and/or high-dimensional data sets commonly encountered in reali...

  8. Why partition nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cohen, J.J.

    1976-01-01

    A cursory review of literature dealing with various separatory processes involved in the handling of high-level liquid nuclear waste discloses that, for the most part, discussion centers on separation procedures and methodology for handling the resulting fractions, particularly the actinide wastes. There appears to be relatively little discussion on the incentives or motivations for performing these separations in the first place. Discussion is often limited to the assumption that we must separate out ''long-term'' from our ''short-term'' management problems. This paper deals with that assumption and devotes primary attention to the question of ''why partition waste'' rather than the question of ''how to partition waste'' or ''what to do with the segregated waste.''

  9. BKP plane partitions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foda, Omar; Wheeler, Michael

    2007-01-01

    Using BKP neutral fermions, we derive a product expression for the generating function of volume-weighted plane partitions that satisfy two conditions. If we call a set of adjacent equal height-h columns, h > 0, an h-path, then 1. Every h-path can assume one of two possible colours. 2. There is a unique way to move along an h-path from any column to another

  10. BKP plane partitions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foda, Omar; Wheeler, Michael [Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010 (Australia)

    2007-01-15

    Using BKP neutral fermions, we derive a product expression for the generating function of volume-weighted plane partitions that satisfy two conditions. If we call a set of adjacent equal height-h columns, h > 0, an h-path, then 1. Every h-path can assume one of two possible colours. 2. There is a unique way to move along an h-path from any column to another.

  11. Generalised twisted partition functions

    CERN Document Server

    Petkova, V B

    2001-01-01

    We consider the set of partition functions that result from the insertion of twist operators compatible with conformal invariance in a given 2D Conformal Field Theory (CFT). A consistency equation, which gives a classification of twists, is written and solved in particular cases. This generalises old results on twisted torus boundary conditions, gives a physical interpretation of Ocneanu's algebraic construction, and might offer a new route to the study of properties of CFT.

  12. Unveiling current Guanaco distribution in chile based upon niche structure of phylogeographic lineages: Andean puna to subpolar forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio; Marín, Juan Carlos; Estades, Cristián F

    2013-01-01

    Niche description and differentiation at broad geographic scales have been recent major topics in ecology and evolution. Describing the environmental niche structure of sister taxa with known evolutionary trajectories stands out as a useful exercise in understanding niche requirements. Here we model the environmental niche structure and distribution of the recently resolved phylogeography of guanaco (Lama guanicoe) lineages on the western slope of the southern Andes. Using a maximum entropy framework, field data, and information on climate, topography, human density, and vegetation cover, we identify differences between the two subspecies (L.g.cacsilensis, L.g.guanicoe) and their intermediate-hybrid lineage, that most likely determine the distribution of this species. While aridity seems to be a major factor influencing the distribution at the species-level (annual precipitation ecological and/or evolutionary processes are shaping the niche of guanacos in Chile, producing discrepancies when comparing range distribution at the species-level (81,756 km(2)) with lineages-level (65,321 km(2)). The subspecies-specific description of niche structure is provided here based upon detailed spatial distribution of the lineages of guanacos in Chile. Such description provides a scientific tool to further develop large scale plans for habitat conservation and preservation of intraspecific genetic variability for this far ranging South American camelid, which inhabits a diversity of ecoregion types from Andean puna to subpolar forests.

  13. When do plant radiations influence community assembly? The importance of historical contingency in the race for niche space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanentzap, Andrew J; Brandt, Angela J; Smissen, Rob D; Heenan, Peter B; Fukami, Tadashi; Lee, William G

    2015-07-01

    Plant radiations are widespread but their influence on community assembly has rarely been investigated. Theory and some evidence suggest that radiations can allow lineages to monopolize niche space when founding species arrive early into new bioclimatic regions and exploit ecological opportunities. These early radiations may subsequently reduce niche availability and dampen diversification of later arrivals. We tested this hypothesis of time-dependent lineage diversification and community dominance using the alpine flora of New Zealand. We estimated ages of 16 genera from published phylogenies and determined their relative occurrence across climatic and physical gradients in the alpine zone. We used these data to reconstruct occupancy of environmental space through time, integrating palaeoclimatic and palaeogeological changes. Our analysis suggested that earlier-colonizing lineages encountered a greater availability of environmental space, which promoted greater species diversity and occupancy of niche space. Genera that occupied broader niches were subsequently more dominant in local communities. An earlier time of arrival also contributed to greater diversity independently of its influence in accessing niche space. We suggest that plant radiations influence community assembly when they arise early in the occupancy of environmental space, allowing them to exclude later-arriving colonists from ecological communities by niche preemption. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. The nutritional nexus: linking niche, habitat variability and prey composition in a generalist marine predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machovsky-Capuska, Gabriel E; Miller, Mark G R; Silva, Fabiola R O; Amiot, Christophe; Stockin, Karen A; Senior, Alistair M; Schuckard, Rob; Melville, David; Raubenheimer, David

    2018-06-05

    1.Our understanding of the niche concept will remain limited while the quantity and range of different food types eaten remains a dominant proxy for niche breadth, as this does not account for the broad ecological context that governs diet. Linking nutrition, physiology and behaviour are critical to predict the extent to which a species adjusts its nutritional niche breadth at the levels of prey ("prey composition niche", defined as the range of prey compositions eaten), and diet ("realized nutritional niche" is the range of diets composed through feeding on the prey). 2.Here we studied adult-chick rearing Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) to propose an integrative approach using sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTa), geographic location and bathymetry over different years, to explore their relationship with the nutritional composition of prey and diets (i.e., prey composition and nutritional niche breadth), habitat use and foraging behavior. 3.We found that gannets feed on prey that varied widely in their nutritional composition (have a broad prey composition niche), and composed diets from these prey that likewise varied in composition (have a broad realized nutritional niche), suggesting generalism at two levels of macronutrient selection. 4.Across seasons, we established "nutritional landscapes" (hereafter nutriscapes), linking the nutritional content of prey (wet mass protein to-lipid ratio -P:L-) to the most likely geographic area of capture and bathymetry. Nutriscapes varied in their P:L from 6.06 to 15.28, over time, space and bathymetry (0 to 150 m). 5.During warm water events (strong positive SSTa), gannets expanded their foraging habitat, increased their foraging trip duration and consumed prey and diets with low macronutrient content (wet mass proportions of P and L). They were also constrained to the smallest prey composition and realized nutritional niche breadths. 6.Our findings are consistent with previous suggestions that dietary generalism

  15. CROSS DRIFT ALCOVE/NICHE UTILITIES ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    S. Goodin

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this analysis is to provide the design basis and general arrangement requirements of the non-potable water, waste water, compressed air and ventilation (post excavation) utilities required in support of the Cross Drift alcoves and niches

  16. Feeding ecology of stream-dwelling Characidae (Osteichthyes: Characiformes from the upper Tocantins River, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maíra Moraes

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In this contribution we studied the trophic ecology of four Characidae species from the Cavalo Stream, upper Tocantins River, considering diet overlap and trophic niche breadth. The diet of the four species was composed of adult and immature insects, both autochthonous and allochthonous in origin. Autochthonous items dominated the diet of Moenkhausia dichroura (Kner, 1858, Bryconamericus sp., and Creagrutus atrisignum Myers, 1917. By contrast, allochthonous items were dominant in the diet of Astyanax bimaculatus (Linnaeus, 1758. Trophic niche breadth varied among species, with the highest value recorded for M. dichroura (0.48, followed by Bryconamericus sp. (0.39, A. bimaculatus (0.33 and C. atrisignum (0.29. Similarity analysis revealed two groups with different patterns of food preference. The first group was composed of insectivorous and the second by omnivorous species. The overlap in food items consumed by the four species studied was high. We suggest that resources are not limited in this stream and that competition might not be regulating these populations. This is one more case corroborating the general pattern registered for Tropical environments, where resource partitioning and specialization are responsible by the organization of fish communities.

  17. Tracing early stages of species differentiation: Ecological, morphological and genetic divergence of Galápagos sea lion populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brunner Sylvia

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oceans are high gene flow environments that are traditionally believed to hamper the build-up of genetic divergence. Despite this, divergence appears to occur occasionally at surprisingly small scales. The Galápagos archipelago provides an ideal opportunity to examine the evolutionary processes of local divergence in an isolated marine environment. Galápagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki are top predators in this unique setting and have an essentially unlimited dispersal capacity across the entire species range. In theory, this should oppose any genetic differentiation. Results We find significant ecological, morphological and genetic divergence between the western colonies and colonies from the central region of the archipelago that are exposed to different ecological conditions. Stable isotope analyses indicate that western animals use different food sources than those from the central area. This is likely due to niche partitioning with the second Galápagos eared seal species, the Galápagos fur seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis that exclusively dwells in the west. Stable isotope patterns correlate with significant differences in foraging-related skull morphology. Analyses of mitochondrial sequences as well as microsatellites reveal signs of initial genetic differentiation. Conclusion Our results suggest a key role of intra- as well as inter-specific niche segregation in the evolution of genetic structure among populations of a highly mobile species under conditions of free movement. Given the monophyletic arrival of the sea lions on the archipelago, our study challenges the view that geographical barriers are strictly needed for the build-up of genetic divergence. The study further raises the interesting prospect that in social, colonially breeding mammals additional forces, such as social structure or feeding traditions, might bear on the genetic partitioning of populations.

  18. A niche marketing guide for lamb cooperatives

    OpenAIRE

    Kazmierczak, Tamra Kirkpatrick; Bell, James B.

    1995-01-01

    The two types of niche markets targeted by lamb marketing cooperatives are described in this guide. The first type includes specialty middlemen outlets that cooperatives used to market lamb to specialized niches within the traditional meat marketing system of retail food stores, restaurants, food service outlets, and specialty distributors. The second type includes those outlets that cooperatives used to market lamb directly to the consumer, such as freezer markets, farmers' markets, mobile m...

  19. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin's theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of "counting as" and "standing for." I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude by reflecting on

  20. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin’s theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of “counting as” and “standing for.” I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude by

  1. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris eSinha

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin’s theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of counting as and standing for. I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude

  2. Predicting fundamental and realized distributions based on thermal niche: A case study of a freshwater turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Coelho, Marco Túlio Pacheco; Ribeiro, Bruno R.

    2018-04-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) have been broadly used in ecology to address theoretical and practical problems. Currently, there are two main approaches to generate SDMs: (i) correlative, which is based on species occurrences and environmental predictor layers and (ii) process-based models, which are constructed based on species' functional traits and physiological tolerances. The distributions estimated by each approach are based on different components of species niche. Predictions of correlative models approach species realized niches, while predictions of process-based are more akin to species fundamental niche. Here, we integrated the predictions of fundamental and realized distributions of the freshwater turtle Trachemys dorbigni. Fundamental distribution was estimated using data of T. dorbigni's egg incubation temperature, and realized distribution was estimated using species occurrence records. Both types of distributions were estimated using the same regression approaches (logistic regression and support vector machines), both considering macroclimatic and microclimatic temperatures. The realized distribution of T. dorbigni was generally nested in its fundamental distribution reinforcing theoretical assumptions that the species' realized niche is a subset of its fundamental niche. Both modelling algorithms produced similar results but microtemperature generated better results than macrotemperature for the incubation model. Finally, our results reinforce the conclusion that species realized distributions are constrained by other factors other than just thermal tolerances.

  3. Environmental niche divergence among three dune shrub sister species with parapatric distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chozas, Sergio; Chefaoui, Rosa M; Correia, Otília; Bonal, Raúl; Hortal, Joaquín

    2017-05-01

    The geographical distributions of species are constrained by their ecological requirements. The aim of this work was to analyse the effects of environmental conditions, historical events and biogeographical constraints on the diversification of the three species of the western Mediterranean shrub genus Stauracanthus , which have a parapatric distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. Ecological niche factor analysis and generalized linear models were used to measure the response of all Stauracanthus species to the environmental gradients and map their potential distributions in the Iberian Peninsula. The bioclimatic niche overlap between the three species was determined by using Schoener's index. The genetic differentiation of the Iberian and northern African populations of Stauracanthus species was characterized with GenalEx. The effects on genetic distances of the most important environmental drivers were assessed through Mantel tests and non-metric multidimensional scaling. The three Stauracanthus species show remarkably similar responses to climatic conditions. This supports the idea that all members of this recently diversified clade retain common adaptations to climate and consequently high levels of climatic niche overlap. This contrasts with the diverse edaphic requirements of Stauracanthus species. The populations of the S. genistoides-spectabilis clade grow on Miocene and Pliocene fine-textured sedimentary soils, whereas S. boivinii , the more genetically distant species, occurs on older and more coarse-textured sedimentary substrates. These patterns of diversification are largely consistent with a stochastic process of geographical range expansion and fragmentation coupled with niche evolution in the context of spatially complex environmental fluctuations. : The combined analysis of the distribution, realized environmental niche and phylogeographical relationships of parapatric species proposed in this work allows integration of the biogeographical

  4. Advances in primate stable isotope ecology-Achievements and future prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowley, Brooke E; Reitsema, Laurie J; Oelze, Vicky M; Sponheimer, Matt

    2016-10-01

    Stable isotope biogeochemistry has been used to investigate foraging ecology in non-human primates for nearly 30 years. Whereas early studies focused on diet, more recently, isotopic analysis has been used to address a diversity of ecological questions ranging from niche partitioning to nutritional status to variability in life history traits. With this increasing array of applications, stable isotope analysis stands to make major contributions to our understanding of primate behavior and biology. Most notably, isotopic data provide novel insights into primate feeding behaviors that may not otherwise be detectable. This special issue brings together some of the recent advances in this relatively new field. In this introduction to the special issue, we review the state of isotopic applications in primatology and its origins and describe some developing methodological issues, including techniques for analyzing different tissue types, statistical approaches, and isotopic baselines. We then discuss the future directions we envision for the field of primate isotope ecology. Am. J. Primatol. 78:995-1003, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Integrating plant ecological responses to climate extremes from individual to ecosystem levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Andrew J; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-06-19

    Climate extremes will elicit responses from the individual to the ecosystem level. However, only recently have ecologists begun to synthetically assess responses to climate extremes across multiple levels of ecological organization. We review the literature to examine how plant responses vary and interact across levels of organization, focusing on how individual, population and community responses may inform ecosystem-level responses in herbaceous and forest plant communities. We report a high degree of variability at the individual level, and a consequential inconsistency in the translation of individual or population responses to directional changes in community- or ecosystem-level processes. The scaling of individual or population responses to community or ecosystem responses is often predicated upon the functional identity of the species in the community, in particular, the dominant species. Furthermore, the reported stability in plant community composition and functioning with respect to extremes is often driven by processes that operate at the community level, such as species niche partitioning and compensatory responses during or after the event. Future research efforts would benefit from assessing ecological responses across multiple levels of organization, as this will provide both a holistic and mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to increasing climatic variability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Niche restriction and conservatism in a neotropical psittacine: the case of the Puerto Rican parrot

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas H.; Collazo, Jaime A.; Dinsmore, Stephen J.; Llerandi-Roman, I. C.

    2014-01-01

    The factors which govern species‘ distribution and abundance are myriad, and together constitute the ecological niche of a given species. Because abiotic factors are arguably the most profound of the factors influencing niche boundaries and thus, species distributions, substantial changes in either climatic or habitat-related parameters can be expected to produce interrelated and profound niche shifts. Habitat loss and degradation can also effectively induce a de facto climate change by forcing populations to relocate to environmentally suboptimal habitats. Populations experiencing niche shifts due to range restrictions and geographic isolation become subject to a suite of factors that may act synergistically to amplify deleterious ecological effects of habitat loss. These factors tend to exert a greater influence on populations of rare or endemic species with inherently restricted ranges. The Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) is an example of a tropical, insular, endemic and critically-endangered species that has suffered from extensive habitat loss and degradation over the past century, resulting in a single relict wild population restricted for more than 70 years to the montane rainforest of the Luquillo Mountains in northeastern Puerto Rico. In this chapter, we examine the current ecological situation of this geographically and demographically isolated parrot population by reviewing the history of landscape-level changes in and around the Luquillo Mountains, and concurrent biotic and abiotic limiting factors in relation to both historical population trajectory and current prognosis for species recovery. We used a decade (2000-2009) of empirical data on parrot fledgling survival together with long-term climatological data to model effects of local climate on fledgling survival and gain insights into its influence on population growth. We also modeled hypothetical survival of parrot fledglings in the lowlands surrounding the Luquillo Mountains, areas

  7. Partitioning the regional and local drivers of phylogenetic and functional diversity along temperate elevational gradients on an East Asian peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Jung-Hwa; Lee, Chang-Bae

    2018-02-12

    Species-centric approaches to biodiversity in ecological research are limited in their ability to reflect the evolutionary history and functional diversity of community assembly. Recently, the introduction of alternative facets of biodiversity, such as phylogenetic and functional diversity, has shed light on this problem and improved our understanding of the processes underlying biodiversity patterns. Here, we investigated the phylogenetic and functional diversity patterns of α, β and γ components in woody plant assemblages along regional and local elevational gradients in South Korea. Although the patterns of phylogenetic and functional diversity varied along regional and local elevational transects, the main drivers were partitioned into two categories: regional area or climate for phylogenetic diversity, depending on whether the transect was at a regional or local scale; and habitat heterogeneity for functional diversity, which was derived in elevational bands. Moreover, environmental distance was more important than was geographic distance for phylogenetic and functional β diversity between paired elevational bands. These results support the hypothesis that niche-based deterministic processes such as environmental filtering and competitive exclusion are fundamental in structuring woody plant assemblages along temperate elevational gradients regardless of scale (regional vs. local) in our study areas.

  8. Why developmental niche construction is not selective niche construction: and why it matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola

    2017-10-06

    In the last decade, niche construction has been heralded as the neglected process in evolution. But niche construction is just one way in which the organism's interaction with and construction of the environment can have potential evolutionary significance. The constructed environment does not just select for , it also produces new variation. Nearly 3 decades ago, and in parallel with Odling-Smee's article 'Niche-constructing phenotypes', West and King introduced the 'ontogenetic niche' to give the phenomena of exo genetic inheritance a formal name. Since then, a range of fields in the life sciences and medicine has amassed evidence that parents influence their offspring by means other than DNA (parental effects), and proposed mechanisms for how heritable variation can be environmentally induced and developmentally regulated. The concept of 'developmental niche construction' (DNC) elucidates how a diverse range of mechanisms contributes to the transgenerational transfer of developmental resources. My most central of claims is that whereas the selective niche of niche construction theory is primarily used to explain the active role of the organism in its selective environment, DNC is meant to indicate the active role of the organism in its developmental environment. The paper highlights the differences between the construction of the selective and the developmental niche, and explores the overall significance of DNC for evolutionary theory.

  9. Exploring the isotopic niche: isotopic variance, physiological incorporation, and the temporal dynamics of foraging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Douglas Yeakel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Consumer foraging behaviors are dynamic, changing in response to prey availability, seasonality, competition, and even the consumer's physiological state. The isotopic composition of a consumer is a product of these factors as well as the isotopic `landscape' of its prey, i.e. the isotopic mixing space. Stable isotope mixing models are used to back-calculate the most likely proportional contribution of a set of prey to a consumer's diet based on their respective isotopic distributions, however they are disconnected from ecological process. Here we build a mechanistic framework that links the ecological and physiological processes of an individual consumer to the isotopic distribution that describes its diet, and ultimately to the isotopic composition of its own tissues, defined as its `isotopic niche’. By coupling these processes, we systematically investigate under what conditions the isotopic niche of a consumer changes as a function of both the geometric properties of its mixing space and foraging strategies that may be static or dynamic over time. Results of our derivations reveal general insight into the conditions impacting isotopic niche width as a function of consumer specialization on prey, as well as the consumer's ability to transition between diets over time. We show analytically that moderate specialization on isotopically unique prey can serve to maximize a consumer's isotopic niche width, while temporally dynamic diets will tend to result in peak isotopic variance during dietary transitions. We demonstrate the relevance of our theoretical findings by examining a marine system composed of nine invertebrate species commonly consumed by sea otters. In general, our analytical framework highlights the complex interplay of mixing space geometry and consumer dietary behavior in driving expansion and contraction of the isotopic niche. Because this approach is established on ecological mechanism, it is well-suited for enhancing the

  10. Lifespan Development of Neuromodulation of Adaptive Control and Motivation as an Ontogenetic Mechanism for Developmental Niche Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shu-Chen

    2013-01-01

    Instead of viewing organisms and individuals as passive recipients of their biological, ecological, and cultural inheritances, the developmental niche construction theory and the biocultural co-construction framework both emphasize that the individual's agency plays a key role in regulating how environmental and sociocontextual influences may…

  11. Families as Niches during Communism in East Germany: Consequences for Parent-Child Relationships during Times of Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis, Olaf

    2008-01-01

    This study brings together two main theoretical traditions in order to better understand how parent-child relationships are influenced by the societal conditions around the family. The concept of the ecological niche has been used to describe the way in which East German families dealt with government institutions during communism, while we used…

  12. Particularity "and" Integration: Understanding of Ecocultural Niches and Their Implication for Fostering Diversity within Christian Colleges and Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, J. Roberto

    2013-01-01

    This paper takes a theoretical look at the relationship between ethnic identity formation, in-group ethnic affiliations, and academic achievement for students of color. To this end, the study examines the process of ethnic identity development and considers how human ecology theory, in particularly the concept of "ecocultural niches,"…

  13. Astrocitary niches in human adult medulla oblongata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusu, Mugurel Constantin; Dermengiu, Dan; Loreto, Carla; Motoc, Andrei Gheorghe Marius; Pop, Elena

    2013-04-01

    Astrocytes are considered as neuromodulators of the CNS. Whereas experimental studies on astrocitary functions are gaining importance, the anatomy of the astrocitary niches in the human CNS has been overlooked. The study was performed on the brainstem of 10 adult cadavers. We aimed to determine astrocitary niches in the human medulla oblongata using immunohistochemical labeling with vimentin and also CD34 immunostaining to accurately diagnose associated microvessels. Niches rich in astrocytes were identified as follows: (a) the superficial layer of astrocytes, ventral and ventrolateral, in the rostral medulla oblongata; (b) the median raphe; (c) medullary nuclei: arcuate nucleus, area postrema, nucleus of the solitary tract; (d) the subependymal zone (SEZ, caudal medulla) and subventricular zone (SVZ, rostral medulla). Astrocytes were scarce in the ventrolateral medulla, and mostly present within the pyramidal tract and the olivary nucleus. Apart from the SEZ and SVZ, the brainstem niches of astrocytes mostly overlap those regions known to perform roles as central respiratory chemoreceptors. The astrocytes of the SEZ and SVZ, which are known as stem cell niches, are related to an increased microvascular density. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  14. Application of Equilibrium Partitioning Theory to Soil PAH Contamination (External Review Draft)

    Science.gov (United States)

    In March 2004, ORD's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) received a request from the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) to provide insight into the issue of whether equilibrium partitioning (EqP) techniques can be used to predict the toxicity of polycyclic arom...

  15. [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.

  16. Can you sequence ecology? Metagenomics of adaptive diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marx, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    Few areas of science have benefited more from the expansion in sequencing capability than the study of microbial communities. Can sequence data, besides providing hypotheses of the functions the members possess, detect the evolutionary and ecological processes that are occurring? For example, can we determine if a species is adapting to one niche, or if it is diversifying into multiple specialists that inhabit distinct niches? Fortunately, adaptation of populations in the laboratory can serve as a model to test our ability to make such inferences about evolution and ecology from sequencing. Even adaptation to a single niche can give rise to complex temporal dynamics due to the transient presence of multiple competing lineages. If there are multiple niches, this complexity is augmented by segmentation of the population into multiple specialists that can each continue to evolve within their own niche. For a known example of parallel diversification that occurred in the laboratory, sequencing data gave surprisingly few obvious, unambiguous signs of the ecological complexity present. Whereas experimental systems are open to direct experimentation to test hypotheses of selection or ecological interaction, the difficulty in "seeing ecology" from sequencing for even such a simple system suggests translation to communities like the human microbiome will be quite challenging. This will require both improved empirical methods to enhance the depth and time resolution for the relevant polymorphisms and novel statistical approaches to rigorously examine time-series data for signs of various evolutionary and ecological phenomena within and between species.

  17. Gentile statistics and restricted partitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The partition function of Gentile statistics also has the property that it nicely interpolates between the ... We now construct the partition function for such a system which also incorporates the property of interpolation ... As in [4], we however keep s arbitrary even though for s > 2 there are no quadratic. Hamiltonian systems.

  18. [Mesenchymal stroma cells and their niche].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, R K

    2013-11-01

    Stem cells reside in a highly specialized, complex microenvironment that is known as the stem cell niche. The stem cell niche can be described as an anatomically defined space where the stem cell is localized and nourished and stem cell quiescence, proliferation and differentiation are maintained. Tissue engineering aims to imitate the stem cell niche to (I) induce a directed differentiation, (II) maintain the self-renewal capacity or (III) find a regulated balance between self-renewal and differentiation. Mesenchymal stem or stromal cells (MSC) can differentiate in three-dimensional collagen gels into functional osteoblasts when subjected to a phosphate-rich cultivation medium. Furthermore, they acquire a prosynthetic, matrix remodeling, contractile phenotype. Medial artery calcification in patients with chronic kidney disease also proceeds through intramembranous ossification resulting from osteoblast-induced calcification of the collagen extracellular matrix. Thus, the influence of uremic cultivation conditions as a pathophysiological stimulus on MSC and endothelial cells was analyzed with special regards to matrix remodeling, vascularization and calcification. The results showed that BMP-2/4 mediated MSC (mal)differentiation into osteoblasts with acquired matrix remodeling phenotype and loss of proangiogenic capacity. These studies have led to the conclusion that uremia has detrimental effects on the stem cell niche and promotes the continuous calcification by osteogenic (mal)differentiation. In summary, recent studies have shown the conducting and regulating effect of the stem cell niche under physiological conditions that can be applied and mimicked for tissue engineering applications. However, under pathological conditions the stem cell niche can have detrimental effects on stem cell function and can promote disease progression.

  19. [Allelopathic effects of Artemisia sacrorum population in typical steppe based on niche theory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Xie, Yong-Sheng; Cheng, Ji-Min; She, Xiao-Yan

    2012-03-01

    By using modified Levins niche width index and Pianka niche overlap index, this paper analyzed the ecological competition between constructive and dominant species in a typical steppe. The stem- and leaf extracts from the constructive species (Artemisia sacrorum) were utilized to study their allelopathic potential on the seed germination and plant growth of the dominant species (Stipa bungeana, Thymus mongolicus, S. grandis, and Leymus secalinus), and the ecological position of A. sacrorum in the steppe succession. In the steppe, S. bungeana had the widest niche width (0.99), followed by T. mongolicus (0.94), A. sacrorum (0.82), S. grandis (0.76), and L. secalinus (0.73). The niche overlap value between A. sacrorum and S. bungeana, S. bungeana and T. mongolicus, T. mongolicus and S. grandis, and A. sacrorum and T. mongolicus was 0.90, 0.95, 0.94, and 0.86, respectively. The allelopathic effects of A. sacrorum extracts varied with their concentration. For the seed germination, root growth, and shoot growth of the dominant species, A. sacrorum extracts showed a trend of promoting at low concentrations and inhibiting at high concentrations. The extracts of A. sacrorum had a stronger promotion effect on the root growth of S. bungeana than on that of T. mongolicus, but a stronger inhibition effect on the shoot growth of T. mongolicus than on that of S. bungeana. Methanol extracts had stronger allelopathic effects than aqueous extracts. The high niche overlap between A. sacrorum and S. bungeana, and T. mongolicus and S. grandis indicated that the steppe community would continue succession to S. bungeana, while A. sacrorum population was only an important transitional stage during the succession. The allelopathic effect of A. sacrorum played a driving role in the succession process.

  20. Embodied Niche Construction in the Hominin Lineage: Semiotic Structure and Sustained Attention in Human Embodied Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Jonas Stutz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment.

  1. Shape and mechanics in thalattosuchian (Crocodylomorpha) skulls: implications for feeding behaviour and niche partitioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, S E; Angielczyk, K D; Rayfield, E J

    2009-01-01

    Variation in modern crocodilian and extinct thalattosuchian crocodylomorph skull morphology is only weakly correlated with phylogeny, implying that factors other than evolutionary proximity play important roles in determining crocodile skull shape. To further explore factors potentially influencing morphological differentiation within the Thalattosuchia, we examine teleosaurid and metriorhynchid skull shape variation within a mechanical and dietary context using a combination of finite element modelling and multivariate statistics. Patterns of stress distribution through the skull were found to be very similar in teleosaurid and metriorhynchid species, with stress peaking at the posterior constriction of the snout and around the enlarged supratemporal fenestrae. However, the magnitudes of stresses differ, with metriorhynchids having generally stronger skulls. As with modern crocodilians, a strong linear relationship between skull length and skull strength exists, with short-snouted morphotypes experiencing less stress through the skull than long-snouted morphotypes under equivalent loads. Selection on snout shape related to dietary preference was found to work in orthogonal directions in the two families: diet is associated with snout length in teleosaurids and with snout width in metriorhynchids, suggesting that teleosaurid skulls were adapted for speed of attack and metriorhynchid skulls for force production. Evidence also indicates that morphological and functional differentiation of the skull occurred as a result of dietary preference, allowing closely related sympatric species to exploit a limited environment. Comparisons of the mechanical performance of the thalattosuchian skull with extant crocodilians show that teleosaurids and long-snouted metriorhynchids exhibit stress magnitudes similar to or greater than those of long-snouted modern forms, whereas short-snouted metriorhynchids display stress magnitudes converging on those found in short-snouted modern species. As a result, teleosaurids and long-snouted metriorhynchids were probably restricted to lateral attacks of the head and neck, but short-snouted metriorhynchids may have been able to employ the grasp and shake and/or ‘death roll’ feeding and foraging behaviours. PMID:19702868

  2. Resource partitioning along multiple niche axes drives functional diversity in parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam, Thomas C; Kelley, Megan; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-12-01

    The recent loss of key consumers to exploitation and habitat degradation has significantly altered community dynamics and ecosystem function across many ecosystems worldwide. Predicting the impacts of consumer losses requires knowing the level of functional diversity that exists within a consumer assemblage. In this study, we document functional diversity among nine species of parrotfishes on Caribbean coral reefs. Parrotfishes are key herbivores that facilitate the maintenance and recovery of coral-dominated reefs by controlling algae and provisioning space for the recruitment of corals. We observed large functional differences among two genera of parrotfishes that were driven by differences in diet. Fishes in the genus Scarus targeted filamentous algal turf assemblages, crustose coralline algae, and endolithic algae and avoided macroalgae, while fishes in the genus Sparisoma preferentially targeted macroalgae. However, species with similar diets were dissimilar in other attributes, including the habitats they frequented, the types of substrate they fed from, and the spatial scale at which they foraged. These differences indicate that species that appear to be functionally redundant when looking at diet alone exhibit high levels of complementarity when we consider multiple functional traits. By identifying key functional differences among parrotfishes, we provide critical information needed to manage parrotfishes to enhance the resilience of coral-dominated reefs and reverse phase shifts on algal-dominated reefs throughout the wider Caribbean. Further, our study provides a framework for predicting the impacts of consumer losses in other species rich ecosystems.

  3. Stable isotopes, niche partitioning and the paucity of elasmosaur remains in the Maastrichtian type area

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulp, Anne S.; Janssen, Renée; Van Baal, Remy R.; Jagt, John W M; Mulder, Eric W A; Vonhof, Hubert B.

    2017-01-01

    Remains of elasmosaurid plesiosaurs are exceedingly rare in the type-Maastrichtian strata (Late Cretaceous, southeast Netherlands and northeast Belgium), in stark contrast to relatively common skeletal remains of mosasaurs. Here, we present an analysis of δ13C stable isotope values for tooth enamel

  4. A practioner's view on Strategic Niche Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mourik, R.; Raven, R.P.J.M.

    2006-11-01

    Strategic Niche Management (SNM) is a tool to support the societal introduction of radical sustainable innovations. However, it has been mainly used in retrospective to analyse historical case studies. This report discusses SNM from a practioner's perspective with the main aim to articulate questions that should be addressed for translating SNM from an ex-post to an ex-ante tool. The main conclusion is that an SNM tool should focus on the level of 'niches' rather than single projects, i.e. SNM should aim to support (program) managers who aim at orchestrating the interaction between multiple experiments

  5. The making of an immigrant niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldinger, R

    1994-01-01

    "This article speaks to the conceptual and methodological issues in research on the making of an immigrant niche through a case study of immigrant professionals in New York City government." The author argues that "the growth of this immigrant niche resulted from changes in the relative supply of native workers and in the structure of employment, which opened the bureaucracy to immigrants and reduced native/immigrant competition. These shifts opened hiring portals; given the advantages of network hiring for workers and managers, and an immigrant propensity for government employment, network recruitment led to a rapid buildup in immigrant ranks." excerpt

  6. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  7. Habitat degradation may affect niche segregation patterns in lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelegrin, N.; Chani, J. M.; Echevarria, A. L.; Bucher, E. H.

    2013-08-01

    Lizards partition resources in three main niche dimensions: time, space and food. Activity time and microhabitat use are strongly influenced by thermal environment, and may differ between species according to thermal requirements and tolerance. As thermal characteristics are influenced by habitat structure, microhabitat use and activity of lizards can change in disturbed habitats. We compared activity and microhabitat use of two abundant lizard species of the Semi-arid Chaco of Argentina between a restored and a highly degraded Chaco forest, to determine how habitat degradation affects lizard segregation in time and space, hypothesizing that as activity and microhabitat use of lizards are related to habitat structure, activity and microhabitat use of individual species can be altered in degraded habitats, thus changing segregation patterns between them. Activity changed from an overlapped pattern in a restored forest to a segregated pattern in a degraded forest. A similar trend was observed for microhabitat use, although to a less extent. No correlation was found between air temperature and lizard activity, but lizard activity varied along the day and among sites. Contrary to what was believed, activity patterns of neotropical diurnal lizards are not fixed, but affected by multiple factors related to habitat structure and possibly to interspecific interactions. Changes in activity patterns and microhabitat use in degraded forests may have important implications when analyzing the effects of climate change on lizard species, due to synergistic effects.

  8. Ecological opportunity and the adaptive diversification of lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellborn, Gary A; Langerhans, R Brian

    2015-01-01

    The tenet that ecological opportunity drives adaptive diversification has been central to theories of speciation since Darwin, yet no widely accepted definition or mechanistic framework for the concept currently exists. We propose a definition for ecological opportunity that provides an explicit mechanism for its action. In our formulation, ecological opportunity refers to environmental conditions that both permit the persistence of a lineage within a community, as well as generate divergent natural selection within that lineage. Thus, ecological opportunity arises from two fundamental elements: (1) niche availability, the ability of a population with a phenotype previously absent from a community to persist within that community and (2) niche discordance, the diversifying selection generated by the adaptive mismatch between a population's niche-related traits and the newly encountered ecological conditions. Evolutionary response to ecological opportunity is primarily governed by (1) spatiotemporal structure of ecological opportunity, which influences dynamics of selection and development of reproductive isolation and (2) diversification potential, the biological properties of a lineage that determine its capacity to diversify. Diversification under ecological opportunity proceeds as an increase in niche breadth, development of intraspecific ecotypes, speciation, and additional cycles of diversification that may themselves be triggered by speciation. Extensive ecological opportunity may exist in depauperate communities, but it is unclear whether ecological opportunity abates in species-rich communities. Because ecological opportunity should generally increase during times of rapid and multifarious environmental change, human activities may currently be generating elevated ecological opportunity - but so far little work has directly addressed this topic. Our framework highlights the need for greater synthesis of community ecology and evolutionary biology, unifying

  9. ECRB ALCOVE AND NICHE GROUND SUPPORT ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.W. Keifer

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of the analysis is to provide design bases for Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) alcove and niche ground support drawings. The objective is to evaluate the ESF Alcove Ground Support Analysis (Ref 5.1) to determine if the calculations technically bound the ECRB alcoves and to address specific differences in the conditions and constraints

  10. Development of a laboratory niche Web site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimenstein, Izak B; Dimenstein, Simon I

    2013-10-01

    This technical note presents the development of a methodological laboratory niche Web site. The "Grossing Technology in Surgical Pathology" (www.grossing-technology.com) Web site is used as an example. Although common steps in creation of most Web sites are followed, there are particular requirements for structuring the template's menu on methodological laboratory Web sites. The "nested doll principle," in which one object is placed inside another, most adequately describes the methodological approach to laboratory Web site design. Fragmentation in presenting the Web site's material highlights the discrete parts of the laboratory procedure. An optimally minimal triad of components can be recommended for the creation of a laboratory niche Web site: a main set of media, a blog, and an ancillary component (host, contact, and links). The inclusion of a blog makes the Web site a dynamic forum for professional communication. By forming links and portals, cloud computing opens opportunities for connecting a niche Web site with other Web sites and professional organizations. As an additional source of information exchange, methodological laboratory niche Web sites are destined to parallel both traditional and new forms, such as books, journals, seminars, webinars, and internal educational materials. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Niche construction and the evolution of leadership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spisak, B.R.; O'Brien, M.; Nicholson, N.; van Vugt, M.

    2015-01-01

    We use the concept of niche construction - the process whereby individuals, through their activities, interactions, and choices, modify their own and each other's environments - as an example of how biological evolution and cultural evolution interacted to form an integrative foundation of modern

  12. Niche Marketing Potentials for Farm Entrepreneurs in Nigeria https ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    . Niche marketing involves targetting a product or service to a small but specific well ... Table 1: Examples of possible niche markets for entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Farm Business .... Concepts, Principles and Decisions, 2nd Edition. Afritowers ...

  13. Bone Marrow Vascular Niche: Home for Hematopoietic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ningning He

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Though discovered later than osteoblastic niche, vascular niche has been regarded as an alternative indispensable niche operating regulation on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs. As significant progresses gained on this type niche, it is gradually clear that the main work of vascular niche is undertaking to support hematopoiesis. However, compared to what have been defined in the mechanisms through which the osteoblastic niche regulates hematopoiesis, we know less in vascular niche. In this review, based on research data hitherto we will focus on component foundation and various functions of vascular niche that guarantee the normal hematopoiesis process within bone marrow microenvironments. And the possible pathways raised by various research results through which this environment undergoes its function will be discussed as well.

  14. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe: the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea G. Castillo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco (Lama guanicoe, to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species (L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe. Methods We used maximum entropy to model lineage’s climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. Results We show that: (a the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Discussion Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution

  15. Incentives for partitioning, revisited

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cloninger, M.O.

    1980-01-01

    The incentives for separating and eliminating various elements from radioactive waste prior to final geologic disposal were investigated. Exposure pathways to humans were defined, and potential radiation doses to an individual living within the region of influence of the underground storage site were calculated. The assumed radionuclide source was 1/5 of the accumulated high-level waste from the US nuclear power economy through the year 2000. The repository containing the waste was assumed to be located in a reference salt site geology. The study required numerous assumptions concerning the transport of radioactivity from the geologic storage site to man. The assumptions used maximized the estimated potential radiation doses, particularly in the case of the intrusion water well scenario, where hydrologic flow field dispersion effects were ignored. Thus, incentives for removing elements from the waste tended to be maximized. Incentives were also maximized by assuming that elements removed from the waste could be eliminated from the earth without risk. The results of the study indicate that for reasonable disposal conditions, incentives for partitioning any elements from the waste in order to minimize the risk to humans are marginal at best

  16. Present status of partitioning developments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakamura, Haruto; Kubota, Masumitsu; Tachimori, Shoichi

    1978-09-01

    Evolution and development of the concept of partitioning of high-level liquid wastes (HLLW) in nuclear fuel reprocessing are reviewed historically from the early phase of separating useful radioisotopes from HLLW to the recent phase of eliminating hazardous nuclides such as transuranium elements for safe waste disposal. Since the criteria in determining the nuclides for elimination and the respective decontamination factors are important in the strategy of partitioning, current views on the criteria are summarized. As elimination of the transuranium is most significant in the partitioning, various methods available of separating them from fission products are evaluated. (auth.)

  17. Ten Niche Strategies To Commercialize New High-Tech Products

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ortt, J.R.; Langley, D.J.; Pals, N.

    2013-01-01

    There are serious gaps in the scientific literature relating to niche strategies as a means for commercializing new high-tech products. In particular, there is no clarity about what types of niche strategies can be distinguished, or how a niche strategy can be selected to suit a certain ituation. In

  18. Resource partitioning by evergreen and deciduous species in a tropical dry forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez-Yépiz, Juan C; Búrquez, Alberto; Martínez-Yrízar, Angelina; Teece, Mark; Yépez, Enrico A; Dovciak, Martin

    2017-02-01

    Niche differentiation can lead to coexistence of plant species by partitioning limiting resources. Light partitioning promotes niche differentiation in tropical humid forests, but it is unclear how niche partitioning occurs in tropical dry forests where both light and soil resources can be limiting. We studied the adult niche of four dominant evergreen (cycad, palm) and drought-deciduous (legume, oak) species co-occurring along environmental gradients. We analyzed light intensity and soil fertility effects on key functional traits related to plant carbon and water economy, how these traits determine species' functional strategies, and how these strategies relate to relative species abundance and spatial patterns. Light intensity was negatively associated with a key trait linked to plant water economy (leaf δ 13 C, a proxy for long-term water-use efficiency-WUE), while soil fertility was negatively associated with a key trait for plant carbon economy (LNC, leaf nitrogen content). Evergreens were highly sclerophyllous and displayed an efficient water economy but poor carbon economy, in agreement with a conservative resource-use strategy (i.e., high WUE but low LNC, photosynthetic rates and stature). Conversely, deciduous species, with an efficient carbon economy but poor water economy, exhibited an exploitative resource-use strategy (i.e., high LNC, photosynthetic rates and stature, but low WUE). Evergreen and deciduous species segregated spatially, particularly at fine-scales, as expected for species with different resource-use strategies. The efficient water economy of evergreens was related to their higher relative abundance, suggesting a functional advantage against drought-deciduous species in water-limited environments within seasonally dry tropical forests.

  19. Biodiversity and trophic ecology of hydrothermal vent fauna associated with tubeworm assemblages on the Juan de Fuca Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lelièvre, Yann; Sarrazin, Jozée; Marticorena, Julien; Schaal, Gauthier; Day, Thomas; Legendre, Pierre; Hourdez, Stéphane; Matabos, Marjolaine

    2018-05-01

    Hydrothermal vent sites along the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the north-east Pacific host dense populations of Ridgeia piscesae tubeworms that promote habitat heterogeneity and local diversity. A detailed description of the biodiversity and community structure is needed to help understand the ecological processes that underlie the distribution and dynamics of deep-sea vent communities. Here, we assessed the composition, abundance, diversity and trophic structure of six tubeworm samples, corresponding to different successional stages, collected on the Grotto hydrothermal edifice (Main Endeavour Field, Juan de Fuca Ridge) at 2196 m depth. Including R. piscesae, a total of 36 macrofaunal taxa were identified to the species level. Although polychaetes made up the most diverse taxon, faunal densities were dominated by gastropods. Most tubeworm aggregations were numerically dominated by the gastropods Lepetodrilus fucensis and Depressigyra globulus and polychaete Amphisamytha carldarei. The highest diversities were found in tubeworm aggregations characterised by the longest tubes (18.5 ± 3.3 cm). The high biomass of grazers and high resource partitioning at a small scale illustrates the importance of the diversity of free-living microbial communities in the maintenance of food webs. Although symbiont-bearing invertebrates R. piscesae represented a large part of the total biomass, the low number of specialised predators on this potential food source suggests that its primary role lies in community structuring. Vent food webs did not appear to be organised through predator-prey relationships. For example, although trophic structure complexity increased with ecological successional stages, showing a higher number of predators in the last stages, the food web structure itself did not change across assemblages. We suggest that environmental gradients provided by the biogenic structure of tubeworm bushes generate a multitude of ecological niches and contribute to the partitioning

  20. Hawk: A Runtime System for Partitioned Objects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ben Hassen, S.; Bal, H.E.; Tanenbaum, A.S.

    1997-01-01

    Hawk is a language-independent runtime system for writing data-parallel programs using partitioned objects. A partitioned object is a multidimensional array of elements that can be partitioned and distributed by the programmer. The Hawk runtime system uses the user-defined partitioning of objects

  1. Species are not most abundant in the centre of their geographic range or climatic niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallas, Tad; Decker, Robin R; Hastings, Alan

    2017-12-01

    The pervasive idea that species should be most abundant in the centre of their geographic range or centre of their climatic niche is a key assumption in many existing ecological hypotheses and has been declared a general macroecological rule. However, empirical support for decreasing population abundance with increasing distance from geographic range or climatic niche centre (distance-abundance relationships) remains fairly weak. We examine over 1400 bird, mammal, fish and tree species to provide a thorough test of distance-abundance relationships, and their associations with species traits and phylogenetic relationships. We failed to detect consistent distance-abundance relationships, and found no association between distance-abundance slope and species traits or phylogenetic relatedness. Together, our analyses suggest that distance-abundance relationships may be rare, difficult to detect, or are an oversimplification of the complex biogeographical forces that determine species spatial abundance patterns. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Professional Niche Differentiation: Understanding Dai (Traditional Midwife Survival in Rural Rajasthan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharmeen Azher

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Prescribing medicine, providing contraception, delivering babies – although we may turn to physicians, rural Rajasthani women turn to Barefoot Doctors out of necessity. Such care is available courtesy of the Barefoot College, a pioneering NGO that transforms the skills of the illiterate poor into local infrastructure. Barefoot Doctors are innovative because of their origins as dais (traditional midwives; once abundant across South Asia, dais are mostly extinct due to government/NGO interventions emphasizing “modernity”, like the Accredited Social Health Activist program. Why, then, have dais survived as Barefoot Doctors when they are extinct elsewhere? Ecological niche differentiation refers to when competing species successfully coexist; one species adapts to fulfill another role. Using over fifty interviews with stakeholders, I explain the persistence of Barefoot Doctors as health resources using “professional niche differentiation”. Barefoot Doctors exemplify how health infrastructure can be sustainable in resource-poor settings when created according to local needs and ideologies.

  3. Collision sensitive niche profile of the worst affected bird-groups at wind turbine structures in the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, Anushika; Dürr, Tobias; Klenke, Reinhard A; Henle, Klaus

    2018-02-28

    Biodiversity-related impacts at wind energy facilities have increasingly become a cause of conservation concern, central issue being the collision of birds. Utilizing spatial information of their carcass detections at wind turbines (WTs), we quantified the detections in relation to the metric distances of the respective turbines to different land-use types. We used ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA) to identify combinations of land-use distances with respect to the spatial allocation of WTs that led to higher proportions of collisions among the worst affected bird-groups: Buntings, Crows, Larks, Pigeons and Raptors. We also assessed their respective similarities to the collision phenomenon by checking for overlaps amongst their distance combinations. Crows and Larks showed the narrowest "collision sensitive niche"; a part of ecological niche under higher risk of collisions with turbines, followed by that of Buntings and Pigeons. Raptors had the broadest niche showing significant overlaps with the collision sensitive niches of the other groups. This can probably be attributed to their larger home range combined with their hunting affinities to open landscapes. Identification of collision sensitive niches could be a powerful tool for landscape planning; helping avoid regions with higher risks of collisions for turbine allocations and thus protecting sensitive bird populations.

  4. Mammalian niche conservation through deep time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available Climate change alters species distributions, causing plants and animals to move north or to higher elevations with current warming. Bioclimatic models predict species distributions based on extant realized niches and assume niche conservation. Here, we evaluate if proxies for niches (i.e., range areas are conserved at the family level through deep time, from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. We analyze the occurrence of all mammalian families in the continental USA, calculating range area, percent range area occupied, range area rank, and range polygon centroids during each epoch. Percent range area occupied significantly increases from the Oligocene to the Miocene and again from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene; however, mammalian families maintain statistical concordance between rank orders across time. Families with greater taxonomic diversity occupy a greater percent of available range area during each epoch and net changes in taxonomic diversity are significantly positively related to changes in percent range area occupied from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. Furthermore, gains and losses in generic and species diversity are remarkably consistent with ~2.3 species gained per generic increase. Centroids demonstrate southeastern shifts from the Eocene through the Pleistocene that may correspond to major environmental events and/or climate changes during the Cenozoic. These results demonstrate range conservation at the family level and support the idea that niche conservation at higher taxonomic levels operates over deep time and may be controlled by life history traits. Furthermore, families containing megafauna and/or terminal Pleistocene extinction victims do not incur significantly greater declines in range area rank than families containing only smaller taxa and/or only survivors, from the Pliocene to Pleistocene. Collectively, these data evince the resilience of families to climate and/or environmental change in deep time, the absence of

  5. Ecological release in lizard assemblages of neotropical savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesquita, Daniel Oliveira; Colli, Guarino Rinaldi; Vitt, Laurie J

    2007-08-01

    We compare lizard assemblages of Cerrado and Amazonian savannas to test the ecological release hypothesis, which predicts that niche dimensions and abundance should be greater in species inhabiting isolated habitat patches with low species richness (Amazonian savannas and isolated Cerrado patches) when compared with nonisolated areas in central Cerrado with greater species richness. We calculated microhabitat and diet niche breadths with data from 14 isolated Cerrado patches and Amazon savanna areas and six central Cerrado populations. Morphological data were compared using average Euclidean distances, and lizard abundance was estimated using the number of lizards captured in pitfall traps over an extended time period. We found no evidence of ecological release with respect to microhabitat use, suggesting that historical factors are better microhabitat predictors than ecological factors. However, data from individual stomachs indicate that ecological release occurs in these areas for one species (Tropidurus) but not others (Ameiva ameiva, Anolis, Cnemidophorus, and Micrablepharus), suggesting that evolutionary lineages respond differently to environmental pressures, with tropidurids being more affected by ecological factors than polychrotids, teiids, and gymnophthalmids. We found no evidence that ecological release occurs in these areas using morphological data. Based on abundance data, our results indicate that the ecological release (density compensation) hypothesis is not supported: lizard species are not more abundant in isolated areas than in nonisolated areas. The ecology of species is highly conservative, varying little from assemblage to assemblage. Nevertheless, increases in niche breadth for some species indicate that ecological release occurs as well.

  6. Human niche, human behaviour, human nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin

    2017-10-06

    The concept of a 'human nature' or 'human natures' retains a central role in theorizing about the human experience. In Homo sapiens it is clear that we have a suite of capacities generated via our evolutionary past, and present, and a flexible capacity to create and sustain particular kinds of cultures and to be shaped by them. Regardless of whether we label these capacities 'human natures' or not, humans occupy a distinctive niche and an evolutionary approach to examining it is critical. At present we are faced with a few different narratives as to exactly what such an evolutionary approach entails. There is a need for a robust and dynamic theoretical toolkit in order to develop a richer, and more nuanced, understanding of the cognitively sophisticated genus Homo and the diverse sorts of niches humans constructed and occupied across the Pleistocene, Holocene, and into the Anthropocene. Here I review current evolutionary approaches to 'human nature', arguing that we benefit from re-framing our investigations via the concept of the human niche and in the context of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES). While not a replacement of standard evolutionary approaches, this is an expansion and enhancement of our toolkit. I offer brief examples from human evolution in support of these assertions.

  7. Making Blood: The Haematopoietic Niche throughout Ontogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad A. Al-Drees

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Approximately one-quarter of all cells in the adult human body are blood cells. The haematopoietic system is therefore massive in scale and requires exquisite regulation to be maintained under homeostatic conditions. It must also be able to respond when needed, such as during infection or following blood loss, to produce more blood cells. Supporting cells serve to maintain haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells during homeostatic and pathological conditions. This coalition of supportive cell types, organised in specific tissues, is termed the haematopoietic niche. Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells are generated in a number of distinct locations during mammalian embryogenesis. These stem and progenitor cells migrate to a variety of anatomical locations through the conceptus until finally homing to the bone marrow shortly before birth. Under stress, extramedullary haematopoiesis can take place in regions that are typically lacking in blood-producing activity. Our aim in this review is to examine blood production throughout the embryo and adult, under normal and pathological conditions, to identify commonalities and distinctions between each niche. A clearer understanding of the mechanism underlying each haematopoietic niche can be applied to improving ex vivo cultures of haematopoietic stem cells and potentially lead to new directions for transplantation medicine.

  8. How do habitat filtering and niche conservatism affect community composition at different taxonomic resolutions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz, François; Ramesh, B R; Couteron, Pierre

    2014-08-01

    Understanding how local species assembly depends on the regional biogeographic and environmental context is a challenging task in community ecology. In spatially implicit neutral models, a single immigration parameter, I(k), represents the flux of immigrants from a regional pool that compete with local offspring for establishment in communities. This flux counterbalances the effect of local stochastic extinctions to maintain local species diversity. If some species within the regional pool are not adapted to the local environment (habitat filtering), the migrant flux is reduced beyond that of the neutral model, such that habitat filtering influences the value of I(k) in non-neutral situations. Here, we propose a novel model in which immigrants from the regional pool are filtered according to their habitat preferences and the local environment, while taxa potentially retain habitat preferences from their ancestors (niche conservatism). Using both analytical reasoning and simulations, we demonstrate that I(k) is expected to be constant when estimated based on the community composition at several taxonomic levels, not only under neutral assumptions, but also when habitat filtering occurs, unless there is substantial niche conservatism. In the latter case, I(k) is expected to decrease when estimated based on the composition at species to genus and family levels, thus allowing a signature of niche conservatism to be detected by simply comparing I(k) estimates across taxonomic levels. We applied this approach to three rain forest data sets from South India and Central America and found no significant signature of niche conservatism when I(k) was compared across taxonomic levels, except at the family level in South India. We further observed more limited immigration in South Indian forests, supporting the hypothesis of a greater impact of habitat filtering and heterogeneity there than in Central America. Our results highlight the relevance of studying variations of I

  9. Malaria in Africa: vector species' niche models and relative risk maps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Moffett

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available A central theoretical goal of epidemiology is the construction of spatial models of disease prevalence and risk, including maps for the potential spread of infectious disease. We provide three continent-wide maps representing the relative risk of malaria in Africa based on ecological niche models of vector species and risk analysis at a spatial resolution of 1 arc-minute (9 185 275 cells of approximately 4 sq km. Using a maximum entropy method we construct niche models for 10 malaria vector species based on species occurrence records since 1980, 19 climatic variables, altitude, and land cover data (in 14 classes. For seven vectors (Anopheles coustani, A. funestus, A. melas, A. merus, A. moucheti, A. nili, and A. paludis these are the first published niche models. We predict that Central Africa has poor habitat for both A. arabiensis and A. gambiae, and that A. quadriannulatus and A. arabiensis have restricted habitats in Southern Africa as claimed by field experts in criticism of previous models. The results of the niche models are incorporated into three relative risk models which assume different ecological interactions between vector species. The "additive" model assumes no interaction; the "minimax" model assumes maximum relative risk due to any vector in a cell; and the "competitive exclusion" model assumes the relative risk that arises from the most suitable vector for a cell. All models include variable anthrophilicity of vectors and spatial variation in human population density. Relative risk maps are produced from these models. All models predict that human population density is the critical factor determining malaria risk. Our method of constructing relative risk maps is equally general. We discuss the limits of the relative risk maps reported here, and the additional data that are required for their improvement. The protocol developed here can be used for any other vector-borne disease.

  10. Classification algorithms using adaptive partitioning

    KAUST Repository

    Binev, Peter; Cohen, Albert; Dahmen, Wolfgang; DeVore, Ronald

    2014-01-01

    © 2014 Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Algorithms for binary classification based on adaptive tree partitioning are formulated and analyzed for both their risk performance and their friendliness to numerical implementation. The algorithms can be viewed as generating a set approximation to the Bayes set and thus fall into the general category of set estimators. In contrast with the most studied tree-based algorithms, which utilize piecewise constant approximation on the generated partition [IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory 52 (2006) 1335.1353; Mach. Learn. 66 (2007) 209.242], we consider decorated trees, which allow us to derive higher order methods. Convergence rates for these methods are derived in terms the parameter - of margin conditions and a rate s of best approximation of the Bayes set by decorated adaptive partitions. They can also be expressed in terms of the Besov smoothness β of the regression function that governs its approximability by piecewise polynomials on adaptive partition. The execution of the algorithms does not require knowledge of the smoothness or margin conditions. Besov smoothness conditions are weaker than the commonly used Holder conditions, which govern approximation by nonadaptive partitions, and therefore for a given regression function can result in a higher rate of convergence. This in turn mitigates the compatibility conflict between smoothness and margin parameters.

  11. Classification algorithms using adaptive partitioning

    KAUST Repository

    Binev, Peter

    2014-12-01

    © 2014 Institute of Mathematical Statistics. Algorithms for binary classification based on adaptive tree partitioning are formulated and analyzed for both their risk performance and their friendliness to numerical implementation. The algorithms can be viewed as generating a set approximation to the Bayes set and thus fall into the general category of set estimators. In contrast with the most studied tree-based algorithms, which utilize piecewise constant approximation on the generated partition [IEEE Trans. Inform. Theory 52 (2006) 1335.1353; Mach. Learn. 66 (2007) 209.242], we consider decorated trees, which allow us to derive higher order methods. Convergence rates for these methods are derived in terms the parameter - of margin conditions and a rate s of best approximation of the Bayes set by decorated adaptive partitions. They can also be expressed in terms of the Besov smoothness β of the regression function that governs its approximability by piecewise polynomials on adaptive partition. The execution of the algorithms does not require knowledge of the smoothness or margin conditions. Besov smoothness conditions are weaker than the commonly used Holder conditions, which govern approximation by nonadaptive partitions, and therefore for a given regression function can result in a higher rate of convergence. This in turn mitigates the compatibility conflict between smoothness and margin parameters.

  12. Niche convergence suggests functionality of the nocturnal fovea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillian L. Moritz

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The fovea is a declivity of the retinal surface associated with maximum visual acuity. Foveae are widespread across vertebrates, but among mammals they are restricted to haplorhine primates (tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans, which are primarily diurnal. Thus primates have long contributed to the prevailing view that the fovea is a functional adaptation to diurnal color vision. The foveae of nocturnal taxa, such as tarsiers, are widely interpreted as vestigial traits and therefore evidence of a diurnal ancestry. This enduring premise has been central to adaptive hypotheses on the origins of anthropoid primates; however, the question of whether the fovea of tarsiers is a functionless anachronism or a nocturnal adaptation remains open. To address this question, we focused on the diets of tarsiers (Tarsius and scops owls (Otus, two taxa united by numerous anatomical homoplasies, including foveate vision. A functional interpretation of these homoplasies predicts dietary convergence and competition. This prediction can be tested with an analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in tissues, which integrate dietary information. As predicted, the isotopic niches of Tarsius and Otus overlapped. In both Borneo and the Philippines, the δ13C values were indistinguishable, whereas the δ15N values of Otus were marginally higher than those of Tarsius. Our results indicate that both diets consisted mainly of ground-dwelling prey and raise the possibility of some resource partitioning. Taken together, our isotopic analysis supports a functional interpretation of the many homoplasies shared by tarsiers and scops owls, including a retinal fovea. We suggest that the fovea might function similarly in tarsiers and scops owls by calibrating the auditory localization pathway. The integration of auditory localization and visual fixation during prey detection and acquisition might be critical at low light levels.

  13. Assessing the likely effectiveness of multispecies management for imperiled desert fishes with niche overlap analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laub, P; Budy, Phaedra

    2015-01-01

    A critical decision in species conservation is whether to target individual species or a complex of ecologically similar species. Management of multispecies complexes is likely to be most effective when species share similar distributions, threats, and response to threats. We used niche overlap analysis to assess ecological similarity of 3 sensitive desert fish species currently managed as an ecological complex. We measured the amount of shared distribution of multiple habitat and life history parameters between each pair of species. Habitat use and multiple life history parameters, including maximum body length, spawning temperature, and longevity, differed significantly among the 3 species. The differences in habitat use and life history parameters among the species suggest they are likely to respond differently to similar threats and that most management actions will not benefit all 3 species equally. Habitat restoration, frequency of stream dewatering, non-native species control, and management efforts in tributaries versus main stem rivers are all likely to impact each of the species differently. Our results demonstrate that niche overlap analysis provides a powerful tool for assessing the likely effectiveness of multispecies versus single-species conservation plans.

  14. Potential for spread of the white-nose fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) in the Americas: use of Maxent and NicheA to assure strict model transference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Luis E; Lira-Noriega, Andrés; Medina-Vogel, Gonzalo; Townsend Peterson, A

    2014-11-01

    Emerging infectious diseases can present serious threats to wildlife, even to the point of causing extinction. Whitenose fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) is causing an epizootic in bats that is expanding rapidly, both geographically and taxonomically. Little is known of the ecology and distributional potential of this intercontinental pathogen. We address this gap via ecological niche models that characterise coarse resolution niche differences between fungus populations on different continents, identifying areas potentially vulnerable to infection in South America. Here we explore a novel approach to identifying areas of potential distribution across novel geographic regions that avoids perilious extrapolation into novel environments. European and North American fungus populations show differential use of environmental space, but rather than niche differentiation, we find that changes are best attributed to climatic differences between the two continents. Suitable areas for spread of the pathogen were identified across southern South America; however caution should be taken to avoid underestimating the potential for spread of this pathogen in South America.

  15. Analysis of load balance in hybrid partitioning | Talib | Botswana ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In information retrieval systems, there are three types of index partitioning schemes - term partitioning, document partitioning, and hybrid partitioning. The hybrid-partitioning scheme combines both term and document partitioning schemes. Term partitioning provides high concurrency, which means that queries can be ...

  16. Citizen-science, Geoethics and Human Niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohle, Martin

    2017-04-01

    The anthropogenic biogeosphere or 'human niche' is the intersection of the biogeosphere and the sphere of human activities of social, economic, cultural and political nature. The application case for geoethics, namely "appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system" [1], is about niche building. Geoethics is about the conduct of people and geoscientists, respectively their ordinary lifestyles and professional activities. Geoscience professionals notice the diverse economic, social and cultural living conditions of people, and the application cases of geosciences mirror the diversity of the global social sphere. Subsequently it is argued: A) when considering the ethical dimensions of global niche building then geosciences should feature 'citizen geoscience'; and B) when considering the functioning of a knowledge-based society under conditions of anthropogenic global change then 'citizen geoscience' facilitates applying that knowledge base. (A) Regarding 'niche building': The design of production systems and consumption patterns embeds geoscience know-how and relates it to the everyday life. Any citizen's activities purposefully interconnect to the biogeosphere for well-being, care-taking, and reproduction, although habitually without involving a geoscientist in professional capacity. In that implicit manner the everyday behaviours and practices of people influence Earth system dynamic. This renders their inherent geoscience know-how a public good as it makes their ignorance a public risk. A comfortable human niche for billions of people requires a global biogeosphere that is disrupted little by citizens' activities and exposes them to hazards that can be tamed. Quite the reverse, anthropogenic global change will disturb living conditions for many citizen. Much geoscience know-how will have to be deployed to tame disturbances in a socially sustainable manner. Sustainability in turn needs involvement of citizens in

  17. Niche of harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens revealed through ecogenomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gobler, C J; Grigoriev, I V; Berry, D L; Dyhrman, S T; Wilhelm, S W; Salamov, A; Lobanov, A V; Zhang, Y; Collier, J L; Wurch, L L; Kustka, A B; Dill, B D; Shah, M; VerBerkomes, N C; Kuo, A; Terry, A; Pangilinan, J; Lindquist, E A; Lucas, S; Paulsen, I; Hattenrath-Lehmann, T K; Talmage, S; Walker, E A; Koch, F; Burson, A M; Marcoval, M A; Tang, Y; LeCleir, G R; Coyne, K J; Berg, G M; Bertrand, E M; Saito, M A; Gladyshev, V N

    2011-03-02

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause significant economic and ecological damage worldwide. Despite considerable efforts, a comprehensive understanding of the factors that promote these blooms has been lacking because the biochemical pathways that facilitate their dominance relative to other phytoplankton within specific environments have not been identified. Here, biogeochemical measurements demonstrated that the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens outcompeted co-occurring phytoplankton in estuaries with elevated levels of dissolved organic matter and turbidity and low levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen. We subsequently sequenced the first HAB genome (A. anophagefferens) and compared its gene complement to those of six competing phytoplankton species identified via metaproteomics. Using an ecogenomic approach, we specifically focused on the gene sets that may facilitate dominance within the environmental conditions present during blooms. A. anophagefferens possesses a larger genome (56 mbp) and more genes involved in light harvesting, organic carbon and nitrogen utilization, and encoding selenium- and metal-requiring enzymes than competing phytoplankton. Genes for the synthesis of microbial deterrents likely permit the proliferation of this species with reduced mortality losses during blooms. Collectively, these findings suggest that anthropogenic activities resulting in elevated levels of turbidity, organic matter, and metals have opened a niche within coastal ecosystems that ideally suits the unique genetic capacity of A. anophagefferens and thus has facilitated the proliferation of this and potentially other HABs.

  18. Niche of harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens revealed through ecogenomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grigoriev, Igor; Gobler, Christopher; Salamov, Asaf; Kuo, Alan; Terry, Astrid; Pangillian, Jasmyn; Lindquist, Erika; Lucas, Susan; Berry, Dianna; Dyhrman, Sonya; Wilhelm, Steven; Lobanov, Alexei; Zhang, Yan; Collier, Jackie; Wurch, Louie; Kusta, Adam; Dill, Brian; Shsh, Manesh; VerBerkmoes, Nathan; Paulsen, Ian; Hattenrath-Lehmann, Theresa; Talmage, Stephanie; Walker, Elyse; Koch, Florian; Burson, Amanda; Marcoval, Maria; Tang, Yin-Zhong; LeCleir, Gary; Coyne, Kathyrn; Berg, Gry; Bertrand, Erin; Saito, Mak; Gladyshev, Vadim

    2011-02-18

    Harmful algal blooms (HABs) cause significant economic and ecological damage worldwide. Despite considerable efforts, a comprehensive understanding of the factors that promote these blooms has been lacking, because the biochemical pathways that facilitate their dominance relative to other phytoplankton within specific environments have not been identified. Here, biogeochemical measurements showed that the harmful alga Aureococcus anophagefferens outcompeted co-occurring phytoplankton in estuaries with elevated levels of dissolved organic matter and turbidity and low levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen. We subsequently sequenced the genome of A. anophagefferens and compared its gene complement with those of six competing phytoplankton species identified through metaproteomics. Using an ecogenomic approach, we specifically focused on gene sets that may facilitate dominance within the environmental conditions present during blooms. A. anophagefferens possesses a larger genome (56 Mbp) and has more genes involved in light harvesting, organic carbon and nitrogen use, and encoding selenium- and metal-requiring enzymes than competing phytoplankton. Genes for the synthesis of microbial deterrents likely permit the proliferation of this species, with reduced mortality losses during blooms. Collectively, these findings suggest that anthropogenic activities resulting in elevated levels of turbidity, organic matter, and metals have opened a niche within coastal ecosystems that ideally suits the unique genetic capacity of A. anophagefferens and thus, has facilitated the proliferation of this and potentially other HABs.

  19. Unveiling current Guanaco distribution in chile based upon niche structure of phylogeographic lineages: Andean puna to subpolar forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benito A González

    Full Text Available Niche description and differentiation at broad geographic scales have been recent major topics in ecology and evolution. Describing the environmental niche structure of sister taxa with known evolutionary trajectories stands out as a useful exercise in understanding niche requirements. Here we model the environmental niche structure and distribution of the recently resolved phylogeography of guanaco (Lama guanicoe lineages on the western slope of the southern Andes. Using a maximum entropy framework, field data, and information on climate, topography, human density, and vegetation cover, we identify differences between the two subspecies (L.g.cacsilensis, L.g.guanicoe and their intermediate-hybrid lineage, that most likely determine the distribution of this species. While aridity seems to be a major factor influencing the distribution at the species-level (annual precipitation <900 mm, we also document important differences in niche specificity for each subspecies, where distribution of Northern lineage is explained mainly by elevation (mean = 3,413 m and precipitation seasonality (mean = 161 mm, hybrid lineage by annual precipitation (mean = 139 mm, and Southern subspecies by annual precipitation (mean = 553 mm, precipitation seasonality (mean = 21 mm and grass cover (mean = 8.2%. Among lineages, we detected low levels of niche overlap: I (Similarity Index = 0.06 and D (Schoener's Similarity Index = 0.01; and higher levels when comparing Northern and Southern subspecies with hybrids lineage ( I = 0.32-0.10 and D = 0.12-0.03, respectively. This suggests that important ecological and/or evolutionary processes are shaping the niche of guanacos in Chile, producing discrepancies when comparing range distribution at the species-level (81,756 km(2 with lineages-level (65,321 km(2. The subspecies-specific description of niche structure is provided here based upon detailed spatial distribution of the lineages of guanacos in Chile. Such description

  20. Gentile statistics and restricted partitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In a recent paper (Tran et al, Ann. Phys. 311, 204 (2004)), some asymptotic number theoretical results on the partitioning of an integer were derived exploiting its connection to the quantum density of states of a many-particle system. We generalise these results to obtain an asymptotic formula for the restricted or coloured ...

  1. Monomial Crystals and Partition Crystals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingley, Peter

    2010-04-01

    Recently Fayers introduced a large family of combinatorial realizations of the fundamental crystal B(Λ0) for ^sln, where the vertices are indexed by certain partitions. He showed that special cases of this construction agree with the Misra-Miwa realization and with Berg's ladder crystal. Here we show that another special case is naturally isomorphic to a realization using Nakajima's monomial crystal.

  2. Hemisphere partition function and monodromy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erkinger, David; Knapp, Johanna [Institute for Theoretical Physics, TU Wien,Wiedner Hauptstrasse 8-10, 1040 Vienna (Austria)

    2017-05-29

    We discuss D-brane monodromies from the point of view of the gauged linear sigma model. We give a prescription on how to extract monodromy matrices directly from the hemisphere partition function. We illustrate this procedure by recomputing the monodromy matrices associated to one-parameter Calabi-Yau hypersurfaces in weighted projected space.

  3. Niche entrepreneurs in urban systems integration : On the role of individuals in niche formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pesch, U.; Vernay, A.L.; van Bueren, E.M.; Pandis Iveroth, S

    2017-01-01

    In many sustainable urban innovation projects, the efforts, endurance and enthusiasm of individuals at key positions are considered a crucial factor for success. This article studies the role of individual agency in sociotechnical niches by using Kingdon’s agenda-setting model. Although strategic

  4. Market niche analysis in the casino gaming industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dandurand, L

    1990-03-01

    This article discusses the nature of market niche analysis in the casino gaming industry. It presents four approaches for conducting market niche analysis. An an example of one approach, the Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study is used to identify a premium niche in the Las Vegas Slot Target Market. A detailed examination of the premium niche profile provides a description of the typical premium slot player. The description of the typical premium player leads to hypotheses regarding needs (the unique preference set) of the premium player. An analysis of the unique preference set suggests an appropriate enhanced marketing program.

  5. Allopatric distribution and diversification without niche shift in a bryophyte-feeding basal moth lineage (Lepidoptera: Micropterigidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imada, Yume; Kawakita, Atsushi; Kato, Makoto

    2011-10-22

    The Lepidoptera represent one of the most successful radiations of plant-feeding insects, which predominantly took place within angiosperms beginning in the Cretaceous period. Angiosperm colonization is thought to underlie the evolutionary success of the Lepidoptera because angiosperms provide an enormous range of niches for ecological speciation to take place. By contrast, the basal lepidopteran lineage, Micropterigidae, remained unassociated with angiosperms since Jurassic times but nevertheless achieved a modest diversity in the Japanese Archipelago. We explored the causes and processes of diversification of the Japanese micropterigid moths by performing molecular phylogenetic analysis and extensive ecological surveying. Phylogenetic analysis recovered a monophyletic group of approximately 25 East Asian endemic species that feed exclusively on the liverwort Conocephalum conicum, suggesting that niche shifts hardly played a role in their diversification. Consistent with the low flying ability of micropterigid moths, the distributions of the Conocephalum specialists are each localized and allopatric, indicating that speciation by geographical isolation has been the major process shaping the diversity of Japanese Micropterigidae. To our knowledge, this is the largest radiation of herbivorous insects that does not accompany any apparent niche differentiation. We suggest that the significance of non-ecological speciation during the diversification of the Lepidoptera is commonly underestimated.

  6. EXTENSION OF FORMULAS FOR PARTITION FUNCTIONS

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ladan et al.

    2Department of Mathematics, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. ... 2 + 1 + 1. = 1 + 1 + 1 + 1. Partition function ( ). Andrew and Erikson (2004) stated that the ..... Andrews, G.E., 1984, The Theory of Partitions, Cambridge ... Pure Appl. Math.

  7. Bifurcation into functional niches in adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Justin S; Adami, Christoph

    2004-01-01

    One of the central questions in evolutionary biology concerns the dynamics of adaptation and diversification. This issue can be addressed experimentally if replicate populations adapting to identical environments can be investigated in detail. We have studied 501 such replicas using digital organisms adapting to at least two fundamentally different functional niches (survival strategies) present in the same environment: one in which fast replication is the way to live, and another where exploitation of the environment's complexity leads to complex organisms with longer life spans and smaller replication rates. While these two modes of survival are closely analogous to those expected to emerge in so-called r and K selection scenarios respectively, the bifurcation of evolutionary histories according to these functional niches occurs in identical environments, under identical selective pressures. We find that the branching occurs early, and leads to drastic phenotypic differences (in fitness, sequence length, and gestation time) that are permanent and irreversible. This study confirms an earlier experimental effort using microorganisms, in that diversification can be understood at least in part in terms of bifurcations on saddle points leading to peak shifts, as in the picture drawn by Sewall Wright.

  8. Measuring and partitioning soil respiration in sharkey shrink-swell clays under plantation grown short-rotation woody crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson G. Hood; Michael C. Tyree; Dylan N. Dillaway Dillaway; Theodor D. Leininger

    2015-01-01

    The Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV) offers an ecological niche for short-rotation woody crop (SRWC) production by mating marginal agricultural land with optimal growing conditions. Approximately 1.7 million ha within the LMAV consist of Sharkey shrink-swell clays. They are considered marginal in terms of traditional agricultural productivity due to their...

  9. Ecological and genetic factors influencing the transition between host-use strategies in sympatric Heliconius butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, R M; Naisbit, R E; Mallet, J; Jiggins, C D

    2013-09-01

    Shifts in host-plant use by phytophagous insects have played a central role in their diversification. Evolving host-use strategies will reflect a trade-off between selection pressures. The ecological niche of herbivorous insects is partitioned along several dimensions, and if populations remain in contact, recombination will break down associations between relevant loci. As such, genetic architecture can profoundly affect the coordinated divergence of traits and subsequently the ability to exploit novel habitats. The closely related species Heliconius cydno and H. melpomene differ in mimetic colour pattern, habitat and host-plant use. We investigate the selection pressures and genetic basis underlying host-use differences in these two species. Host-plant surveys reveal that H. melpomene specializes on a single species of Passiflora. This is also true for the majority of other Heliconius species in secondary growth forest at our study site, as expected under a model of interspecific competition. In contrast, H. cydno, which uses closed-forest habitats where both Heliconius and Passiflora are less common, appears not to be restricted by competition and uses a broad selection of the available Passiflora. However, other selection pressures are likely involved, and field experiments reveal that early larval survival of both butterfly species is highest on Passiflora menispermifolia, but most markedly so for H. melpomene, the specialist on that host. Finally, we demonstrate an association between host-plant acceptance and colour pattern amongst interspecific hybrids, suggesting that major loci underlying these important ecological traits are physically linked in the genome. Together, our results reveal ecological and genetic associations between shifts in habitat, host use and mimetic colour pattern that have likely facilitated both speciation and coexistence. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  10. Invasive carnivores alter ecological function and enhance complementarity in scavenger assemblages on ocean beaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Marion B; Schlacher, Thomas A; Schoeman, David S; Weston, Michael A; Huijbers, Chantal M; Olds, Andrew D; Connolly, Rod M

    2015-10-01

    Species composition is expected to alter ecological function in assemblages if species traits differ strongly. Such effects are often large and persistent for nonnative carnivores invading islands. Alternatively, high similarity in traits within assemblages creates a degree of functional redundancy in ecosystems. Here we tested whether species turnover results in functional ecological equivalence or complementarity, and whether invasive carnivores on islands significantly alter such ecological function. The model system consisted of vertebrate scavengers (dominated by raptors) foraging on animal carcasses on ocean beaches on two Australian islands, one with and one without invasive red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Partitioning of scavenging events among species, carcass removal rates, and detection speeds were quantified using camera traps baited with fish carcasses at the dune-beach interface. Complete segregation of temporal foraging niches between mammals (nocturnal) and birds (diurnal) reflects complementarity in carrion utilization. Conversely, functional redundancy exists within the bird guild where several species of raptors dominate carrion removal in a broadly similar way. As predicted, effects of red foxes were large. They substantially changed the nature and rate of the scavenging process in the system: (1) foxes consumed over half (55%) of all carrion available at night, compared with negligible mammalian foraging at night on the fox-free island, and (2) significant shifts in the composition of the scavenger assemblages consuming beach-cast carrion are the consequence of fox invasion at one island. Arguably, in the absence of other mammalian apex predators, the addition of red foxes creates a new dimension of functional complementarity in beach food webs. However, this functional complementarity added by foxes is neither benign nor neutral, as marine carrion subsidies to coastal red fox populations are likely to facilitate their persistence as exotic

  11. Partitioning in P-T concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Peilu; Qi Zhanshun; Zhu Zhixuan

    2000-01-01

    Comparison of dry- and water-method for partitioning fission products and minor actinides from the spent fuels, and description of advance of dry-method were done. Partitioning process, some typical concept and some results of dry-method were described. The problems fond in dry-method up to now were pointed out. The partitioning study program was suggested

  12. Isotopic niches of fishes in coastal, neritic and oceanic waters off Adélie land, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherel, Yves; Koubbi, Philippe; Giraldo, Carolina; Penot, Florian; Tavernier, Eric; Moteki, Masato; Ozouf-Costaz, Catherine; Causse, Romain; Chartier, Amélie; Hosie, Graham

    2011-08-01

    We used the stable isotope method to investigate the ecological niches of Antarctic fishes, with δ 13C and δ 15N as proxies of fish habitats and dietary habits, respectively. Muscle isotopic signature was measured for each of 237 delipidated tissue samples from 27 fish species collected offshore Adélie Land, East Antarctica. Overall, δ 13C values ranged from -25.3‰ to -18.2‰, thus allowing characterizing of the fish habitats, with inshore/benthic species having more positive δ 13C signatures than offshore/pelagic ones. No clear difference in the δ 13C values of pelagic fishes was found between species living in neritic and oceanic waters. Overall, the δ 15N signatures of neritic pelagic and epibenthic fishes encompassed ˜1.0 trophic level (3.1‰), a higher difference than that (1.4‰) found within the oceanic assemblage. Fishes with the lowest and highest δ 15N values are primarily invertebrate- and fish-eaters, respectively. The isotopic niches of fishes illustrate the different mechanisms allowing coexistence, with most fishes segregating at least by one of the two niche axes (δ 13C and δ 15N). Muscle isotopic values also document interindividual foraging specialization over the long-term in coastal benthic fishes, but not in more offshore pelagic species. Finally, the δ 15N signatures of fishes overlap with those of penguins and seals, indicating that seabirds and marine mammals share the upper levels of the Antarctic pelagic ecosystem with some large fish species. In conclusion, the concept of isotopic niche is a powerful tool to investigate various aspects of the ecological niche of Antarctic fishes, thus complementing the use of other conventional and non-conventional approaches.

  13. Mapping the ecological dimensions and potential distributions of endangered relic shrubs in western Ordos biodiversity center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Geng-Ping; Li, Hui-Qi; Zhao, Li; Man, Liang; Liu, Qiang

    2016-05-20

    Potential distributions of endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos were poorly mapped, which hindered our implementation of proper conservation. Here we investigated the applicability of ecological niche modeling for endangered relic shrubs to detect areas of priority for biodiversity conservation and analyze differences in ecological niche spaces used by relic shrubs. We applied ordination and niche modeling techniques to assess main environmental drivers of five endemic relic shrubs in western Ordos, namely, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, Amygdalus mongolica, Helianthemum songaricum, Potaninia mongolica, and Tetraena mongolica. We calculated niche overlap metrics in gridded environmental spaces and compared geographical projections of ecological niches to determine similarities and differences of niches occupied by relic shrubs. All studied taxa presented different responses to environmental factors, which resulted in a unique combination of niche conditions. Precipitation availability and soil quality characteristics play important roles in the distributions of most shrubs. Each relic shrub is constrained by a unique set of environmental conditions, the distribution of one species cannot be implied by the distribution of another, highlighting the inadequacy of one-fits-all type of conservation measure. Our stacked habitat suitability maps revealed regions around Yellow River, which are highly suitable for most species, thereby providing high conservation value.

  14. Pleistocene niche stability and lineage diversification in the subtropical spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elen A Peres

    Full Text Available The influence of Quaternary climate oscillations on the diversification of the South American fauna is being increasingly explored. However, most of these studies have focused on taxa that are endemic to tropical environments, and relatively few have treated organisms restricted to subtropical biomes. Here we used an integrative phylogeographical framework to investigate the effects of these climate events on the ecological niche and genetic patterns of the subtropical orb-weaver spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae. We analyzed the mitochondrial (Cytochrome Oxidase I, COI and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Subunit II, ITS2 DNA of 130 individuals throughout the species' range, and generated distribution models in three different climate scenarios [present, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, and Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG]. Additionally, we used an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC approach to compare possible demographic scenarios and select the hypothesis that better explains the genetic patterns of A. omnicolor. We obtained high haplotype diversity but low nucleotide variation among sequences. The population structure and demographic analyses showed discrepancies between markers, suggesting male-biased dispersal in the species. The time-calibrated COI phylogenetic inference showed a recent diversification of lineages (Middle/Late Pleistocene, while the paleoclimate modeling indicated niche stability since ~120 Kya. The ABC results agreed with the niche models, supporting a panmictic population as the most likely historical scenario for the species. These results indicate that A. omnicolor experienced no niche or population reductions during the Late Pleistocene, despite the intense landscape modifications that occurred in the subtropical region, and that other factors beside LGM and LIG climate oscillations might have contributed to the demographic history of this species. This pattern may be related to the high dispersal ability and wide

  15. Intraspecies Competition for Niches in the Distal Gut Dictate Transmission during Persistent Salmonella Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Lilian H.; Monack, Denise M.

    2014-01-01

    In order to be transmitted, a pathogen must first successfully colonize and multiply within a host. Ecological principles can be applied to study host-pathogen interactions to predict transmission dynamics. Little is known about the population biology of Salmonella during persistent infection. To define Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium population structure in this context, 129SvJ mice were oral gavaged with a mixture of eight wild-type isogenic tagged Salmonella (WITS) strains. Distinct subpopulations arose within intestinal and systemic tissues after 35 days, and clonal expansion of the cecal and colonic subpopulation was responsible for increases in Salmonella fecal shedding. A co-infection system utilizing differentially marked isogenic strains was developed in which each mouse received one strain orally and the other systemically by intraperitoneal (IP) injection. Co-infections demonstrated that the intestinal subpopulation exerted intraspecies priority effects by excluding systemic S. Typhimurium from colonizing an extracellular niche within the cecum and colon. Importantly, the systemic strain was excluded from these distal gut sites and was not transmitted to naïve hosts. In addition, S. Typhimurium required hydrogenase, an enzyme that mediates acquisition of hydrogen from the gut microbiota, during the first week of infection to exert priority effects in the gut. Thus, early inhibitory priority effects are facilitated by the acquisition of nutrients, which allow S. Typhimurium to successfully compete for a nutritional niche in the distal gut. We also show that intraspecies colonization resistance is maintained by Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands SPI1 and SPI2 during persistent distal gut infection. Thus, important virulence effectors not only modulate interactions with host cells, but are crucial for Salmonella colonization of an extracellular intestinal niche and thereby also shape intraspecies dynamics. We conclude that priority effects and

  16. Niche Inheritance: A Cooperative Pathway to Enhance Cancer Cell Fitness Through Ecosystem Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Kimberline R; Mooney, Steven M; Zarif, Jelani C; Coffey, Donald S; Taichman, Russell S; Pienta, Kenneth J

    2014-01-01

    Cancer cells can be described as an invasive species that is able to establish itself in a new environment. The concept of niche construction can be utilized to describe the process by which cancer cells terraform their environment, thereby engineering an ecosystem that promotes the genetic fitness of the species. Ecological dispersion theory can then be utilized to describe and model the steps and barriers involved in a successful diaspora as the cancer cells leave the original host organ and migrate to new host organs to successfully establish a new metastatic community. These ecological concepts can be further utilized to define new diagnostic and therapeutic areas for lethal cancers. 115: 1478–1485, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:24700698

  17. Glioblastoma niches: from the concept to the phenotypical reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, Davide; Mellai, Marta; Bovio, Enrica; Bisogno, Ilaria; Casalone, Cristina; Annovazzi, Laura

    2018-05-08

    Recently, the concept of niches as sites of tumor progression, invasion, and angiogenesis in glioblastoma (GB) has been extensively debated. Niches, considered the sites in which glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) reside, have been classified as perivascular, perinecrotic, and invasive. However, from a neuropathological point of view, it is not easy to establish when a tumor structure can be considered a niche. The relevant literature has been reviewed in the light of our recent experience on the subject. As for perinecrotic niches, the occurrence of GSCs around necrosis is interpreted as triggered by hypoxia through HIF-1α. Our alternative hypothesis is that, together with progenitors, they are the cell constituents of hyper-proliferative areas of GB, where perinecrotic niches have developed, and they would, therefore, represent the remnants of GSCs/progenitors spared by the developing necrosis. Perivascular structures originate from both transport vessels and exchange vessels, i.e., venules, arterioles, or the undefinable neo-formed small vessels, but only those in which a direct contact between GSCs/progenitors and endothelial cells occurs can be called niches. Both pericytes and microglia/macrophages play a role in niche function: Macrophages of blood origin invade GB only after the appearance of "mother vessels" with consequent blood-brain barrier disruption. Not all vessel/tumor cell structures can be considered niches, that is, crucial sites of tumor progression, invasion, and angiogenesis.

  18. Probabilistic and spatially variable niches inferred from demography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey M. Diez; Itamar Giladi; Robert Warren; H. Ronald. Pulliam

    2014-01-01

    Summary 1. Mismatches between species distributions and habitat suitability are predicted by niche theory and have important implications for forecasting how species may respond to environmental changes. Quantifying these mismatches is challenging, however, due to the high dimensionality of species niches and the large spatial and temporal variability in population...

  19. Competition in a technological niche: the cars of the future

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, S.; Lente, H. van; Engels, R.

    2012-01-01

    The notion of ‘niche’has proved to be useful to account for the emergence of radical innovations. Most studies, however, deal with the development of single emerging technologies. In this paper we address the competition between multiple niche technologies.Within the niche of the ‘car of the future’

  20. The evolution of climatic niches in squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pie, Marcio R; Campos, Leonardo L F; Meyer, Andreas L S; Duran, Andressa

    2017-07-12

    Despite the remarkable diversity found in squamate reptiles, most of their species tend to be found in warm/dry environments, suggesting that climatic requirements played a crucial role in their diversification, yet little is known about the evolution of their climatic niches. In this study, we integrate climatic information associated with the geographical distribution of 1882 squamate species and their phylogenetic relationships to investigate the tempo and mode of climatic niche evolution in squamates, both over time and among lineages. We found that changes in climatic niche dynamics were pronounced over their recent squamate evolutionary history, and we identified extensive evidence for rate heterogeneity in squamate climatic niche evolution. Most rate shifts involved accelerations, particularly over the past 50 Myr. Most squamates occupy similar regions of the climatic niche space, with only a few lineages diversifying into colder and humid climatic conditions. The changes from arid to mesic conditions in some regions of the globe may have provided opportunities for climatic niche evolution, although most lineages tended to remain near their ancestral niche. Variation in rates of climatic niche evolution seems common, particularly in response to the availability of new climatic conditions over evolutionary time. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Geographical parthenogenesis: General purpose genotypes and frozen niche variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vrijenhoek, Robert C.; Parker, Dave

    2009-01-01

    hypotheses concerning the evolution of niche breadth in asexual species - the "general-purpose genotype" (GPG) and "frozen niche-variation" (FNV) models. The two models are often portrayed as mutually exclusive, respectively viewing clonal lineages as generalists versus specialists. Nonetheless...

  2. Morphological similarity and ecological overlap in two rotifer species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabaldón, Carmen; Montero-Pau, Javier; Serra, Manuel; Carmona, María José

    2013-01-01

    Co-occurrence of cryptic species raises theoretically relevant questions regarding their coexistence and ecological similarity. Given their great morphological similitude and close phylogenetic relationship (i.e., niche retention), these species will have similar ecological requirements and are expected to have strong competitive interactions. This raises the problem of finding the mechanisms that may explain the coexistence of cryptic species and challenges the conventional view of coexistence based on niche differentiation. The cryptic species complex of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is an excellent model to study these questions and to test hypotheses regarding ecological differentiation. Rotifer species within this complex are filtering zooplankters commonly found inhabiting the same ponds across the Iberian Peninsula and exhibit an extremely similar morphology-some of them being even virtually identical. Here, we explore whether subtle differences in body size and morphology translate into ecological differentiation by comparing two extremely morphologically similar species belonging to this complex: B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas. We focus on three key ecological features related to body size: (1) functional response, expressed by clearance rates; (2) tolerance to starvation, measured by growth and reproduction; and (3) vulnerability to copepod predation, measured by the number of preyed upon neonates. No major differences between B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas were found in the response to these features. Our results demonstrate the existence of a substantial niche overlap, suggesting that the subtle size differences between these two cryptic species are not sufficient to explain their coexistence. This lack of evidence for ecological differentiation in the studied biotic niche features is in agreement with the phylogenetic limiting similarity hypothesis but requires a mechanistic explanation of the coexistence of these species not based on

  3. Morphological similarity and ecological overlap in two rotifer species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Gabaldón

    Full Text Available Co-occurrence of cryptic species raises theoretically relevant questions regarding their coexistence and ecological similarity. Given their great morphological similitude and close phylogenetic relationship (i.e., niche retention, these species will have similar ecological requirements and are expected to have strong competitive interactions. This raises the problem of finding the mechanisms that may explain the coexistence of cryptic species and challenges the conventional view of coexistence based on niche differentiation. The cryptic species complex of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is an excellent model to study these questions and to test hypotheses regarding ecological differentiation. Rotifer species within this complex are filtering zooplankters commonly found inhabiting the same ponds across the Iberian Peninsula and exhibit an extremely similar morphology-some of them being even virtually identical. Here, we explore whether subtle differences in body size and morphology translate into ecological differentiation by comparing two extremely morphologically similar species belonging to this complex: B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas. We focus on three key ecological features related to body size: (1 functional response, expressed by clearance rates; (2 tolerance to starvation, measured by growth and reproduction; and (3 vulnerability to copepod predation, measured by the number of preyed upon neonates. No major differences between B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas were found in the response to these features. Our results demonstrate the existence of a substantial niche overlap, suggesting that the subtle size differences between these two cryptic species are not sufficient to explain their coexistence. This lack of evidence for ecological differentiation in the studied biotic niche features is in agreement with the phylogenetic limiting similarity hypothesis but requires a mechanistic explanation of the coexistence of these species not

  4. Partitioning sparse rectangular matrices for parallel processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kolda, T.G.

    1998-05-01

    The authors are interested in partitioning sparse rectangular matrices for parallel processing. The partitioning problem has been well-studied in the square symmetric case, but the rectangular problem has received very little attention. They will formalize the rectangular matrix partitioning problem and discuss several methods for solving it. They will extend the spectral partitioning method for symmetric matrices to the rectangular case and compare this method to three new methods -- the alternating partitioning method and two hybrid methods. The hybrid methods will be shown to be best.

  5. PAQ: Partition Analysis of Quasispecies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baccam, P; Thompson, R J; Fedrigo, O; Carpenter, S; Cornette, J L

    2001-01-01

    The complexities of genetic data may not be accurately described by any single analytical tool. Phylogenetic analysis is often used to study the genetic relationship among different sequences. Evolutionary models and assumptions are invoked to reconstruct trees that describe the phylogenetic relationship among sequences. Genetic databases are rapidly accumulating large amounts of sequences. Newly acquired sequences, which have not yet been characterized, may require preliminary genetic exploration in order to build models describing the evolutionary relationship among sequences. There are clustering techniques that rely less on models of evolution, and thus may provide nice exploratory tools for identifying genetic similarities. Some of the more commonly used clustering methods perform better when data can be grouped into mutually exclusive groups. Genetic data from viral quasispecies, which consist of closely related variants that differ by small changes, however, may best be partitioned by overlapping groups. We have developed an intuitive exploratory program, Partition Analysis of Quasispecies (PAQ), which utilizes a non-hierarchical technique to partition sequences that are genetically similar. PAQ was used to analyze a data set of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope sequences isolated from different regions of the brain and another data set consisting of the equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) regulatory gene rev. Analysis of the HIV-1 data set by PAQ was consistent with phylogenetic analysis of the same data, and the EIAV rev variants were partitioned into two overlapping groups. PAQ provides an additional tool which can be used to glean information from genetic data and can be used in conjunction with other tools to study genetic similarities and genetic evolution of viral quasispecies.

  6. Integrating Biogeography with Contemporary Niche Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godsoe, William; Jankowski, Jill; Holt, Robert D; Gravel, Dominique

    2017-07-01

    There is no consensus on when biotic interactions impact the range limits of species. Starting from MacArthur's use of invasibility to understand how biotic interactions influence coexistence, here we examine how biotic interactions shape species distributions. Range limits emerge from how birth, death, and movement rates vary with the environment. We clarify some basic issues revolving around niche definitions, illustrated with simple resource-consumer theory. We then highlight two different avenues for linking community theory and range theory; the first based on calculating the effects of biotic interactions on range limits across scales and landscape configurations, and the second based on aggregate measures of diffuse interactions and network strength. We conclude with suggestions for a future research agenda. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Occupy the Financial Niche: Saturation and Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purica, Ionut

    The model presented is one theoretical approach within a broader research program that could verify the nonlinear conjectures made, such that to quantify and predict potential discontinuous behaviour. In this case, the crisis behaviour associated with financial funds reallocation among various credit instruments, described as memes with the sense of Dawkins, is shown to be of discontinuous nature stemming from a logistic penetration in the behaviour niche. Actually the logistic penetration is typical in creating cyclic behaviour of economic structures as shown by Marchetti and others from IIASA. A Fokker-Planck equation description results in a stationary solution having a bifurcation like solution with evolution trajectories on a `cusp' type catastrophe that may describe discontinuous decision behaviour.

  8. Primer and interviews: The dynamic stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Julie C

    2011-03-01

    A stem cell niche is a microenvironment that supports self-renewal of a population of stem cells, and their production of differentiated cells. While the definition evokes images of a stem cell Shangri-La-where a serene stem cell pool nestles within a niche that shelters and sustains it-the reality is much more tumultuous. Niches are subject to an ever-changing maelstrom of environmental factors, the ravages of old age, and the sly tactics of disease. Presented here is a basic overview of the different ways in which stem cell niches respond to local and systemic environments, and their impact on stem cell behavior. The primer culminates with a discussion of the topic with stem cell and niche biologists D. Leanne Jones, Ph.D., and Tudorita Tumbar, Ph.D. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  9. Niche-driven evolution of metabolic and life-history strategies in natural and domesticated populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sicard Delphine

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Variation of resource supply is one of the key factors that drive the evolution of life-history strategies, and hence the interactions between individuals. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, two life-history strategies related to different resource utilization have been previously described in strains from different industrial origins. In this work, we analyzed metabolic traits and life-history strategies in a broader collection of yeast strains sampled in various ecological niches (forest, human body, fruits, laboratory and industrial environments. Results By analysing the genetic and plastic variation of six life-history and three metabolic traits, we showed that S. cerevisiae populations harbour different strategies depending on their ecological niches. On one hand, the forest and laboratory strains, referred to as extreme "ants", reproduce quickly, reach a large carrying capacity and a small cell size in fermentation, but have a low reproduction rate in respiration. On the other hand, the industrial strains, referred to as extreme "grasshoppers", reproduce slowly, reach a small carrying capacity but have a big cell size in fermentation and a high reproduction rate in respiration. "Grasshoppers" have usually higher glucose consumption rate than "ants", while they produce lower quantities of ethanol, suggesting that they store cell resources rather than secreting secondary products to cross-feed or poison competitors. The clinical and fruit strains are intermediate between these two groups. Conclusions Altogether, these results are consistent with a niche-driven evolution of S. cerevisiae, with phenotypic convergence of populations living in similar habitat. They also revealed that competition between strains having contrasted life-history strategies ("ants" and "grasshoppers" seems to occur at low frequency or be unstable since opposite life-history strategies appeared to be maintained in distinct ecological niches.

  10. Invasion of an occupied niche by the crayfish Orconectes rusticus: potential importance of growth and mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Anna M; Sinars, Damon M; Lodge, David M

    1993-06-01

    We are exploring mechanisms of an invasion that contradicts the oft-cited generalization that species invade vacant niches. In northern Wisconsin lakes, the introduced crayfish Orconectes rusticus is replacing two ecologically similar resident congeners, O. virilis and O. propinquus. In laboratory experiments, we compared growth and mortality of individually maintained crayfish offered one of five ad libitum diets: invertebrates, macrophytes, dentritus, periphyton or all items combined. Mortality was highest for O. virilis and lowest for O. rusticus. Macrophyte diets yielded the highest mortality. All three species grew best on invertebrate and combination diets but grew little or not at all on diets of periphyton, detritus or macrophytes. O. rusticus and O. virilis grew more than O. propinquus. O. rusticus grew more quickly and/or was better able to survive overall than its congeners. Therefore, O. rusticus would probably have advantages over O. virilis and O. propinquus in competitive interactions, reproductive success and avoiding size-selective fish predation. Subtle interspecific differences may interact strongly with other ecological factors and contribute to the displacement of resident species from a well-occupied niche.

  11. Food niche overlap among neotropical frugivorous bats in Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge E Lopez

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Food habits of 15 species of frugivorous bats were studied at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. Eight hundred and fifty-four (854 fecal samples and 169 samples from fruit parts and seeds discarded by bats beneath feeding roosts were analyzed. During eight months of study, 47 fruit species consumed by bats were identified. Five plant genera (Cecropia, Ficus, Piper, Solanum, and Vismia constituted 85% of all plants found in fecal samples. Feeding niche breadth differed significantly among the six most common species of frugivorous bats (Artibeus jamaicensis, Carollia sowelli, C. castanea, C. perspicillata, Dermanura sp., and Glossophaga commissarisi. All species, except for Dermanura sp., showed a diet dominated by one or two plant species. This suggests a pattern of resource partitioning at a generic level, in which Carollia consumed mainly Piper, Artibeus consumed Ficus and Cecropia, and Glossophaga consumed Vismia. Cluster analysis revealed higher values of food niche overlap in congeneric species than among species of different genera. Results show that if food is a limiting factor, mechanisms other than trophic selection must reduce interspecific interference or competition for food in this frugivorous bat guild. Rev. Biol. Trop. 55 (1: 301-313. Epub 2007 March. 31.Estudiamos los hábitos alimentarios de 15 especies de murciélagos frugívoros en la Estación Biológica La Selva. Se analizó 854 muestras de heces y 169 muestras de restos de frutos y semillas en comederos. Durante ocho meses de estudio, se identificó 47 especies de frutos, que fueron consumidos por los murciélagos. Cinco géneros de plantas (Cecropia, Ficus, Piper, Solanum y Vismia constituyeron el 85% de los hallazgos en las muestras de heces y los comederos. La amplitud de nicho trófico difirió significativamente entre las seis especies de murciélagos frugívoros más frecuentemente capturados (Artibeus jamaicensis, Carollia sowelli, C. castanea, C. perspicillata

  12. Biogeographic ranges do not support niche theory in radiating Canary Island plant clades

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steinbauer, Manuel; Field, Richard; Fernández-Palacios, José María

    2016-01-01

    in allopatry. Main conclusions: The expectations from niche conservatism were frequently not met; instead our results suggest considerable climatic niche lability. All significant differences in climatic niche differentiation were opposite to the predictions from competitive displacement. These forces may...

  13. Herbarium-based studies on taxonomy, biogeography and ecology of Psilochilus (Orchidaceae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolanowska, Marta; Naczk, A. M.; Jaskuła, R.

    nov, č. 11 (2016), č. článku 2600. ISSN 2167-8359 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Biodiversity * Ecological niche modeling * Neotropic ecozone * New species * Phytogeography * Psilochilus * Species richness * Taxonomy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.177, year: 2016

  14. THE GERMLINE STEM CELL NICHE UNIT IN MAMMALIAN TESTES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oatley, Jon M.; Brinster, Ralph L.

    2014-01-01

    This review addresses current understanding of the germline stem cell niche unit in mammalian testes. Spermatogenesis is a classic model of tissue-specific stem cell function relying on self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). These fate decisions are influenced by a niche microenvironment composed of a growth factor milieu that is provided by several testis somatic support cell populations. Investigations over the last two decades have identified key determinants of the SSC niche including cytokines that regulate SSC functions and support cells providing these factors, adhesion molecules that influence SSC homing, and developmental heterogeneity of the niche during postnatal aging. Emerging evidence suggests that Sertoli cells are a key support cell population influencing the formation and function of niches by secreting soluble factors and possibly orchestrating contributions of other support cells. Investigations with mice have shown that niche influence on SSC proliferation differs during early postnatal development and adulthood. Moreover, there is mounting evidence of an age-related decline in niche function, which is likely influenced by systemic factors. Defining the attributes of stem cell niches is key to developing methods to utilize these cells for regenerative medicine. The SSC population and associated niche comprise a valuable model system for study that provides fundamental knowledge about the biology of tissue-specific stem cells and their capacity to sustain homeostasis of regenerating tissue lineages. While the stem cell is essential for maintenance of all self-renewing tissues and has received considerable attention, the role of niche cells is at least as important and may prove to be more receptive to modification in regenerative medicine. PMID:22535892

  15. Predicting the risk of extinction from shared ecological characteristics

    OpenAIRE

    Kotiaho, Janne S.; Kaitala, Veijo; Komonen, Atte; Päivinen, Jussi

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the ultimate causes of population declines and extinction is vital in our quest to stop the currently rampant biodiversity loss. Comparison of ecological characteristics between threatened and nonthreatened species may reveal these ultimate causes. Here, we report an analysis of ecological characteristics of 23 threatened and 72 nonthreatened butterfly species. Our analysis reveals that threatened butterflies are characterized by narrow niche breadth, restricted resource distrib...

  16. Niche differences between two sympatric whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus abaetensis and C. ocellifer, Teiidae in the restinga habitat of northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    EJR. Dias

    Full Text Available Differences among sympatric lizard species usually result from differences in the use of three resources: space, time and food or some combination of these three. However, differences in resource utilization among sympatric species may simply reflect their specific ecological needs rather than competitive pressures. In this study, we analyzed the temporal, spatial and food niche of two congeneric teiids (Cnemidophorus abaetensis and C. ocellifer living sympatrically in the "restinga" habitat of Abaeté in the Salvador Municipality, Bahia State, Brazil to assess the degree of niche differentiation among them. The whiptail species overlapped considerably in an hourly activity (Ojk = 0.93, in microhabitat use (Ojk = 0.97 and in the prey items consumed (Ojk = 0.89. Differences in amount of vegetation in the microhabitats used by both lizard species may have contributed to differences in the activity period and in the distribution of the main prey eaten by these lizards which may, in turn, facilitate their coexistence in Abaeté. Although sympatric C. ocellifer and C. abaetensis in Abaeté differed only slightly in their use of microhabitats, period of activity and diet, the most important niche dimension segregating the two species seemed to be the food niche.

  17. Niche differences between two sympatric whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus abaetensis and C. ocellifer, Teiidae) in the restinga habitat of northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, E J R; Rocha, C F D

    2007-02-01

    Differences among sympatric lizard species usually result from differences in the use of three resources: space, time and food or some combination of these three. However, differences in resource utilization among sympatric species may simply reflect their specific ecological needs rather than competitive pressures. In this study, we analyzed the temporal, spatial and food niche of two congeneric teiids (Cnemidophorus abaetensis and C. ocellifer) living sympatrically in the "restinga" habitat of Abaeté in the Salvador Municipality, Bahia State, Brazil to assess the degree of niche differentiation among them. The whiptail species overlapped considerably in an hourly activity (Ojk = 0.93), in microhabitat use (Ojk = 0.97) and in the prey items consumed (Ojk = 0.89). Differences in amount of vegetation in the microhabitats used by both lizard species may have contributed to differences in the activity period and in the distribution of the main prey eaten by these lizards which may, in turn, facilitate their coexistence in Abaeté. Although sympatric C. ocellifer and C. abaetensis in Abaeté differed only slightly in their use of microhabitats, period of activity and diet, the most important niche dimension segregating the two species seemed to be the food niche.

  18. Phenological shifts conserve thermal niches in North American birds and reshape expectations for climate-driven range shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolar, Jacob B; Epanchin, Peter N; Beissinger, Steven R; Tingley, Morgan W

    2017-12-05

    Species respond to climate change in two dominant ways: range shifts in latitude or elevation and phenological shifts of life-history events. Range shifts are widely viewed as the principal mechanism for thermal niche tracking, and phenological shifts in birds and other consumers are widely understood as the principal mechanism for tracking temporal peaks in biotic resources. However, phenological and range shifts each present simultaneous opportunities for temperature and resource tracking, although the possible role for phenological shifts in thermal niche tracking has been widely overlooked. Using a canonical dataset of Californian bird surveys and a detectability-based approach for quantifying phenological signal, we show that Californian bird communities advanced their breeding phenology by 5-12 d over the last century. This phenological shift might track shifting resource peaks, but it also reduces average temperatures during nesting by over 1 °C, approximately the same magnitude that average temperatures have warmed over the same period. We further show that early-summer temperature anomalies are correlated with nest success in a continental-scale database of bird nests, suggesting avian thermal niches might be broadly limited by temperatures during nesting. These findings outline an adaptation surface where geographic range and breeding phenology respond jointly to constraints imposed by temperature and resource phenology. By stabilizing temperatures during nesting, phenological shifts might mitigate the need for range shifts. Global change ecology will benefit from further exploring phenological adjustment as a potential mechanism for thermal niche tracking and vice versa.

  19. Blown by the wind: the ecology of male courtship display behavior in orchid bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokorny, Tamara; Vogler, Ira; Losch, René; Schlütting, Patrick; Juarez, Pedro; Bissantz, Nicolai; Ramírez, Santiago R; Eltz, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Many insects rely on chemical signals to transmit precise information on the location, identity, and quality of potential mates. Chemical signals are often broadcasted at sites with physical properties that maximize signal propagation and signal transmission. Male neotropical orchid bees (Euglossini) perch and display on vertical branches and tree trunks in the forest to expose volatile blends (perfumes) that they previously collected from their environment. Previous studies have shown that the chemical composition of perfume blends is highly differentiated even between closely related species. However, variation in behavioral components of perfume exposure and male display remain poorly understood. We conducted a four-year study on orchid bee display sites (8 species) in pacific Costa Rica, using field observations along with chemical analysis and cage experiments to assess display niche partitioning among sympatric species. We evaluated the influence of physical factors (terrain, wind, light) on the distribution of perch sites and on display behavior, and tested a prediction of the sex pheromone-analogue hypothesis, i.e., that displaying males have above-average quantities or qualities of acquired perfumes. Males of different species displayed in the same general area and sometimes in close proximity to each other, but partitioned the display niche by selecting different perch diameters, display heights, and by displaying at different times of the day. Most perch sites were located inside the forest on elevated ground, especially along ridges, where stronger winds may help disperse perfume signals. Furthermore, the angular position of displaying males on perches was narrowly determined by wind direction, with males being positioned on the downwind side of the perch, where they would be most conspicuous to conspecifics approaching on an odor trail. Although our results generally support the hypothesis that perfumes serve as pheromone analogues, we did not find

  20. The crosstalk between hematopoietic stem cells and their niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Charles; Charbord, Pierre; Jaffredo, Thierry

    2018-07-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in specific microenvironments also called niches that regulate HSC functions. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the crosstalk between HSCs and niche cells is a major issue in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent advances in this field with particular emphasis on the transcriptional landscape of HSC niche cells and the roles of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the dialog between HSCs and their microenvironments. The development of high-throughput technologies combined with computational methods has considerably improved our knowledge on the molecular identity of HSC niche cells. Accumulating evidence strongly suggest that the dialog between HSCs and their niches is bidirectional and that EVs play an important role in this process. These advances bring a unique conceptual and methodological framework for understanding the molecular complexity of the HSC niche and identifying novel HSC regulators. They are also promising for exploring the reciprocal influence of HSCs on niche cells and delivering specific molecules to HSCs in regenerative medicine.

  1. 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...

  2. Ecologies of ideologies: Explaining party entry and exit in West-European parliaments, 1945–2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkhout, Joost; Vermeulen, Floris

    2016-01-01

    This study introduces a population-ecological approach to the entry and exit of political parties. A primary proposition of population ecology is that organizational entry and exit depends on the number of organizations already present: that is, density. We propose that political parties mainly experience competition from parties in the same ideological niche (left, centre, right). Pooled time-series analyses of 410 parties, 263 elections and 18 West-European countries largely support our expectations. We find that political parties are more likely to exit when density within their niche increases. Also there is competition between adjacent ideological niches, i.e. between centrist and right-wing niches. In contrast to our expectations, neither density nor institutional rules impact party entry. This raises important questions about the rationale of prospective entrants. PMID:29046613

  3. Ecologies of ideologies: Explaining party entry and exit in West-European parliaments, 1945-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Wardt, Marc; Berkhout, Joost; Vermeulen, Floris

    2017-06-01

    This study introduces a population-ecological approach to the entry and exit of political parties. A primary proposition of population ecology is that organizational entry and exit depends on the number of organizations already present: that is, density. We propose that political parties mainly experience competition from parties in the same ideological niche (left, centre, right). Pooled time-series analyses of 410 parties, 263 elections and 18 West-European countries largely support our expectations. We find that political parties are more likely to exit when density within their niche increases. Also there is competition between adjacent ideological niches, i.e. between centrist and right-wing niches. In contrast to our expectations, neither density nor institutional rules impact party entry. This raises important questions about the rationale of prospective entrants.

  4. Habitat niche breadth predicts invasiveness in solitary ascidians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, Itai; Shenkar, Noa; Belmaker, Jonathan

    2017-10-01

    A major focus of invasion biology is understanding the traits associated with introduction success. Most studies assess these traits in the invaded region, while only few compare nonindigenous species to the pool of potential invaders in their native region. We focused on the niche breadth hypothesis , commonly evoked but seldom tested, which states that generalist species are more likely to become introduced as they are capable of thriving under a wide set of conditions. Based on the massive introduction of tropical species into the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal (Lessepsian migration), we defined ascidians in the Red Sea as the pool of potential invaders. We constructed unique settlement plates, each representing six different niches, to assess ascidian niche breadth, and deployed them in similar habitats in the native and invaded regions. For each species found on plates, we evaluated its abundance, relative abundance across successional stages, and niche breadth, and then compared (1) species in the Red Sea known to have been introduced into the Mediterranean (Lessepsian species) and those not known from the Mediterranean (non-Lessepsian); and (2) nonindigenous and indigenous species in the Mediterranean. Lessepsian species identified on plates in the Red Sea demonstrated wider niche breadth than non-Lessepsian species, supporting the niche breadth hypothesis within the native region. No differences were found between Lessepsian and non-Lessepsian species in species abundance and successional stages. In the Mediterranean, nonindigenous species numerically dominated the settlement plates. This precluded robust comparisons of niche breadth between nonindigenous and indigenous species in the invaded region. In conclusion, using Red Sea ascidians as the pool of potential invaders, we found clear evidence supporting the niche breadth hypothesis in the native region. We suggest that such patterns may often be obscured when conducting trait-based studies in the

  5. Energy partition in nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruben, A.; Maerten, H.; Seeliger, D.

    1990-01-01

    A scission point model (two spheroid model TSM) including semi-empirical temperature-dependent shell correction energies for deformed fragments at scission is presented. It has been used to describe the mass-asymmetry-dependent partition of the total energy release on both fragments from spontaneous and induced fission. Characteristic trends of experimental fragment energy and neutron multiplicity data as function of incidence energy in the Th-Cf region of fissioning nuclei are well reproduced. Based on model applications, information on the energy dissipated during the descent from second saddle of fission barrier to scission point have been deduced. (author). 39 refs, 13 figs

  6. Partitioning and mapping uncertainties in ensembles of forecasts of species turnover under climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre F.; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Rangel, Thiago Fernando

    2009-01-01

    Forecasts of species range shifts under climate change are fraught with uncertainties and ensemble forecasting may provide a framework to deal with such uncertainties. Here, a novel approach to partition the variance among modeled attributes, such as richness or turnover, and map sources of uncer......Forecasts of species range shifts under climate change are fraught with uncertainties and ensemble forecasting may provide a framework to deal with such uncertainties. Here, a novel approach to partition the variance among modeled attributes, such as richness or turnover, and map sources...... of uncertainty in ensembles of forecasts is presented. We model the distributions of 3837 New World birds and project them into 2080. We then quantify and map the relative contribution of different sources of uncertainty from alternative methods for niche modeling, general circulation models (AOGCM......), and emission scenarios. The greatest source of uncertainty in forecasts of species range shifts arises from using alternative methods for niche modeling, followed by AOGCM, and their interaction. Our results concur with previous studies that discovered that projections from alternative models can be extremely...

  7. A hypothesis-testing framework for studies investigating ontogenetic niche shifts using stable isotope ratios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline M Hammerschlag-Peyer

    Full Text Available Ontogenetic niche shifts occur across diverse taxonomic groups, and can have critical implications for population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem function. In this study, we provide a hypothesis-testing framework combining univariate and multivariate analyses to examine ontogenetic niche shifts using stable isotope ratios. This framework is based on three distinct ontogenetic niche shift scenarios, i.e., (1 no niche shift, (2 niche expansion/reduction, and (3 discrete niche shift between size classes. We developed criteria for identifying each scenario, as based on three important resource use characteristics, i.e., niche width, niche position, and niche overlap. We provide an empirical example for each ontogenetic niche shift scenario, illustrating differences in resource use characteristics among different organisms. The present framework provides a foundation for future studies on ontogenetic niche shifts, and also can be applied to examine resource variability among other population sub-groupings (e.g., by sex or phenotype.

  8. Stem cell autotomy and niche interaction in different systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, David C; Dorn, August

    2015-07-26

    The best known cases of cell autotomy are the formation of erythrocytes and thrombocytes (platelets) from progenitor cells that reside in special niches. Recently, autotomy of stem cells and its enigmatic interaction with the niche has been reported from male germline stem cells (GSCs) in several insect species. First described in lepidopterans, the silkmoth, followed by the gipsy moth and consecutively in hemipterans, foremost the milkweed bug. In both, moths and the milkweed bug, GSCs form finger-like projections toward the niche, the apical cells (homologs of the hub cells in Drosophila). Whereas in the milkweed bug the projection terminals remain at the surface of the niche cells, in the gipsy moth they protrude deeply into the singular niche cell. In both cases, the projections undergo serial retrograde fragmentation with progressing signs of autophagy. In the gipsy moth, the autotomized vesicles are phagocytized and digested by the niche cell. In the milkweed bug the autotomized vesicles accumulate at the niche surface and disintegrate. Autotomy and sprouting of new projections appears to occur continuously. The significance of the GSC-niche interactions, however, remains enigmatic. Our concept on the signaling relationship between stem cell-niche in general and GSC and niche (hub cells and cyst stem cells) in particular has been greatly shaped by Drosophila melanogaster. In comparing the interactions of GSCs with their niche in Drosophila with those in species exhibiting GSC autotomy it is obvious that additional or alternative modes of stem cell-niche communication exist. Thus, essential signaling pathways, including niche-stem cell adhesion (E-cadherin) and the direction of asymmetrical GSC division - as they were found in Drosophila - can hardly be translated into the systems where GSC autotomy was reported. It is shown here that the serial autotomy of GSC projections shows remarkable similarities with Wallerian axonal destruction, developmental axon

  9. Stem cell autotomy and niche interaction in different systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, David C; Dorn, August

    2015-01-01

    The best known cases of cell autotomy are the formation of erythrocytes and thrombocytes (platelets) from progenitor cells that reside in special niches. Recently, autotomy of stem cells and its enigmatic interaction with the niche has been reported from male germline stem cells (GSCs) in several insect species. First described in lepidopterans, the silkmoth, followed by the gipsy moth and consecutively in hemipterans, foremost the milkweed bug. In both, moths and the milkweed bug, GSCs form finger-like projections toward the niche, the apical cells (homologs of the hub cells in Drosophila). Whereas in the milkweed bug the projection terminals remain at the surface of the niche cells, in the gipsy moth they protrude deeply into the singular niche cell. In both cases, the projections undergo serial retrograde fragmentation with progressing signs of autophagy. In the gipsy moth, the autotomized vesicles are phagocytized and digested by the niche cell. In the milkweed bug the autotomized vesicles accumulate at the niche surface and disintegrate. Autotomy and sprouting of new projections appears to occur continuously. The significance of the GSC-niche interactions, however, remains enigmatic. Our concept on the signaling relationship between stem cell-niche in general and GSC and niche (hub cells and cyst stem cells) in particular has been greatly shaped by Drosophila melanogaster. In comparing the interactions of GSCs with their niche in Drosophila with those in species exhibiting GSC autotomy it is obvious that additional or alternative modes of stem cell-niche communication exist. Thus, essential signaling pathways, including niche-stem cell adhesion (E-cadherin) and the direction of asymmetrical GSC division - as they were found in Drosophila - can hardly be translated into the systems where GSC autotomy was reported. It is shown here that the serial autotomy of GSC projections shows remarkable similarities with Wallerian axonal destruction, developmental axon

  10. The ecology of white-handed and pileated gibbons in a zone of overlap and hybridization in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asensio, Norberto; José-Domínguez, Juan Manuel; Kongrit, Chalita; Brockelman, Warren Y

    2017-08-01

    The study of related species in contact zones can elucidate what factors mediate species coexistence and geographical distributions. We investigated niche overlap and group interactions of two gibbon species and their hybrids co-occurring in a zone of overlap and hybridization. The location, composition and behavior of white-handed, pileated, and mixed-species gibbon groups were studied by following them during 31 consecutive months in a relatively large part of the contact zone. Twenty groups of white-handed gibbon were mapped followed by nine groups of pileated gibbons and five mixed-species groups. White-handed, pileated and mixed-species groups had similar sizes and composition, ate a high proportion of fruits, shared a large number of species in their diets, and presented similar habitat preferences. Group home range sizes did not differ between species and overlapped little with neighboring groups irrespective of species, and intraspecific and interspecific encounter rates were similar. Ecological similarities support that competition between the gibbon species exists and takes the form of interspecific territoriality. However, we could not find any clear mechanism of niche partitioning favoring coexistence between species. Our findings suggest that the contact zone is unstable and is maintained by dispersal inward from groups of the parental species. The relatively low numbers of mixed-species groups and hybrids found suggests a high degree of premating reproductive isolation, perhaps mediated by interspecific miscommunication. The existence of hybrids and backcrosses potentially undetectable from phenotypic characters alone raises the possibility of more widespread introgression than has been evident. Hence, while interspecific territoriality should reduce the rate of gene transfer, it would not necessarily present a barrier to introgression into contiguous populations of the opposite species. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Scheduling Driven Partitioning of Heterogeneous Embedded Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pop, Paul; Eles, Petru; Peng, Zebo

    1998-01-01

    In this paper we present an algorithm for system level hardware/software partitioning of heterogeneous embedded systems. The system is represented as an abstract graph which captures both data-flow and the flow of control. Given an architecture consisting of several processors, ASICs and shared...... busses, our partitioning algorithm finds the partitioning with the smallest hardware cost and is able to predict and guarantee the performance of the system in terms of worst case delay....

  12. Lift of dilogarithm to partition identities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terhoeven, M.

    1992-11-01

    For the whole set of dilogarithm identities found recently using the thermodynamic Bethe-Ansatz for the ADET series of purely elastic scattering theories we give partition identities which involve characters of those conformal field theories which correspond to the UV-limits of the scattering theories. These partition identities in turn allow to derive the dilogarithm identities using modular invariance and a saddle point approximation. We conjecture on possible generalizations of this correspondance, namely, a lift from dilogarithm to partition identities. (orig.)

  13. Pseudomonas biofilm matrix composition and niche biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Ethan E.; Wozniak, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Biofilms are a predominant form of growth for bacteria in the environment and in the clinic. Critical for biofilm development are adherence, proliferation, and dispersion phases. Each of these stages includes reinforcement by, or modulation of, the extracellular matrix. Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been a model organism for the study of biofilm formation. Additionally, other Pseudomonas species utilize biofilm formation during plant colonization and environmental persistence. Pseudomonads produce several biofilm matrix molecules, including polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and proteins. Accessory matrix components shown to aid biofilm formation and adaptability under varying conditions are also produced by pseudomonads. Adaptation facilitated by biofilm formation allows for selection of genetic variants with unique and distinguishable colony morphology. Examples include rugose small-colony variants and wrinkly spreaders (WS), which over produce Psl/Pel or cellulose, respectively, and mucoid bacteria that over produce alginate. The well-documented emergence of these variants suggests that pseudomonads take advantage of matrix-building subpopulations conferring specific benefits for the entire population. This review will focus on various polysaccharides as well as additional Pseudomonas biofilm matrix components. Discussions will center on structure–function relationships, regulation, and the role of individual matrix molecules in niche biology. PMID:22212072

  14. Hydrological-niche models predict water plant functional group distributions in diverse wetland types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deane, David C; Nicol, Jason M; Gehrig, Susan L; Harding, Claire; Aldridge, Kane T; Goodman, Abigail M; Brookes, Justin D

    2017-06-01

    Human use of water resources threatens environmental water supplies. If resource managers are to develop policies that avoid unacceptable ecological impacts, some means to predict ecosystem response to changes in water availability is necessary. This is difficult to achieve at spatial scales relevant for water resource management because of the high natural variability in ecosystem hydrology and ecology. Water plant functional groups classify species with similar hydrological niche preferences together, allowing a qualitative means to generalize community responses to changes in hydrology. We tested the potential for functional groups in making quantitative prediction of water plant functional group distributions across diverse wetland types over a large geographical extent. We sampled wetlands covering a broad range of hydrogeomorphic and salinity conditions in South Australia, collecting both hydrological and floristic data from 687 quadrats across 28 wetland hydrological gradients. We built hydrological-niche models for eight water plant functional groups using a range of candidate models combining different surface inundation metrics. We then tested the predictive performance of top-ranked individual and averaged models for each functional group. Cross validation showed that models achieved acceptable predictive performance, with correct classification rates in the range 0.68-0.95. Model predictions can be made at any spatial scale that hydrological data are available and could be implemented in a geographical information system. We show the response of water plant functional groups to inundation is consistent enough across diverse wetland types to quantify the probability of hydrological impacts over regional spatial scales. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. COMPUTING VERTICES OF INTEGER PARTITION POLYTOPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. S. Vroublevski

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes a method of generating vertices of the polytopes of integer partitions that was used by the authors to calculate all vertices and support vertices of the partition polytopes for all n ≤ 105 and all knapsack partitions of n ≤ 165. The method avoids generating all partitions of n. The vertices are determined with the help of sufficient and necessary conditions; in the hard cases, the well-known program Polymake is used. Some computational aspects are exposed in more detail. These are the algorithm for checking the criterion that characterizes partitions that are convex combinations of two other partitions; the way of using two combinatorial operations that transform the known vertices to the new ones; and employing the Polymake to recognize a limited number (for small n of partitions that need three or more other partitions for being convexly expressed. We discuss the computational results on the numbers of vertices and support vertices of the partition polytopes and some appealing problems these results give rise to.

  16. Partitioning and Transmutation: IAEA Activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basak, U.; Monti, S.; )

    2015-01-01

    Full text of publication follows: The importance of partitioning and transmutation (P and T) processes for sustaining nuclear energy growth in the world has been realised in several countries across the world. P and T processes aim at separation and recycling of actinides including minor actinides (MAs) from the spent fuel or high-level liquid waste. The objective of these processes include reuse of separated fissile materials from spent nuclear fuels to obtain energy, enhance resource utilisation, reduce the disposal of toxic radio-nuclides and improve long-term performance of geological repositories. R and D programmes have been launched in many of the Member States to develop advanced partitioning process based on either aqueous or pyro to recover MAs along with other actinides as well as automated and remote techniques for manufacturing fuels containing MAs for the purpose of transmuting them either in fast reactors or accelerator driven hybrids. A number of Member States have been also developing such transmutation systems with the aim to construct and operate demo plants and prototypes in the next decade. The International Atomic Energy Agency has a high priority for the activities on partitioning and transmutation and regularly organises conferences, workshops, seminars and technical meetings in the areas of P and T as a part of information exchange and knowledge sharing at the international level. In the recent past, the Agency organised two technical meetings on advanced partitioning processes and actinide recycle technologies with the objective of providing a common platform for the scientists and engineers working in the areas of separation of actinides along with MAs from spent nuclear fuels and manufacturing of advanced fuels containing MAs in order to bridge the technological gap between them. In 2010, the Agency concluded a Coordinated Research Project (CRP) related to Assessment of Partitioning Processes. The Agency also conducted a first CRP on

  17. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    , and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... to translate positivist readings of the environment and hermeneutical perspectives on socioecological interaction into a common framework or terminology....

  18. Haematopoietic stem cell niches: new insights inspire new questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugarte, Fernando; Forsberg, E Camilla

    2013-01-01

    Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches provide an environment essential for life-long HSC function. Intense investigation of HSC niches both feed off and drive technology development to increase our capability to assay functionally defined cells with high resolution. A major driving force behind the desire to understand the basic biology of HSC niches is the clear implications for clinical therapies. Here, with particular emphasis on cell type-specific deletion of SCL and CXCL12, we focus on unresolved issues on HSC niches, framed around some very recent advances and novel discoveries on the extrinsic regulation of HSC maintenance. We also provide ideas for possible paths forward, some of which are clearly within reach while others will require both novel tools and vision. PMID:24022369

  19. Feeding niches of four large herbivores in the Hluhluwe Game ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Feeding niches of four large herbivores in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Natal. ... equus burchelli burchelli; feeding; grass; grasses; habitat; herbivores; hluhluwe game reserve; kwazulu-natal; large herbivores; ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  20. Stem cell dynamics in the hair follicle niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rompolas, Panteleimon; Greco, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    Hair follicles are skin appendages of the mammalian skin that have the ability to periodically and stereotypically regenerate in order to continuously produce new hair over our lifetime. The ability of the hair follicle to regenerate is due to the presence of stem cells that along with other cell populations and non-cellular components, including molecular signals and extracellular material, make up a niche microenvironment. Mounting evidence suggests that the niche is critical for regulating stem cell behavior and thus the process of regeneration. Here we review the literature concerning past and current studies that have utilized mouse genetic models, combined with other approaches to dissect the molecular and cellular composition of the hair follicle niche. We also discuss our current understanding of how stem cells operate within the niche during the process of tissue regeneration and the factors that regulate their behavior. PMID:24361866

  1. Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Pamela G; Purnell, Mark A; Crumpton, Nick; Brown, Kate Robson; Gostling, Neil J; Stampanoni, M; Rayfield, Emily J

    2014-08-21

    associated with ecomorphological specialization and niche partitioning.

  2. Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Kaitlin C.; Shinneman, Douglas; Potter, Kevin M.; Hipkins, Valerie D.

    2018-01-01

    Unique responses to climate change can occur across intraspecific levels, resulting in individualistic adaptation or movement patterns among populations within a given species. Thus, the need to model potential responses among genetically distinct populations within a species is increasingly recognized. However, predictive models of future distributions are regularly fit at the species level, often because intraspecific variation is unknown or is identified only within limited sample locations. In this study, we considered the role of intraspecific variation to shape the geographic distribution of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), an ecologically and economically important tree species in North America. Morphological and genetic variation across the distribution of ponderosa pine suggest the need to model intraspecific populations: the two varieties (var. ponderosa and var. scopulorum) and several haplotype groups within each variety have been shown to occupy unique climatic niches, suggesting populations have distinct evolutionary lineages adapted to different environmental conditions. We utilized a recently-available, geographically-widespread dataset of intraspecific variation (haplotypes) for ponderosa pine and a recently-devised lineage distance modeling approach to derive additional, likely intraspecific occurrence locations. We confirmed the relative uniqueness of each haplotype-climate relationship using a niche-overlap analysis, and developed ecological niche models (ENMs) to project the distribution for two varieties and eight haplotypes under future climate forecasts. Future projections of haplotype niche distributions generally revealed greater potential range loss than predicted for the varieties. This difference may reflect intraspecific responses of distinct evolutionary lineages. However, directional trends are generally consistent across intraspecific levels, and include a loss of distributional area and an upward shift in elevation. Our results

  3. Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Kaitlin C; Shinneman, Douglas J; Potter, Kevin M; Hipkins, Valerie D

    2018-03-14

    Unique responses to climate change can occur across intraspecific levels, resulting in individualistic adaptation or movement patterns among populations within a given species. Thus, the need to model potential responses among genetically distinct populations within a species is increasingly recognized. However, predictive models of future distributions are regularly fit at the species level, often because intraspecific variation is unknown or is identified only within limited sample locations. In this study, we considered the role of intraspecific variation to shape the geographic distribution of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), an ecologically and economically important tree species in North America. Morphological and genetic variation across the distribution of ponderosa pine suggest the need to model intraspecific populations: the two varieties (var. ponderosa and var. scopulorum) and several haplotype groups within each variety have been shown to occupy unique climatic niches, suggesting populations have distinct evolutionary lineages adapted to different environmental conditions. We utilized a recently-available, geographically-widespread dataset of intraspecific variation (haplotypes) for ponderosa pine and a recently-devised lineage distance modeling approach to derive additional, likely intraspecific occurrence locations. We confirmed the relative uniqueness of each haplotype-climate relationship using a niche-overlap analysis, and developed ecological niche models (ENMs) to project the distribution for two varieties and eight haplotypes under future climate forecasts. Future projections of haplotype niche distributions generally revealed greater potential range loss than predicted for the varieties. This difference may reflect intraspecific responses of distinct evolutionary lineages. However, directional trends are generally consistent across intraspecific levels, and include a loss of distributional area and an upward shift in elevation. Our results

  4. Socializing with the neighbors: stem cells and their niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Elaine; Tumbar, Tudorita; Guasch, Geraldine

    2004-03-19

    The potential of stem cells in regenerative medicine relies upon removing them from their natural habitat, propagating them in culture, and placing them into a foreign tissue environment. To do so, it is essential to understand how stem cells interact with their microenvironment, the so-called stem cell niche, to establish and maintain their properties. In this review, we examine adult stem cell niches and their impact on stem cell biology.

  5. AN ANALYSIS OF FUNDING DECISIONS FOR NICHE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

    OpenAIRE

    HOWARD VAN AUKEN; SHAWN CARRAHER

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines the flow of funds from providers of capital to niche agricultural users of capital. Various programs through the US government, state/local economic development and private agencies work to improve the flow of capital to the niche agricultural sector. However, despite the expansion of programs aimed at providing financial resources to the agricultural sector, many sectors remain poorly served. Previous studies have suggested that agencies need to facilitate the flow of cap...

  6. Modulating the stem cell niche for tissue regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Steven W; Williams, David A; Watt, Fiona M

    2015-01-01

    The field of regenerative medicine holds considerable promise for treating diseases that are currently intractable. Although many researchers are adopting the strategy of cell transplantation for tissue repair, an alternative approach to therapy is to manipulate the stem cell microenvironment, or niche, to facilitate repair by endogenous stem cells. The niche is highly dynamic, with multiple opportunities for intervention. These include administration of small molecules, biologics or biomaterials that target specific aspects of the niche, such as cell-cell and cell–extracellular matrix interactions, to stimulate expansion or differentiation of stem cells, or to cause reversion of differentiated cells to stem cells. Nevertheless, there are several challenges in targeting the niche therapeutically, not least that of achieving specificity of delivery and responses. We envisage that successful treatments in regenerative medicine will involve different combinations of factors to target stem cells and niche cells, applied at different times to effect recovery according to the dynamics of stem cell–niche interactions. PMID:25093887

  7. Niche separation and reproduction of Clausocalanus species (Copepoda, Calanoida) in the Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralba, Àurea; Mazzocchi, Maria Grazia; Harris, Roger P.

    2017-11-01

    The distribution and reproductive traits of copepods of the genus Clausocalanus were investigated during the Atlantic Meridional Transect cruise AMT-15, in September-October 2004 to estimate their ecological niches and secondary production in the epipelagic layer along a latitudinal cline (48°N-40°S). The distribution patterns of selected environmental parameters, i.e., temperature, salinity and chlorophyll a concentration, enabled eco-provinces to be identified as described by Longhurst (2006). Clausocalanus represented on average 34% of total copepod abundance, with a large predominance of adult females and copepodites over males. Among the eleven Clausocalanus species found during the survey, eight species showed a wide distributional range, i.e.,C. paululus, C. pergens, C. furcatus, C. arcuicornis, C. jobei, C. parapergens, C. lividus, and C. mastigophorus, while C. ingens, C. brevipes, and C. laticeps were recorded only in the South Atlantic. The smallest C. furcatus, C. paululus, and C. pergens together accounted for 85% of total Clausocalanus adult abundance. The ecological niches were clearly separated among congeners of similar size and largely overlapped in congeners whose size differed. The small- and medium-sized species, which are egg-sac-spawners, had smaller clutch size and lower egg-production rate than the larger broadcaster congeners. Nevertheless, embryo viability was lower in broadcasters, which may explain their low abundance in terms of lower recruitment. A sex ratio largely skewed toward females in all Clausocalanus species and the observation of viable eggs in successive clutches from isolated females seem to indicate that re-mating is not necessary in this genus. Broadcast-spawners showed the highest weight-specific fecundity rates in the genus but similar secondary production to sac-spawners despite the fact that they never occurred at high abundance. In light of their abundant occurrence in oceanic waters and well-defined ecological

  8. Global thermal niche models of two European grasses show high invasion risks in Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pertierra, Luis R; Aragón, Pedro; Shaw, Justine D; Bergstrom, Dana M; Terauds, Aleks; Olalla-Tárraga, Miguel Ángel

    2017-07-01

    The two non-native grasses that have established long-term populations in Antarctica (Poa pratensis and Poa annua) were studied from a global multidimensional thermal niche perspective to address the biological invasion risk to Antarctica. These two species exhibit contrasting introduction histories and reproductive strategies and represent two referential case studies of biological invasion processes. We used a multistep process with a range of species distribution modelling techniques (ecological niche factor analysis, multidimensional envelopes, distance/entropy algorithms) together with a suite of thermoclimatic variables, to characterize the potential ranges of these species. Their native bioclimatic thermal envelopes in Eurasia, together with the different naturalized populations across continents, were compared next. The potential niche of P. pratensis was wider at the cold extremes; however, P. annua life history attributes enable it to be a more successful colonizer. We observe that particularly cold summers are a key aspect of the unique Antarctic environment. In consequence, ruderals such as P. annua can quickly expand under such harsh conditions, whereas the more stress-tolerant P. pratensis endures and persist through steady growth. Compiled data on human pressure at the Antarctic Peninsula allowed us to provide site-specific biosecurity risk indicators. We conclude that several areas across the region are vulnerable to invasions from these and other similar species. This can only be visualized in species distribution models (SDMs) when accounting for founder populations that reveal nonanalogous conditions. Results reinforce the need for strict management practices to minimize introductions. Furthermore, our novel set of temperature-based bioclimatic GIS layers for ice-free terrestrial Antarctica provide a mechanism for regional and global species distribution models to be built for other potentially invasive species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Cystic fibrosis-niche adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa reduces virulence in multiple infection hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Ivan Lorè

    Full Text Available The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to thrive in diverse ecological niches and to cause serious human infection. P. aeruginosa environmental strains are producing various virulence factors that are required for establishing acute infections in several host organisms; however, the P. aeruginosa phenotypic variants favour long-term persistence in the cystic fibrosis (CF airways. Whether P. aeruginosa strains, which have adapted to the CF-niche, have lost their competitive fitness in the other environment remains to be investigated. In this paper, three P. aeruginosa clonal lineages, including early strains isolated at the onset of infection, and late strains, isolated after several years of chronic lung infection from patients with CF, were analysed in multi-host model systems of acute infection. P. aeruginosa early isolates caused lethality in the three non-mammalian hosts, namely Caenorhabditis elegans, Galleria mellonella, and Drosophila melanogaster, while late adapted clonal isolates were attenuated in acute virulence. When two different mouse genetic background strains, namely C57Bl/6NCrl and Balb/cAnNCrl, were used as acute infection models, early P. aeruginosa CF isolates were lethal, while late isolates exhibited reduced or abolished acute virulence. Severe histopathological lesions, including high leukocytes recruitment and bacterial load, were detected in the lungs of mice infected with P. aeruginosa CF early isolates, while late isolates were progressively cleared. In addition, systemic bacterial spread and invasion of epithelial cells, which were detected for P. aeruginosa CF early strains, were not observed with late strains. Our findings indicate that niche-specific selection in P. aeruginosa reduced its ability to cause acute infections across a broad range of hosts while maintaining the capacity for chronic infection in the CF host.

  10. Schmidt games and Markov partitions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tseng, Jimmy

    2009-01-01

    Let T be a C 2 -expanding self-map of a compact, connected, C ∞ , Riemannian manifold M. We correct a minor gap in the proof of a theorem from the literature: the set of points whose forward orbits are nondense has full Hausdorff dimension. Our correction allows us to strengthen the theorem. Combining the correction with Schmidt games, we generalize the theorem in dimension one: given a point x 0 in M, the set of points whose forward orbit closures miss x 0 is a winning set. Finally, our key lemma, the no matching lemma, may be of independent interest in the theory of symbolic dynamics or the theory of Markov partitions

  11. Assimilate partitioning during reproductive growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finazzo, S.F.; Davenport, T.L.

    1987-01-01

    Leaves having various phyllotactic relationships to fruitlets were labeled for 1 hour with 10/sub r/Ci of 14 CO 2 . Fruitlets were also labeled. Fruitlets did fix 14 CO 2 . Translocation of radioactivity from the peel into the fruit occurred slowly and to a limited extent. No evidence of translocation out of the fruitlets was observed. Assimilate partitioning in avocado was strongly influenced by phyllotaxy. If a fruit and the labeled leaf had the same phyllotaxy then greater than 95% of the radiolabel was present in this fruit. When the fruit did not have the same phyllotaxy as the labeled leaf, the radiolabel distribution was skewed with 70% of the label going to a single adjacent position. Avocado fruitlets exhibit uniform labeling throughout a particular tissue. In avocado, assimilates preferentially move from leaves to fruits with the same phyllotaxy

  12. Ecological generalism facilitates the evolution of sociality in snapping shrimps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Katherine C; Maia, Rafael; Duffy, J Emmett; Hultgren, Kristin M; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2017-12-01

    Evidence from insects and vertebrates suggests that cooperation may have enabled species to expand their niches, becoming ecological generalists and dominating the ecosystems in which they occur. Consistent with this idea, eusocial species of sponge-dwelling Synalpheus shrimps from Belize are ecological generalists with a broader host breadth and higher abundance than non-eusocial species. We evaluate whether sociality promotes ecological generalism (social conquest hypothesis) or whether ecological generalism facilitates the transition to sociality (social transition hypothesis) in 38 Synalpheus shrimp species. We find that sociality evolves primarily from host generalists, and almost exclusively so for transitions to eusociality. Additionally, sponge volume is more important for explaining social transitions towards communal breeding than to eusociality, suggesting that different ecological factors may influence the independent evolutionary origins of sociality in Synalpheus shrimps. Ultimately, our results are consistent with the social transition hypothesis and the idea that ecological generalism facilitates the transition to sociality. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  13. Generating Milton Babbitt's all-partition arrays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bemman, Brian; Meredith, David

    2016-01-01

    In most of Milton Babbitt's (1916–2011) works written since the early 1960s, both the pitch and rhythmic content is organized according to a highly constrained structure known as the all-partition array. The all-partition array provides a framework that ensures that as many different forms...

  14. Partitioning of resveratrol between pentane and DMSO

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shen, Chen; Stein, Paul C.; Klösgen-Buchkremer, Beate Maria

    2015-01-01

    Partitioning of trans-3,5,4′-trihydroxy-stilbene (resveratrol) between n-pentane and DMSO was investigated as a contribution to understand the interaction between resveratrol and biomembranes. In order to determine the partition coefficient P* of resveratrol between pentane and DMSO, resveratrol ...

  15. Topological string partition functions as polynomials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaguchi, Satoshi; Yau Shingtung

    2004-01-01

    We investigate the structure of the higher genus topological string amplitudes on the quintic hypersurface. It is shown that the partition functions of the higher genus than one can be expressed as polynomials of five generators. We also compute the explicit polynomial forms of the partition functions for genus 2, 3, and 4. Moreover, some coefficients are written down for all genus. (author)

  16. Partition functions for supersymmetric black holes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manschot, J.

    2008-01-01

    This thesis presents a number of results on partition functions for four-dimensional supersymmetric black holes. These partition functions are important tools to explain the entropy of black holes from a microscopic point of view. Such a microscopic explanation was desired after the association of a

  17. Compactified webs and domain wall partition functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shabbir, Khurram [Government College University, Department of Mathematics, Lahore (Pakistan)

    2017-04-15

    In this paper we use the topological vertex formalism to calculate a generalization of the ''domain wall'' partition function of M-strings. This generalization allows calculation of partition function of certain compactified webs using a simple gluing algorithm similar to M-strings case. (orig.)

  18. [On the partition of acupuncture academic schools].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Pengyan; Luo, Xi; Xia, Youbing

    2016-05-01

    Nowadays extensive attention has been paid on the research of acupuncture academic schools, however, a widely accepted method of partition of acupuncture academic schools is still in need. In this paper, the methods of partition of acupuncture academic schools in the history have been arranged, and three typical methods of"partition of five schools" "partition of eighteen schools" and "two-stage based partition" are summarized. After adeep analysis on the disadvantages and advantages of these three methods, a new method of partition of acupuncture academic schools that is called "three-stage based partition" is proposed. In this method, after the overall acupuncture academic schools are divided into an ancient stage, a modern stage and a contemporary stage, each schoolis divided into its sub-school category. It is believed that this method of partition can remedy the weaknesses ofcurrent methods, but also explore a new model of inheritance and development under a different aspect through thedifferentiation and interaction of acupuncture academic schools at three stages.

  19. Partitions in languages and parallel computations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burgin, M S; Burgina, E S

    1982-05-01

    Partitions of entries (linguistic structures) are studied that are intended for parallel data processing. The representations of formal languages with the aid of such structures is examined, and the relationships are considered between partitions of entries and abstract families of languages and automata. 18 references.

  20. Purification of biomaterials by phase partitioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J. M.

    1984-01-01

    A technique which is particularly suited to microgravity environments and which is potentially more powerful than electrophoresis is phase partitioning. Phase partitioning is purification by partitioning between the two immiscible aqueous layers formed by solution of the polymers poly(ethylene glycol) and dextran in water. This technique proved to be very useful for separations in one-g but is limited for cells because the cells are more dense than the phase solutions thus tend to sediment to the bottom of the container before reaching equilibrium with the preferred phase. There are three phases to work in this area: synthesis of new polymers for affinity phase partitioning; development of automated apparatus for ground-based separations; and design of apparatus for performing simple phase partitioning space experiments, including examination of mechanisms for separating phases in the absence of gravity.

  1. Data Partitioning Technique for Improved Video Prioritization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismail Amin Ali

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A compressed video bitstream can be partitioned according to the coding priority of the data, allowing prioritized wireless communication or selective dropping in a congested channel. Known as data partitioning in the H.264/Advanced Video Coding (AVC codec, this paper introduces a further sub-partition of one of the H.264/AVC codec’s three data-partitions. Results show a 5 dB improvement in Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR through this innovation. In particular, the data partition containing intra-coded residuals is sub-divided into data from: those macroblocks (MBs naturally intra-coded, and those MBs forcibly inserted for non-periodic intra-refresh. Interactive user-to-user video streaming can benefit, as then HTTP adaptive streaming is inappropriate and the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC codec is too energy demanding.

  2. A practical guideline for examining a uterine niche using ultrasonography in non-pregnant women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jordans, I P M; de Leeuw, R; Stegwee, S I

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To generate a uniform, internationally recognized guideline for detailed uterine niche evaluation by ultrasonography in non-pregnant women using a modified Delphi method amongst international experts. METHODS: Fifteen international gynecological experts were recruited...... definitions, relevance, method of measurement and tips for visualization of the niche. All experts agreed on the proposed guideline for niche evaluation in non-pregnant women as presented in this paper. CONCLUSION: Consensus between niche experts was achieved on all items regarding ultrasonographic niche...

  3. A new large squalodelphinid (Cetacea, Odontoceti) from Peru sheds light on the Early Miocene platanistoid disparity and ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianucci, Giovanni; Bosio, Giulia; Malinverno, Elisa; de Muizo