WorldWideScience

Sample records for ecologically important traits

  1. Identification of major and minor QTL for ecologically important morphological traits in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jun; Shikano, Takahito; Leinonen, Tuomas; Cano, José Manuel; Li, Meng-Hua; Merilä, Juha

    2014-04-16

    Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping studies of Pacific three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) have uncovered several genomic regions controlling variability in different morphological traits, but QTL studies of Atlantic sticklebacks are lacking. We mapped QTL for 40 morphological traits, including body size, body shape, and body armor, in a F2 full-sib cross between northern European marine and freshwater three-spined sticklebacks. A total of 52 significant QTL were identified at the 5% genome-wide level. One major QTL explaining 74.4% of the total variance in lateral plate number was detected on LG4, whereas several major QTL for centroid size (a proxy for body size), and the lengths of two dorsal spines, pelvic spine, and pelvic girdle were mapped on LG21 with the explained variance ranging from 27.9% to 57.6%. Major QTL for landmark coordinates defining body shape variation also were identified on LG21, with each explaining ≥15% of variance in body shape. Multiple QTL for different traits mapped on LG21 overlapped each other, implying pleiotropy and/or tight linkage. Thus, apart from providing confirmatory data to support conclusions born out of earlier QTL studies of Pacific sticklebacks, this study also describes several novel QTL of both major and smaller effect for ecologically important traits. The finding that many major QTL mapped on LG21 suggests that this linkage group might be a hotspot for genetic determinants of ecologically important morphological traits in three-spined sticklebacks.

  2. Competitive Traits Are More Important than Stress-Tolerance Traits in a Cadmium-Contaminated Rhizosphere: A Role for Trait Theory in Microbial Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Jennifer L; Tang, Caixian; Franks, Ashley E

    2018-01-01

    Understanding how biotic and abiotic factors govern the assembly of rhizosphere-microbial communities is a long-standing goal in microbial ecology. In phytoremediation research, where plants are used to remediate heavy metal-contaminated soils, a deeper understanding of rhizosphere-microbial ecology is needed to fully exploit the potential of microbial-assisted phytoremediation. This study investigated whether Grime's competitor/stress-tolerator/ruderal (CSR) theory could be used to describe the impact of cadmium (Cd) and the presence of a Cd-accumulating plant, Carpobrotus rossii (Haw.) Schwantes, on the assembly of soil-bacterial communities using Illumina 16S rRNA profiling and the predictive metagenomic-profiling program, PICRUSt. Using predictions based on CSR theory, we hypothesized that Cd and the presence of a rhizosphere would affect community assembly. We predicted that the additional resource availability in the rhizosphere would enrich for competitive life strategists, while the presence of Cd would select for stress-tolerators. Traits identified as competitive followed CSR predictions, discriminating between rhizosphere and bulk-soil communities whilst stress-tolerance traits increased with Cd dose, but only in bulk-soil communities. These findings suggest that a bacterium's competitive attributes are critical to its ability to occupy and proliferate in a Cd-contaminated rhizosphere. Ruderal traits, which relate to community re-colonization potential, were synergistically decreased by the presence of the rhizosphere and Cd dose. Taken together this microcosm study suggests that the CSR theory is broadly applicable to microbial communities. Further work toward developing a simplified and robust strategy for microbial CSR classification will provide an ecologically meaningful framework to interpret community-level changes across a range of biomes.

  3. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellers, Jacintha; Kiers, E Toby; Currie, Cameron R; McDonald, Bradon R; Visser, Bertanne

    2012-10-01

    Loss of traits can dramatically alter the fate of species. Evidence is rapidly accumulating that the prevalence of trait loss is grossly underestimated. New findings demonstrate that traits can be lost without affecting the external phenotype, provided the lost function is compensated for by species interactions. This is important because trait loss can tighten the ecological relationship between partners, affecting the maintenance of species interactions. Here, we develop a new perspective on so-called `compensated trait loss' and how this type of trait loss may affect the evolutionary dynamics between interacting organisms. We argue that: (1) the frequency of compensated trait loss is currently underestimated because it can go unnoticed as long as ecological interactions are maintained; (2) by analysing known cases of trait loss, specific factors promoting compensated trait loss can be identified and (3) genomic sequencing is a key way forwards in detecting compensated trait loss. We present a comprehensive literature survey showing that compensated trait loss is taxonomically widespread, can involve essential traits, and often occurs as replicated evolutionary events. Despite its hidden nature, compensated trait loss is important in directing evolutionary dynamics of ecological relationships and has the potential to change facultative ecological interactions into obligatory ones. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  4. Reinforcing loose foundation stones in trait-based plant ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipley, Bill; De Bello, Francesco; Cornelissen, J Hans C; Laliberté, Etienne; Laughlin, Daniel C; Reich, Peter B

    2016-04-01

    The promise of "trait-based" plant ecology is one of generalized prediction across organizational and spatial scales, independent of taxonomy. This promise is a major reason for the increased popularity of this approach. Here, we argue that some important foundational assumptions of trait-based ecology have not received sufficient empirical evaluation. We identify three such assumptions and, where possible, suggest methods of improvement: (i) traits are functional to the degree that they determine individual fitness, (ii) intraspecific variation in functional traits can be largely ignored, and (iii) functional traits show general predictive relationships to measurable environmental gradients.

  5. The ecological importance of intraspecific variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Roches, Simone; Post, David M; Turley, Nash E; Bailey, Joseph K; Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Palkovacs, Eric P

    2018-01-01

    Human activity is causing wild populations to experience rapid trait change and local extirpation. The resulting effects on intraspecific variation could have substantial consequences for ecological processes and ecosystem services. Although researchers have long acknowledged that variation among species influences the surrounding environment, only recently has evidence accumulated for the ecological importance of variation within species. We conducted a meta-analysis comparing the ecological effects of variation within a species (intraspecific effects) with the effects of replacement or removal of that species (species effects). We evaluated direct and indirect ecological responses, including changes in abundance (or biomass), rates of ecological processes and changes in community composition. Our results show that intraspecific effects are often comparable to, and sometimes stronger than, species effects. Species effects tend to be larger for direct ecological responses (for example, through consumption), whereas intraspecific effects and species effects tend to be similar for indirect responses (for example, through trophic cascades). Intraspecific effects are especially strong when indirect interactions alter community composition. Our results summarize data from the first generation of studies examining the relative ecological effects of intraspecific variation. Our conclusions can help inform the design of future experiments and the formulation of strategies to quantify and conserve biodiversity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ellers, J.; Kiers, E.T.; Currie, C.R.; McDonald, B.R.; Visser, B.

    2012-01-01

    Loss of traits can dramatically alter the fate of species. Evidence is rapidly accumulating that the prevalence of trait loss is grossly underestimated. New findings demonstrate that traits can be lost without affecting the external phenotype, provided the lost function is compensated for by species

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-20

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

  10. Quantifying the effects of ecological constraints on trait expression using novel trait-gradient analysis parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottaviani, Gianluigi; Tsakalos, James L; Keppel, Gunnar; Mucina, Ladislav

    2018-01-01

    Complex processes related to biotic and abiotic forces can impose limitations to assembly and composition of plant communities. Quantifying the effects of these constraints on plant functional traits across environmental gradients, and among communities, remains challenging. We define ecological constraint ( C i ) as the combined, limiting effect of biotic interactions and environmental filtering on trait expression (i.e., the mean value and range of functional traits). Here, we propose a set of novel parameters to quantify this constraint by extending the trait-gradient analysis (TGA) methodology. The key parameter is ecological constraint, which is dimensionless and can be measured at various scales, for example, on population and community levels. It facilitates comparing the effects of ecological constraints on trait expressions across environmental gradients, as well as within and among communities. We illustrate the implementation of the proposed parameters using the bark thickness of 14 woody species along an aridity gradient on granite outcrops in southwestern Australia. We found a positive correlation between increasing environmental stress and strength of ecological constraint on bark thickness expression. Also, plants from more stressful habitats (shrublands on shallow soils and in sun-exposed locations) displayed higher ecological constraint for bark thickness than plants in more benign habitats (woodlands on deep soils and in sheltered locations). The relative ease of calculation and dimensionless nature of C i allow it to be readily implemented at various scales and make it widely applicable. It therefore has the potential to advance the mechanistic understanding of the ecological processes shaping trait expression. Some future applications of the new parameters could be investigating the patterns of ecological constraints (1) among communities from different regions, (2) on different traits across similar environmental gradients, and (3) for the same

  11. From Elements to Function: Toward Unifying Ecological Stoichiometry and Trait-Based Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric L. Meunier

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The theories developed in ecological stoichiometry (ES are fundamentally based on traits. Traits directly linked to cell/body stoichiometry, such as nutrient uptake and storage, as well as the associated trade-offs, have the potential to shape ecological interactions such as competition and predation within ecosystems. Further, traits that indirectly influence and are influenced by nutritional requirements, such as cell/body size and growth rate, are tightly linked to organismal stoichiometry. Despite their physiological and ecological relevance, traits are rarely explicitly integrated in the framework of ES and, currently, the major challenge is to more closely inter-connect ES with trait-based ecology (TBE. Here, we highlight four interconnected nutrient trait groups, i.e., acquisition, body stoichiometry, storage, and excretion, which alter interspecific competition in autotrophs and heterotrophs. We also identify key differences between producer-consumer interactions in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. For instance, our synthesis shows that, in contrast to aquatic ecosystems, traits directly influencing herbivore stoichiometry in forested ecosystems should play only a minor role in the cycling of nutrients. We furthermore describe how linking ES and TBE can help predict the ecosystem consequences of global change. The concepts we highlight here allow us to predict that increasing N:P ratios in ecosystems should shift trait dominances in communities toward species with higher optimal N:P ratios and higher P uptake affinity, while decreasing N retention and increasing P storage.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellier, Edwige; Kéry, Marc; Schaub, Michael

    2018-03-30

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

  13. Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Griffiths, Sarah M; Harrison, Xavier A; Aranega-Bou, Paz; Arce, Andres; Bettridge, Aimee S; Brailsford, Francesca L; de Menezes, Alexandre; Devaynes, Andrew; Forbes, Kristian M; Fry, Ellen L; Goodhead, Ian; Haskell, Erin; Heys, Chloe; James, Chloe; Johnston, Sarah R; Lewis, Gillian R; Lewis, Zenobia; Macey, Michael C; McCarthy, Alan; McDonald, James E; Mejia-Florez, Nasmille L; O'Brien, David; Orland, Chloé; Pautasso, Marco; Reid, William D K; Robinson, Heather A; Wilson, Kenneth; Sutherland, William J

    2017-05-01

    Microbial ecology provides insights into the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities underpinning every ecosystem on Earth. Microbial communities can now be investigated in unprecedented detail, although there is still a wealth of open questions to be tackled. Here we identify 50 research questions of fundamental importance to the science or application of microbial ecology, with the intention of summarising the field and bringing focus to new research avenues. Questions are categorised into seven themes: host-microbiome interactions; health and infectious diseases; human health and food security; microbial ecology in a changing world; environmental processes; functional diversity; and evolutionary processes. Many questions recognise that microbes provide an extraordinary array of functional diversity that can be harnessed to solve real-world problems. Our limited knowledge of spatial and temporal variation in microbial diversity and function is also reflected, as is the need to integrate micro- and macro-ecological concepts, and knowledge derived from studies with humans and other diverse organisms. Although not exhaustive, the questions presented are intended to stimulate discussion and provide focus for researchers, funders and policy makers, informing the future research agenda in microbial ecology. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Pollution concentration estimates in ecologically important zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skiba, Y.N. [Mexico City Univ. (Mexico). Center for Atmospheric Sciences

    1995-12-31

    Method based on using the pollutant transport equation and the adjoint technique is described here for estimating the pollutant concentration level in ecologically important zones. The method directly relates the pollution level in such zones with the power of the pollution sources and the initial pollution field. Assuming that the wind or current velocities are known (from climatic data or dynamic model), the main and adjoint pollutant transport equations can be considered in a limited area to solve such theoretically and practically important problems as: (1) optimal location of new industries in a given region with the aim to minimize the pollution concentration in certain ecologically important zones, (2) optimization of emissions from operating industries, (3) detection of the plants violating sanitary regulations, (4) analysis of the emissions coming from the vehicle traffic (such emissions can be included in the model by means of the linear pollution sources located along the main roadways), (5) estimation of the oil pollution in various ecologically important oceanic (sea) zones in case of accident with the oil tanker, (6) evaluation of the sea water desalination level in estuary regions, and others. These equations considered in a spherical shell domain can also be applied to the problems of transporting the pollutants from a huge industrial complex, or from the zone of an ecological catastrophe similar to the Chernobyl one

  15. Pollution concentration estimates in ecologically important zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skiba, Y N [Mexico City Univ. (Mexico). Center for Atmospheric Sciences

    1996-12-31

    Method based on using the pollutant transport equation and the adjoint technique is described here for estimating the pollutant concentration level in ecologically important zones. The method directly relates the pollution level in such zones with the power of the pollution sources and the initial pollution field. Assuming that the wind or current velocities are known (from climatic data or dynamic model), the main and adjoint pollutant transport equations can be considered in a limited area to solve such theoretically and practically important problems as: (1) optimal location of new industries in a given region with the aim to minimize the pollution concentration in certain ecologically important zones, (2) optimization of emissions from operating industries, (3) detection of the plants violating sanitary regulations, (4) analysis of the emissions coming from the vehicle traffic (such emissions can be included in the model by means of the linear pollution sources located along the main roadways), (5) estimation of the oil pollution in various ecologically important oceanic (sea) zones in case of accident with the oil tanker, (6) evaluation of the sea water desalination level in estuary regions, and others. These equations considered in a spherical shell domain can also be applied to the problems of transporting the pollutants from a huge industrial complex, or from the zone of an ecological catastrophe similar to the Chernobyl one

  16. Phylogenetic trait-based analyses of ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafferty, Nicole E; Ives, Anthony R

    2013-10-01

    Ecological networks of two interacting guilds of species, such as flowering plants and pollinators, are common in nature, and studying their structure can yield insights into their resilience to environmental disturbances. Here we develop analytical methods for exploring the strengths of interactions within bipartite networks consisting of two guilds of phylogenetically related species. We then apply these methods to investigate the resilience of a plant-pollinator community to anticipated climate change. The methods allow the statistical assessment of, for example, whether closely related pollinators are more likely to visit plants with similar relative frequencies, and whether closely related pollinators tend to visit closely related plants. The methods can also incorporate trait information, allowing us to identify which plant traits are likely responsible for attracting different pollinators. These questions are important for our study of 14 prairie plants and their 22 insect pollinators. Over the last 70 years, six of the plants have advanced their flowering, while eight have not. When we experimentally forced earlier flowering times, five of the six advanced-flowering species experienced higher pollinator visitation rates, whereas only one of the eight other species had more visits; this network thus appears resilient to climate change, because those species with advanced flowering have ample pollinators earlier in the season. Using the methods developed here, we show that advanced-flowering plants did not have a distinct pollinator community from the other eight species. Furthermore, pollinator phylogeny did not explain pollinator community composition; closely related pollinators were not more likely to visit the same plant species. However, differences among pollinator communities visiting different plants were explained by plant height, floral color, and symmetry. As a result, closely related plants attracted similar numbers of pollinators. By parsing out

  17. Sexual imprinting on ecologically divergent traits leads to sexual isolation in sticklebacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozak, Genevieve M; Head, Megan L; Boughman, Janette W

    2011-09-07

    During sexual imprinting, offspring learn parental phenotypes and then select mates who are similar to their parents. Imprinting has been thought to contribute to the process of speciation in only a few rare cases; this is despite imprinting's potential to generate assortative mating and solve the problem of recombination in ecological speciation. If offspring imprint on parental traits under divergent selection, these traits will then be involved in both adaptation and mate preference. Such 'magic traits' easily generate sexual isolation and facilitate speciation. In this study, we show that imprinting occurs in two ecologically divergent stickleback species (benthics and limnetics: Gasterosteus spp.). Cross-fostered females preferred mates of their foster father's species. Furthermore, imprinting is essential for sexual isolation between species; isolation was reduced when females were raised without fathers. Daughters imprinted on father odour and colour during a critical period early in development. These traits have diverged between the species owing to differences in ecology. Therefore, we provide the first evidence that imprinting links ecological adaptation to sexual isolation between species. Our results suggest that imprinting may facilitate the evolution of sexual isolation during ecological speciation, may be especially important in cases of rapid diversification, and thus play an integral role in the generation of biodiversity.

  18. Ecological Trait Composition of Freshwater Fish Across Gradients of Environmental Variability in North-Eastern Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennard, M. J.; Pusey, B. J.; Arthington, A. H.

    2005-05-01

    North-eastern Australia encompasses 18o of latitude, monsoonal/tropical to sub-tropical/temperate climates, geomorphologically diverse rivers, and flow regimes with markedly varied seasonality, constancy and predictability. Fish assemblages in the region vary in relation to the predictability of aquatic habitat availability and other topographic, climatic and/or biogeographic factors. This paper examines how environmental, biogeographic and phylogenetic factors may constrain ecological trait composition at local and regional scales. We derived 17 categories of ecological traits to describe the morphology, behaviour, habitat, life history and trophic characteristics of 114 fish species from 64 river basins. Trait composition varied substantially across the region. The number of riffle dwelling species, maximum size and longevity of fishes was greater in the hydrologically predictable and constant rivers of the Wet Tropics region than in more unpredictable or seasonal environments. The importance of herbivory was also greater in the tropics. Historical biogeographic and phylogenetic factors may confound our ability to understand the role of environmental factors in determining spatial variation in ecological trait composition. Understanding the functional linkages between environmental drivers of fish species distributions via their ecological characteristics should provide a foundation for predicting future impacts of environmental change in a region of Australia subject to increasing human pressures.

  19. Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land?use pressures in European agricultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    De Palma, Adriana; Kuhlmann, Michael; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Potts, Simon G.; B?rger, Luca; Hudson, Lawrence N.; Lysenko, Igor; Newbold, Tim; Purvis, Andy

    2015-01-01

    1.Bees are a functionally important and economically valuable group, but are threatened by land-use conversion and intensification. Such pressures are not expected to affect all species identically; rather, they are likely to be mediated by the species' ecological traits. 2.Understanding which types of species are most vulnerable under which land uses is an important step towards effective conservation planning. 3.We collated occurrence and abundance data for 257 bee species at 1584 Eur...

  20. Marine reserves: fish life history and ecological traits matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claudet, J; Osenberg, C W; Domenici, P; Badalamenti, F; Milazzo, M; Falcón, J M; Bertocci, I; Benedetti-Cecchi, L; García-Charton, J A; Goñi, R; Borg, J A; Forcada, A; De Lucia, G A; Perez-Ruzafa, A; Afonso, P; Brito, A; Guala, I; Le Diréach, L; Sanchez-Jerez, P; Somerfield, P J; Planes, S

    2010-04-01

    Marine reserves are assumed to protect a wide range of species from deleterious effects stemming from exploitation. However, some species, due to their ecological characteristics, may not respond positively to protection. Very little is known about the effects of life history and ecological traits (e.g., mobility, growth, and habitat) on responses of fish species to marine reserves. Using 40 data sets from 12 European marine reserves, we show that there is significant variation in the response of different species of fish to protection and that this heterogeneity can be explained, in part, by differences in their traits. Densities of targeted size-classes of commercial species were greater in protected than unprotected areas. This effect of protection increased as the maximum body size of the targeted species increased, and it was greater for species that were not obligate schoolers. However, contrary to previous theoretical findings, even mobile species with wide home ranges benefited from protection: the effect of protection was at least as strong for mobile species as it was for sedentary ones. Noncommercial bycatch and unexploited species rarely responded to protection, and when they did (in the case of unexploited bentho-pelagic species), they exhibited the opposite response: their densities were lower inside reserves. The use of marine reserves for marine conservation and fisheries management implies that they should ensure protection for a wide range of species with different life-history and ecological traits. Our results suggest this is not the case, and instead that effects vary with economic value, body size, habitat, depth range, and schooling behavior.

  1. Floral traits and pollination ecology of European Arum hybrids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartier, Marion; Liagre, Suzanne; Weiss-Schneeweiss, Hanna; Kolano, Bozena; Bessière, Jean-Marie; Schönenberger, Jürg; Gibernau, Marc

    2016-02-01

    Hybridisation is common in plants and can affect the genetic diversity and ecology of sympatric parental populations. Hybrids may resemble the parental species in their ecology, leading to competition and/or gene introgression; alternatively, they may diverge from the parental phenotypes, possibly leading to the colonisation of new ecological niches and to speciation. Here, we describe inflorescence morphology, ploidy levels, pollinator attractive scents, and pollinator guilds of natural hybrids of Arum italicum and A. maculatum (Araceae) from a site with sympatric parental populations in southern France to determine how these traits affect the hybrid pollination ecology. Hybrids were characterised by inflorescences with a size and a number of flowers more similar to A. italicum than to A. maculatum. In most cases, hybrid stamens were purple, as in A. maculatum, and spadix appendices yellow, as in A. italicum. Hybrid floral scent was closer to that of A. italicum, but shared some compounds with A. maculatum and comprised unique compounds. Also, the pollinator guild of the hybrids was similar to that of A. italicum. Nevertheless, the hybrids attracted a high proportion of individuals of the main pollinator of A. maculatum. We discuss the effects of hybridisation in sympatric parental zones in which hybrids exhibit low levels of reproductive success, the establishment of reproductive barriers between parental species, the role of the composition of floral attractive scents in the differential attraction of pollinators and in the competition between hybrids and their parental species, and the potential of hybridisation to give rise to new independent lineages.

  2. Species traits and environmental constraints: entomological research and the history of ecological theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statzner, B; Hildrew, A G; Resh, V H

    2001-01-01

    The role that entomology has played in the historical (1800s-1970s) development of ecological theories that match species traits with environmental constraints is reviewed along three lineages originating from the ideas of a minister (Malthus TR. 1798. An Essay on the Principle of Population. London: Johnson) and a chemist (Liebig J. 1840. Die Organische Chemie in ihrer Anwendung auf Agricultur und Physiologie. Braunschweig: Vieweg). Major developments in lineage 1 focus on habitat as a filter for species traits, succession, nonequilibrium and equilibrium conditions, and generalizations about the correlation of traits to environmental constraints. In lineage 2, we trace the evolution of the niche concept and focus on ecophysiological traits, biotic interactions, and environmental conditions. Finally, we describe the conceptual route from early demographic studies of human and animal populations to the r-K concept in lineage 3. In the 1970s, the entomologist Southwood merged these three lineages into the "habitat templet concept" (Southwood TRE. 1977. J. Anim. Ecol. 46:337-65), which has stimulated much subsequent research in entomology and general ecology. We conclude that insects have been a far more important resource for the development of ecological theory than previously acknowledged.

  3. Revisiting the Holy Grail: using plant functional traits to understand ecological processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Larson, Julie E; Ames, Gregory M; Butterfield, Bradley J; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Firn, Jennifer; Laughlin, Daniel C; Sutton-Grier, Ariana E; Williams, Laura; Wright, Justin

    2017-05-01

    One of ecology's grand challenges is developing general rules to explain and predict highly complex systems. Understanding and predicting ecological processes from species' traits has been considered a 'Holy Grail' in ecology. Plant functional traits are increasingly being used to develop mechanistic models that can predict how ecological communities will respond to abiotic and biotic perturbations and how species will affect ecosystem function and services in a rapidly changing world; however, significant challenges remain. In this review, we highlight recent work and outstanding questions in three areas: (i) selecting relevant traits; (ii) describing intraspecific trait variation and incorporating this variation into models; and (iii) scaling trait data to community- and ecosystem-level processes. Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in the characterization of plant strategies based on traits and trait relationships, and the integration of traits into multivariate indices and models of community and ecosystem function. However, the utility of trait-based approaches in ecology will benefit from efforts that demonstrate how these traits and indices influence organismal, community, and ecosystem processes across vegetation types, which may be achieved through meta-analysis and enhancement of trait databases. Additionally, intraspecific trait variation and species interactions need to be incorporated into predictive models using tools such as Bayesian hierarchical modelling. Finally, existing models linking traits to community and ecosystem processes need to be empirically tested for their applicability to be realized. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  4. Toward molecular trait-based ecology through integration of biogeochemical, geographical and metagenomic data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raes, Jeroen; Letunic, Ivica; Yamada, Takuji

    2011-01-01

    Using metagenomic 'parts lists' to infer global patterns on microbial ecology remains a significant challenge. To deduce important ecological indicators such as environmental adaptation, molecular trait dispersal, diversity variation and primary production from the gene pool of an ecosystem, we...... integrated 25 ocean metagenomes with geographical, meteorological and geophysicochemical data. We find that climatic factors (temperature, sunlight) are the major determinants of the biomolecular repertoire of each sample and the main limiting factor on functional trait dispersal (absence of biogeographic...... provincialism). Molecular functional richness and diversity show a distinct latitudinal gradient peaking at 20° N and correlate with primary production. The latter can also be predicted from the molecular functional composition of an environmental sample. Together, our results show that the functional community...

  5. Phylogeny as a proxy for ecology in seagrass amphipods: which traits are most conserved?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca J Best

    Full Text Available Increasingly, studies of community assembly and ecosystem function combine trait data and phylogenetic relationships to gain novel insight into the ecological and evolutionary constraints on community dynamics. However, the key to interpreting these two types of information is an understanding of the extent to which traits are phylogenetically conserved. In this study, we develop the necessary framework for community phylogenetics approaches in a system of marine crustacean herbivores that play an important role in the ecosystem functioning of seagrass systems worldwide. For 16 species of amphipods and isopods, we (1 reconstructed phylogenetic relationships using COI, 16S, and 18S sequences and Bayesian analyses, (2 measured traits that are potentially important for assembling species between and within habitats, and (3 compared the degree to which each of these traits are evolutionarily conserved. Despite poor phylogenetic resolution for the order Amphipoda as a whole, we resolved almost all of the topology for the species in our system, and used a sampling of ultrametric trees from the posterior distribution to account for remaining uncertainty in topology and branch lengths. We found that traits varied widely in their degree of phylogenetic signal. Body mass, fecundity, and tube building showed very strong phylogenetic signal, and temperature tolerance and feeding traits showed much less. As such, the degree of signal was not predictable based on whether the trait is related to environmental filtering or to resource partitioning. Further, we found that even with strong phylogenetic signal in body size, (which may have large impacts on ecosystem function, the predictive relationship between phylogenetic diversity and ecosystem function is not straightforward. We show that patterns of phylogenetic diversity in communities of seagrass mesograzers could lead to a variety of interpretations and predictions, and that detailed study of trait

  6. 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.

  7. Comparative cryptogam ecology: a review of bryophyte and lichen traits that drive biogeochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Lang, Simone I; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; During, Heinjo J

    2007-05-01

    Recent decades have seen a major surge in the study of interspecific variation in functional traits in comparative plant ecology, as a tool to understanding and predicting ecosystem functions and their responses to environmental change. However, this research has been biased almost exclusively towards vascular plants. Very little is known about the role and applicability of functional traits of non-vascular cryptogams, particularly bryophytes and lichens, with respect to biogeochemical cycling. Yet these organisms are paramount determinants of biogeochemistry in several biomes, particularly cold biomes and tropical rainforests, where they: (1) contribute substantially to above-ground biomass (lichens, bryophytes); (2) host nitrogen-fixing bacteria, providing major soil N input (lichens, bryophytes); (3) control soil chemistry and nutrition through the accumulation of recalcitrant polyphenols (bryophytes) and through their control over soil and vegetation hydrology and temperatures; (4) both promote erosion (rock weathering by lichens) and prevent it (biological crusts in deserts); (5) provide a staple food to mammals such as reindeer (lichens) and arthropodes, with important feedbacks to soils and biota; and (6) both facilitate and compete with vascular plants. Here we review current knowledge about interspecific variation in cryptogam traits with respect to biogeochemical cycling and discuss to what extent traits and measuring protocols needed for bryophytes and lichens correspond with those applied to vascular plants. We also propose and discuss several new or recently introduced traits that may help us understand and predict the control of cryptogams over several aspects of the biogeochemistry of ecosystems. Whilst many methodological challenges lie ahead, comparative cryptogam ecology has the potential to meet some of the important challenges of understanding and predicting the biogeochemical and climate consequences of large-scale environmental changes driving

  8. Reinforcing loose foundation stones in trait-based plant ecology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Shipley, B.; de Bello, Francesco; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Lariberté, E.; Laughlin, D. C.; Reich, P. B.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 180, č. 4 (2016), s. 923-931 ISSN 0029-8549 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Comparative ecology * Functional ecology * Intraspecific variation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.130, year: 2016

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Refining Trait Resilience: Identifying Engineering, Ecological, and Adaptive Facets from Extant Measures of Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltby, John; Day, Liz; Hall, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The current paper presents a new measure of trait resilience derived from three common mechanisms identified in ecological theory: Engineering, Ecological and Adaptive (EEA) resilience. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of five existing resilience scales suggest that the three trait resilience facets emerge, and can be reduced to a 12-item scale. The conceptualization and value of EEA resilience within the wider trait and well-being psychology is illustrated in terms of differing relationships with adaptive expressions of the traits of the five-factor personality model and the contribution to well-being after controlling for personality and coping, or over time. The current findings suggest that EEA resilience is a useful and parsimonious model and measure of trait resilience that can readily be placed within wider trait psychology and that is found to contribute to individual well-being. PMID:26132197

  11. Ecological and engineering importance of the Bet el Ras beach ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    From the results of the survey made, it is clear that the sandstone is ecologically and environmentally important such that its total removal will lead to loss of a habitat as well as enhance coastal erosion and sediment input in the littoral zone thereby impacting on the ecology of the associated flora and fauna. Since none of ...

  12. Functional-trait ecology of the plateau pika Ochotona curzoniae (Hodgson, 1858) in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andrew T; Badingqiuying; Wilson, Maxwell C; Hogan, Brigitte W

    2018-01-09

    Understanding a species' functional traits allows for a directed and productive perspective on the role a species plays in nature, thus its relative importance to conservation planning. The functional trait ecology of the plateau pika Ochotona curzoniae (Hodgson, 1858) is examined to better understand the resilience and sustainability of the high alpine grasslands of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). The key functional traits of plateau pikas are their abundance and behavior of digging extensive burrow systems. Plateau pikas have been poisoned over a significant part of their original geographic distribution across the QTP, allowing comparison of ecological communities with and without pikas. Nearly all mammalian and avian carnivores, most of which are obligate predators on pikas, have been lost in regions where pikas have been poisoned. Most endemic birds on the QTP nest in pika burrows; when pikas are poisoned, burrows collapse, and these birds are greatly reduced in number. Due to the biopedturbation resulting from their burrows, regional plant species richness is higher in areas with pikas than without. The presence of pika burrows allows higher rates of infiltration during heavy monsoon rains compared to poisoned areas, possibly mitigating runoff and the potential for serious downslope erosion and flooding. Thus the functional traits of plateau pikas enhance native biodiversity and other important ecosystem functions; these traits are irreplaceable. As plateau pikas are not natural colonizers, active re-introduction programs are needed to restore pikas to areas from which they have been poisoned to restore the important functional ecological traits of pikas. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Identifying plant traits: a key aspect for suitable species selection in ecological restoration of semiarid slopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochet, Esther; García-Fayos, Patricio

    2017-04-01

    In the context of ecological restoration, one of the greatest challenges for practitioners and scientists is to select suitable species for revegetation purposes. In semiarid environments where restoration projects often fail, little attention has been paid so far to the contribution of plant traits to species success. The objective of this study was to (1) identify plant traits associated with species success on four roadside situations along an erosion-productivity gradient, and (2) to provide an ecological framework for selecting suitable species on the basis of their morphological and functional traits, applied to semiarid environments. We analyzed the association of 10 different plant traits with species success of 296 species surveyed on the four roadside situations in a semiarid region (Valencia, Spain). Plant traits included general plant traits (longevity, woodiness) and more specific root-, seed- and leaf-related traits (root type, sprouting ability, seed mucilage, seed mass, seed susceptibility to removal, specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content). All of them were selected according to the prevailing limiting ecogeomorphological processes acting along the erosion-productivity gradient. We observed strong shifts along the erosion-productivity gradient in the traits associated to species success. At the harshest end of the gradient, the most intensely eroded and driest one, species success was mainly associated to seed resistance to removal by runoff and to resistance to drought. At the opposite end of the gradient, the most productive one, species success was associated to a competitive-ruderal plant strategy (herbaceous successful species with high specific leaf area and low leaf dry matter content). Our study provides an ecologically-based approach for selecting suitable native species on the basis or their morphological and functional traits and supports a differential trait-based selection of species as regards roadslope type and aspect. In

  14. Use of genetic data to infer population-specific ecological and phenotypic traits from mixed aggregations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Moran

    Full Text Available Many applications in ecological genetics involve sampling individuals from a mixture of multiple biological populations and subsequently associating those individuals with the populations from which they arose. Analytical methods that assign individuals to their putative population of origin have utility in both basic and applied research, providing information about population-specific life history and habitat use, ecotoxins, pathogen and parasite loads, and many other non-genetic ecological, or phenotypic traits. Although the question is initially directed at the origin of individuals, in most cases the ultimate desire is to investigate the distribution of some trait among populations. Current practice is to assign individuals to a population of origin and study properties of the trait among individuals within population strata as if they constituted independent samples. It seemed that approach might bias population-specific trait inference. In this study we made trait inferences directly through modeling, bypassing individual assignment. We extended a Bayesian model for population mixture analysis to incorporate parameters for the phenotypic trait and compared its performance to that of individual assignment with a minimum probability threshold for assignment. The Bayesian mixture model outperformed individual assignment under some trait inference conditions. However, by discarding individuals whose origins are most uncertain, the individual assignment method provided a less complex analytical technique whose performance may be adequate for some common trait inference problems. Our results provide specific guidance for method selection under various genetic relationships among populations with different trait distributions.

  15. Use of genetic data to infer population-specific ecological and phenotypic traits from mixed aggregations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Paul; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Masuda, Michele

    2014-01-01

    Many applications in ecological genetics involve sampling individuals from a mixture of multiple biological populations and subsequently associating those individuals with the populations from which they arose. Analytical methods that assign individuals to their putative population of origin have utility in both basic and applied research, providing information about population-specific life history and habitat use, ecotoxins, pathogen and parasite loads, and many other non-genetic ecological, or phenotypic traits. Although the question is initially directed at the origin of individuals, in most cases the ultimate desire is to investigate the distribution of some trait among populations. Current practice is to assign individuals to a population of origin and study properties of the trait among individuals within population strata as if they constituted independent samples. It seemed that approach might bias population-specific trait inference. In this study we made trait inferences directly through modeling, bypassing individual assignment. We extended a Bayesian model for population mixture analysis to incorporate parameters for the phenotypic trait and compared its performance to that of individual assignment with a minimum probability threshold for assignment. The Bayesian mixture model outperformed individual assignment under some trait inference conditions. However, by discarding individuals whose origins are most uncertain, the individual assignment method provided a less complex analytical technique whose performance may be adequate for some common trait inference problems. Our results provide specific guidance for method selection under various genetic relationships among populations with different trait distributions.

  16. Molecular trait indicators: Moving beyond phylogeny in arbuscular mycorrhizal ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gamper, H.A.; van der Heijden, M.; Kowalchuk, G.A.

    2010-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form symbiotic associations with the roots of most plants, thereby mediating nutrient and carbon fluxes, plant performance, and ecosystem dynamics. Although considerable effort has been expended to understand the keystone ecological position of AM symbioses, most

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPeek, Mark A

    2017-05-01

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

  18. Importance of including cultural practices in ecological restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehi, Priscilla M; Lord, Janice M

    2017-10-01

    Ecosystems worldwide have a long history of use and management by indigenous cultures. However, environmental degradation can reduce the availability of culturally important resources. Ecological restoration aims to repair damage to ecosystems caused by human activity, but it is unclear how often restoration projects incorporate the return of harvesting or traditional life patterns for indigenous communities. We examined the incorporation of cultural use of natural resources into ecological restoration in the context of a culturally important but protected New Zealand bird; among award-winning restoration projects in Australasia and worldwide; and in the peer-reviewed restoration ecology literature. Among New Zealand's culturally important bird species, differences in threat status and availability for hunting were large. These differences indicate the values of a colonizing culture can inhibit harvesting by indigenous people. In Australasia among award-winning ecological restoration projects, restored areas beyond aesthetic or recreational use, despite many projects encouraging community participation. Globally, restoration goals differed among regions. For example, in North America, projects were primarily conservation oriented, whereas in Asia and Africa projects frequently focused on restoring cultural harvesting. From 1995 to 2014, the restoration ecology literature contained few references to cultural values or use. We argue that restoration practitioners are missing a vital component for reassembling functional ecosystems. Inclusion of sustainably harvestable areas within restored landscapes may allow for the continuation of traditional practices that shaped ecosystems for millennia, and also aid project success by ensuring community support. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Historical changes in northeastern US bee pollinators related to shared ecological traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Ascher, John S; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan N; Wagner, David L; Hedtke, Shannon M; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-03-19

    Pollinators such as bees are essential to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, despite concerns about a global pollinator crisis, long-term data on the status of bee species are limited. We present a long-term study of relative rates of change for an entire regional bee fauna in the northeastern United States, based on >30,000 museum records representing 438 species. Over a 140-y period, aggregate native species richness weakly decreased, but richness declines were significant only for the genus Bombus. Of 187 native species analyzed individually, only three declined steeply, all of these in the genus Bombus. However, there were large shifts in community composition, as indicated by 56% of species showing significant changes in relative abundance over time. Traits associated with a declining relative abundance include small dietary and phenological breadth and large body size. In addition, species with lower latitudinal range boundaries are increasing in relative abundance, a finding that may represent a response to climate change. We show that despite marked increases in human population density and large changes in anthropogenic land use, aggregate native species richness declines were modest outside of the genus Bombus. At the same time, we find that certain ecological traits are associated with declines in relative abundance. These results should help target conservation efforts focused on maintaining native bee abundance and diversity and therefore the important ecosystems services that they provide.

  1. Ecology criteria as an important concept for emotive lingvoecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarasova O. D.

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available the article deals with a new linguistic research area – emotive lingvoecology and an important concept for its research – ecology criteria. The author outlines some problems in the concise defining of this category and expands on each of its features. Emotions, emotion nominees and cross-cultural differences of English and Russian are in the focus of attention.

  2. Gender-biased perceptions of important ecology articles

    OpenAIRE

    Courchamp, Franck; Bradshaw, Corey

    2017-01-01

    Gender bias is still unfortunately rife in the sciences, and men co-author most articles (> 70%) in ecology. Whether ecologists subconsciously rate the quality of their peers' work more favourably if men are the dominant co-authors is still unclear. To test this hypothesis, we examined how expert ecologists ranked important ecology articles based on a previously compiled list. Women proposed articles with a higher average proportion of women co-authors (0.18) than did men proposers (0.07)....

  3. 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.

  4. Comparative crytpgam ecology: A review of bryophyte and lichen traits that drive biogeochemistry.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Lang, S.I.; Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; During, H.J.

    2007-01-01

    • Background: Recent decades have seen a major surge in the study of interspecific variation in functional traits in comparative plant ecology, as a tool to understanding and predicting ecosystem functions and their responses to environmental change. However, this research has been biased almost

  5. Remote Sensing of plant functional types: Relative importance of biochemical and structural plant traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kattenborn, Teja; Schmidtlein, Sebastian

    2017-04-01

    Monitoring ecosystems is a key priority in order to understand vegetation patterns, underlying resource cycles and changes their off. Driven by biotic and abiotic factors, plant species within an ecosystem are likely to share similar structural, physiological or phenological traits and can therefore be grouped into plant functional types (PFT). It can be assumed that plants which share similar traits also share similar optical characteristics. Therefore optical remote sensing was identified as a valuable tool for differentiating PFT. Although several authors list structural and biochemical plant traits which are important for differentiating PFT using hyperspectral remote sensing, there is no quantitative or qualitative information on the relative importance of these traits. Thus, little is known about the explicit role of plant traits for an optical discrimination of PFT. One of the main reasons for this is that various optical traits affect the same wavelength regions and it is therefore difficult to isolate the discriminative power of a single trait. A way to determine the effect of single plant traits on the optical reflectance of plant canopies is given by radiative transfer models. The most established radiative transfer model is PROSAIL, which incorporates biochemical and structural plant traits, such as pigment contents or leaf area index. In the present study 25 grassland species of different PFT were cultivated and traits relevant for PROSAIL were measured for the entire vegetation season of 2016. The information content of each trait for differentiating PFTs was determined by applying a Multi-response Permutation Procedure on the actual traits, as well as on simulated canopy spectra derived from PROSAIL. According to our results some traits, especially biochemical traits, show a weaker separability of PFT on a spectral level than compared to the actual trait measurements. Overall structural traits (leaf angle and leaf area index) are more important for

  6. Toward a knowledge infrastructure for traits-based ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Donald J; Baker, Christopher J O; Brua, Robert B; Hajibabaei, Mehrdad; McNicol, Kearon; Pascoe, Timothy J; de Zwart, Dick

    2011-04-01

    The trait approach has already indicated significant potential as a tool in understanding natural variation among species in sensitivity to contaminants in the process of ecological risk assessment. However, to realize its full potential, a defined nomenclature for traits is urgently required, and significant effort is required to populate databases of species-trait relationships. Recently, there have been significant advances in the area of information management and discovery in the area of the semantic web. Combined with continuing progress in biological trait knowledge, these suggest that the time is right for a reevaluation of how trait information from divergent research traditions is collated and made available for end users in the field of environmental management. Although there has already been a great deal of work on traits, the information is scattered throughout databases, literature, and undiscovered sources. Further progress will require better leverage of this existing data and research to fill in the gaps. We review and discuss a number of technical and social challenges to bringing together existing information and moving toward a new, collaborative approach. Finally, we outline a path toward enhanced knowledge discovery within the traits domain space, showing that, by linking knowledge management infrastructure, semantic metadata (trait ontologies), and Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies, we can begin to construct a dedicated platform for TERA science. Copyright © 2010 SETAC.

  7. Contrasting impacts of competition on ecological and social trait evolution in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drury, Jonathan P; Tobias, Joseph A; Burns, Kevin J; Mason, Nicholas A; Shultz, Allison J; Morlon, Hélène

    2018-01-01

    Competition between closely related species has long been viewed as a powerful selective force that drives trait diversification, thereby generating phenotypic diversity over macroevolutionary timescales. However, although the impact of interspecific competition has been documented in a handful of iconic insular radiations, most previous studies have focused on traits involved in resource use, and few have examined the role of competition across large, continental radiations. Thus, the extent to which broad-scale patterns of phenotypic diversity are shaped by competition remain largely unclear, particularly for social traits. Here, we estimate the effect of competition between interacting lineages by applying new phylogenetic models that account for such interactions to an exceptionally complete dataset of resource-use traits and social signaling traits for the entire radiation of tanagers (Aves, Thraupidae), the largest family of songbirds. We find that interspecific competition strongly influences the evolution of traits involved in resource use, with a weaker effect on plumage signals, and very little effect on song. Our results provide compelling evidence that interspecific exploitative competition contributes to ecological trait diversification among coexisting species, even in a large continental radiation. In comparison, signal traits mediating mate choice and social competition seem to diversify under different evolutionary models, including rapid diversification in the allopatric stage of speciation.

  8. Genome-wide analysis reveals signatures of selection for important traits in domestic sheep from different ecoregions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhaohua; Ji, Zhibin; Wang, Guizhi; Chao, Tianle; Hou, Lei; Wang, Jianmin

    2016-11-03

    Throughout a long period of adaptation and selection, sheep have thrived in a diverse range of ecological environments. Mongolian sheep is the common ancestor of the Chinese short fat-tailed sheep. Migration to different ecoregions leads to changes in selection pressures and results in microevolution. Mongolian sheep and its subspecies differ in a number of important traits, especially reproductive traits. Genome-wide intraspecific variation is required to dissect the genetic basis of these traits. This research resequenced 3 short fat-tailed sheep breeds with a 43.2-fold coverage of the sheep genome. We report more than 17 million single nucleotide polymorphisms and 2.9 million indels and identify 143 genomic regions with reduced pooled heterozygosity or increased genetic distance to each other breed that represent likely targets for selection during the migration. These regions harbor genes related to developmental processes, cellular processes, multicellular organismal processes, biological regulation, metabolic processes, reproduction, localization, growth and various components of the stress responses. Furthermore, we examined the haplotype diversity of 3 genomic regions involved in reproduction and found significant differences in TSHR and PRL gene regions among 8 sheep breeds. Our results provide useful genomic information for identifying genes or causal mutations associated with important economic traits in sheep and for understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to different ecological environments.

  9. Evolution in the deep sea: biological traits, ecology and phylogenetics of pelagic copepods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laakmann, Silke; Auel, Holger; Kochzius, Marc

    2012-11-01

    Deep-sea biodiversity has received increasing interest in the last decade, mainly focusing on benthic communities. In contrast, studies of zooplankton in the meso- to bathypelagic zones are relatively scarce. In order to explore evolutionary processes in the pelagic deep sea, the present study focuses on copepods of two clausocalanoid families, Euchaetidae and Aetideidae, which are abundant and species-rich in the deep-sea pelagic realm. Molecular phylogenies based on concatenated-portioned data on 18S, 28S and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), as well as mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), were examined on 13 species, mainly from Arctic and Antarctic regions, together with species-specific biological traits (i.e. vertical occurrence, feeding behaviour, dietary preferences, energy storage, and reproductive strategy). Relationships were resolved on genus, species and even sub-species levels, the latter two established by COI with maximum average genetic distances ranging from ≤5.3% at the intra-specific, and 20.6% at the inter-specific level. There is no resolution at a family level, emphasising the state of Euchaetidae and Aetideidae as sister families and suggesting a fast radiation of these lineages, a hypothesis which is further supported by biological parameters. Euchaetidae were similar in lipid-specific energy storage, reproductive strategy, as well as feeding behaviour and dietary preference. In contrast, Aetideidae were more diverse, comprising a variety of characteristics ranging from similar adaptations within Paraeuchaeta, to genera consisting of species with completely different reproductive and feeding ecologies. Reproductive strategies were generally similar within each aetideid genus, but differed between genera. Closely related species (congeners), which were similar in the aforementioned biological and ecological traits, generally occurred in different depth layers, suggesting that vertical partitioning of the water column

  10. A new emphasis on root traits for perennial grass and legume varieties with environmental and ecological benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Athole H; Collins, Rosemary P; Humphreys, Mike W; Scullion, John

    2016-02-01

    Grasslands cover a significant proportion of the agricultural land within the UK and across the EU, providing a relatively cheap source of feed for ruminants and supporting the production of meat, wool and milk from grazing animals. Delivering efficient animal production from grassland systems has traditionally been the primary focus of grassland-based research. But there is increasing recognition of the ecological and environmental benefits of these grassland systems and the importance of the interaction between their component plants and a host of other biological organisms in the soil and in adjoining habitats. Many of the ecological and environmental benefits provided by grasslands emanate from the interactions between the roots of plant species and the soil in which they grow. We review current knowledge on the role of grassland ecosystems in delivering ecological and environmental benefits. We will consider how improved grassland can deliver these benefits, and the potential opportunities for plant breeding to improve specific traits that will enhance these benefits whilst maintaining forage production for livestock consumption. Opportunities for exploiting new plant breeding approaches, including high throughput phenotyping, and for introducing traits from closely related species are discussed.

  11. Plant Traits Demonstrate That Temperate and Tropical Giant Eucalypt Forests Are Ecologically Convergent with Rainforest Not Savanna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tng, David Y. P.; Jordan, Greg J.; Bowman, David M. J. S.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological theory differentiates rainforest and open vegetation in many regions as functionally divergent alternative stable states with transitional (ecotonal) vegetation between the two forming transient unstable states. This transitional vegetation is of considerable significance, not only as a test case for theories of vegetation dynamics, but also because this type of vegetation is of major economic importance, and is home to a suite of species of conservation significance, including the world’s tallest flowering plants. We therefore created predictions of patterns in plant functional traits that would test the alternative stable states model of these systems. We measured functional traits of 128 trees and shrubs across tropical and temperate rainforest – open vegetation transitions in Australia, with giant eucalypt forests situated between these vegetation types. We analysed a set of functional traits: leaf carbon isotopes, leaf area, leaf mass per area, leaf slenderness, wood density, maximum height and bark thickness, using univariate and multivariate methods. For most traits, giant eucalypt forest was similar to rainforest, while rainforest, particularly tropical rainforest, was significantly different from the open vegetation. In multivariate analyses, tropical and temperate rainforest diverged functionally, and both segregated from open vegetation. Furthermore, the giant eucalypt forests overlapped in function with their respective rainforests. The two types of giant eucalypt forests also exhibited greater overall functional similarity to each other than to any of the open vegetation types. We conclude that tropical and temperate giant eucalypt forests are ecologically and functionally convergent. The lack of clear functional differentiation from rainforest suggests that giant eucalypt forests are unstable states within the basin of attraction of rainforest. Our results have important implications for giant eucalypt forest management. PMID:24358359

  12. The importance of aboveground–belowground interactions on the evolution and maintenance of variation in plant defense traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Geem, Moniek; Gols, Rieta; van Dam, Nicole M.; van der Putten, Wim H.; Fortuna, Taiadjana; Harvey, Jeffrey A.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades a growing body of empirical research has shown that many ecological processes are mediated by a complex array of indirect interactions occurring between rhizosphere-inhabiting organisms and those found on aboveground plant parts. Aboveground–belowground studies have thus far focused on elucidating processes and underlying mechanisms that mediate the behavior and performance of invertebrates in opposite ecosystem compartments. Less is known about genetic variation in plant traits such as defense as that may be driven by above- and belowground trophic interactions. For instance, although our understanding of genetic variation in aboveground plant traits and its effects on community-level interactions is well developed, little is known about the importance of aboveground–belowground interactions in driving this variation. Plant traits may have evolved in response to selection pressures from above- and below-ground interactions from antagonists and mutualists. Here, we discuss gaps in our understanding of genetic variation in plant-related traits as they relate to aboveground and belowground multitrophic interactions. When metabolic resources are limiting, multiple attacks by antagonists in both domains may lead to trade-offs. In nature, these trade-offs may critically depend upon their effects on plant fitness. Natural enemies of herbivores may also influence selection for different traits via top–down control. At larger scales these interactions may generate evolutionary “hotspots” where the expression of various plant traits is the result of strong reciprocal selection via direct and indirect interactions. The role of abiotic factors in driving genetic variation in plant traits is also discussed. PMID:24348484

  13. Introduction to the Special Issue: Beyond traits: integrating behaviour into plant ecology and biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, James F

    2015-10-26

    The way that plants are conceptualized in the context of ecological understanding is changing. In one direction, a reductionist school is pulling plants apart into a list of measured 'traits', from which ecological function and outcomes of species interactions may be inferred. This special issue offers an alternative, and more holistic, view: that the ecological functions performed by a plant will be a consequence not only of their complement of traits but also of the ways in which their component parts are used in response to environmental and social conditions. This is the realm of behavioural ecology, a field that has greatly advanced our understanding of animal biology, ecology and evolution. Included in this special issue are 10 articles focussing not on the tried and true metaphor that plant growth is similar to animal movement, but instead on how application of principles from animal behaviour can improve our ability to understand plant biology and ecology. The goals are not to draw false parallels, nor to anthropomorphize plant biology, but instead to demonstrate how existing and robust theory based on fundamental principles can provide novel understanding for plants. Key to this approach is the recognition that behaviour and intelligence are not the same. Many organisms display complex behaviours despite a lack of cognition (as it is traditionally understood) or any hint of a nervous system. The applicability of behavioural concepts to plants is further enhanced with the realization that all organisms face the same harsh forces of natural selection in the context of finding resources, mates and coping with neighbours. As these ecological realities are often highly variable in space and time, it is not surprising that all organisms-even plants-exhibit complex behaviours to handle this variability. The articles included here address diverse topics in behavioural ecology, as applied to plants: general conceptual understanding, plant nutrient foraging, root

  14. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison M Benscoter

    Full Text Available The presence of multiple interacting threats to biodiversity and the increasing rate of species extinction make it critical to prioritize management efforts on species and communities that maximize conservation success. We implemented a multi-step approach that coupled vulnerability assessments evaluating threats to Florida taxa such as climate change, sea-level rise, and habitat fragmentation with in-depth literature surveys of taxon-specific ecological traits. The vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and ecological traits of 12 threatened and endangered subspecies were compared to non-listed subspecies of the same parent species. Overall, the threatened and endangered subspecies showed high vulnerability and low adaptive capacity, in particular to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. They also exhibited larger home ranges and greater dispersal limitation compared to non-endangered subspecies, which may inhibit their ability to track changing climate in fragmented landscapes. There was evidence for lower reproductive capacity in some of the threatened or endangered taxa, but not for most. Taxa located in the Florida Keys or in other low coastal areas were most vulnerable to sea level rise, and also showed low levels of adaptive capacity, indicating they may have a lower probability of conservation success. Our analysis of at-risk subspecies and closely related non-endangered subspecies demonstrates that ecological traits help to explain observed differences in vulnerability and adaptive capacity. This study points to the importance of assessing the relative contributions of multiple threats and evaluating conservation value at the species (or subspecies level when resources are limited and several factors affect conservation success.

  15. Testing the lexical hypothesis: are socially important traits more densely reflected in the English lexicon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Dustin

    2015-02-01

    Using a set of 498 English words identified by Saucier (1997) as common person-descriptor adjectives or trait terms, I tested 3 instantiations of the lexical hypothesis, which posit that more socially important person descriptors show greater density in the lexicon. Specifically, I explored whether trait terms that have greater relational impact (i.e., more greatly influence how others respond to a person) have more synonyms, are more frequently used, and are more strongly correlated with other trait terms. I found little evidence to suggest that trait terms rated as having greater relational impact were more frequently used or had more synonyms. However, these terms correlated more strongly with other trait terms in the set. Conversely, a trait term's loadings on structural factors (e.g., the Big Five, HEXACO) were extremely good predictors of the term's relational impact. The findings suggest that the lexical hypothesis may not be strongly supported in some ways it is commonly understood but is supported in the manner most important to investigations of trait structure. Specifically, trait terms with greater relational impact tend to more strongly correlate with other terms in lexical sets and thus have a greater role in driving the location of factors in analyses of trait structure. Implications for understanding the meaning of lexical factors such as the Big Five are discussed. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. Microbiology and ecology are vitally important to premedical curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Val H.; Rubinstein, Rebecca J.; Park, Serry; Kelly, Libusha; Klepac-Ceraj, Vanja

    2015-01-01

    Despite the impact of the human microbiome on health, an appreciation of microbial ecology is yet to be translated into mainstream medical training and practice. The human microbiota plays a role in the development of the immune system, in the development and function of the brain, in digestion, and in host defense, and we anticipate that many more functions are yet to be discovered. We argue here that without formal exposure to microbiology and ecology—fields that explore the networks, interactions and dynamics between members of populations of microbes—vitally important links between the human microbiome and health will be overlooked. This educational shortfall has significant downstream effects on patient care and biomedical research, and we provide examples from current research highlighting the influence of the microbiome on human health. We conclude that formally incorporating microbiology and ecology into the premedical curricula is invaluable to the training of future health professionals and critical to the development of novel therapeutics and treatment practices. PMID:26198190

  17. The Importance of Juvenile Root Traits for Crop Yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Philip; Adu, Michael; Broadley, Martin; Brown, Lawrie; Dupuy, Lionel; George, Timothy; Graham, Neil; Hammond, John; Hayden, Rory; Neugebauer, Konrad; Nightingale, Mark; Ramsay, Gavin; Thomas, Catherine; Thompson, Jacqueline; Wishart, Jane; Wright, Gladys

    2014-05-01

    Genetic variation in root system architecture (RSA) is an under-exploited breeding resource. This is partly a consequence of difficulties in the rapid and accurate assessment of subterranean root systems. However, although the characterisation of root systems of large plants in the field are both time-consuming and labour-intensive, high-throughput (HTP) screens of root systems of juvenile plants can be performed in the field, glasshouse or laboratory. It is hypothesised that improving the root systems of juvenile plants can accelerate access to water and essential mineral elements, leading to rapid crop establishment and, consequently, greater yields. This presentation will illustrate how aspects of the juvenile root systems of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus L.) correlate with crop yields and examine the reasons for such correlations. It will first describe the significant positive relationships between early root system development, phosphorus acquisition, canopy establishment and eventual yield among potato genotypes. It will report the development of a glasshouse assay for root system architecture (RSA) of juvenile potato plants, the correlations between root system architectures measured in the glasshouse and field, and the relationships between aspects of the juvenile root system and crop yields under drought conditions. It will then describe the development of HTP systems for assaying RSA of OSR seedlings, the identification of genetic loci affecting RSA in OSR, the development of mathematical models describing resource acquisition by OSR, and the correlations between root traits recorded in the HTP systems and yields of OSR in the field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

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

  19. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weih, Martin; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike; Fransson, Petra

    2014-01-01

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  20. Traits to Ecosystems: The Ecological Sustainability Challenge When Developing Future Energy Crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weih, Martin, E-mail: martin.weih@slu.se; Hoeber, Stefanie; Beyer, Friderike [Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); Fransson, Petra [Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)

    2014-05-22

    Today, we are undertaking great efforts to improve biomass production and quality traits of energy crops. Major motivation for developing those crops is based on environmental and ecological sustainability considerations, which however often are de-coupled from the trait-based crop improvement programs. It is now time to develop appropriate methods to link crop traits to production system characteristics set by the plant and the biotic communities influencing it; and to the ecosystem processes affecting ecological sustainability. The relevant ecosystem processes involve the net productivity in terms of biomass and energy yields, the depletion of energy-demanding resources (e.g., nitrogen, N), the carbon dynamics in soil and atmosphere, and the resilience and temporal stability of the production system. In a case study, we compared aspects of N use efficiency in various varieties of an annual (spring wheat) and perennial (Salix) energy crop grown under two nutrient regimes in Sweden. For example, we found considerable variation among crops, varieties, and nutrient regimes in the energy yield per plant-internal N (megajoule per gram per year), which would result in different N resource depletion per unit energy produced.

  1. Natural resources as a value important to the development of ecological consciousness of the polish society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Żeber–Dzikowska Ilona

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The authors examine a very important issue concerning the concept of public consciousness and ecological consciousness of a human. They present ecological consciousness through indicating its level and factors that determine it. They discuss questions connected to shaping ecological consciousness in teachings of Saint John Paul II, sustainable development, eco-philosophy, and pro-ecological attitudes.

  2. The ecological importance of severe wildfires: some like it hot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutto, Richard L

    2008-12-01

    Many scientists and forest land managers concur that past fire suppression, grazing, and timber harvesting practices have created unnatural and unhealthy conditions in the dry, ponderosa pine forests of the western United States. Specifically, such forests are said to carry higher fuel loads and experience fires that are more severe than those that occurred historically. It remains unclear, however, how far these generalizations can be extrapolated in time and space, and how well they apply to the more mesic ponderosa pine systems and to other forest systems within the western United States. I use data on the pattern of distribution of one bird species (Black-backed Woodpecker, Picoides arcticus) as derived from 16465 sample locations to show that, in western Montana, this bird species is extremely specialized on severely burned forests. Such specialization has profound implications because it suggests that the severe fires we see burning in many forests in the Intermountain West are not entirely "unnatural" or "unhealthy." Instead, severely burned forest conditions have probably occurred naturally across a broad range of forest types for millennia. These findings highlight the fact that severe fire provides an important ecological backdrop for fire specialists like the Black-backed Woodpecker, and that the presence and importance of severe fire may be much broader than commonly appreciated.

  3. The Importance of Harmony: An Ecological Metaphor for Writing Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleckenstein, Kristie S.; Spinuzzi, Clay; Rickly, Rebecca J.; Papper, Carole Clark

    2008-01-01

    This essay argues for the value of an ecological metaphor in conceptualizing, designing, and enacting research in writing studies. Such a metaphor conceives of activities, actors, situations, and phenomena as interdependent, diverse, and fused through feedback. This ecological orientation invites composition scholars to research rhetorically: to…

  4. Importance of the Alternative Five and Trait Emotional Intelligence for Agentic and Communal Domains of Satisfaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreja Avsec

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Many studies supported the importance of trait emotional intelligence (EI for subjective well-being but specific domains of life-satisfaction were rarely of interest. Our study investigated whether emotional intelligence is more important for interpersonal or communal-related domains (e.g. satisfaction with friends, intimate partners than for agentic domains of satisfaction (e.g. satisfaction with finances, work. Due to the problematic differential validity of trait EI from personality, the relationship between trait EI and domains of satisfaction was controlled for by personality. Slovene students and young adults (N=442 completed the Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire and the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire, and rated their satisfaction with 12 aspects of life. Principal component analysis of these domains revealed three components, explaining 62% of total variance. The communal domains included self-reported satisfaction with popularity, respect, influence on others, family relationships, and intimate relationship. The agentic domains included satisfaction with professional carrier, financial situation, academic education, and achieved goals. The physical domains component was comprised of satisfaction with appearance, fitness, and health. After accounting for personality, trait EI explained 16% of variance in communal domain and 10% of variance in agentic domain, thus suggesting greater importance of trait EI for interpersonal domains. However, trait EI seems to play an important role for satisfaction in the agentic domains also, as successful management of our emotions can help us reach our goals and thus be more satisfied.

  5. Inclusion of ecologically based trait variation in plant functional types reduces the projected land carbon sink in an earth system model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verheijen, Lieneke M; Aerts, Rien; Brovkin, Victor; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Kattge, Jens; van Bodegom, Peter M

    2015-08-01

    Earth system models demonstrate large uncertainty in projected changes in terrestrial carbon budgets. The lack of inclusion of adaptive responses of vegetation communities to the environment has been suggested to hamper the ability of modeled vegetation to adequately respond to environmental change. In this study, variation in functional responses of vegetation has been added to an earth system model (ESM) based on ecological principles. The restriction of viable mean trait values of vegetation communities by the environment, called 'habitat filtering', is an important ecological assembly rule and allows for determination of global scale trait-environment relationships. These relationships were applied to model trait variation for different plant functional types (PFTs). For three leaf traits (specific leaf area, maximum carboxylation rate at 25 °C, and maximum electron transport rate at 25 °C), relationships with multiple environmental drivers, such as precipitation, temperature, radiation, and CO2 , were determined for the PFTs within the Max Planck Institute ESM. With these relationships, spatiotemporal variation in these formerly fixed traits in PFTs was modeled in global change projections (IPCC RCP8.5 scenario). Inclusion of this environment-driven trait variation resulted in a strong reduction of the global carbon sink by at least 33% (2.1 Pg C yr(-1) ) from the 2nd quarter of the 21st century onward compared to the default model with fixed traits. In addition, the mid- and high latitudes became a stronger carbon sink and the tropics a stronger carbon source, caused by trait-induced differences in productivity and relative respirational costs. These results point toward a reduction of the global carbon sink when including a more realistic representation of functional vegetation responses, implying more carbon will stay airborne, which could fuel further climate change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. How Pollination Ecology research can help answer important questions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carvalheiro, Luisa G.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Pollination Ecology is a dynamic field of scientific research constantly adopting novel methods and making progress in understanding the interactions between plants and their pollinators. A recent paper listed the main scientific questions in this field focussing on the ecological and biological system itself. Here, we follow up on that paper and present some ideas on how to broaden our perspective and explore the role that pollination research can play in answering both ecological and societal questions relevant to a range of different stakeholders. We hope this paper may be useful to researchers aiming at improving both the scientific and societal impact of their research.

  7. Evaluating Functional Diversity: Missing Trait Data and the Importance of Species Abundance Structure and Data Transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, Liis; Norberg, Anna; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, Tom R.; Luke, Sarah H.; Sam, Katerina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Functional diversity (FD) is an important component of biodiversity that quantifies the difference in functional traits between organisms. However, FD studies are often limited by the availability of trait data and FD indices are sensitive to data gaps. The distribution of species abundance and trait data, and its transformation, may further affect the accuracy of indices when data is incomplete. Using an existing approach, we simulated the effects of missing trait data by gradually removing data from a plant, an ant and a bird community dataset (12, 59, and 8 plots containing 62, 297 and 238 species respectively). We ranked plots by FD values calculated from full datasets and then from our increasingly incomplete datasets and compared the ranking between the original and virtually reduced datasets to assess the accuracy of FD indices when used on datasets with increasingly missing data. Finally, we tested the accuracy of FD indices with and without data transformation, and the effect of missing trait data per plot or per the whole pool of species. FD indices became less accurate as the amount of missing data increased, with the loss of accuracy depending on the index. But, where transformation improved the normality of the trait data, FD values from incomplete datasets were more accurate than before transformation. The distribution of data and its transformation are therefore as important as data completeness and can even mitigate the effect of missing data. Since the effect of missing trait values pool-wise or plot-wise depends on the data distribution, the method should be decided case by case. Data distribution and data transformation should be given more careful consideration when designing, analysing and interpreting FD studies, especially where trait data are missing. To this end, we provide the R package “traitor” to facilitate assessments of missing trait data. PMID:26881747

  8. Microdiversity of an Abundant Terrestrial Bacterium Encompasses Extensive Variation in Ecologically Relevant Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander B. Chase

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Much genetic diversity within a bacterial community is likely obscured by microdiversity within operational taxonomic units (OTUs defined by 16S rRNA gene sequences. However, it is unclear how variation within this microdiversity influences ecologically relevant traits. Here, we employ a multifaceted approach to investigate microdiversity within the dominant leaf litter bacterium, Curtobacterium, which comprises 7.8% of the bacterial community at a grassland site undergoing global change manipulations. We use cultured bacterial isolates to interpret metagenomic data, collected in situ over 2 years, together with lab-based physiological assays to determine the extent of trait variation within this abundant OTU. The response of Curtobacterium to seasonal variability and the global change manipulations, specifically an increase in relative abundance under decreased water availability, appeared to be conserved across six Curtobacterium lineages identified at this site. Genomic and physiological analyses in the lab revealed that degradation of abundant polymeric carbohydrates within leaf litter, cellulose and xylan, is nearly universal across the genus, which may contribute to its high abundance in grassland leaf litter. However, the degree of carbohydrate utilization and temperature preference for this degradation varied greatly among clades. Overall, we find that traits within Curtobacterium are conserved at different phylogenetic depths. We speculate that similar to bacteria in marine systems, diverse microbes within this taxon may be structured in distinct ecotypes that are key to understanding Curtobacterium abundance and distribution in the environment.

  9. Ecological traits and environmental affinity explain Red Sea fish introduction into the Mediterranean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belmaker, Jonathan; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel

    2013-05-01

    Alien species are considered one of the prime threats to biodiversity, driving major changes in ecosystem structure and function. Identifying the traits associated with alien introduction has been largely restricted to comparing indigenous and alien species or comparing alien species that differ in abundance or impact. However, a more complete understanding may emerge when the entire pool of potential alien species is used as a control, information that is rarely available. In the eastern Mediterranean, the marine environment is undergoing an unparalleled species composition transformation, as a flood of aliens have entered from the Red Sea following the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. In this study, we compile data on species traits, geographical distribution, and environmental affinity of the entire pool of reef-associated fish species in the Red Sea and more generally across the Indo-Pacific. We use this extensive data to identify the prime characteristics separating Red Sea species that have become alien in the Mediterranean from those that have not. We find that alien species occupy a larger range of environments in their native ranges, explaining their ability to colonize the seasonal Mediterranean. Red Sea species that naturally experience high maximum temperatures in their native range have a high probability of becoming alien. Thus, contrary to predictions of an accelerating number of aliens following increased water temperatures, hotter summers in this region may prevent the establishment of many alien species. We further find that ecological trait diversity of alien species is substantially more evenly spaced and more divergent than random samples from the pool of Red Sea species, pointing at additional processes, such as competition, promoting ecological diversity among alien species. We use these results to provide a first quantitative ranking of the potential of Red Sea species to become established in the eastern Mediterranean. © 2012 Blackwell

  10. The importance of price for the sale of ecological products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Jesper Kirkeby; Sørensen, Hans Christian

    1993-01-01

    Executive summary: 1. A high price has been considered as one of the main reasons for consumers' unwillingness to buy ecological products in spite of often positive attitudes towards this category of products. The study reported in this paper had the purpose to find out whether the present price ...... are characterised by low consumer involvement: few alternatives are compared, not very many product attributes are used, and in the decision making, consumers resort to the application of simple choice tactics....... level for ecological products is indeed a decisive obstacle to the sale of ecological prducts. 2. The survey indicated that the market share for ecological products cannot be increased at the present price level. Hence, there is good reason to focus on the price parameter. 3. An experiment with price...... reductions produced considerable changes in customer choices and hence in the estimated market share. The change for tomatoes entails a doubling of the market share at a price reduction of DKK 2.00. For potatoes one could observe a 10% increase per DKK 1.30 price reduction. The ecological market share...

  11. Trait-based plant ecology: moving towards a unifying species coexistence theory : Features of the Special Section.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, Adrián; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-04-01

    Functional traits are the center of recent attempts to unify key ecological theories on species coexistence and assembling in populations and communities. While the plethora of studies on the role of functional traits to explain patterns and dynamics of communities has rendered a complex picture due to the idiosyncrasies of each study system and approach, there is increasing evidence on their actual relevance when aspects such as different spatial scales, intraspecific variability and demography are considered.

  12. The Effect of Teaching Methodology on Accounting Students' Perceptions of Traits Important to Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Linda M.

    2018-01-01

    This study evolved from a previous study that examined the perceptions of the importance of specific traits to success in the accounting profession by both accounting professionals in the United States and internationally. That study found that the international subjects valued some soft skills, such as creativity, as being more important to…

  13. The importance of physiological ecology in conservation biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tracy, C.R.; Nussear, K.E.; Esque, T.C.; Dean-Bradley, K.; DeFalco, L.A.; Castle, K.T.; Zimmerman, L.C.; Espinoza, R.E.; Barber, A.M.

    2006-01-01

    Many of the threats to the persistence of populations of sensitive species have physiological or pathological mechanisms, and those mechanisms are best understood through the inherently integrative discipline of physiological ecology. The desert tortoise was listed under the Endangered Species Act largely due to a newly recognized upper respiratory disease thought to cause mortality in individuals and severe declines in populations. Numerous hypotheses about the threats to the persistence of desert tortoise populations involve acquisition of nutrients, and its connection to stress and disease. The nutritional wisdom hypothesis posits that animals should forage not for particular food items, but instead, for particular nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus used in building bones. The optimal foraging hypothesis suggests that, in circumstances of resource abundance, tortoises should forage as dietary specialists as a means of maximizing intake of resources. The optimal digestion hypothesis suggests that tortoises should process ingesta in ways that regulate assimilation rate. Finally, the cost-of-switching hypothesis suggests that herbivores, like the desert tortoise, should avoid switching food types to avoid negatively affecting the microbe community responsible for fermenting plants into energy and nutrients. Combining hypotheses into a resource acquisition theory leads to novel predictions that are generally supported by data presented here. Testing hypotheses, and synthesizing test results into a theory, provides a robust scientific alternative to the popular use of untested hypotheses and unanalyzed data to assert the needs of species. The scientific approach should focus on hypotheses concerning anthropogenic modifications of the environment that impact physiological processes ultimately important to population phenomena. We show how measurements of such impacts as nutrient starvation, can cause physiological stress, and that the endocrine mechanisms

  14. Lessons learned from trait self-control in well-being : Making the case for routines and initiation as important components of trait self-control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ridder, Denise De; Gillebaart, Marleen

    2017-01-01

    It seems common knowledge that trait self-control helps people to achieve the things they find important in their lives by not being distracted by immediate pleasures and temptations. Initial evidence suggests that trait self-control is important in wellbeing as well, with people high in

  15. Assessing the relative importance of health and conformation traits in the cavalier king Charles spaniel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijnrocx, Katrien; François, Liesbeth; Goos, Peter; Buys, Nadine; Janssens, Steven

    2018-01-01

    The selection of a future breeding dog is a complicated task, in which disease characteristics and different traits have to be combined and weighed against one another. Truncation selection, that is the exclusion of affected animals, may be very inefficient when selecting on a large number of traits, and may result in a reduction of the genetic diversity in a population or breed. Selection could be facilitated by the use of a selection index that combines multiple traits or breeding values into one score. This however requires a consideration of their relative value according to their economic weight, which is difficult to express in monetary units for health traits. The use of a choice experiment to derive non-market values might be a solution to this problem. This is a pilot study to assess the potential use of choice experiments to ascertain the public preference and relative importance attached to health- and conformation traits in the selection of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The focus was on two prevalent disorders, mitral valve disease and syringomyelia, and on several important conformation traits such as muzzle length and eye shape. Based on available prior information, a Bayesian D-optimal design approach was used to develop a choice experiment and the resulting choice sets. Every participant (breeder or owner) in the choice experiment was presented with a total of 17 choice sets, in which at most four traits could vary to reduce the cognitive burden. A total of 114 respondents participated in the choice experiment and results showed that respondents (breeders/owners) current attitudes were directed towards health (syringomyelia and mitral valve disease), followed by eye shape and level of inbreeding. This approach identifies the value breeders and owners attach to certain traits in the breeding objective. The resulting relative weights, represented as the logworths obtained from the choice experiment, could be an alternative to economic weights. They

  16. European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) personalities: Linking behavioural types to ecologically relevant traits at different ontogenetic stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajer, Katalin; Horváth, Gergely; Molnár, Orsolya; Török, János; Garamszegi, László Zsolt; Herczeg, Gábor

    2015-02-01

    Consistent individual differences within (animal personality) and across (behavioural syndrome) behaviours became well recognized during the past decade. Nevertheless, our knowledge about the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms behind the phenomena is still incomplete. Here, we explored if risk-taking and exploration were consistent and linked to different ecologically relevant traits in wild-caught adult male European green lizards (Lacerta viridis) and in their 2-3 weeks old laboratory-reared offspring. Both adults and juveniles displayed animal personality, consistency being higher in juveniles. We found correlation between risk-taking and exploration (suggestive of a behavioural syndrome) only in adults. Juveniles were more explorative than adults. Large or ectoparasite-free adult males were more explorative than small or parasitized males. Juvenile females tended to be more risk-taking than males. Behaviour of fathers and their offspring did not correlate. We conclude that European green lizards show high behavioural consistency and age is an important determinant of its strength and links to traits likely affecting fitness. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Psychological Trait Resilience Within Ecological Systems Theory: The Resilient Systems Scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltby, John; Day, Liz; Flowe, Heather D; Vostanis, Panos; Chivers, Sally

    2017-07-14

    This project describes the development of the Resilient Systems Scales, created to address conceptual and methodological ambiguities in assessing the ecological systems model of resilience. Across a number of samples (total N = 986), our findings suggest that the Resilient Systems Scales show equivalence to a previously reported assessment (Maltby, Day, & Hall, 2015 ) in demonstrating the same factor structure, adequate intercorrelation between the 2 measures of resilience, and equivalent associations with personality and well-being. The findings also suggest that the Resilient Systems Scales demonstrate adequate test-retest reliability, compare well with other extant measures of resilience in predicting well-being, and map, to varying degrees, onto positive expression of several cognitive, social, and emotional traits. The findings suggest that the new measure can be used alongside existing measures of resilience, or singly, to assess positive life outcomes within psychology research.

  18. Frontiers of torenia research: innovative ornamental traits and study of ecological interaction networks through genetic engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Advances in research in the past few years on the ornamental plant torenia (Torenia spps.) have made it notable as a model plant on the frontier of genetic engineering aimed at studying ornamental characteristics and pest control in horticultural ecosystems. The remarkable advantage of torenia over other ornamental plant species is the availability of an easy and high-efficiency transformation system for it. Unfortunately, most of the current torenia research is still not very widespread, because this species has not become prominent as an alternative to other successful model plants such as Arabidopsis, snapdragon and petunia. However, nowadays, a more global view using not only a few selected models but also several additional species are required for creating innovative ornamental traits and studying horticultural ecosystems. We therefore introduce and discuss recent research on torenia, the family Scrophulariaceae, for secondary metabolite bioengineering, in which global insights into horticulture, agriculture and ecology have been advanced. Floral traits, in torenia particularly floral color, have been extensively studied by manipulating the flavonoid biosynthetic pathways in flower organs. Plant aroma, including volatile terpenoids, has also been genetically modulated in order to understand the complicated nature of multi-trophic interactions that affect the behavior of predators and pollinators in the ecosystem. Torenia would accordingly be of great use for investigating both the variation in ornamental plants and the infochemical-mediated interactions with arthropods. PMID:23803155

  19. Ecologically Important Areas for Pacific Fishery Management Council's June 2005 Preferred Alternative, Groundfish EFH Final EIS

    Data.gov (United States)

    Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission — These data depict ecologically important areas that were developed through a collaborative process involving Oceana; groundfish trawl fishermen, organized by the...

  20. What are people looking for? : personality traits and importance of work motivation factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bipp, T.

    2008-01-01

    Based on two different work motivation theories, the relationships between personality traits (Big Five, CSE: core self-evaluation) and the importance of various job aspects was investigated. In Study I (N=118), graduates with high scores on Openness to experience and Agreeableness placed emphasis

  1. Morphometric Traits of Muscovy Ducks from Two Agro Ecological Zones of Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yakubu, A.

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Morphological variation between Muscovy ducks from the guinea savannah and rainforest zones of Nigeria was examined using multivariate discriminant analysis. Data comprised eight morphometric traits measured in a total of 435 adult ducks randomly selected in the two agro-ecological zones. Common descriptive statistics showed that ducks from the rainforest zone had higher (P< 0.05 body weight, foot length and thigh circumference, while their guinea savannah counterparts were longer (P< 0.05 in the neck. Stepwise discriminant analysis indicated that foot length, neck length, thigh circumference and body length were more effective in discriminating between the duck populations. The low Mahalanobis distance of 3.39, as revealed by the canonical discriminant analysis, is an indication of high gene flow between ducks from the two agro-ecological zones. The cluster analysis also revealed the homogeneity of the genetic identity of the duck populations. The present information will be the basis for further characterization, conservation and sustainable genetic improvement strategies for indigenous ducks.

  2. The genetic architecture of a complex ecological trait: host plant use in the specialist moth, HELIOTHIS SUBFLEXA

    Science.gov (United States)

    The study of the genetic basis of ecological adaptation remains in its infancy, and most studies have focused on phenotypically simple traits. Host plant use by herbivorous insects is phenotypically complex. While research has illuminated the evolutionary determinants of host use, knowledge of its...

  3. Herbivory as an important selective force in the evolution of floral traits and pollinator shifts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overson, Rick P.; Raguso, Robert A.; Skogen, Krissa A.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Floral trait evolution is frequently attributed to pollinator-mediated selection but herbivores can play a key role in shaping plant reproductive biology. Here we examine the role of florivores in driving floral trait evolution and pollinator shifts in a recently radiated clade of flowering plants, Oenothera sect. Calylophus. We compare florivory by a specialist, internal feeder, Mompha, on closely related hawkmoth- and bee-pollinated species and document variation in damage based on floral traits within sites, species and among species. Our results show that flowers with longer floral tubes and decreased floral flare have increased Mompha damage. Bee-pollinated flowers, which have substantially smaller floral tubes, experience on average 13% less Mompha florivory than do hawkmoth-pollinated flowers. The positive association between tube length and Mompha damage is evident even within sites of some species, suggesting that Mompha can drive trait differentiation at microevolutionary scales. Given that there are at least two independent shifts from hawkmoth to bee pollination in this clade, florivore-mediated selection on floral traits may have played an important role in facilitating morphological changes associated with transitions from hawkmoth to bee pollination. PMID:28011456

  4. Candidate OP Phyla: Importance, Ecology and Cultivation Prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohini Kumar, M; Saravanan, V S

    2010-10-01

    OP phyla were created in the domain bacteria, based on the group of 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from the Obsidian Pool. However, due to the lack of cultured representative it is referred to as candidate phyla. Wider ecological occurrence was predicted for the OP phyla, especially OP3, OP10 and OP11. Recently, members of phylum OP5 and OP10 were cultured, providing clues to their cultivation prospects. At last the bioprospecting potentials of the OP members are discussed herein.

  5. Stability of Durum Wheat Genotypes in Some Agronomic Traits Under Bursa Ecological Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esra Aydoğan Çiftçi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In the study it is aimed to determine the stabilities of some agronomic traits of 10 different durum wheats over the years in conditions of Bursa. Research was carried out in randomized complete block design with three replications between the years of 2008-2013. Averages of genotypes of agronomic characteristics, Eberhart and Russell’s regression coefficient and deviation from regression, Francis and Kannenberg’s coefficient of variation and environmental variance used as stability parameters. When the results of the study evaluated at the stability analysis, Amb × Çak-30 lines were determined to be stable in most of the agronomic traits. As for grain yield, which is of great importance for the producer, breeding lines of Amb × Çak -26 and Amb × Çak-30 were determined in good harmony at Bursa under different climatic conditions over five years.

  6. Morphospaces of functionally analogous traits show ecological separation between birds and pterosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Nicholas R

    2017-10-25

    Birds originated and radiated in the presence of another group of flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs. Opinion is divided as to whether birds competitively displaced pterosaurs from small-body size niches or whether the two groups coexisted with little competition. Previous studies of Mesozoic birds and pterosaurs compared measurements of homologous limb bones to test these hypotheses. However, these characters probably reflect differing ancestries rather than ecologies. Here, competition and ecological separation were tested for using multivariate analyses of functionally equivalent morphological characters. As well as using characters from the fore- and hindlimbs, these analyses also included measurements of the lower jaw. The results of this study indicate that pterosaurs had relatively longer jaws, shorter metatarsals and shorter brachial regions compared with birds of similar size. Contrary to the results of previous studies, the distal wing was not important for separating the two clades in morphospace owing to the inclusion of the primary feathers in this unit. The differences found here indicate ecological separation based on differences in size, locomotory features and feeding adaptations. Thus, instead of one group displacing the other, birds and pterosaurs appear to have adopted distinctive ecological strategies throughout their period of coexistence. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Multimodal signalling in estrildid finches: song, dance and colour are associated with different ecological and life-history traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, A C R; Funghi, C; Soma, M; Sorenson, M D; Cardoso, G C

    2017-07-01

    Sexual traits (e.g. visual ornaments, acoustic signals, courtship behaviour) are often displayed together as multimodal signals. Some hypotheses predict joint evolution of different sexual signals (e.g. to increase the efficiency of communication) or that different signals trade off with each other (e.g. due to limited resources). Alternatively, multiple signals may evolve independently for different functions, or to communicate different information (multiple message hypothesis). We evaluated these hypotheses with a comparative study in the family Estrildidae, one of the largest songbird radiations, and one that includes many model species for research in sexual selection and communication. We found little evidence for either joint evolution or trade-offs between song and colour ornamentation. Some negative correlations between dance repertoire and song traits may suggest a functional compromise, but generally courtship dance also evolved independently from other signals. Instead of correlated evolution, we found that song, dance and colour are each related to different socio-ecological traits. Song complexity evolved together with ecological generalism, song performance with investment in reproduction, dance with commonness and habitat type, whereas colour ornamentation was shown previously to correlate mostly with gregariousness. We conclude that multimodal signals evolve in response to various socio-ecological traits, suggesting the accumulation of distinct signalling functions. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Farmers' breeding practices and traits of economic importance for indigenous chicken in RWANDA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoro, J; Muasya, T K; Mbuza, F; Mbuthia, J; Kahi, A K

    2018-01-01

    Data on breeding practices and traits of economic importance for the indigenous chicken (IC) were collected through personal interviews using structured questionnaires and direct observations of chicken management practices. The study was conducted from November 2015 to January 2016 in Rwamagana, Rulindo, Ruhango, Kicukiro and Muhanga districts of Rwanda. Data were collected and analysed through computation of indices, which represented a weighted average of all rankings of a specific trait. Spearman's non-parametric rank correlation was calculated for ranking of traits of economic importance to indicate the directional effects. The results on chicken ecotypes and their attributes showed that prolificacy, mature weight, disease tolerance, egg number and heat tolerance were highly preferred. The dwarf ecotype was most abundantly reared (38.84%) and considered to be significantly smaller and to have poorer growth rate, but to have better prolificacy than other indigenous chicken ecotypes. Selection of breeding cock and hen was based on disease tolerance, body weight at sexual maturity, body size and growth rate. In addition, for hen, mothering ability and egg fertility (Fer) were considered. Indices for the traits perceived by farmers as of primary economic importance were egg yield (0.093), disease tolerance (0.091), high growth rate (0.089), prolificacy (0.088), high body weight (0.087) and egg fertility (0.083). The most important traits considered by the marketers were body weight (BW), disease tolerance (Dtol), plumage colour (Pcol), egg yolk colour (EYC), meat quality (MQ), growth rate (GR) and egg yield (EY) whereas for consumers, meat quality, egg yolk colour, egg yield, body weight and growth rate were considered. Among traits perceived as important by farmers, a positive and significant correlation was found between BW and GR and Fer. Correlation was moderate for BW and prolificacy, drought tolerance (Drtol), Dtol and EYC. BW was negatively correlated with

  9. Mapping QTLs Controlling Flowering Time and Important Agronomic Traits in Pearl Millet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sushil; Hash, C Tom; Nepolean, T; Satyavathi, C Tara; Singh, Govind; Mahendrakar, Mahesh D; Yadav, Rattan S; Srivastava, Rakesh K

    2017-01-01

    Pearl millet [ Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] is a staple crop for the people of arid and semi-arid regions of the world. It is fast gaining importance as a climate resilient nutricereal. Exploiting the bold seeded, semi-dwarf, and early flowering genotypes in pearl millet is a key breeding strategy to enhance yield, adaptability, and for adequate food in resource-poor zones. Genetic variation for agronomic traits of pearl millet inbreds can be used to dissect complex traits through quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. This study was undertaken to map a set of agronomically important traits like flowering time (FT), plant height (PH), panicle length (PL), and grain weight (self and open-pollinated seeds) in the recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of ICMB 841-P3 × 863B-P2 cross. Excluding grain weight (open pollinated), heritabilities for FT, PH, PL, grain weight (selfed) were in high to medium range. A total of six QTLs for FT were detected on five chromosomes, 13 QTLs for PH on six chromosomes, 11 QTLs for PL on five chromosomes, and 14 QTLs for 1,000-grain weight (TGW) spanning five chromosomes. One major QTL on LG3 was common for FT and PH. Three major QTLs for PL, one each on LG1, LG2, and LG6B were detected. The large effect QTL for TGW (self) on LG6B had a phenotypic variance ( R 2 ) of 62.1%. The R 2 for FT, TGW (self), and PL ranged from 22.3 to 59.4%. A total of 21 digenic interactions were discovered for FT ( R 2 = 18-40%) and PL ( R 2 = 13-19%). The epistatic effects did not reveal any significant QTL × QTL × environment (QQE) interactions. The mapped QTLs for flowering time and other agronomic traits in present experiment can be used for marker-assisted selection (MAS) and genomic selection (GS) breeding programs.

  10. Association Mapping for Important Agronomic Traits in Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) Core Collection Using Microsatellite Markers

    OpenAIRE

    Heena Ambreen; Shivendra Kumar; Amar Kumar; Manu Agarwal; Arun Jagannath; Shailendra Goel

    2018-01-01

    Carthamus tinctorius L. (safflower) is an important oilseed crop producing seed oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Scarcity of identified marker-trait associations is a major limitation toward development of successful marker-assisted breeding programs in safflower. In the present study, a safflower panel (CartAP) comprising 124 accessions derived from two core collections was assayed for its suitability for association mapping. Genotyping of CartAP using microsatellite markers revealed sig...

  11. New handbook for standardised measurement of plant functional traits worldwide

    OpenAIRE

    Pérez-Harguindeguy N Díaz S Garnier E Lavorel S Poorter H Jaureguiberry P Bret-Harte MS Cor

    2013-01-01

    Plant functional traits are the features (morphological physiological phenological) that represent ecological strategies and determine how plants respond to environmental factors affect other trophic levels and influence ecosystem properties. Variation in plant functional traits and trait syndromes has proven useful for tackling many important ecological questions at a range of scales giving rise to a demand for standardised ways to measure ecologically meaningful plant traits. This line of r...

  12. Association Mapping for Important Agronomic Traits in Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L. Core Collection Using Microsatellite Markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heena Ambreen

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Carthamus tinctorius L. (safflower is an important oilseed crop producing seed oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Scarcity of identified marker-trait associations is a major limitation toward development of successful marker-assisted breeding programs in safflower. In the present study, a safflower panel (CartAP comprising 124 accessions derived from two core collections was assayed for its suitability for association mapping. Genotyping of CartAP using microsatellite markers revealed significant genetic diversity indicated by Shannon information index (H = 0.7537 and Nei's expected heterozygosity (I = 0.4432. In Principal Coordinate Analysis, the CartAP accessions were distributed homogeneously in all quadrants indicating their diverse nature. Distance-based Neighbor Joining analysis did not delineate the CartAP accessions in consonance with their geographical origin. Bayesian analysis of population structure of CartAP demonstrated the unstructured nature of the association panel. Kinship analysis at population (Gij and individual level (Fij revealed absence of or weak relatedness between the CartAP accessions. The above parameters established the suitability of CartAP for association mapping. We performed association mapping using phenotypic data for eight traits of agronomic value (viz., seed oil content, oleic acid, linoleic acid, plant height, number of primary branches, number of capitula per plant, 100-seed weight and days to 50% flowering available for two growing seasons (2011–2012 and 2012–2013 through General Linear Model and Mixed Linear Model. Our study identified ninety-six significant marker-trait associations (MTAs; P < 0.05 of which, several MTAs with correlation coefficient (R2 > 10% were consistently represented in both models and in both seasons for traits viz., oil content, oleic acid content, linoleic acid content and number of primary branches. Several MTAs with high R2-values were detected either in a majority or in

  13. Association Mapping for Important Agronomic Traits in Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) Core Collection Using Microsatellite Markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambreen, Heena; Kumar, Shivendra; Kumar, Amar; Agarwal, Manu; Jagannath, Arun; Goel, Shailendra

    2018-01-01

    Carthamus tinctorius L. (safflower) is an important oilseed crop producing seed oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Scarcity of identified marker-trait associations is a major limitation toward development of successful marker-assisted breeding programs in safflower. In the present study, a safflower panel (CartAP) comprising 124 accessions derived from two core collections was assayed for its suitability for association mapping. Genotyping of CartAP using microsatellite markers revealed significant genetic diversity indicated by Shannon information index ( H = 0.7537) and Nei's expected heterozygosity ( I = 0.4432). In Principal Coordinate Analysis, the CartAP accessions were distributed homogeneously in all quadrants indicating their diverse nature. Distance-based Neighbor Joining analysis did not delineate the CartAP accessions in consonance with their geographical origin. Bayesian analysis of population structure of CartAP demonstrated the unstructured nature of the association panel. Kinship analysis at population ( G ij ) and individual level ( F ij ) revealed absence of or weak relatedness between the CartAP accessions. The above parameters established the suitability of CartAP for association mapping. We performed association mapping using phenotypic data for eight traits of agronomic value ( viz ., seed oil content, oleic acid, linoleic acid, plant height, number of primary branches, number of capitula per plant, 100-seed weight and days to 50% flowering) available for two growing seasons (2011-2012 and 2012-2013) through General Linear Model and Mixed Linear Model. Our study identified ninety-six significant marker-trait associations (MTAs; P 10% were consistently represented in both models and in both seasons for traits viz ., oil content, oleic acid content, linoleic acid content and number of primary branches. Several MTAs with high R 2 -values were detected either in a majority or in some environments (models and/or seasons). Many MTAs were also

  14. Assessment of imputation methods using varying ecological information to fill the gaps in a tree functional trait database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poyatos, Rafael; Sus, Oliver; Vilà-Cabrera, Albert; Vayreda, Jordi; Badiella, Llorenç; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi

    2016-04-01

    Plant functional traits are increasingly being used in ecosystem ecology thanks to the growing availability of large ecological databases. However, these databases usually contain a large fraction of missing data because measuring plant functional traits systematically is labour-intensive and because most databases are compilations of datasets with different sampling designs. As a result, within a given database, there is an inevitable variability in the number of traits available for each data entry and/or the species coverage in a given geographical area. The presence of missing data may severely bias trait-based analyses, such as the quantification of trait covariation or trait-environment relationships and may hamper efforts towards trait-based modelling of ecosystem biogeochemical cycles. Several data imputation (i.e. gap-filling) methods have been recently tested on compiled functional trait databases, but the performance of imputation methods applied to a functional trait database with a regular spatial sampling has not been thoroughly studied. Here, we assess the effects of data imputation on five tree functional traits (leaf biomass to sapwood area ratio, foliar nitrogen, maximum height, specific leaf area and wood density) in the Ecological and Forest Inventory of Catalonia, an extensive spatial database (covering 31900 km2). We tested the performance of species mean imputation, single imputation by the k-nearest neighbors algorithm (kNN) and a multiple imputation method, Multivariate Imputation with Chained Equations (MICE) at different levels of missing data (10%, 30%, 50%, and 80%). We also assessed the changes in imputation performance when additional predictors (species identity, climate, forest structure, spatial structure) were added in kNN and MICE imputations. We evaluated the imputed datasets using a battery of indexes describing departure from the complete dataset in trait distribution, in the mean prediction error, in the correlation matrix

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, S Y

    1991-07-01

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

  16. The diet and ecological importance of illex coindetii and todaropsis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    M. muelleri otoliths were also often found in high numbers. In one I. coindetii stomach, 43 pairs of otoliths were found. However, this great abundance may be an over-representation of their importance in the diet as a result of the techniques used to identify prey remains in squid stomachs. Three other pelagic fish, Gadiculus ...

  17. Unexpected Nongenetic Individual Heterogeneity and Trait Covariance in Daphnia and Its Consequences for Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cressler, Clayton E; Bengtson, Stefan; Nelson, William A

    2017-07-01

    Individual differences in genetics, age, or environment can cause tremendous differences in individual life-history traits. This individual heterogeneity generates demographic heterogeneity at the population level, which is predicted to have a strong impact on both ecological and evolutionary dynamics. However, we know surprisingly little about the sources of individual heterogeneity for particular taxa or how different sources scale up to impact ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Here we experimentally study the individual heterogeneity that emerges from both genetic and nongenetic sources in a species of freshwater zooplankton across a large gradient of food quality. Despite the tight control of environment, we still find that the variation from nongenetic sources is greater than that from genetic sources over a wide range of food quality and that this variation has strong positive covariance between growth and reproduction. We evaluate the general consequences of genetic and nongenetic covariance for ecological and evolutionary dynamics theoretically and find that increasing nongenetic variation slows evolution independent of the correlation in heritable life-history traits but that the impact on ecological dynamics depends on both nongenetic and genetic covariance. Our results demonstrate that variation in the relative magnitude of nongenetic versus genetic sources of variation impacts the predicted ecological and evolutionary dynamics.

  18. Trees of Laos and Vietnam: a field guide to 100 economically or ecologically important species

    OpenAIRE

    Sam, Hoang Van; Nanthavong, Khamseng; Keßler, P.J.A.

    2004-01-01

    This field guide to 100 economically or ecologically important tree species from Laos and Vietnam enables the user to identify the included taxa with user-friendly keys. It includes scientific names, botanical descriptions of families, genera, and species. Specific information on distribution, habitat, ecology, and uses has been compiled. All specimens examined have been listed.

  19. Hydrogen peroxide production and myo-inositol metabolism as important traits for virulence of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrarini, M G; Mucha, S G; Parrot, D; Meiffren, G; Bachega, J F R; Comte, G; Zaha, A; Sagot, M F

    2018-04-06

    Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is the causative agent of enzootic pneumonia. In our previous work, we reconstructed the metabolic models of this species along with two other mycoplasmas from the respiratory tract of swine: Mycoplasma hyorhinis, considered less pathogenic but which nonetheless causes disease and Mycoplasma flocculare, a commensal bacterium. We identified metabolic differences that partially explained their different levels of pathogenicity. One important trait was the production of hydrogen peroxide from the glycerol metabolism only in the pathogenic species. Another important feature was a pathway for the metabolism of myo-inositol in M. hyopneumoniae. Here, we tested these traits to understand their relation to the different levels of pathogenicity, comparing not only the species but also pathogenic and attenuated strains of M. hyopneumoniae. Regarding the myo-inositol metabolism, we show that only M. hyopneumoniae assimilated this carbohydrate and remained viable when myo-inositol was the primary energy source. Strikingly, only the two pathogenic strains of M. hyopneumoniae produced hydrogen peroxide in complex medium. We also show that this production was dependent on the presence of glycerol. Although further functional tests are needed, we present in this work two interesting metabolic traits of M. hyopneumoniae that might be directly related to its enhanced virulence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Breeding programs for the main economically important traits of zebu dairy cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariosto Ardila Silva

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available In tropical regions, Gyr and Guzerat breeds (Bos indicus are most explored for dairy industry and are much more adapted to climate. Gyr and Guzerat are Zebu breeds very common in Brazil and they are being used to generate Bos taurus x Bos indicus crosses in order to combine good production, heat and parasite tolerance on the tropics. Breeding programs for the main economically important traits of Zebu dairy cattle have been recently introduced in Brazil and is based on the use of genetically superior sires in the herds. A major objective of QTL (Quantitative Trait Loci and candidate genes is to find genes and markers that can be implemented in breeding programs across marker assisted selection (MAS. In Zebu dairy cattle MAS could be used to pre-select young candidate bulls to progeny testing, thus increasing selection differentials, shortening generation interval and increasing genetic gain

  1. Constraints on trait combinations explain climatic drivers of biodiversity: the importance of trait covariance in community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwyer, John M; Laughlin, Daniel C

    2017-07-01

    Trade-offs maintain diversity and structure communities along environmental gradients. Theory indicates that if covariance among functional traits sets a limit on the number of viable trait combinations in a given environment, then communities with strong multidimensional trait constraints should exhibit low species diversity. We tested this prediction in winter annual plant assemblages along an aridity gradient using multilevel structural equation modelling. Univariate and multivariate functional diversity measures were poorly explained by aridity, and were surprisingly poor predictors of community richness. By contrast, the covariance between maximum height and seed mass strengthened along the aridity gradient, and was strongly associated with richness declines. Community richness had a positive effect on local neighbourhood richness, indicating that climate effects on trait covariance indirectly influence diversity at local scales. We present clear empirical evidence that declines in species richness along gradients of environmental stress can be due to increasing constraints on multidimensional phenotypes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Ecological Importance of Insects in Selenium Biogenic Cycling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadezhda Golubkina

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Selenium is an essential trace element for animal and human beings. Despite the importance of insects in most ecosystems and their significant contribution to the biological cycling of trace elements due to high abundance, population productivity, and diverse ecosystem functions, surprisingly little information is available on selenium bioaccumulation by these arthropods. This review considers selenium essentiality and toxicity to insects as well as insects’ contribution to selenium trophic transfer through the food chains. Data on Se accumulation by insects of the Dniester River Valley with no anthropogenic Se loading reveal typically low Se content in necrophagous insects compared to predators and herbivores and seasonal variations in Se accumulation.

  3. Genetic Linkage Mapping of Economically Important Traits in Cultivated Tetraploid Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massa, Alicia N; Manrique-Carpintero, Norma C; Coombs, Joseph J; Zarka, Daniel G; Boone, Anne E; Kirk, William W; Hackett, Christine A; Bryan, Glenn J; Douches, David S

    2015-09-14

    The objective of this study was to construct a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based genetic map at the cultivated tetraploid level to locate quantitative trait loci (QTL) contributing to economically important traits in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). The 156 F1 progeny and parents of a cross (MSL603) between "Jacqueline Lee" and "MSG227-2" were genotyped using the Infinium 8303 Potato Array. Furthermore, the progeny and parents were evaluated for foliar late blight reaction to isolates of the US-8 genotype of Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary and vine maturity. Linkage analyses and QTL mapping were performed using a novel approach that incorporates allele dosage information. The resulting genetic maps contained 1972 SNP markers with an average density of 1.36 marker per cM. QTL mapping identified the major source of late blight resistance in "Jacqueline Lee." The best SNP marker mapped ~0.54 Mb from a resistance hotspot on the long arm of chromosome 9. For vine maturity, the major-effect QTL was located on chromosome 5 with allelic effects from both parents. A candidate SNP marker for this trait mapped ~0.25 Mb from the StCDF1 gene, which is a candidate gene for the maturity trait. The identification of markers for P. infestans resistance will enable the introgression of multiple sources of resistance through marker-assisted selection. Moreover, the discovery of a QTL for late blight resistance not linked to the QTL for vine maturity provides the opportunity to use marker-assisted selection for resistance independent of the selection for vine maturity classifications. Copyright © 2015 Massa et al.

  4. 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

  5. Breeding programs for the main economically important traits of zebu dairy cattle

    OpenAIRE

    Ariosto Ardila Silva

    2010-01-01

    In tropical regions, Gyr and Guzerat breeds (Bos indicus) are most explored for dairy industry and are much more adapted to climate. Gyr and Guzerat are Zebu breeds very common in Brazil and they are being used to generate Bos taurus x Bos indicus crosses in order to combine good production, heat and parasite tolerance on the tropics. Breeding programs for the main economically important traits of Zebu dairy cattle have been recently introduced in Brazil and is based on the use of genetically...

  6. Differences in life-history and ecological traits between co-occurring Panulirus spiny lobsters (Decapoda, Palinuridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briones-Fourzán, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Coexistence of closely related species may be promoted by niche differentiation or result from interspecific trade-offs in life history and ecological traits that influence relative fitness differences and contribute to competitive inequalities. Although insufficient to prove coexistence, trait comparisons provide a first step to identify functional differences between co-occurring congeneric species in relation to mechanisms of coexistence. Here, a comparative review on life history and ecological traits is presented for two pairs of co-occurring species of spiny lobsters in the genus Panulirus: Panulirusgracilis and Panulirusinflatus from the Eastern Central Pacific region, and Panulirusargus and Panulirusguttatus from the Caribbean region. Panulirusgracilis and Panulirusinflatus have similar larval, postlarval, and adult sizes and a similar diet, but differ in degree of habitat specialization, fecundity, and growth rate. However, little is known on behavioral traits of these two species that may influence their competitive abilities and susceptibility to predators. The more abundant information on Panulirusargus and Panulirusguttatus shows that these two species differ more broadly in degree of habitat specialization, larval, postlarval and adult sizes, diet, fecundity, growth rate, degree of sociality, defense mechanisms, susceptibility to predators, and chemical ecology, suggesting a greater degree of niche differentiation between Panulirusargus and Panulirusguttatus than between Panulirusgracilis and Panulirusinflatus. Whether the substantial niche differentiation and apparent interspecific trade-offs between Panulirusargus and Panulirusguttatus relative to Panulirusgracilis and Panulirusinflatus reflect an earlier divergence of the former pair of species in the evolution of the genus constitutes an intriguing hypothesis. However, whether or not post-divergence evolution of each species pair occurred in sympatry remains uncertain.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-08-01

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

  8. Improvement of non-key traits in radiata pine breeding programme when long-term economic importance is uncertain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongjun; Dungey, Heidi; Yanchuk, Alvin; Apiolaza, Luis A

    2017-01-01

    Diameter at breast height (DBH), wood density (DEN) and predicted modulus of elasticity (PME) are considered as 'key traits' (KT) in the improvement in radiata pine breeding programmes in New Zealand. Any other traits which are also of interest to radiata pine breeders and forest growers are called 'non-key traits' (NKTs). External resin bleeding (ERB), internal checking (IC), number of heartwood rings (NHR) are three such non-key traits which affect wood quality of radiata pine timber. Economic importance of the KTs and NKTs is hard to define in radiata pine breeding programmes due to long rotation period. Desired-gain index (DGIs) and robust selection were proposed to incorporate NKTs into radiata pine breeding programme in order to deal with the uncertainty of economic importance. Four desired-gain indices A-D were proposed in this study. The desired-gain index A (DGI-A) emphasized growth and led to small decrease in ERB and small increase in IC and NHR. The expected genetic gains of all traits in the desired-gain index B (DGI-B) were in the favourable directions (positive genetic gains in the key traits and negative genetic gains in the non-key traits). The desired-gain index C (DGI-C) placed emphasis on wood density, leading to favourable genetic gain in the NKTs but reduced genetic gains for DBH and PME. The desired-gain index D (DGI-D) exerted a bit more emphasis on the non-key traits, leading large favourable reduction in the non-key traits and lower increase in the key traits compared with the other DGIs. When selecting both the key traits and the non-key traits, the average EBVs of six traits were all in the same directions as the expected genetic gains except for DBH in the DGI-D. When the key traits were measured and selected, internal checking always had a negative (favourable) genetic gain but ERB and NHR had unfavourable genetic gain in the most of time. After removing some individuals with high sensitivity to the change of economic weights, robust

  9. Improvement of non-key traits in radiata pine breeding programme when long-term economic importance is uncertain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongjun Li

    Full Text Available Diameter at breast height (DBH, wood density (DEN and predicted modulus of elasticity (PME are considered as 'key traits' (KT in the improvement in radiata pine breeding programmes in New Zealand. Any other traits which are also of interest to radiata pine breeders and forest growers are called 'non-key traits' (NKTs. External resin bleeding (ERB, internal checking (IC, number of heartwood rings (NHR are three such non-key traits which affect wood quality of radiata pine timber. Economic importance of the KTs and NKTs is hard to define in radiata pine breeding programmes due to long rotation period. Desired-gain index (DGIs and robust selection were proposed to incorporate NKTs into radiata pine breeding programme in order to deal with the uncertainty of economic importance. Four desired-gain indices A-D were proposed in this study. The desired-gain index A (DGI-A emphasized growth and led to small decrease in ERB and small increase in IC and NHR. The expected genetic gains of all traits in the desired-gain index B (DGI-B were in the favourable directions (positive genetic gains in the key traits and negative genetic gains in the non-key traits. The desired-gain index C (DGI-C placed emphasis on wood density, leading to favourable genetic gain in the NKTs but reduced genetic gains for DBH and PME. The desired-gain index D (DGI-D exerted a bit more emphasis on the non-key traits, leading large favourable reduction in the non-key traits and lower increase in the key traits compared with the other DGIs. When selecting both the key traits and the non-key traits, the average EBVs of six traits were all in the same directions as the expected genetic gains except for DBH in the DGI-D. When the key traits were measured and selected, internal checking always had a negative (favourable genetic gain but ERB and NHR had unfavourable genetic gain in the most of time. After removing some individuals with high sensitivity to the change of economic weights

  10. The ecological importance of mixed-severity fires: Nature's phoenix [Book Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn H. Sieg

    2016-01-01

    The stated goal of a recent book, The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix, edited by Dominick A. DellaSala and Chad T. Hansen, is to provide a global reference on the benefits of mixed- and high-severity fires. Note that the goal is not to provide an objective reference on the ecological aspects of mixed- and high-severity fires. Rather, the...

  11. Ecology of Floristic Quality Assessment: testing for correlations between coefficients of conservatism, species traits and mycorrhizal responsiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Jonathan T; Koziol, Liz; Bever, James D

    2018-02-01

    Many plant species are limited to habitats relatively unaffected by anthropogenic disturbance, so protecting these undisturbed habitats is essential for plant conservation. Coefficients of conservatism (C values) were developed as indicators of a species' sensitivity to anthropogenic disturbance, and these values are used in Floristic Quality Assessment as a means of assessing natural areas and ecological restoration. However, assigning of these values is subjective and improved quantitative validation of C values is needed. We tested whether there are consistent differences in life histories between species with high and low C values. To do this, we grew 54 species of tallgrass prairie plants in a greenhouse and measured traits that are associated with trade-offs on the fast-slow continuum of life-history strategies. We also grew plants with and without mycorrhizal fungi as a test of these species' reliance on this mutualism. We compared these traits and mycorrhizal responsiveness to C values. We found that six of the nine traits we measured were correlated with C values, and together, traits predicted up to 50 % of the variation in C values. Traits including fast growth rates and greater investment in reproduction were associated with lower C values, and slow growth rates, long-lived leaves and high root:shoot ratios were associated with higher C values. Additionally, plants with high C values and a slow life history were more responsive to mutualisms with mycorrhizal fungi. Overall, our results connect C values with life-history trade-offs, indicating that high C value species tend to share a suite of traits associated with a slow life history.

  12. Photosynthetic limitations in two Antarctic vascular plants: importance of leaf anatomical traits and Rubisco kinetic parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez, Patricia L; Bravo, León A; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Vallejos, Valentina; Sanhueza, Carolina; Font-Carrascosa, Marcel; Gil-Pelegrín, Eustaquio; Javier Peguero-Pina, José; Galmés, Jeroni

    2017-05-17

    Particular physiological traits allow the vascular plants Deschampsia antarctica Desv. and Colobanthus quitensis (Kunth) Bartl. to inhabit Antarctica. The photosynthetic performance of these species was evaluated in situ, focusing on diffusive and biochemical constraints to CO2 assimilation. Leaf gas exchange, Chl a fluorescence, leaf ultrastructure, and Rubisco catalytic properties were examined in plants growing on King George and Lagotellerie islands. In spite of the species- and population-specific effects of the measurement temperature on the main photosynthetic parameters, CO2 assimilation was highly limited by CO2 diffusion. In particular, the mesophyll conductance (gm)-estimated from both gas exchange and leaf chlorophyll fluorescence and modeled from leaf anatomy-was remarkably low, restricting CO2 diffusion and imposing the strongest constraint to CO2 acquisition. Rubisco presented a high specificity for CO2 as determined in vitro, suggesting a tight co-ordination between CO2 diffusion and leaf biochemistry that may be critical ultimately to optimize carbon balance in these species. Interestingly, both anatomical and biochemical traits resembled those described in plants from arid environments, providing a new insight into plant functional acclimation to extreme conditions. Understanding what actually limits photosynthesis in these species is important to anticipate their responses to the ongoing and predicted rapid warming in the Antarctic Peninsula. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  13. No evidence for larger leaf trait plasticity in ecological generalists compared to specialists

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr; Fischer, M.; Chytrý, M.; Prati, D.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 3 (2017), s. 511-521 ISSN 0305-0270 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-09119S; GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : ecological generalists and specialists * phenotypic plasticity * multispecies experiments Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.248, year: 2016

  14. Independence among physiological traits suggests flexibility in the face of ecological demands on phenotypes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buehler, D.M.; Vézina, F.; Goymann, W.; Schwabl, I.; Versteegh, M.; Tieleman, B.I.; Piersma, T.

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic flexibility allows animals to adjust their physiology to diverse environmental conditions encountered over the year. Examining how these varying traits covary gives insights into potential constraints or freedoms that may shape evolutionary trajectories. In this study, we examined

  15. Cultural ecologies of adaptive vs. maladaptive traits: A simple nonlinear model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoci, Angelo; Russu, Paolo; Sacco, Pier Luigi

    2018-05-01

    In this paper, we generalize a model by Enquist and Ghirlanda [12] to analyze the "macro" dynamics of cumulative culture in a context where there is a coexistence of adaptive and maladaptive cultural traits. In particular, we introduce a different, nonlinear specification of the main processes at work in the cumulative culture dynamics: imperfect transmission of traits, generation of new traits, and switches from adaptive to maladaptive and vice-versa. We find that the system exhibits a variety of dynamic behaviors where the crucial force is the switching between the adaptive and maladaptive nature of a certain trait, with the other processes playing a modulating role. We identify in particular a number of dynamic regimes with distinctive characteristics.

  16. Genome-Wide Search for Quantitative Trait Loci Controlling Important Plant and Flower Traits in Petunia Using an Interspecific Recombinant Inbred Population of Petunia axillaris and Petunia exserta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zhe; Guo, Yufang; Yang, Qian; He, Yanhong; Fetouh, Mohammed; Warner, Ryan M; Deng, Zhanao

    2018-05-15

    A major bottleneck in plant breeding has been the much limited genetic base and much reduced genetic diversity in domesticated, cultivated germplasm. Identification and utilization of favorable gene loci or alleles from wild or progenitor species can serve as an effective approach to increasing genetic diversity and breaking this bottleneck in plant breeding. This study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) in wild or progenitor petunia species that can be used to improve important horticultural traits in garden petunia. An F 7 recombinant inbred population derived between Petunia axillaris and P. exserta was phenotyped for plant height, plant spread, plant size, flower counts, flower diameter, flower length, and days to anthesis, in Florida in two consecutive years. Transgressive segregation was observed for all seven traits in both years. The broad-sense heritability estimates for the traits ranged from 0.20 (days to anthesis) to 0.62 (flower length). A genome-wide genetic linkage map consisting 368 single nucleotide polymorphism bins and extending over 277 cM was searched to identify QTL for these traits. Nineteen QTL were identified and localized to five linkage groups. Eleven of the loci were identified consistently in both years; several loci explained up to 34.0% and 24.1% of the phenotypic variance for flower length and flower diameter, respectively. Multiple loci controlling different traits are co-localized in four intervals in four linkage groups. These intervals contain desirable alleles that can be introgressed into commercial petunia germplasm to expand the genetic base and improve plant performance and flower characteristics in petunia. Copyright © 2018, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.

  17. Trees of Laos and Vietnam: a field guide to 100 economically or ecologically important species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sam, Hoang Van; Nanthavong, Khamseng; Keßler, P.J.A.

    2004-01-01

    This field guide to 100 economically or ecologically important tree species from Laos and Vietnam enables the user to identify the included taxa with user-friendly keys. It includes scientific names, botanical descriptions of families, genera, and species. Specific information on distribution,

  18. Using expert informed GIS to locate important marine social-ecological hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahboubi, Pouyan; Parkes, Margot; Stephen, Craig; Chan, Hing Man

    2015-09-01

    The marine environment provides significant benefits to many local communities. Pressure to develop coastal waterways worldwide creates an urgent need for tools to locate marine spaces that have important social or ecological values, and to quantify their relative importance. The primary objective of this study was to develop, apply and critically assess a tool to identify important social-ecological hotspots in the marine environment. The study was conducted in a typical coastal community in northern British Columbia, Canada. This expert-informed GIS, or xGIS, tool used a survey instrument to draw on the knowledge of local experts from a range of backgrounds with respect to a series of 12 social-ecological value attributes, such as biodiversity, cultural and economic values. We identified approximately 1500 polygons on marine maps and assigned relative values to them using a token distribution exercise. A series of spatial statistical analyses were performed to locate and quantify the relative social-ecological importance of marine spaces and the results were ultimately summarized in a single hotspot map of the entire study area. This study demonstrates the utility of xGIS as a useful tool for stakeholders and environmental managers engaged in the planning and management of marine resources at the local and regional levels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Ecology of Anopheles darlingi Root with respect to vector importance: a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiwat, H.; Bretas, G.

    2011-01-01

    Anopheles darlingi is one of the most important malaria vectors in the Americas. In this era of new tools and strategies for malaria and vector control it is essential to have knowledge on the ecology and behavior of vectors in order to evaluate appropriateness and impact of control measures. This

  20. Conceptual Framework for Trait-Based Ecological Risk Assessment for Wildlife Populations Exposed to Pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Between screening level risk assessments and complex ecological models, a need exists for practical identification of risk based on general information about species, chemicals, and exposure scenarios. Several studies have identified demographic, biological, and toxicological fa...

  1. Determinants of litter decomposition in a tropical forest: functional traits, phylogeny and ecological succession

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szefer, Piotr; Carmona, C. S.; Chmel, Kryštof; Konečná, M.; Libra, Martin; Molem, K.; Novotný, Vojtěch; Segar, Simon Tristram; Švamberková, E.; Topliceanu, T.-S.; Lepš, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 126, č. 8 (2017), s. 1101-1111 ISSN 0030-1299 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : nitrogen content * successional status * plant resource-use strategy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.030, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/oik.03670/full

  2. The ecologic products and the importance of their consumption for the human health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corina Constanța Sîrbu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This study intends to analyze the perception of young people regarding the ecologic products, their consumption and implicitly the awareness of their effect on the human health. The geographic area where we realized the study wasTimisoaraby distributing a questionnaire in different places: universities, super-markets, mall. After analyzing the results, we noticed that 80% of the young people consider that the food is very important for a healthy life. The majority of the young people questioned, even knowing the characteristics of the bio products, consumed fruits and vegetables bought from stores specialized in ecologic products. From our study, we can say that the young people are interested in the ecologic products sold inTimisoaraand they are aware about their impact on the human health.

  3. The relative importance of rapid evolution for plant-microbe interactions depends on ecological context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terhorst, Casey P; Lennon, Jay T; Lau, Jennifer A

    2014-06-22

    Evolution can occur on ecological time-scales, affecting community and ecosystem processes. However, the importance of evolutionary change relative to ecological processes remains largely unknown. Here, we analyse data from a long-term experiment in which we allowed plant populations to evolve for three generations in dry or wet soils and used a reciprocal transplant to compare the ecological effect of drought and the effect of plant evolutionary responses to drought on soil microbial communities and nutrient availability. Plants that evolved under drought tended to support higher bacterial and fungal richness, and increased fungal : bacterial ratios in the soil. Overall, the magnitudes of ecological and evolutionary effects on microbial communities were similar; however, the strength and direction of these effects depended on the context in which they were measured. For example, plants that evolved in dry environments increased bacterial abundance in dry contemporary environments, but decreased bacterial abundance in wet contemporary environments. Our results suggest that interactions between recent evolutionary history and ecological context affect both the direction and magnitude of plant effects on soil microbes. Consequently, an eco-evolutionary perspective is required to fully understand plant-microbe interactions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomati, Francesco; Nizzetto, Luca

    2013-07-01

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

  5. The importance and acceptability of general and maladaptive personality trait computerized assessment feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengel, Gregory J; Mullins-Sweatt, Stephanie N

    2017-01-01

    Personality traits are a useful component of clinical assessment, and have been associated with positive and negative life outcomes. Assessment of both general and maladaptive personality traits may be beneficial practice, as they may complement each other to comprehensively and accurately describe one's personality. Notably, personal preferences regarding assessment feedback have not been studied. The current study examined the acceptability of personality assessment feedback from the perspective of the examinee. Treatment-seeking participants from a university (n = 72) and Amazon.com MTurk (n = 101) completed measures of the 5-factor model and the DSM-5 alternative model of personality disorder, and were then provided feedback on their general and maladaptive personality traits. Individuals then provided feedback on which aspects they found most useful. Results demonstrated strong participant agreement that the personality trait feedback was accurate and relevant. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Importance of health and environment as quality traits in the buying decision of organic products

    OpenAIRE

    Mondelaers, Koen; Verbeke, Wim; Van Huylenbroeck, Guido

    2009-01-01

    Purpose - This paper aims to explore consumer preference for fresh vegetables labelled as organic in combination with health and environment related quality traits. The study decomposes organic farming into its main quality aspects and measures consumers' preference structure for organic, in general, and for specific organic quality traits in particular. Design/methodology/approach - By means of stated choice preference modelling, the following hypotheses are tested: consumers prefer healt...

  7. Enlightening Butterfly Conservation Efforts: The Importance of Natural Lighting for Butterfly Behavioral Ecology and Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Light is arguably the most important abiotic factor for living organisms. Organisms evolved under specific lighting conditions and their behavior, physiology, and ecology are inexorably linked to light. Understanding light effects on biology could not be more important as present anthropogenic effects are greatly changing the light environments in which animals exist. The two biggest anthropogenic contributors changing light environments are: (1) anthropogenic lighting at night (i.e., light pollution); and (2) deforestation and the built environment. I highlight light importance for butterfly behavior, physiology, and ecology and stress the importance of including light as a conservation factor for conserving butterfly biodiversity. This review focuses on four parts: (1) Introducing the nature and extent of light. (2) Visual and non-visual light reception in butterflies. (3) Implications of unnatural lighting for butterflies across several different behavioral and ecological contexts. (4). Future directions for quantifying the threat of unnatural lighting on butterflies and simple approaches to mitigate unnatural light impacts on butterflies. I urge future research to include light as a factor and end with the hopeful thought that controlling many unnatural light conditions is simply done by flipping a switch. PMID:29439549

  8. Enlightening Butterfly Conservation Efforts: The Importance of Natural Lighting for Butterfly Behavioral Ecology and Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett M Seymoure

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Light is arguably the most important abiotic factor for living organisms. Organisms evolved under specific lighting conditions and their behavior, physiology, and ecology are inexorably linked to light. Understanding light effects on biology could not be more important as present anthropogenic effects are greatly changing the light environments in which animals exist. The two biggest anthropogenic contributors changing light environments are: (1 anthropogenic lighting at night (i.e., light pollution; and (2 deforestation and the built environment. I highlight light importance for butterfly behavior, physiology, and ecology and stress the importance of including light as a conservation factor for conserving butterfly biodiversity. This review focuses on four parts: (1 Introducing the nature and extent of light. (2 Visual and non-visual light reception in butterflies. (3 Implications of unnatural lighting for butterflies across several different behavioral and ecological contexts. (4. Future directions for quantifying the threat of unnatural lighting on butterflies and simple approaches to mitigate unnatural light impacts on butterflies. I urge future research to include light as a factor and end with the hopeful thought that controlling many unnatural light conditions is simply done by flipping a switch.

  9. Effect of Lineage-Specific Metabolic Traits of Lactobacillus reuteri on Sourdough Microbial Ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, Xiaoxi B.; Gänzle, Michael G.

    2014-01-01

    This study determined the effects of specific metabolic traits of Lactobacillus reuteri on its competitiveness in sourdoughs. The competitiveness of lactobacilli in sourdough generally depends on their growth rate; acid resistance additionally contributes to competitiveness in sourdoughs with long fermentation times. Glycerol metabolism via glycerol dehydratase (gupCDE) accelerates growth by the regeneration of reduced cofactors; glutamate metabolism via glutamate decarboxylase (gadB) increas...

  10. QTL mapping and epistatic interaction analysis in asparagus bean for several characterized and novel horticulturally important traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Asparagus bean (Vigna. unguiculata. ssp sesquipedalis) is a subspecies and special vegetable type of cowpea (Vigna. unguiculata L. Walp.) important in Asia. Genetic basis of horticulturally important traits of asparagus bean is still poorly understood, hindering the utilization of targeted, DNA marker-assisted breeding in this crop. Here we report the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and epistatic interactions for four horticultural traits, namely, days to first flowering (FLD), nodes to first flower (NFF), leaf senescence (LS) and pod number per plant (PN) using a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of asparagus bean. Results A similar genetic mode of one major QTL plus a few minor QTLs was found to dominate each of the four traits, with the number of QTLs for individual traits ranging from three to four. These QTLs were distributed on 7 of the 11 chromosomes. Major QTLs for FLD, NFF and LS were co-localized on LG 11, indicative of tight linkage. Genome wide epistasis analysis detected two and one interactive locus pairs that significantly affect FLD and LS, respectively, and the epistatic QTLs for FLD appeared to work in different ways. Synteny based comparison of QTL locations revealed conservation of chromosome regions controlling these traits in related legume crops. Conclusion Major, minor, and epistatic QTLs were found to contribute to the inheritance of the FLD, NFF, LS, and PN. Positions of many of these QTLs are conserved among closely related legume species, indicating common mechanisms they share. To our best knowledge, this is the first QTL mapping report using an asparagus bean × asparagus bean intervarietal population and provides marker-trait associations for marker-assisted approaches to selection. PMID:23375055

  11. Ecological traits influence the phylogenetic structure of bird species co-occurrences worldwide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barnagaud, J.-Y.; Kissling, W.D.; Sandel, B.; Eiserhardt, W.L.; Şekercioğlu, Ç.H.; Enquist, B.J.; Tsirogiannis, C.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2014-01-01

    The extent to which species’ ecological and phylogenetic relatedness shape their co-occurrence patterns at large spatial scales remains poorly understood. By quantifying phylogenetic assemblage structure within geographic ranges of >8000 bird species, we show that global co-occurrence patterns are

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Selection of important ecological source patches base on Green Infrastructure theory: A case study of Wuhan city

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Yuanyuan; Yu, Yan; Tong, Yan

    2018-01-01

    Selecting urban ecological patches is of great significance for constructing urban green infrastructure network, protecting urban biodiversity and ecological environment. With the support of GIS technology, a criterion for selecting sources of patches was developed according to existing planning. Then ecological source patches of terrestrial organism, aquatic and amphibious organism were selected in Wuhan city. To increase the connectivity of the ecological patches and achieve greater ecological protection benefits, the green infrastructure networks in Wuhan city were constructed with the minimum path analysis method. Finally, the characteristics of ecological source patches were analyzed with landscape metrics, and ecological protection importance degree of ecological source patches were evaluated comprehensively. The results showed that there were 23 important ecological source patches in Wuhan city, among which Sushan Temple Forest Patch, Lu Lake and Shangshe Lake Wetland Patch were the most important in all kinds of patches for ecological protection. This study can provide a scientific basis for the preservation of urban ecological space, the delineation of natural conservation areas and the protection of biological diversity.

  14. The importance of personality and life-events in anxious depression: from trait to state anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Veen, Date C; van Dijk, Silvia D M; Comijs, Hannie C; van Zelst, Willeke H; Schoevers, Robert A; Oude Voshaar, Richard C

    2017-11-01

    Anxious depression is associated with severe impairment and bad prognoses. We hypothesize that recent life-events are associated with more anxiety in late-life depression and that this is conditional upon the level of certain personality traits. Baseline data of the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older Persons (NESDO) were used. In 333 patients (≥60 years) suffering from a major depressive disorder, anxiety was assessed with the BAI, personality traits with the NEO-FFI and the Mastery Scale, and life-events with the Brugha questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied with anxiety severity as dependent and life-events and personality traits as independent variables. 147 patients (44.1%) had recently experienced one or more life-events. The presence of a life-event is not associated with anxiety (p = .161) or depression severity (p = .440). However, certain personality traits interacted with life-events in explaining anxiety severity. Stratified analyses showed that life-events were associated with higher anxiety levels in case of high levels of neuroticism and openness and low levels of conscientiousness or mastery. In the face of a life-event, personality traits may play a central role in increased anxiety levels in late-life depression.

  15. An Exploratory Study of the Effect of Professional Internships on Students' Perception of the Importance of Employment Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Brian Patrick; Graybeal, Patricia; Madison, Roland L.

    2011-01-01

    The authors measured the effects of a formal internship on students' perceptions of the importance of traits employees consider during the hiring process. Prior studies have reported that accounting firms perceive students with internship experience as better entry-level accountants. This perception may be related to changes in student beliefs…

  16. Research Review: The Importance of Callous-Unemotional Traits for Developmental Models of Aggressive and Antisocial Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Paul J.; White, Stuart F.

    2008-01-01

    The current paper reviews research suggesting that the presence of a callous and unemotional interpersonal style designates an important subgroup of antisocial and aggressive youth. Specifically, callous-unemotional (CU) traits (e.g., lack of guilt, absence of empathy, callous use of others) seem to be relatively stable across childhood and…

  17. Reproductive ecology and early life history traits of the brooding coral, Porites astreoides, from shallow to mesophotic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodbody-Gringley, Gretchen; Wong, Kevin H.; Becker, Danielle M.; Glennon, Keegan; de Putron, Samantha J.

    2018-06-01

    Early life history traits of brooding corals are often affected by the environmental conditions experienced by parental colonies. Such parental effects can impact offspring survival, which influences the overall success of a population as well as resilience to environmental challenges. This study examines the reproductive ecology and early life history traits of the brooding coral Porites astreoides across a depth gradient in Bermuda. Fecundity, larval size, larval Symbiodinium density, and settlement success, as well as post-metamorphic juvenile survival, growth, and Symbiodinium density were compared across three reef sites representing an inshore patch reef (2-5 m), an offshore rim reef (8-10 m), and an upper-mesophotic reef (30-33 m). Although fecundity did not differ across sites, larvae produced by colonies on the patch reef site were smaller, had lower Symbiodinium densities, and had lower rates of settlement and juvenile survival compared to larvae from colonies on the rim and upper-mesophotic reef sites. Larvae produced by colonies from the rim and upper-mesophotic sites did not differ in size or Symbiodinium densities; however, rates of settlement, growth, and survival were higher for larvae from the upper-mesophotic site compared to those from the rim reef site. These results indicate that offspring quality and success vary among sites with differing environmental conditions and may imply higher recruitment potential and resilience for upper-mesophotic corals.

  18. Effect of lineage-specific metabolic traits of Lactobacillus reuteri on sourdough microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Xiaoxi B; Gänzle, Michael G

    2014-09-01

    This study determined the effects of specific metabolic traits of Lactobacillus reuteri on its competitiveness in sourdoughs. The competitiveness of lactobacilli in sourdough generally depends on their growth rate; acid resistance additionally contributes to competitiveness in sourdoughs with long fermentation times. Glycerol metabolism via glycerol dehydratase (gupCDE) accelerates growth by the regeneration of reduced cofactors; glutamate metabolism via glutamate decarboxylase (gadB) increases acid resistance by generating a proton motive force. Glycerol and glutamate metabolisms are lineage-specific traits in L. reuteri; therefore, this study employed glycerol dehydratase-positive sourdough isolates of human-adapted L. reuteri lineage I, glutamate decarboxylase-positive strains of rodent-adapted L. reuteri lineage II, as well as mutants with deletions in gadB or gupCDE. The competitivenesses of the strains were quantified by inoculation of wheat and sorghum sourdoughs with defined strains, followed by propagation of doughs with a 10% inoculum and 12-h or 72-h fermentation cycles. Lineage I L. reuteri strains dominated sourdoughs propagated with 12-h fermentation cycles; lineage II L. reuteri strains dominated sourdoughs propagated with 72-h fermentation cycles. L. reuteri 100-23ΔgadB was outcompeted by its wild-type strain in sourdoughs fermented with 72-h fermentation cycles; L. reuteri FUA3400ΔgupCDE was outcompeted by its wild-type strain in sourdoughs fermented with both 12-h and 72-h fermentation cycles. Competition experiments with isogenic pairs of strains resulted in a constant rate of strain displacement of the less competitive mutant strain. In conclusion, lineage-specific traits of L. reuteri determine the competitiveness of this species in sourdough fermentations. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. An integrated genetic map based on four mapping populations and quantitative trait loci associated with economically important traits in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Modern watermelon (Citrullus lanatus L.) cultivars share a narrow genetic base due to many years of selection for desirable horticultural qualities. Wild subspecies within C. lanatus are important potential sources of novel alleles for watermelon breeding, but successful trait introgression into elite cultivars has had limited success. The application of marker assisted selection (MAS) in watermelon is yet to be realized, mainly due to the past lack of high quality genetic maps. Recently, a number of useful maps have become available, however these maps have few common markers, and were constructed using different marker sets, thus, making integration and comparative analysis among maps difficult. The objective of this research was to use single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) anchor markers to construct an integrated genetic map for C. lanatus. Results Under the framework of the high density genetic map, an integrated genetic map was constructed by merging data from four independent mapping experiments using a genetically diverse array of parental lines, which included three subspecies of watermelon. The 698 simple sequence repeat (SSR), 219 insertion-deletion (InDel), 36 structure variation (SV) and 386 SNP markers from the four maps were used to construct an integrated map. This integrated map contained 1339 markers, spanning 798 cM with an average marker interval of 0.6 cM. Fifty-eight previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) for 12 traits in these populations were also integrated into the map. In addition, new QTL identified for brix, fructose, glucose and sucrose were added. Some QTL associated with economically important traits detected in different genetic backgrounds mapped to similar genomic regions of the integrated map, suggesting that such QTL are responsible for the phenotypic variability observed in a broad array of watermelon germplasm. Conclusions The integrated map described herein enhances the utility of genomic tools over

  20. An integrated genetic map based on four mapping populations and quantitative trait loci associated with economically important traits in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yi; McGregor, Cecilia; Zhang, Yan; Gong, Guoyi; Zhang, Haiying; Guo, Shaogui; Sun, Honghe; Cai, Wantao; Zhang, Jie; Xu, Yong

    2014-01-20

    Modern watermelon (Citrullus lanatus L.) cultivars share a narrow genetic base due to many years of selection for desirable horticultural qualities. Wild subspecies within C. lanatus are important potential sources of novel alleles for watermelon breeding, but successful trait introgression into elite cultivars has had limited success. The application of marker assisted selection (MAS) in watermelon is yet to be realized, mainly due to the past lack of high quality genetic maps. Recently, a number of useful maps have become available, however these maps have few common markers, and were constructed using different marker sets, thus, making integration and comparative analysis among maps difficult. The objective of this research was to use single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) anchor markers to construct an integrated genetic map for C. lanatus. Under the framework of the high density genetic map, an integrated genetic map was constructed by merging data from four independent mapping experiments using a genetically diverse array of parental lines, which included three subspecies of watermelon. The 698 simple sequence repeat (SSR), 219 insertion-deletion (InDel), 36 structure variation (SV) and 386 SNP markers from the four maps were used to construct an integrated map. This integrated map contained 1339 markers, spanning 798 cM with an average marker interval of 0.6 cM. Fifty-eight previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) for 12 traits in these populations were also integrated into the map. In addition, new QTL identified for brix, fructose, glucose and sucrose were added. Some QTL associated with economically important traits detected in different genetic backgrounds mapped to similar genomic regions of the integrated map, suggesting that such QTL are responsible for the phenotypic variability observed in a broad array of watermelon germplasm. The integrated map described herein enhances the utility of genomic tools over previous watermelon genetic maps. A

  1. Diversity, occurrence and feeding traits of caddisfly larvae as indicators for ecological integrity of river-floodplain habitats along a connectivity gradient

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Brink, F.W.B.; Van der Velde, G.; Wijnhoven, S.

    2013-01-01

    In order to assess ecological values of Lower Rhine and Meuse floodplain habitats we studied the spatial and seasonal variation in diversity, species assemblages and feeding traits of caddisfly larvae in water bodies over the lateral connectivity gradient: eupotamon: main and secondary channels:

  2. The social brain is not enough: on the importance of the ecological brain for the origin of language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Ferretti

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I assume that the study of the origin of language is strictly connected to the analysis of the traits that distinguish human language from animal communication. Usually, human language is said to be unique in the animal kingdom because it enables and/or requires intentionality or mindreading. By emphasizing the importance of mindreading, the social brain hypothesis has provided major insights within the origin of language debate. However, as studies on non-human primates have demonstrated that intentional forms of communication are already present in these species to a greater or lesser extent, I maintain that the social brain is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to explain the uniqueness of language. In this paper, I suggest that the distinctive feature of human communication resides in the ability to tell stories, and that the origin of language should be traced with respect to the capacity to produce discourses, rather than phrases or words. As narrative requires the ability to link events distant from one another in space and time, my proposal is that in order to explain the origin of language, we need to appeal to both the social brain and the ecological brain – that is, the cognitive devices which allow us to mentally travel in space and time.

  3. The Social Brain Is Not Enough: On the Importance of the Ecological Brain for the Origin of Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferretti, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, I assume that the study of the origin of language is strictly connected to the analysis of the traits that distinguish human language from animal communication. Usually, human language is said to be unique in the animal kingdom because it enables and/or requires intentionality or mindreading. By emphasizing the importance of mindreading, the social brain hypothesis has provided major insights within the origin of language debate. However, as studies on non-human primates have demonstrated that intentional forms of communication are already present in these species to a greater or lesser extent, I maintain that the social brain is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to explain the uniqueness of language. In this paper, I suggest that the distinctive feature of human communication resides in the ability to tell stories, and that the origin of language should be traced with respect to the capacity to produce discourses, rather than phrases or words. As narrative requires the ability to link events distant from one another in space and time, my proposal is that in order to explain the origin of language, we need to appeal to both the social brain and the ecological brain - that is, the cognitive devices which allow us to mentally travel in space and time.

  4. Evolution in response to social selection: the importance of interactive effects of traits on fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westneat, David F

    2012-03-01

    Social interactions have a powerful effect on the evolutionary process. Recent attempts to synthesize models of social selection with equations for indirect genetic effects (McGlothlin et al. 2010) provide a broad theoretical base from which to study selection and evolutionary response in the context of social interactions. However, this framework concludes that social selection will lead to evolution only if the traits carried by social partners are nonrandomly associated. I suggest this conclusion is incomplete, and that traits that do not covary between social partners can nevertheless lead to evolution via interactive effects on fitness. Such effects occur when there are functional interactions between traits, and as an example I use the interplay in water striders (Gerridae) between grasping appendages carried by males and spines by females. Functional interactive effects between traits can be incorporated into both the equations for social selection and the general model of social evolution proposed by McGlothlin et al. These expanded equations would accommodate adaptive coevolution in social interactions, integrate the quantitative genetic approach to social evolution with game theoretical approaches, and stimulate some new questions about the process of social evolution. © 2011 The Author. Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. A consensus linkage map for molecular markers and Quantitative Trait Loci associated with economically important traits in melon (Cucumis melo L.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background A number of molecular marker linkage maps have been developed for melon (Cucumis melo L.) over the last two decades. However, these maps were constructed using different marker sets, thus, making comparative analysis among maps difficult. In order to solve this problem, a consensus genetic map in melon was constructed using primarily highly transferable anchor markers that have broad potential use for mapping, synteny, and comparative quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis, increasing breeding effectiveness and efficiency via marker-assisted selection (MAS). Results Under the framework of the International Cucurbit Genomics Initiative (ICuGI, http://www.icugi.org), an integrated genetic map has been constructed by merging data from eight independent mapping experiments using a genetically diverse array of parental lines. The consensus map spans 1150 cM across the 12 melon linkage groups and is composed of 1592 markers (640 SSRs, 330 SNPs, 252 AFLPs, 239 RFLPs, 89 RAPDs, 15 IMAs, 16 indels and 11 morphological traits) with a mean marker density of 0.72 cM/marker. One hundred and ninety-six of these markers (157 SSRs, 32 SNPs, 6 indels and 1 RAPD) were newly developed, mapped or provided by industry representatives as released markers, including 27 SNPs and 5 indels from genes involved in the organic acid metabolism and transport, and 58 EST-SSRs. Additionally, 85 of 822 SSR markers contributed by Syngenta Seeds were included in the integrated map. In addition, 370 QTL controlling 62 traits from 18 previously reported mapping experiments using genetically diverse parental genotypes were also integrated into the consensus map. Some QTL associated with economically important traits detected in separate studies mapped to similar genomic positions. For example, independently identified QTL controlling fruit shape were mapped on similar genomic positions, suggesting that such QTL are possibly responsible for the phenotypic variability observed for this trait in

  6. A consensus linkage map for molecular markers and Quantitative Trait Loci associated with economically important traits in melon (Cucumis melo L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schaffer Arthur

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A number of molecular marker linkage maps have been developed for melon (Cucumis melo L. over the last two decades. However, these maps were constructed using different marker sets, thus, making comparative analysis among maps difficult. In order to solve this problem, a consensus genetic map in melon was constructed using primarily highly transferable anchor markers that have broad potential use for mapping, synteny, and comparative quantitative trait loci (QTL analysis, increasing breeding effectiveness and efficiency via marker-assisted selection (MAS. Results Under the framework of the International Cucurbit Genomics Initiative (ICuGI, http://www.icugi.org, an integrated genetic map has been constructed by merging data from eight independent mapping experiments using a genetically diverse array of parental lines. The consensus map spans 1150 cM across the 12 melon linkage groups and is composed of 1592 markers (640 SSRs, 330 SNPs, 252 AFLPs, 239 RFLPs, 89 RAPDs, 15 IMAs, 16 indels and 11 morphological traits with a mean marker density of 0.72 cM/marker. One hundred and ninety-six of these markers (157 SSRs, 32 SNPs, 6 indels and 1 RAPD were newly developed, mapped or provided by industry representatives as released markers, including 27 SNPs and 5 indels from genes involved in the organic acid metabolism and transport, and 58 EST-SSRs. Additionally, 85 of 822 SSR markers contributed by Syngenta Seeds were included in the integrated map. In addition, 370 QTL controlling 62 traits from 18 previously reported mapping experiments using genetically diverse parental genotypes were also integrated into the consensus map. Some QTL associated with economically important traits detected in separate studies mapped to similar genomic positions. For example, independently identified QTL controlling fruit shape were mapped on similar genomic positions, suggesting that such QTL are possibly responsible for the phenotypic variability

  7. Importance of ocean circulation in ecological modeling: An example from the North Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skogen, Morten D.; Moll, Andreas

    2005-09-01

    There is an increasing number of ecological models for the North Sea around. Skogen and Moll (2000) [Skogen, M.D., Moll, A. 2000. Interannual variability of the North Sea primary production: comparison from two model studies. Continental Shelf Research 20 (2), 129-151] compared the interannual variability of the North Sea primary production using two state-of-the-art ecological models, NORWECOM and ECOHAM1. Their conclusion was that the two models agreed on an annual mean primary production, its variability and the timing and size of the peak production. On the other hand, there was a low (even negative dependent of area) correlation in the production in different years between the two models. In the present work, these conclusions are brought further. To try to better understand the observed differences between the two models, the two ecological models are run in an identical physical setting. With such a set-up also the interannual variability between the two models is in agreement, and it is concluded that the single most important factor for a reliable modeling of phytoplankton and nutrient distributions and transports within the North Sea is a proper physical model.

  8. Investigating the evolution of apoptosis in malaria parasites: the importance of ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pollitt Laura C

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Apoptosis is a precisely regulated process of cell death which occurs widely in multicellular organisms and is essential for normal development and immune defences. In recent years, interest has grown in the occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular organisms. In particular, as apoptosis has been reported in a wide range of species, including protozoan malaria parasites and trypanosomes, it may provide a novel target for intervention. However, it is important to understand when and why parasites employ an apoptosis strategy before the likely long- and short-term success of such an intervention can be evaluated. The occurrence of apoptosis in unicellular parasites provides a challenge for evolutionary theory to explain as organisms are expected to have evolved to maximise their own proliferation, not death. One possible explanation is that protozoan parasites undergo apoptosis in order to gain a group benefit from controlling their density as this prevents premature vector mortality. However, experimental manipulations to examine the ultimate causes behind apoptosis in parasites are lacking. In this review, we focus on malaria parasites to outline how an evolutionary framework can help make predictions about the ecological circumstances under which apoptosis could evolve. We then highlight the ecological considerations that should be taken into account when designing evolutionary experiments involving markers of cell death, and we call for collaboration between researchers in different fields to identify and develop appropriate markers in reference to parasite ecology and to resolve debates on terminology.

  9. Using latent effects to determine the ecological importance of dissolved organic matter to marine invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Dean E; Johnson, Collin H

    2006-10-01

    The uptake and utilization of dissolved organic matter (DOM) by marine invertebrates is a field that has received significant attention over the past 100 years. Although it is well established that DOM is taken up by marine invertebrates, the extent to which it contributes to an animal's survival, growth, and reproduction (that is, the ecological benefits) remains largely unknown. Previous work seeking to demonstrate the putative ecological benefits of DOM uptake have examined them within a single life stage of an animal. Moreover, most of the benefits are demonstrated through indirect approaches by examining (1) mass balance, or (2) making comparisons of oxyenthalpic conversions of transport rates to metabolic rate as judged by oxygen consumption. We suggest that directly examining delayed metamorphosis or the latent effects associated with nutritional stress of larvae is a better model for investigating the ecological importance of DOM to marine invertebrates. We also provide direct evidence that availability of DOM enhances survival and growth of the bryozoan Bugula neritina. That DOM offsets latent effects in B. neritina suggests that the underlying mechanisms are at least in part energetic.

  10. Evaluating functional diversity: Missing trait data and the importance of species abundance structure and data transformation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Májeková, M.; Paal, T.; Plowman, Nichola S.; Bryndová, Michala; Kasari, L.; Norberg, A.; Weiss, Matthias; Bishop, T. R.; Luke, S. H.; Sam, Kateřina; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Y.; Lepš, Jan; Götzenberger, Lars; de Bello, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 2 (2016), č. článku e0149270. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G; GA ČR(CZ) GP14-32024P; GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 156/2013/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : data incompleteness * functional diversity * species abundance Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EH - Ecology, Behaviour (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0149270

  11. Monitoring inbreeding trends and inbreeding depression for economically important traits of Holstein cattle in Iran

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rokouei, M; Torshizi, R Vaez; Shahrbabak, M Moradi

    2010-01-01

    Pedigree information of 852,443 registered Holstein cows and bulls, collected by the Animal Breeding Center of Iran from 1971 to 2007, was used to calculate inbreeding coefficients and their effect on production, reproduction, somatic cell count, calving ease, and longevity traits. The average...... reproductive traits, the observed undesirable effect of inbreeding was not significant, except for the calving interval (0.53 d per 1% increase in inbreeding) in the third parity and age at first calving (0.45 d per 1% increase in inbreeding). Calving ease in heifers and cows was significantly influenced...... by the inbreeding of the dam, indicating that highly inbred cows had a higher incidence of difficult calvings. The estimate of inbreeding depression for somatic cell score was low and significant only for the third lactation. However, animals with high inbreeding coefficient tended to have higher somatic cell...

  12. Big Five personality traits: are they really important for the subjective well-being of Indians?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanksale, Deepa

    2015-02-01

    This study empirically examined the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and subjective well-being (SWB) in India. SWB variables used were life satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect. A total of 183 participants in the age range 30-40 years from Pune, India, completed the personality and SWB measures. Backward stepwise regression analysis showed that the Big Five traits accounted for 17% of the variance in life satisfaction, 35% variance in positive affect and 28% variance in negative affect. Conscientiousness emerged as the strongest predictor of life satisfaction. In line with the earlier research findings, neuroticism and extraversion were found to predict negative affect and positive affect, respectively. Neither openness to experience nor agreeableness contributed to SWB. The research emphasises the need to revisit the association between personality and SWB across different cultures, especially non-western cultures. © 2014 International Union of Psychological Science.

  13. A 100-Year Review: Identification and genetic selection of economically important traits in dairy cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miglior, Filippo; Fleming, Allison; Malchiodi, Francesca; Brito, Luiz F; Martin, Pauline; Baes, Christine F

    2017-12-01

    Over the past 100 yr, the range of traits considered for genetic selection in dairy cattle populations has progressed to meet the demands of both industry and society. At the turn of the 20th century, dairy farmers were interested in increasing milk production; however, a systematic strategy for selection was not available. Organized milk performance recording took shape, followed quickly by conformation scoring. Methodological advances in both genetic theory and statistics around the middle of the century, together with technological innovations in computing, paved the way for powerful multitrait analyses. As more sophisticated analytical techniques for traits were developed and incorporated into selection programs, production began to increase rapidly, and the wheels of genetic progress began to turn. By the end of the century, the focus of selection had moved away from being purely production oriented toward a more balanced breeding goal. This shift occurred partly due to increasing health and fertility issues and partly due to societal pressure and welfare concerns. Traits encompassing longevity, fertility, calving, health, and workability have now been integrated into selection indices. Current research focuses on fitness, health, welfare, milk quality, and environmental sustainability, underlying the concentrated emphasis on a more comprehensive breeding goal. In the future, on-farm sensors, data loggers, precision measurement techniques, and other technological aids will provide even more data for use in selection, and the difficulty will lie not in measuring phenotypes but rather in choosing which traits to select for. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Genome Wide Association Study for Drought, Aflatoxin Resistance, and Important Agronomic Traits of Maize Hybrids in the Sub-Tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farfan, Ivan D. Barrero; De La Fuente, Gerald N.; Murray, Seth C.; Isakeit, Thomas; Huang, Pei-Cheng; Warburton, Marilyn; Williams, Paul; Windham, Gary L.; Kolomiets, Mike

    2015-01-01

    The primary maize (Zea mays L.) production areas are in temperate regions throughout the world and this is where most maize breeding is focused. Important but lower yielding maize growing regions such as the sub-tropics experience unique challenges, the greatest of which are drought stress and aflatoxin contamination. Here we used a diversity panel consisting of 346 maize inbred lines originating in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical areas testcrossed to stiff-stalk line Tx714 to investigate these traits. Testcross hybrids were evaluated under irrigated and non-irrigated trials for yield, plant height, ear height, days to anthesis, days to silking and other agronomic traits. Irrigated trials were also inoculated with Aspergillus flavus and evaluated for aflatoxin content. Diverse maize testcrosses out-yielded commercial checks in most trials, which indicated the potential for genetic diversity to improve sub-tropical breeding programs. To identify genomic regions associated with yield, aflatoxin resistance and other important agronomic traits, a genome wide association analysis was performed. Using 60,000 SNPs, this study found 10 quantitative trait variants for grain yield, plant and ear height, and flowering time after stringent multiple test corrections, and after fitting different models. Three of these variants explained 5–10% of the variation in grain yield under both water conditions. Multiple identified SNPs co-localized with previously reported QTL, which narrows the possible location of causal polymorphisms. Novel significant SNPs were also identified. This study demonstrated the potential to use genome wide association studies to identify major variants of quantitative and complex traits such as yield under drought that are still segregating between elite inbred lines. PMID:25714370

  16. Phylogenetic ecology of leaf surface traits in the milkweeds (Asclepias spp.): chemistry, ecophysiology, and insect behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Fishbein, Mark; Jetter, Reinhard; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Goldstein, Jessica B; Freitag, Amy E; Sparks, Jed P

    2009-08-01

    The leaf surface is the contact point between plants and the environment and plays a crucial role in mediating biotic and abiotic interactions. Here, we took a phylogenetic approach to investigate the function, trade-offs, and evolution of leaf surface traits in the milkweeds (Asclepias). Across 47 species, we found trichome densities of up to 3000 trichomes cm(-2) and epicuticular wax crystals (glaucousness) on 10 species. Glaucous species had a characteristic wax composition dominated by very-long-chain aldehydes. The ancestor of the milkweeds was probably a glaucous species, from which there have been several independent origins of glabrous and pubescent types. Trichomes and wax crystals showed negatively correlated evolution, with both surface types showing an affinity for arid habitats. Pubescent and glaucous milkweeds had a higher maximum photosynthetic rate and lower stomatal density than glabrous species. Pubescent and glaucous leaf surfaces impeded settling behavior of monarch caterpillars and aphids compared with glabrous species, although surface types did not show consistent differentiation in secondary chemistry. We hypothesize that pubescence and glaucousness have evolved as alternative mechanisms with similar functions. The glaucous type, however, appears to be ancestral, lost repeatedly, and never regained; we propose that trichomes are a more evolutionarily titratable strategy.

  17. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

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

  18. An application of belief-importance theory with reference to trait emotional intelligence, mood, and somatic complaints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrides, K V

    2011-04-01

    This article describes the basic principles of belief-importance (belimp) theory and tests them in two empirical studies. Belimp theory hypothesizes that personality traits confer a propensity to perceive convergences and divergences between our belief that we can attain goals and the importance that we place on these goals. Belief and importance are conceptualized as two coordinates, together defining the belimp plane. Four distinct quadrants can be identified within the belimp plane (Hubris, Motivation, Depression and Apathy), broadly corresponding to the personality dimensions of trait emotional intelligence, conscientiousness, neuroticism and introversion. Study 1 (N=365) defines the four quadrants in relation to goals about financial security and shows that they score differently on trait emotional intelligence, mood and somatic complaints. Study 2 (N=230) defines the quadrants in relation to goals about appearance and, separately, in relation to goals about popularity, and replicates the findings of the first study. Strategies and requirements for testing belimp theory are presented, as are a number of theoretical and practical advantages that it can potentially offer. © 2010 The Author. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology © 2010 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.

  19. Importance of species abundance for assessment of trait composition: an example based on pollinator communities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    de Bello, F.; Lepš, Jan; Lavorel, S.; Moretti, M.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 2 (2007), s. 163-170 ISSN 1585-8553 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:VIth Framework Programme EU(BE) EU-036890 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Source of funding: R - rámcový projekt EK Keywords : bee * biodiversity * community assembly Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.604, year: 2007

  20. Heritability, genetic advance and correlation studies of some important traits in rice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bughio, H.R.; Asad, M.A.; Arain, M.A.; Bughio, M.S.

    2009-01-01

    Genetic variability, estimates of broad sense heritability, genetic advance as percent of mean and genotypic and phenotypic correlation coefficients were observed in eight rice genotypes at Nuclear Institute of Agriculture, Tando Jam in 2005. High heritability coupled with high genetic advance was exhibited for number of fertile grains per panicle, number of productive tillers per plant and grain yield per plant, indicating additive gene action and possibility of improving these traits by simple selection. High heritability with moderate genetic advance was exhibited for plant height, 1000-grain weight and panicle length indicating the involvement of additive and non-additive type of gene action and postponement of selection programs for the improvement of these traits. The characters productive tillers per plant, panicle length, number of fertile grains per panicle, panicle fertility percentage and 1000-grain weight showed significant positive correlation with grain yield per plant. While plant height and days to 50% flowering were observed non-significant and negatively correlated with grain yield per plant. Fertile grain had significant and positive correlation with panicle fertility percentage. (author)

  1. The Internet's effect on personality traits: An important casualty of the "Internet addiction" paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboujaoude, Elias

    2017-03-01

    Background and aims The "Internet addiction" paradigm has been criticized for several shortcomings, including inattention to specific online behaviors, not distinguishing the Internet from other media, insufficient focus on comorbidities, and definitions that do not take into account the constant access now possible. The paradigm's biggest casualty, however, may be that it has diverted attention away from subtle personality changes that seem to occur online, including in users who cannot be considered "addicted" under any definition. Methods A narrative assessment of the literature was conducted, focusing on the Internet's effects on personality traits as revealed in studies of Internet users. Results Impulsivity, narcissism, and aggression are some of the personality traits that seem to be nurtured by the Internet, with possible negative offline consequences. Discussion Ignoring the Internet's subtle effects on personality as we embrace an addiction model that implies severe pathology makes the majority of Internet users feel deceptively immune to the psychological effects of new technologies. It also limits our understanding of the big cultural shifts that are happening as a result. Conclusion The Internet's potentially negative effect on personality, and by extension on society at large, is a fundamental part of online psychology, one well worthy of further investigation.

  2. Comparative Genomic Hybridization Analysis of Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Identifies Genetic Traits to Elucidate Their Different Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaisa Jaakkola

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Enteropathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are both etiological agents for intestinal infection known as yersiniosis, but their epidemiology and ecology bear many differences. Swine are the only known reservoir for Y. enterocolitica 4/O:3 strains, which are the most common cause of human disease, while Y. pseudotuberculosis has been isolated from a variety of sources, including vegetables and wild animals. Infections caused by Y. enterocolitica mainly originate from swine, but fresh produce has been the source for widespread Y. pseudotuberculosis outbreaks within recent decades. A comparative genomic hybridization analysis with a DNA microarray based on three Yersinia enterocolitica and four Yersinia pseudotuberculosis genomes was conducted to shed light on the genomic differences between enteropathogenic Yersinia. The hybridization results identified Y. pseudotuberculosis strains to carry operons linked with the uptake and utilization of substances not found in living animal tissues but present in soil, plants, and rotting flesh. Y. pseudotuberculosis also harbors a selection of type VI secretion systems targeting other bacteria and eukaryotic cells. These genetic traits are not found in Y. enterocolitica, and it appears that while Y. pseudotuberculosis has many tools beneficial for survival in varied environments, the Y. enterocolitica genome is more streamlined and adapted to their preferred animal reservoir.

  3. Identification of QTLs for 14 Agronomically Important Traits in Setaria italica Based on SNPs Generated from High-Throughput Sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Zhang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Foxtail millet (Setaria italica is an important crop possessing C4 photosynthesis capability. The S. italica genome was de novo sequenced in 2012, but the sequence lacked high-density genetic maps with agronomic and yield trait linkages. In the present study, we resequenced a foxtail millet population of 439 recombinant inbred lines (RILs and developed high-resolution bin map and high-density SNP markers, which could provide an effective approach for gene identification. A total of 59 QTL for 14 agronomic traits in plants grown under long- and short-day photoperiods were identified. The phenotypic variation explained ranged from 4.9 to 43.94%. In addition, we suggested that there may be segregation distortion on chromosome 6 that is significantly distorted toward Zhang gu. The newly identified QTL will provide a platform for sequence-based research on the S. italica genome, and for molecular marker-assisted breeding.

  4. Identification of QTLs for 14 Agronomically Important Traits in Setaria italica Based on SNPs Generated from High-Throughput Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Kai; Fan, Guangyu; Zhang, Xinxin; Zhao, Fang; Wei, Wei; Du, Guohua; Feng, Xiaolei; Wang, Xiaoming; Wang, Feng; Song, Guoliang; Zou, Hongfeng; Zhang, Xiaolei; Li, Shuangdong; Ni, Xuemei; Zhang, Gengyun; Zhao, Zhihai

    2017-05-05

    Foxtail millet ( Setaria italica ) is an important crop possessing C4 photosynthesis capability. The S. italica genome was de novo sequenced in 2012, but the sequence lacked high-density genetic maps with agronomic and yield trait linkages. In the present study, we resequenced a foxtail millet population of 439 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and developed high-resolution bin map and high-density SNP markers, which could provide an effective approach for gene identification. A total of 59 QTL for 14 agronomic traits in plants grown under long- and short-day photoperiods were identified. The phenotypic variation explained ranged from 4.9 to 43.94%. In addition, we suggested that there may be segregation distortion on chromosome 6 that is significantly distorted toward Zhang gu. The newly identified QTL will provide a platform for sequence-based research on the S. italica genome, and for molecular marker-assisted breeding. Copyright © 2017 Zhang et al.

  5. Transcriptome sequencing in an ecologically important tree species: assembly, annotation, and marker discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benkman Craig W

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Massively parallel sequencing of cDNA is now an efficient route for generating enormous sequence collections that represent expressed genes. This approach provides a valuable starting point for characterizing functional genetic variation in non-model organisms, especially where whole genome sequencing efforts are currently cost and time prohibitive. The large and complex genomes of pines (Pinus spp. have hindered the development of genomic resources, despite the ecological and economical importance of the group. While most genomic studies have focused on a single species (P. taeda, genomic level resources for other pines are insufficiently developed to facilitate ecological genomic research. Lodgepole pine (P. contorta is an ecologically important foundation species of montane forest ecosystems and exhibits substantial adaptive variation across its range in western North America. Here we describe a sequencing study of expressed genes from P. contorta, including their assembly and annotation, and their potential for molecular marker development to support population and association genetic studies. Results We obtained 586,732 sequencing reads from a 454 GS XLR70 Titanium pyrosequencer (mean length: 306 base pairs. A combination of reference-based and de novo assemblies yielded 63,657 contigs, with 239,793 reads remaining as singletons. Based on sequence similarity with known proteins, these sequences represent approximately 17,000 unique genes, many of which are well covered by contig sequences. This sequence collection also included a surprisingly large number of retrotransposon sequences, suggesting that they are highly transcriptionally active in the tissues we sampled. We located and characterized thousands of simple sequence repeats and single nucleotide polymorphisms as potential molecular markers in our assembled and annotated sequences. High quality PCR primers were designed for a substantial number of the SSR loci

  6. The importance of immune gene variability (MHC in evolutionary ecology and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sommer Simone

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Genetic studies have typically inferred the effects of human impact by documenting patterns of genetic differentiation and levels of genetic diversity among potentially isolated populations using selective neutral markers such as mitochondrial control region sequences, microsatellites or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs. However, evolutionary relevant and adaptive processes within and between populations can only be reflected by coding genes. In vertebrates, growing evidence suggests that genetic diversity is particularly important at the level of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC. MHC variants influence many important biological traits, including immune recognition, susceptibility to infectious and autoimmune diseases, individual odours, mating preferences, kin recognition, cooperation and pregnancy outcome. These diverse functions and characteristics place genes of the MHC among the best candidates for studies of mechanisms and significance of molecular adaptation in vertebrates. MHC variability is believed to be maintained by pathogen-driven selection, mediated either through heterozygote advantage or frequency-dependent selection. Up to now, most of our knowledge has derived from studies in humans or from model organisms under experimental, laboratory conditions. Empirical support for selective mechanisms in free-ranging animal populations in their natural environment is rare. In this review, I first introduce general information about the structure and function of MHC genes, as well as current hypotheses and concepts concerning the role of selection in the maintenance of MHC polymorphism. The evolutionary forces acting on the genetic diversity in coding and non-coding markers are compared. Then, I summarise empirical support for the functional importance of MHC variability in parasite resistance with emphasis on the evidence derived from free-ranging animal populations investigated in their natural habitat. Finally, I

  7. Neonatal piglet traits of importance for survival in crates and indoor pens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Lene Juul; Berg, Peer; Jørgensen, Grete

    2011-01-01

    The primary aim of the present study was to investigate whether the same piglet traits contributed to the same causes of neonatal piglet mortality in crates (CT) and pens (PN). Gilts originating from 2 distinct genetic groups that differed in breeding value for piglet survival rate at d 5 (SR5......) were used. These were distributed to farrow in either PN or CT as follows: high-SR5 and CT (n = 30); low-SR5 and CT (n = 27); high-SR5 and PN (n = 22); and low-SR5 and PN (n = 24). Data on individual piglets were collected at birth, including interbirth interval; birth order; birth weight; rectal...... with a logit link function. No significant effect (NS) of housing was observed on the odds of a piglet being stillborn (F1,73 = 0.1, NS), being crushed (F1,53 = 1.4, NS), or dying of starvation (F1,53 = 0.3, NS). No significant differences were observed between the 2 genetic groups for any category...

  8. 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

  9. Gender Differences in the Importance of Personality Traits in Predicting Leadership Self-Efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huszczo, Gregory; Endres, Megan Lee

    2017-01-01

    Our goal in this study was to investigate antecedents to formation of leadership self-efficacy (LSE) for men versus women. We used a relative importance analysis, which allows more precise identification of important predictors without concern of multicollinearity effects on R[superscript 2]. Using a sample of 325 business students, we found that…

  10. The Ecology of Stress: linking life-history traits with physiological control mechanisms in free-living guanacos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovejero Aguilar, Ramiro J A; Jahn, Graciela A; Soto-Gamboa, Mauricio; Novaro, Andrés J; Carmanchahi, Pablo

    2016-01-01

    Providing the context for the evolution of life-history traits, habitat features constrain successful ecological and physiological strategies. In vertebrates, a key response to life's challenges is the activation of the Stress (HPA) and Gonadal (HPG) axes. Much of the interest in stress ecology is motivated by the desire to understand the physiological mechanisms in which the environment affects fitness. As reported in the literature, several intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect variability in hormone levels. In both social and non-social animals, the frequency and type of interaction with conspecifics, as well as the status in social species, can affect HPA axis activity, resulting in changes in the reproductive success of animals. We predicted that a social environment can affect both guanaco axes by increasing the secretion of testosterone (T) and Glucocorticoid (GCs) in response to individual social interactions and the energetic demands of breeding. Assuming that prolonged elevated levels of GCs over time can be harmful to individuals, it is predicted that the HPA axis suppresses the HPG axis and causes T levels to decrease, as GCs increase. All of the data for individuals were collected by non-invasive methods (fecal samples) to address hormonal activities. This is a novel approach in physiological ecology because feces are easily obtained through non-invasive sampling in animal populations. As expected, there was a marked adrenal ( p -value = .3.4e-12) and gonadal ( p -value = 0.002656) response due to seasonal variation in Lama guanicoe . No significant differences were found in fecal GCs metabolites between males/females*season for the entire study period ( p -value = 0.2839). Despite the seasonal activity variation in the hormonal profiles, our results show a positive correlation ( p -value = 1.952e-11, COR = 0.50) between the adrenal and gonadal system. The marked endocrine ( r 2  = 0.806) and gonad ( r 2  = 0.7231) response due to seasonal

  11. The Ecology of Stress: linking life-history traits with physiological control mechanisms in free-living guanacos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramiro J.A. Ovejero Aguilar

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Providing the context for the evolution of life-history traits, habitat features constrain successful ecological and physiological strategies. In vertebrates, a key response to life’s challenges is the activation of the Stress (HPA and Gonadal (HPG axes. Much of the interest in stress ecology is motivated by the desire to understand the physiological mechanisms in which the environment affects fitness. As reported in the literature, several intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect variability in hormone levels. In both social and non-social animals, the frequency and type of interaction with conspecifics, as well as the status in social species, can affect HPA axis activity, resulting in changes in the reproductive success of animals. We predicted that a social environment can affect both guanaco axes by increasing the secretion of testosterone (T and Glucocorticoid (GCs in response to individual social interactions and the energetic demands of breeding. Assuming that prolonged elevated levels of GCs over time can be harmful to individuals, it is predicted that the HPA axis suppresses the HPG axis and causes T levels to decrease, as GCs increase. Methods All of the data for individuals were collected by non-invasive methods (fecal samples to address hormonal activities. This is a novel approach in physiological ecology because feces are easily obtained through non-invasive sampling in animal populations. Results As expected, there was a marked adrenal (p-value = .3.4e−12 and gonadal (p-value = 0.002656 response due to seasonal variation in Lama guanicoe. No significant differences were found in fecal GCs metabolites between males/females*season for the entire study period (p-value = 0.2839. Despite the seasonal activity variation in the hormonal profiles, our results show a positive correlation (p-value = 1.952e−11, COR = 0.50 between the adrenal and gonadal system. The marked endocrine (r2 = 0.806 and gonad (r2 = 0

  12. Impacts of small scale flow regulation on sediment dynamics in an ecologically important upland river.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinlan, E; Gibbins, C N; Batalla, R J; Vericat, D

    2015-03-01

    Flow regulation is widely recognized as affecting fluvial processes and river ecosystems. Most impact assessments have focused on large dams and major water transfer schemes, so relatively little is known about the impacts of smaller dams, weirs and water diversions. This paper assesses sediment dynamics in an upland river (the Ehen, NW England) whose flows are regulated by a small weir and tributary diversion. The river is important ecologically due to the presence of the endangered freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera, a species known to be sensitive to sedimentary conditions. Fine sediment yield for the 300-m long study reach was estimated to be 0.057 t km(-2) year(-1), a very low value relative to other upland UK rivers. Mean in-channel storage of fine sediment was also low, estimated at an average of around 40 g m(-2). Although the study period was characterized by frequent high flow events, little movement of coarser bed material was observed. Data therefore indicate an extremely stable fluvial system within the study reach. The implication of this stability for pearl mussels is discussed.

  13. Molecular sexing of threatened Gyps vultures: an important strategy for conservation breeding and ecological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghorpade, Prabhakar B; Gupta, Praveen K; Prakash, Vibhu; Cuthbert, Richard J; Kulkarni, Mandar; Prakash, Nikita; Das, Asit; Sharma, Anil K; Saini, Mohini

    2012-12-01

    During the last two decades populations of three resident species of Gyps vulture have declined dramatically and are now threatened with extinction in South Asia. Sex identification of vultures is of key importance for the purpose of conservation breeding as it is desirable to have an equal sex ratio in these monogamous species which are housed together in large colony aviaries. Because vultures are monomorphic, with no differences in external morphology or plumage colour between the sexes, other methods are required for sex identification. Molecular methods for sex identification in birds rely on allelic length or nucleotide sequence discrimination of the chromohelicase-DNA binding (CHD) gene located on male and female chromosomes ZZ and ZW, respectively. We characterized the partial sequences of CHD alleles from Gyps indicus, Gyps bengalensis, Gyps himalayensis and Aegypius monachus and analysed the applicability of five molecular methods of sex identification of 46 individual vultures including 26 known-sex G. bengalensis and G. indicus. The results revealed that W-specific PCR in combination with ZW-common PCR is a quick, accurate and simple method, and is ideal for sex identification of vultures. The method is also suitable to augment ecological studies for identifying sex of these endangered birds during necropsy examinations especially when gonads are not apparent, possibly due to regression during non-breeding seasons.

  14. Caatinga Revisited: Ecology and Conservation of an Important Seasonal Dry Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; de Lima Araújo, Elcida; El-Deir, Ana Carla Asfora; de Lima, André Luiz Alves; Souto, Antonio; Bezerra, Bruna Martins; Ferraz, Elba Maria Nogueira; Maria Xavier Freire, Eliza; Sampaio, Everardo Valadares de Sá Barreto; Las-Casas, Flor Maria Guedes; de Moura, Geraldo Jorge Barbosa; Pereira, Glauco Alves; de Melo, Joabe Gomes; Alves Ramos, Marcelo; Rodal, Maria Jesus Nogueira; Schiel, Nicola; de Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria; Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; de Azevedo-Júnior, Severino Mendes; Telino Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Severi, William

    2012-01-01

    Besides its extreme climate conditions, the Caatinga (a type of tropical seasonal forest) hosts an impressive faunal and floristic biodiversity. In the last 50 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies in the area. Here we aimed to present a review of these studies, focusing on four main fields: vertebrate ecology, plant ecology, human ecology, and ethnobiology. Furthermore, we identify directions for future research. We hope that the present paper will help defining actions and strategies for the conservation of the biological diversity of the Caatinga. PMID:22919296

  15. Caatinga Revisited: Ecology and Conservation of an Important Seasonal Dry Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Besides its extreme climate conditions, the Caatinga (a type of tropical seasonal forest hosts an impressive faunal and floristic biodiversity. In the last 50 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies in the area. Here we aimed to present a review of these studies, focusing on four main fields: vertebrate ecology, plant ecology, human ecology, and ethnobiology. Furthermore, we identify directions for future research. We hope that the present paper will help defining actions and strategies for the conservation of the biological diversity of the Caatinga.

  16. A taxonomic framework for emerging groups of ecologically important marine gammaproteobacteria based on the reconstruction of evolutionary relationships using genome-scale data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eSpring

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In recent years a large number of isolates were obtained from saline environments that are phylogenetically related to distinct clades of oligotrophic marine gammaproteobacteria, which were originally identified in seawater samples using cultivation independent methods and are characterized by high seasonal abundances in coastal environments. To date a sound taxonomic framework for the classification of these ecologically important isolates and related species in accordance with their evolutionary relationships is missing.In this study we demonstrate that a reliable allocation of members of the oligotrophic marine gammaproteobacteria (OMG group and related species to higher taxonomic ranks is possible by phylogenetic analyses of whole proteomes but also of the RNA polymerase beta subunit, whereas phylogenetic reconstructions based on 16S rRNA genes alone resulted in unstable tree topologies with only insignificant bootstrap support. The identified clades could be correlated with distinct phenotypic traits illustrating an adaptation to common environmental factors in their evolutionary history. Genome wide gene-content analyses revealed the existence of two distinct ecological guilds within the analyzed lineage of marine gammaproteobacteria which can be distinguished by their trophic strategies. Based on our results a novel order within the class Gammaproteobacteria is proposed, which is designated Cellvibrionales ord. nov. and comprises the five novel families Cellvibrionaceae fam. nov., Halieaceae fam. nov., Microbulbiferaceae fam. nov., Porticoccaceae fam. nov., and Spongiibacteraceae fam. nov.

  17. Phenotypic characterization of Ethiopian finger millet accessions (Eleusine coracana (L. Gaertn, for their agronomically important traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tesfaye Kassahun

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Cereal finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L. Gaertn is one of the most promising vital crops of Asia and Africa in the face of climate change. It has a capacity to adapt to extreme environmental conditions and can be grown under a wide range of wider agroecology. It is believed to be originated in the highlands of Ethiopia and then disseminated across the globe. It is mainly cultivated as dietary staple food for humans, animal feeds and also used as medicinal crop. Though finger millet is recognized as the most important staple crop, particularly for the poor people in dry and semidry areas, it has been neglected and given little concern in mainstreaming the crop for its improvement research.

  18. Evolutionary heritage influences amazon tree ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, De Fernanda Coelho; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J.W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Gonzalez, Gabriela Lopez; Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo; Toby Pennington, R.; Poorter, Lourens; Arets, E.J.M.M.; Boot, Rene G.A.; Meer, van der Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of

  19. Contact structure, mobility, environmental impact and behaviour: the importance of social forces to infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, Ronan F; Gurley, Emily S; Salje, Henrik; Bloomfield, Laura S P; Jones, James H

    2017-05-05

    Human factors, including contact structure, movement, impact on the environment and patterns of behaviour, can have significant influence on the emergence of novel infectious diseases and the transmission and amplification of established ones. As anthropogenic climate change alters natural systems and global economic forces drive land-use and land-cover change, it becomes increasingly important to understand both the ecological and social factors that impact infectious disease outcomes for human populations. While the field of disease ecology explicitly studies the ecological aspects of infectious disease transmission, the effects of the social context on zoonotic pathogen spillover and subsequent human-to-human transmission are comparatively neglected in the literature. The social sciences encompass a variety of disciplines and frameworks for understanding infectious diseases; however, here we focus on four primary areas of social systems that quantitatively and qualitatively contribute to infectious diseases as social-ecological systems. These areas are social mixing and structure, space and mobility, geography and environmental impact, and behaviour and behaviour change. Incorporation of these social factors requires empirical studies for parametrization, phenomena characterization and integrated theoretical modelling of social-ecological interactions. The social-ecological system that dictates infectious disease dynamics is a complex system rich in interacting variables with dynamically significant heterogeneous properties. Future discussions about infectious disease spillover and transmission in human populations need to address the social context that affects particular disease systems by identifying and measuring qualitatively important drivers.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  1. The importance of ecological costs for the evolution of plant defense against herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Velzen, Ellen; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-05-07

    Plant defense against herbivory comes at a cost, which can be either direct (reducing resources available for growth and reproduction) or indirect (through reducing ecological performance, for example intraspecific competitiveness). While direct costs have been well studied in theoretical models, ecological costs have received almost no attention. In this study we compare models with a direct trade-off (reduced growth rate) to models with an ecological trade-off (reduced competitive ability), using a combination of adaptive dynamics and simulations. In addition, we study the dependence of the level of defense that can evolve on the type of defense (directly by reducing consumption, or indirectly by inducing herbivore mortality (toxicity)), and on the type of herbivore against which the plant is defending itself (generalists or specialists). We find three major results: First, for both direct and ecological costs, defense only evolves if the benefit to the plant is direct (through reducing consumption). Second, the type of cost has a major effect on the evolutionary dynamics: direct costs always lead to a single optimal strategy against herbivores, but ecological costs can lead to branching and the coexistence of non-defending and defending plants; however, coexistence is only possible when defending against generalist herbivores. Finally, we find that fast-growing plants invest less than slow-growing plants when defending against generalist herbivores, as predicted by the Resource Availability Hypothesis, but invest more than slow-growing plants when defending against specialists. Our results clearly show that assumptions about ecological interactions are crucial for understanding the evolution of defense against herbivores. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Trait-abundance relation in response to nutrient addition in a Tibetan alpine meadow: The importance of species trade-off in resource conservation and acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Huiying; Li, Ying; Ren, Fei; Lin, Li; Zhu, Wenyan; He, Jin-Sheng; Niu, Kechang

    2017-12-01

    In competition-dominated communities, traits promoting resource conservation and competitive ability are expected to have an important influence on species relative abundance (SRA). Yet, few studies have tested the trait-abundance relations in the line of species trade-off in resource conservation versus acquisition, indicating by multiple traits coordination. We measured SRA and key functional traits involving leaf economic spectrum (SLA, specific leaf area; LDMC, leaf dry matter content; LCC, leaf carbon concentration; LNC, leaf nitrogen concentration; LPC, leaf phosphorus concentration; Hs, mature height) for ten common species in all plots subjected to addition of nitrogen fertilizer (N), phosphorus fertilizer (P), or both of them (NP) in a Tibetan alpine meadow. We test whether SRA is positively related with traits promoting plant resource conservation, while negatively correlated with traits promoting plant growth and resource acquisition. We found that species were primarily differentiated along a trade-off axis involving traits promoting nutrient acquisition and fast growth (e.g., LPC and SLA) versus traits promoting resource conservation and competition ability (e.g., large LDMC). We further found that SRA was positively correlated with plant height, LDMC, and LCC, but negatively associated with SLA and leaf nutrient concentration irrespective of fertilization. A stronger positive height-SRA was found in NP-fertilized plots than in other plots, while negative correlations between SRA and SLA and LPC were found in N or P fertilized plots. The results indicate that species trade-off in nutrient acquisition and resource conservation was a key driver of SRA in competition-dominated communities following fertilization, with the linkage between SRA and traits depending on plant competition for specific soil nutrient and/or light availability. The results highlight the importance of competitive exclusion in plant community assembly following fertilization and

  3. Preserving and maintaining vital Ecosystem Services: the importance of linking knowledge from Geosciences and social-ecological System analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finger, David; Petursdottir, Thorunn

    2013-04-01

    Human kind has always been curios and motivated to understand and quantify environmental processes in order to predict and anticipate the evolution of vital ecosystem services. Even the very first civilizations used empirical correlations to predict outcomes of rains and subsequent harvest efficiencies. Along with the insights into the functioning of ecosystems, humans also became aware that their anthropogenic activities can have positive and negative impact on ecosystem services. In recent years, geosciences have brought forward new sophisticated observations and modeling tools, with the aim to improve predictions of ecological developments. At the same time, the added value of linking ecological factors to the surrounding social structure has received a growing acceptance among scientists. A social-ecological system approach brings in a holistic understanding of how these systems are inevitably interlinked and how their sustainability can be better maintained. We claim that the biggest challenge for geoscience in the coming decades will be to link these two disciplines in order to establish adequate strategies to preserve natural ecosystems and their services, parallel to their utilization. We will present various case studies from more than a decade of research, ranging from water quality in mountain lakes, climate change impacts on water availability and declining fishing yields in freshwaters and discuss how the studies outcomes could be given added value by interpreting them via social-ecological system analysis. For instance, sophisticated field investigations revealed that deep water mixing in lake Issyk-Kul, Kirgizstan, is intensively distributing pollutants in the entire lake. Although fishery is an important sector in the region, the local awareness of the importance of water quality is low. In Switzerland, strict water protection laws led to ologotrophication of alpine lakes, reducing fishing yields. While local fishermen argued that local fishery is

  4. Ecological traits of Squalius lucumonis (Actinopterygii, Cyprinidae and main differences with those of Squalius squalus in the Tiber River Basin (Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giannetto D.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Squalius lucumonis (Bianco, 1983 is an endemic species restricted to three river basins in central Italy and listed as endangered according to IUCN Red List. The aim of this research was to increase the information on ecological preferences of this species and to focus on its differences with S. squalus (Bonaparte, 1837. Data collected in 86 different watercourses throughout Tiber River basin were analysed in the research. For each of the 368 river sectors examined, the main environmental parameters and the fish community were considered. The information were analysed by means of the Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA while the differences in ecological traits between S. lucumonis and S. squalus were compared by ANOVA. The results of the study showed significant differences in the ecological preferences of the two species: the S. lucumonis showed predilection for smaller watercourses characterised by a lower number of species and a higher degree of integrity of fish community than S. squalus This information allowed to increase the basic knowledge on population biology and ecology of S. lucumonis that could be very useful for the management and conservation of this Italian endemic species.

  5. The Importance of Industrial Ecology in Engineering Education for Sustainable Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Wahidul K.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to show how industrial ecology can facilitate the achievement of sustainable development through its incorporation into an engineering curriculum. Design/methodology/approach: A model has been developed for assessing sustainability learning outcomes due to the incorporation of the concept of industrial ecology…

  6. An Ecological Risk Model for Early Childhood Anxiety: The Importance of Early Child Symptoms and Temperament

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mian, Nicholas D.; Wainwright, Laurel; Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J.; Carter, Alice S.

    2011-01-01

    Childhood anxiety is impairing and associated with later emotional disorders. Studying risk factors for child anxiety may allow earlier identification of at-risk children for prevention efforts. This study applied an ecological risk model to address how early childhood anxiety symptoms, child temperament, maternal anxiety and depression symptoms,…

  7. Genome-Wide Association Study Identifying Candidate Genes Influencing Important Agronomic Traits of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Using SLAF-seq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Dongwei; Dai, Zhigang; Yang, Zemao; Sun, Jian; Zhao, Debao; Yang, Xue; Zhang, Liguo; Tang, Qing; Su, Jianguang

    2017-01-01

    Flax ( Linum usitatissimum L.) is an important cash crop, and its agronomic traits directly affect yield and quality. Molecular studies on flax remain inadequate because relatively few flax genes have been associated with agronomic traits or have been identified as having potential applications. To identify markers and candidate genes that can potentially be used for genetic improvement of crucial agronomic traits, we examined 224 specimens of core flax germplasm; specifically, phenotypic data for key traits, including plant height, technical length, number of branches, number of fruits, and 1000-grain weight were investigated under three environmental conditions before specific-locus amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) was employed to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for these five agronomic traits. Subsequently, the results were used to screen single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci and candidate genes that exhibited a significant correlation with the important agronomic traits. Our analyses identified a total of 42 SNP loci that showed significant correlations with the five important agronomic flax traits. Next, candidate genes were screened in the 10 kb zone of each of the 42 SNP loci. These SNP loci were then analyzed by a more stringent screening via co-identification using both a general linear model (GLM) and a mixed linear model (MLM) as well as co-occurrences in at least two of the three environments, whereby 15 final candidate genes were obtained. Based on these results, we determined that UGT and PL are candidate genes for plant height, GRAS and XTH are candidate genes for the number of branches, Contig1437 and LU0019C12 are candidate genes for the number of fruits, and PHO1 is a candidate gene for the 1000-seed weight. We propose that the identified SNP loci and corresponding candidate genes might serve as a biological basis for improving crucial agronomic flax traits.

  8. Genome-Wide Association Study Identifying Candidate Genes Influencing Important Agronomic Traits of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L. Using SLAF-seq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongwei Xie

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Flax (Linum usitatissimum L. is an important cash crop, and its agronomic traits directly affect yield and quality. Molecular studies on flax remain inadequate because relatively few flax genes have been associated with agronomic traits or have been identified as having potential applications. To identify markers and candidate genes that can potentially be used for genetic improvement of crucial agronomic traits, we examined 224 specimens of core flax germplasm; specifically, phenotypic data for key traits, including plant height, technical length, number of branches, number of fruits, and 1000-grain weight were investigated under three environmental conditions before specific-locus amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq was employed to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS for these five agronomic traits. Subsequently, the results were used to screen single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP loci and candidate genes that exhibited a significant correlation with the important agronomic traits. Our analyses identified a total of 42 SNP loci that showed significant correlations with the five important agronomic flax traits. Next, candidate genes were screened in the 10 kb zone of each of the 42 SNP loci. These SNP loci were then analyzed by a more stringent screening via co-identification using both a general linear model (GLM and a mixed linear model (MLM as well as co-occurrences in at least two of the three environments, whereby 15 final candidate genes were obtained. Based on these results, we determined that UGT and PL are candidate genes for plant height, GRAS and XTH are candidate genes for the number of branches, Contig1437 and LU0019C12 are candidate genes for the number of fruits, and PHO1 is a candidate gene for the 1000-seed weight. We propose that the identified SNP loci and corresponding candidate genes might serve as a biological basis for improving crucial agronomic flax traits.

  9. Predicting the impacts of climate change on animal distributions: the importance of local adaptation and species' traits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HELLMANN, J. J.; LOBO, N. F.

    2011-12-20

    The geographic range limits of many species are strongly affected by climate and are expected to change under global warming. For species that are able to track changing climate over broad geographic areas, we expect to see shifts in species distributions toward the poles and away from the equator. A number of ecological and evolutionary factors, however, could restrict this shifting or redistribution under climate change. These factors include restricted habitat availability, restricted capacity for or barriers to movement, or reduced abundance of colonists due the perturbation effect of climate change. This research project examined the last of these constraints - that climate change could perturb local conditions to which populations are adapted, reducing the likelihood that a species will shift its distribution by diminishing the number of potential colonists. In the most extreme cases, species ranges could collapse over a broad geographic area with no poleward migration and an increased risk of species extinction. Changes in individual species ranges are the processes that drive larger phenomena such as changes in land cover, ecosystem type, and even changes in carbon cycling. For example, consider the poleward range shift and population outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle that has decimated millions of acres of Douglas fir trees in the western US and Canada. Standing dead trees cause forest fires and release vast quantities of carbon to the atmosphere. The beetle likely shifted its range because it is not locally adapted across its range, and it appears to be limited by winter low temperatures that have steadily increased in the last decades. To understand range and abundance changes like the pine beetle, we must reveal the extent of adaptive variation across species ranges - and the physiological basis of that adaptation - to know if other species will change as readily as the pine beetle. Ecologists tend to assume that range shifts are the dominant

  10. Ecological thresholds: The key to successful enviromental management or an important concept with no practical application?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groffman, P.M.; Baron, Jill S.; Blett, T.; Gold, A.J.; Goodman, I.; Gunderson, L.H.; Levinson, B.M.; Palmer, Margaret A.; Paerl, H.W.; Peterson, G.D.; Poff, N.L.; Rejeski, D.W.; Reynolds, J.F.; Turner, M.G.; Weathers, K.C.; Wiens, J.

    2006-01-01

    An ecological threshold is the point at which there is an abrupt change in an ecosystem quality, property or phenomenon, or where small changes in an environmental driver produce large responses in the ecosystem. Analysis of thresholds is complicated by nonlinear dynamics and by multiple factor controls that operate at diverse spatial and temporal scales. These complexities have challenged the use and utility of threshold concepts in environmental management despite great concern about preventing dramatic state changes in valued ecosystems, the need for determining critical pollutant loads and the ubiquity of other threshold-based environmental problems. In this paper we define the scope of the thresholds concept in ecological science and discuss methods for identifying and investigating thresholds using a variety of examples from terrestrial and aquatic environments, at ecosystem, landscape and regional scales. We end with a discussion of key research needs in this area.

  11. Assessment of ecological quality of the Tajan river in Iran using a multimetric macroinvertebrate index and species traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aazami, J.; Esmaili Sari, A.; Abdoli, A.; Sohrabi, H.; Brink, van den P.J.

    2015-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the biological water of the Iranian Tajan River using different metrics, i.e., a Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index (MMI) and a traits-based method. Twenty-eight physico-chemical parameters, 10 habitat factors, and abundance of macroinvertebrates were

  12. The Importance of Human Ecology at the Threshold of the Next Millennium: How Can Population Growth Be Stopped?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nentwig, W.

    Ecology is defined as the set of complex interactions between the biotic and abiotic environments. Human ecology concerns principally the population ecology "only" of Homo sapiens, but it also includes all aspects of global ecology because humans are the most important species. Human demography is characterized by a recent decline in mortality and fertility rates. These demographic transitions have largely been completed in industrialized countries, but not in the 140 developing countries. Approximately 100 countries are following the same demographic pattern as industrialized countries, however with a time delay of several generations. China has effectively reduced its population increase by means that would be unacceptable in Western democracies. Some 44 developing countries still show increasing population growth and no detectable demographic transition in birth rate. Thus one part of the world shows limited (and, in the long run, shrinking) population growth, and another continues with a strong increase. All populations are limited in their development by their sustainability by their environment, for example, food and energy resources, and the extent of pollution which the use of these resources produces. It is argued that in the case of human population the limits of sustainability have already been reached with the 6 billion humans alive today, since at least 20% of these suffer from hunger, natural resources are overexploited, and biodiversity is threatened. In the coming 200years it is more likely that the total population will substantially oscillate rather than approach the predicted 12 billion. The most important goal of human ecology should therefore be to slow population growth as far as possible.

  13. Assessment of Ecological Quality of the Tajan River in Iran Using a Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index and Species Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aazami, Jaber; Esmaili Sari, Abbas; Abdoli, Asghar; Sohrabi, Hormoz; Van den Brink, Paul J.

    2015-07-01

    The objectives of this study were to assess the biological water of the Iranian Tajan River using different metrics, i.e., a Multimetric Macroinvertebrate Index (MMI) and a traits-based method. Twenty-eight physico-chemical parameters, 10 habitat factors, and abundance of macroinvertebrates were obtained for 17 sites. The Shahid-Rajaie dam divides the Tajan River into an up- and downstream part, with different land uses. Eighteen metrics were used to represent four components of ecosystem quality, including tolerance (Hilsenhoff, SIGNAL), diversity (Margalef, Shannon-Wiener, Simpson, and Evenness), abundance (total number of taxa, individuals, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera, EPT, and Insects), and composition of assemblages (% Ephemeroptera, % Plecoptera, % Trichoptera, and % EPT Taxa). The integrated MMI was calculated by averaging the obtained scores of all indices. In the next step, we gathered information on 22 biological traits of macroinvertebrates to evaluate whether (group of) traits could be identified that are indicative for specific or general stress. Result showed a decrease in MMI from upstream (very good water quality) to downstream (bad) due to human activities. Industrial activities like pulping and papermaking operations or sand mining in the downstream part had more effects than agriculture and fish ponds in the upstream part. A redundancy analysis biplot showed the variation between the modalities of trait of macroinvertebrates and their correlation with physico-chemical parameters in Tajan River. The findings show that traits can be indicative for different kind of stress but that more effort has to be put in gathering data sets to disentangle the effect of habitat quality, pollution, and the physico-chemical properties of high- versus lowland rivers.

  14. Dental caries and oral ecology, important aspects to be considered: Bibliographic review

    OpenAIRE

    Duque de Estrada Riverón, Johany; Pérez Quiñonez, José Alberto; Hidalgo-Gato Fuentes3, Iliana

    2006-01-01

    La caries dental constituye actualmente la enfermedad más frecuente en el ser humano. Existen algunos elementos de la ecología bucal que pueden favorecer su desarrollo. Se realiza una revisión bibliográfica con el objetivo fundamental de profundizar en los conocimientos teóricos sobre las características del tejido adamantino, aspectos específicos del Streptococcus mutans, papel de la saliva en el medio bucal e influencia de la ingesta de carbohidratos que pueden predisponer a la aparición de...

  15. Life cycle, Ecological Characteristics, and Control of Trachys yanoi (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an Important Pest of Zelkova serrata

    OpenAIRE

    Ohsawa, Masashi

    2017-01-01

    This study was conducted to elucidate the life cycle and the ecological characteristics of Trachys yanoi Y. Kurosawa, an important pest of Zelkova serrata (Thunb.) Makino. Life cycle, mortality rates in developmental stages, annual population dynamics, and early leaf abscission were investigated. Adults emerged from under the bark of Zelkova trees in April and fed on Zelkova leaves. Females laid 49 eggs on average, mainly in May and early June. Eggs hatched after 17 days, and the larvae fed i...

  16. Economic and ecologic importance of the non - metalic deposits in basalt maars of Southern Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vass Dionýz

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available By investigation of the basalt maars infill in Luèenská kotlina Depression the diatomite and alginite deposits have been found. Both maars belong to Podreèany basalt formation, Pontian (Late Miocene in age. By technological investigation it was proved the diatomite can be used in the building trade as raw materil for light tiles convenient especially for the construction of the saddle roof with attic appatments. The alginite can be used in the agriculture and horticulture, as a fertiliser becouse of humus, nutritive end same trace elements, a desodorant in livestoc feedlots, a water and nutritive elements trap to distribute them for the growing plants. The alginite can be used as well as in pharmacy and in different industrial branches. Both deposits are of high significance for the ecology and the nature protection.

  17. Effects of introgression on the genetic population structure of two ecologically and economically important conifer species: lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullingham, Catherine I; Cooke, Janice E K; Coltman, David W

    2013-10-01

    Forest trees exhibit a remarkable range of adaptations to their environment, but as a result of frequent and long-distance gene flow, populations are often only weakly differentiated. Lodgepole and jack pine hybridize in western Canada, which adds the opportunity for introgression through hybridization to contribute to population structure and (or) adaptive variation. Access to large sample size, high density SNP datasets for these species would improve our ability to resolve population structure, parameterize introgression, and separate the influence of demography from adaptation. To accomplish this, 454 transcriptome reads for lodgepole and jack pine were assembled using Newbler and MIRA, the assemblies mined for SNPs, and 1536 SNPs were selected for typing on lodgepole pine, jack pine, and their hybrids (N = 536). We identified population structure using both Bayesian clustering and discriminate analysis of principle components. Introgressed SNP loci were identified and their influence on observed population structure was assessed. We found that introgressed loci resulted in increased differentiation both within lodgepole and jack pine populations. These findings are timely given the recent mountain pine beetle population expansion in the hybrid zone, and will facilitate future studies of adaptive traits in these ecologically important species.

  18. The importance of topographically corrected null models for analyzing ecological point processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowall, Philip; Lynch, Heather J

    2017-07-01

    Analyses of point process patterns and related techniques (e.g., MaxEnt) make use of the expected number of occurrences per unit area and second-order statistics based on the distance between occurrences. Ecologists working with point process data often assume that points exist on a two-dimensional x-y plane or within a three-dimensional volume, when in fact many observed point patterns are generated on a two-dimensional surface existing within three-dimensional space. For many surfaces, however, such as the topography of landscapes, the projection from the surface to the x-y plane preserves neither area nor distance. As such, when these point patterns are implicitly projected to and analyzed in the x-y plane, our expectations of the point pattern's statistical properties may not be met. When used in hypothesis testing, we find that the failure to account for the topography of the generating surface may bias statistical tests that incorrectly identify clustering and, furthermore, may bias coefficients in inhomogeneous point process models that incorporate slope as a covariate. We demonstrate the circumstances under which this bias is significant, and present simple methods that allow point processes to be simulated with corrections for topography. These point patterns can then be used to generate "topographically corrected" null models against which observed point processes can be compared. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Hydrologic connectivity affects fish assemblage structure, diversity, and ecological traits in the unregulated Gambia River, West Africa

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    White, Seth M.; Ondračková, Markéta; Reichard, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 4 (2012), s. 521-530 ISSN 0006-3606 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6093404 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : fish assemblage * functional morphology * large tropical river s * lateral migration * multivariate analysis * pre-impoundment * reference condition * trophic position Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.351, year: 2012

  20. Ecological traits of the algae-bearing Tetrahymena utriculariae (Ciliophora) from traps of the aquatic carnivorous plant Utricularia reflexa

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šimek, Karel; Pitsch, G.; Salcher, Michaela M.; Sirová, Dagmara; Shabarova, Tatiana; Adamec, Lubomír; Posch, T.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 64, č. 3 (2017), s. 336-348 ISSN 1066-5234 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA13-00243S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : aquatic Utricularia * bacterial turnover rate * ciliate bacterivory and mixotrophy * microbial interactions Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Ecology; Microbiology (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.692, year: 2016

  1. Construct validity of adolescents' self-reported big five personality traits: importance of conceptual breadth and initial validation of a short measure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morizot, Julien

    2014-10-01

    While there are a number of short personality trait measures that have been validated for use with adults, few are specifically validated for use with adolescents. To trust such measures, it must be demonstrated that they have adequate construct validity. According to the view of construct validity as a unifying form of validity requiring the integration of different complementary sources of information, this article reports the evaluation of content, factor, convergent, and criterion validities as well as reliability of adolescents' self-reported personality traits. Moreover, this study sought to address an inherent potential limitation of short personality trait measures, namely their limited conceptual breadth. In this study, starting with items from a known measure, after the language-level was adjusted for use with adolescents, items tapping fundamental primary traits were added to determine the impact of added conceptual breadth on the psychometric properties of the scales. The resulting new measure was named the Big Five Personality Trait Short Questionnaire (BFPTSQ). A group of expert judges considered the items to have adequate content validity. Using data from a community sample of early adolescents, the results confirmed the factor validity of the Big Five structure in adolescence as well as its measurement invariance across genders. More important, the added items did improve the convergent and criterion validities of the scales, but did not negatively affect their reliability. This study supports the construct validity of adolescents' self-reported personality traits and points to the importance of conceptual breadth in short personality measures. © The Author(s) 2014.

  2. QTL mapping of root traits in phosphorus-deficient soils reveals important genomic regions for improving NDVI and grain yield in barley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Xue; McDonald, Glenn

    2017-09-01

    Major QTLs for root rhizosheath size are not correlated with grain yield or yield response to phosphorus. Important QTLs were found to improve phosphorus efficiency. Root traits are important for phosphorus (P) acquisition, but they are often difficult to characterize and their breeding values are seldom assessed under field conditions. This has shed doubts on using seedling-based criteria of root traits to select and breed for P efficiency. Eight root traits were assessed under controlled conditions in a barley doubled-haploid population in soils differing in P levels. The population was also phenotyped for grain yield, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), grain P uptake and P utilization efficiency at maturity (PutE GY ) under field conditions. Several quantitative traits loci (QTLs) from the root screening and the field trials were co-incident. QTLs for root rhizosheath size and root diameter explained the highest phenotypic variation in comparison to QTLs for other root traits. Shared QTLs were found between root diameter and grain yield, and total root length and PutE GY . A common major QTL for rhizosheath size and NDVI was mapped to the HvMATE gene marker on chromosome 4H. Collocations between major QTLs for NDVI and grain yield were detected on chromosomes 6H and 7H. When results from BIP and MET were combined, QTLs detected for grain yield were also those QTLs found for NDVI. QTLs qGY5H, qGY6H and qGY7Hb on 7H were robust QTLs in improving P efficiency. A selection of multiple loci may be needed to optimize the breeding outcomes due to the QTL x Environment interaction. We suggest that rhizosheath size alone is not a reliable trait to predict P efficiency or grain yield.

  3. The importance of neighborhood ecological assets in community dwelling old people aging outcomes: A study in Northern Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice M. Bastos

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human development is a bidirectional, person-context relational process, but scarce evidence is available about the relation between the individual variability across the life-span and the neighborhood ecological assets. Therefore, it is important that research focus not only on personal characteristics but on ecological assets as well. This way this study aims to analyze the association between neighborhood ecological assets categorized into 4 dimensions: human, physical or institutional, social or collective activity, accessibility, and the individual functioning. A 3% sample of residents aged 65 years and older in 2 downtown and 3 uptown parishes stratified by age and sex was interviewed at home using a protocol that included the Portuguese version of the Barthel Index in basic activities of daily living (BADL, the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale (IADL, the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE and the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 items (GDS for evaluating functionality, cognitive performance and depression. The 162 participants were aged on average 75y (sd=7.0, 54% were women and 90% had less than 7 years of education. The majority of participants were independent in BADL (M=90; sd=17.7 and moderately dependent in IADL (M=13, sd=6.0, 20% showed cognitive impairment and a mean score of 8 (sd=2.1 in GDS-15. After controlling for the effect of socio-demographic characteristics, functionality and cognitive performance decreases in persons with worst outdoor mobility. On the other hand depressive symptoms are less common as the number of recreation opportunities, namely associative groups (cultural, educative, professional, increases. These results suggest that aging policies and practices must be ecologically embedded.

  4. A genome-wide association study to detect QTL for commercially important traits in Swiss Large White boars.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doreen Becker

    Full Text Available The improvement of meat quality and production traits has high priority in the pork industry. Many of these traits show a low to moderate heritability and are difficult and expensive to measure. Their improvement by targeted breeding programs is challenging and requires knowledge of the genetic and molecular background. For this study we genotyped 192 artificial insemination boars of a commercial line derived from the Swiss Large White breed using the PorcineSNP60 BeadChip with 62,163 evenly spaced SNPs across the pig genome. We obtained 26 estimated breeding values (EBVs for various traits including exterior, meat quality, reproduction, and production. The subsequent genome-wide association analysis allowed us to identify four QTL with suggestive significance for three of these traits (p-values ranging from 4.99×10⁻⁶ to 2.73×10⁻⁵. Single QTL for the EBVs pH one hour post mortem (pH1 and carcass length were on pig chromosome (SSC 14 and SSC 2, respectively. Two QTL for the EBV rear view hind legs were on SSC 10 and SSC 16.

  5. The importance of species phylogenetic relationships and species traits for the intensity of plant-soil feedback

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Münzbergová, Zuzana; Šurinová, Mária

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 11 (2015), s. 1-16 ISSN 2150-8925 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-11635S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : phylogenetic relationships * species traits * plant-soil feedback Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.287, year: 2015

  6. Broadening the ecological context of ungulate-ecosystem interactions: the importance of space, seasonality, and nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Bryan D; Webster, Christopher R; Bump, Joseph K

    2013-06-01

    -level ecological processes.

  7. Methods to quantify variable importance: implications for theanalysis of noisy ecological data

    OpenAIRE

    Murray, Kim; Conner, Mary M.

    2009-01-01

    Determining the importance of independent variables is of practical relevance to ecologists and managers concerned with allocating limited resources to the management of natural systems. Although techniques that identify explanatory variables having the largest influence on the response variable are needed to design management actions effectively, the use of various indices to evaluate variable importance is poorly understood. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we compared six different indices c...

  8. The market features of imported non-indigenous polychaetes in Portugal and consequent ecological concerns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Fidalgo e Costa

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The importance of the market for polychaetes dramatically increased after the discovery of their potential as food in aquaculture. In Portugal, the gathering of polychaetes solely from natural populations is not sufficient to meet market demand, both as bait for sea anglers and as a food item in aquaculture. The requests for worms to polychaete dealers by Portuguese and Spanish seafarms have increased during recent years. Due to the lack of intensive culture of these worms in Portugal and the proximity of southern Spanish farms, a large component of imported polychaetes that arrive in Portugal at Lisbon Airport go directly to Spain by road. In 2002 and 2003 a total of 12,728,379 and 16,866,839 polychaetes respectively were imported to Europe via Lisbon Airport from China and the USA. In 2003 the imports from China and the USA realised 716,180 and 291,845 US dollars respectively. Two species were reported to have been imported in these years, namely the Korean blue ragworm Perinereis aibuhitensis and the American bloodworm Glycera dibranchiata. Imports of non-indigenous species, which are traded and sold alive, may increase the risk of accidental introduction into the wild. This is of special concern as Perinereis aibuhitensis has been successfully reared in captivity within the range of environmental conditions existing in the Ria Formosa coastal lagoon. Other risks associated with introduced species are the transport of foreign pathogens and other associated non-native organisms, which may act as carriers of disease.

  9. Are ecologically important tree species the most useful? A case study from indigenous people in the Bolivian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guèze, Maximilien; Luz, Ana Catarina; Paneque-Gálvez, Jaime; Macía, Manuel J; Orta-Martínez, Martí; Pino, Joan; Reyes-García, Victoria

    2014-03-01

    Researchers have argued that indigenous peoples preferably use the most apparent plant species, particularly for medicinal uses. However, the association between the ecological importance of a species and its usefulness remains unclear. In this paper we quantify such association for six use categories (firewood, construction, materials, food, medicines and other uses). We collected data on the uses of 58 tree species, as reported by 93 informants in 22 villages in the Tsimane' territory (Bolivian Amazon). We calculated the ecological importance of the same species by deriving their importance value index (IVI) in 48 0.1-ha old-growth forest plots. Matching both data sets, we found a positive relation between the IVI of a species and its overall use value (UV) as well as with its UV for construction and materials. We found a negative relation between IVI and UV for species that were reportedly used for medicine and food uses, and no clear pattern for the other categories. We hypothesize that species used for construction or crafting purposes because of their physical properties are more easily substitutable than species used for medicinal or edible purposes because of their chemical properties.

  10. The IgA nephropathy Biobank. An important starting point for the genetic dissection of a complex trait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexopoulos Efstathios

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background IgA nephropathy (IgAN or Berger's disease, is the most common glomerulonephritis in the world diagnosed in renal biopsied patients. The involvement of genetic factors in the pathogenesis of the IgAN is evidenced by ethnic and geographic variations in prevalence, familial clustering in isolated populations, familial aggregation and by the identification of a genetic linkage to locus IGAN1 mapped on 6q22–23. This study seems to imply a single major locus, but the hypothesis of multiple interacting loci or genetic heterogeneity cannot be ruled out. The organization of a multi-centre Biobank for the collection of biological samples and clinical data from IgAN patients and relatives is an important starting point for the identification of the disease susceptibility genes. Description The IgAN Consortium organized a Biobank, recruiting IgAN patients and relatives following a common protocol. A website was constructed to allow scientific information to be shared between partners and to divulge obtained data (URL: http://www.igan.net. The electronic database, the core of the website includes data concerning the subjects enrolled. A search page gives open access to the database and allows groups of patients to be selected according to their clinical characteristics. DNA samples of IgAN patients and relatives belonging to 72 multiplex extended pedigrees were collected. Moreover, 159 trios (sons/daughters affected and healthy parents, 1068 patients with biopsy-proven IgAN and 1040 healthy subjects were included in the IgAN Consortium Biobank. Some valuable and statistically productive genetic studies have been launched within the 5th Framework Programme 1998–2002 of the European project No. QLG1-2000-00464 and preliminary data have been published in "Technology Marketplace" website: http://www.cordis.lu/marketplace. Conclusion The first world IgAN Biobank with a readily accessible database has been constituted. The knowledge gained

  11. Early adaptation to oxygen is key to the industrially important traits of Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris during milk fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cretenet, Marina; Le Gall, Gwenaëlle; Wegmann, Udo; Even, Sergine; Shearman, Claire; Stentz, Régis; Jeanson, Sophie

    2014-12-03

    . lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363 in the presence of initially high levels of oxygen. This enables the cells to maintain key traits that are of great importance for industry, such as rapid acidification and reduction of the redox potential of the growth media.

  12. Seafloor Eruptions Offer a Teachable Moment to Help SEAS Students Understand Important Geological and Ecological Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goehring, L.; Williams, C. S.

    2006-12-01

    In education parlance, a teachable moment is an opportunity that arises when students are engaged and primed to learn, typically in response to some memorable event. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, even natural disasters, if meaningful to the student, often serve to catalyze intense learning. Recent eruptions at the East Pacific Rise offer a potential teachable moment for students and teachers involved with SEAS, a Ridge 2000 education outreach program. SEAS uses a combination of web-facilitated and teacher-directed activities to make the remote deep-sea environment and the process of science relevant and meaningful. SEAS is a web-based, inquiry-oriented education program for middle and high school students. It features the science associated with Ridge 2000 research. Since 2003, SEAS has focused on the integrated study site at the East Pacific Rise (EPR) to help students understand geological and ecological processes at mid-ocean ridges and hydrothermal vents. SEAS students study EPR bathymetry maps, images of lava formations, photomosaics of diffuse flow communities, succession in the Bio-Geo Transect, as well as current research conducted during spring cruises. In the Classroom to Sea Lab, students make direct comparisons between shallow-water mussels and vent mussels (from the EPR) to understand differences in feeding strategies. The recent eruptions and loss of seafloor fauna at this site offer the Ridge 2000 program the opportunity to help students better understand the ephemeral and episodic nature of ridge environments, as well as the realities and processes of science (particularly field science). In January 2007, the SEAS program will again sail with a Ridge 2000 research team, and will work with scientists to report findings through the SEAS website. The eruptions at the EPR covered much of the study site, and scientists' instruments and experiments, in fresh lava. We intend to highlight the recency and effect of the eruptions, using the students

  13. Pervasive gene expression responses to a fluctuating diet in Drosophila melanogaster: The importance of measuring multiple traits to decouple potential mediators of life span and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zandveld, Jelle; van den Heuvel, Joost; Mulder, Maarten; Brakefield, Paul M; Kirkwood, Thomas B L; Shanley, Daryl P; Zwaan, Bas J

    2017-11-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is an important concept in life-history evolution, and most organisms, including Drosophila melanogaster, show a plastic life-history response to diet. However, little is known about how these life-history responses are mediated. In this study, we compared adult female flies fed an alternating diet (yoyo flies) with flies fed a constant low (CL) or high (CH) diet and tested how whole genome expression was affected by these diet regimes and how the transcriptional responses related to different life-history traits. We showed that flies were able to respond quickly to diet fluctuations throughout life span by drastically changing their transcription. Importantly, by measuring the response of multiple life-history traits we were able to decouple groups of genes associated with life span or reproduction, life-history traits that often covary with a diet change. A coexpression network analysis uncovered which genes underpin the separate and shared regulation of these life-history traits. Our study provides essential insights to help unravel the genetic architecture mediating life-history responses to diet, and it shows that the flies' whole genome transcription response is highly plastic. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. A multilevel trait-based approach to the ecological performance of Microcystis aeruginosa complex from headwaters to the ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruk, Carla; Segura, Angel M; Nogueira, Lucía; Alcántara, Ignacio; Calliari, Danilo; Martínez de la Escalera, Gabriela; Carballo, Carmela; Cabrera, Carolina; Sarthou, Florencia; Scavone, Paola; Piccini, Claudia

    2017-12-01

    The Microcystis aeruginosa complex (MAC) clusters cosmopolitan and conspicuous harmful bloom-forming cyanobacteria able to produce cyanotoxins. It is hypothesized that low temperatures and brackish salinities are the main barriers to MAC proliferation. Here, patterns at multiple levels of organization irrespective of taxonomic identity (i.e. a trait-based approach) were analyzed. MAC responses from the intracellular (e.g. respiratory activity) to the ecosystem level (e.g. blooms) were evaluated in wide environmental gradients. Experimental results on buoyancy and respiratory activity in response to increased salinity (0-35) and a literature review of maximum growth rates under different temperatures and salinities were combined with field sampling from headwaters (800km upstream) to the marine end of the Rio de la Plata estuary (Uruguay-South America). Salinity and temperature were the major variables affecting MAC responses. Experimentally, freshwater MAC cells remained active for 24h in brackish waters (salinity=15) while colonies increased their flotation velocity. At the population level, maximum growth rate decreased with salinity and presented a unimodal exponential response with temperature, showing an optimum at 27.5°C and a rapid decrease thereafter. At the community and ecosystem levels, MAC occurred from fresh to marine waters (salinity 30) with a sustained relative increase of large mucilaginous colonies biovolume with respect to individual cells. Similarly, total biomass and, specific and morphological richness decreased with salinity while blooms were only detected in freshwater both at high (33°C) and low (11°C) temperatures. In brackish waters, large mucilaginous colonies presented advantages under osmotic restrictive conditions. These traits values have also been associated with higher toxicity potential. This suggest salinity or low temperatures would not represent effective barriers for the survival and transport of potentially toxic MAC under

  15. The Importance of Ecology-Based Nature Education Project in Terms of Nature Integration and Understanding the Human-Ecosystem Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meydan, Ali

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this project is to define the importance of 12-day ecology-based education training upon integration with nature and understanding the human-ecosystem relationship. In accordance with this purpose, there has been collected some survey data interviewing with the participants of "Lake Beysehir National Park and Ecology-based Nature…

  16. Molecular sexing of threatened Gyps vultures: an important strategy for conservation breeding and ecological studies

    OpenAIRE

    Ghorpade, Prabhakar B; Gupta, Praveen K; Prakash, Vibhu; Cuthbert, Richard J; Kulkarni, Mandar; Prakash, Nikita; Das, Asit; Sharma, Anil K; Saini, Mohini

    2012-01-01

    During the last two decades populations of three resident species of Gyps vulture have declined dramatically and are now threatened with extinction in South Asia. Sex identification of vultures is of key importance for the purpose of conservation breeding as it is desirable to have an equal sex ratio in these monogamous species which are housed together in large colony aviaries. Because vultures are monomorphic, with no differences in external morphology or plumage colour between the sexes, o...

  17. Determining the most important physiological and agronomic traits contributing to maize grain yield through machine learning algorithms: a new avenue in intelligent agriculture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avat Shekoofa

    Full Text Available Prediction is an attempt to accurately forecast the outcome of a specific situation while using input information obtained from a set of variables that potentially describe the situation. They can be used to project physiological and agronomic processes; regarding this fact, agronomic traits such as yield can be affected by a large number of variables. In this study, we analyzed a large number of physiological and agronomic traits by screening, clustering, and decision tree models to select the most relevant factors for the prospect of accurately increasing maize grain yield. Decision tree models (with nearly the same performance evaluation were the most useful tools in understanding the underlying relationships in physiological and agronomic features for selecting the most important and relevant traits (sowing date-location, kernel number per ear, maximum water content, kernel weight, and season duration corresponding to the maize grain yield. In particular, decision tree generated by C&RT algorithm was the best model for yield prediction based on physiological and agronomical traits which can be extensively employed in future breeding programs. No significant differences in the decision tree models were found when feature selection filtering on data were used, but positive feature selection effect observed in clustering models. Finally, the results showed that the proposed model techniques are useful tools for crop physiologists to search through large datasets seeking patterns for the physiological and agronomic factors, and may assist the selection of the most important traits for the individual site and field. In particular, decision tree models are method of choice with the capability of illustrating different pathways of yield increase in breeding programs, governed by their hierarchy structure of feature ranking as well as pattern discovery via various combinations of features.

  18. Trait-based approaches in the analysis of stream fish communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frimpong, Emmanuel; Angermeier, Paul

    2010-01-01

    Species traits are used to study the functional organization of fish communities for a range of reasons, from simply reducing data dimensionality to providing mechanistic explanations for observed variation in communities. Ecological and life history traits have been used to understand the basic ecology of fishes and predict (1) species and community responses to habitat and climate alteration, and (2) species extinction, species invasion, and community homogenization. Many approaches in this arena have been developed during the past three decades, but they often have not been integrated with related ecological concepts or subdisciplines, which has led to confusion in terminology. We review 102 studies of species traits and then summarize patterns in traits being used and questions being addressed with trait-based approaches. Overall, studies of fish–habitat relationships that apply habitat templates and hierarchical filters dominate our sample; the most frequently used traits are related to feeding. We define and show the relationships among key terms such as fundamental and realized niches; functional traits, performance, and fitness; tactic, trait-state, syndromes, and strategies; and guilds and functional groups. We propose accelerating research to (1) quantify trait plasticity, (2) identify traits useful for testing ecological hypotheses, (3) model habitat and biotic interactions in communities while explicitly accounting for phylogenetic relationships, (4) explore how traits control community assembly, and (5) document the importance of traits in fish– community responses to anthropogenic change and in delivering ecosystem services. Further synthesis of these topics is still needed to develop concepts, models, and principles that can unify the disparate approaches taken in trait-based analysis of fish communities, link fish community ecology to general community ecology, and inform sustainable management of ecosystems.

  19. Ecological and Cultural Importance of a Species at Risk of Extinction, Pacific Lamprey, 1964-2002 Technical Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Close, David A.

    2002-07-01

    The cultural and ecological values of Pacific lamprey (Lampetra tridentata) have not been understood by Euro-Americans and thus their great decline has almost gone unnoticed except by Native Americans, who elevated the issue and initiated research to restore its populations, at least in the Columbia Basin. They regard Pacific lamprey as a highly valued resource and as a result ksuyas (lamprey) has become one of their cultural icons. Ksuyas are harvested to this day as a subsistence food by various tribes along the Pacific coast and are highly regarded for their cultural value. Interestingly, our review suggests that the Pacific lamprey plays an important role in the food web, may have acted as a buffer for salmon from predators, and may have been an important source of marine nutrients to oligotrophic watersheds. This is very different from the Euro-American perception that lampreys are pests. We suggest that cultural biases affected management policies.

  20. Carvacrol importance in veterinary and human medicine as ecologic insecticide and acaricide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vučinić Marijana

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Carvacrol is an active ingredient of essential oils from different plants, mainly from oregano and thyme species. It poseses biocidal activity agains many artropodes of the importance for veterinary and human medicine. Carvacrol acts as repelent, larvicide, insecticide and acaricide. It acts against pest artropodes such as those that serve as mechanical or biological vectors for many causal agents of viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases for animals and humans. Therefore, it may be used not only in pest arthropodes control but in vector borne diseases control, too. In the paper carvacrol bioactivity against mosquitoes, house flies, cockroaches, ticks and mites are described. Potencial modes of carvacrol action on artropodes are given, too. Carvacrol reachs its biotoxicity against arthropodes alone or in combination with other active ingredients from the same plant of its origin, such as tymol, cymen or others. The paper explains reasons for frequently investigations on essential oils and other natural products of plant origin to their biotoxicity against food stored pest or pest of medicinal importance, as well as, needs for their use in agriculture, veterinary and human medicine.

  1. Atlas of ecologically and commercially important areas in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-10-01

    This atlas provides useful baseline information for the environmental assessment of petroleum project proposals relative to sensitive areas and critical periods of fisheries resources in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The southern boundary of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is bounded by the shores of western Cape Breton, southeastern New Brunswick and northern Nova Scotia. It is characterized as a coastal marine ecosystem because of the predominating effects of the rivers, but deeper areas have more in common with the Scotian Shelf and Slope and many common species move seasonally between the Gulf and the open Atlantic Ocean. This report is intended mostly for use by the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NSOPB), and to a lesser degree the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board. The maps illustrate the known distribution of certain ecosystem components and known harvesting areas. The first part of the report describes the environmental setting of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The report describes commercially important resources such as benthic, pelagic and shellfish species and other minor species, as well as aquaculture leases. It also discuses seals, whales, raptors, shorebirds and coastal waterfowl. The report identifies tourist areas, recreational parks and protected areas. Seasonality and sensitive timing of the resources are also summarized. refs., tabs., figs.

  2. Age-specific vibrissae growth rates: a tool for determining the timing of ecologically important events in Steller sea lions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rea, L.D.; Christ, A.M.; Hayden, A.B.; Stegall, V.K.; Farley, S.D.; Stricker, Craig A.; Mellish, J.E.; Maniscalco, John M.; Waite, J.N.; Burkanov, V.N.; Pitcher, K.W.

    2015-01-01

    Steller sea lions (SSL; Eumetopias jubatus) grow their vibrissae continually, providing a multiyear record suitable for ecological and physiological studies based on stable isotopes. An accurate age-specific vibrissae growth rate is essential for registering a chronology along the length of the record, and for interpreting the timing of ecologically important events. We utilized four methods to estimate the growth rate of vibrissae in fetal, rookery pup, young-of-the-year (YOY), yearling, subadult, and adult SSL. The majority of vibrissae were collected from SSL live-captured in Alaska and Russia between 2000 and 2013 (n = 1,115), however, vibrissae were also collected from six adult SSL found dead on haul-outs and rookeries during field excursions to increase the sample size of this underrepresented age group. Growth rates of vibrissae were generally slower in adult (0.44 ± 0.15 cm/mo) and subadult (0.61 ± 0.10 cm/mo) SSL than in YOY (0.87 ± 0.28 cm/mo) and fetal (0.73 ± 0.05 cm/mo) animals, but there was high individual variability in these growth rates within each age group. Some variability in vibrissae growth rates was attributed to the somatic growth rate of YOY sea lions between capture events (P = 0.014, r2 = 0.206, n = 29).

  3. Patterns of among- and within-species variation in heterospecific pollen receipt: The importance of ecological generalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arceo-Gómez, Gerardo; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Jankowiak, Anneka; Kohler, Clare; Meindl, George A; Navarro-Fernández, Carmen M; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Ashman, Tia-Lynn; Alonso, Conchita

    2016-03-01

    Coflowering plants are at risk for receiving pollen from heterospecifics as well as conspecifics, yet evidence shows wide variation in the degree that heterospecific pollen transfer occurs. Evaluation of patterns and correlates of among- and within-species variation in heterospecific pollen (HP) receipt is key to understanding its importance for floral evolution and species coexistence; however, the rarity of deeply sampled multispecies comparisons has precluded such an evaluation. We evaluated patterns of among- and within-species variation in HP load size and diversity in 19 species across three distinct plant communities. We assessed the importance of phenotypic specialization (floral phenotype), ecological specialization (contemporary visitor assemblage), and conspecific flower density as determinants of among-species variation. We present hypotheses for different accrual patterns of HP within species based on the evenness and quality of floral visitors and evaluated these by characterizing the relationship between conspecific pollen (CP) and HP receipt. We found that within-species variation in HP receipt was greater than among-species and among-communities variation. Among species, ecological generalization emerged as the strongest driver of variation in HP receipt irrespective of phenotypic specialization. Within-species variation in HP load size and diversity was predicted most often from two CP-HP relationships (linear or exponentially decreasing), suggesting that two distinct types of plant-pollinator interactions prevail. Our results give important insights into the potential drivers of among- and within-species variation in HP receipt. They also highlight the value of explorations of patterns at the intraspecific level, which can ultimately shed light on plant-pollinator-mediated selection in diverse plant communities. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  4. Elevated seawater temperature disrupts the microbiome of an ecologically important bioeroding sponge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsby, Blake D; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Whalan, Steve; Webster, Nicole S

    2018-04-01

    Bioeroding sponges break down calcium carbonate substratum, including coral skeleton, and their capacity for reef erosion is expected to increase in warmer and more acidic oceans. However, elevated temperature can disrupt the functionally important microbial symbionts of some sponge species, often with adverse consequences for host health. Here, we provide the first detailed description of the microbial community of the bioeroding sponge Cliona orientalis and assess how the community responds to seawater temperatures incrementally increasing from 23°C to 32°C. The microbiome, identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, was dominated by Alphaproteobacteria, including a single operational taxonomic unit (OTU; Rhodothalassium sp.) that represented 21% of all sequences. The "core" microbial community (taxa present in >80% of samples) included putative nitrogen fixers and ammonia oxidizers, suggesting that symbiotic nitrogen metabolism may be a key function of the C. orientalis holobiont. The C. orientalis microbiome was generally stable at temperatures up to 27°C; however, a community shift occurred at 29°C, including changes in the relative abundance and turnover of microbial OTUs. Notably, this microbial shift occurred at a lower temperature than the 32°C threshold that induced sponge bleaching, indicating that changes in the microbiome may play a role in the destabilization of the C. orientalis holobiont. C. orientalis failed to regain Symbiodinium or restore its baseline microbial community following bleaching, suggesting that the sponge has limited ability to recover from extreme thermal exposure, at least under aquarium conditions. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. The Ecology of Parasite-Host Interactions at Montezuma Well National Monument, Arizona - Appreciating the Importance of Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Chris; van Riper, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Although parasites play important ecological roles through the direct interactions they have with their hosts, historically that fact has been underappreciated. Today, scientists have a growing appreciation of the scope of such impacts. Parasites have been reported to dominate food webs, alter predator-prey relationships, act as ecosystem engineers, and alter community structure. In spite of this growing awareness in the scientific community, parasites are still often neglected in the consideration of the management and conservation of resources and ecosystems. Given that at least half of the organisms on earth are probably parasitic, it should be evident that the ecological functions of parasites warrant greater attention. In this report, we explore different aspects of parasite-host relationships found at a desert spring pond within Montezuma Well National Monument, Arizona. In three separate but related chapters, we explore interactions between a novel amphipod host and two parasites. First, we identify how host behavior responds to this association and how this association affects interactions with both invertebrate non-host predators and a vertebrate host predator. Second, we look at the human dimension, investigating how human recreation can indirectly affect patterns of disease by altering patterns of vertebrate host space use. Finally - because parasites and diseases are of increasing importance in the management of wildlife species, especially those that are imperiled or of management concern - the third chapter argues that research would benefit from increased attention to the statistical analysis of wildlife disease studies. This report also explores issues of statistical parasitology, providing information that may better inform those designing research projects and analyzing data from studies of wildlife disease. In investigating the nature of parasite-host interactions, the role that relationships play in ecological communities, and how human

  6. IMPORTANCE OF AGRO-ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE TERTIARY SECTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SLOBODAN POPOVIĆ

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to emphasize the importance of eco-agro-tourism within the tertiary sector economy countries, primarily in terms of the overall development of society as a whole. This question is particularly evident in terms of the Great Depression and every attempt to find out through improvement of business according to the author deserves attention. The authors make conclusions that agro significantly affects the rural areas in the states that are struggling to achieve development in all spheres of economy. In addition, the authors conclude that there is the impact of eco-agro-tourism and environmental and natural environment in which people live. The impact it has on the following levels such as: general, cultural, demographic, social, and economic, and others. Based on that clearly stands out as a multidisciplinary focus and the basis of observation of eco-agro-tourism. Race for financial gain often overlooked and natural environment in which BITIS people. Eco-agro-tourism includes a range of activities, services and additional facilities organized by the population mainly lives in the countryside or on family farms that have potential chances of developing structural attract tourists and generate income that are not standard. The authors conclude that organic agriculture can affect the development of the economy especially in rural areas, with it can to promote the concept of farm to be a new view to promote the development of approaches, such as: organic production, traditional crafts in order to increase the total supply, product sales to tourists that are manufactured on farm and more. Consequently, 159 Annals of the „Constantin Brâncuşi” University of Târgu Jiu, Economy Series, Issue 6/2015 „ACADEMICA BRÂNCUŞI” PUBLISHER, ISSN 2344 – 3685/ISSN-L 1844 - 7007 the authors' conclusion would be that the agro-tourism and eco-tourism have a chance to create a more substantial income people BITIS in the countryside

  7. A global Fine-Root Ecology Database to address below-ground challenges in plant ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iversen, Colleen M; McCormack, M Luke; Powell, A Shafer; Blackwood, Christopher B; Freschet, Grégoire T; Kattge, Jens; Roumet, Catherine; Stover, Daniel B; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar J; van Bodegom, Peter M; Violle, Cyrille

    2017-07-01

    Variation and tradeoffs within and among plant traits are increasingly being harnessed by empiricists and modelers to understand and predict ecosystem processes under changing environmental conditions. While fine roots play an important role in ecosystem functioning, fine-root traits are underrepresented in global trait databases. This has hindered efforts to analyze fine-root trait variation and link it with plant function and environmental conditions at a global scale. This Viewpoint addresses the need for a centralized fine-root trait database, and introduces the Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED, http://roots.ornl.gov) which so far includes > 70 000 observations encompassing a broad range of root traits and also includes associated environmental data. FRED represents a critical step toward improving our understanding of below-ground plant ecology. For example, FRED facilitates the quantification of variation in fine-root traits across root orders, species, biomes, and environmental gradients while also providing a platform for assessments of covariation among root, leaf, and wood traits, the role of fine roots in ecosystem functioning, and the representation of fine roots in terrestrial biosphere models. Continued input of observations into FRED to fill gaps in trait coverage will improve our understanding of changes in fine-root traits across space and time. © 2017 UT-Battelle LLC. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Precision of Nest Method in Estimating Orangutan Population and Determination of Important Ecological Factors for Management of Conservation Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanto Santosa

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Orangutan as an umbrella species is closely interlinked with sustainable forest management meaning that the protection of this species has implications on the protection of other species and maintain ecosystem stability.  The total natural habitat required to support orangutan’s population could only be determined by the appropriate population size. It is associated with the carrying capacity to accommodate or fulfill the habitat requirements of a wildlife population. Selection and delineation of core and wilderness zones as habitat preference should be based on the results of preference test shown by the spatial distribution of orangutan population. Value of the coefficient  of  variation (CV was used to observe the precision of the population estimation and to identify important ecological factors in selection of nesting trees.  The study resulted in varied CV spatial values for various habitat types: 22.60%,  11.20%, and 13.30% for heath, lowland dipterocarp, and peat swamp forest, respectively. In the other side, CV temporal values for various habitat types were 5.35%, 22.60%, and 17.60% for heath, lowland dipterocarp, and peat swamp forest, respectively. This indicated that the population density in each type of forest ecosystems had a variation based on location and did not varied according to time of survey.  The use of  nest survey technique showed good reliable results in estimating orangutan population density.  Efforts to improve the precision of estimation can be done by formulating r value as the harmonic average of nest production rates and t as the average of nest decay time per nest category. Selection of habitat preference and nest trees were influenced by food availability thus should form important consideration in conducting nest survey to avoid bias in estimating orangutan populations.Keywords: conservation forest management, nest survey, orangutan, population size, ecological factors

  9. Ecological implications of behavioural syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sih, Andrew; Cote, Julien; Evans, Mara; Fogarty, Sean; Pruitt, Jonathan

    2012-03-01

    Interspecific trait variation has long served as a conceptual foundation for our understanding of ecological patterns and dynamics. In particular, ecologists recognise the important role that animal behaviour plays in shaping ecological processes. An emerging area of interest in animal behaviour, the study of behavioural syndromes (animal personalities) considers how limited behavioural plasticity, as well as behavioural correlations affects an individual's fitness in diverse ecological contexts. In this article we explore how insights from the concept and study of behavioural syndromes provide fresh understanding of major issues in population ecology. We identify several general mechanisms for how population ecology phenomena can be influenced by a species or population's average behavioural type, by within-species variation in behavioural type, or by behavioural correlations across time or across ecological contexts. We note, in particular, the importance of behavioural type-dependent dispersal in spatial ecology. We then review recent literature and provide new syntheses for how these general mechanisms produce novel insights on five major issues in population ecology: (1) limits to species' distribution and abundance; (2) species interactions; (3) population dynamics; (4) relative responses to human-induced rapid environmental change; and (5) ecological invasions. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  10. The importance of socio-ecological system dynamics in understanding adaptation to global change in the forestry sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Victor; Brown, Calum; Holzhauer, Sascha; Vulturius, Gregor; Rounsevell, Mark D A

    2017-07-01

    Adaptation is necessary to cope with or take advantage of the effects of climate change on socio-ecological systems. This is especially important in the forestry sector, which is sensitive to the ecological and economic impacts of climate change, and where the adaptive decisions of owners play out over long periods of time. Relatively little is known about how successful these decisions are likely to be in meeting demands for ecosystem services in an uncertain future. We explore adaptation to global change in the forestry sector using CRAFTY-Sweden; an agent-based model that represents large-scale land-use dynamics, based on the demand and supply of ecosystem services. Future impacts and adaptation within the Swedish forestry sector were simulated for scenarios of socio-economic change (Shared Socio-economic Pathways) and climatic change (Representative Concentration Pathways, for three climate models), between 2010 and 2100. Substantial differences were found in the competitiveness and coping ability of land owners implementing different management strategies through time. Generally, multi-objective management was found to provide the best basis for adaptation. Across large regions, however, a combination of management strategies was better at meeting ecosystem service demands. Results also show that adaptive capacity evolves through time in response to external (global) drivers and interactions between individual actors. This suggests that process-based models are more appropriate for the study of autonomous adaptation and future adaptive and coping capacities than models based on indicators, discrete time snapshots or exogenous proxies. Nevertheless, a combination of planned and autonomous adaptation by institutions and forest owners is likely to be more successful than either group acting alone. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Integrated physiological, biochemical and molecular analysis identifies important traits and mechanisms associated with differential response of rice genotypes to elevated temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boghireddy eSailaja

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In changing climate, heat stress caused by high temperature poses a serious threat to rice cultivation. A multiple organizational analysis at physiological, biochemical and molecular level is required to fully understand the impact of elevated temperature in rice. This study was aimed at deciphering the elevated temperature response in eleven popular and mega rice cultivars widely grown in India. Physiological and biochemical traits specifically membrane thermostability (MTS, antioxidants, and photosynthesis were studied at vegetative and reproductive phases which were used to establish a correlation with grain yield under stress. Several useful traits in different genotypes were identified which will be important resource to develop high temperature tolerant rice cultivars. Interestingly, Nagina22 emerged as best performer in terms of yield as well as expression of physiological and biochemical traits at elevated temperature. It showed lesser relative injury, lesser reduction in chlorophyll content, increased super oxide dismutase, catalase and peroxidase activity, lesser reduction in net photosynthetic rate (PN, high transpiration rate (E and other photosynthetic/ fluorescence parameters contributing to least reduction in spikelet fertility and grain yield at elevated temperature. Further, expression of 14 genes including heat shock transcription factors and heat shock proteins was analyzed in Nagina22 (tolerant and Vandana (susceptible at flowering phase, strengthening the fact that N22 performs better at molecular level also during elevated temperature. This study shows that elevated temperature response is complex and involves multiple biological processes which are needed to be characterized to address the challenges of future climate extreme conditions.

  12. Developmental biology, polymorphism and ecological aspects of Stiretrus decemguttatus (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae, an important predator of cassidine beetles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Maria Paleari

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Developmental biology, polymorphism and ecological aspects of Stiretrus decemguttatus (Hemiptera, Pentatomidae, an important predator of cassidine beetles. Stiretrus decemguttatus is an important predator of two species of cassidine beetles, Botanochara sedecimpustulata (Fabricius, 1781 and Zatrephina lineata (Fabricius, 1787 (Coleoptera, Cassidinae, on the Marajó Island, Brazil. It attacks individuals in all development stages, but preys preferentially on late-instar larvae. Its life cycle in the laboratory was 43.70 ± 1.09 days, with an egg incubation period of six days and duration from nymph and adult stages of 16.31 ± 0.11 and 22.10 ± 1.67 days, respectively. The duration of one generation (T was 12.65 days and the intrinsic population growth rate (r 0.25. These data reveal the adjustment of the life cycle of S. decemgutattus with those of the two preys, but suggest greater impact on Z. lineata. However, no preference over cassidine species was shown in the laboratory. Up to 17 different color patterns can be found in adults of S. decemguttatus, based on combinations of three basic sets of color markings. Some of them resemble the markings of chrysomelids associated with Ipomoea asarifolia (Convolvulaceae and are possibly a mimetic ring. Three color patterns were identified in nymphs, none of which was associated with any specific adult color pattern.

  13. The Coral Trait Database, a curated database of trait information for coral species from the global oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madin, Joshua S.; Anderson, Kristen D.; Andreasen, Magnus Heide; Bridge, Tom C. L.; Cairns, Stephen D.; Connolly, Sean R.; Darling, Emily S.; Diaz, Marcela; Falster, Daniel S.; Franklin, Erik C.; Gates, Ruth D.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.; Huang, Danwei; Keith, Sally A.; Kosnik, Matthew A.; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Lough, Janice M.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Luiz, Osmar; Martinelli, Julieta; Mizerek, Toni; Pandolfi, John M.; Pochon, Xavier; Pratchett, Morgan S.; Putnam, Hollie M.; Roberts, T. Edward; Stat, Michael; Wallace, Carden C.; Widman, Elizabeth; Baird, Andrew H.

    2016-03-01

    Trait-based approaches advance ecological and evolutionary research because traits provide a strong link to an organism’s function and fitness. Trait-based research might lead to a deeper understanding of the functions of, and services provided by, ecosystems, thereby improving management, which is vital in the current era of rapid environmental change. Coral reef scientists have long collected trait data for corals; however, these are difficult to access and often under-utilized in addressing large-scale questions. We present the Coral Trait Database initiative that aims to bring together physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information into a single repository. The database houses species- and individual-level data from published field and experimental studies alongside contextual data that provide important framing for analyses. In this data descriptor, we release data for 56 traits for 1547 species, and present a collaborative platform on which other trait data are being actively federated. Our overall goal is for the Coral Trait Database to become an open-source, community-led data clearinghouse that accelerates coral reef research.

  14. The Coral Trait Database, a curated database of trait information for coral species from the global oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madin, Joshua S; Anderson, Kristen D; Andreasen, Magnus Heide; Bridge, Tom C L; Cairns, Stephen D; Connolly, Sean R; Darling, Emily S; Diaz, Marcela; Falster, Daniel S; Franklin, Erik C; Gates, Ruth D; Harmer, Aaron; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Huang, Danwei; Keith, Sally A; Kosnik, Matthew A; Kuo, Chao-Yang; Lough, Janice M; Lovelock, Catherine E; Luiz, Osmar; Martinelli, Julieta; Mizerek, Toni; Pandolfi, John M; Pochon, Xavier; Pratchett, Morgan S; Putnam, Hollie M; Roberts, T Edward; Stat, Michael; Wallace, Carden C; Widman, Elizabeth; Baird, Andrew H

    2016-03-29

    Trait-based approaches advance ecological and evolutionary research because traits provide a strong link to an organism's function and fitness. Trait-based research might lead to a deeper understanding of the functions of, and services provided by, ecosystems, thereby improving management, which is vital in the current era of rapid environmental change. Coral reef scientists have long collected trait data for corals; however, these are difficult to access and often under-utilized in addressing large-scale questions. We present the Coral Trait Database initiative that aims to bring together physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information into a single repository. The database houses species- and individual-level data from published field and experimental studies alongside contextual data that provide important framing for analyses. In this data descriptor, we release data for 56 traits for 1547 species, and present a collaborative platform on which other trait data are being actively federated. Our overall goal is for the Coral Trait Database to become an open-source, community-led data clearinghouse that accelerates coral reef research.

  15. The Colorado river delta (Mexico: ecological importance and management = O delta do rio Colorado (Mexico: importância ecológica e gerenciamento

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Luis Fermán Almada

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Colorado river delta is a unique coastal system in the world, as it combines two important systems: the Colorado river and the Gulf of California. Consequently, the delta is dominated by bilateral interests, and influenced by administrative, political and natural processes, which involve the countries of the United States and Mexico. Located in the northern part of the Gulf of California, under a condition of natural isolation, a series of environmental attributeshave been developed (biotic and abiotic that are only observed in is region. In this work, the development of the bilateral political relations and the most important ecological characteristicsare presented, as well as the management instruments that have been developed for over 80 years. From these issues, the possible scenario for the region is defined, and the development of methodologies for monitoring the effects of these possible tendencies on the natural components of the delta is proposed.O delta do rio Colorado é uma zona costeira única em todo o mundo, porassociar dois importantes sistemas: o próprio rio Colorado e o Golfo da Califórnia. Conseqüentemente, o delta é dominado por interesses bi-nacionais e influenciado por processos administrativos, políticos e naturais, envolvendo os Estados Unidos e o México. Localizado no norte do Golfo da Califórnia, sob uma condição de isolamento natural,desenvolveu-se uma série de atributos ambientais (bióticos e abióticos que só podem ser vistos nessa região. Neste trabalho, são apresentados o desenvolvimento das relações políticas bilaterais e as características ecológicas mais importantes, bem como osmecanismos de gerenciamento que vêm sido desenvolvidos por mais de 80 anos. A partir dessas questões, é definido um cenário tendencial possível para a região, e o desenvolvimento de metodologias para o acompanhamento dos efeitos dessas possíveis tendências sobre os componentes naturais do delta é proposto.

  16. Relating Stomatal Conductance to Leaf Functional Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröber, Wenzel; Plath, Isa; Heklau, Heike; Bruelheide, Helge

    2015-10-12

    Leaf functional traits are important because they reflect physiological functions, such as transpiration and carbon assimilation. In particular, morphological leaf traits have the potential to summarize plants strategies in terms of water use efficiency, growth pattern and nutrient use. The leaf economics spectrum (LES) is a recognized framework in functional plant ecology and reflects a gradient of increasing specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen, phosphorus and cation content, and decreasing leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and carbon nitrogen ratio (CN). The LES describes different strategies ranging from that of short-lived leaves with high photosynthetic capacity per leaf mass to long-lived leaves with low mass-based carbon assimilation rates. However, traits that are not included in the LES might provide additional information on the species' physiology, such as those related to stomatal control. Protocols are presented for a wide range of leaf functional traits, including traits of the LES, but also traits that are independent of the LES. In particular, a new method is introduced that relates the plants' regulatory behavior in stomatal conductance to vapor pressure deficit. The resulting parameters of stomatal regulation can then be compared to the LES and other plant functional traits. The results show that functional leaf traits of the LES were also valid predictors for the parameters of stomatal regulation. For example, leaf carbon concentration was positively related to the vapor pressure deficit (vpd) at the point of inflection and the maximum of the conductance-vpd curve. However, traits that are not included in the LES added information in explaining parameters of stomatal control: the vpd at the point of inflection of the conductance-vpd curve was lower for species with higher stomatal density and higher stomatal index. Overall, stomata and vein traits were more powerful predictors for explaining stomatal regulation than traits used in the LES.

  17. Odonata larvae as a bioindicator of metal contamination in aquatic environments: application to ecologically important wetlands in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasirian, Hassan; Irvine, K N

    2017-09-01

    The objectives of this study were twofold: (i) assess the bioaccumulation characteristics of a suite of metals associated with several different species of Odonata and (ii) examine Odonata species richness as a reflection of ecosystem health in two ecologically important wetlands of southwestern Iran, the Shadegan and Hawr Al Azim wetlands. Levels of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) in nine different Odonata larva species. Based on these data, biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) were calculated and generally, it was found that Cr, Cu, Mn, and Zn were being taken up by the Odonata (BSAFs >1). Because of its prevalence in the wetland and its observed ability to take up metals, it is suggested that Ischnura ramburii is an appropriate indicator of ecosystem health for these wetlands with respect to metal contamination. Odonata species richness across all sites was 49, while for the individual sites, the greatest species richness was 26 and the lowest species richness was 13. The species richness value across all sites is quite healthy, given the arid climate of the region.

  18. Life cycle, Ecological Characteristics, and Control of Trachys yanoi (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an Important Pest of Zelkova serrata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohsawa, Masashi

    2017-03-24

    This study was conducted to elucidate the life cycle and the ecological characteristics of Trachys yanoi Y. Kurosawa, an important pest of Zelkova serrata (Thunb.) Makino. Life cycle, mortality rates in developmental stages, annual population dynamics, and early leaf abscission were investigated. Adults emerged from under the bark of Zelkova trees in April and fed on Zelkova leaves. Females laid 49 eggs on average, mainly in May and early June. Eggs hatched after 17 days, and the larvae fed inside the leaves. They developed through three instars. In July, leaves with the final stage of larvae were abscised. Four days after abscission, the larvae pupated. New adults eclosed from pupae seven days after pupation, and the adults emerged from abscised leaves after an additional two days. In total, 1650 adults emerged per 1 m² of forest floor, resulting in a major population increase. The newly emerged adults fed on the remaining Zelkova leaves, compounding the damage. In October, adults overwintered under the tree bark. Mortality rates in the egg, larval, and pupal stages were 41%, 58%, and 31%, respectively. The mortality rate among overwintering individuals was 43%. Because only Zelkova leaves that were abscised in July contained the larvae, and because only a small number of beetles emerged from non-abscised, mined leaves, the removal of abscised leaves at nine-day intervals over period of early leaf abscission is a simple and effective way to control the beetle.

  19. The importance of ants in cave ecology, with new records and behavioral observations of ants in Arizona caves

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert B. Pape

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The importance of ants as elements in cave ecology has been mostly unrecognized. A global list of ant species recorded from caves, compiled from a review of existing literature, is presented. This paper also reviews what is currently known about ants occurring in Arizona (USA caves. The diversity and distribution represented in these records suggests ants are relatively common cave visitors (trogloxenes. A general utilization of caves by ants within both temperate and tropical latitudes may be inferred from this combined evidence. Observations of ant behavior in Arizona caves demonstrate a low level and sporadic, but persistent, use of these habitats and their contained resources by individual ant colonies. Documentation of Neivamyrmex sp. preying on cave-inhabiting arthropods is reported here for the first time. Observations of hypogeic army ants in caves suggests they may not penetrate to great vertical depth in search of prey, but can be persistent occupants in relatively shallow, horizontal sections of caves where they may prey on endemic cave animals. First cave records for ten ant species are reported from Arizona caves. These include two species of Neivamyrmex (N. nigrescens Cresson and Neivamyrmex sp.; Formicidae: Dorylinae, four myrmicines (Pheidole portalensis Wilson, Pheidole cf. porcula Wheeler, Solenopsis aurea Wheeler and Stenamma sp. Westwood, one dolichoderine (Forelius keiferi Wheeler and three formicines (Lasius arizonicus Wheeler, L. sitiens Wilson, and Camponotus sp. Mayr.

  20. An empirical model of the Baltic Sea reveals the importance of social dynamics for ecological regime shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lade, Steven J; Niiranen, Susa; Hentati-Sundberg, Jonas; Blenckner, Thorsten; Boonstra, Wiebren J; Orach, Kirill; Quaas, Martin F; Österblom, Henrik; Schlüter, Maja

    2015-09-01

    Regime shifts triggered by human activities and environmental changes have led to significant ecological and socioeconomic consequences in marine and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Ecological processes and feedbacks associated with regime shifts have received considerable attention, but human individual and collective behavior is rarely treated as an integrated component of such shifts. Here, we used generalized modeling to develop a coupled social-ecological model that integrated rich social and ecological data to investigate the role of social dynamics in the 1980s Baltic Sea cod boom and collapse. We showed that psychological, economic, and regulatory aspects of fisher decision making, in addition to ecological interactions, contributed both to the temporary persistence of the cod boom and to its subsequent collapse. These features of the social-ecological system also would have limited the effectiveness of stronger fishery regulations. Our results provide quantitative, empirical evidence that incorporating social dynamics into models of natural resources is critical for understanding how resources can be managed sustainably. We also show that generalized modeling, which is well-suited to collaborative model development and does not require detailed specification of causal relationships between system variables, can help tackle the complexities involved in creating and analyzing social-ecological models.

  1. Consumer trait variation influences tritrophic interactions in salt marsh communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Anne Randall; Hanley, Torrance C; Orozco, Nohelia P; Zerebecki, Robyn A

    2015-07-01

    The importance of intraspecific variation has emerged as a key question in community ecology, helping to bridge the gap between ecology and evolution. Although much of this work has focused on plant species, recent syntheses have highlighted the prevalence and potential importance of morphological, behavioral, and life history variation within animals for ecological and evolutionary processes. Many small-bodied consumers live on the plant that they consume, often resulting in host plant-associated trait variation within and across consumer species. Given the central position of consumer species within tritrophic food webs, such consumer trait variation may play a particularly important role in mediating trophic dynamics, including trophic cascades. In this study, we used a series of field surveys and laboratory experiments to document intraspecific trait variation in a key consumer species, the marsh periwinkle Littoraria irrorata, based on its host plant species (Spartina alterniflora or Juncus roemerianus) in a mixed species assemblage. We then conducted a 12-week mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of Littoraria trait variation on plant community structure and dynamics in a tritrophic salt marsh food web. Littoraria from different host plant species varied across a suite of morphological and behavioral traits. These consumer trait differences interacted with plant community composition and predator presence to affect overall plant stem height, as well as differentially alter the density and biomass of the two key plant species in this system. Whether due to genetic differences or phenotypic plasticity, trait differences between consumer types had significant ecological consequences for the tritrophic marsh food web over seasonal time scales. By altering the cascading effects of the top predator on plant community structure and dynamics, consumer differences may generate a feedback over longer time scales, which in turn influences the degree of trait

  2. First High-Density Linkage Map and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Significantly Associated With Traits of Economic Importance in Yellowtail Kingfish Seriola lalandi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen H. Nguyen

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The genetic resources available for the commercially important fish species Yellowtail kingfish (YTK (Seriola lalandi are relative sparse. To overcome this, we aimed (1 to develop a linkage map for this species, and (2 to identify markers/variants associated with economically important traits in kingfish (with an emphasis on body weight. Genetic and genomic analyses were conducted using 13,898 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs generated from a new high-throughput genotyping by sequencing platform, Diversity Arrays Technology (DArTseqTM in a pedigreed population comprising 752 animals. The linkage analysis enabled to map about 4,000 markers to 24 linkage groups (LGs, with an average density of 3.4 SNPs per cM. The linkage map was integrated into a genome-wide association study (GWAS and identified six variants/SNPs associated with body weight (P < 5e-8 when a multi-locus mixed model was used. Two out of the six significant markers were mapped to LGs 17 and 23, and collectively they explained 5.8% of the total genetic variance. It is concluded that the newly developed linkage map and the significantly associated markers with body weight provide fundamental information to characterize genetic architecture of growth-related traits in this population of YTK S. lalandi.

  3. First High-Density Linkage Map and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Significantly Associated With Traits of Economic Importance in Yellowtail Kingfish Seriola lalandi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Nguyen H; Rastas, Pasi M A; Premachandra, H K A; Knibb, Wayne

    2018-01-01

    The genetic resources available for the commercially important fish species Yellowtail kingfish (YTK) ( Seriola lalandi) are relative sparse. To overcome this, we aimed (1) to develop a linkage map for this species, and (2) to identify markers/variants associated with economically important traits in kingfish (with an emphasis on body weight). Genetic and genomic analyses were conducted using 13,898 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated from a new high-throughput genotyping by sequencing platform, Diversity Arrays Technology (DArTseq TM ) in a pedigreed population comprising 752 animals. The linkage analysis enabled to map about 4,000 markers to 24 linkage groups (LGs), with an average density of 3.4 SNPs per cM. The linkage map was integrated into a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and identified six variants/SNPs associated with body weight ( P 5e -8 ) when a multi-locus mixed model was used. Two out of the six significant markers were mapped to LGs 17 and 23, and collectively they explained 5.8% of the total genetic variance. It is concluded that the newly developed linkage map and the significantly associated markers with body weight provide fundamental information to characterize genetic architecture of growth-related traits in this population of YTK S. lalandi .

  4. Urbanization reduces and homogenizes trait diversity in stream macroinvertebrate communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnum, Thomas R; Weller, Donald E; Williams, Meghan

    2017-12-01

    More than one-half of the world's population lives in urban areas, so quantifying the effects of urbanization on ecological communities is important for understanding whether anthropogenic stressors homogenize communities across environmental and climatic gradients. We examined the relationship of impervious surface coverage (a marker of urbanization) and the structure of stream macroinvertebrate communities across the state of Maryland and within each of Maryland's three ecoregions: Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Appalachian, which differ in stream geomorphology and community composition. We considered three levels of trait organization: individual traits, unique combinations of traits, and community metrics (functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence) and three levels of impervious surface coverage (low [10%]). The prevalence of an individual trait differed very little between low impervious surface and high impervious surface sites. The arrangement of trait combinations in community trait space for each ecoregion differed when impervious surface coverage was low, but the arrangement became more similar among ecoregions as impervious surface coverage increased. Furthermore, trait combinations that occurred only at low or medium impervious surface coverage were clustered in a subset of the community trait space, indicating that impervious surface affected the presence of only a subset of trait combinations. Functional richness declined with increasing impervious surface, providing evidence for environmental filtering. Community metrics that include abundance were also sensitive to increasing impervious surface coverage: functional divergence decreased while functional evenness increased. These changes demonstrate that increasing impervious surface coverage homogenizes the trait diversity of macroinvertebrate communities in streams, despite differences in initial community composition and stream geomorphology among ecoregions. Community

  5. Assessing the Relative Ecological Importance and Deforestation Risks of Unprotected Areas in Western Brazil Using Landsat, CBERS and Quantum GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A.; Sevilla, C.; Lanclos, A.; Carson, C.; Larson, J.; Sankaran, M.; Saad, M.

    2012-12-01

    In addition to understanding Brazilian policies and currently utilized methodologies, the measurement of the impacts of deforestation is essential for enhancing techniques to reduce deforestation in the future. Adverse impacts of deforestation include biodiversity loss, increased carbon dioxide emissions, and a reduced rate of evapotranspiration, all of which contribute directly or indirectly to global warming. With the continual growth in population in developing countries such as Brazil, increased demands are placed on infrastructural development and food production. As a result, forested areas are cleared for agricultural production. Recently, exploration for hydrocarbons in Western Brazil has also intensified as a means to stimulate the economy, as abundant oil and gas is believed to be found in these regions. Unfortunately, hydrocarbon-rich regions of Western Brazil are also home to thousands of species. Many of these regions are as of yet untapped but are at risk of ecological disruption as a result of impending human activity. This project utilized Landsat 5 TM to monitor deforestation in a subsection of the Brazilian states of Rondônia and Amazonas. A risk map identifying areas susceptible to future deforestation, based on factors such as proximity to roads, bodies of water, cities, and proposed hydrocarbon activities such as pipeline construction, was created. Areas at higher risk of clearance were recommended to be a target for enhanced monitoring and law enforcement. In addition, an importance map was created based on biodiversity and location of endangered species. This map was used to identify potential areas for future protection. A Chinese-Brazilian satellite, CBERS 2B CCD was also utilized for comparison. The NDVI model was additionally replicated in Quantum GIS, an open source software, so that local communities and policymakers could benefit without having to pay for expensive ArcGIS software. The capabilities of VIIRS were also investigated to

  6. New handbook for standardised measurement of plant functional traits worldwide.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perez-Harguindeguy, N.; Diaz, S.; Garnier, E.; Lavorel, S.; Poorter, H.; Jaureguiberry, P.; Bret-Harte, M.S.; Cornwell, W.K.; Craine, J.M.; Gurvich, D.E.; Urcelay, C.; Veneklaas, E.J.; Reich, P.B.; Poorter, L.; Wright, I.J.; Ray, P.; Enrico, L.; Pausas, J.G.; de Vos, A.C.; Buchmann, N.; Funes, G.; Quetier, F.; Hodgson, J.G.; Thompson, K.; Morgan, H.D.; ter Steege, H.; van der Heijden, M.G.A.; Sack, L.; Blonder, B.; Poschlod, P.; Vaieretti, M.V.; Conti, G.; Staver, A.C.; Aquino, S.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2013-01-01

    Plant functional traits are the features (morphological, physiological, phenological) that represent ecological strategies and determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels and influence ecosystem properties. Variation in plant functional traits, and trait

  7. Evolution of fruit traits in Ficus subgenus Sycomorus (Moraceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harrison, Rhett D.; Rønsted, Nina; Xu, Lei

    2012-01-01

    Fig trees are a ubiquitous component of tropical rain forests and exhibit an enormous diversity of ecologies. Focusing on Ficus subgenus Sycomorus, a phenotypically diverse and ecologically important Old World lineage, we examined the evolution of fruit traits using a molecular phylogeny construc......, such as flowering phenology, nutrient economy, and habitat preference. Thus, plant life-history, both directly and through its influence on fig placement, appears to have played a prominent role in determining fruit traits in these figs....

  8. Caries dental y ecología bucal, aspectos importantes a considerar Dental caries and oral ecology, important aspects to be considered: Bibliographic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johany Duque de Estrada Riverón

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available La caries dental constituye actualmente la enfermedad más frecuente en el ser humano. Existen algunos elementos de la ecología bucal que pueden favorecer su desarrollo. Se realiza una revisión bibliográfica con el objetivo fundamental de profundizar en los conocimientos teóricos sobre las características del tejido adamantino, aspectos específicos del Streptococcus mutans, papel de la saliva en el medio bucal e influencia de la ingesta de carbohidratos que pueden predisponer a la aparición de caries dental. Se concluye que se debe aumentar la resistencia del esmalte e impedir la adhesión inicial del Streptococcus mutans para prevenir esta enfermedad; la saliva debe ser considerada como un sistema y debemos fomentar la educación nutricional e higiénica de la familia.Dental caries are nowadays the most frequent disease among human beigns. There are some elements of oral ecology that may favor their development. A bibliographic review is made aimed at going deep into the theoretical knowledge of the characteristics of the adamantine tissue, the specific aspects of Streptococcus mutans, the role of saliva in the oral environment, and the influence of the ingestion of carbohydrates that may predispose the appareance of dental caries. It is concluded that the enamel resistance should be increased and that the initial adhesion of Streptococcus mutans should be impeded to prevent this disease. Saliva should be considered as a system and we should promote the family nutritional and hygiene education.

  9. Molecular ecological network analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Ye; Jiang, Yi-Huei; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Luo, Feng; Zhou, Jizhong

    2012-05-30

    Understanding the interaction among different species within a community and their responses to environmental changes is a central goal in ecology. However, defining the network structure in a microbial community is very challenging due to their extremely high diversity and as-yet uncultivated status. Although recent advance of metagenomic technologies, such as high throughout sequencing and functional gene arrays, provide revolutionary tools for analyzing microbial community structure, it is still difficult to examine network interactions in a microbial community based on high-throughput metagenomics data. Here, we describe a novel mathematical and bioinformatics framework to construct ecological association networks named molecular ecological networks (MENs) through Random Matrix Theory (RMT)-based methods. Compared to other network construction methods, this approach is remarkable in that the network is automatically defined and robust to noise, thus providing excellent solutions to several common issues associated with high-throughput metagenomics data. We applied it to determine the network structure of microbial communities subjected to long-term experimental warming based on pyrosequencing data of 16 S rRNA genes. We showed that the constructed MENs under both warming and unwarming conditions exhibited topological features of scale free, small world and modularity, which were consistent with previously described molecular ecological networks. Eigengene analysis indicated that the eigengenes represented the module profiles relatively well. In consistency with many other studies, several major environmental traits including temperature and soil pH were found to be important in determining network interactions in the microbial communities examined. To facilitate its application by the scientific community, all these methods and statistical tools have been integrated into a comprehensive Molecular Ecological Network Analysis Pipeline (MENAP), which is open

  10. Role of Ecological Cultural Synthesis in Enhancement of Importance and Competitive Ability of Polytechnic Education in the Southern Far East of the Russian Federation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petukhov, V. I.; Golikov, S. Yu; Maiorov, I. S.

    2017-11-01

    The regional features of polytechnic education development under present-day conditions are considered. The enhanced role of ecological cultural synthesis is proved to be necessary in order to enhance the importance and competitive ability of the polytechnic education in the southern Far East of the Russian Federation. Ecological cultural synthesis is the major condition to turn natural management into the ecologically sparing management of natural resources; it is also a method of a person to learn nature and the mutual relations with nature. It should become a basis for educational programs in the higher schools of the Russian Federation (that may be used with the practical purposes not only in the Russian Federation), and it may promote the search of the national idea, ideological core, and basic principles of further education development in Russia.

  11. Water deficit alters differentially metabolic pathways affecting important flavor and quality traits in grape berries of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deluc, Laurent G; Quilici, David R; Decendit, Alain; Grimplet, Jérôme; Wheatley, Matthew D; Schlauch, Karen A; Mérillon, Jean-Michel; Cushman, John C; Cramer, Grant R

    2009-01-01

    significant anthocyanin content, exhibited increased photoprotection mechanisms under water deficit conditions. Water deficit increased ABA, proline, sugar and anthocyanin concentrations in Cabernet Sauvignon, but not Chardonnay berries, consistent with the hypothesis that ABA enhanced accumulation of these compounds. Water deficit increased the transcript abundance of lipoxygenase and hydroperoxide lyase in fatty metabolism, a pathway known to affect berry and wine aromas. These changes in metabolism have important impacts on berry flavor and quality characteristics. Several of these metabolites are known to contribute to increased human-health benefits. PMID:19426499

  12. Water deficit alters differentially metabolic pathways affecting important flavor and quality traits in grape berries of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deluc Laurent G

    2009-05-01

    . Chardonnay berries, which lack any significant anthocyanin content, exhibited increased photoprotection mechanisms under water deficit conditions. Water deficit increased ABA, proline, sugar and anthocyanin concentrations in Cabernet Sauvignon, but not Chardonnay berries, consistent with the hypothesis that ABA enhanced accumulation of these compounds. Water deficit increased the transcript abundance of lipoxygenase and hydroperoxide lyase in fatty metabolism, a pathway known to affect berry and wine aromas. These changes in metabolism have important impacts on berry flavor and quality characteristics. Several of these metabolites are known to contribute to increased human-health benefits.

  13. Whole Trait Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleeson, William; Jayawickreme, Eranda

    2014-01-01

    Personality researchers should modify models of traits to include mechanisms of differential reaction to situations. Whole Trait Theory does so via five main points. First, the descriptive side of traits should be conceptualized as density distributions of states. Second, it is important to provide an explanatory account of the Big 5 traits. Third, adding an explanatory account to the Big 5 creates two parts to traits, an explanatory part and a descriptive part, and these two parts should be recognized as separate entities that are joined into whole traits. Fourth, Whole Trait Theory proposes that the explanatory side of traits consists of social-cognitive mechanisms. Fifth, social-cognitive mechanisms that produce Big-5 states should be identified. PMID:26097268

  14. Intraspecific trait variation and the leaf economics spectrum across resource gradients and levels of organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajardo, Alex; Siefert, Andrew

    2018-05-01

    Understanding patterns of functional trait variation across environmental gradients offers an opportunity to increase inference in the mechanistic causes of plant community assembly. The leaf economics spectrum (LES) predicts global tradeoffs in leaf traits and trait-environment relationships, but few studies have examined whether these predictions hold across different levels of organization, particularly within species. Here, we asked (1) whether the main assumptions of the LES (expected trait relationships and shifts in trait values across resource gradients) hold at the intraspecific level, and (2) how within-species trait correlations scale up to interspecific or among-community levels. We worked with leaf traits of saplings of woody species growing across light and soil N and P availability gradients in temperate rainforests of southern Chile. We found that ITV accounted for a large proportion of community-level variation in leaf traits (e.g., LMA and leaf P) and played an important role in driving community-level shifts in leaf traits across environmental gradients. Additionally, intraspecific leaf trait relationships were generally consistent with interspecific and community-level trait relationships and with LES predictions-e.g., a strong negative intraspecific LMA-leaf N correlation-although, most trait relationships varied significantly among species, suggesting idiosyncrasies in the LES at the intraspecific level. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. The importance of ecological constraints on the control of multi-species treeline dynamics in eastern Nunavik, Quebec.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufour-Tremblay, Geneviève; De Vriendt, Laurent; Lévesque, Esther; Boudreau, Stéphane

    2012-10-01

    Treelines are temperature-sensitive ecotones that should be able to expand in response to global warming; however, they are also controlled by ecological constraints. These constraints can create bottlenecks for tree regeneration, hindering treeline advances. Near Kangiqsualujjuaq (Nunavik, subarctic Québec), previous studies suggested successful recruitment of Larix laricina above the altitudinal treeline, while Picea mariana establishment remains scarce. We studied regeneration of both species to identify factors responsible for such contrasting responses. • We measured seeds and wings to evaluate species dispersal potential. We compared seed viability and tolerance to shrub leachates with germination trials. To evaluate seedbed preferences, we compared seedling occurrence on the different seedbeds with seedbed relative abundance in the field. • Seed germination was similar between L. laricina and P. mariana, whereas dispersal potential was higher for the latter. Germination of P. mariana seeds was more strongly inhibited by shrub leachates than were L. laricina seeds. In the field, we found only a few Picea seedlings, but numerous seedlings of Larix had established disproportionally on several seedbeds. While Betula glandulosa, mosses, and Vaccinium uliginosim impeded Larix establishment, numerous seedlings were found on lichens, mineral soil, and liverworts. The low occurrence of suitable seedbeds for Picea, mainly mineral soil, could explain the seedling scarcity of this species. • This study highlighted that allelopathy and unsuitable seedbeds could contribute to regeneration failure of P. mariana in eastern Nunavik and emphasizes the need to consider ecological preferences of species before predicting treeline expansion under a warmer climate.

  16. Stable isotope analysis indicates a lack of inter- and intra-specific dietary redundancy among ecologically important coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plass-Johnson, J. G.; McQuaid, C. D.; Hill, J. M.

    2013-06-01

    Parrotfish are critical consumers on coral reefs, mediating the balance between algae and corals, and are often categorised into three functional groups based on adult morphology and feeding behaviour. We used stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N) to investigate size-related ontogenetic dietary changes in multiple species of parrotfish on coral reefs around Zanzibar. We compared signatures among species and functional groups (scrapers, excavators and browsers) as well as ontogenetic stages (immature, initial and terminal phase) within species. Stable isotope analysis suggests that ontogenetic dietary shifts occurred in seven of the nine species examined; larger individuals had enriched δ13C values, with no relationship between size and δ15N. The relationship between fish length and δ13C signature was maintained when species were categorised as scrapers and excavators, but was more pronounced for scrapers than excavators, indicating stronger ontogenetic changes. Isotopic mixing models classified the initial phase of both the most abundant excavator ( Chlorurus sordidus) as a scraper and the immature stage of the scraper Scarus ghobban (the largest species) as an excavator, indicating that diet relates to size rather than taxonomy. The results indicate that parrotfish may show similar intra-group changes in diet with length, but that their trophic ecology is more complex than suggested by morphology alone. Stable isotope analyses indicate that feeding ecology may differ among species within functional groups, and according to ontogenetic stage within a species.

  17. Gap-filling a spatially explicit plant trait database: comparing imputation methods and different levels of environmental information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poyatos, Rafael; Sus, Oliver; Badiella, Llorenç; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi

    2018-05-01

    The ubiquity of missing data in plant trait databases may hinder trait-based analyses of ecological patterns and processes. Spatially explicit datasets with information on intraspecific trait variability are rare but offer great promise in improving our understanding of functional biogeography. At the same time, they offer specific challenges in terms of data imputation. Here we compare statistical imputation approaches, using varying levels of environmental information, for five plant traits (leaf biomass to sapwood area ratio, leaf nitrogen content, maximum tree height, leaf mass per area and wood density) in a spatially explicit plant trait dataset of temperate and Mediterranean tree species (Ecological and Forest Inventory of Catalonia, IEFC, dataset for Catalonia, north-east Iberian Peninsula, 31 900 km2). We simulated gaps at different missingness levels (10-80 %) in a complete trait matrix, and we used overall trait means, species means, k nearest neighbours (kNN), ordinary and regression kriging, and multivariate imputation using chained equations (MICE) to impute missing trait values. We assessed these methods in terms of their accuracy and of their ability to preserve trait distributions, multi-trait correlation structure and bivariate trait relationships. The relatively good performance of mean and species mean imputations in terms of accuracy masked a poor representation of trait distributions and multivariate trait structure. Species identity improved MICE imputations for all traits, whereas forest structure and topography improved imputations for some traits. No method performed best consistently for the five studied traits, but, considering all traits and performance metrics, MICE informed by relevant ecological variables gave the best results. However, at higher missingness (> 30 %), species mean imputations and regression kriging tended to outperform MICE for some traits. MICE informed by relevant ecological variables allowed us to fill the gaps in

  18. Gap-filling a spatially explicit plant trait database: comparing imputation methods and different levels of environmental information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Poyatos

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The ubiquity of missing data in plant trait databases may hinder trait-based analyses of ecological patterns and processes. Spatially explicit datasets with information on intraspecific trait variability are rare but offer great promise in improving our understanding of functional biogeography. At the same time, they offer specific challenges in terms of data imputation. Here we compare statistical imputation approaches, using varying levels of environmental information, for five plant traits (leaf biomass to sapwood area ratio, leaf nitrogen content, maximum tree height, leaf mass per area and wood density in a spatially explicit plant trait dataset of temperate and Mediterranean tree species (Ecological and Forest Inventory of Catalonia, IEFC, dataset for Catalonia, north-east Iberian Peninsula, 31 900 km2. We simulated gaps at different missingness levels (10–80 % in a complete trait matrix, and we used overall trait means, species means, k nearest neighbours (kNN, ordinary and regression kriging, and multivariate imputation using chained equations (MICE to impute missing trait values. We assessed these methods in terms of their accuracy and of their ability to preserve trait distributions, multi-trait correlation structure and bivariate trait relationships. The relatively good performance of mean and species mean imputations in terms of accuracy masked a poor representation of trait distributions and multivariate trait structure. Species identity improved MICE imputations for all traits, whereas forest structure and topography improved imputations for some traits. No method performed best consistently for the five studied traits, but, considering all traits and performance metrics, MICE informed by relevant ecological variables gave the best results. However, at higher missingness (> 30 %, species mean imputations and regression kriging tended to outperform MICE for some traits. MICE informed by relevant ecological variables

  19. The challenge of using experimental infectivity data in risk assessment for Ebola virus: why ecology may be important.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, P; Simons, R R L; Horigan, V; Snary, E L; Fooks, A R; Drew, T W

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of published data shows that experimental passaging of Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV) in guinea pigs changes the risk of infection per plaque-forming unit (PFU), increasing infectivity to some species while decreasing infectivity to others. Thus, a PFU of monkey-adapted EBOV is 10(7) -fold more lethal to mice than a PFU adapted to guinea pigs. The first conclusion is that the infectivity of EBOV to humans may depend on the identity of the donor species itself and, on the basis of limited epidemiological data, the question is raised as to whether bat-adapted EBOV is less infectious to humans than nonhuman primate (NHP)-adapted EBOV. Wildlife species such as bats, duikers and NHPs are naturally infected by EBOV through different species giving rise to EBOV with different wildlife species-passage histories (heritages). Based on the ecology of these wildlife species, three broad 'types' of EBOV-infected bushmeat are postulated reflecting differences in the number of passages within a given species, and hence the degree of adaptation of the EBOV present. The second conclusion is that the prior species-transmission chain may affect the infectivity to humans per PFU for EBOV from individuals of the same species. This is supported by the finding that the related Marburg marburgvirus requires ten passages in mice to fully adapt. It is even possible that the evolutionary trajectory of EBOV could vary in individuals of the same species giving rise to variants which are more or less virulent to humans and that the probability of a given trajectory is related to the heritage. Overall the ecology of the donor species (e.g. dog or bushmeat species) at the level of the individual animal itself may determine the risk of infection per PFU to humans reflecting the heritage of the virus and may contribute to the sporadic nature of EBOV outbreaks. © 2015 Crown copyright. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology.

  20. Assessment of traditional ecological knowledge and beliefs in the utilisation of important plant species: The case of Buhanga sacred forest, Rwanda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runyambo Irakiza

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Traditional ecological knowledge is an integrated part of the African people and indeed the Rwandese for cultural purpose. Buhanga sacred forest is a relict forest of tremendous ecological importance to Rwandan society located in Musanze District. The aim of this study was to assess the traditional ecological knowledge and belief in the utilisation of some important plant species for the conservation of Buhanga sacred forest. Ecological information about ethnomedicinal and traditional practices were collected following structured questionnaire through interview involving eight traditional healers and three focus group discussions. Data were collected from the natural habitats, home gardens, farmlands and roadsides of Buhanga sacred forest. A total of 45 botanical taxa belonging to 28 families were reported to be used by the local community. Species such as Brillantaisia cicatricosa and Senna septemtrionalis were the popular species cited by traditional healers to treat human and animal diseases and ailments, respectively. The results of the study indicated that because of the cultural norms and values associated with the sacred forest, this has led to non-exploitation. The study presents key sites and plant species in which their use and belief can lead to their conservation. However, not only is it imperative to conserve traditional local knowledge for biocultural conservation motives but there is also need to train traditional healers on how to domesticate indigenous species as conservation measure because some species have become susceptible to extinction. Conservation implications: Highlighting indigenous species investigated in this research will provide a powerful tool for ensuring biodiversity conservation through community participation in a country of high population density in Africa. Some plant species that provided satisfactory Local Health Traditions among communities surrounding Buhanga can contribute as good material for further

  1. Transformation of an Industrial Brownfield into an Ecological Buffer for Michigan’s Only Ramsar Wetland of International Importance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg Norwood

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge spans 77 km along the Detroit River and western Lake Erie, and is the only unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System that is international. A key unit of the refuge is the 166-ha Humbug Marsh that represents the last kilometer of natural shoreline on the U.S. mainland of the river and Michigan’s only “Wetland of International Importance” designated under the 1971 International Ramsar Convention. Adjacent to Humbug Marsh is an 18-ha former industrial manufacturing site (now called the Refuge Gateway that is being remediated and restored as an ecological buffer for Humbug Marsh and the future home of the refuge’s visitor center. Restoration and redevelopment activities have included: cleanup and capping of contaminated lands; daylighting a creek (i.e., deliberately exposing the flow of a creek that was historically placed underground in a culvert and constructing a retention pond and emergent wetland to treat storm water prior to discharge to the Detroit River; restoring coastal wetland, riparian buffer, and upland habitats; and constructing two roads, hiking/biking trails, and a kayak/canoe landing to offer wildlife-compatible public uses that allow visitors to experience this internationally-recognized natural resource. This project has been described as transformational for the region by restoring an industrial brownfield into high quality wildlife habitat that expands the ecological buffer of a Ramsar site. Specific restoration targets for the site include: achieving a net gain of 6.5 ha of wetlands in a river that has lost 97% of its coastal wetlands to development; restoring 10.1 ha of upland buffer habitat; treating invasive Phragmites along 4 km of shoreline; and treatment of invasive plant species in 20.2 ha of upland habitats in Humbug Marsh. Further, the Refuge Gateway is being restored as a model of environmental sustainability for nearly seven million

  2. Terrestrial ecological responses of climate change in the Northern hemisphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forchhammer, M.C.

    2001-01-01

    Focusing on the single most important atmospheric phenomenon in the Northern hemisphere, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the author reviews the recent studies coupling the NAO with the ecology of a wide range of terrestrial organisms. In particular, the author focuses on low variations in the NAO affect phenotypic variation in life history Traits and, ultimately, dynamics of populations and of interacting species. (LN)

  3. The role of ecology in speciation by sexual selection: a systematic empirical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scordato, Elizabeth S C; Symes, Laurel B; Mendelson, Tamra C; Safran, Rebecca J

    2014-01-01

    Theoretical and empirical research indicates that sexual selection interacts with the ecological context in which mate choice occurs, suggesting that sexual and natural selection act together during the evolution of premating reproductive isolation. However, the relative importance of natural and sexual selection to speciation remains poorly understood. Here, we applied a recent conceptual framework for examining interactions between mate choice divergence and ecological context to a review of the empirical literature on speciation by sexual selection. This framework defines two types of interactions between mate choice and ecology: internal interactions, wherein natural and sexual selection jointly influence divergence in sexual signal traits and preferences, and external interactions, wherein sexual selection alone acts on traits and preferences but ecological context shapes the transmission efficacy of sexual signals. The objectives of this synthesis were 3-fold: to summarize the traits, ecological factors, taxa, and geographic contexts involved in studies of mate choice divergence; to analyze patterns of association between these variables; and to identify the most common types of interactions between mate choice and ecological factors. Our analysis revealed that certain traits are consistently associated with certain ecological factors. Moreover, among studies that examined a divergent sexually selected trait and an ecological factor, internal interactions were more common than external interactions. Trait-preference associations may thus frequently be subject to both sexual and natural selection in cases of divergent mate choice. Our results highlight the importance of interactions between sexual selection and ecology in mate choice divergence and suggest areas for future research. © The American Genetic Association. 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. The importance of trait emotional intelligence and feelings in the prediction of perceived and biological stress in adolescents: hierarchical regressions and fsQCA models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva, Lidón; Montoya-Castilla, Inmaculada; Prado-Gascó, Vicente

    2017-07-01

    The purpose of this study is to analyze the combined effects of trait emotional intelligence (EI) and feelings on healthy adolescents' stress. Identifying the extent to which adolescent stress varies with trait emotional differences and the feelings of adolescents is of considerable interest in the development of intervention programs for fostering youth well-being. To attain this goal, self-reported questionnaires (perceived stress, trait EI, and positive/negative feelings) and biological measures of stress (hair cortisol concentrations, HCC) were collected from 170 adolescents (12-14 years old). Two different methodologies were conducted, which included hierarchical regression models and a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). The results support trait EI as a protective factor against stress in healthy adolescents and suggest that feelings reinforce this relation. However, the debate continues regarding the possibility of optimal levels of trait EI for effective and adaptive emotional management, particularly in the emotional attention and clarity dimensions and for female adolescents.

  5. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J. W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R. Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E. O. C.; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J. M. M.; Aymard C, Gerardo A.; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G.; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G. A.; Camargo, José L. C.; Comiskey, James A.; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B.; Di Fiore, Anthony; Erwin, Terry L.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M.; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.; Killeen, Timothy J.; Laurance, William F.; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben H.; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A.; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A.; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A.; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C.; Pipoly, John J.; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A.; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P.; Silveira, Marcos; ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M. F.; van der Meer, Peter J.; Vasquez, Rodolfo V.; Vieira, Simone A.; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A.; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R.; Zagt, Roderick J.; Baker, Timothy R.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. PMID:27974517

  6. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G; Phillips, Oliver L; Brienen, Roel J W; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E O C; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J M M; Aymard C, Gerardo A; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G A; Camargo, José L C; Comiskey, James A; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B; Di Fiore, Anthony; Elias, Fernando; Erwin, Terry L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N; Killeen, Timothy J; Laurance, William F; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S; Marimon-Junior, Ben H; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C; Pipoly, John J; Pitman, Nigel C A; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P; Silveira, Marcos; Stropp, Juliana; Ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M F; van der Meer, Peter J; Vasquez, Rodolfo V; Vieira, Simone A; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R; Zagt, Roderick J; Baker, Timothy R

    2016-12-14

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. © 2016 The Authors.

  7. [Applied ecology: retrospect and prospect].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xingyuan; Zeng, Dehui

    2004-10-01

    Applied ecology is evolved into a principal part of modern ecology that rapidly develops. The major stimulus for the development of applied ecology roots in seeking the solutions for the problems of human populations, resources and environments. Through four decades, the science of applied ecology has been becoming a huge group of disciplines. The future for the applied ecology should concern more with human-influenced and managed ecosystems, and acknowledge humans as the components of ecosystems. Nowadays and in future, the top-priorities in applied ecology should include following fields: sustainable ecosystems and biosphere, ecosystem services and ecological design, ecological assessment of genetically modified organisms, ecology of biological invasions, epidemical ecology, ecological forecasting, ecological process and its control. The authors believe that the comprehensive and active research hotspots coupled some new traits would occur around these fields in foreseeable future.

  8. Economic and hydraulic divergences underpin ecological differentiation in the Bromeliaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Males, Jamie; Griffiths, Howard

    2018-01-01

    Leaf economic and hydraulic theories have rarely been applied to the ecological differentiation of speciose herbaceous plant radiations. The role of character trait divergences and network reorganization in the differentiation of the functional types in the megadiverse Neotropical Bromeliaceae was explored by quantifying a range of leaf economic and hydraulic traits in 50 diverse species. Functional types, which are defined by combinations of C 3 or Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis, terrestrial or epiphytic habits, and non-specialized, tank-forming or atmospheric morphologies, segregated clearly in trait space. Most classical leaf economic relationships were supported, but they were weakened by the presence of succulence. Functional types differed in trait-network architecture, suggesting that rewiring of trait-networks caused by innovations in habit and photosynthetic pathway is an important aspect of ecological differentiation. The hydraulic data supported the coupling of leaf hydraulics and gas exchange, but not the hydraulic safety versus efficiency hypothesis, and hinted at an important role for the extra-xylary compartment in the control of bromeliad leaf hydraulics. Overall, our findings highlight the fundamental importance of structure-function relationships in the generation and maintenance of ecological diversity. © 2017 The Authors Plant, Cell & Environment Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Freshwater Biological Traits Database (Traits)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The traits database was compiled for a project on climate change effects on river and stream ecosystems. The traits data, gathered from multiple sources, focused on information published or otherwise well-documented by trustworthy sources.

  10. 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...

  11. Plant traits as indicators: loss or gain of information?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    de Bello, Francesco; Mudrák, Ondřej

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 3 (2013), s. 353-354 ISSN 1402-2001 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : plant traits * taxonomic indicators * plant traits Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.416, year: 2013

  12. Evaluation of novel SNPs and haplotypes within the ATBF1 gene and their effects on economically important production traits in cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Xu

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available AT motif binding factor 1 (ATBF1 gene can promote the expression level of the growth hormone 1 (GH1 gene by binding to the enhancers of the POU1F1 and PROP1 genes; thus, it affects the growth and development of livestock. Considering that the ATBF1 gene also has a close relationship with the Janus kinase–signal transductor and activator of transcription (JAK–STAT pathway, the objective of this work was to identify novel single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP variations and their association with growth traits in native Chinese cattle breeds. Five novel SNPs within the ATBF1 gene were found in 644 Qinchuan and Jinnan cattle for first time using 25 pairs of screening and genotyping primers. The five novel SNPs were named as AC_000175:g.140344C>G (SNP1, g.146573T>C (SNP2, g.205468C>T (SNP3, g.205575A>G (SNP4 and g.297690Ctraits in Jinnan cattle. SNP3 was found to have significant associations with four growth traits in Qinchuan cattle. Moreover, the different combined genotypes, SNP1–SNP3, SNP1–SNP4 and SNP2–SNP5 were significantly associated with the growth traits in cattle. These findings indicated that the bovine ATBF1 gene had marked effects on growth traits, and the growth-trait-related loci can be used as DNA markers for maker-assisted selection (MAS breeding programs in cattle.

  13. Overview of coralline red algal crusts and rhodolith beds (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) and their possible ecological importance in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensbye, Helle; Halfar, Jochen

    2017-01-01

    Coralline red algae are a globally distributed and abundant group of shallow marine benthic calcifiers. They can form important ecosystems that provide a three-dimensional habitat to a large variety of marine organisms. While the study of coralline red algae has traditionally been focused on warm...... compiled to develop a distribution map of coralline genera and rhodolith communities. The depth range of coralline red algae in Greenland has been extended by 27 m, from 50 to 77 m depth. In addition, rhodoliths of the normally crust-forming species Clathromorphum compactum are described for the first time...... from a sheltered Greenland fjord. Based on the data compiled here, it becomes clear that rhodolith communities are a widespread feature of the Greenland shallow shelf areas. Gaining a better understanding of the distribution of these hitherto poorly understood high-latitude ecosystems is essential due...

  14. Leaf optical properties shed light on foliar trait variability at individual to global scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiklomanov, A. N.; Serbin, S.; Dietze, M.

    2017-12-01

    Recent syntheses of large trait databases have contributed immensely to our understanding of drivers of plant function at the global scale. However, the global trade-offs revealed by such syntheses, such as the trade-off between leaf productivity and resilience (i.e. "leaf economics spectrum"), are often absent at smaller scales and fail to correlate with actual functional limitations. An improved understanding of how traits vary among communities, species, and individuals is critical to accurate representations of vegetation ecophysiology and ecological dynamics in ecosystem models. Spectral data from both field observations and remote sensing platforms present a rich and widely available source of information on plant traits. Here, we apply Bayesian inversion of the PROSPECT leaf radiative transfer model to a large global database of over 60,000 field spectra and plant traits to (1) comprehensively assess the accuracy of leaf trait estimation using PROSPECT spectral inversion; (2) investigate the correlations between optical traits estimable from PROSPECT and other important foliar traits such as nitrogen and lignin concentrations; and (3) identify dominant sources of variability and characterize trade-offs in optical and non-optical foliar traits. Our work provides a key methodological contribution by validating physically-based retrieval of plant traits from remote sensing observations, and provides insights about trait trade-offs related to plant acclimation, adaptation, and community assembly.

  15. Intraspecific variability and reaction norms of forest understory plant species traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, Julia I.; Perakis, Steven; McKenzie, Sean C.; Lawrence, Caitlin E.; Puettmann, Klaus J.

    2017-01-01

    Trait-based models of ecological communities typically assume intraspecific variation in functional traits is not important, though such variation can change species trait rankings along gradients in resources and environmental conditions, and thus influence community structure and function.We examined the degree of intraspecific relative to interspecific variation, and reaction norms of 11 functional traits for 57 forest understory plant species, including: intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE), Δ15N, 5 leaf traits, 2 stem traits and 2 root traits along gradients in light, nitrogen, moisture and understory cover.Our results indicate that interspecific trait variation exceeded intraspecific variation by at least 50% for most, but not all traits. Intraspecific variation in Δ15N, iWUE, leaf nitrogen content and root traits was high (47-70%) compared with most leaf traits and stem traits (13-38%).Δ15N varied primarily along gradients in abiotic conditions, while light and understory cover were relatively less important. iWUE was related primarily to light transmission, reflecting increases in photosynthesis relative to stomatal conductance. Leaf traits varied mainly as a function of light availability, with some reaction norms depending on understory cover. Plant height increased with understory cover, while stem specific density was related primarily to light. Resources, environmental conditions and understory cover did not contribute strongly to the observed variation in root traits.Gradients in resources, environmental conditions and competition all appear to control intraspecific variability in most traits to some extent. However, our results suggest that species cross-over (i.e., trait rank reversals) along the gradients measured here are generally not a concern.Intraspecific variability in understory plant species traits can be considerable. However, trait data collected under a narrow range of environmental conditions appears sufficient to establish species

  16. Ecological characteristics and in situ genetic associations for yield-component traits of wild Miscanthus from eastern Russia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clark, Lindsay V; Dzyubenko, Elena; Dzyubenko, Nikolay

    2016-01-01

    , a strategy is proposed to facilitate the rapid utilization of new germplasm collections: by implementing low-cost SNP genotyping to conduct GWA studies of phenotypic data obtained at collection sites, plant breeders can be provided with actionable information on which accessions have desirable traits...... that this crop is more temperate adapted than its C4 relatives maize, sorghum and sugarcane. Methods A plant exploration was conducted in eastern Russia, at the northern extreme of the native range for Miscanthus, with collections including 174 clonal germplasm accessions (160 M. sacchariflorus and 14 M....... sinensis) from 47 sites. Accessions were genotyped by restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) and plastid microsatellites. Key Results Miscanthus sinensis was found in maritime climates near Vladivostok (43·6°N) and on southern Sakhalin Island (46·6°N). Miscanthus sacchariflorus was found...

  17. Pollination and seedling ecology of Decalepis hamiltonii Wight & Arn. (Periplocaceae, a commercially important, endemic and endangered species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.J.S. Raju

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Decalepis hamiltonii is a woody climber and annual bloomer. The flowers are characterized by nectariferous coralline corona, gynostegium and pollinia containing tetrads. The floral features such as greenish white corolla, mild fragrance, flat-shape for easy access to floral rewards, and ovary protection from the biting mouthparts of the pollinator make up cantharophilous pollination syndrome. Brachinus beetle is the principal pollinator. Thrips use floral buds to raise their offspring; they also effect pollination while collecting nectar; but they are important largely for self-pollination due to their short distance flying ability. The plant is a self-incompatible, obligate outcrosser and is substantiated by 2% natural fruit set, but each fruit produces numerous seeds. Fruits dehisce during the dry season and seed dispersal is by wind. Seeds germinate as soon as they fall in a favourable place, but only a small percentage establish seedlings. Over-exploitation, bottlenecks in sexual reproduction and seedling establishment may contribute to the endangered status of D. hamiltonii.

  18. Assessing Virulence and Transmission Rates of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) in Two Ecologically Important Palaemonid Shrimp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, C.; Keesee, B.; Philippoff, C.; Curran, S.; Lotz, J.; Powell, E.

    2016-02-01

    Investigators, including three REU interns, conducted an experiment to quantify parameters for an epidemiological model designed to estimate disease transmission in marine invertebrates. White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a highly pathogenic disease affecting commercially important penaeid shrimp fisheries worldwide. The virus devastates penaeid shrimp but other varieties of decapods may serve as reservoirs for disease by being less susceptible to WSSV or refractory to disease. Non-penaeid crustaceans are less susceptible to WSSV, and different species have variable resistance to the disease leading to different potential to serve as reservoirs for transmission of the disease to coastal penaeid fisheries. This study investigates virulence and transmission rates of WSSV in two palaemonid shrimp which are keystone members of coastal food webs, and effects of species interactions on transmission rates of WSSV are estimated in a laboratory setting as a proxy for natural habitats. Two species of grass shrimp were exposed to a Chinese strain of WSSV through feeding the test individuals with previously prepared, inoculated penaeid shrimp. Replicated tanks containing 30 animals were exposed to the virus in arenas containing one or both species for 24 hours, then isolated in 1 liter tanks and monitored. During the isolation period moribund individuals were preserved for later analysis. After 7 days all test individuals were analyzed using qPCR to determine WSSV presence and load in DNA. From these data transmission rates, mortality, and viral concentration were quantified and used as parameters in a simple epidemiological model.

  19. Beyond traditional scientific training: The importance of community and empowerment for women in ecology and evolutionary biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Claire Horner-Devine

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available While the biological sciences have achieved gender parity in the undergraduate and graduate career stages, this is not the case at the faculty level. The WEBS (Women Evolving the Biological Sciences symposia go beyond traditional scientific training and professional development to address factors critical to women’s persistence in faculty careers: community and empowerment. Through a series of panel discussions, personal reflections and skills workshops, WEBS creates a community-based professional development experience and a space for participants to grapple with central issues affecting their scientific careers. Longitudinal qualitative survey data suggest that WEBS bolsters the participants’ confidence and empowerment, in addition to providing concrete skills for addressing a range of issues necessary to navigating scientific careers, leading to increased career satisfaction and career self-efficacy (i.e., the belief in one’s capacity to pursue their chosen career. These results highlight the importance and need for programs and opportunities for women in STEM that go beyond training in scientific skills and traditional professional development to include those that create a sense of community and empowerment.

  20. Satellite tagging highlights the importance of productive Mozambican coastal waters to the ecology and conservation of whale sharks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Anthony J.; Jaine, Fabrice R. A.; Bennett, Michael B.; Weeks, Scarla J.; Cliff, Geremy; Robinson, David P.; Reeve-Arnold, Katie E.; Pierce, Simon J.

    2018-01-01

    The whale shark Rhincodon typus is an endangered, highly migratory species with a wide, albeit patchy, distribution through tropical oceans. Ten aerial survey flights along the southern Mozambican coast, conducted between 2004–2008, documented a relatively high density of whale sharks along a 200 km stretch of the Inhambane Province, with a pronounced hotspot adjacent to Praia do Tofo. To examine the residency and movement of whale sharks in coastal areas around Praia do Tofo, where they may be more susceptible to gill net entanglement, we tagged 15 juveniles with SPOT5 satellite tags and tracked them for 2–88 days (mean = 27 days) as they dispersed from this area. Sharks travelled between 10 and 2,737 km (mean = 738 km) at a mean horizontal speed of 28 ± 17.1 SD km day−1. While several individuals left shelf waters and travelled across international boundaries, most sharks stayed in Mozambican coastal waters over the tracking period. We tested for whale shark habitat preferences, using sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-a concentration and water depth as variables, by computing 100 random model tracks for each real shark based on their empirical movement characteristics. Whale sharks spent significantly more time in cooler, shallower water with higher chlorophyll-a concentrations than model sharks, suggesting that feeding in productive coastal waters is an important driver of their movements. To investigate what this coastal habitat choice means for their conservation in Mozambique, we mapped gill nets during two dedicated aerial surveys along the Inhambane coast and counted gill nets in 1,323 boat-based surveys near Praia do Tofo. Our results show that, while whale sharks are capable of long-distance oceanic movements, they can spend a disproportionate amount of time in specific areas, such as along the southern Mozambique coast. The increasing use of drifting gill nets in this coastal hotspot for whale sharks is likely to be a threat to regional

  1. ATLANTIC MAMMAL TRAITS: a data set of morphological traits of mammals in the Atlantic Forest of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Fernando; Bovendorp, Ricardo S; Beca, Gabrielle; Bello, Carolina; Costa-Pereira, Raul; Muylaert, Renata L; Rodarte, Raisa R; Villar, Nacho; Souza, Rafael; Graipel, Maurício E; Cherem, Jorge J; Faria, Deborah; Baumgarten, Julio; Alvarez, Martín R; Vieira, Emerson M; Cáceres, Nilton; Pardini, Renata; Leite, Yuri L R; Costa, Leonora P; Mello, Marco A R; Fischer, Erich; Passos, Fernando C; Varzinczak, Luiz H; Prevedello, Jayme A; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo P; Carvalho, Fernando; Percequillo, Alexandre R; Paviolo, Agustin; Nava, Alessandra; Duarte, José M B; de la Sancha, Noé U; Bernard, Enrico; Morato, Ronaldo G; Ribeiro, Juliana F; Becker, Rafael G; Paise, Gabriela; Tomasi, Paulo S; Vélez-Garcia, Felipe; Melo, Geruza L; Sponchiado, Jonas; Cerezer, Felipe; Barros, Marília A S; de Souza, Albérico Q S; Dos Santos, Cinthya C; Giné, Gastón A F; Kerches-Rogeri, Patricia; Weber, Marcelo M; Ambar, Guilherme; Cabrera-Martinez, Lucía V; Eriksson, Alan; Silveira, Maurício; Santos, Carolina F; Alves, Lucas; Barbier, Eder; Rezende, Gabriela C; Garbino, Guilherme S T; Rios, Élson O; Silva, Adna; Nascimento, Alexandre Túlio A; de Carvalho, Rodrigo S; Feijó, Anderson; Arrabal, Juan; Agostini, Ilaria; Lamattina, Daniela; Costa, Sebastian; Vanderhoeven, Ezequiel; de Melo, Fabiano R; de Oliveira Laroque, Plautino; Jerusalinsky, Leandro; Valença-Montenegro, Mônica M; Martins, Amely B; Ludwig, Gabriela; de Azevedo, Renata B; Anzóategui, Agustin; da Silva, Marina X; Figuerêdo Duarte Moraes, Marcela; Vogliotti, Alexandre; Gatti, Andressa; Püttker, Thomas; Barros, Camila S; Martins, Thais K; Keuroghlian, Alexine; Eaton, Donald P; Neves, Carolina L; Nardi, Marcelo S; Braga, Caryne; Gonçalves, Pablo R; Srbek-Araujo, Ana Carolina; Mendes, Poliana; de Oliveira, João A; Soares, Fábio A M; Rocha, Patrício A; Crawshaw, Peter; Ribeiro, Milton C; Galetti, Mauro

    2018-02-01

    Measures of traits are the basis of functional biological diversity. Numerous works consider mean species-level measures of traits while ignoring individual variance within species. However, there is a large amount of variation within species and it is increasingly apparent that it is important to consider trait variation not only between species, but also within species. Mammals are an interesting group for investigating trait-based approaches because they play diverse and important ecological functions (e.g., pollination, seed dispersal, predation, grazing) that are correlated with functional traits. Here we compile a data set comprising morphological and life history information of 279 mammal species from 39,850 individuals of 388 populations ranging from -5.83 to -29.75 decimal degrees of latitude and -34.82 to -56.73 decimal degrees of longitude in the Atlantic forest of South America. We present trait information from 16,840 individuals of 181 species of non-volant mammals (Rodentia, Didelphimorphia, Carnivora, Primates, Cingulata, Artiodactyla, Pilosa, Lagomorpha, Perissodactyla) and from 23,010 individuals of 98 species of volant mammals (Chiroptera). The traits reported include body mass, age, sex, reproductive stage, as well as the geographic coordinates of sampling for all taxa. Moreover, we gathered information on forearm length for bats and body length and tail length for rodents and marsupials. No copyright restrictions are associated with the use of this data set. Please cite this data paper when the data are used in publications. We also request that researchers and teachers inform us of how they are using the data. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Use of functional traits to assess changes in stream fish assemblages across a habitat gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariela Domiciano Ribeiro

    Full Text Available Abstract Functional traits are important for understanding the links between species occurrence and environmental conditions. Identifying these links makes it possible to predict changes in species composition within communities under specific environmental conditions. We used functional traits related to habitat use and trophic ecology in order to assess the changes in fish community composition between streams with varying habitat structure. The relationship between the species traits and habitat characteristics was analyzed using an RLQ ordination analysis. Although species were widely distributed in habitats with different structures, physical conditions did favor some species based on their functional characteristics. Eight functional traits were found to be associated with stream habitat structure, allowing us to identify traits that may predict the susceptibility of fish species to physical habitat degradation.

  3. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana

    OpenAIRE

    Wolf, Jason B.; Mutic, Joshua J.; Kover, Paula X.

    2011-01-01

    Studying the genetic basis of traits involved in ecological interactions is a fundamental part of elucidating the connections between evolutionary and ecological processes. Such knowledge allows one to link genetic models of trait evolution with ecological models describing interactions within and between species. Previous work has shown that connections between genetic and ecological processes in Arabidopsis thaliana may be mediated by the fact that quantitative trait loci (QTL) with ‘direct...

  4. Community Ecology

    CERN Document Server

    1988-01-01

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

  5. Acid-base physiology response to ocean acidification of two ecologically and economically important holothuroids from contrasting habitats, Holothuria scabra and Holothuria parva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collard, Marie; Eeckhaut, Igor; Dehairs, Frank; Dubois, Philippe

    2014-12-01

    Sea cucumbers are dominant invertebrates in several ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass meadows and mangroves. As bioturbators, they have an important ecological role in making available calcium carbonate and nutrients to the rest of the community. However, due to their commercial value, they face overexploitation in the natural environment. On top of that, occurring ocean acidification could impact these organisms, considered sensitive as echinoderms are osmoconformers, high-magnesium calcite producers and have a low metabolism. As a first investigation of the impact of ocean acidification on sea cucumbers, we tested the impact of short-term (6 to 12 days) exposure to ocean acidification (seawater pH 7.7 and 7.4) on two sea cucumbers collected in SW Madagascar, Holothuria scabra, a high commercial value species living in the seagrass meadows, and H. parva, inhabiting the mangroves. The former lives in a habitat with moderate fluctuations of seawater chemistry (driven by day-night differences) while the second lives in a highly variable intertidal environment. In both species, pH of the coelomic fluid was significantly negatively affected by reduced seawater pH, with a pronounced extracellular acidosis in individuals maintained at pH 7.7 and 7.4. This acidosis was due to an increased dissolved inorganic carbon content and pCO2 of the coelomic fluid, indicating a limited diffusion of the CO2 towards the external medium. However, respiration and ammonium excretion rates were not affected. No evidence of accumulation of bicarbonate was observed to buffer the coelomic fluid pH. If this acidosis stays uncompensated for when facing long-term exposure, other processes could be affected in both species, eventually leading to impacts on their ecological role.

  6. Trait-specific processes of convergence and conservatism shape ecomorphological evolution in ground-dwelling squirrels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Bryan S; Helgen, Kristofer M; Goodwin, H Thomas; Cook, Joseph A

    2018-03-01

    Our understanding of mechanisms operating over deep timescales to shape phenotypic diversity often hinges on linking variation in one or few trait(s) to specific evolutionary processes. When distinct processes are capable of similar phenotypic signatures, however, identifying these drivers is difficult. We explored ecomorphological evolution across a radiation of ground-dwelling squirrels whose history includes convergence and constraint, two processes that can yield similar signatures of standing phenotypic diversity. Using four ecologically relevant trait datasets (body size, cranial, mandibular, and molariform tooth shape), we compared and contrasted variation, covariation, and disparity patterns in a new phylogenetic framework. Strong correlations existed between body size and two skull traits (allometry) and among skull traits themselves (integration). Inferred evolutionary modes were also concordant across traits (Ornstein-Uhlenbeck with two adaptive regimes). However, despite these broad similarities, we found divergent dynamics on the macroevolutionary landscape, with phenotypic disparity being differentially shaped by convergence and conservatism. Such among-trait heterogeneity in process (but not always pattern) reiterates the mosaic nature of morphological evolution, and suggests ground squirrel evolution is poorly captured by single process descriptors. Our results also highlight how use of single traits can bias macroevolutionary inference, affirming the importance of broader trait-bases in understanding phenotypic evolutionary dynamics. © 2018 The Author(s). Evolution © 2018 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. Lessons from the use of genetically modified Drosophila melanogaster in ecological studies: Hsf mutant lines show highly trait-specific performance in field and laboratory thermal assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Jesper Givskov; Loeschcke, Volker; Kristensen, Torsten Nygård

    2009-01-01

    . 2.  We have tested the importance of inducible heat shock proteins (Hsps) under different thermal conditions using two heat shock factor (Hsf) mutant lines (either able (Hsf+) or unable (Hsf0) to mount a heat stress response) and an outbred laboratory adapted wild-type line of Drosophila......1.  Laboratory studies on genetically modified strains may reveal important information on mechanisms involved in coping with thermal stress. However, to address the evolutionary significance of specific genes or physiological mechanisms, ecologically relevant field tests should also be performed...

  8. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping for inflorescence length traits in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    2011-05-02

    May 2, 2011 ... character affected by ecological surroundings, growth ... developed from each F2 by bud self-pollination for QTL analysis. ... Quantitative traits measured for the each individual plant in F2 the population and F3 families ..... sex and parental interactions (Liu et al., 1996). ... evolution of solanaceous species.

  9. Genetic variation of metabolite and hormone concentration in UK Holstein-Frisian calves and the genetic relationship with economically important traits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hayhurst, C; Flint, A P F; Løvendahl, P

    2009-01-01

    The decline of dairy cattle fertility worldwide remains a major concern, with conception rates to first service commonly below 40%. The length and severity of negative energy balance postpartum are unfavorably correlated with fertility, suggesting that the length and severity of negative energy...... balance and fertility are linked via several hormones or metabolites. These compounds therefore have the potential to predict fertility at a genetic level. The addition of a predictor trait for fertility into present fertility indices would accelerate genetic gain, particularly if it was expressed before...... of free fatty acids (FFA), glucose, growth hormone (GH), insulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in male and female UK Holstein-Friesian dairy calves (average age ± SD; 126 ± 12.7 d) were analyzed during 2 studies: data set 1 (n = 496 females; 1996-2001; 7 commercial dairy herds) and data set 2...

  10. Ecological Importance of Small-Diameter Trees to the Structure, Diversity and Biomass of a Tropical Evergreen Forest at Rabi, Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memiaghe, Hervé R; Lutz, James A; Korte, Lisa; Alonso, Alfonso; Kenfack, David

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests have long been recognized for their biodiversity and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, tropical forests, and particularly those of central Africa, remain understudied. Until recently, most forest inventories in Central Africa have focused on trees ≥10 cm in diameter, even though several studies have shown that small-diameter tree population may be important to demographic rates and nutrient cycling. To determine the ecological importance of small-diameter trees in central African forests, we used data from a 25-ha permanent plot that we established in the rainforest of Gabon to study the diversity and dynamics of these forests. Within the plot, we censused 175,830 trees ≥1 cm dbh from 54 families, 192 genera, and 345 species. Average tree density was 7,026 trees/ha, basal area 31.64 m2/ha, and above-ground biomass 369.40 Mg/ha. Fabaceae, Ebenaceae and Euphorbiaceae were the most important families by basal area, density and above-ground biomass. Small-diameter trees (1 cm ≥ dbh tree population, 16.5% of basal area, and 4.8% of the above-ground biomass. They also had diversity 18% higher at family level, 34% higher at genus level, and 42% higher at species level than trees ≥10 cm dbh. Although the relative contribution of small-diameter trees to biomass was comparable to other forests globally, their contribution to forest density, and diversity was disproportionately higher. The high levels of diversity within small-diameter classes may give these forests high levels of structural resilience to anthropogenic/natural disturbance and a changing climate.

  11. Ecological and methodological drivers of species’ distribution and phenology responses to climate change

    KAUST Repository

    Brown, Christopher J.; O'Connor, Mary I.; Poloczanska, Elvira S.; Schoeman, David S.; Buckley, Lauren B.; Burrows, Michael T.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Pandolfi, John M.; Parmesan, Camille; Richardson, Anthony J.

    2015-01-01

    the 7.8% of the variation explained by ecological traits. For phenology change, methodological approaches accounted for 4% of the variation in measurements, whereas 8% of the variation was explained by ecological traits. Our ability to predict responses

  12. Selection for production and reproduction traits in pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, de A.G.

    1989-01-01

    Introduction

    Reproduction traits are important for piglet production, whereas production traits are important for fattening. Pig breeding organizations improve both groups of traits by selection in nucleus populations. Optimization of selection in these nucleus populations

  13. Does rapid evolution matter? Measuring the rate of contemporary evolution and its impacts on ecological dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellner, Stephen P; Geber, Monica A; Hairston, Nelson G

    2011-06-01

    Rapid contemporary evolution due to natural selection is common in the wild, but it remains uncertain whether its effects are an essential component of community and ecosystem structure and function. Previously we showed how to partition change in a population, community or ecosystem property into contributions from environmental and trait change, when trait change is entirely caused by evolution (Hairston et al. 2005). However, when substantial non-heritable trait change occurs (e.g. due to phenotypic plasticity or change in population structure) that approach can mis-estimate both contributions. Here, we demonstrate how to disentangle ecological impacts of evolution vs. non-heritable trait change by combining our previous approach with the Price Equation. This yields a three-way partitioning into effects of evolution, non-heritable phenotypic change and environment. We extend the approach to cases where ecological consequences of trait change are mediated through interspecific interactions. We analyse empirical examples involving fish, birds and zooplankton, finding that the proportional contribution of rapid evolution varies widely (even among different ecological properties affected by the same trait), and that rapid evolution can be important when it acts to oppose and mitigate phenotypic effects of environmental change. Paradoxically, rapid evolution may be most important when it is least evident. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  14. Nesting and acoustic ecology, but not phylogeny, influence passerine urban tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Gonçalo C

    2014-03-01

    Urbanization is one of the most extensive and ecologically significant changes happening to terrestrial environments, as it strongly affects the distribution of biodiversity. It is well established that native species richness is reduced in urban and suburban areas, but the species traits that predict tolerance to urbanization are yet little understood. In birds, one of the most studied groups in this respect, evidence is appearing that acoustic traits influence urban living, but it remains unknown how this compares to the effects of more obvious ecological traits that facilitate urban living. Therefore, it remains unclear whether acoustic communication is an important predictor of urban tolerance among species. Here, with a comparative study across 140 European and North American passerines, I show that high song frequency, which is less masked by the low-frequency anthropogenic noise, is associated with urban tolerance, with an effect size over half that of the most important ecological trait studied: off-ground nesting. Other nesting and foraging traits accepted to facilitate urban living did not differ for species occurring in urban environments. Thus, the contribution of acoustic traits for passerine urban tolerance approximates that of more obvious ecological traits. Nonetheless, effect sizes of the biological predictors of urban tolerance were low and the phylogenetic signal for urban tolerance was null, both of which suggest that factors other than phenotypic traits have major effects on urban tolerance. A simple possibility is exposure to urbanization, as there was a higher proportion of urban-tolerant species in Europe, which is more urbanized than North America. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Generality of leaf trait relationships: A test across six biomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reich, P.B. [Univ. of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN (United States). Dept. of Forest Resources; Ellsworth, D.S. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States). Dept. of Applied Science; Walters, M.B. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Dept. of Forestry; Vose, J.M. [Forest Service, Otto, NC (United States). Coweeta Hydrological Lab.; Gresham, C. [Clemson Univ., Georgetown, SC (United States). Baruch Forest Inst.; Volin, J.C. [Florida Atlantic Univ., Davie, FL (United States). Div. of Science; Bowman, W.D. [Inst. of Arctic and Alpine Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Mountain Research Station]|[Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Evolutionary, Population, and Organismic Biology

    1999-09-01

    Convergence in interspecific leaf trait relationships across diverse taxonomic groups and biomes would have important evolutionary and ecological implications. Such convergence has been hypothesized to result from trade-offs that limit the combination of plant traits for any species. Here the authors address this issue by testing for biome differences in the slope and intercept of interspecific relationships among leaf traits: longevity, net photosynthetic capacity (A{sub max}), leaf diffusive conductance (G{sub S}), specific leaf area (SLA), and nitrogen (N) status, for more than 100 species in six distinct biomes of the Americas. The six biomes were: alpine tundra-subalpine forest ecotone, cold temperate forest-prairie ecotone, montane cool temperate forest, desert shrubland, subtropical forest, and tropical rain forest. Despite large differences in climate and evolutionary history, in all biomes mass-based leaf N (N{sub mass}), SLA, G{sub S}, and A{sub max} were positively related to one another and decreased with increasing leaf life span. The relationships between pairs of leaf traits exhibited similar slopes among biomes, suggesting a predictable set of scaling relationships among key leaf morphological, chemical, and metabolic traits that are replicated globally among terrestrial ecosystems regardless of biome or vegetation type. However, the intercept (i.e., the overall elevation of regression lines) of relationships between pairs of leaf traits usually differed among biomes. With increasing aridity across sites, species had greater A{sub max} for a given level of G{sub S} and lower SLA for any given leaf life span. Using principal components analysis, most variation among species was explained by an axis related to mass-based leaf traits (A{sub max}, N, and SLA) while a second axis reflected climate, G{sub S}, and other area-based leaf traits.

  16. Investment in boney defensive traits alters organismal stoichiometry and excretion in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sabaawi, Rana W; Warbanski, Misha L; Rudman, Seth M; Hovel, Rachel; Matthews, Blake

    2016-08-01

    Understanding how trait diversification alters ecosystem processes is an important goal for ecological and evolutionary studies. Ecological stoichiometry provides a framework for predicting how traits affect ecosystem function. The growth rate hypothesis of ecological stoichiometry links growth and phosphorus (P) body composition in taxa where nucleic acids are a significant pool of body P. In vertebrates, however, most of the P is bound within bone, and organisms with boney structures can vary in terms of the relative contributions of bones to body composition. Threespine stickleback populations have substantial variation in boney armour plating. Shaped by natural selection, this variation provides a model system to study the links between evolution of bone content, elemental body composition, and P excretion. We measure carbon:nitrogen:P body composition from stickleback populations that vary in armour phenotype. We develop a mechanistic mass-balance model to explore factors affecting P excretion, and measure P excretion from two populations with contrasting armour phenotypes. Completely armoured morphs have higher body %P but excrete more P per unit body mass than other morphs. The model suggests that such differences are driven by phenotypic differences in P intake as well as body %P composition. Our results show that while investment in boney traits alters the elemental composition of vertebrate bodies, excretion rates depend on how acquisition and assimilation traits covary with boney trait investment. These results also provide a stoichiometric hypothesis to explain the repeated loss of boney armour in threespine sticklebacks upon colonizing freshwater ecosystems.

  17. [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.

  18. Pluck or Luck: Does Trait Variation or Chance Drive Variation in Lifetime Reproductive Success?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Robin E; Ellner, Stephen P

    2018-04-01

    While there has been extensive interest in how intraspecific trait variation affects ecological processes, outcomes are highly variable even when individuals are identical: some are lucky, while others are not. Trait variation is therefore important only if it adds substantially to the variability produced by luck. We ask when trait variation has a substantial effect on variability in lifetime reproductive success (LRS), using two approaches: (1) we partition the variation in LRS into contributions from luck and trait variation and (2) we ask what can be inferred about an individual's traits and with what certainty, given their observed LRS. In theoretical stage- and size-structured models and two empirical case studies, we find that luck usually dominates the variance of LRS. Even when individuals differ substantially in ways that affect expected LRS, unless the effects of luck are substantially reduced (e.g., low variability in reproductive life span or annual fecundity), most variance in lifetime outcomes is due to luck, implying that departures from "null" models omitting trait variation will be hard to detect. Luck also obscures the relationship between realized LRS and individual traits. While trait variation may influence the fate of populations, luck often governs the lives of individuals.

  19. Making Sense of Biodiversity: The Affordances of Systems Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Erik; McPhearson, Timon

    2018-01-01

    We see two related, but not well-linked fields that together could help us better understand biodiversity and how it, over time, provides benefits to people. The affordances approach in environmental psychology offers a way to understand our perceptual appraisal of landscapes and biodiversity and, to some extent, intentional choice or behavior, i.e., a way of relating the individual to the system s/he/it lives in. In the field of ecology, organism-specific functional traits are similarly understood as the physiological and behavioral characteristics of an organism that informs the way it interacts with its surroundings. Here, we review the often overlooked role of traits in the provisioning of ecosystem services as a potential bridge between affordance theory and applied systems ecology. We propose that many traits can be understood as the basis for the affordances offered by biodiversity, and that they offer a more fruitful way to discuss human-biodiversity relations than do the taxonomic information most often used. Moreover, as emerging transdisciplinary studies indicate, connecting affordances to functional traits allows us to ask questions about the temporal and two-way nature of affordances and perhaps most importantly, can serve as a starting point for more fully bridging the fields of ecology and environmental psychology with respect to how we understand human-biodiversity relationships.

  20. 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.

  1. Ecological change, sliding baselines and the importance of historical data: lessons from Combining [corrected] observational and quantitative data on a temperate reef over 70 years.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Gatti

    Full Text Available Understanding the effects of environmental change on ecosystems requires the identification of baselines that may act as reference conditions. However, the continuous change of these references challenges our ability to define the true natural status of ecosystems. The so-called sliding baseline syndrome can be overcome through the analysis of quantitative time series, which are, however, extremely rare. Here we show how combining historical quantitative data with descriptive 'naturalistic' information arranged in a chronological chain allows highlighting long-term trends and can be used to inform present conservation schemes. We analysed the long-term change of a coralligenous reef, a marine habitat endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. The coralligenous assemblages of Mesco Reef (Ligurian Sea, NW Mediterranean have been studied, although discontinuously, since 1937 thus making available both detailed descriptive information and scanty quantitative data: while the former was useful to understand the natural history of the ecosystem, the analysis of the latter was of paramount importance to provide a formal measure of change over time. Epibenthic assemblages remained comparatively stable until the 1990s, when species replacement, invasion by alien algae, and biotic homogenisation occurred within few years, leading to a new and completely different ecosystem state. The shift experienced by the coralligenous assemblages of Mesco Reef was probably induced by a combination of seawater warming and local human pressures, the latter mainly resulting in increased water turbidity; in turn, cumulative stress may have favoured the establishment of alien species. This study showed that the combined analysis of quantitative and descriptive historical data represent a precious knowledge to understand ecosystem trends over time and provide help to identify baselines for ecological management.

  2. Ecological and Geographical Analysis of the Distribution of the Mountain Tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in Ecuador: Importance of Protected Areas in Future Scenarios of Global Warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-Andrade, H. Mauricio; Prieto-Torres, David A.; Gómez-Lora, Ignacio; Lizcano, Diego J.

    2015-01-01

    In Ecuador, Tapirus pinchaque is considered to be critically endangered. Although the species has been registered in several localities, its geographic distribution remains unclear, and the effects of climate change and current land uses on this species are largely unknown. We modeled the ecological niche of T. pinchaque using MaxEnt, in order to assess its potential adaptation to present and future climate change scenarios. We evaluated the effects of habitat loss due by current land use, the ecosystem availability and importance of Ecuadorian System of Protected Areas into the models. The model of environmental suitability estimated an extent of occurrence for species of 21,729 km2 in all of Ecuador, mainly occurring along the corridor of the eastern Ecuadorian Andes. A total of 10 Andean ecosystems encompassed ~98% of the area defined by the model, with herbaceous paramo, northeastern Andean montane evergreen forest and northeastern Andes upper montane evergreen forest being the most representative. When considering the effect of habitat loss, a significant reduction in model area (~17%) occurred, and the effect of climate change represented a net reduction up to 37.86%. However, the synergistic effect of both climate change and habitat loss, given current land use practices, could represent a greater risk in the short-term, leading to a net reduction of 19.90 to 44.65% in T. pinchaque’s potential distribution. Even under such a scenarios, several Protected Areas harbor a portion (~36 to 48%) of the potential distribution defined by the models. However, the central and southern populations are highly threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Based on these results and due to the restricted home range of T. pinchaque, its preference for upland forests and paramos, and its small estimated population size in the Andes, we suggest to maintaining its current status as Critically Endangered in Ecuador. PMID:25798851

  3. Ecological and geographical analysis of the distribution of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque in Ecuador: importance of protected areas in future scenarios of global warming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Mauricio Ortega-Andrade

    Full Text Available In Ecuador, Tapirus pinchaque is considered to be critically endangered. Although the species has been registered in several localities, its geographic distribution remains unclear, and the effects of climate change and current land uses on this species are largely unknown. We modeled the ecological niche of T. pinchaque using MaxEnt, in order to assess its potential adaptation to present and future climate change scenarios. We evaluated the effects of habitat loss due by current land use, the ecosystem availability and importance of Ecuadorian System of Protected Areas into the models. The model of environmental suitability estimated an extent of occurrence for species of 21,729 km2 in all of Ecuador, mainly occurring along the corridor of the eastern Ecuadorian Andes. A total of 10 Andean ecosystems encompassed ~98% of the area defined by the model, with herbaceous paramo, northeastern Andean montane evergreen forest and northeastern Andes upper montane evergreen forest being the most representative. When considering the effect of habitat loss, a significant reduction in model area (~17% occurred, and the effect of climate change represented a net reduction up to 37.86%. However, the synergistic effect of both climate change and habitat loss, given current land use practices, could represent a greater risk in the short-term, leading to a net reduction of 19.90 to 44.65% in T. pinchaque's potential distribution. Even under such a scenarios, several Protected Areas harbor a portion (~36 to 48% of the potential distribution defined by the models. However, the central and southern populations are highly threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Based on these results and due to the restricted home range of T. pinchaque, its preference for upland forests and paramos, and its small estimated population size in the Andes, we suggest to maintaining its current status as Critically Endangered in Ecuador.

  4. Ecology: Its relative importance and absolute irrelevance for a Christian: A Kierkegaardian transversal space for the controversy on eco-theology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hermen Kroesbergen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The controversy about the importance of eco-theology or creation spirituality seems to be in a deadlock. Those who support it and those who oppose it do not even seem to be able to communicate with one another. On the one hand, Celia Deane-Drummond, for example, writes in her Eco-theology (2008:x: ‘I find it astonishing that courses on eco-theology do not exist in many university departments of theology and religious studies.’ Matthew Fox desperately asks in his Creation spirituality (1991:xii: ‘Need I list the [environmental] issues of our day that go virtually unattended to in our culture?’ On the other hand, evangelical Christians are known for their ecological ‘blind spot’ (Davis 2000, until recently at least. Pentecostal proponents of the prosperity gospel preach a consumer-lifestyle for all Christians, which is not very eco-friendly (cf. Kroesbergen 2013. Even in more mainline Christianity we find, for example, the well-known theologian Robert Jenson who writes in his Systematic theology: Volume 2 (1999:113, n. 2: ‘Recent waves of “creation spirituality” are simply apostasy to paganism. And it is such unguarded, even unargued judgement that is required of the church.’ We find eco-theologians, who do not understand that not everyone agrees with them on the one hand, and opposing theologians, who do not even feel the need to argue against them on the other hand. What would be needed to re-open communication between those in favour of eco-theology or creation spirituality, and those opposed to it?

  5. Ecological and geographical analysis of the distribution of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in Ecuador: importance of protected areas in future scenarios of global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-Andrade, H Mauricio; Prieto-Torres, David A; Gómez-Lora, Ignacio; Lizcano, Diego J

    2015-01-01

    In Ecuador, Tapirus pinchaque is considered to be critically endangered. Although the species has been registered in several localities, its geographic distribution remains unclear, and the effects of climate change and current land uses on this species are largely unknown. We modeled the ecological niche of T. pinchaque using MaxEnt, in order to assess its potential adaptation to present and future climate change scenarios. We evaluated the effects of habitat loss due by current land use, the ecosystem availability and importance of Ecuadorian System of Protected Areas into the models. The model of environmental suitability estimated an extent of occurrence for species of 21,729 km2 in all of Ecuador, mainly occurring along the corridor of the eastern Ecuadorian Andes. A total of 10 Andean ecosystems encompassed ~98% of the area defined by the model, with herbaceous paramo, northeastern Andean montane evergreen forest and northeastern Andes upper montane evergreen forest being the most representative. When considering the effect of habitat loss, a significant reduction in model area (~17%) occurred, and the effect of climate change represented a net reduction up to 37.86%. However, the synergistic effect of both climate change and habitat loss, given current land use practices, could represent a greater risk in the short-term, leading to a net reduction of 19.90 to 44.65% in T. pinchaque's potential distribution. Even under such a scenarios, several Protected Areas harbor a portion (~36 to 48%) of the potential distribution defined by the models. However, the central and southern populations are highly threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Based on these results and due to the restricted home range of T. pinchaque, its preference for upland forests and paramos, and its small estimated population size in the Andes, we suggest to maintaining its current status as Critically Endangered in Ecuador.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. The flora phenotype ontology (FLOPO): tool for integrating morphological traits and phenotypes of vascular plants

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2016-11-14

    Background The systematic analysis of a large number of comparable plant trait data can support investigations into phylogenetics and ecological adaptation, with broad applications in evolutionary biology, agriculture, conservation, and the functioning of ecosystems. Floras, i.e., books collecting the information on all known plant species found within a region, are a potentially rich source of such plant trait data. Floras describe plant traits with a focus on morphology and other traits relevant for species identification in addition to other characteristics of plant species, such as ecological affinities, distribution, economic value, health applications, traditional uses, and so on. However, a key limitation in systematically analyzing information in Floras is the lack of a standardized vocabulary for the described traits as well as the difficulties in extracting structured information from free text. Results We have developed the Flora Phenotype Ontology (FLOPO), an ontology for describing traits of plant species found in Floras. We used the Plant Ontology (PO) and the Phenotype And Trait Ontology (PATO) to extract entity-quality relationships from digitized taxon descriptions in Floras, and used a formal ontological approach based on phenotype description patterns and automated reasoning to generate the FLOPO. The resulting ontology consists of 25,407 classes and is based on the PO and PATO. The classified ontology closely follows the structure of Plant Ontology in that the primary axis of classification is the observed plant anatomical structure, and more specific traits are then classified based on parthood and subclass relations between anatomical structures as well as subclass relations between phenotypic qualities. Conclusions The FLOPO is primarily intended as a framework based on which plant traits can be integrated computationally across all species and higher taxa of flowering plants. Importantly, it is not intended to replace established

  9. The flora phenotype ontology (FLOPO): tool for integrating morphological traits and phenotypes of vascular plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehndorf, Robert; Alshahrani, Mona; Gkoutos, Georgios V; Gosline, George; Groom, Quentin; Hamann, Thomas; Kattge, Jens; de Oliveira, Sylvia Mota; Schmidt, Marco; Sierra, Soraya; Smets, Erik; Vos, Rutger A; Weiland, Claus

    2016-11-14

    The systematic analysis of a large number of comparable plant trait data can support investigations into phylogenetics and ecological adaptation, with broad applications in evolutionary biology, agriculture, conservation, and the functioning of ecosystems. Floras, i.e., books collecting the information on all known plant species found within a region, are a potentially rich source of such plant trait data. Floras describe plant traits with a focus on morphology and other traits relevant for species identification in addition to other characteristics of plant species, such as ecological affinities, distribution, economic value, health applications, traditional uses, and so on. However, a key limitation in systematically analyzing information in Floras is the lack of a standardized vocabulary for the described traits as well as the difficulties in extracting structured information from free text. We have developed the Flora Phenotype Ontology (FLOPO), an ontology for describing traits of plant species found in Floras. We used the Plant Ontology (PO) and the Phenotype And Trait Ontology (PATO) to extract entity-quality relationships from digitized taxon descriptions in Floras, and used a formal ontological approach based on phenotype description patterns and automated reasoning to generate the FLOPO. The resulting ontology consists of 25,407 classes and is based on the PO and PATO. The classified ontology closely follows the structure of Plant Ontology in that the primary axis of classification is the observed plant anatomical structure, and more specific traits are then classified based on parthood and subclass relations between anatomical structures as well as subclass relations between phenotypic qualities. The FLOPO is primarily intended as a framework based on which plant traits can be integrated computationally across all species and higher taxa of flowering plants. Importantly, it is not intended to replace established vocabularies or ontologies, but rather

  10. Stochastic dynamics of adaptive trait and neutral marker driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billiard, Sylvain; Ferrière, Régis; Méléard, Sylvie; Tran, Viet Chi

    2015-11-01

    How the neutral diversity is affected by selection and adaptation is investigated in an eco-evolutionary framework. In our model, we study a finite population in continuous time, where each individual is characterized by a trait under selection and a completely linked neutral marker. Population dynamics are driven by births and deaths, mutations at birth, and competition between individuals. Trait values influence ecological processes (demographic events, competition), and competition generates selection on trait variation, thus closing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. The demographic effects of the trait are also expected to influence the generation and maintenance of neutral variation. We consider a large population limit with rare mutation, under the assumption that the neutral marker mutates faster than the trait under selection. We prove the convergence of the stochastic individual-based process to a new measure-valued diffusive process with jumps that we call Substitution Fleming-Viot Process (SFVP). When restricted to the trait space this process is the Trait Substitution Sequence first introduced by Metz et al. (1996). During the invasion of a favorable mutation, a genetical bottleneck occurs and the marker associated with this favorable mutant is hitchhiked. By rigorously analysing the hitchhiking effect and how the neutral diversity is restored afterwards, we obtain the condition for a time-scale separation; under this condition, we show that the marker distribution is approximated by a Fleming-Viot distribution between two trait substitutions. We discuss the implications of the SFVP for our understanding of the dynamics of neutral variation under eco-evolutionary feedbacks and illustrate the main phenomena with simulations. Our results highlight the joint importance of mutations, ecological parameters, and trait values in the restoration of neutral diversity after a selective sweep.

  11. Do seedling functional groups reflect ecological strategies of woody plant species in Caatinga?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Gomes Calaça Menezes

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT It is assumed that morphological traits of seedlings reflect different strategies in response to environmental conditions. The ecological significance of this has been widely documented in rainforests, where habitat structure and species interactions play an important role in community assembly. However, in seasonally dry ecosystems, where environmental filtering is expected to strongly influence community structure, this relationship is poorly understood. We investigated this relationship between functional groups of seedlings and life history traits and tested whether functional group predicts the ecological strategies employed by woody species to deal with the stressful conditions in seasonally dry ecosystems. Seedling functional groups, life history traits and traits that reflect ecological strategies for occupying seasonally dry environments were described for twenty-six plant species. Seedlings of species from the Caatinga vegetation exhibited a functional profile different from that observed in rainforests ecosystems. Phanerocotylar-epigeal seedlings were the most frequently observed groups, and had the largest range of ecological strategies related to dealing with seasonally dry environments, while phanerocotylar-hypogeal-reserve seedlings exhibited an increase in frequency with seasonality. We discuss these results in relation to those observed in other tropical forests and their ecological significance in seasonally dry environments.

  12. 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.

  13. Quantification of ecological debt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez Alier, Joan

    2005-01-01

    The discussion about ecological debt is important keeping in mind historical foreign trade, where natural resources exploitation and primary production exported didn't assessment the ecological damage or the environmental values of the interchange. This essay shows the debate of ecological debt on greenhouse emission, enterprise environmental debit, unequal international trade, toxic waste export, and b io piracy ; in order to present the necessity of a new ecological and equitable world economy

  14. Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can serve to disentangle multiple interacting stressors in lowland streams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette, E-mail: abp@bios.au.dk [Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, P.O. Box 314, DK-8600 Silkeborg (Denmark); Göthe, Emma [Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, P.O. Box 314, DK-8600 Silkeborg (Denmark); Riis, Tenna [Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ole Worms Allé 1, Building 1135, Room 217, DK-8000 Aarhus C (Denmark); O' Hare, Matthew T. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik EH26 0QB (United Kingdom)

    2016-02-01

    stress. The ability to disentangle several stressors is particularly important in lowland stream environments where several stressors act in concert since the impact of the most important stressor can be targeted first, which is essential to improve the ecological status. - Highlights: • Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can distinguish hydromorphological degradation from eutrophication in streams • A conceptual framework on how eutrophication and hydromorphological degradation interact on functional trait composition • Weed cutting can set aside light as a factor controlling trait-abundance pattern in eutrophic lowland streams.

  15. Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can serve to disentangle multiple interacting stressors in lowland streams

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Göthe, Emma; Riis, Tenna; O'Hare, Matthew T.

    2016-01-01

    stress. The ability to disentangle several stressors is particularly important in lowland stream environments where several stressors act in concert since the impact of the most important stressor can be targeted first, which is essential to improve the ecological status. - Highlights: • Functional trait composition of aquatic plants can distinguish hydromorphological degradation from eutrophication in streams • A conceptual framework on how eutrophication and hydromorphological degradation interact on functional trait composition • Weed cutting can set aside light as a factor controlling trait-abundance pattern in eutrophic lowland streams.

  16. Power and Autistic Traits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geir Overskeid

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Autistic traits can help people gain and sustain power, and has probably done so throughout history, says the present paper. A number of testable claims follow from this assumption. First, the powerful should have more autistic traits than others – which they do appear to have. Among other things, powerful people, and those with many autistic traits, tend to prefer solitary activities and are often aloof. Moreover, they are often rigid and socially insensitive, low on empathy and with low scores on the trait of agreeableness -- and as a rule they do not have many friends. Both groups are also more self-centered than others, more honest, less submissive, more sensitive to slights, and with a stronger tendency to engage in abstract thinking. They tend to behave in bossy or dominant ways, and their moral judgment is more based on rules than on feelings. In addition to experimental evidence, I cite biographies showing that a surprising number of presidents, prime ministers and other powerful people seem to have had traits like those in question – and interestingly, in animals, leaders are often rigid and insensitive to group members’ needs and feelings, mostly acting the way they are themselves inclined to, not responding much to others. Problem solving is important in leadership, and people with many autistic traits appear often to be better thinkers than typical subjects with similar IQs. However, these and other congruities could be coincidences. Hence the question of whether traits the two groups have in common also have a common cause constitutes a strong test of the paper’s thesis – and a common cause does appear to exist, in the form of testosterone’s effects on the central nervous system. Finally, there is evidence that, other things equal, powerful men have more reproductive success than others. If men wielding power do indeed have more autistic traits than those less powerful, this will lead to, other things equal, such traits

  17. Power and Autistic Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overskeid, Geir

    2016-01-01

    Autistic traits can help people gain and sustain power, and has probably done so throughout history, says the present paper. A number of testable claims follow from this assumption. First, the powerful should have more autistic traits than others – which they do appear to have. Among other things, powerful people, and those with many autistic traits, tend to prefer solitary activities and are often aloof. Moreover, they are often rigid and socially insensitive, low on empathy and with low scores on the trait of agreeableness – and as a rule they do not have many friends. Both groups are also more self-centered than others, more honest, less submissive, more sensitive to slights, and with a stronger tendency to engage in abstract thinking. They tend to behave in bossy or dominant ways, and their moral judgment is more based on rules than on feelings. In addition to experimental evidence, I cite biographies showing that a surprising number of presidents, prime ministers and other powerful people seem to have had traits like those in question – and interestingly, in animals, leaders are often rigid and insensitive to group members’ needs and feelings, mostly acting the way they are themselves inclined to, not responding much to others. Problem solving is important in leadership, and people with many autistic traits appear often to be better thinkers than typical subjects with similar IQs. However, these and other congruities could be coincidences. Hence the question of whether traits the two groups have in common also have a common cause constitutes a strong test of the paper’s thesis – and a common cause does appear to exist, in the form of testosterone’s effects on the central nervous system. Finally, there is evidence that, other things equal, powerful men have more reproductive success than others. If men wielding power do indeed have more autistic traits than those less powerful, this will lead to, other things equal, such traits becoming more

  18. Land-use type and intensity differentially filter traits in above- and below-ground arthropod communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birkhofer, Klaus; Gossner, Martin M; Diekötter, Tim; Drees, Claudia; Ferlian, Olga; Maraun, Mark; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wolters, Volkmar; Wurst, Susanne; Zaitsev, Andrey S; Smith, Henrik G

    2017-05-01

    Along with the global decline of species richness goes a loss of ecological traits. Associated biotic homogenization of animal communities and narrowing of trait diversity threaten ecosystem functioning and human well-being. High management intensity is regarded as an important ecological filter, eliminating species that lack suitable adaptations. Below-ground arthropods are assumed to be less sensitive to such effects than above-ground arthropods. Here, we compared the impact of management intensity between (grassland vs. forest) and within land-use types (local management intensity) on the trait diversity and composition in below- and above-ground arthropod communities. We used data on 722 arthropod species living above-ground (Auchenorrhyncha and Heteroptera), primarily in soil (Chilopoda and Oribatida) or at the interface (Araneae and Carabidae). Our results show that trait diversity of arthropod communities is not primarily reduced by intense local land use, but is rather affected by differences between land-use types. Communities of Auchenorrhyncha and Chilopoda had significantly lower trait diversity in grassland habitats as compared to forests. Carabidae showed the opposite pattern with higher trait diversity in grasslands. Grasslands had a lower proportion of large Auchenorrhyncha and Carabidae individuals, whereas Chilopoda and Heteroptera individuals were larger in grasslands. Body size decreased with land-use intensity across taxa, but only in grasslands. The proportion of individuals with low mobility declined with land-use intensity in Araneae and Auchenorrhyncha, but increased in Chilopoda and grassland Heteroptera. The proportion of carnivorous individuals increased with land-use intensity in Heteroptera in forests and in Oribatida and Carabidae in grasslands. Our results suggest that gradients in management intensity across land-use types will not generally reduce trait diversity in multiple taxa, but will exert strong trait filtering within

  19. Ecological risk assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Suter, Glenn W; Barnthouse, L. W. (Lawrence W)

    2007-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment is commonly applied to the regulation of chemicals, the remediation of contaminated sites, the monitoring of importation of exotic organisms, the management of watersheds...

  20. Trait-mediated trophic cascade creates enemy-free space for nesting hummingbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greeney, Harold F; Meneses, M Rocio; Hamilton, Chris E; Lichter-Marck, Eli; Mannan, R William; Snyder, Noel; Snyder, Helen; Wethington, Susan M; Dyer, Lee A

    2015-09-01

    The indirect effects of predators on nonadjacent trophic levels, mediated through traits of intervening species, are collectively known as trait-mediated trophic cascades. Although birds are important predators in terrestrial ecosystems, clear examples of trait-mediated indirect effects involving bird predators have almost never been documented. Such indirect effects are important for structuring ecological communities and are likely to be negatively impacted by habitat fragmentation, climate change, and other factors that reduce abundance of top predators. We demonstrate that hummingbirds in Arizona realize increased breeding success when nesting in association with hawks. An enemy-free nesting space is created when jays, an important source of mortality for hummingbird nests, alter their foraging behavior in the presence of their hawk predators.

  1. Behavioral Variation in Gorillas: Evidence of Potential Cultural Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Martha M; Ando, Chieko; Fawcett, Katherine A; Grueter, Cyril C; Hedwig, Daniela; Iwata, Yuji; Lodwick, Jessica L; Masi, Shelly; Salmi, Roberta; Stoinski, Tara S; Todd, Angelique; Vercellio, Veronica; Yamagiwa, Juichi

    2016-01-01

    The question of whether any species except humans exhibits culture has generated much debate, partially due to the difficulty of providing conclusive evidence from observational studies in the wild. A starting point for demonstrating the existence of culture that has been used for many species including chimpanzees and orangutans is to show that there is geographic variation in the occurrence of particular behavioral traits inferred to be a result of social learning and not ecological or genetic influences. Gorillas live in a wide variety of habitats across Africa and they exhibit flexibility in diet, behavior, and social structure. Here we apply the 'method of exclusion' to look for the presence/absence of behaviors that could be considered potential cultural traits in well-habituated groups from five study sites of the two species of gorillas. Of the 41 behaviors considered, 23 met the criteria of potential cultural traits, of which one was foraging related, nine were environment related, seven involved social interactions, five were gestures, and one was communication related. There was a strong positive correlation between behavioral dissimilarity and geographic distance among gorilla study sites. Roughly half of all variation in potential cultural traits was intraspecific differences (i.e. variability among sites within a species) and the other 50% of potential cultural traits were differences between western and eastern gorillas. Further research is needed to investigate if the occurrence of these traits is influenced by social learning. These findings emphasize the importance of investigating cultural traits in African apes and other species to shed light on the origin of human culture.

  2. Behavioral Variation in Gorillas: Evidence of Potential Cultural Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Martha M.; Ando, Chieko; Fawcett, Katherine A.; Grueter, Cyril C.; Hedwig, Daniela; Iwata, Yuji; Lodwick, Jessica L.; Masi, Shelly; Salmi, Roberta; Stoinski, Tara S.; Todd, Angelique; Vercellio, Veronica; Yamagiwa, Juichi

    2016-01-01

    The question of whether any species except humans exhibits culture has generated much debate, partially due to the difficulty of providing conclusive evidence from observational studies in the wild. A starting point for demonstrating the existence of culture that has been used for many species including chimpanzees and orangutans is to show that there is geographic variation in the occurrence of particular behavioral traits inferred to be a result of social learning and not ecological or genetic influences. Gorillas live in a wide variety of habitats across Africa and they exhibit flexibility in diet, behavior, and social structure. Here we apply the ‘method of exclusion’ to look for the presence/absence of behaviors that could be considered potential cultural traits in well-habituated groups from five study sites of the two species of gorillas. Of the 41 behaviors considered, 23 met the criteria of potential cultural traits, of which one was foraging related, nine were environment related, seven involved social interactions, five were gestures, and one was communication related. There was a strong positive correlation between behavioral dissimilarity and geographic distance among gorilla study sites. Roughly half of all variation in potential cultural traits was intraspecific differences (i.e. variability among sites within a species) and the other 50% of potential cultural traits were differences between western and eastern gorillas. Further research is needed to investigate if the occurrence of these traits is influenced by social learning. These findings emphasize the importance of investigating cultural traits in African apes and other species to shed light on the origin of human culture. PMID:27603668

  3. Applicability of ISSR and DAMD markers for phyto-molecular characterization and association with some important biochemical traits of Dendrobium nobile, an endangered medicinal orchid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Paromik; Kumaria, Suman; Tandon, Pramod

    2015-09-01

    Dendrobium nobile is an important medicinal orchid having profound importance in traditional herbal drug preparations and pharmacopeias worldwide. Due to various anthropogenic pressures the natural populations of this important orchid species are presently facing threats of extinction. In the present study, genetic and chemical diversity existing amongst 6 natural populations of D. nobile were assessed using molecular markers, and the influence of genetic factors on its phytochemical activity especially antioxidant potential was determined. Molecular fingerprinting of the orchid taxa was performed using ISSR and DAMD markers along with the estimation of total phenolics, flavonoids and alkaloid contents. Antioxidant activity was also measured using DPPH and FRAP assays which cumulatively revealed a significant level of variability across the sampled populations. The representatives from Sikkim in Northeast India revealed higher phytochemical activity whereas those from Mizoram showed lesser activity. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that variation amongst the populations was significantly higher than within the populations. The data generated by UPGMA and Bayesian analytical models were compared in order to estimate the genetic relationships amongst the D. nobile germplasm sampled from different geographical areas of Northeast India. Interestingly, identical grouping patterns were exhibited by both the approaches. The results of the present study detected a high degree of existing genetic and phytochemical variation amongst the populations in relation to bioclimatic and geographic locations of populations. Our results strongly establish that the cumulative marker approach could be the best suited for assessing the genetic relationships with high accuracy amongst distinct D. nobile accessions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Palm Functional Traits: which traits matter and how do we measure them?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Balslev, Henrik; Barfod, Anders S.

    role of palms in tropical forest ecosystems. We review data availability for palms for four traits that are commonly used in functional plant ecology: specific leaf area (SLA), wood density, seed size, and maximum height. We suggest that palm functional ecology is impeded by some of the standard...

  5. Responsiveness of performance and morphological traits to experimental submergence predicts field distribution pattern of wetland plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luo, Fang-Li; Huang, Lin; Lei, Ting; Xue, Wei; Li, Hong-Li; Yu, Fei-Hai; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2016-01-01

    Question: Plant trait mean values and trait responsiveness to different environmental regimes are both important determinants of plant field distribution, but the degree to which plant trait means vs trait responsiveness predict plant distribution has rarely been compared quantitatively. Because

  6. Ecological and methodological drivers of species’ distribution and phenology responses to climate change

    KAUST Repository

    Brown, Christopher J.

    2015-12-10

    Climate change is shifting species’ distribution and phenology. Ecological traits, such as mobility or reproductive mode, explain variation in observed rates of shift for some taxa. However, estimates of relationships between traits and climate responses could be influenced by how responses are measured. We compiled a global dataset of 651 published marine species’ responses to climate change, from 47 papers on distribution shifts and 32 papers on phenology change. We assessed the relative importance of two classes of predictors of the rate of change, ecological traits of the responding taxa and methodological approaches for quantifying biological responses. Methodological differences explained 22% of the variation in range shifts, more than the 7.8% of the variation explained by ecological traits. For phenology change, methodological approaches accounted for 4% of the variation in measurements, whereas 8% of the variation was explained by ecological traits. Our ability to predict responses from traits was hindered by poor representation of species from the tropics, where temperature isotherms are moving most rapidly. Thus, the mean rate of distribution change may be underestimated by this and other global syntheses. Our analyses indicate that methodological approaches should be explicitly considered when designing, analysing and comparing results among studies. To improve climate impact studies, we recommend that: (1) re-analyses of existing time-series state how the existing datasets may limit the inferences about possible climate responses; (2) qualitative comparisons of species’ responses across different studies be limited to studies with similar methodological approaches; (3) meta-analyses of climate responses include methodological attributes as covariates and; (4) that new time series be designed to include detection of early warnings of change or ecologically relevant change. Greater consideration of methodological attributes will improve the

  7. Intraspecific trait variation and covariation in a widespread tree species (Nothofagus pumilio) in southern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fajardo, Alex; Piper, Frida I

    2011-01-01

    • The focus of the trait-based approach to study community ecology has mostly been on trait comparisons at the interspecific level. Here we quantified intraspecific variation and covariation of leaf mass per area (LMA) and wood density (WD) in monospecific forests of the widespread tree species Nothofagus pumilio to determine its magnitude and whether it is related to environmental conditions and ontogeny. We also discuss probable mechanisms controlling the trait variation found. • We collected leaf and stem woody tissues from 30-50 trees of different ages (ontogeny) from each of four populations at differing elevations (i.e. temperatures) and placed at each of three locations differing in soil moisture. • The total variation in LMA (coefficient of variation (CV) = 21.14%) was twice that of WD (CV = 10.52%). The total variation in traits was never less than 23% when compared with interspecific studies. Differences in elevation (temperature) for the most part explained variation in LMA, while differences in soil moisture and ontogeny explained the variation in WD. Traits covaried similarly in the altitudinal gradient only. • Functional traits of N. pumilio exhibited nonnegligible variation; LMA varied for the most part with temperature, while WD mostly varied with moisture and ontogeny. We demonstrate that environmental variation can cause important trait variation without species turnover. © The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010).

  8. Plant functional traits and diversity in sand dune ecosystems across different biogeographic regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi, P.; Bergmeier, E.

    2016-07-01

    Plant species of a functional group respond similarly to environmental pressures and may be expected to act similarly on ecosystem processes and habitat properties. However, feasibility and applicability of functional groups in ecosystems across very different climatic regions have not yet been studied. In our approach we specified the functional groups in sand dune ecosystems of the Mediterranean, Hyrcanian and Irano-Turanian phytogeographic regions. We examined whether functional groups are more influenced by region or rather by habitat characteristics, and identified trait syndromes associated with common habitat types in sand dunes (mobile dunes, stabilized dunes, salt marshes, semi-wet sands, disturbed habitats). A database of 14 traits, 309 species and 314 relevés was examined and trait-species, trait-plot and species-plot matrices were built. Cluster analysis revealed similar plant functional groups in sand dune ecosystems across regions of very different species composition and climate. Specifically, our study showed that plant traits in sand dune ecosystems are grouped reflecting habitat affiliation rather than region and species pool. Environmental factors and constraints such as sand mobility, soil salinity, water availability, nutrient status and disturbance are more important for the occurrence and distribution of plant functional groups than regional belonging. Each habitat is shown to be equipped with specific functional groups and can be described by specific sets of traits. In restoration ecology the completeness of functional groups and traits in a site may serve as a guideline for maintaining or restoring the habitat.

  9. Different Phylogenetic and Environmental Controls of First-order Root Morphological and Chemical Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, R.; Wang, Q.; Zhao, N.; Yu, G.; He, N.

    2017-12-01

    Fine roots are the most distal roots that act as the primary belowground organs in acquiring limiting nutrients and water from the soil. However, limited by the inconsistency in definitions of fine roots and the different protocols among studies, knowledge of root system traits has, to date, still lagged far behind our understanding of above-ground traits. In particular, whether variation in fine root traits among the plant species along a single root economics spectrum and this underlying mechanism are still hotly debated. In this study, we sampled the first-order root using the standardized protocols, and measured six important root traits related to resource use strategies, from 181 plant species from subtropical to boreal forests. Base on this large dataset, we concluded that different phylogenetic and environmental factors affected on root thickness and nutrient, resulting in the decoupled pattern between them. Specifically, variation in species-level traits related to root thickness (including root diameter, RD and specific root length, SRL) was restricted by common ancestry and little plastic to the changing environments, whereas the large-scale variation in woody root nutrient was mainly controlled by environmental differences, especially soil variables. For community-level traits, mean annual temperature (MAT) mainly influenced the community-level root thickness through the direct effect of changes in plant species composition, while soil P had a positive influence effect on community-level root nitrogen concentration (CWM_RN), reflecting the strong influence of soil fertility on belowground root nutrient. The different environmental constraints and selective pressures acting between root thickness and nutrient traits allows for multiple ecological strategies to adapt to complex environmental conditions. In addition, strong relationships between community-level root traits and environmental variables, due to environmental filters, indicate that in contrast

  10. Agronomic Trait Variations and Ploidy Differentiation of Kiwiberries in Northwest China: Implication for Breeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Zhang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Polyploid plants often have higher biomass and superior crop qualities. Breeders therefore search for crop germplasm with higher ploidy levels; however, whether higher ploidy levels are associated with better performance remains unclear. Actinidia arguta and related species, whose commercialized fruit are referred to as kiwiberries, harbor a series of ploidy races in nature, offering an opportunity to determine the link between ploidy levels and agronomic traits. In the present study, we determined the ploidy levels of A. arguta var. arguta, A. arguta var. giraldii, and A. melanandra in 16 natural populations using flow cytometry, and examined 31 trait variations in fruits, leaves and flowers by field observations, microscopic examination and laboratory analyses. Our results showed that octaploid and decaploid A. arguta var. giraldii had larger dimension of leaves than tetraploid A. arguta var. arguta and A. melanandra, but their fruits were significantly smaller. In addition, A. arguta var. giraldii (8x and 10x had higher contents of nutrients such as ascorbic acid and amino acids; however, some important agronomic traits, including the content of total sugar and total acid, were significantly lower in the octaploids and decaploids. Moreover, octaploids and decaploids did not result in greater ecological adaptability for the challenging environments and climates. In conclusion, the differentiation of ecological adaptability and traits among natural kiwiberries' cytotypes suggested that higher ploidy levels are not inevitably advantageous in plants. The findings of A. arguta and related taxa in geographical distribution and agronomic trait variations will facilitate their germplasm domestication.

  11. Coordination of physiological and structural traits in Amazon forest trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patiño, S.; Fyllas, N. M.; Baker, T. R.; Paiva, R.; Quesada, C. A.; Santos, A. J. B.; Schwarz, M.; Ter Steege, H.; Phillips, O. L.; Lloyd, J.

    2012-02-01

    Many plant traits covary in a non-random manner reflecting interdependencies associated with "ecological strategy" dimensions. To understand how plants integrate their structural and physiological investments, data on leaf and leaflet size and the ratio of leaf area to sapwood area (ΦLS) obtained for 1020 individual trees (encompassing 661 species) located in 52 tropical forest plots across the Amazon Basin were incorporated into an analysis utilising existing data on species maximum height (Hmax), seed size, leaf mass per unit area (MA), foliar nutrients and δ13C, and branch xylem density (ρx). Utilising a common principal components approach allowing eigenvalues to vary between two soil fertility dependent species groups, five taxonomically controlled trait dimensions were identified. The first involves primarily cations, foliar carbon and MA and is associated with differences in foliar construction costs. The second relates to some components of the classic "leaf economic spectrum", but with increased individual leaf areas and a higher ΦLS newly identified components for tropical tree species. The third relates primarily to increasing Hmax and hence variations in light acquisition strategy involving greater MA, reductions in ΦLS and less negative δ13C. Although these first three dimensions were more important for species from high fertility sites the final two dimensions were more important for low fertility species and were associated with variations linked to reproductive and shade tolerance strategies. Environmental conditions influenced structural traits with ρx of individual species decreasing with increased soil fertility and higher temperatures. This soil fertility response appears to be synchronised with increases in foliar nutrient concentrations and reductions in foliar [C]. Leaf and leaflet area and ΦLS were less responsive to the environment than ρx. Thus, although genetically determined foliar traits such as those associated with leaf

  12. Comparative analysis of milk yield and reproductive traits of Holstein-Friesian cows born in Turkey or imported from Italy and kept on farms under the Turkish-ANAFI project

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yavuz Akbas

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This research investigated the milk yield, reproductive traits and productive life of Holstein-Friesian cows born in Turkeyor imported from Italy and raised on farms involved in the Turkish-ANAFI Project. A total of 2600 records for age at firstcalving, 4733 completed lactation records from 2080 cows, and 1130 productive life (from first calving to disposalrecords from 50 farms in the provinces of I•zmir, Manisa and Aydın under the Turkish-ANAFI Project were evaluated. Leastsquares means for age at first calving, 305-day milk yield, lactation milk yield, lactation duration, days open, days dry,and productive life were 28.2 months, 6232 kg, 6829 kg, 336.0 days, 138.0 days, 78.3 days, and 28.9 months, respectively.Corresponding least squares means for cows born in Turkey and imported from Italy were 28.8 and 27.6 months(P0.05, 6761 and 6897 kg (Pdays (P0.10, and 21.6 and 36.1 months (Pof Holstein-Friesian cows in herd-book herds under the project in the Aegean Region was satisfactory. However, therewere reproductive problems as shown by the length of days open. Shorter productive life of cows born in Turkey comparedto cows from Italy suggested that breeders tended to cull locally born cows at a younger age but that they tendedto keep imported cows in the herd for a longer period unless serious problems occurred.

  13. The Sphagnome Project: enabling ecological and evolutionary insights through a genus-level sequencing project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weston, David J; Turetsky, Merritt R; Johnson, Matthew G; Granath, Gustaf; Lindo, Zoë; Belyea, Lisa R; Rice, Steven K; Hanson, David T; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Schmutz, Jeremy; Dorrepaal, Ellen; Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Stenøien, Hans K; Szövényi, Péter; Jackson, Michelle; Piatkowski, Bryan T; Muchero, Wellington; Norby, Richard J; Kostka, Joel E; Glass, Jennifer B; Rydin, Håkan; Limpens, Juul; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Ullrich, Kristian K; Carrell, Alyssa; Benscoter, Brian W; Chen, Jin-Gui; Oke, Tobi A; Nilsson, Mats B; Ranjan, Priya; Jacobson, Daniel; Lilleskov, Erik A; Clymo, R S; Shaw, A Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in ecological and evolutionary genetics with studies demonstrating how genes underlying plant and microbial traits can influence adaptation and even 'extend' to influence community structure and ecosystem level processes. Progress in this area is limited to model systems with deep genetic and genomic resources that often have negligible ecological impact or interest. Thus, important linkages between genetic adaptations and their consequences at organismal and ecological scales are often lacking. Here we introduce the Sphagnome Project, which incorporates genomics into a long-running history of Sphagnum research that has documented unparalleled contributions to peatland ecology, carbon sequestration, biogeochemistry, microbiome research, niche construction, and ecosystem engineering. The Sphagnome Project encompasses a genus-level sequencing effort that represents a new type of model system driven not only by genetic tractability, but by ecologically relevant questions and hypotheses. © 2017 UT-Battelle New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. The flora phenotype ontology (FLOPO): tool for integrating morphological traits and phenotypes of vascular plants

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert; AlShahrani, Mona; Gkoutos, Georgios V.; Gosline, George; Groom, Quentin; Hamann, Thomas; Kattge, Jens; de Oliveira, Sylvia Mota; Schmidt, Marco; Sierra, Soraya; Smets, Erik; Vos, Rutger A.; Weiland, Claus

    2016-01-01

    The systematic analysis of a large number of comparable plant trait data can support investigations into phylogenetics and ecological adaptation, with broad applications in evolutionary biology, agriculture, conservation

  15. A trait-based approach to advance coral reef science

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madin, Joshua S.; Hoogenboom, Mia O.; Connolly, Sean R.

    2016-01-01

    Coral reefs are biologically diverse and ecologically complex ecosystems constructed by stony corals. Despite decades of research, basic coral population biology and community ecology questions remain. Quantifying trait variation among species can help resolve these questions, but progress has been...... a large amount of variation for a range of biological and ecological processes. Such an approach can accelerate our understanding of coral ecology and our ability to protect critically threatened global ecosystems....

  16. Establishing macroecological trait datasets: digitalisation, extrapolation and validation of diet preferences in terrestrial mammals worldwide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Dalby, L.; Fløjgaard, C.; Lenoir, J.; Sandel, B.; Sandom, C.; Trøjelsgaard, K.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological trait data are essential for understanding the broad-scale distribution of biodiversity and its response to global change. For animals, diet represents a fundamental aspect of species’ evolutionary adaptations, ecological and functional roles, and trophic interactions. However, the

  17. Supplementary Material for: The flora phenotype ontology (FLOPO): tool for integrating morphological traits and phenotypes of vascular plants

    KAUST Repository

    Hoehndorf, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The systematic analysis of a large number of comparable plant trait data can support investigations into phylogenetics and ecological adaptation, with broad applications in evolutionary biology, agriculture, conservation, and the functioning of ecosystems. Floras, i.e., books collecting the information on all known plant species found within a region, are a potentially rich source of such plant trait data. Floras describe plant traits with a focus on morphology and other traits relevant for species identification in addition to other characteristics of plant species, such as ecological affinities, distribution, economic value, health applications, traditional uses, and so on. However, a key limitation in systematically analyzing information in Floras is the lack of a standardized vocabulary for the described traits as well as the difficulties in extracting structured information from free text. Results We have developed the Flora Phenotype Ontology (FLOPO), an ontology for describing traits of plant species found in Floras. We used the Plant Ontology (PO) and the Phenotype And Trait Ontology (PATO) to extract entity-quality relationships from digitized taxon descriptions in Floras, and used a formal ontological approach based on phenotype description patterns and automated reasoning to generate the FLOPO. The resulting ontology consists of 25,407 classes and is based on the PO and PATO. The classified ontology closely follows the structure of Plant Ontology in that the primary axis of classification is the observed plant anatomical structure, and more specific traits are then classified based on parthood and subclass relations between anatomical structures as well as subclass relations between phenotypic qualities. Conclusions The FLOPO is primarily intended as a framework based on which plant traits can be integrated computationally across all species and higher taxa of flowering plants. Importantly, it is not intended to replace established

  18. The Importance of Considering the Temporal Distribution of Climate Variables for Ecological-Economic Modeling to Calculate the Consequences of Climate Change for Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plegnière, Sabrina; Casper, Markus; Hecker, Benjamin; Müller-Fürstenberger, Georg

    2014-05-01

    The basis of many models to calculate and assess climate change and its consequences are annual means of temperature and precipitation. This method leads to many uncertainties especially at the regional or local level: the results are not realistic or too coarse. Particularly in agriculture, single events and the distribution of precipitation and temperature during the growing season have enormous influences on plant growth. Therefore, the temporal distribution of climate variables should not be ignored. To reach this goal, a high-resolution ecological-economic model was developed which combines a complex plant growth model (STICS) and an economic model. In this context, input data of the plant growth model are daily climate values for a specific climate station calculated by the statistical climate model (WETTREG). The economic model is deduced from the results of the plant growth model STICS. The chosen plant is corn because corn is often cultivated and used in many different ways. First of all, a sensitivity analysis showed that the plant growth model STICS is suitable to calculate the influences of different cultivation methods and climate on plant growth or yield as well as on soil fertility, e.g. by nitrate leaching, in a realistic way. Additional simulations helped to assess a production function that is the key element of the economic model. Thereby the problems when using mean values of temperature and precipitation in order to compute a production function by linear regression are pointed out. Several examples show why a linear regression to assess a production function based on mean climate values or smoothed natural distribution leads to imperfect results and why it is not possible to deduce a unique climate factor in the production function. One solution for this problem is the additional consideration of stress indices that show the impairment of plants by water or nitrate shortage. Thus, the resulting model takes into account not only the ecological

  19. Trait-based approaches to zooplankton communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lichtman, E.; Ohman, M.D.; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    in ecosystem models. Characterizing zooplankton traits and trade-offs will also be helpful in understanding the selection pressures and diversity patterns that emerge in different ecosystems along major environmental gradients. Zooplankton traits can be characterized according to their function and type. Some......; develop novel predictive models that explicitly incorporate traits and associated trade-offs; and utilize these traits to explain and predict zooplankton community structure and dynamics under different environmental conditions, including global change scenarios......Zooplankton are major primary consumers and predators in most aquatic ecosystems. They exhibit tremendous diversity of traits, ecological strategies and, consequently, impacts on other trophic levels and the cycling of materials and energy. An adequate representation of this diversity in community...

  20. Inferring biodiversity maintenance mechanisms from ecological pattern

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostling, Annette

    Among a set of competitors for a single common resource, the best will simply exclude the others. Yet in nature we can see astounding diversity of competing species. Do close similarities in species' response to the local environment primarily explain their coexistence? Or is this diversity possible because of differences between species that stabilize their coexistence? And if so, what particular differences between species are important in particular communities? Some ecological communities lend themselves to experimental manipulation to begin to answer these questions. Yet for many other communities, such as tree species in forests, the logistical hurdles to this approach are daunting. Faster progress could be made in ecology if insight into biodiversity maintenance mechanisms could be gained from patterns exhibited in local ecological communities, such as how coexisting species are distributed in their ecological traits and relative abundance. Hurdles that we need to overcome to be able to gain such insight include: 1) further developing neutral theory, a quantitative process-based null model of community pattern resulting when species similarities are what allow their coexistence, and 2) better understanding what patterns to expect when species differences dominate instead, particularly in the context of stochasticity and immigration. I will describe our ongoing research to overcome these hurdles, to provide better tools for analyzing observed pattern. National Science Foundation Advancing Theory in Biology Grant 1038678, Danish National Research Foundation Grant DNRF 96 for the Center of Macroecology, Evolution and Climate.

  1. Ecological selectivity of the emerging mass extinction in the oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Jonathan L; Bush, Andrew M; Heim, Noel A; Knope, Matthew L; McCauley, Douglas J

    2016-09-16

    To better predict the ecological and evolutionary effects of the emerging biodiversity crisis in the modern oceans, we compared the association between extinction threat and ecological traits in modern marine animals to associations observed during past extinction events using a database of 2497 marine vertebrate and mollusc genera. We find that extinction threat in the modern oceans is strongly associated with large body size, whereas past extinction events were either nonselective or preferentially removed smaller-bodied taxa. Pelagic animals were victimized more than benthic animals during previous mass extinctions but are not preferentially threatened in the modern ocean. The differential importance of large-bodied animals to ecosystem function portends greater future ecological disruption than that caused by similar levels of taxonomic loss in past mass extinction events. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  2. A trait database for marine copepods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2017-02-01

    The trait-based approach is gaining increasing popularity in marine plankton ecology but the field urgently needs more and easier accessible trait data to advance. We compiled trait information on marine pelagic copepods, a major group of zooplankton, from the published literature and from experts and organized the data into a structured database. We collected 9306 records for 14 functional traits. Particular attention was given to body size, feeding mode, egg size, spawning strategy, respiration rate, and myelination (presence of nerve sheathing). Most records were reported at the species level, but some phylogenetically conserved traits, such as myelination, were reported at higher taxonomic levels, allowing the entire diversity of around 10 800 recognized marine copepod species to be covered with a few records. Aside from myelination, data coverage was highest for spawning strategy and body size, while information was more limited for quantitative traits related to reproduction and physiology. The database may be used to investigate relationships between traits, to produce trait biogeographies, or to inform and validate trait-based marine ecosystem models. The data can be downloaded from PANGAEA, PANGAEA.862968" target="_blank">doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.862968.

  3. A Trait-Based Approach to Advance Coral Reef Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madin, Joshua S; Hoogenboom, Mia O; Connolly, Sean R; Darling, Emily S; Falster, Daniel S; Huang, Danwei; Keith, Sally A; Mizerek, Toni; Pandolfi, John M; Putnam, Hollie M; Baird, Andrew H

    2016-06-01

    Coral reefs are biologically diverse and ecologically complex ecosystems constructed by stony corals. Despite decades of research, basic coral population biology and community ecology questions remain. Quantifying trait variation among species can help resolve these questions, but progress has been hampered by a paucity of trait data for the many, often rare, species and by a reliance on nonquantitative approaches. Therefore, we propose filling data gaps by prioritizing traits that are easy to measure, estimating key traits for species with missing data, and identifying 'supertraits' that capture a large amount of variation for a range of biological and ecological processes. Such an approach can accelerate our understanding of coral ecology and our ability to protect critically threatened global ecosystems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The expression of pre- and postcopulatory sexually selected traits reflects levels of dietary stress in guppies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Moshiur Rahman

    Full Text Available Environmental and ecological conditions can shape the evolution of life history traits in many animals. Among such factors, food or nutrition availability can play an important evolutionary role in moderating an animal's life history traits, particularly sexually selected traits. Here, we test whether diet quantity and/or composition in the form of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (here termed 'n3LC' influence the expression of pre- and postcopulatory traits in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata, a livebearing poeciliid fish. We assigned males haphazardly to one of two experimental diets supplemented with n3LC, and each of these diet treatments was further divided into two diet 'quantity' treatments. Our experimental design therefore explored the main and interacting effects of two factors (n3LC content and diet quantity on the expression of precopulatory (sexual behaviour and sexual ornamentation, including the size, number and spectral properties of colour spots and postcopulatory (the velocity, viability, number and length of sperm sexually selected traits. Our study revealed that diet quantity had significant effects on most of the pre- and postcopulatory traits, while n3LC manipulation had a significant effect on sperm traits and in particular on sperm viability. Our analyses also revealed interacting effects of diet quantity and n3LC levels on courtship displays, and the area of orange and iridescent colour spots in the males' colour patterns. We also confirmed that our dietary manipulations of n3LC resulted in the differential uptake of n3LC in body and testes tissues in the different n3LC groups. This study reveals the effects of diet quantity and n3LC on behavioural, ornamental and ejaculate traits in P. reticulata and underscores the likely role that diet plays in maintaining the high variability in these condition-dependent sexual traits.

  5. Importance of Macrophyte Quality in Determining Life-History Traits of the Apple Snails Pomacea canaliculata: Implications for Bottom-Up Management of an Invasive Herbivorous Pest in Constructed Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita S. W. Yam

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Pomacea canaliculata (Ampullariidae has extensively invaded most Asian constructed wetlands and its massive herbivory of macrophytes has become a major cause of ecosystem dysfunctioning of these restored habitats. We conducted non-choice laboratory feeding experiments of P. canaliculata using five common macrophyte species in constructed wetlands including Ipomoea aquatica, Commelina communis, Nymphoides coreana, Acorus calamus and Phragmites australis. Effects of macrophytes on snail feeding, growth and fecundity responses were evaluated. Results indicated that P. canaliculata reared on Ipomoea had the highest feeding and growth rates with highest reproductive output, but all individuals fed with Phragmites showed lowest feeding rates and little growth with poorest reproductive output. Plant N and P contents were important for enhancing palatability, supporting growth and offspring quantity of P. canaliculata, whilst toughness, cellulose and phenolics had critically deterrent effects on various life-history traits. Although snail offspring quality was generally consistent regardless of maternal feeding conditions, the reduced growth and offspring quantity of the poorly-fed snails in constructed wetlands dominated by the less-palatable macrophytes could limit the invasive success of P. canaliculata. Effective bottom-up control of P. canaliculata in constructed wetlands should involve selective planting strategy using macrophytes with low nutrient and high toughness, cellulose and phenolic contents.

  6. Importance of Macrophyte Quality in Determining Life-History Traits of the Apple Snails Pomacea canaliculata: Implications for Bottom-Up Management of an Invasive Herbivorous Pest in Constructed Wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yam, Rita S W; Fan, Yen-Tzu; Wang, Tzu-Ting

    2016-02-24

    Pomacea canaliculata (Ampullariidae) has extensively invaded most Asian constructed wetlands and its massive herbivory of macrophytes has become a major cause of ecosystem dysfunctioning of these restored habitats. We conducted non-choice laboratory feeding experiments of P. canaliculata using five common macrophyte species in constructed wetlands including Ipomoea aquatica, Commelina communis, Nymphoides coreana, Acorus calamus and Phragmites australis. Effects of macrophytes on snail feeding, growth and fecundity responses were evaluated. Results indicated that P. canaliculata reared on Ipomoea had the highest feeding and growth rates with highest reproductive output, but all individuals fed with Phragmites showed lowest feeding rates and little growth with poorest reproductive output. Plant N and P contents were important for enhancing palatability, supporting growth and offspring quantity of P. canaliculata, whilst toughness, cellulose and phenolics had critically deterrent effects on various life-history traits. Although snail offspring quality was generally consistent regardless of maternal feeding conditions, the reduced growth and offspring quantity of the poorly-fed snails in constructed wetlands dominated by the less-palatable macrophytes could limit the invasive success of P. canaliculata. Effective bottom-up control of P. canaliculata in constructed wetlands should involve selective planting strategy using macrophytes with low nutrient and high toughness, cellulose and phenolic contents.

  7. Importance of Macrophyte Quality in Determining Life-History Traits of the Apple Snails Pomacea canaliculata: Implications for Bottom-Up Management of an Invasive Herbivorous Pest in Constructed Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yam, Rita S. W.; Fan, Yen-Tzu; Wang, Tzu-Ting

    2016-01-01

    Pomacea canaliculata (Ampullariidae) has extensively invaded most Asian constructed wetlands and its massive herbivory of macrophytes has become a major cause of ecosystem dysfunctioning of these restored habitats. We conducted non-choice laboratory feeding experiments of P. canaliculata using five common macrophyte species in constructed wetlands including Ipomoea aquatica, Commelina communis, Nymphoides coreana, Acorus calamus and Phragmites australis. Effects of macrophytes on snail feeding, growth and fecundity responses were evaluated. Results indicated that P. canaliculata reared on Ipomoea had the highest feeding and growth rates with highest reproductive output, but all individuals fed with Phragmites showed lowest feeding rates and little growth with poorest reproductive output. Plant N and P contents were important for enhancing palatability, supporting growth and offspring quantity of P. canaliculata, whilst toughness, cellulose and phenolics had critically deterrent effects on various life-history traits. Although snail offspring quality was generally consistent regardless of maternal feeding conditions, the reduced growth and offspring quantity of the poorly-fed snails in constructed wetlands dominated by the less-palatable macrophytes could limit the invasive success of P. canaliculata. Effective bottom-up control of P. canaliculata in constructed wetlands should involve selective planting strategy using macrophytes with low nutrient and high toughness, cellulose and phenolic contents. PMID:26927135

  8. The negative ecological impacts of a globally introduced species decrease with time since introduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Závorka, Libor; Buoro, Mathieu; Cucherousset, Julien

    2018-05-25

    While there is a long-history of biological invasions and their ecological impacts have been widely demonstrated across taxa and ecosystems, our knowledge on the temporal dynamic of these impacts remains extremely limited. Using a meta-analytic approach, we investigated how the ecological impacts of non-native brown trout (Salmo trutta), a model species with a 170-year long and well-documented history of intentional introductions across the globe, vary with time since introduction. We first observed significant negative ecological impacts immediately after the species introduction. Second, we found that the negative ecological impacts decrease with time since introduction and that the average ecological impacts become non-significant more than one century after introduction. This pattern was consistent across other ecological contexts (i.e. geographical location, levels of biological organisation, and methodological approach). However, overall negative ecological impacts were more pronounced at the individual and population levels and in experimental studies. While the mechanisms leading to this decrease remain to be determined, our results indicate that rapid response of native organisms (e.g. adaptation, but also local extinction) may play an important role in this dynamic. Changes in native species traits and local extinction can have important conservation implications. Therefore, we argue that the decline of the negative ecological impacts over time should not be used as an argument to neglect the negative impacts of biological invasions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. Weather and landscape factors affect white-tailed deer neonate survival at ecologically important life stages in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Eric S.; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Kaskie, Kyle D.; Klaver, Robert W.; Jensen, William F.

    2018-01-01

    Offspring survival is generally more variable than adult survival and may limit population growth. Although white-tailed deer neonate survival has been intensively investigated, recent work has emphasized how specific cover types influence neonate survival at local scales (single study area). These localized investigations have often led to inconsistences within the literature. Developing specific hypotheses describing the relationships among environmental, habitat, and landscape factors influencing white-tailed deer neonate survival at regional scales may allow for detection of generalized patterns. Therefore, we developed 11 hypotheses representing the various effects of environmental (e.g., winter and spring weather), habitat (e.g., hiding and escape cover types), and landscape factors (e.g., landscape configuration regardless of specific cover type available) on white-tailed deer neonate survival up to one-month and from one- to three-months of age. At one-month, surviving fawns experienced a warmer lowest recorded June temperature and more June precipitation than those that perished. At three-months, patch connectance (percent of patches of the corresponding patch type that are connected within a predefined distance) positively influenced survival. Our results are consistent with white-tailed deer neonate ecology: increased spring temperature and precipitation are likely associated with a flush of nutritional resources available to the mother, promoting increased lactation efficiency and neonate growth early in life. In contrast, reduced spring temperature with increased precipitation place neonates at risk to hypothermia. Increased patch connectance likely reflects increased escape cover available within a neonate’s home range after they are able to flee from predators. If suitable escape cover is available on the landscape, then managers could focus efforts towards manipulating landscape configuration (patch connectance) to promote increased neonate

  11. Phylogenetic perspectives on reef fish functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floeter, Sergio R; Bender, Mariana G; Siqueira, Alexandre C; Cowman, Peter F

    2018-02-01

    Functional traits have been fundamental to the evolution and diversification of entire fish lineages on coral reefs. Yet their relationship with the processes promoting speciation, extinction and the filtering of local species pools remains unclear. We review the current literature exploring the evolution of diet, body size, water column use and geographic range size in reef-associated fishes. Using published and new data, we mapped functional traits on to published phylogenetic trees to uncover evolutionary patterns that have led to the current functional diversity of fishes on coral reefs. When examining reconstructed patterns for diet and feeding mode, we found examples of independent transitions to planktivory across different reef fish families. Such transitions and associated morphological alterations may represent cases in which ecological opportunity for the exploitation of different resources drives speciation and adaptation. In terms of body size, reconstructions showed that both large and small sizes appear multiple times within clades of mid-sized fishes and that extreme body sizes have arisen mostly in the last 10 million years (Myr). The reconstruction of range size revealed many cases of disparate range sizes among sister species. Such range size disparity highlights potential vicariant processes through isolation in peripheral locations. When accounting for peripheral speciation processes in sister pairs, we found a significant relationship between labrid range size and lineage age. The diversity and evolution of traits within lineages is influenced by trait-environment interactions as well as by species and trait-trait interactions, where the presence of a given trait may trigger the development of related traits or behaviours. Our effort to assess the evolution of functional diversity across reef fish clades adds to the burgeoning research focusing on the evolutionary and ecological roles of functional traits. We argue that the combination of a

  12. Predicting Changes in Macrophyte Community Structure from Functional Traits in a Freshwater Lake: A Test of Maximum Entropy Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Hui; Zhong, Jiayou; Yuan, Guixiang; Guo, Chunjing; Lou, Qian; Zhang, Wei; Xu, Jun; Ni, Leyi; Xie, Ping; Cao, Te

    2015-01-01

    Trait-based approaches have been widely applied to investigate how community dynamics respond to environmental gradients. In this study, we applied a series of maximum entropy (maxent) models incorporating functional traits to unravel the processes governing macrophyte community structure along water depth gradient in a freshwater lake. We sampled 42 plots and 1513 individual plants, and measured 16 functional traits and abundance of 17 macrophyte species. Study results showed that maxent model can be highly robust (99.8%) in predicting the species relative abundance of macrophytes with observed community-weighted mean (CWM) traits as the constraints, while relative low (about 30%) with CWM traits fitted from water depth gradient as the constraints. The measured traits showed notably distinct importance in predicting species abundances, with lowest for perennial growth form and highest for leaf dry mass content. For tuber and leaf nitrogen content, there were significant shifts in their effects on species relative abundance from positive in shallow water to negative in deep water. This result suggests that macrophyte species with tuber organ and greater leaf nitrogen content would become more abundant in shallow water, but would become less abundant in deep water. Our study highlights how functional traits distributed across gradients provide a robust path towards predictive community ecology. PMID:26167856

  13. Ecology of Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Bats: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayman, D T S; Bowen, R A; Cryan, P M; McCracken, G F; O’Shea, T J; Peel, A J; Gilbert, A; Webb, C T; Wood, J L N

    2013-01-01

    Bats are hosts to a range of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic pathogens. Human activities that increase exposure to bats will likely increase the opportunity for infections to spill over in the future. Ecological drivers of pathogen spillover and emergence in novel hosts, including humans, involve a complex mixture of processes, and understanding these complexities may aid in predicting spillover. In particular, only once the pathogen and host ecologies are known can the impacts of anthropogenic changes be fully appreciated. Cross-disciplinary approaches are required to understand how host and pathogen ecology interact. Bats differ from other sylvatic disease reservoirs because of their unique and diverse lifestyles, including their ability to fly, often highly gregarious social structures, long lifespans and low fecundity rates. We highlight how these traits may affect infection dynamics and how both host and pathogen traits may interact to affect infection dynamics. We identify key questions relating to the ecology of infectious diseases in bats and propose that a combination of field and laboratory studies are needed to create data-driven mechanistic models to elucidate those aspects of bat ecology that are most critical to the dynamics of emerging bat viruses. If commonalities can be found, then predicting the dynamics of newly emerging diseases may be possible. This modelling approach will be particularly important in scenarios when population surveillance data are unavailable and when it is unclear which aspects of host ecology are driving infection dynamics. PMID:22958281

  14. Ecology of zoonotic infectious diseases in bats: current knowledge and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayman, D.T.; Bowen, R.A.; Cryan, P.M.; McCracken, G.F.; O'Shea, T.J.; Peel, A.J.; Gilbert, A.; Webb, C.T.; Wood, J.L.

    2013-01-01

    Bats are hosts to a range of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic pathogens. Human activities that increase exposure to bats will likely increase the opportunity for infections to spill over in the future. Ecological drivers of pathogen spillover and emergence in novel hosts, including humans, involve a complex mixture of processes, and understanding these complexities may aid in predicting spillover. In particular, only once the pathogen and host ecologies are known can the impacts of anthropogenic changes be fully appreciated. Cross-disciplinary approaches are required to understand how host and pathogen ecology interact. Bats differ from other sylvatic disease reservoirs because of their unique and diverse lifestyles, including their ability to fly, often highly gregarious social structures, long lifespans and low fecundity rates. We highlight how these traits may affect infection dynamics and how both host and pathogen traits may interact to affect infection dynamics. We identify key questions relating to the ecology of infectious diseases in bats and propose that a combination of field and laboratory studies are needed to create data-driven mechanistic models to elucidate those aspects of bat ecology that are most critical to the dynamics of emerging bat viruses. If commonalities can be found, then predicting the dynamics of newly emerging diseases may be possible. This modelling approach will be particularly important in scenarios when population surveillance data are unavailable and when it is unclear which aspects of host ecology are driving infection dynamics.

  15. Climate change and functional traits affect population dynamics of a long-lived seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Desprez, Marine; Fay, Remi; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri; Delord, Karine; Caswell, Hal

    2018-07-01

    Recent studies unravelled the effect of climate changes on populations through their impact on functional traits and demographic rates in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, but such understanding in marine ecosystems remains incomplete. Here, we evaluate the impact of the combined effects of climate and functional traits on population dynamics of a long-lived migratory seabird breeding in the southern ocean: the black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris, BBA). We address the following prospective question: "Of all the changes in the climate and functional traits, which would produce the biggest impact on the BBA population growth rate?" We develop a structured matrix population model that includes the effect of climate and functional traits on the complete BBA life cycle. A detailed sensitivity analysis is conducted to understand the main pathway by which climate and functional trait changes affect the population growth rate. The population growth rate of BBA is driven by the combined effects of climate over various seasons and multiple functional traits with carry-over effects across seasons on demographic processes. Changes in sea surface temperature (SST) during late winter cause the biggest changes in the population growth rate, through their effect on juvenile survival. Adults appeared to respond to changes in winter climate conditions by adapting their migratory schedule rather than by modifying their at-sea foraging activity. However, the sensitivity of the population growth rate to SST affecting BBA migratory schedule is small. BBA foraging activity during the pre-breeding period has the biggest impact on population growth rate among functional traits. Finally, changes in SST during the breeding season have little effect on the population growth rate. These results highlight the importance of early life histories and carry-over effects of climate and functional traits on demographic rates across multiple seasons in population response to climate

  16. Quantitative traits and diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    FitzJohn, Richard G

    2010-12-01

    Quantitative traits have long been hypothesized to affect speciation and extinction rates. For example, smaller body size or increased specialization may be associated with increased rates of diversification. Here, I present a phylogenetic likelihood-based method (quantitative state speciation and extinction [QuaSSE]) that can be used to test such hypotheses using extant character distributions. This approach assumes that diversification follows a birth-death process where speciation and extinction rates may vary with one or more traits that evolve under a diffusion model. Speciation and extinction rates may be arbitrary functions of the character state, allowing much flexibility in testing models of trait-dependent diversification. I test the approach using simulated phylogenies and show that a known relationship between speciation and a quantitative character could be recovered in up to 80% of the cases on large trees (500 species). Consistent with other approaches, detecting shifts in diversification due to differences in extinction rates was harder than when due to differences in speciation rates. Finally, I demonstrate the application of QuaSSE to investigate the correlation between body size and diversification in primates, concluding that clade-specific differences in diversification may be more important than size-dependent diversification in shaping the patterns of diversity within this group.

  17. Media Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Ašković

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Does the trend in which electronic media are gradually becoming extension of human body have to move towards full enslavement of a human and his personality, or the same human will unpredictably, with the aid of his personal media literacy, exit the whirls of media and technological censorships? Personality crisis is closely related to the crisis of language no matter how contradicted to global ideology of transnational transhumanism it may seem. Considering the fact that recent media presentations of the world are based on commercialization of environmentalism, philosophical and aesthetic thought appears as an important subject of ecology. As media mediates, the scenery of civilized living increasingly becomes more appealing even though it derives from commercial and political background. Consequently, the future of humanity depends by large on the philosophy of media. Media have to truly ecologise returning the humanum to its essence making it into the extension of the natural world.

  18. TRY – a global database of plant traits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kattge, J.; Diaz, S.; Lavorel, S.

    2011-01-01

    species richness to ecosystem functional diversity. Trait data thus represent the raw material for a wide range of research from evolutionary biology, community and functional ecology to biogeography. Here we present the global database initiative named TRY, which has united a wide range of the plant...... trait research community worldwide and gained an unprecedented buy‐in of trait data: so far 93 trait databases have been contributed. The data repository currently contains almost three million trait entries for 69 000 out of the world's 300 000 plant species, with a focus on 52 groups of traits...... is between species (interspecific), but significant intraspecific variation is also documented, up to 40% of the overall variation. Plant functional types (PFTs), as commonly used in vegetation models, capture a substantial fraction of the observed variation – but for several traits most variation occurs...

  19. Do key dimensions of seed and seedling functional trait variation capture variation in recruitment probability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Plant functional traits provide a mechanistic basis for understanding ecological variation among plant species and the implications of this variation for species distribution, community assembly and restoration. 2. The bulk of our functional trait understanding, however, is centered on traits rel...

  20. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks......In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....

  1. Spatial ecology across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastings, Alan; Petrovskii, Sergei; Morozov, Andrew

    2011-04-23

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

  2. Importance of whole-plant biomass allocation and reproductive timing to habitat differentiation across the North American sunflowers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Chase M; Goolsby, Eric W; Davis, Kaleigh E; Bullock, Devon V; Donovan, Lisa A

    2017-05-01

    Trait-based plant ecology attempts to use small numbers of functional traits to predict plant ecological strategies. However, a major gap exists between our understanding of organ-level ecophysiological traits and our understanding of whole-plant fitness and environmental adaptation. In this gap lie whole-plant organizational traits, including those that describe how plant biomass is allocated among organs and the timing of plant reproduction. This study explores the role of whole-plant organizational traits in adaptation to diverse environments in the context of life history, growth form and leaf economic strategy in a well-studied herbaceous system. A phylogenetic comparative approach was used in conjunction with common garden phenotyping to assess the evolution of biomass allocation and reproductive timing across 83 populations of 27 species of the diverse genus Helianthus (the sunflowers). Broad diversity exists among species in both relative biomass allocation and reproductive timing. Early reproduction is strongly associated with resource-acquisitive leaf economic strategy, while biomass allocation is less integrated with either reproductive timing or leaf economics. Both biomass allocation and reproductive timing are strongly related to source site environmental characteristics, including length of the growing season, temperature, precipitation and soil fertility. Herbaceous taxa can adapt to diverse environments in many ways, including modulation of phenology, plant architecture and organ-level ecophysiology. Although leaf economic strategy captures one key aspect of plant physiology, on their own leaf traits are not particularly predictive of ecological strategies in Helianthus outside of the context of growth form, life history and whole-plant organization. These results highlight the importance of including data on whole-plant organization alongside organ-level ecophysiological traits when attempting to bridge the gap between functional traits and plant

  3. Geographic variation in advertisement calls of a Microhylid frog - testing the role of drift and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ko-Huan; Shaner, Pei-Jen L; Lin, Yen-Po; Lin, Si-Min

    2016-05-01

    Acoustic signals for mating are important traits that could drive population differentiation and speciation. Ecology may play a role in acoustic divergence through direct selection (e.g., local adaptation to abiotic environment), constraint of correlated traits (e.g., acoustic traits linked to another trait under selection), and/or interspecific competition (e.g., character displacement). However, genetic drift alone can also drive acoustic divergence. It is not always easy to differentiate the role of ecology versus drift in acoustic divergence. In this study, we tested the role of ecology and drift in shaping geographic variation in the advertisement calls of Microhyla fissipes. We examined three predictions based on ecological processes: (1) the correlation between temperature and call properties across M. fissipes populations; (2) the correlation between call properties and body size across M. fissipes populations; and (3) reproductive character displacement (RCD) in call properties between M. fissipes populations that are sympatric with and allopatric to a congener M. heymonsi. To test genetic drift, we examined correlations among call divergence, geographic distance, and genetic distance across M. fissipes populations. We recorded the advertisement calls from 11 populations of M. fissipes in Taiwan, five of which are sympatrically distributed with M. heymonsi. We found geographic variation in both temporal and spectral properties of the advertisement calls of M. fissipes. However, the call properties were not correlated with local temperature or the callers' body size. Furthermore, we did not detect RCD. By contrast, call divergence, geographic distance, and genetic distance between M. fissipes populations were all positively correlated. The comparisons between phenotypic Q st (P st) and F st values did not show significant differences, suggesting a role of drift. We concluded that genetic drift, rather than ecological processes, is the more likely

  4. Comparative Analyses of Phenotypic Trait Covariation within and among Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peiman, Kathryn S; Robinson, Beren W

    2017-10-01

    Many morphological, behavioral, physiological, and life-history traits covary across the biological scales of individuals, populations, and species. However, the processes that cause traits to covary also change over these scales, challenging our ability to use patterns of trait covariance to infer process. Trait relationships are also widely assumed to have generic functional relationships with similar evolutionary potentials, and even though many different trait relationships are now identified, there is little appreciation that these may influence trait covariation and evolution in unique ways. We use a trait-performance-fitness framework to classify and organize trait relationships into three general classes, address which ones more likely generate trait covariation among individuals in a population, and review how selection shapes phenotypic covariation. We generate predictions about how trait covariance changes within and among populations as a result of trait relationships and in response to selection and consider how these can be tested with comparative data. Careful comparisons of covariation patterns can narrow the set of hypothesized processes that cause trait covariation when the form of the trait relationship and how it responds to selection yield clear predictions about patterns of trait covariation. We discuss the opportunities and limitations of comparative approaches to evaluate hypotheses about the evolutionary causes and consequences of trait covariation and highlight the importance of evaluating patterns within populations replicated in the same and in different selective environments. Explicit hypotheses about trait relationships are key to generating effective predictions about phenotype and its evolution using covariance data.

  5. 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...

  6. Si and C interactions in the world ocean: Importance of ecological processes and implications for the role of diatoms in the biological pump

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ragueneau, Olivier; Schultes, Sabine; Bidle, Kay; Claquin, Pascal; Moriceau, BrivaëLa

    2006-12-01

    Diatoms play a major role in carbon export from surface waters, but their role in the transport of carbon to the deep sea has been questioned by global analyses of sediment trap fluxes which suggest that organic carbon fluxes and transfer efficiencies through the mesopelagic are tightly correlated with CaCO3 (Klaas and Archer, 2002; François et al., 2002). Here we explore the role of diatoms in the biological pump through a study of Si and C interactions from the molecular to the global scale. Recent findings on molecular interactions between Si and C are reviewed. The roles of bacteria, grazers and aggregation are explored and combined, to account for the extent of Si and C decoupling between surface waters and 1000 m, observed to be very homogeneous in different biogeochemical provinces of the ocean. It is suggested that the mesopelagic food web plays a crucial role in this homogeneity: Sites of high export are also sites where diatom C is being either remineralized or channeled toward the long-lived carbon pool most efficiently in the mesopelagic zone. The amount of carbon participating in the biological pump but not collected in sediment traps remains to be explored. It is also demonstrated that statistical analyses performed at global scales hide spatial variability in carrying coefficients, indicating a clear need to understand the mechanisms that control spatial and temporal variations in the relative importance of ballast minerals and other export mechanisms such as particle dynamics.

  7. The Effects of Aphid Traits on Parasitoid Host Use and Specialist Advantage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagic, Vesna; Petrović-Obradović, Olivera; Fründ, Jochen; Kavallieratos, Nickolas G.; Athanassiou, Christos G.; Starý, Petr; Tomanović, Željko

    2016-01-01

    Specialization is a central concept in ecology and one of the fundamental properties of parasitoids. Highly specialized parasitoids tend to be more efficient in host-use compared to generalized parasitoids, presumably owing to the trade-off between host range and host-use efficiency. However, it remains unknown how parasitoid host specificity and host-use depends on host traits related to susceptibility to parasitoid attack. To address this question, we used data from a 13-year survey of interactions among 142 aphid and 75 parasitoid species in nine European countries. We found that only aphid traits related to local resource characteristics seem to influence the trade-off between host-range and efficiency: more specialized parasitoids had an apparent advantage (higher abundance on shared hosts) on aphids with sparse colonies, ant-attendance and without concealment, and this was more evident when host relatedness was included in calculation of parasitoid specificity. More traits influenced average assemblage specialization, which was highest in aphids that are monophagous, monoecious, large, highly mobile (easily drop from a plant), without myrmecophily, habitat specialists, inhabit non-agricultural habitats and have sparse colonies. Differences in aphid wax production did not influence parasitoid host specificity and host-use. Our study is the first step in identifying host traits important for aphid parasitoid host specificity and host-use and improves our understanding of bottom-up effects of aphid traits on aphid-parasitoid food web structure. PMID:27309729

  8. Consumptive emasculation: the ecological and evolutionary consequences of pollen theft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Harder, Lawrence D; Johnson, Steven D

    2009-05-01

    Many of the diverse animals that consume floral rewards act as efficient pollinators; however, others 'steal' rewards without 'paying' for them by pollinating. In contrast to the extensive studies of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of nectar theft, pollen theft and its implications remain largely neglected, even though it affects plant reproduction more directly. Here we review existing studies of pollen theft and find that: (1) most pollen thieves pollinate other plant species, suggesting that theft generally arises from a mismatch between the flower and thief that precludes pollen deposition, (2) bees are the most commonly documented pollen thieves, and (3) the floral traits that typically facilitate pollen theft involve either spatial or temporal separation of sex function within flowers (herkogamy and dichogamy, respectively). Given that herkogamy and dichogamy occur commonly and that bees are globally the most important floral visitors, pollen theft is likely a greatly under-appreciated component of floral ecology and influence on floral evolution. We identify the mechanisms by which pollen theft can affect plant fitness, and review the evidence for theft-induced ecological effects, including pollen limitation. We then explore the consequences of pollen theft for the evolution of floral traits and sexual systems, and conclude by identifying key directions for future research.

  9. Reduce, reuse, and recycle: developmental evolution of trait diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Jill C; Hileman, Lena C; Cubas, Pilar

    2011-03-01

    A major focus of evolutionary developmental (evo-devo) studies is to determine the genetic basis of variation in organismal form and function, both of which are fundamental to biological diversification. Pioneering work on metazoan and flowering plant systems has revealed conserved sets of genes that underlie the bauplan of organisms derived from a common ancestor. However, the extent to which variation in the developmental genetic toolkit mirrors variation at the phenotypic level is an active area of research. Here we explore evidence from the angiosperm evo-devo literature supporting the frugal use of genes and genetic pathways in the evolution of developmental patterning. In particular, these examples highlight the importance of genetic pleiotropy in different developmental modules, thus reducing the number of genes required in growth and development, and the reuse of particular genes in the parallel evolution of ecologically important traits.

  10. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Jason B; Mutic, Joshua J; Kover, Paula X

    2011-05-12

    Studying the genetic basis of traits involved in ecological interactions is a fundamental part of elucidating the connections between evolutionary and ecological processes. Such knowledge allows one to link genetic models of trait evolution with ecological models describing interactions within and between species. Previous work has shown that connections between genetic and ecological processes in Arabidopsis thaliana may be mediated by the fact that quantitative trait loci (QTL) with 'direct' effects on traits of individuals also have pleiotropic 'indirect' effects on traits expressed in neighbouring plants. Here, we further explore these connections by examining functional relationships between traits affected directly and indirectly by the same QTL. We develop a novel approach using structural equation models (SEMs) to determine whether observed pleiotropic effects result from traits directly affected by the QTL in focal individuals causing the changes in the neighbours' phenotypes. This hypothesis was assessed using SEMs to test whether focal plant phenotypes appear to mediate the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the phenotypes of their neighbours, or alternatively, whether the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the neighbours' phenotypes is mediated by unmeasured traits. We implement this analysis using a QTL of major effect that maps to the well-characterized flowering locus, FRIGIDA. The SEMs support the hypothesis that the pleiotropic indirect effects of this locus arise from size and developmental timing-related traits in focal plants affecting the expression of developmental traits in their neighbours. Our findings provide empirical insights into the genetics and nature of intraspecific ecological interactions. Our technique holds promise in directing future work into the genetic basis and functional relationship of traits mediating and responding to ecological interactions.

  11. Functional and phylogenetic ecology in R

    CERN Document Server

    Swenson, Nathan G

    2014-01-01

    Functional and Phylogenetic Ecology in R is designed to teach readers to use R for phylogenetic and functional trait analyses. Over the past decade, a dizzying array of tools and methods were generated to incorporate phylogenetic and functional information into traditional ecological analyses. Increasingly these tools are implemented in R, thus greatly expanding their impact. Researchers getting started in R can use this volume as a step-by-step entryway into phylogenetic and functional analyses for ecology in R. More advanced users will be able to use this volume as a quick reference to understand particular analyses. The volume begins with an introduction to the R environment and handling relevant data in R. Chapters then cover phylogenetic and functional metrics of biodiversity; null modeling and randomizations for phylogenetic and functional trait analyses; integrating phylogenetic and functional trait information; and interfacing the R environment with a popular C-based program. This book presents a uni...

  12. 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....

  13. Trait contributions to fish community assembly emerge from trophicinteractions in an individual-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, Henrique C.; DeAngelis, Donald; Trexler, Joel C.; Petrere, Miguel

    2013-01-01

    Community ecology seeks to understand and predict the characteristics of communities that can develop under different environmental conditions, but most theory has been built on analytical models that are limited in the diversity of species traits that can be considered simultaneously. We address that limitation with an individual-based model to simulate assembly of fish communities characterized by life history and trophic interactions with multiple physiological tradeoffs as constraints on species performance. Simulation experiments were carried out to evaluate the distribution of 6 life history and 4 feeding traits along gradients of resource productivity and prey accessibility. These experiments revealed that traits differ greatly in importance for species sorting along the gradients. Body growth rate emerged as a key factor distinguishing community types and defining patterns of community stability and coexistence, followed by egg size and maximum body size. Dominance by fast-growing, relatively large, and fecund species occurred more frequently in cases where functional responses were saturated (i.e. high productivity and/or prey accessibility). Such dominance was associated with large biomass fluctuations and priority effects, which prevented richness from increasing with productivity and may have limited selection on secondary traits, such as spawning strategies and relative size at maturation. Our results illustrate that the distribution of species traits and the consequences for community dynamics are intimately linked and strictly dependent on how the benefits and costs of these traits are balanced across different conditions.

  14. Turnover of plant lineages shapes herbivore phylogenetic beta diversity along ecological gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellissier, Loïc; Ndiribe, Charlotte; Dubuis, Anne; Pradervand, Jean-Nicolas; Salamin, Nicolas; Guisan, Antoine; Rasmann, Sergio

    2013-05-01

    Understanding drivers of biodiversity patterns is of prime importance in this era of severe environmental crisis. More diverse plant communities have been postulated to represent a larger functional trait-space, more likely to sustain a diverse assembly of herbivore species. Here, we expand this hypothesis to integrate environmental, functional and phylogenetic variation of plant communities as factors explaining the diversity of lepidopteran assemblages along elevation gradients in the Swiss Western Alps. According to expectations, we found that the association between butterflies and their host plants is highly phylogenetically structured. Multiple regression analyses showed the combined effect of climate, functional traits and phylogenetic diversity in structuring butterfly communities. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence that plant phylogenetic beta diversity is the major driver explaining butterfly phylogenetic beta diversity. Along ecological gradients, the bottom up control of herbivore diversity is thus driven by phylogenetically structured turnover of plant traits as well as environmental variables. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. GlobalAnts: a new database on the geography of ant traits (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Parr, C. L.; Dunn, R. R.; Sanders, N. J.; Weisser, M. D.; Photakis, M.; Bishop, T. R.; Fitzpatrick, M. C.; Arnan, X.; Baccaro, F. B.; Brandao, C. R. F.; Chick, L.; Donoso, D. A.; Fayle, Tom Maurice; Gómez, C.; Grossman, B. F.; Munyai, T. C.; Pacheco, R.; Retana, J.; Robinson, A.; Sagata, K.; Silva, R. R.; Tista, M.; Vasconcelos, H.; Yates, M.; Gibb, H.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 1 (2017), s. 5-20 ISSN 1752-458X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : assemblages * ecology * functional trait Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 1.840, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/icad.12211/full

  16. Within-species patterns challenge our understanding of the causes and consequences of trait variation with implications for trait-based models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderegg, L. D.; Berner, L. T.; Badgley, G.; Hillerislambers, J.; Law, B. E.

    2017-12-01

    Functional traits could facilitate ecological prediction by provide scale-free tools for modeling ecosystem function. Yet much of their utility lies in three key assumptions: 1) that global patterns of trait covariation are the result of universal trade-offs independent of taxonomic scale, so empirical trait-trait relationships can be used to constrain vegetation models 2) that traits respond predictably to environmental gradients and can therefore be reliably quantified to parameterize models and 3) that well sampled traits influence productivity. We use an extensive dataset of within-species leaf trait variation in North American conifers combined with global leaf trait datasets to test these assumptions. We examine traits central to the `leaf economics spectrum', and quantify patterns of trait variation at multiple taxonomic scales. We also test whether site environment explains geographic trait variation within conifers, and ask whether foliar traits explain geographic variation in relative growth rates. We find that most leaf traits vary primarily between rather than within species globally, but that a large fraction of within-PFT trait variation is within-species. We also find that some leaf economics spectrum relationships differ in sign within versus between species, particularly the relationship between leaf lifespan and LMA. In conifers, we find weak and inconsistent relationships between site environment and leaf traits, making it difficult capture within-species leaf trait variation for regional model parameterization. Finally, we find limited relationships between tree relative growth rate and any foliar trait other than leaf lifespan, with leaf traits jointly explaining 42% of within-species growth variation but environmental factors explaining 77% of variation. We suggest that additional traits, particularly whole plant allometry/allocation traits may be better than leaf traits for improving vegetation model performance at smaller taxonomic and

  17. Traits traded off

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rueffler, Claus

    2006-01-01

    The course of evolution is restricted by constraints. A special type of constraint is a trade-off where different traits are negatively correlated. In this situation a mutant type that shows an improvement in one trait suffers from a decreased performance through another trait. In a fixed fitness

  18. Ecological venomics: How genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics can shed new light on the ecology and evolution of venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Morgenstern, David; Reitzel, Adam M; Moran, Yehu

    2016-03-01

    Animal venom is a complex cocktail of bioactive chemicals that traditionally drew interest mostly from biochemists and pharmacologists. However, in recent years the evolutionary and ecological importance of venom is realized as this trait has direct and strong influence on interactions between species. Moreover, venom content can be modulated by environmental factors. Like many other fields of biology, venom research has been revolutionized in recent years by the introduction of systems biology approaches, i.e., genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The employment of these methods in venom research is known as 'venomics'. In this review we describe the history and recent advancements of venomics and discuss how they are employed in studying venom in general and in particular in the context of evolutionary ecology. We also discuss the pitfalls and challenges of venomics and what the future may hold for this emerging scientific field. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Continental cichlid radiations: functional diversity reveals the role of changing ecological opportunity in the Neotropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

    Adaptive radiations have been hypothesized to contribute broadly to the diversity of organisms. Models of adaptive radiation predict that ecological opportunity and ecological release, the availability of empty ecological niches and the response by adapting lineages to occupy them, respectively, drive patterns of phenotypic and lineage diversification. Adaptive radiations driven by 'ecological opportunity' are well established in island systems; it is less clear if ecological opportunity influences continent-wide diversification. We use Neotropical cichlid fishes to test if variation in rates of functional evolution is consistent with changing ecological opportunity. Across a functional morphological axis associated with ram-suction feeding traits, evolutionary rates declined through time as lineages diversified in South America. Evolutionary rates of ram-suction functional morphology also appear to have accelerated as cichlids colonized Central America and encountered renewed opportunity. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity may play an important role in shaping patterns of morphological diversity of even broadly distributed lineages like Neotropical cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

  20. Phenotypic disparity in Iberian short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae): the role of ecology and phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Navas, Vicente; Noguerales, Víctor; Cordero, Pedro J; Ortego, Joaquín

    2017-05-04

    The combination of model-based comparative techniques, disparity analyses and ecomorphological correlations constitutes a powerful method to gain insight into the evolutionary mechanisms that shape morphological variation and speciation processes. In this study, we used a time-calibrated phylogeny of 70 Iberian species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae) to test for patterns of morphological disparity in relation to their ecology and phylogenetic history. Specifically, we examined the role of substrate type and level of ecological specialization in driving different aspects of morphological evolution (locomotory traits, chemosensitive organs and cranial morphology) in this recent radiation. We found a bimodal distribution of locomotory attributes corresponding to the two main substrate type guilds (plant vs. ground); plant-perching species tend to exhibit larger wings and thicker femora than those that remain on the ground. This suggests that life form (i.e., substrate type) is an important driving force in the evolution of morphological traits in short-horned grasshoppers, irrespective of ancestry. Substrate type and ecological specialization had no significant influence on head shape, a trait that showed a strong phylogenetic conservatism. Finally, we also found a marginal significant association between the length of antennae and the level of ecological specialization, suggesting that the development of sensory organs may be favored in specialist species. Our results provide evidence that even in taxonomic groups showing limited morphological and ecological disparity, natural selection seems to play a more important role than genetic drift in driving the speciation process. Overall, this study suggests that morphostatic radiations should not necessarily be considered as "non-adaptive" and that the speciation process can bind both adaptive divergence mechanisms and neutral speciation processes related with allopatric and/or reproductive isolation.

  1. Introduction. Antarctic ecology: from genes to ecosystems. Part 2. Evolution, diversity and functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Alex D; Murphy, Eugene J; Johnston, Nadine M; Clarke, Andrew

    2007-12-29

    The Antarctic biota has evolved over the last 100 million years in increasingly isolated and cold conditions. As a result, Antarctic species, from micro-organisms to vertebrates, have adapted to life at extremely low temperatures, including changes in the genome, physiology and ecological traits such as life history. Coupled with cycles of glaciation that have promoted speciation in the Antarctic, this has led to a unique biota in terms of biogeography, patterns of species distribution and endemism. Specialization in the Antarctic biota has led to trade-offs in many ecologically important functions and Antarctic species may have a limited capacity to adapt to present climate change. These include the direct effects of changes in environmental parameters and indirect effects of increased competition and predation resulting from altered life histories of Antarctic species and the impacts of invasive species. Ultimately, climate change may alter the responses of Antarctic ecosystems to harvesting from humans. The unique adaptations of Antarctic species mean that they provide unique models of molecular evolution in natural populations. The simplicity of Antarctic communities, especially from terrestrial systems, makes them ideal to investigate the ecological implications of climate change, which are difficult to identify in more complex systems.

  2. Transmission traits of malaria parasites within the mosquito: Genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity, and consequences for control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefevre, Thierry; Ohm, Johanna; Dabiré, Kounbobr R; Cohuet, Anna; Choisy, Marc; Thomas, Matthew B; Cator, Lauren

    2018-04-01

    Evaluating the risk of emergence and transmission of vector-borne diseases requires knowledge of the genetic and environmental contributions to pathogen transmission traits. Compared to the significant effort devoted to understanding the biology of malaria transmission from vertebrate hosts to mosquito vectors, the strategies that malaria parasites have evolved to maximize transmission from vectors to vertebrate hosts have been largely overlooked. While determinants of infection success within the mosquito host have recently received attention, the causes of variability for other key transmission traits of malaria, namely the duration of parasite development and its virulence within the vector, as well as its ability to alter mosquito behavior, remain largely unknown. This important gap in our knowledge needs to be bridged in order to obtain an integrative view of the ecology and evolution of malaria transmission strategies. Associations between transmission traits also need to be characterized, as they trade-offs and constraints could have important implications for understanding the evolution of parasite transmission. Finally, theoretical studies are required to evaluate how genetic and environmental influences on parasite transmission traits can shape malaria dynamics and evolution in response to disease control.

  3. Statistical ecology comes of age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T.; Morgan, Byron J. T.; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M.; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M.; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1–4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data. PMID:25540151

  4. Statistical ecology comes of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T; Morgan, Byron J T; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-12-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1-4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data.

  5. CLO-PLA: a database of clonal and bud-bank traits of the Central European flora

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klimešová, Jitka; Danihelka, J.; Chrtek, Jindřich; de Bello, Francesco; Herben, Tomáš

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 98, č. 4 (2017), s. 1179 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Clonal traits * Central Europe * CLO-PLA database * bud-bank traits Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.809, year: 2016

  6. CLO-PLA: a database of clonal and bud-bank traits of the Central European flora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimešová, Jitka; Danihelka, Jiří; Chrtek, Jindřich; de Bello, Francesco; Herben, Tomáš

    2017-04-01

    This dataset presents comprehensive and easy-to-use information on 29 functional traits of clonal growth, bud banks, and lifespan of members of the Central European flora. The source data were compiled from a number of published sources (see the reference file) and the authors' own observations or studies. In total, 2,909 species are included (2,745 herbs and 164 woody species), out of which 1,532 (i.e., 52.7% of total) are classified as possessing clonal growth organs (1,480, i.e., 53.9%, if woody plants are excluded). This provides a unique, and largely unexplored, set of traits of clonal growth that can be used in studies on comparative plant ecology, plant evolution, community assembly, and ecosystem functioning across the large flora of Central Europe. It can be directly imported into a number of programs and packages that perform trait-based and phylogenetic analyses aimed to answer a variety of open and pressing ecological questions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Multiple stressor effects on marine infauna: responses of estuarine taxa and functional traits to sedimentation, nutrient and metal loading

    KAUST Repository

    Ellis, Joanne

    2017-09-14

    Sedimentation, nutrients and metal loading to coastal environments are increasing, associated with urbanization and global warming, hence there is a growing need to predict ecological responses to such change. Using a regression technique we predicted how maximum abundance of 20 macrobenthic taxa and 22 functional traits separately and interactively responded to these key stressors. The abundance of most taxa declined in response to sedimentation and metal loading while a unimodal response was often associated with nutrient loading. Optimum abundances for both taxa and traits occurred at relatively low stressor levels, highlighting the vulnerability of estuaries to increasing stressor loads. Individual taxa were more susceptible to stress than traits, suggesting that functional traits may be less sensitive for detecting changes in ecosystem health. Multiplicative effects were more common than additive interactions. The observed sensitivity of most taxa to increasing sedimentation and metal loading and the documented interaction effects between multiple stressors have important implications for understanding and managing the ecological consequences of eutrophication, sedimentation and contaminants on coastal ecosystems.

  8. Genetic relationship between lactation curve traits of dairy cattle in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Wasike Chrislukovian

    2014-08-23

    Aug 23, 2014 ... Lactation milk yield is an important trait in selection of dairy cattle all ... affect functional traits such as fertility, somatic cell count and mastitis, ... explain physiological issues reported in Kenyan herds and guide future selection decisions. The correlation between milk yield and lactation curve traits has not ...

  9. Selection for beef traits and calving performance in Piemontese cattle

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albera, A.

    2006-01-01

    Beef cattle selection programmes are usually focused on the improvement of production traits. However, also functional traits play an important role for the efficiency of animal production. Among these traits calving performance, affecting stillbirth of calves, fertility of cows, animal welfare and

  10. Phylogeny and species traits predict bird detectability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solymos, Peter; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Stralberg, Diana; Barker, Nicole K. S.; Bayne, Erin M.

    2018-01-01

    Avian acoustic communication has resulted from evolutionary pressures and ecological constraints. We therefore expect that auditory detectability in birds might be predictable by species traits and phylogenetic relatedness. We evaluated the relationship between phylogeny, species traits, and field‐based estimates of the two processes that determine species detectability (singing rate and detection distance) for 141 bird species breeding in boreal North America. We used phylogenetic mixed models and cross‐validation to compare the relative merits of using trait data only, phylogeny only, or the combination of both to predict detectability. We found a strong phylogenetic signal in both singing rates and detection distances; however the strength of phylogenetic effects was less than expected under Brownian motion evolution. The evolution of behavioural traits that determine singing rates was found to be more labile, leaving more room for species to evolve independently, whereas detection distance was mostly determined by anatomy (i.e. body size) and thus the laws of physics. Our findings can help in disentangling how complex ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have shaped different aspects of detectability in boreal birds. Such information can greatly inform single‐ and multi‐species models but more work is required to better understand how to best correct possible biases in phylogenetic diversity and other community metrics.

  11. Using plant functional traits to guide restoration: A case study in California coastal grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Corbin, Jeffrey; Krupa, Monica

    2011-01-01

    Restoration ecology can benefit greatly from developments in trait-based ecology that enable improved predictions of how the composition of plant communities will respond to changes in environmental conditions. Plant functional traits can be used to guide the restoration of degraded habitats...... generally from the treatments. Carbon addition led to large intraspecific trait shifts, with individuals in C addition plots having smaller, denser leaves and shorter stature. Species' trait plasticity, however, was not related to the community composition response to C addition.   Our study indicates...

  12. The Allometry of Bee Proboscis Length and Its Uses in Ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel P Cariveau

    Full Text Available Allometric relationships among morphological traits underlie important patterns in ecology. These relationships are often phylogenetically shared; thus quantifying allometric relationships may allow for estimating difficult-to-measure traits across species. One such trait, proboscis length in bees, is assumed to be important in structuring bee communities and plant-pollinator networks. However, it is difficult to measure and thus rarely included in ecological analyses. We measured intertegular distance (as a measure of body size and proboscis length (glossa and prementum, both individually and combined of 786 individual bees of 100 species across 5 of the 7 extant bee families (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila. Using linear models and model selection, we determined which parameters provided the best estimate of proboscis length. We then used coefficients to estimate the relationship between intertegular distance and proboscis length, while also considering family. Using allometric equations with an estimation for a scaling coefficient between intertegular distance and proboscis length and coefficients for each family, we explain 91% of the variance in species-level means for bee proboscis length among bee species. However, within species, individual-level intertegular distance was a poor predictor of individual proboscis length. To make our findings easy to use, we created an R package that allows estimation of proboscis length for individual bee species by inputting only family and intertegular distance. The R package also calculates foraging distance and body mass based on previously published equations. Thus by considering both taxonomy and intertegular distance we enable accurate estimation of an ecologically and evolutionarily important trait.

  13. Coordination of physiological and structural traits in Amazon forest trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Patiño

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Many plant traits covary in a non-random manner reflecting interdependencies associated with "ecological strategy" dimensions. To understand how plants integrate their structural and physiological investments, data on leaf and leaflet size and the ratio of leaf area to sapwood area (ΦLS obtained for 1020 individual trees (encompassing 661 species located in 52 tropical forest plots across the Amazon Basin were incorporated into an analysis utilising existing data on species maximum height (Hmax, seed size, leaf mass per unit area (MA, foliar nutrients and δ13C, and branch xylem density (ρx.

    Utilising a common principal components approach allowing eigenvalues to vary between two soil fertility dependent species groups, five taxonomically controlled trait dimensions were identified. The first involves primarily cations, foliar carbon and MA and is associated with differences in foliar construction costs. The second relates to some components of the classic "leaf economic spectrum", but with increased individual leaf areas and a higher ΦLS newly identified components for tropical tree species. The third relates primarily to increasing Hmax and hence variations in light acquisition strategy involving greater MA, reductions in ΦLS and less negative δ13C. Although these first three dimensions were more important for species from high fertility sites the final two dimensions were more important for low fertility species and were associated with variations linked to reproductive and shade tolerance strategies.

    Environmental conditions influenced structural traits with ρx of individual species decreasing with increased soil fertility and higher temperatures. This soil fertility response appears to be synchronised with increases in foliar nutrient

  14. Functional trait space and the latitudinal diversity gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lamanna, Christine; Blonder, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille

    2014-01-01

    The processes causing the latitudinal gradient in species richness remain elusive. Ecological theories for the origin of biodiversity gradients, such as competitive exclusion, neutral dynamics, and environmental filtering, make predictions for how functional diversity should vary at the alpha...... of trait combinations or that niche packing is stronger in the tropical zone. Although there are limitations in the data, our analyses suggest that multiple processes have shaped trait diversity in trees, reflecting no consistent support for any one theory....

  15. Foraging modality and plasticity in foraging traits determine the strength of competitive interactions among carnivorous plants, spiders and toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    Foraging modalities (e.g. passive, sit-and-wait, active) and traits are plastic in some species, but the extent to which this plasticity affects interspecific competition remains unclear. Using a long-term laboratory mesocosm experiment, we quantified competition strength and the plasticity of foraging traits in a guild of generalist predators of arthropods with a range of foraging modalities. Each mesocosm contained eight passively foraging pink sundews, and we employed an experimental design where treatments were the presence or absence of a sit-and-wait foraging spider and actively foraging toad crossed with five levels of prey abundance. We hypothesized that actively foraging toads would outcompete the other species at low prey abundance, but that spiders and sundews would exhibit plasticity in foraging traits to compensate for strong competition when prey were limited. Results generally supported our hypotheses. Toads had a greater effect on sundews at low prey abundances, and toad presence caused spiders to locate webs higher above the ground. Additionally, the closer large spider webs were to the ground, the greater the trichome densities produced by sundews. Also, spider webs were larger with than without toads and as sundew numbers increased, and these effects were more prominent as resources became limited. Finally, spiders negatively affected toad growth only at low prey abundance. These findings highlight the long-term importance of foraging modality and plasticity of foraging traits in determining the strength of competition within and across taxonomic kingdoms. Future research should assess whether plasticity in foraging traits helps to maintain coexistence within this guild and whether foraging modality can be used as a trait to reliably predict the strength of competitive interactions. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  16. Analysis of the fields of vocation and qualification for experts in ecological questions within public/governmental administration. Final report. Vol. 1. Summary of the most important results. Berufsfeld- und Qualifikationsanalyse fuer Umweltfachleute. Abschlussbericht. Bd. 1. Zusammenfassung der wichtigsten Ereignisse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brater, M; Hemmer, C; Maurus, A; Munz, C; Schluchter,

    1991-06-01

    Based on 124 interviews with experts in national, state and communal departments of ecological relevance the tasks and fields of responsibility for ecological experts are examined as far as the field of public administration is concerned. Subsequently; these fields of responsibility are studied as to their specific tasks: air pollution abatement; protection of water, soil and nature; protection against noise and radiation; chemicals; waste management land use and regional planning. Furthermore, these fields of action are subject of research as to their qualificational demands. They are compared to the existing profiles within the educational system. Special consideration is given to the profile of disciplines/subjects like biology, chemistry, geology, geography, mechanical engineering process technology environmental engineering law and administration. Connections are established to the new profiles within ecology and ecological counseling. Center of the question: Vocational work and vocational education - what's their form/organization in order to create forms of ecological progression instead of destruction. (orig.).

  17. 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.

  18. Leaf and life history traits predict plant growth in a green roof ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Lundholm

    Full Text Available Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime's C-S-R strategies for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that

  19. Leaf and life history traits predict plant growth in a green roof ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundholm, Jeremy; Heim, Amy; Tran, Stephanie; Smith, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Green roof ecosystems are constructed to provide services such as stormwater retention and urban temperature reductions. Green roofs with shallow growing media represent stressful conditions for plant survival, thus plants that survive and grow are important for maximizing economic and ecological benefits. While field trials are essential for selecting appropriate green roof plants, we wanted to determine whether plant leaf traits could predict changes in abundance (growth) to provide a more general framework for plant selection. We quantified leaf traits and derived life-history traits (Grime's C-S-R strategies) for 13 species used in a four-year green roof experiment involving five plant life forms. Changes in canopy density in monocultures and mixtures containing one to five life forms were determined and related to plant traits using multiple regression. We expected traits related to stress-tolerance would characterize the species that best grew in this relatively harsh setting. While all species survived to the end of the experiment, canopy species diversity in mixture treatments was usually much lower than originally planted. Most species grew slower in mixture compared to monoculture, suggesting that interspecific competition reduced canopy diversity. Species dominant in mixture treatments tended to be fast-growing ruderals and included both native and non-native species. Specific leaf area was a consistently strong predictor of final biomass and the change in abundance in both monoculture and mixture treatments. Some species in contrasting life-form groups showed compensatory dynamics, suggesting that life-form mixtures can maximize resilience of cover and biomass in the face of environmental fluctuations. This study confirms that plant traits can be used to predict growth performance in green roof ecosystems. While rapid canopy growth is desirable for green roofs, maintenance of species diversity may require engineering of conditions that favor less

  20. Ecological macroeconomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    greater risk. Together, vulnerable traits heighten the risk of predation by a factor of nearly 200. Our study reveals that a trait-based approach yields insights into predator-prey interactions that are robust across prey assemblages. Importantly, in situ observations of selection yield similar results to broadscale comparisons of prey use and availability, which are more typically gathered for predator species. A trait-based approach could therefore be of use across predator species and ecosystems to predict the outcomes of changing predator-prey interactions on community dynamics. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  2. The development of water quality methods within ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The development of water quality methods within ecological Reserve ... Water Act (NWA, No 36 of 1998), the ecological Reserve is defined as the quality and quantity ... provide ecologically important flow-related habitat, or geomorphological ...

  3. How functional traits of estuarine macrobenthic assemblages respond to metal contamination?

    KAUST Repository

    Piló, D.

    2016-08-06

    surface deposit-feeder species. The most representative species associated with this area was the gastropod Peringia ulvae. Less contaminated sites revealed large-sized specimens, carnivores and swimmers, mainly represented by the polychaete Nephtys hombergii. This finding is consistent with other studies addressing different kinds of disturbance, where a shift in dominance from carnivore/predators, long-lived and large animals to the predominance of small-size, short-lived and deposit-feeders has been observed across increasing gradients of disturbance. Our results reinforce the importance of macrobenthic functional traits analysis to assess human disturbances driven impacts in multi-stressed estuarine ecosystems. By analysing the environmental variables with different origins independently, we were able to draw conclusions about the effects of human pressures (metals) on macrobenthic traits. Such distinction can be particularly useful to isolate different environmental descriptors and assess their effects on functional diversity, making the current approach promising in evaluation the ecological effects of anthropogenic stressors in estuarine areas. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

  4. Leaf traits within communities: context may affect the mapping of traits to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, Jennifer L; Cornwell, William K

    2013-09-01

    The leaf economics spectrum (LES) has revolutionized the way many ecologists think about quantifying plant ecological trade-offs. In particular, the LES has connected a clear functional trade-off (long-lived leaves with slow carbon capture vs. short-lived leaves with fast carbon capture) to a handful of easily measured leaf traits. Building on this work, community ecologists are now able to quickly assess species carbon-capture strategies, which may have implications for community-level patterns such as competition or succession. However, there are a number of steps in this logic that require careful examination, and a potential danger arises when interpreting leaf-trait variation among species within communities where trait relationships are weak. Using data from 22 diverse communities, we show that relationships among three common functional traits (photosynthetic rate, leaf nitrogen concentration per mass, leaf mass per area) are weak in communities with low variation in leaf life span (LLS), especially communities dominated by herbaceous or deciduous woody species. However, globally there are few LLS data sets for communities dominated by herbaceous or deciduous species, and more data are needed to confirm this pattern. The context-dependent nature of trait relationships at the community level suggests that leaf-trait variation within communities, especially those dominated by herbaceous and deciduous woody species, should be interpreted with caution.

  5. Ecological concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains three critical contributions on the application of modern technology from the ethical point of view. The peaceful use of nuclear power is rejected as a technical error, which is overwhelming humanity. Ethical bases of a preventive technological policy and ecological aims are developed for the 21st century, in economy, technology, politics, and consciousness. (HSCH) [de

  6. Information Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Ellen Tove

    2006-01-01

    in the 1960ties, and chosen here because it integrates cultural and psychological trajectories in a theory of living settings. The pedagogical-didactical paradigm comprises three distinct information ecologies, named after their intended outcome: the problem-setting, the exploration-setting, and the fit...

  7. Ecological restoration across the Mediterranean Basin as viewed by practitioners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunes, Alice; Oliveira, Graça; Mexia, Teresa; Valdecantos, Alejandro; Zucca, Claudio; Costantini, Edoardo A C; Abraham, Eleni M; Kyriazopoulos, Apostolos P; Salah, Ayman; Prasse, Ruediger; Correia, Otília; Milliken, Sarah; Kotzen, Benz; Branquinho, Cristina

    2016-10-01

    Restoration efforts in the Mediterranean Basin have been changing from a silvicultural to an ecological restoration approach. Yet, to what extent the projects are guided by ecological restoration principles remains largely unknown. To analyse this issue, we built an on-line survey addressed to restoration practitioners. We analysed 36 restoration projects, mostly from drylands (86%). The projects used mainly soil from local sources. The need to comply with legislation was more important as a restoration motive for European Union (EU) than for non-EU countries, while public opinion and health had a greater importance in the latter. Non-EU countries relied more on non-native plant species than EU countries, thus deviating from ecological restoration guidelines. Nursery-grown plants used were mostly of local or regional provenance, whilst seeds were mostly of national provenance. Unexpected restoration results (e.g. inadequate biodiversity) were reported for 50% of the projects and restoration success was never evaluated in 22%. Long term evaluation (>6years) was only performed in 31% of cases, and based primarily on plant diversity and cover. The use of non-native species and species of exogenous provenances may: i) entail the loss of local genetic and functional trait diversity, critical to cope with drought, particularly under the predicted climate change scenarios, and ii) lead to unexpected competition with native species and/or negatively impact local biotic interactions. Absent or inappropriate monitoring may prevent the understanding of restoration trajectories, precluding adaptive management strategies, often crucial to create functional ecosystems able to provide ecosystem services. The overview of ecological restoration projects in the Mediterranean Basin revealed high variability among practices and highlighted the need for improved scientific assistance and information exchange, greater use of native species of local provenance, and more long

  8. Predator attack rate evolution in space: the role of ecology mediated by complex emergent spatial structure and self-shading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messinger, Susanna M; Ostling, Annette

    2013-11-01

    Predation interactions are an important element of ecological communities. Population spatial structure has been shown to influence predator evolution, resulting in the evolution of a reduced predator attack rate; however, the evolutionary role of traits governing predator and prey ecology is unknown. The evolutionary effect of spatial structure on a predator's attack rate has primarily been explored assuming a fixed metapopulation spatial structure, and understood in terms of group selection. But endogenously generated, emergent spatial structure is common in nature. Furthermore, the evolutionary influence of ecological traits may be mediated through the spatial self-structuring process. Drawing from theory on pathogens, the evolutionary effect of emergent spatial structure can be understood in terms of self-shading, where a voracious predator limits its long-term invasion potential by reducing local prey availability. Here we formalize the effects of self-shading for predators using spatial moment equations. Then, through simulations, we show that in a spatial context self-shading leads to relationships between predator-prey ecology and the predator's attack rate that are not expected in a non-spatial context. Some relationships are analogous to relationships already shown for host-pathogen interactions, but others represent new trait dimensions. Finally, since understanding the effects of ecology using existing self-shading theory requires simplifications of the emergent spatial structure that do not apply well here, we also develop metrics describing the complex spatial structure of the predator and prey populations to help us explain the evolutionary effect of predator and prey ecology in the context of self-shading. The identification of these metrics may provide a step towards expansion of the predictive domain of self-shading theory to more complex spatial dynamics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. The importance of motivation, weapons, and foul odors in driving encounter competition in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    Encounter competition is interference competition in which animals directly contend for resources. Ecological theory predicts the trait that determines the resource holding potential (RHP), and hence the winner of encounter competition, is most often body size or mass. The difficulties of observing encounter competition in complex organisms in natural environments, however, has limited opportunities to test this theory across diverse species. We studied the outcome of encounter competition contests among mesocarnivores at deer carcasses in California to determine the most important variables for winning these contests. We found some support for current theory in that body mass is important in determining the winner of encounter competition, but we found that other factors including hunger and species-specific traits were also important. In particular, our top models were "strength and hunger" and "size and hunger," with models emphasizing the complexity of variables influencing outcomes of encounter competition. In addition, our wins above predicted (WAP) statistic suggests that an important aspect that determines the winner of encounter competition is species-specific advantages that increase their RHP, as bobcats (Lynx rufus) and spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis) won more often than predicted based on mass. In complex organisms, such as mesocarnivores, species-specific adaptations, including strategic behaviors, aggressiveness, and weapons, contribute to competitive advantages and may allow certain species to take control or defend resources better than others. Our results help explain how interspecific competition shapes the occurrence patterns of species in ecological communities. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  10. A trait-based approach reveals the feeding selectivity of a small endangered Mediterranean fish

    OpenAIRE

    Rodriguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Maceda Veiga, Alberto; Monroy, Mario; de Sostoa, Adolf; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcis

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Functional traits are growing in popularity in modern ecology, but feeding studies remain primarily rooted in a taxonomic?based perspective. However, consumers do not have any reason to select their prey using a taxonomic criterion, and prey assemblages are variable in space and time, which makes taxon?based studies assemblage?specific. To illustrate the benefits of the trait?based approach to assessing food choice, we studied the feeding ecology of the endangered freshwater fish Bar...

  11. Numerical ecology with R

    CERN Document Server

    Borcard, Daniel; Legendre, Pierre

    2018-01-01

    This new edition of Numerical Ecology with R guides readers through an applied exploration of the major methods of multivariate data analysis, as seen through the eyes of three ecologists. It provides a bridge between a textbook of numerical ecology and the implementation of this discipline in the R language. The book begins by examining some exploratory approaches. It proceeds logically with the construction of the key building blocks of most methods, i.e. association measures and matrices, and then submits example data to three families of approaches: clustering, ordination and canonical ordination. The last two chapters make use of these methods to explore important and contemporary issues in ecology: the analysis of spatial structures and of community diversity. The aims of methods thus range from descriptive to explanatory and predictive and encompass a wide variety of approaches that should provide readers with an extensive toolbox that can address a wide palette of questions arising in contemporary mul...

  12. Application of ecological mapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherk, J.A.

    1982-01-01

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service has initiated the production of a comprehensive ecological inventory map series for use as a major new planning tool. Important species data along with special land use designations are displayed on 1:250,000 scale topographic base maps. Sets of maps have been published for the Atlantic and Pacific coastal areas of the United States. Preparation of a map set for the Gulf of Mexico is underway at the present time. Potential application of ecological inventory map series information to a typical land disposal facility could occur during the narrowing of the number of possible disposal sites, the design of potential disposal site studies of ecological resources, the preparation of the environmental report, and the regulatory review of license applications. 3 figures, 3 tables

  13. Ecological suicide in microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratzke, Christoph; Denk, Jonas; Gore, Jeff

    2018-05-01

    The growth and survival of organisms often depend on interactions between them. In many cases, these interactions are positive and caused by a cooperative modification of the environment. Examples are the cooperative breakdown of complex nutrients in microbes or the construction of elaborate architectures in social insects, in which the individual profits from the collective actions of her peers. However, organisms can similarly display negative interactions by changing the environment in ways that are detrimental for them, for example by resource depletion or the production of toxic byproducts. Here we find an extreme type of negative interactions, in which Paenibacillus sp. bacteria modify the environmental pH to such a degree that it leads to a rapid extinction of the whole population, a phenomenon that we call ecological suicide. Modification of the pH is more pronounced at higher population densities, and thus ecological suicide is more likely to occur with increasing bacterial density. Correspondingly, promoting bacterial growth can drive populations extinct whereas inhibiting bacterial growth by the addition of harmful substances-such as antibiotics-can rescue them. Moreover, ecological suicide can cause oscillatory dynamics, even in single-species populations. We found ecological suicide in a wide variety of microbes, suggesting that it could have an important role in microbial ecology and evolution.

  14. Trait-based modelling of bioaccumulation by freshwater benthic invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidney, Livia Alvarenga; Diepens, Noël J; Guo, Xiaoying; Koelmans, Albert A

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the role of species traits in chemical exposure is crucial for bioaccumulation and toxicity assessment of chemicals. We measured and modelled bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Chironomus riparius, Hyalella azteca, Lumbriculus variegatus and Sphaerium corneum. We used a battery test procedure with multiple enclosures in one aquarium, which maximized uniformity of exposure for the different species, such that the remaining variability was due mostly to species traits. The relative importance of uptake from either pore water or sediment ingestion was manipulated by using 28 d aged standard OECD sediment with low (1%) and medium (5%) OM content and 13 months aged sediment with medium OM (5%) content. Survival was ≥76% and wet weight increased for all species. Reproduction of H. azteca and weight gain of H. azteca and S. corneum were significantly higher in the medium OM aged sediments than in other sediments, perhaps due to a more developed microbial community (i.e., increase in food resources). Biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAF) ranged from 3 to 114, depending on species and PCB congener, with C. riparius (3-10)ecological risk assessment schemes. BSAFs for freshwater taxonomic groups were compared with their marine counterparts and showed overlapping values. The dynamic bioaccumulation model with species-specific bioaccumulation parameters fitted well to the experimental data and showed that bioaccumulation parameters were depended on species traits. Enclosure-based battery tests and mechanistic BSAF models are expected to improve the quality of the exposure assessment in whole sediment toxicity tests. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Trait plasticity in species interactions: a driving force of community dynamics.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, M.P.; Ellers, J.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary community ecology is an emerging field of study that includes evolutionary principles such as individual trait variation and plasticity of traits to provide a more mechanistic insight as to how species diversity is maintained and community processes are shaped across time and space. In

  16. Host traits explain the genetic structure of parasites: a meta-analysis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Blasco-Costa, Maria Isabel; Poulin, R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 140, č. 10 (2013), s. 1316-1322 ISSN 0031-1820 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 252124 - PARAPOPGENE Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : meta-analysis * host traits * parasite traits * F-statistics * population genetic structure * dispersal * autogenic life cycle * allogenic life cycle Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.350, year: 2013

  17. Trait similarity patterns within grass and grasshopper communities : Multitrophic community assembly at work

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, F.; Anderson, T. M.; Olff, H.

    Trait-based community assembly theory suggests that trait variation among co-occurring species is shaped by two main processes: abiotic filtering, important in stressful environments and promoting similarity, and competition, more important in productive environments and promoting dissimilarity.

  18. Political ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strohm, H.

    1979-01-01

    Using facts and examples, this didactically structures textbook gives an insight into the extent and consequences of the damage to the environment, with the subjects - fundamentals of ecology; - population and food problems; - the energy problem; - economic growth; scarcity of resources, recycling; - ground, water, and air pollution, - city and traffic problems; - work protection and medical care; - political alternatives and 'soft technologies'. The analysis of the political and economic reasons is combined with social and technical alternatives from which demands to be made and measures to be taken can be derived for individuals, citizens' interest groups, political groups and trade unions. Teaching models intend to help teachers to work on specific problems of ecology. (orig.) [de

  19. Wasteland ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoag, Colin Brewster; Bertoni, Filippo; Bubandt, Nils Ole

    2018-01-01

    landscapes, this article argues, are the result of unheralded multispecies collaboration that can be traced empirically by attending ethnographically to multispecies forms of “gain-making,” the ways in which humans and other species leverage difference to find economic and ecological opportunity....... in the 1970s, when prevailing perceptions were that the entire mining area was a polluted wasteland, the AFLD Fasterholt waste and recycling plant has since changed in response to new EU waste management regulations, as well as the unexpected proliferation of non-human life in the area. Based on field...... research at this site—an Anthropocene landscape in the heartland of an EU-configured welfare state — this article is a contribution to the multispecies ethnography and political ecology of wastelands. We argue that “waste” is a co-species, biopolitical happening — a complex symbolic, political, biological...

  20. Marine ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    Studies on marine ecology included marine pollution; distribution patterns of Pu and Am in the marine waters, sediments, and organisms of Bikini Atoll and the influence of physical, chemical, and biological factors on their movements through marine biogeochemical systems; transfer and dispersion of organic pollutants from an oil refinery through coastal waters; transfer of particulate pollutants, including sediments dispersed during construction of offshore power plants; and raft culture of the mangrove oysters

  1. Genetic and phenotypic variation along an ecological gradient in lake trout Salvelinus namaycush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baillie, Shauna M.; Muir, Andrew M.; Hansen, Michael J.; Krueger, Charles C.; Bentzen, Paul

    2016-01-01

    BackgroundAdaptive radiation involving a colonizing phenotype that rapidly evolves into at least one other ecological variant, or ecotype, has been observed in a variety of freshwater fishes in post-glacial environments. However, few studies consider how phenotypic traits vary with regard to neutral genetic partitioning along ecological gradients. Here, we present the first detailed investigation of lake trout Salvelinus namaycushthat considers variation as a cline rather than discriminatory among ecotypes. Genetic and phenotypic traits organized along common ecological gradients of water depth and geographic distance provide important insights into diversification processes in a lake with high levels of human disturbance from over-fishing.ResultsFour putative lake trout ecotypes could not be distinguished using population genetic methods, despite morphological differences. Neutral genetic partitioning in lake trout was stronger along a gradient of water depth, than by locality or ecotype. Contemporary genetic migration patterns were consistent with isolation-by-depth. Historical gene flow patterns indicated colonization from shallow to deep water. Comparison of phenotypic (Pst) and neutral genetic variation (Fst) revealed that morphological traits related to swimming performance (e.g., buoyancy, pelvic fin length) departed more strongly from neutral expectations along a depth gradient than craniofacial feeding traits. Elevated phenotypic variance with increasing water depth in pelvic fin length indicated possible ongoing character release and diversification. Finally, differences in early growth rate and asymptotic fish length across depth strata may be associated with limiting factors attributable to cold deep-water environments.ConclusionWe provide evidence of reductions in gene flow and divergent natural selection associated with water depth in Lake Superior. Such information is relevant for documenting intraspecific biodiversity in the largest freshwater lake

  2. QTL Analysis of Major Agronomic Traits in Soybean

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Qing-shan; ZHANG Zhong-chen; LIU Chun-yan; XIN Da-wei; QIU Hong-mei; SHAN Da-peng; SHAN Cai-yun; HU Guo-hua

    2007-01-01

    Soybean is a main crop, and most agronomic traits of soybean are quantitative; therefore, there is very important studying and applying value to locating these traits. A F2:10 RIL population containing 154 lines, derived from the cross between Charleston as female and Dongnong 594 as male parent, were used in this experiment. A genetic linkage map was constructed with 164 SSR primers, which were screened with the two parents and amplified on the 154 lines. 12 agronomic traits different between the two parents were investigated, and QTLs of all the traits were analyzed using the software Windows QTL Cartographer V2.0. The agronomic traits included quality traits: protein content, oil content, and content of protein and oil; yield traits: pods per plant, seed weight per plant, arnd 100 seeds weight; and other agronomic traits: plant height, days to maturity, branches, nod number in main stem, average leaf length, and average leaf width. The results showed that 68 QTLs in total were found for the 12 agronomic traits. The number of QTLs per trait varied from 3 for the average leaf width to 11 for 100 seeds weight and plant height, and was 5.8 on average. Good accordance was seen in many QTLs between the results of this study and the results obtained by other similar studies; therefore, these QTLs may be valuable for molecular marker assistant selection in soybean. In this study, 68 major QTLs of 12 important traits of soybean were analyzed.

  3. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  4. Traits Without Borders:Integrating Functional Diversity Across Scales

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Carmona, C. P.; de Bello, Francesco; Mason, N. W. H.; Lepš, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 31, č. 5 (2016), s. 382-394 ISSN 0169-5347 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296; GA ČR GB14-36079G Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : functional trait * functional diversity * functional niche Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 15.268, year: 2016

  5. Plant functional traits as determinants of population stability

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Májeková, M.; de Bello, Francesco; Doležal, Jiří; Lepš, Jan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 95, č. 9 (2014), s. 2369-2374 ISSN 0012-9658 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-17118S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : biomass * fertilizaiton * plant functional traits Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 4.656, year: 2014

  6. Matching consumer feeding behaviours and resource traits: a fourth-corner problem in food-web theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Angelo Barbosa; Faria, Lucas Del Bianco

    2018-06-06

    For decades, food web theory has proposed phenomenological models for the underlying structure of ecological networks. Generally, these models rely on latent niche variables that match the feeding behaviour of consumers with their resource traits. In this paper, we used a comprehensive database to evaluate different hypotheses on the best dependency structure of trait-matching patterns between consumers and resource traits. We found that consumer feeding behaviours had complex interactions with resource traits; however, few dimensions (i.e. latent variables) could reproduce the trait-matching patterns. We discuss our findings in the light of three food web models designed to reproduce the multidimensionality of food web data; additionally, we discuss how using species traits clarify food webs beyond species pairwise interactions and enable studies to infer ecological generality at larger scales, despite potential taxonomic differences, variations in ecological conditions and differences in species abundance between communities. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  7. [Basic theory and research method of urban forest ecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xingyuan; Jin, Yingshan; Zhu, Wenquan; Xu, Wenduo; Chen, Wei

    2002-12-01

    With the development of world economy and the increment of urban population, the urban environment problem hinders the urban sustainable development. Now, more and more people realized the importance of urban forests in improving the quality of urban ecology. Therefore, a new subject, urban forest ecology, and correlative new concept frame in the field formed. The theoretic foundation of urban forest ecology derived from the mutual combination of theory relating to forest ecology, landscape ecology, landscape architecture ecology and anthrop-ecology. People survey the development of city from the view of ecosystem, and regard the environment, a colony of human, animals and plants, as main factors of the system. The paper introduces systematically the urban forest ecology as follows: 1) the basic concept of urban forest ecology; 2) the meaning of urban forest ecology; 3) the basic principle and theoretic base of urban forest ecology; 4) the research method of urban forest ecology; 5) the developmental expectation of urban forest ecology.

  8. Emotions and trait emotional intelligence among ultra-endurance runners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Andrew M; Wilson, Mathew

    2011-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between trait emotional intelligence and emotional state changes over the course of an ultra-endurance foot race covering a route of approximately 175 miles (282 km) and held in set stages over six days. A repeated measures field design that sought to maintain ecological validity was used. Trait emotional intelligence was defined as a relatively stable concept that should predict adaptive emotional states experienced over the duration of the race and therefore associate with pleasant emotions during a 6-stage endurance event. Thirty-four runners completed a self-report measure of trait emotional intelligence before the event started. Participants reported emotional states before and after each of the six races. Repeated measures ANOVA results showed significant variations in emotions over time and a main effect for trait emotional intelligence. Runners high in self-report trait emotional intelligence also reported higher pleasant and lower unpleasant emotions than runners low in trait emotional intelligence. Findings lend support to the notion that trait emotional intelligence associates with adaptive psychological states, suggesting that it may be a key individual difference that explains why some athletes respond to repeated bouts of hard exercise better than others. Future research should test the effectiveness of interventions designed to enhance trait emotional intelligence and examine the attendant impact on emotional responses to intense exercise during multi-stage events. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Sexual selection and magic traits in speciation with gene flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria R. SERVEDIO, Michael KOPP

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The extent to which sexual selection is involved in speciation with gene flow remains an open question and the subject of much research. Here, we propose that some insight can be gained from considering the concept of magic traits (i.e., traits involved in both reproductive isolation and ecological divergence. Both magic traits and other, “non-magic”, traits can contribute to speciation via a number of specific mechanisms. We argue that many of these mechanisms are likely to differ widely in the extent to which they involve sexual selection. Furthermore, in some cases where sexual selection is present, it may be prone to inhibit rather than drive speciation. Finally, there are a priori reasons to believe that certain categories of traits are much more effective than others in driving speciation. The combination of these points suggests a classification of traits that may shed light on the broader role of sexual selection in speciation with gene flow. In particular, we suggest that sexual selection can act as a driver of speciation in some scenarios, but may play a negligible role in potentially common categories of magic traits, and may be likely to inhibit speciation in common categories of non-magic traits [Current Zoology 58 (3: 507–513, 2012].

  10. Quantitative trait loci for yield and morphological traits in maize under drought stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolić Ana

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Drought is one of the most important factors contributing to crop yield loss. In order to develop maize varieties with drought tolerance, it is necessary to explore the genetic basis. Mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL that control the yield and associate agronomic traits is one way of understanding drought genetics. QTLs associated with grain yield (GY, leaf width (LW3, LW4 plant height (PH, ear height (EH, leaf number (NL, tassel branch number (TBN and tassel length (TL were studied with composite interval mapping. A total of 43 QTLs were detected, distributed on all chromosomes, except chromosome 9. Phenotypic variability determined for the identified QTLs for all the traits was in the range from 20.99 to 87.24%. Mapping analysis identified genomic regions associated with two traits in a manner that was consistent with phenotypic correlation among traits, supporting either pleiotropy or tight linkage among QTLs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, Nathan G; Enquist, Brian J

    2009-08-01

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

  12. Beyond mean functional traits: Influence of functional trait profiles on forest structure, production, and mortality across the eastern US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew B. Russell; Christopher W. Woodall; Anthony W. D' Amato; Grant M. Domke; Sassan S. Saatchi

    2014-01-01

    Plant functional traits (PFTs) have increased in popularity in recent years to describe various ecosystems and biological phenomena while advancing general ecological principles. To date, few have investigated distributional attributes of individual PFTs and their relationship with key attributes and processes of forest ecosystems. The objective of this study was to...

  13. Development and characteristics of applied ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Sooth, Farina

    2014-01-01

    Master i anvendt økologi. Evenstad 2014 The science of applied ecology is lacking a general theory and a commonly acknowledged definition. Additionally, information about the development of applied ecology over the past years, the relation to other disciplines and the importance of applied ecology in different continents are scarce. This is problematic because applied ecology is confronted with growing problems and the society demands more and more that it fulfils its promise of solving pr...

  14. Ecological Values of Mangrove Forest Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Kusmana, Cecep

    1996-01-01

    Research on quantification of ecological values of mangrove forest ecosystem are urgently needed, due to its importance as the basics for utilization and management of resources. From the ecological point of vlew, the main prohlem of mangrove ecosystem is rarity and inconsistency of data and limited accurate methods inquantifying ecological values of that ecosystem. Results show that mangrove has the significant ecological values on coastal ecosystem. However, there must be further research t...

  15. Developing Leadership Traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Susan King

    1980-01-01

    Defines six leadership traits that are necessary to and fostered by editing a college newspaper: delegating authority, developing subordinates, motivating others, being approachable, commanding respect, and bringing out optimum performances in others. (TJ)

  16. [Regenerative morphological traits in a woody species community in Tumbesian tropical dry forest].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Saritama, José Miguel; Pérez-Rúuz, César

    2016-06-01

    The study of functional morphological traits enables us to know fundamental aspects of the dynamics of plant communities in local and global habitats. Regenerative morphological traits play an important role in defining plant history and ecological behavior. Seed and fruit characteristics determine to a large extent the patterns for dispersal, germination, establishment and seedling recruitment a given species exhibits on its natural habitat. Despite their prominent role, seed and fruit traits have been poorly studied at the community level of woody plant species in neo-tropical dry forests. In the present study we aimed at i) evaluate the functional role of morphological traits of seeds, fruits and embryo in woody plant species; ii) determine which are the morphological patterns present in seeds collected from the community of woody species that occur in neo-tropical dry forests; and iii) compare woody plant species seed mass values comparatively between neo-tropical dry and tropical forests. To do so, mature seeds were collected from 79 plant species that occur in the Tumbesian forest of Southwest Ecuador. The studied species included the 42 and 37 most representative tree and shrubbery species of the Tumbesian forest respectively. A total of 18 morphological traits (seven quantitative and 11 qualitative) were measured and evaluated in the seeds, fruits and embryos of the selected species, and we compared the seeds mass with other forest types. Our results showed a huge heterogeneity among traits values in the studied species. Seed mass, volume and number were the traits that vary the most at the community level, i.e. seed length ranged from 1.3 to 39 mm, and seed width from 0.6 to 25 mm. Only six embryo types were found among the 79 plant species. In 40 % of the cases, fully developed inverted embryos with large and thick cotyledons to store considerable amount of nutrients were recorded. We concluded that highly variable and functionally complementary

  17. Quantitative trait loci for udder conformation and other udder traits in Finnish Ayrshire cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.F. SCHULMAN

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Udder traits are important due to their correlation with clinical mastitis which causes major economic losses to the dairy farms. Chromosomal areas associated with udder conformation traits, milking speed and leakage could be used in breeding programs to improve both udder traits and mastitis resistance. Quantitative trait loci (QTL mapping for udder traits was carried out on bovine chromosomes (BTA 9, 11, 14, 18, 20, 23, and 29, where earlier studies have indicated QTL for mastitis. A granddaughter design with 12 Ayrshire sire families and 360 sons was used. The sires and sons were typed for 35 markers. The traits analysed were udder depth, fore udder attachment, central ligament, distance from udder to floor, body stature, fore teat length, udder balance, rear udder height, milking speed, and leakage. Associations between markers and traits were analysed with multiple marker regression. Five genome-wise significant QTL were detected: stature on BTA14 and 23, udder balance on BTA23, rear udder height on BTA11, and central ligament on BTA23. On BTA11 and 14 the suggested QTL positions for udder traits are at the same position as previously detected QTL for mastitis and somatic cell count.;

  18. Same Traits, Different Variance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie S. Churchyard

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Personality trait questionnaires are regularly used in individual differences research to examine personality scores between participants, although trait researchers tend to place little value on intra-individual variation in item ratings within a measured trait. The few studies that examine variability indices have not considered how they are related to a selection of psychological outcomes, so we recruited 160 participants (age M = 24.16, SD = 9.54 who completed the IPIP-HEXACO personality questionnaire and several outcome measures. Heterogenous within-subject differences in item ratings were found for every trait/facet measured, with measurement error that remained stable across the questionnaire. Within-subject standard deviations, calculated as measures of individual variation in specific item ratings within a trait/facet, were related to outcomes including life satisfaction and depression. This suggests these indices represent valid constructs of variability, and that researchers administering behavior statement trait questionnaires with outcome measures should also apply item-level variability indices.

  19. Ecological studies of polyploidy in the 100 years following its discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Justin; Ramsey, Tara S

    2014-08-05

    Polyploidy is a mutation with profound phenotypic consequences and thus hypothesized to have transformative effects in plant ecology. This is most often considered in the context of geographical and environmental distributions-as achieved from divergence of physiological and life-history traits-but may also include species interactions and biological invasion. This paper presents a historical overview of hypotheses and empirical data regarding the ecology of polyploids. Early researchers of polyploidy (1910 s-1930 s) were geneticists by training but nonetheless savvy to its phenotypic effects, and speculated on the importance of genome duplication to adaptation and crop improvement. Cytogenetic studies in the 1930 s-1950 s indicated that polyploids are larger (sturdier foliage, thicker stems and taller stature) than diploids while cytogeographic surveys suggested that polyploids and diploids have allopatric or parapatric distributions. Although autopolyploidy was initially regarded as common, influential writings by North American botanists in the 1940 s and 1950 s argued for the principle role of allopolyploidy; according to this view, genome duplication was significant for providing a broader canvas for hybridization rather than for its phenotypic effects per se. The emphasis on allopolyploidy had a chilling effect on nascent ecological work, in part due to taxonomic challenges posed by interspecific hybridization. Nonetheless, biosystematic efforts over the next few decades (1950s-1970s) laid the foundation for ecological research by documenting cytotype distributions and identifying phenotypic correlates of polyploidy. Rigorous investigation of polyploid ecology was achieved in the 1980s and 1990 s by population biologists who leveraged flow cytometry for comparative work in autopolyploid complexes. These efforts revealed multi-faceted ecological and phenotypic differences, some of which may be direct consequences of genome duplication. Several classical

  20. 'It means everyone should know their status': exploring lay conceptions of sickle cell trait and sickle cell trait screening among African Americans within middle reproductive age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo-Gamble, Tilicia L; Barnes, Priscilla A; Cunningham Erves, Jennifer; Middlestadt, Susan E; Lin, Hsien-Chang

    2017-02-21

    This study examined the meaning of sickle cell trait and sickle cell trait screening from the lay perspective of African Americans. African Americans (N = 300), ages 18-35 and unaware of their sickle cell trait status, completed two open-ended questions from a larger survey. One question asked for their understanding of sickle cell trait; the other asked for their understanding of sickle cell trait screening. Content analysis occurred in two phases: (1) In vivo and holistic coding; and (2) focused coding. Four categories emerged illustrating lay conceptions of sickle cell trait; (1) Perceived as an illness; (2) Perceived recognition of the inheritance pattern of sickle cell trait; (3) Perceived lack of knowledge of sickle cell trait; and (4) Perceived importance of sickle cell trait. Five categories emerged illustrating lay conceptions for sickle cell trait screening: (1) Perceived recognition that screening means getting tested for sickle cell trait; (2) Perceived lack of knowledge of sickle cell trait screening; (3) Perceived health benefit of sickle cell trait screening; (4) Perceived importance of sickle cell trait screening; and (5) Perceived barriers to sickle cell trait screening. Sickle cell trait and sickle cell trait screening are concepts that are both regarded as important among this high-risk population. However, there is still misunderstanding concerning the hereditary nature and reproductive implications of sickle cell trait. Interventions seeking to improve communication on the need for sickle cell trait screening should begin by identifying what the population at large understands, knows and/or believes to improve their ability to make informed health decisions.

  1. Hollow Ecology: Ecological Modernization Theory and the Death of Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A. Ewing

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The last few decades have seen the rise of ‘ecological modernization theory’ (EMT as a “green capitalist” tradition extending modernization theory into environmental sociology. This article uses a synthesis of political economy, world-systems theory, and political, economic, and environmental sociology to demonstrate that the EMT presumption of growth and profit as economic priorities (alongside its neglect of core-periphery relations produces many feedback loops which fatally undermine the viability of EMT’s own political, technological, and social prescriptions, alongside creating problems for the fundamental EMT concept of ‘ecological rationality.’ Furthermore, this article attempts to explain why “green capitalist” approaches to environmental analysis have influence within policy and social science circles despite their inadequacies within environmental sociology. Finally, this article argues that in order to address the ecological challenges of our era, environmental sociology needs to reject “green capitalist” traditions like ‘ecological modernization theory’ which presuppose the desirability and maintenance of profit and growth as economic priorities (and predominantly fail to critique power imbalances between core and non-core nations, and instead return to the development of traditions willing to critique the fundamental traits of the capitalist world-system.

  2. Maccoby's Head/Heart Traits: Marketing versus Accounting Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochunny, C. M.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Nineteen head/heart traits derived from Maccoby's business ethics work were rated on importance to future careers by 148 marketing and 178 accounting students. Both groups rated head traits as most important. Marketing majors are not as "games" oriented as social stereotypes would indicate. The apparent imbalance between head and heart traits…

  3. On the need for phylogenetic ‘corrections’ in functional trait-based approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Bello, F.; Berg, M.P.; Dias, A.T.C.; Diniz-Filho, J.A.F.; Götzenberger, L.; Hortal, J.; Ladle, R.J.; Lepš, J.

    2015-01-01

    There is considerable uncertainty about if, and when, phylogenetic information is needed to answer various ecological questions about trait-based ecological studies. It has been recommended that both functional and phylogenetic information should be combined, and some researchers have even suggested

  4. Clonal vs leaf-height-seed (LHS) traits: which are filtered more strongly across habitats?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    E.-Vojtkó, A.; Freitag, M.; Bricca, A.; Martello, F.; Compañ, J. M.; Küttim, M.; Kun, R.; de Bello, Francesco; Klimešová, Jitka; Götzenberger, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 52, 3-4 (2017), s. 269-281 ISSN 1211-9520 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-15012S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : environmental filtering * functional diversity * clonal traits Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 1.017, year: 2016

  5. Graphic Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook Weld Muller

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This essay describes strategic approaches to graphic representation associated with critical environmental engagement and that build from the idea of works of architecture as stitches in the ecological fabric of the city. It focuses on the building up of partial or fragmented graphics in order to describe inclusive, open-ended possibilities for making architecture that marry rich experience and responsive performance. An aphoristic approach to crafting drawings involves complex layering, conscious absence and the embracing of tension. A self-critical attitude toward the generation of imagery characterized by the notion of ‘loose precision’ may lead to more transformative and environmentally responsive architectures.

  6. Industrial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, C K

    1992-01-01

    Industrial ecology addresses issues that will impact future production, use, and disposal technologies; proper use of the concept should reduce significantly the resources devoted to potential remediation in the future. This cradle-to-reincarnation production philosophy includes industrial processes that are environmentally sound and products that are environmentally safe during use and economically recyclable after use without adverse impact on the environment or on the net cost to society. This will require an industry-university-government round table to set the strategy and agenda for progress. PMID:11607254

  7. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Keelah E. G.; Sng, Oliver; Neuberg, Steven L.

    2016-01-01

    Why do race stereotypes take the forms they do? Life history theory posits that features of the ecology shape individuals’ behavior. Harsh and unpredictable (“desperate”) ecologies induce fast strategy behaviors such as impulsivity, whereas resource-sufficient and predictable (“hopeful”) ecologies induce slow strategy behaviors such as future focus. We suggest that individuals possess a lay understanding of ecology’s influence on behavior, resulting in ecology-driven stereotypes. Importantly, because race is confounded with ecology in the United States, we propose that Americans’ stereotypes about racial groups actually reflect stereotypes about these groups’ presumed home ecologies. Study 1 demonstrates that individuals hold ecology stereotypes, stereotyping people from desperate ecologies as possessing faster life history strategies than people from hopeful ecologies. Studies 2–4 rule out alternative explanations for those findings. Study 5, which independently manipulates race and ecology information, demonstrates that when provided with information about a person’s race (but not ecology), individuals’ inferences about blacks track stereotypes of people from desperate ecologies, and individuals’ inferences about whites track stereotypes of people from hopeful ecologies. However, when provided with information about both the race and ecology of others, individuals’ inferences reflect the targets’ ecology rather than their race: black and white targets from desperate ecologies are stereotyped as equally fast life history strategists, whereas black and white targets from hopeful ecologies are stereotyped as equally slow life history strategists. These findings suggest that the content of several predominant race stereotypes may not reflect race, per se, but rather inferences about how one’s ecology influences behavior. PMID:26712013

  8. Ecological recovery in ERA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Scientific Committee (Scientific Committee); Topping, Christopher John

    2016-01-01

    knowledge and data retrieved from the literature. Finally, the information presented in this opinion was reviewed by experts from the relevant EFSA Panels, European risk assessment bodies and through an open consultation requesting input from stakeholders. A conceptual framework was developed to address...... recognises the importance of more integrated ERAs considering both the local and landscape scales, as well as the possible co-occurrence of multiple potential stressors that fall under the remit of EFSA, which are important when addressing ecological recovery. In this scientific opinion, the Scientific...... Committee gathered scientific knowledge on the potential for the recovery of non-target organisms for the further development of ERA. Current EFSA guidance documents and opinions were reviewed on how ecological recovery is addressed in ERA schemes. In addition, this scientific opinion is based on expert...

  9. The Dynamic Association between Healthy Leisure and Substance Use in South African Adolescents: A State and Trait Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weybright, Elizabeth H.; Caldwell, Linda L.; Ram, Nilam; Smith, Edward; Jacobs, Joachim

    2014-01-01

    South Africa has an increasing adolescent substance use problem, lack of leisure opportunities and resources, and high adolescent discretionary time. How aspects of leisure relate to adolescent substance use is not well understood. Little research has been conducted on the leisure behaviors and experiences of South African adolescents, if and how those behaviors are associated with substance use, and ecological influences on those associations. By applying multi-level models to longitudinal data obtained from youth living in high-risk contexts, this research examines the association between state and trait healthy leisure and adolescent substance use and how perceived parental over-control moderates those associations. Results indicate healthy leisure protects against substance use at state and trait levels, provides empirical support that risk behavior can be addressed through leisure-based interventions, and emphasizes the importance of both short- and long-term processes when considering the context-dependent nature of adolescents’ leisure experiences. PMID:24948905

  10. Hybridization at an ecotone: ecological and genetic barriers between three Iberian vipers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarroso, Pedro; Pereira, Ricardo J; Martínez-Freiría, Fernando; Godinho, Raquel; Brito, José C

    2014-03-01

    The formation of stable genetic boundaries between emerging species is often diagnosed by reduced hybrid fitness relative to parental taxa. This reduced fitness can arise from endogenous and/or exogenous barriers to gene flow. Although detecting exogenous barriers in nature is difficult, we can estimate the role of ecological divergence in driving species boundaries by integrating molecular and ecological niche modelling tools. Here, we focus on a three-way secondary contact zone between three viper species (Vipera aspis, V. latastei and V. seoanei) to test for the contribution of ecological divergence to the development of reproductive barriers at several species traits (morphology, nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA). Both the nuclear and mitochondrial data show that all taxa are genetically distinct and that the sister species V. aspis and V. latastei hybridize frequently and backcross over several generations. We find that the three taxa have diverged ecologically and meet at a hybrid zone coincident with a steep ecotone between the Atlantic and Mediterranean biogeographical provinces. Integrating landscape and genetic approaches, we show that hybridization is spatially restricted to habitats that are suboptimal for parental taxa. Together, these results suggest that niche separation and adaptation to an ecological gradient confer an important barrier to gene flow among taxa that have not achieved complete reproductive isolation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Evaluating Callous-Unemotional Traits as a Personality Construct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Paul J; Ray, James V

    2015-12-01

    We evaluate the importance of callous-unemotional (CU) traits as a personality construct in isolation from other facets of psychopathy. Specifically, we review research suggesting that these traits are useful for designating a subgroup of youth with serious conduct problems who differ from other antisocial youth on important biological, emotional, cognitive, and social characteristics. In addition, the temperamental features related to CU traits are risk factors for impairments in conscience development in young children. Thus, these traits could advance theoretical models explaining the development of severe antisocial behavior and psychopathy. CU traits also have important clinical utility because they designate a particularly severe and impaired subgroup of antisocial youth, leading to their inclusion in the DSM-5. As a result of this inclusion in diagnostic classification, there has been an increased focus on how to best assess CU traits, and we discuss several key issues in their assessment, highlighting several limitations in existing measures. Finally, the increased use of CU traits, separately from other facets of psychopathy, makes it important to determine how these traits relate to other personality constructs. Thus, we examine how measures of CU traits relate to the broader construct of psychopathy and to other basic personality dimensions. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Personality traits and personal values: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks-Leduc, Laura; Feldman, Gilad; Bardi, Anat

    2015-02-01

    Personality traits and personal values are important psychological characteristics, serving as important predictors of many outcomes. Yet, they are frequently studied separately, leaving the field with a limited understanding of their relationships. We review existing perspectives regarding the nature of the relationships between traits and values and provide a conceptual underpinning for understanding the strength of these relationships. Using 60 studies, we present a meta-analysis of the relationships between the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality traits and the Schwartz values, and demonstrate consistent and theoretically meaningful relationships. However, these relationships were not generally large, demonstrating that traits and values are distinct constructs. We find support for our premise that more cognitively based traits are more strongly related to values and more emotionally based traits are less strongly related to values. Findings also suggest that controlling for personal scale-use tendencies in values is advisable. © 2014 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

  13. The role of adaptive immunity as an ecological filter on the gut microbiota in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stagaman, Keaton; Burns, Adam R; Guillemin, Karen; Bohannan, Brendan Jm

    2017-07-01

    All animals live in intimate association with communities of microbes, collectively referred to as their microbiota. Certain host traits can influence which microbial taxa comprise the microbiota. One potentially important trait in vertebrate animals is the adaptive immune system, which has been hypothesized to act as an ecological filter, promoting the presence of some microbial taxa over others. Here we surveyed the intestinal microbiota of 68 wild-type zebrafish, with functional adaptive immunity, and 61 rag1 - zebrafish, lacking functional B- and T-cell receptors, to test the role of adaptive immunity as an ecological filter on the intestinal microbiota. In addition, we tested the robustness of adaptive immunity's filtering effects to host-host interaction by comparing the microbiota of fish populations segregated by genotype to those containing both genotypes. The presence of adaptive immunity individualized the gut microbiota and decreased the contributions of neutral processes to gut microbiota assembly. Although mixing genotypes led to increased phylogenetic diversity in each, there was no significant effect of adaptive immunity on gut microbiota composition in either housing condition. Interestingly, the most robust effect on microbiota composition was co-housing within a tank. In all, these results suggest that adaptive immunity has a role as an ecological filter of the zebrafish gut microbiota, but it can be overwhelmed by other factors, including transmission of microbes among hosts.

  14. EVALUATION OF ECOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT SECURITY IN CONTIGUOUS POVERTY ALLEVIATION AREA OF SICHUAN PROVINCE

    OpenAIRE

    W. Xian; Y. Chen; J. Chen; X. Luo; H. Shao

    2018-01-01

    According to the overall requirements of ecological construction and environmental protection, rely on the national key ecological engineering, strengthen ecological environmental restoration and protection, improve forest cover, control soil erosion, construct important ecological security barrier in poor areas, inhibit poverty alleviation through ecological security in this area from environmental damage to the vicious cycle of poverty. Obviously, the dynamic monitoring of ecological securi...

  15. Cerebellum and personality traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrosini, Laura; Cutuli, Debora; Picerni, Eleonora; Laricchiuta, Daniela

    2015-02-01

    Personality traits are multidimensional traits comprising cognitive, emotional, and behavioral characteristics, and a wide array of cerebral structures mediate individual variability. Differences in personality traits covary with brain morphometry in specific brain regions. A cerebellar role in emotional and affective processing and on personality characteristics has been suggested. In a large sample of healthy subjects of both sexes and differently aged, the macro- and micro-structural variations of the cerebellum were correlated with the scores obtained in the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) by Cloninger. Cerebellar volumes were associated positively with Novelty Seeking scores and negatively with Harm Avoidance scores. Given the cerebellar contribution in personality traits and emotional processing, we investigated the cerebellar involvement even in alexithymia, construct of personality characterized by impairment in cognitive, emotional, and affective processing. Interestingly, the subjects with high alexithymic traits had larger volumes in the bilateral Crus 1. The cerebellar substrate for some personality dimensions extends the relationship between personality and brain areas to a structure up to now thought to be involved mainly in motor and cognitive functions, much less in emotional processes and even less in personality individual differences. The enlarged volumes of Crus 1 in novelty seekers and alexithymics support the tendency to action featuring both personality constructs. In fact, Novelty Seeking and alexithymia are rooted in behavior and inescapably have a strong action component, resulting in stronger responses in the structures more focused on action and embodiment, as the cerebellum is.

  16. Interpreting the Climatic Effects on Xylem Functional Traits in Two Mediterranean Oak Species: The Role of Extreme Climatic Events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rita, Angelo; Borghetti, Marco; Todaro, Luigi; Saracino, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In the Mediterranean region, the widely predicted rise in temperature, change in the precipitation pattern, and increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events are expected to alter the shape of ecological communities and to affect plant physiological processes that regulate ecosystem functioning. Although change in the mean values are important, there is increasing evidence that plant distribution, survival, and productivity respond to extremes rather than to the average climatic condition. The present study aims to assess the effects of both mean and extreme climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits using long-term tree-ring time series of two co-existing Quercus spp. from a drought-prone site in Southern Italy. In particular, this is the first attempt to apply the Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale, and Shape (GAMLSS) technique and Bayesian modeling procedures to xylem traits data set, with the aim of (i) detecting non-linear long-term responses to climate and (ii) exploring relationships between climate extreme and xylem traits variability in terms of probability of occurrence. This study demonstrates the usefulness of long-term xylem trait chronologies as records of environmental conditions at annual resolution. Statistical analyses revealed that most of the variability in tree-ring width and specific hydraulic conductivity might be explained by cambial age. Additionally, results highlighted appreciable relationships between xylem traits and climate variability more than tree-ring width, supporting also the evidence that the plant hydraulic traits are closely linked to local climate extremes rather than average climatic conditions. We reported that the probability of extreme departure in specific hydraulic conductivity (Ks) rises at extreme values of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Therefore, changing frequency or intensity of extreme events might overcome the adaptive limits of vascular transport, resulting

  17. Interpreting the climatic effects on xylem functional traits in two Mediterranean oak species: the role of extreme climatic events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Rita

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In the Mediterranean region, the widely predicted rise in temperature, change in the precipitation pattern and increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events are expected to alter the shape of ecological communities and to affect plant physiological processes that regulate ecosystem functioning. Although change in the mean values are important, there is increasing evidence that plant distribution, survival and productivity respond to extremes rather than to the average climatic condition. The present study aims to assess the effects of both mean and extreme climatic conditions on radial growth and functional anatomical traits using long-term tree-ring time series of two co-existing Quercus spp. from a drought-prone site in Southern Italy. In particular, this is the first attempt to apply the Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale and Shape (GAMLSS technique and Bayesian modeling procedures to xylem traits data set, with the aim of i detecting non-linear long-term responses to climate and ii exploring relationships between climate extreme and xylem traits variability in terms of probability of occurrence. This study demonstrates the usefulness of long-term xylem trait chronologies as records of environmental conditions at annual resolution. Statistical analyses revealed that most of the variability in tree-ring width and specific hydraulic conductivity might be explained by cambial age. Additionally, results highlighted appreciable relationships between xylem traits and climate variability more than tree-ring width, supporting also the evidence that the plant hydraulic traits are closely linked to local climate extremes rather than average climatic conditions. We reported that the probability of extreme departure in specific hydraulic conductivity (Ks rises at extreme values of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI. Therefore, changing frequency or intensity of extreme events might overcome the adaptive limits of vascular transport

  18. Ecological Ethics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oughton, Deborah

    2013-01-01

    Deborah Oughton started with a view of the work in progress by the ICRP TG 94 on ethics, from the historical context and the principles-based ethics in RP, to continue with an overview of the ethical theories and with the main area of elaboration which concerns the common values, to conclude with considerations about the implementation in different area such as biomedicine, nuclear safety and workers, ecological aspects, and environmental health and society. By reading again the ICRP and IAEA publications on the ethical aspects in the protection of environment from the effects of ionizing radiation, the presentation covers the various and different cultures within the history of environmental ethics, the perception of Nature and the theories of environmental ethics, in particular by focusing on anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as philosophical worldwide views, and on conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, environmental justice and human dignity, as primary principles of environmental protection. The influence of western Christianity, with a view of man dominating over every creeping thing on earth, and of the non-western ideas, the human perception of Nature has been analyzed and discussed to conclude that, in reality then, the anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as reflected in many cultures and religions, they all support the need to protect the environment and to recognise and preserve the diversity. Three challenges were then discussed in the presentation: the ecosystem approach and ecological economics, for example in the case of Fukushima by asking what is the economic cost of marine contamination; the ecosystem changes with attention to what harms, as in the case of the environment in the contaminated areas around Chernobyl; and the environmental consequences of remediation, which can be considered a source of controversy for environmental ethics and policy

  19. Sustaining diversity in trait-based models of phytoplankton communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agostino eMerico

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available It is well-established that when equilibrium is attained for two species competing for the same limiting resource in a stable, uniform environment, one species will eliminate the other due to competitive exclusion. While competitive exclusion is observed in laboratory experiments and ecological models, the phenomenon seems less common in nature, where static equilibrium is prevented by the fluctuating physical environment and by other factors that constantly change species abundances and the nature of competitive interactions. Trait-based models of phytoplankton communities appear to be useful tools for describing the evolution of large assemblages of species with aggregate group properties such as total biomass, mean trait, and trait variance, the latter representing the functional diversity of the community. Such an approach, however, is limited by the tendency of the trait variance to unrealistically decline to zero over time. This tendency to lose diversity, and therefore adaptive capacity, is typically solved by fixing the variance or by considering exogenous processes such as immigration. Exogenous processes, however, cannot explain the maintenance of adaptive capacity often observed in the closed environment of chemostat experiments. Here we present a new method to sustain diversity in adaptive trait-based models of phytoplankton communities based on a mechanism of trait diffusion through subsequent generations. Our modeling approach can therefore account for endogenous processes such as rapid evolution or transgenerational trait plasticity.

  20. Robust permanence for ecological equations with internal and external feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Swati; Schreiber, Sebastian J

    2018-07-01

    Species experience both internal feedbacks with endogenous factors such as trait evolution and external feedbacks with exogenous factors such as weather. These feedbacks can play an important role in determining whether populations persist or communities of species coexist. To provide a general mathematical framework for studying these effects, we develop a theorem for coexistence for ecological models accounting for internal and external feedbacks. Specifically, we use average Lyapunov functions and Morse decompositions to develop sufficient and necessary conditions for robust permanence, a form of coexistence robust to large perturbations of the population densities and small structural perturbations of the models. We illustrate how our results can be applied to verify permanence in non-autonomous models, structured population models, including those with frequency-dependent feedbacks, and models of eco-evolutionary dynamics. In these applications, we discuss how our results relate to previous results for models with particular types of feedbacks.

  1. Ecological stability of landscape - ecological infrastructure - ecological management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The Field Workshop 'Ecological Stability of Landscape - Ecological Infrastructure - Ecological Management' was held within a State Environmental Programme financed by the Federal Committee for the Environment. The objectives of the workshop were to present Czech and Slovak approaches to the ecological stability of the landscape by means of examples of some case studies in the field, and to exchange ideas, theoretical knowledge and practical experience on implementing the concept of ecological infrastructure in landscape management. Out of 19 papers contained in the proceedings, 3 items were inputted to the INIS system. (Z.S.)

  2. Leaf trait response to nutrients and herbivore exclusion across a globally replicated grassland experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Leaf trait response to nutrients and herbivore exclusion across a globally replicated grassland experiment Jennifer Firn1, James McGree2, Eric Lind3, Elizabeth Borer3, Eric Seabloom3, Lauren Sullivan3, Kimberly Lapierre4 and the Nutrient Network 1Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Brisbane, QLD, 4001 Australia 2Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Mathematical Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Brisbane, QLD, 4001 Australia 3Universtiy of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, 1479 Gortner Avenue, 140 Gortner Laboratory, St. Paul, MN 55108 USA 4Department of integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA Functional trait research has developed with the aim of finding general patterns in how the function of plant assemblages changes with respect to different land-uses. Most studies have compared sites within and across regions with variations in land-use history, but not necessarily with standardized treatments in an experimental framework. The trends that have emerged from this research is that characteristics of leaf traits such as specific leaf area (SLA) correlate with carbon acquisition strategies known to influence ecosystem functioning. SLA has been found to represent a plant's investment in growing light-capturing area per dry mass content. Species with a relatively high SLA tend to have a higher rate of return on the resources invested into making tissue (cheaper leaves in terms of energy and resources needed to produce them) when compared to species with a lower SLA (more expensive leaves to produce). Few studies have examined quantitatively measured traits in an experimental framework. The Nutrient Network experiment, globally distributed experiment, presents a unique opportunity to examine the response of functional traits across grassland ecosystems characterised by a diverse range of

  3. 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.

  4. Ecological, historical and evolutionary determinants of modularity in weighted seed-dispersal networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schleuning, Matthias; Ingmann, Lili; Strauß, Rouven

    2014-01-01

    Modularity is a recurrent and important property of bipartite ecological networks. Although well-resolved ecological networks describe interaction frequencies between species pairs, modularity of bipartite networks has been analysed only on the basis of binary presence-absence data. We employ a new...... algorithm to detect modularity in weighted bipartite networks in a global analysis of avian seed-dispersal networks. We define roles of species, such as connector values, for weighted and binary networks and associate them with avian species traits and phylogeny. The weighted, but not binary, analysis...... identified a positive relationship between climatic seasonality and modularity, whereas past climate stability and phylogenetic signal were only weakly related to modularity. Connector values were associated with foraging behaviour and were phylogenetically conserved. The weighted modularity analysis...

  5. The juvenile antisocial brain : brain imaging studies in clinically antisocial youth with nascent phychopathic traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aghajani, M.

    2018-01-01

    The work presented in this thesis provides important new clues on the neurobiology of juvenile psychopathic traits in clinically antisocial juveniles. The data specifically shows that these traits are ostensibly underpinned by highly specific corticolimbic network dysfunctions, in which

  6. Identity processes and personality traits and types in adolescence : Directionality of effects and developmental trajectories

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luyckx, K.; Teppers, E.; Klimstra, T.A.; Rassart, J.

    2014-01-01

    Personality traits are hypothesized to be among the most important factors contributing to individual differences in identity development. However, longitudinal studies linking Big Five personality traits to contemporary identity models (in which multiple exploration and commitment processes are

  7. Personality traits, interpersonal identity, and relationship stability : Longitudinal linkages in late adolescence and young adulthood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klimstra, T.A.; Luyckx, K.; Branje, S.T.J.; Teppers, E.; Goossens, L.; Meeus, W.H.J.

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence and young adulthood are characterized by important changes in personality, changes toward a more stable identity, and the establishment of intimate relationships. We examined the role of personality traits in establishing intimate relationships, the interplay between personality traits

  8. Personality Traits of White-Collar Telecommuters: Perceptions of Graduating Business Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomo-David, Ewuuk; Griffin, Frank

    2001-01-01

    Business students (n=730) identified traits they perceived important for successful telecommuters. Independence, honesty, dependability, resourcefulness, initiative, and ethical behavior were most highly rated. Reinforcement of these traits to prepare for telecommuting was recommended. (Contains 25 references.) (SK)