WorldWideScience

Sample records for environmental niche models

  1. Environmental niche models for riverine desert fishes and their similarity according to phylogeny and functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, James E.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2017-01-01

    Environmental filtering and competitive exclusion are hypotheses frequently invoked in explaining species' environmental niches (i.e., geographic distributions). A key assumption in both hypotheses is that the functional niche (i.e., species traits) governs the environmental niche, but few studies have rigorously evaluated this assumption. Furthermore, phylogeny could be associated with these hypotheses if it is predictive of functional niche similarity via phylogenetic signal or convergent evolution, or of environmental niche similarity through phylogenetic attraction or repulsion. The objectives of this study were to investigate relationships between environmental niches, functional niches, and phylogenies of fishes of the Upper (UCRB) and Lower (LCRB) Colorado River Basins of southwestern North America. We predicted that functionally similar species would have similar environmental niches (i.e., environmental filtering) and that closely related species would be functionally similar (i.e., phylogenetic signal) and possess similar environmental niches (i.e., phylogenetic attraction). Environmental niches were quantified using environmental niche modeling, and functional similarity was determined using functional trait data. Nonnatives in the UCRB provided the only support for environmental filtering, which resulted from several warmwater nonnatives having dam number as a common predictor of their distributions, whereas several cool- and coldwater nonnatives shared mean annual air temperature as an important distributional predictor. Phylogenetic signal was supported for both natives and nonnatives in both basins. Lastly, phylogenetic attraction was only supported for native fishes in the LCRB and for nonnative fishes in the UCRB. Our results indicated that functional similarity was heavily influenced by evolutionary history, but that phylogenetic relationships and functional traits may not always predict the environmental distribution of species. However, the

  2. Utilizing individual fish biomass and relative abundance models to map environmental niche associations of adult and juvenile targeted fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galaiduk, Ronen; Radford, Ben T; Harvey, Euan S

    2018-06-21

    Many fishes undergo ontogenetic habitat shifts to meet their energy and resource needs as they grow. Habitat resource partitioning and patterns of habitat connectivity between conspecific fishes at different life-history stages is a significant knowledge gap. Species distribution models were used to examine patterns in the relative abundance, individual biomass estimates and environmental niche associations of different life stages of three iconic West Australian fishes. Continuous predictive maps describing the spatial distribution of abundance and individual biomass of the study species were created as well predictive hotspot maps that identify possible areas for aggregation of individuals of similar life stages of multiple species (i.e. spawning grounds, fisheries refugia or nursery areas). The models and maps indicate that processes driving the abundance patterns could be different from the body size associated demographic processes throughout an individual's life cycle. Incorporating life-history in the spatially explicit management plans can ensure that critical habitat of the vulnerable stages (e.g. juvenile fish, spawning stock) is included within proposed protected areas and can enhance connectivity between various functional areas (e.g. nursery areas and adult populations) which, in turn, can improve the abundance of targeted species as well as other fish species relying on healthy ecosystem functioning.

  3. Using environmental niche modeling to find suitable habitats for the Hard-ground Barasingha in Madhya Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Singh

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The subspecies of Swamp Deer, the Hard-ground Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi Pocock, is presently found only in Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR in Madhya Pradesh, India. This subspecies is highly vulnerable to extinction, and reintroduction in suitable sites is the need of the hour.  Environmental niche models (GARP, SVM, ED, CSM aimed at providing a detailed prediction of species distribution by relating presence of species to 19 bioclimatic indices were developed, using swamp deer occurrence records in KTR. The predictions were appropriately weighted with the prevailing LU/LC classes to identify suitable habitats in Madhya Pradesh, India. The result shows that the southern region of Madhya Pradesh is suitable for the sustenance of Barasingha with varying degrees of habitability. Vicarious validation shows that most of these forest areas were the same as that of historical records dating back to 50 years. However, land use maps can help identify areas where this subspecies can be reintroduced. 

  4. Host specialist clownfishes are environmental niche generalists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litsios, Glenn; Kostikova, Anna; Salamin, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Luis E; Craft, Meggan E

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klawonn, M.; Dow, E. M.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino, D; Minuto, L; Casazza, G

    2017-11-01

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

  10. Circum-Mediterranean phylogeography of a bat coupled with past environmental niche modeling: A new paradigm for the recolonization of Europe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgin, Raşit; Gürün, Kanat; Rebelo, Hugo; Puechmaille, Sebastien J; Maracı, Öncü; Presetnik, Primoz; Benda, Petr; Hulva, Pavel; Ibáñez, Carlos; Hamidovic, Daniela; Fressel, Norma; Horáček, Ivan; Karataş, Ayşegül; Karataş, Ahmet; Allegrini, Benjamin; Georgiakakis, Panagiotis; Gazaryan, Suren; Nagy, Zoltan L; Abi-Said, Mounir; Lučan, Radek K; Bartonička, Tomáš; Nicolaou, Haris; Scaravelli, Dino; Karapandža, Branko; Uhrin, Marcel; Paunović, Milan; Juste, Javier

    2016-06-01

    The isolation of populations in the Iberian, Italian and Balkan peninsulas during the ice ages define four main paradigms that explain much of the known distribution of intraspecific genetic diversity in Europe. In this study we investigated the phylogeography of a wide-spread bat species, the bent-winged bat, Miniopterus schreibersii around the Mediterranean basin and in the Caucasus. Environmental Niche Modeling (ENM) analysis was applied to predict both the current distribution of the species and its distribution during the last glacial maximum (LGM). The combination of genetics and ENM results suggest that the populations of M. schreibersii in Europe, the Caucasus and Anatolia went extinct during the LGM, and the refugium for the species was a relatively small area to the east of the Levantine Sea, corresponding to the Mediterranean coasts of present-day Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and northeastern and northwestern Egypt. Subsequently the species first repopulated Anatolia, diversified there, and afterwards expanded into the Caucasus, continental Europe and North Africa after the end of the LGM. The fossil record in Iberia and the ENM results indicate continuous presence of Miniopterus in this peninsula that most probably was related to the Maghrebian lineage during the LGM, which did not persist afterwards. Using our results combined with similar findings in previous studies, we propose a new paradigm explaining the general distribution of genetic diversity in Europe involving the recolonization of the continent, with the main contribution from refugial populations in Anatolia and the Middle East. The study shows how genetics and ENM approaches can complement each other in providing a more detailed picture of intraspecific evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Range bagging: a new method for ecological niche modelling from presence-only data.

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    Drake, John M

    2015-06-06

    The ecological niche is the set of environments in which a population of a species can persist without introduction of individuals from other locations. A good mathematical or computational representation of the niche is a prerequisite to addressing many questions in ecology, biogeography, evolutionary biology and conservation. A particularly challenging question for ecological niche modelling is the problem of presence-only modelling. That is, can an ecological niche be identified from records drawn only from the set of niche environments without records from non-niche environments for comparison? Here, I introduce a new method for ecological niche modelling from presence-only data called range bagging. Range bagging draws on the concept of a species' environmental range, but was inspired by the empirical performance of ensemble learning algorithms in other areas of ecological research. This paper extends the concept of environmental range to multiple dimensions and shows that range bagging is computationally feasible even when the number of environmental dimensions is large. The target of the range bagging base learner is an environmental tolerance of the species in a projection of its niche and is therefore an ecologically interpretable property of a species' biological requirements. The computational complexity of range bagging is linear in the number of examples, which compares favourably with the main alternative, Qhull. In conclusion, range bagging appears to be a reasonable choice for niche modelling in applications in which a presence-only method is desired and may provide a solution to problems in other disciplines where one-class classification is required, such as outlier detection and concept learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  13. Ecologic Niche Modeling of Blastomyces dermatitidis in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Trophic specialization influences the rate of environmental niche evolution in damselfishes (Pomacentridae).

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    Litsios, Glenn; Pellissier, Loïc; Forest, Félix; Lexer, Christian; Pearman, Peter B; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Salamin, Nicolas

    2012-09-22

    The rate of environmental niche evolution describes the capability of species to explore the available environmental space and is known to vary among species owing to lineage-specific factors. Trophic specialization is a main force driving species evolution and is responsible for classical examples of adaptive radiations in fishes. We investigate the effect of trophic specialization on the rate of environmental niche evolution in the damselfish, Pomacentridae, which is an important family of tropical reef fishes. First, phylogenetic niche conservatism is not detected in the family using a standard test of phylogenetic signal, and we demonstrate that the environmental niches of damselfishes that differ in trophic specialization are not equivalent while they still overlap at their mean values. Second, we estimate the relative rates of niche evolution on the phylogenetic tree and show the heterogeneity among rates of environmental niche evolution of the three trophic groups. We suggest that behavioural characteristics related to trophic specialization can constrain the evolution of the environmental niche and lead to conserved niches in specialist lineages. Our results show the extent of influence of several traits on the evolution of the environmental niche and shed new light on the evolution of damselfishes, which is a key lineage in current efforts to conserve biodiversity in coral reefs.

  15. To predict the niche, model colonization and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Yackulic; James D. Nichols; Janice Reid; Ricky Der

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists frequently try to predict the future geographic distributions of species. Most studies assume that the current distribution of a species reflects its environmental requirements (i.e., the species’ niche). However, the current distributions of many species are unlikely to be at equilibrium with the current distribution of environmental conditions, both...

  16. To predict the niche, model colonization and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yackulic, Charles B.; Nichols, James D.; Reid, Janice; Der, Ricky

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists frequently try to predict the future geographic distributions of species. Most studies assume that the current distribution of a species reflects its environmental requirements (i.e., the species' niche). However, the current distributions of many species are unlikely to be at equilibrium with the current distribution of environmental conditions, both because of ongoing invasions and because the distribution of suitable environmental conditions is always changing. This mismatch between the equilibrium assumptions inherent in many analyses and the disequilibrium conditions in the real world leads to inaccurate predictions of species' geographic distributions and suggests the need for theory and analytical tools that avoid equilibrium assumptions. Here, we develop a general theory of environmental associations during periods of transient dynamics. We show that time-invariant relationships between environmental conditions and rates of local colonization and extinction can produce substantial temporal variation in occupancy–environment relationships. We then estimate occupancy–environment relationships during three avian invasions. Changes in occupancy–environment relationships over time differ among species but are predicted by dynamic occupancy models. Since estimates of the occupancy–environment relationships themselves are frequently poor predictors of future occupancy patterns, research should increasingly focus on characterizing how rates of local colonization and extinction vary with environmental conditions.

  17. Environmental niche conservatism explains the accumulation of species richness in Mediterranean-hotspot plant genera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skeels, Alexander; Cardillo, Marcel

    2017-03-01

    The causes of exceptionally high plant diversity in Mediterranean-climate biodiversity hotspots are not fully understood. We asked whether a mechanism similar to the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis could explain the diversity of four large genera (Protea, Moraea, Banksia, and Hakea) with distributions within and adjacent to the Greater Cape Floristic Region (South Africa) or the Southwest Floristic Region (Australia). Using phylogenetic and spatial data we estimated the environmental niche of each species, and reconstructed the mode and dynamics of niche evolution, and the geographic history, of each genus. For three genera, there were strong positive relationships between the diversity of clades within a region and their inferred length of occupation of that region. Within genera, there was evidence for strong evolutionary constraint on niche axes associated with climatic seasonality and aridity, with different niche optima for hotspot and nonhotspot clades. Evolutionary transitions away from hotspots were associated with increases in niche breadth and elevated rates of niche evolution. Our results point to a process of "hotspot niche conservatism" whereby the accumulation of plant diversity in Mediterranean-type ecosystems results from longer time for speciation, with dispersal away from hotspots limited by narrow and phylogenetically conserved environmental niches. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  19. Ecological Niche Modelling of Bank Voles in Western Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Amirpour Haredasht

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-28

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

  1. Environmental filtering drives the shape and breadth of the seed germination niche in coastal plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, Eduardo; Pérez-Arcoiza, Adrián; Prieto, José Alberto; Díaz, Tomás E

    2017-05-01

    A phylogenetic comparative analysis of the seed germination niche was conducted in coastal plant communities of western Europe. Two hypotheses were tested, that (1) the germination niche shape (i.e. the preference for a set of germination cues as opposed to another) would differ between beaches and cliffs to prevent seedling emergence in the less favourable season (winter and summer, respectively); and (2) the germination niche breadth (i.e. the amplitude of germination cues) would be narrower in the seawards communities, where environmental filtering is stronger. Seeds of 30 specialist species of coastal plant communities were collected in natural populations of northern Spain. Their germination was measured in six laboratory treatments based on field temperatures. Germination niche shape was estimated as the best germination temperature. Germination niche breadth was calculated using Pielou's evenness index. Differences between plant communities in their germination niche shape and breadth were tested using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression (PGLS). Germination niche shape differed between communities, being warm-cued in beaches (best germination temperature = 20 °C) and cold-cued in cliffs (14 °C). Germination niche was narrowest in seawards beaches (Pielou's index = 0·89) and broadest in landwards beaches (0·99). Cliffs had an intermediate germination niche breadth (0·95). The relationship between niche and plant community had a positive phylogenetic signal for shape (Pagel's λ = 0·64) and a negative one for breadth (Pagel's λ = -1·71). Environmental filters shape the germination niche to prevent emergence in the season of highest threat for seedling establishment. The germination niche breadth is narrower in the communities with stronger environmental filters, but only in beaches. This study provides empirical support to a community-level generalization of the hypotheses about the environmental drivers of the germination

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  3. The inverse niche model for food webs with parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Christopher P.; Pascual, Mercedes; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2010-01-01

    Although parasites represent an important component of ecosystems, few field and theoretical studies have addressed the structure of parasites in food webs. We evaluate the structure of parasitic links in an extensive salt marsh food web, with a new model distinguishing parasitic links from non-parasitic links among free-living species. The proposed model is an extension of the niche model for food web structure, motivated by the potential role of size (and related metabolic rates) in structuring food webs. The proposed extension captures several properties observed in the data, including patterns of clustering and nestedness, better than does a random model. By relaxing specific assumptions, we demonstrate that two essential elements of the proposed model are the similarity of a parasite's hosts and the increasing degree of parasite specialization, along a one-dimensional niche axis. Thus, inverting one of the basic rules of the original model, the one determining consumers' generality appears critical. Our results support the role of size as one of the organizing principles underlying niche space and food web topology. They also strengthen the evidence for the non-random structure of parasitic links in food webs and open the door to addressing questions concerning the consequences and origins of this structure.

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Modelling the meteorological forest fire niche in heterogeneous pyrologic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Angelis, Antonella; Ricotta, Carlo; Conedera, Marco; Pezzatti, Gianni Boris

    2015-01-01

    Fire regimes are strongly related to weather conditions that directly and indirectly influence fire ignition and propagation. Identifying the most important meteorological fire drivers is thus fundamental for daily fire risk forecasting. In this context, several fire weather indices have been developed focussing mainly on fire-related local weather conditions and fuel characteristics. The specificity of the conditions for which fire danger indices are developed makes its direct transfer and applicability problematic in different areas or with other fuel types. In this paper we used the low-to-intermediate fire-prone region of Canton Ticino as a case study to develop a new daily fire danger index by implementing a niche modelling approach (Maxent). In order to identify the most suitable weather conditions for fires, different combinations of input variables were tested (meteorological variables, existing fire danger indices or a combination of both). Our findings demonstrate that such combinations of input variables increase the predictive power of the resulting index and surprisingly even using meteorological variables only allows similar or better performances than using the complex Canadian Fire Weather Index (FWI). Furthermore, the niche modelling approach based on Maxent resulted in slightly improved model performance and in a reduced number of selected variables with respect to the classical logistic approach. Factors influencing final model robustness were the number of fire events considered and the specificity of the meteorological conditions leading to fire ignition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

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

    2017-03-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Essential environmental cues from the satellite cell niche unraveled

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boonen, K.J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Tissue engineering of skeletal muscle can be used for numerous purposes. The most obvious purposes lie in the field of regenerative medicine: treatment of muscular dystrophies or reconstruction surgery after trauma. In addition, tissue engineered skeletal muscle tissue can be used as a model system

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

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    Víctor Sánchez-Cordero

    2005-01-01

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

  12. The influence of social niche on cultural niche construction: modelling changes in belief about marriage form in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatov, Mikhail; Brown, Melissa J.; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2011-01-01

    With introduction of social niche effects into a model of cultural change, the frequency of a practice cannot predict the frequency of its underlying belief. The combination of a general model with empirical data from a specific case illustrates the importance of collaboration between modellers and field researchers, and identifies the type of quantitative data necessary for analysing case studies. Demographic data from colonial-period household registers in Taiwan document a shift in marriage form within 40 years, from a mixture of uxorilocal marriages and virilocal marriages to the latter's dominance. Ethnographic data indicate marriage-related beliefs, costs, ethnic effects and colonial policies as well as the importance of horizontal cultural transmission. We present a formal model for the effects of moral beliefs about marriage and a population economic index on the decline of uxorilocal marriage. We integrate empirical marriage rates and an estimated economic index to produce five projections of the historical frequencies of one belief. These projections demonstrate how economic development may affect a cultural niche. They also indicate the need for future research on the relationship between wealth and cultural variability, the motivational force of cultural versus social factors, and the process of cultural niche construction. PMID:21320903

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

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    Carlos Yañez-Arenas

    Full Text Available Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico.Ecological niche modeling (ENM was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC; this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper, explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence.Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yañez-Arenas, Carlos; Peterson, A Townsend; Mokondoko, Pierre; Rojas-Soto, Octavio; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC); this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper), explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence. Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low).

  15. Environmental niche separation between native and non-native benthic invertebrate species: Case study of the northern Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jänes, Holger; Herkül, Kristjan; Kotta, Jonne

    2017-10-01

    Knowledge and understanding of geographic distributions of species is crucial for many aspects in ecology, conservation, policy making and management. In order to reach such an understanding, it is important to know abiotic variables that impact and drive distributions of native and non-native species. We used an existing long-term macrobenthos database for species presence-absence information and biomass estimates at different environmental gradients in the northern Baltic Sea. Region specific abiotic variables (e.g. salinity, depth) were derived from previously constructed bathymetric and hydrodynamic models. Multidimensional ordination techniques were then applied to investigate potential niche space separation between all native and non-native invertebrates in the northern Baltic Sea. Such an approach allowed to obtain data rich and robust estimates of the current native and non-native species distributions and outline important abiotic parameters influencing the observed pattern. The results showed clear niche space separation between native and non-native species. Non-native species were situated in an environmental space characterized by reduced salinity, high temperatures, high proportion of soft seabed and decreased depth and wave exposure whereas native species displayed an opposite pattern. Different placement of native and non-native species along the studied environmental niche space is likely to be explained by the differences in their evolutionary history, human mediated activities and geological youth of the Baltic Sea. The results of this study can provide early warnings and effectively outline coastal areas in the northern Baltic Sea that are prone to further range expansion of non-native species as climate change is expected to significantly reduce salinity and increase temperature in wide coastal areas, both supporting the disappearance of native and appearance of non-native species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Matching global and regional distribution models of the recluse spider Loxosceles rufescens: to what extent do these reflect niche conservatism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taucare-Ríos, A; Nentwig, W; Bizama, G; Bustamante, R O

    2018-06-08

    The Mediterranean recluse spider, Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour, 1820) (Araneae: Sicariidae) is a cosmopolitan spider that has been introduced in many parts of the world. Its bite can be dangerous to humans. However, the potential distribution of this alien species, which is able to spread fairly quickly with human aid, is completely unknown. Using a combination of global and regional niche models, it is possible to analyse the spread of this species in relation to environmental conditions. This analysis found that the successful spreading of this species varies according to the region invaded. The majority of populations in Asia are stable and show niche conservatism, whereas in North America this spider is expected to be less successful in occupying niches that differ from those in its native region and that do not support its synanthropic way of living. © 2018 The Royal Entomological Society.

  17. Improved Predictions of the Geographic Distribution of Invasive Plants Using Climatic Niche Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E.; Bustamante, Ramiro O.

    2016-01-01

    Climatic niche models for invasive plants are usually constructed with occurrence records taken from literature and collections. Because these data neither discriminate among life-cycle stages of plants (adult or juvenile) nor the origin of individuals (naturally established or man-planted), the resulting models may mispredict the distribution ranges of these species. We propose that more accurate predictions could be obtained by modelling climatic niches with data of naturally established individuals, particularly with occurrence records of juvenile plants because this would restrict the predictions of models to those sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of the species. To test this proposal, we focused on the Peruvian peppertree (Schinus molle), a South American species that has largely invaded Mexico. Three climatic niche models were constructed for this species using high-resolution dataset gathered in the field. The first model included all occurrence records, irrespective of the life-cycle stage or origin of peppertrees (generalized niche model). The second model only included occurrence records of naturally established mature individuals (adult niche model), while the third model was constructed with occurrence records of naturally established juvenile plants (regeneration niche model). When models were compared, the generalized climatic niche model predicted the presence of peppertrees in sites located farther beyond the climatic thresholds that naturally established individuals can tolerate, suggesting that human activities influence the distribution of this invasive species. The adult and regeneration climatic niche models concurred in their predictions about the distribution of peppertrees, suggesting that naturally established adult trees only occur in sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of juvenile stages. These results support the proposal that climatic niches of invasive plants should be modelled with data of

  18. Using ecological niche modeling to determine avian richness hotspots

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    R. Mirzaei

    2017-04-01

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

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

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    Renato De Giovanni

    2015-09-01

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

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

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    Min Xu

    2016-06-01

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

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

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    Jorge Soberón

    2011-12-01

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

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

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    Alberto Muñoz

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Xavier; Felicísimo, Ángel M.

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Modeling of Iranian Cheetah Habitat using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (Case Study: Dare Anjir Wildlife Refuge

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    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of habitat sustainability indexes is essential in wildlife management and conservation of rare species. Suitable habitats are required in wildlife managements and conservation also, they increase reproduction and survival rate of species. In this study in order to mapping habitat sustainability and recognizing habitat requirements of Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, field data from Dare Anjir  wildlife refuge were collected since autumn 2009 until summer 2011. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis approach has been used to develop habitat suitability model. In this method primary maps of  habitat variables including elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation cover, distance from water sources and environmental monitoring stations have been produced by Idrisi and Biomapper software and imported in Biomapper. The output scores obtained from the analysis showed that Iranian cheetah tends to mountain areas where has more topographical features for camouflage in order to hunting, and northern aspects which have more humidity, denser vegetation cover and more preys . Our result showed that the Iranian cheetah has medium niche width and prefer marginal habitats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Vernon; Molofsky, Jane

    2015-01-01

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

  6. New molecular method to detect denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation bacteria from different environmental niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Sai; Lu, Wenjing; Muhammad, Farooq Mustafa; Liu, Yanting; Guo, Hanwen; Meng, Ruihong; Wang, Hongtao

    2018-03-01

    The denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidation is an ecologically important process for reducing the potential methane emission into the atmosphere. The responsible bacterium for this process was Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera belonging to the bacterial phylum of NC10. In this study, a new pair of primers targeting all the five groups of NC10 bacteria was designed to amplify NC10 bacteria from different environmental niches. The results showed that the group A was the dominant NC10 phylum bacteria from the sludges and food waste digestate while in paddy soil samples, group A and group B had nearly the same proportion. Our results also indicated that NC10 bacteria could exist in a high pH environment (pH9.24) from the food waste treatment facility. The Pearson relationship analysis showed that the pH had a significant positive relationship with the NC10 bacterial diversity (pbacteria. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Hydrological-niche models predict water plant functional group distributions in diverse wetland types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deane, David C; Nicol, Jason M; Gehrig, Susan L; Harding, Claire; Aldridge, Kane T; Goodman, Abigail M; Brookes, Justin D

    2017-06-01

    Human use of water resources threatens environmental water supplies. If resource managers are to develop policies that avoid unacceptable ecological impacts, some means to predict ecosystem response to changes in water availability is necessary. This is difficult to achieve at spatial scales relevant for water resource management because of the high natural variability in ecosystem hydrology and ecology. Water plant functional groups classify species with similar hydrological niche preferences together, allowing a qualitative means to generalize community responses to changes in hydrology. We tested the potential for functional groups in making quantitative prediction of water plant functional group distributions across diverse wetland types over a large geographical extent. We sampled wetlands covering a broad range of hydrogeomorphic and salinity conditions in South Australia, collecting both hydrological and floristic data from 687 quadrats across 28 wetland hydrological gradients. We built hydrological-niche models for eight water plant functional groups using a range of candidate models combining different surface inundation metrics. We then tested the predictive performance of top-ranked individual and averaged models for each functional group. Cross validation showed that models achieved acceptable predictive performance, with correct classification rates in the range 0.68-0.95. Model predictions can be made at any spatial scale that hydrological data are available and could be implemented in a geographical information system. We show the response of water plant functional groups to inundation is consistent enough across diverse wetland types to quantify the probability of hydrological impacts over regional spatial scales. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Slater

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

  9. Spatial distributions of niche-constructing populations

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    Xiaozhuo Han

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Kaitlin C.; Shinneman, Douglas; Potter, Kevin M.; Hipkins, Valerie D.

    2018-01-01

    Unique responses to climate change can occur across intraspecific levels, resulting in individualistic adaptation or movement patterns among populations within a given species. Thus, the need to model potential responses among genetically distinct populations within a species is increasingly recognized. However, predictive models of future distributions are regularly fit at the species level, often because intraspecific variation is unknown or is identified only within limited sample locations. In this study, we considered the role of intraspecific variation to shape the geographic distribution of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), an ecologically and economically important tree species in North America. Morphological and genetic variation across the distribution of ponderosa pine suggest the need to model intraspecific populations: the two varieties (var. ponderosa and var. scopulorum) and several haplotype groups within each variety have been shown to occupy unique climatic niches, suggesting populations have distinct evolutionary lineages adapted to different environmental conditions. We utilized a recently-available, geographically-widespread dataset of intraspecific variation (haplotypes) for ponderosa pine and a recently-devised lineage distance modeling approach to derive additional, likely intraspecific occurrence locations. We confirmed the relative uniqueness of each haplotype-climate relationship using a niche-overlap analysis, and developed ecological niche models (ENMs) to project the distribution for two varieties and eight haplotypes under future climate forecasts. Future projections of haplotype niche distributions generally revealed greater potential range loss than predicted for the varieties. This difference may reflect intraspecific responses of distinct evolutionary lineages. However, directional trends are generally consistent across intraspecific levels, and include a loss of distributional area and an upward shift in elevation. Our results

  11. Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Kaitlin C; Shinneman, Douglas J; Potter, Kevin M; Hipkins, Valerie D

    2018-03-14

    Unique responses to climate change can occur across intraspecific levels, resulting in individualistic adaptation or movement patterns among populations within a given species. Thus, the need to model potential responses among genetically distinct populations within a species is increasingly recognized. However, predictive models of future distributions are regularly fit at the species level, often because intraspecific variation is unknown or is identified only within limited sample locations. In this study, we considered the role of intraspecific variation to shape the geographic distribution of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), an ecologically and economically important tree species in North America. Morphological and genetic variation across the distribution of ponderosa pine suggest the need to model intraspecific populations: the two varieties (var. ponderosa and var. scopulorum) and several haplotype groups within each variety have been shown to occupy unique climatic niches, suggesting populations have distinct evolutionary lineages adapted to different environmental conditions. We utilized a recently-available, geographically-widespread dataset of intraspecific variation (haplotypes) for ponderosa pine and a recently-devised lineage distance modeling approach to derive additional, likely intraspecific occurrence locations. We confirmed the relative uniqueness of each haplotype-climate relationship using a niche-overlap analysis, and developed ecological niche models (ENMs) to project the distribution for two varieties and eight haplotypes under future climate forecasts. Future projections of haplotype niche distributions generally revealed greater potential range loss than predicted for the varieties. This difference may reflect intraspecific responses of distinct evolutionary lineages. However, directional trends are generally consistent across intraspecific levels, and include a loss of distributional area and an upward shift in elevation. Our results

  12. Asymmetric biotic interactions and abiotic niche differences revealed by a dynamic joint species distribution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lany, Nina K; Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Schliep, Erin M; Schaeffer, Robert N; Orians, Colin M; Orwig, David A; Preisser, Evan L

    2018-05-01

    A species' distribution and abundance are determined by abiotic conditions and biotic interactions with other species in the community. Most species distribution models correlate the occurrence of a single species with environmental variables only, and leave out biotic interactions. To test the importance of biotic interactions on occurrence and abundance, we compared a multivariate spatiotemporal model of the joint abundance of two invasive insects that share a host plant, hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA; Adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (EHS; Fiorina externa), to independent models that do not account for dependence among co-occurring species. The joint model revealed that HWA responded more strongly to abiotic conditions than EHS. Additionally, HWA appeared to predispose stands to subsequent increase of EHS, but HWA abundance was not strongly dependent on EHS abundance. This study demonstrates how incorporating spatial and temporal dependence into a species distribution model can reveal the dependence of a species' abundance on other species in the community. Accounting for dependence among co-occurring species with a joint distribution model can also improve estimation of the abiotic niche for species affected by interspecific interactions. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  13. Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs: Assessment of the Interrelationship of Occurrence in Clinical Settings and Environmental Niches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Ayodeji Adegoke

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The increasing threat to global health posed by antibiotic resistance remains of serious concern. Human health remains at higher risk due to several reported therapeutic failures to many life threatening drug resistant microbial infections. The resultant effects have been prolonged hospital stay, higher cost of alternative therapy, increased mortality, etc. This opinionated review considers the two main concerns in integrated human health risk assessment (i.e., residual antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes in various compartments of human environment, as well as clinical dynamics associated with the development and transfer of antibiotic resistance (AR. Contributions of quorum sensing, biofilms, enzyme production, and small colony variants in bacteria, among other factors in soil, water, animal farm and clinical settings were also considered. Every potential factor in environmental and clinical settings that brings about AR needs to be identified for the summative effects in overall resistance. There is a need to embrace coordinated multi-locational approaches and interrelationships to track the emergence of resistance in different niches in soil and water versus the hospital environment. The further integration with advocacy, legislation, enforcement, technological innovations and further research input and recourse to WHO guidelines on antibiotic policy would be advantageous towards addressing the emergence of antibiotic resistant superbugs.

  14. Intestinal Stem Cell Niche Insights Gathered from Both In Vivo and Novel In Vitro Models

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    Nikolce Gjorevski

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Intestinal stem cells are located at the base of the crypts and are surrounded by a complex structure called niche. This environment is composed mainly of epithelial cells and stroma which provides signals that govern cell maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation. Understanding how the niche regulates stem cell fate by controlling developmental signaling pathways will help us to define how stem cells choose between self-renewal and differentiation and how they maintain their undifferentiated state. Tractable in vitro assay systems, which reflect the complexity of the in vivo situation but provide higher level of control, would likely be crucial in identifying new players and mechanisms controlling stem cell function. Knowledge of the intestinal stem cell niche gathered from both in vivo and novel in vitro models may help us improve therapies for tumorigenesis and intestinal damage and make autologous intestinal transplants a feasible clinical practice.

  15. Application of a niche-based model for forest cover classification

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    Amici V

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, a surge of interest in biodiversity conservation have led to the development of new approaches to facilitate ecologically-based conservation policies and management plans. In particular, image classification and predictive distribution modeling applied to forest habitats, constitute a crucial issue as forests constitute the most widespread vegetation type and play a key role for ecosystem functioning. Then, the general purpose of this study is to develop a framework that in the absence of large amounts of field data for large areas may allow to select the most appropriate classification. In some cases, a hard division of classes is required, especially as support to environmental policies; despite this it is necessary to take into account problems which derive from a crisp view of ecological entities being mapped, since habitats are expected to be structurally complex and continuously vary within a landscape. In this paper, a niche model (MaxEnt, generally used to estimate species/habitat distribution, has been applied to classify forest cover in a complex Mediterranean area and to estimate the probability distribution of four forest types, producing continuous maps of forest cover. The use of the obtained models as validation of model for crisp classifications, highlighted that crisp classification, which is being continuously used in landscape research and planning, is not free from drawbacks as it is showing a high degree of inner variability. The modeling approach followed by this study, taking into account the uncertainty proper of the natural ecosystems and the use of environmental variables in land cover classification, may represent an useful approach to making more efficient and effective field inventories and to developing effective forest conservation policies.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

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    Alexander Moffett

    2007-09-01

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

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

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    Ismael Martins Pereira

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Rodrigo Gurgel-Gonçalves

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Niche construction game cancer cells play.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

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

  1. Niche construction game cancer cells play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Consequences of spatial autocorrelation for niche-based models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Segurado, P.; Araújo, Miguel B.; Kunin, W. E.

    2006-01-01

    1.  Spatial autocorrelation is an important source of bias in most spatial analyses. We explored the bias introduced by spatial autocorrelation on the explanatory and predictive power of species' distribution models, and make recommendations for dealing with the problem. 2.  Analyses were based o...

  3. Predicting Future Seed Sourcing of Platycladus orientalis (L. for Future Climates Using Climate Niche Models

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    Xian-Ge Hu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Climate niche modeling has been widely used to assess the impact of climate change on forest trees at the species level. However, geographically divergent tree populations are expected to respond differently to climate change. Considering intraspecific local adaptation in modeling species responses to climate change will thus improve the credibility and usefulness of climate niche models, particularly for genetic resources management. In this study, we used five Platycladus orientalis (L. seed zones (Northwestern; Northern; Central; Southern; and Subtropical covering the entire species range in China. A climate niche model was developed and used to project the suitable climatic conditions for each of the five seed zones for current and various future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5. Our results indicated that the Subtropical seed zone would show consistent reduction for all climate change scenarios. The remaining seed zones, however, would experience various degrees of expansion in suitable habitat relative to their current geographic distributions. Most of the seed zones would gain suitable habitats at their northern distribution margins and higher latitudes. Thus, we recommend adjusting the current forest management strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bible, Rachael C; Peterson, A Townsend

    2018-04-17

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

  5. Geological 3D model of the investigation niche in ONKALO, Olkiluoto, southwestern Finland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koittola, N.

    2014-07-01

    The main goal of this Master of Science Thesis was to create a geological 3D-model of the investigation niche 3 and its surroundings. The model were created for the needs of the rock mechanical back analysis. This study is a part of Posiva's regional studies for characterization of the bedrock. Totally 4 models were created: lithological model, foliation model, fracture model, and physical rock property model. Besides the modeling, there was also made a study of the migmatite structures in the niche. Used geological and geophysical methods were drill core loggings, tunnel mapping, ground penetration radar, mise-a-la-masse and drill hole geophysics. Four rock types exist at the niche area: veined gneiss, pegmatite granite, diatexitic gneiss and quartz gneiss. The lithological units were modeled primary with the drill core loggings, tunnel mapping and ground penetrating radar. The major lithological units followed the main foliation direction (south dipping). So the continuations were fairly easy to model in the walls and roof, where the data was lacking. Foliation and fractures were modeled as discs, with mid-points at the measurement points of the structure. There were two main foliation directions 164/46 and 62/39. Fractures were more scattered but three fracture sets can be separated: 156/34, 270/85 and 342/83. The first set is mainly from the drill core loggings, second and third from tunnel mapping. Used methods in foliation model were drill core loggings, tunnel mapping and drill hole geophysics. In fracture model used data was from drill core loggings, tunnel mapping, mise-a-la-masse measurements and drill core geophysic. Four anomalous zones were detected with the drill hole geophysics. Three of these zones were associated with intensely fractured zones and one was connected to exceptionally high mica content in the gneiss. Rocks of Olkiluoto are divided into gneisses and magmatic rocks in the geological mapping. Actually almost all Olkiluoto's rocks are

  6. Geological 3D model of the investigation niche in ONKALO, Olkiluoto, southwestern Finland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koittola, N.

    2014-07-15

    The main goal of this Master of Science Thesis was to create a geological 3D-model of the investigation niche 3 and its surroundings. The model were created for the needs of the rock mechanical back analysis. This study is a part of Posiva's regional studies for characterization of the bedrock. Totally 4 models were created: lithological model, foliation model, fracture model, and physical rock property model. Besides the modeling, there was also made a study of the migmatite structures in the niche. Used geological and geophysical methods were drill core loggings, tunnel mapping, ground penetration radar, mise-a-la-masse and drill hole geophysics. Four rock types exist at the niche area: veined gneiss, pegmatite granite, diatexitic gneiss and quartz gneiss. The lithological units were modeled primary with the drill core loggings, tunnel mapping and ground penetrating radar. The major lithological units followed the main foliation direction (south dipping). So the continuations were fairly easy to model in the walls and roof, where the data was lacking. Foliation and fractures were modeled as discs, with mid-points at the measurement points of the structure. There were two main foliation directions 164/46 and 62/39. Fractures were more scattered but three fracture sets can be separated: 156/34, 270/85 and 342/83. The first set is mainly from the drill core loggings, second and third from tunnel mapping. Used methods in foliation model were drill core loggings, tunnel mapping and drill hole geophysics. In fracture model used data was from drill core loggings, tunnel mapping, mise-a-la-masse measurements and drill core geophysic. Four anomalous zones were detected with the drill hole geophysics. Three of these zones were associated with intensely fractured zones and one was connected to exceptionally high mica content in the gneiss. Rocks of Olkiluoto are divided into gneisses and magmatic rocks in the geological mapping. Actually almost all Olkiluoto

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  8. Phaeobacter inhibens from the Roseobacter clade has an environmental niche as a surface colonizer in harbors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gram, Lone; Rasmussen, Bastian Barker; Wemheuer, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    in the environment is to date unknown. Here, we report on the repeated isolation of Phaeobacter inhibens strains from a marine environment (harbors) not related to aquaculture. Based on phenotype and 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity, a total of 64 P. inhibens strains were identified from 35 samples (eukaryotic...... and used for amplification of 16S rRNA. P. inhibens was detected in five of these samples, all of which were biofilm samples, by pyrotag-sequencing at a prevalence of 0.02–0.68% of the prokaryotic community. The results indicated that P. inhibens had a niche in biofilms of fouled surfaces in harbor areas...

  9. Global thermal niche models of two European grasses show high invasion risks in Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pertierra, Luis R; Aragón, Pedro; Shaw, Justine D; Bergstrom, Dana M; Terauds, Aleks; Olalla-Tárraga, Miguel Ángel

    2017-07-01

    The two non-native grasses that have established long-term populations in Antarctica (Poa pratensis and Poa annua) were studied from a global multidimensional thermal niche perspective to address the biological invasion risk to Antarctica. These two species exhibit contrasting introduction histories and reproductive strategies and represent two referential case studies of biological invasion processes. We used a multistep process with a range of species distribution modelling techniques (ecological niche factor analysis, multidimensional envelopes, distance/entropy algorithms) together with a suite of thermoclimatic variables, to characterize the potential ranges of these species. Their native bioclimatic thermal envelopes in Eurasia, together with the different naturalized populations across continents, were compared next. The potential niche of P. pratensis was wider at the cold extremes; however, P. annua life history attributes enable it to be a more successful colonizer. We observe that particularly cold summers are a key aspect of the unique Antarctic environment. In consequence, ruderals such as P. annua can quickly expand under such harsh conditions, whereas the more stress-tolerant P. pratensis endures and persist through steady growth. Compiled data on human pressure at the Antarctic Peninsula allowed us to provide site-specific biosecurity risk indicators. We conclude that several areas across the region are vulnerable to invasions from these and other similar species. This can only be visualized in species distribution models (SDMs) when accounting for founder populations that reveal nonanalogous conditions. Results reinforce the need for strict management practices to minimize introductions. Furthermore, our novel set of temperature-based bioclimatic GIS layers for ice-free terrestrial Antarctica provide a mechanism for regional and global species distribution models to be built for other potentially invasive species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Fernández

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  12. Environmental Modeling Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Environmental Modeling Center provides the computational tools to perform geostatistical analysis, to model ground water and atmospheric releases for comparison...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique Martinez-Meyer

    2012-04-01

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

  14. Niche modeling predictions of the potential distribution of Marmota himalayana, the host animal of plague in Yushu County of Qinghai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Lu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background After the earthquake on 14, April 2010 at Yushu in China, a plague epidemic hosted by Himalayan marmot (Marmota himalayana became a major public health concern during the reconstruction period. A rapid assessment of the distribution of Himalayan marmot in the area was urgent. The aims of this study were to analyze the relationship between environmental factors and the distribution of burrow systems of the marmot and to predict the distribution of marmots. Methods Two types of marmot burrows (hibernation and temporary in Yushu County were investigated from June to September in 2011. The location of every burrow was recorded with a global positioning system receiver. An ecological niche model was used to determine the relationship between the burrow occurrence data and environmental variables, such as land surface temperature (LST in winter and summer, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI in winter and summer, elevation, and soil type. The predictive accuracies of the models were assessed by the area under the curve of the receiving operator curve. Results The models for hibernation and temporary burrows both performed well. The contribution orders of the variables were LST in winter and soil type, NDVI in winter and elevation for the hibernation burrow model, and LST in summer, NDVI in summer, soil type and elevation in the temporary burrow model. There were non-linear relationships between the probability of burrow presence and LST, NDVI and elevation. LST of 14 and 23 °C, NDVI of 0.22 and 0.60, and 4100 m were inflection points. A substantially higher probability of burrow presence was observed in swamp soil and dark felty soil than in other soil types. The potential area for hibernation burrows was 5696 km2 (37.7 % of Yushu County, and the area for temporary burrows was 7711 km2 (51.0 % of Yushu County. Conclusions The results suggested that marmots preferred warm areas with relatively low altitudes and good

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Escalante

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wielstra Ben

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-09-01

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

  18. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaume Terradas

    2009-01-01

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

  19. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Domestic policy consequences of new implementation models. Consequences for industrial niches; Industripolitiske konsekvenser av nye gjennomfoeringsmodeller. Konsekvenser for nisjebedriftene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johannessen, T.

    1995-12-31

    The paper relates to the consequences of domestic policy with the focus on new implementation models used for cost reduction of offshore development projects in Norway. The paper puts the attention to the consequences from implementation models on industrial niches (subcontractors)

  1. Phytoplankton niches, traits and eco-evolutionary responses to global environmental change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Litchman, Elena; Edwards, Kyle F.; Klausmeier, Christopher A.

    2012-01-01

    Phytoplankton are major primary producers in aquatic ecosystems and are sensitive to various aspects of global environmental change. They can respond through phenotypic plasticity, species sorting, genetic adaptation, or a combination of these processes. Here we present conceptual, experimental...

  2. Assessing the Global Risk of Establishment of Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) using CLIMEX and MaxEnt Niche Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sunil; Neven, Lisa G; Zhu, Hongyu; Zhang, Runzhi

    2015-08-01

    Accurate assessment of insect pest establishment risk is needed by national plant protection organizations to negotiate international trade of horticultural commodities that can potentially carry the pests and result in inadvertent introductions in the importing countries. We used mechanistic and correlative niche models to quantify and map the global patterns of the potential for establishment of codling moth (Cydia pomonella L.), a major pest of apples, peaches, pears, and other pome and stone fruits, and a quarantine pest in countries where it currently does not occur. The mechanistic model CLIMEX was calibrated using species-specific physiological tolerance thresholds, whereas the correlative model MaxEnt used species occurrences and climatic spatial data. Projected potential distribution from both models conformed well to the current known distribution of codling moth. None of the models predicted suitable environmental conditions in countries located between 20°N and 20°S potentially because of shorter photoperiod, and lack of chilling requirement (Japan where codling moth currently does not occur but where its preferred host species (i.e., apple) is present. Average annual temperature and latitude were the main environmental variables associated with codling moth distribution at global level. The predictive models developed in this study present the global risk of establishment of codling moth, and can be used for monitoring potential introductions of codling moth in different countries and by policy makers and trade negotiators in making science-based decisions. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis E. Escobar

    2014-11-01

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

  5. Cardiovascular oxygen transport limitations to thermal niche expansion and the role of environmental Po2 in Antarctic notothenioid fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Bradley A; Hedrick, Michael S; Hillman, Stanley S

    2014-01-01

    The notothenioid fishes of the Southern Ocean possess some of the lowest upper thermal thresholds of any species and display a range of cardiovascular features that distinguish them from other fishes. Some species lack hemoglobin, and it has been posited that the inability to deliver sufficient oxygen at elevated temperature may in part determine upper thermal thresholds. Here, we provide an analysis of systemic O2 transport based on circulatory resistance, cardiac outputs, and cardiac power for three species of Antarctic fishes, including species that possess hemoglobin (Trematomus bernacchii, Pagothenia borchgrevinki) and a species lacking hemoglobin (Chaenocephalus aceratus) and that differ in their cardiovascular characteristics. This analysis supports the hypothesis that the mutation resulting in the lack of hemoglobin would be metabolically prohibitive at elevated temperatures. The analysis also suggests that such a mutation would be least detrimental to species with greater cardiac power outputs and lower total peripheral resistance. Decreased environmental Po2 has the greatest detrimental effect on the metabolic capacity in the species without hemoglobin. These data indicate that differences in cardiovascular characteristics of the notothenioid fishes place varying limits on thermal niche expansion in these species, but any significant increase in environmental temperature or decrease in environmental Po2 will prohibit maintenance of cardiovascular systemic O2 transport in all species. These data also suggest an evolutionary sequence of events such that a reduction in hematocrit, to reduce blood viscosity and resistance, was a first step in the invasion of low-temperature habitats and loss of hemoglobin was followed by increased cardiac power output to achieve sustainable metabolic rates.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred O. Ochieng

    2016-11-01

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

  7. From GenBank to GBIF: Phylogeny-Based Predictive Niche Modeling Tests Accuracy of Taxonomic Identifications in Large Occurrence Data Repositories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, B Eugene; Johnston, Mark K; Lücking, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Accuracy of taxonomic identifications is crucial to data quality in online repositories of species occurrence data, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), which have accumulated several hundred million records over the past 15 years. These data serve as basis for large scale analyses of macroecological and biogeographic patterns and to document environmental changes over time. However, taxonomic identifications are often unreliable, especially for non-vascular plants and fungi including lichens, which may lack critical revisions of voucher specimens. Due to the scale of the problem, restudy of millions of collections is unrealistic and other strategies are needed. Here we propose to use verified, georeferenced occurrence data of a given species to apply predictive niche modeling that can then be used to evaluate unverified occurrences of that species. Selecting the charismatic lichen fungus, Usnea longissima, as a case study, we used georeferenced occurrence records based on sequenced specimens to model its predicted niche. Our results suggest that the target species is largely restricted to a narrow range of boreal and temperate forest in the Northern Hemisphere and that occurrence records in GBIF from tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere do not represent this taxon, a prediction tested by comparison with taxonomic revisions of Usnea for these regions. As a novel approach, we employed Principal Component Analysis on the environmental grid data used for predictive modeling to visualize potential ecogeographical barriers for the target species; we found that tropical regions conform a strong barrier, explaining why potential niches in the Southern Hemisphere were not colonized by Usnea longissima and instead by morphologically similar species. This approach is an example of how data from two of the most important biodiversity repositories, GenBank and GBIF, can be effectively combined to remotely address the problem of inaccuracy of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  9. Modeling environmental policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, W.E.; McDonald, L.A.

    1997-01-01

    The eight book chapters demonstrate the link between the physical models of the environment and the policy analysis in support of policy making. Each chapter addresses an environmental policy issue using a quantitative modeling approach. The volume addresses three general areas of environmental policy - non-point source pollution in the agricultural sector, pollution generated in the extractive industries, and transboundary pollutants from burning fossil fuels. The book concludes by discussing the modeling efforts and the use of mathematical models in general. Chapters are entitled: modeling environmental policy: an introduction; modeling nonpoint source pollution in an integrated system (agri-ecological); modeling environmental and trade policy linkages: the case of EU and US agriculture; modeling ecosystem constraints in the Clean Water Act: a case study in Clearwater National Forest (subject to discharge from metal mining waste); costs and benefits of coke oven emission controls; modeling equilibria and risk under global environmental constraints (discussing energy and environmental interrelations); relative contribution of the enhanced greenhouse effect on the coastal changes in Louisiana; and the use of mathematical models in policy evaluations: comments. The paper on coke area emission controls has been abstracted separately for the IEA Coal Research CD-ROM

  10. Environmental enrichment, age and PPARα interact to regulate proliferation in neurogenic niches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margarita ePerez-Martin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα ligands have been shown to modulate recovery after brain insults such as ischemia and irradiation by enhancing neurogenesis. In the present study, we investigated the effect of the genetic deletion of PPARα receptors on the proliferative rate of neural precursor cells (NPC in the adult brain. The study was performed in aged Pparα-/- mice exposed to nutritional (treats and environmental (games enrichments for 20 days. We performed immunohistochemical analyses of cells containing the replicating cell DNA marker 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU+ and the immature neuronal marker doublecortin (Dcx+ in the main neurogenic zones of the adult brain: subgranular zone of dentate gyrus (SGZ, subventricular zone of lateral ventricles (SVZ and/or hypothalamus. Results indicated a reduction in the number of BrdU+ cells in the neurogenic zones analyzed as well as Dcx+ cells in the SGZ during aging (2, 6, 18 months. Pparα deficiency alleviated the age-related reduction of NPC proliferation (BrdU+ cells in the SVZ of the 18-months-old mice. While no genotype effect on NPC proliferation was detected in the SGZ during aging, an accentuated reduction in the number of Dcx+ cells was observed in the SGZ of the 6-months-old Pparα-/- mice. Exposing the 18-months-old mice to nutritional and environmental enrichments reversed the Pparα-/--induced impairment of NPC proliferation in the neurogenic zones analyzed. The enriched environment did not modify the number of SGZ Dcx+ cells in the 18 months old Pparα-/- mice. These results identify PPARα receptors as a potential target to counteract the naturally observed decline in adult NPC proliferation associated with aging and impoverished environments.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria da Salete Gurgel Costa

    2014-08-01

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

  12. Hypoxia-Activated Prodrug TH-302 Targets Hypoxic Bone Marrow Niches in Preclinical Leukemia Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benito, Juliana; Ramirez, Marc S; Millward, Niki Zacharias; Velez, Juliana; Harutyunyan, Karine G; Lu, Hongbo; Shi, Yue-Xi; Matre, Polina; Jacamo, Rodrigo; Ma, Helen; Konoplev, Sergej; McQueen, Teresa; Volgin, Andrei; Protopopova, Marina; Mu, Hong; Lee, Jaehyuk; Bhattacharya, Pratip K; Marszalek, Joseph R; Davis, R Eric; Bankson, James A; Cortes, Jorge E; Hart, Charles P; Andreeff, Michael; Konopleva, Marina

    2016-04-01

    To characterize the prevalence of hypoxia in the leukemic bone marrow, its association with metabolic and transcriptional changes in the leukemic blasts and the utility of hypoxia-activated prodrug TH-302 in leukemia models. Hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy was utilized to interrogate the pyruvate metabolism of the bone marrow in the murine acute myeloid leukemia (AML) model. Nanostring technology was used to evaluate a gene set defining a hypoxia signature in leukemic blasts and normal donors. The efficacy of the hypoxia-activated prodrug TH-302 was examined in the in vitro and in vivo leukemia models. Metabolic imaging has demonstrated increased glycolysis in the femur of leukemic mice compared with healthy control mice, suggesting metabolic reprogramming of hypoxic bone marrow niches. Primary leukemic blasts in samples from AML patients overexpressed genes defining a "hypoxia index" compared with samples from normal donors. TH-302 depleted hypoxic cells, prolonged survival of xenograft leukemia models, and reduced the leukemia stem cell pool in vivo In the aggressive FLT3/ITD MOLM-13 model, combination of TH-302 with tyrosine kinase inhibitor sorafenib had greater antileukemia effects than either drug alone. Importantly, residual leukemic bone marrow cells in a syngeneic AML model remain hypoxic after chemotherapy. In turn, administration of TH-302 following chemotherapy treatment to mice with residual disease prolonged survival, suggesting that this approach may be suitable for eliminating chemotherapy-resistant leukemia cells. These findings implicate a pathogenic role of hypoxia in leukemia maintenance and chemoresistance and demonstrate the feasibility of targeting hypoxic cells by hypoxia cytotoxins. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huatao Liu

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

  14. Evolutionary responses to a constructed niche: ancient Mesoamericans as a model of gene-culture coevolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tábita Hünemeier

    Full Text Available Culture and genetics rely on two distinct but not isolated transmission systems. Cultural processes may change the human selective environment and thereby affect which individuals survive and reproduce. Here, we evaluated whether the modes of subsistence in Native American populations and the frequencies of the ABCA1*Arg230Cys polymorphism were correlated. Further, we examined whether the evolutionary consequences of the agriculturally constructed niche in Mesoamerica could be considered as a gene-culture coevolution model. For this purpose, we genotyped 229 individuals affiliated with 19 Native American populations and added data for 41 other Native American groups (n = 1905 to the analysis. In combination with the SNP cluster of a neutral region, this dataset was then used to unravel the scenario involved in 230Cys evolutionary history. The estimated age of 230Cys is compatible with its origin occurring in the American continent. The correlation of its frequencies with the archeological data on Zea pollen in Mesoamerica/Central America, the neutral coalescent simulations, and the F(ST-based natural selection analysis suggest that maize domestication was the driving force in the increase in the frequencies of 230Cys in this region. These results may represent the first example of a gene-culture coevolution involving an autochthonous American allele.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela Signorini

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-07

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

  19. Plant stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Niche players

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    FitzGerald, Alyssa M

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-09

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

  3. Niche tracking and rapid establishment of distributional equilibrium in the house sparrow show potential responsiveness of species to climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B Monahan

    changes to the realized environmental space. Such insights may be used to conceptualize mechanistic climatic niche models in birds and other taxa.

  4. Stem Cell Spheroids and Ex Vivo Niche Modeling: Rationalization and Scaling-Up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimenti, Isotta; Massai, Diana; Morbiducci, Umberto; Beltrami, Antonio Paolo; Pesce, Maurizio; Messina, Elisa

    2017-04-01

    Improved protocols/devices for in vitro culture of 3D cell spheroids may provide essential cues for proper growth and differentiation of stem/progenitor cells (S/PCs) in their niche, allowing preservation of specific features, such as multi-lineage potential and paracrine activity. Several platforms have been employed to replicate these conditions and to generate S/PC spheroids for therapeutic applications. However, they incompletely reproduce the niche environment, with partial loss of its highly regulated network, with additional hurdles in the field of cardiac biology, due to debated resident S/PCs therapeutic potential and clinical translation. In this contribution, the essential niche conditions (metabolic, geometric, mechanical) that allow S/PCs maintenance/commitment will be discussed. In particular, we will focus on both existing bioreactor-based platforms for the culture of S/PC as spheroids, and on possible criteria for the scaling-up of niche-like spheroids, which could be envisaged as promising tools for personalized cardiac regenerative medicine, as well as for high-throughput drug screening.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Navas, Vicente; Westerman, Michael

    2018-05-28

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

  6. Re-establishing the pecking order: Niche models reliably predict suitable habitats for the reintroduction of red-billed oxpeckers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalle, Riddhika; Combrink, Leigh; Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Distributions of avian mutualists are affected by changes in biotic interactions and environmental conditions driven directly/indirectly by human actions. The range contraction of red-billed oxpeckers ( Buphagus erythrorhynchus ) in South Africa is partly a result of the widespread use of acaracides (i.e., mainly cattle dips), toxic to both ticks and oxpeckers. We predicted the habitat suitability of red-billed oxpeckers in South Africa using ensemble models to assist the ongoing reintroduction efforts and to identify new reintroduction sites for population recovery. The distribution of red-billed oxpeckers was influenced by moderate to high tree cover, woodland habitats, and starling density (a proxy for cavity-nesting birds) with regard to nest-site characteristics. Consumable resources (host and tick density), bioclimate, surface water body density, and proximity to protected areas were other influential predictors. Our models estimated 42,576.88-98,506.98 km 2 of highly suitable habitat (0.5-1) covering the majority of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, a substantial portion of northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Gauteng Province. Niche models reliably predicted suitable habitat in 40%-61% of the reintroduction sites where breeding is currently successful. Ensemble, boosted regression trees and generalized additive models predicted few suitable areas in the Eastern Cape and south of KZN that are part of the historic range. A few southern areas in the Northern Cape, outside the historic range, also had suitable sites predicted. Our models are a promising decision support tool for guiding reintroduction programs at macroscales. Apart from active reintroductions, conservation programs should encourage farmers and/or landowners to use oxpecker-compatible agrochemicals and set up adequate nest boxes to facilitate the population recovery of the red-billed oxpecker, particularly in human-modified landscapes. To ensure long-term conservation success, we suggest that

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno M Carvalho

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  10. Chick embryo xenograft model reveals a novel perineural niche for human adipose-derived stromal cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid R. Cordeiro

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Human adipose-derived stromal cells (hADSC are a heterogeneous cell population that contains adult multipotent stem cells. Although it is well established that hADSC have skeletal potential in vivo in adult organisms, in vitro assays suggest further differentiation capacity, such as into glia. Thus, we propose that grafting hADSC into the embryo can provide them with a much more instructive microenvironment, allowing the human cells to adopt diverse fates or niches. Here, hADSC spheroids were grafted into either the presumptive presomitic mesoderm or the first branchial arch (BA1 regions of chick embryos. Cells were identified without previous manipulations via human-specific Alu probes, which allows efficient long-term tracing of heterogeneous primary cultures. When grafted into the trunk, in contrast to previous studies, hADSC were not found in chondrogenic or osteogenic territories up to E8. Surprisingly, 82.5% of the hADSC were associated with HNK1+ tissues, such as peripheral nerves. Human skin fibroblasts showed a smaller tropism for nerves. In line with other studies, hADSC also adopted perivascular locations. When grafted into the presumptive BA1, 74.6% of the cells were in the outflow tract, the final goal of cardiac neural crest cells, and were also associated with peripheral nerves. This is the first study showing that hADSC could adopt a perineural niche in vivo and were able to recognize cues for neural crest cell migration of the host. Therefore, we propose that xenografts of human cells into chick embryos can reveal novel behaviors of heterogeneous cell populations, such as response to migration cues.

  11. Innovative business models within niche tourist markets: shared identity, authenticity and flexibile networks. The case of three italian SMEs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Montaguti

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Innovative business models within niche tourist markets: shared identity, authenticity and flexibile networks. The case of three italian SMEs The evolution of business models is a crucial challenge for tourism companies, which should understand how they can stimulate their creativity and introduce innovation. However for many firms, in particular for SMEs, this process is not so easy to be adopted. Even more difficult it is to understand how the business model should change to be successful in solving what appears to be one of the main problems for SMEs, especially within mature, tourist destinations, i.e. targeting new profitable segments. The paper discusses the main findings of a research project carried out by the authors about changes in the business models of Italian tourism companies, underlining in particular three case-studies of interest in terms of the innovation put in place and that relate to SMEs. The analysis, based on the business model canvas, the value constellation and the storytelling, found out that these three firms are flexible companies that have characteristics emblematic of the knowledge and information economy business models. They successfully answer the needs of specific niches, finding new opportunities within a mature tourism market and famous destinations, thanks to their ability to develop wide flexible networks, where customers are an active part, and thanks to the value proposed to the clients, centred on the idea of a shared identity between the clients and the company’s founders and of an authenticity guaranteed by the life story of the founders themselves.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Environmental Measurements and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental measurement is any data collection activity involving the assessment of chemical, physical, or biological factors in the environment which affect human health. Learn more about these programs and tools that aid in environmental decisions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Effects of global changes on the climatic niche of the tick Ixodes ricinus inferred by species distribution modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porretta, Daniele; Mastrantonio, Valentina; Amendolia, Sara; Gaiarsa, Stefano; Epis, Sara; Genchi, Claudio; Bandi, Claudio; Otranto, Domenico; Urbanelli, Sandra

    2013-09-19

    Global climate change can seriously impact on the epidemiological dynamics of vector-borne diseases. In this study we investigated how future climatic changes could affect the climatic niche of Ixodes ricinus (Acari, Ixodida), among the most important vectors of pathogens of medical and veterinary concern in Europe. Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) was used to reconstruct the climatic niche of I. ricinus, and to project it into the future conditions for 2050 and 2080, under two scenarios: a continuous human demographic growth and a severe increase of gas emissions (scenario A2), and a scenario that proposes lower human demographic growth than A2, and a more sustainable gas emissions (scenario B2). Models were reconstructed using the algorithm of "maximum entropy", as implemented in the software Maxent 3.3.3e; 4,544 occurrence points and 15 bioclimatic variables were used. In both scenarios an increase of climatic niche of about two times greater than the current area was predicted as well as a higher climatic suitability under the scenario B2 than A2. Such an increase occurred both in a latitudinal and longitudinal way, including northern Eurasian regions (e.g. Sweden and Russia), that were previously unsuitable for the species. Our models are congruent with the predictions of range expansion already observed in I. ricinus at a regional scale and provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the future climatically suitable areas for I. ricinus at a continental scale. Although the use of SDM at a higher resolution should be integrated by a more refined analysis of further abiotic and biotic data, the results presented here suggest that under future climatic scenarios most of the current distribution area of I. ricinus could remain suitable and significantly increase at a continental geographic scale. Therefore disease outbreaks of pathogens transmitted by this tick species could emerge in previous non-endemic geographic areas. Further studies will

  16. Mammalian niche conservation through deep time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

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

  17. Using niche-based modelling to assess the impact of climate change on tree functional diversity in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Lavorel, Sandra; Sykes, Martin T.

    2006-01-01

    Rapid anthropogenic climate change is already affecting species distributions and ecosystem functioning worldwide. We applied niche-based models to analyse the impact of climate change on tree species and functional diversity in Europe. Present-day climate was used to predict the distributions...... of 122 tree species from different functional types (FT). We then explored projections of future distributions under one climate scenario for 2080, considering two alternative dispersal assumptions: no dispersal and unlimited dispersal. The species-rich broadleaved deciduous group appeared to play a key...... role in the future of different European regions. Temperate areas were projected to lose both species richness and functional diversity due to the loss of broadleaved deciduous trees. These were projected to migrate to boreal forests, thereby increasing their species richness and functional diversity...

  18. Single-cell and coupled GRN models of cell patterning in the Arabidopsis thaliana root stem cell niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvarez-Buylla Elena R

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent experimental work has uncovered some of the genetic components required to maintain the Arabidopsis thaliana root stem cell niche (SCN and its structure. Two main pathways are involved. One pathway depends on the genes SHORTROOT and SCARECROW and the other depends on the PLETHORA genes, which have been proposed to constitute the auxin readouts. Recent evidence suggests that a regulatory circuit, composed of WOX5 and CLE40, also contributes to the SCN maintenance. Yet, we still do not understand how the niche is dynamically maintained and patterned or if the uncovered molecular components are sufficient to recover the observed gene expression configurations that characterize the cell types within the root SCN. Mathematical and computational tools have proven useful in understanding the dynamics of cell differentiation. Hence, to further explore root SCN patterning, we integrated available experimental data into dynamic Gene Regulatory Network (GRN models and addressed if these are sufficient to attain observed gene expression configurations in the root SCN in a robust and autonomous manner. Results We found that an SCN GRN model based only on experimental data did not reproduce the configurations observed within the root SCN. We developed several alternative GRN models that recover these expected stable gene configurations. Such models incorporate a few additional components and interactions in addition to those that have been uncovered. The recovered configurations are stable to perturbations, and the models are able to recover the observed gene expression profiles of almost all the mutants described so far. However, the robustness of the postulated GRNs is not as high as that of other previously studied networks. Conclusions These models are the first published approximations for a dynamic mechanism of the A. thaliana root SCN cellular pattering. Our model is useful to formally show that the data now available are not

  19. Macro-economic environmental models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wier, M.

    1993-01-01

    In the present report, an introduction to macro-economic environmental models is given. The role of the models as a tool for policy analysis is discussed. Future applications, as well as the limitations given by the data, are brought into focus. The economic-ecological system is described. A set of guidelines for implementation of the system in a traditional economic macro-model is proposed. The characteristics of empirical national and international environmental macro-economic models so far are highlighted. Special attention is paid to main economic causalities and their consequences for the environmental policy recommendations sat by the models. (au) (41 refs.)

  20. Characterising performance of environmental models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bennett, N.D.; Croke, B.F.W.; Guariso, G.; Guillaume, J.H.A.; Hamilton, S.H.; Jakeman, A.J.; Marsili-Libelli, S.; Newham, L.T.H.; Norton, J.; Perrin, C.; Pierce, S.; Robson, B.; Seppelt, R.; Voinov, A.; Fath, B.D.; Andreassian, V.

    2013-01-01

    In order to use environmental models effectively for management and decision-making, it is vital to establish an appropriate level of confidence in their performance. This paper reviews techniques available across various fields for characterising the performance of environmental models with focus

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  2. Environmental Satellite Models for a Macroeconomic Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moeller, F.; Grinderslev, D.; Werner, M.

    2003-01-01

    To support national environmental policy, it is desirable to forecast and analyse environmental indicators consistently with economic variables. However, environmental indicators are physical measures linked to physical activities that are not specified in economic models. One way to deal with this is to develop environmental satellite models linked to economic models. The system of models presented gives a frame of reference where emissions of greenhouse gases, acid gases, and leaching of nutrients to the aquatic environment are analysed in line with - and consistently with - macroeconomic variables. This paper gives an overview of the data and the satellite models. Finally, the results of applying the model system to calculate the impacts on emissions and the economy are reviewed in a few illustrative examples. The models have been developed for Denmark; however, most of the environmental data used are from the CORINAIR system implemented in numerous countries

  3. Stem Cell Plasticity and Niche Dynamics in Cancer Progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picco, Noemi; Gatenby, Robert A; Anderson, Alexander R A

    2017-03-01

    Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been hypothesized to initiate and drive tumor growth and recurrence due to their self-renewal ability. If correct, this hypothesis implies that successful therapy must focus primarily on eradication of this CSC fraction. However, recent evidence suggests stemness is niche dependent and may represent one of many phenotypic states that can be accessed by many cancer genotypes when presented with specific environmental cues. A better understanding of the relationship of stemness to niche-related phenotypic plasticity could lead to alternative treatment strategies. Here, we investigate the role of environmental context in the expression of stem-like cell properties through in-silico simulation of ductal carcinoma. We develop a two-dimensional hybrid discrete-continuum cellular automata model to describe the single-cell scale dynamics of multicellular tissue formation. Through a suite of simulations, we investigate interactions between a phenotypically heterogeneous cancer cell population and a dynamic environment. We generate homeostatic ductal structures that consist of a mixture of stem and differentiated cells governed by both intracellular and environmental dynamics. We demonstrate that a wide spectrum of tumor-like histologies can result from these structures by varying microenvironmental parameters. Niche driven phenotypic plasticity offers a simple first-principle explanation for the diverse ductal structures observed in histological sections from breast cancer. Conventional models of carcinogenesis largely focus on mutational events. We demonstrate that variations in the environmental niche can produce intraductal cancers independent of genetic changes in the resident cells. Therapies targeting the microenvironmental niche may offer an alternative cancer prevention strategy.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Moo-Llanes

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Northern glacial refugia and altitudinal niche divergence shape genome-wide differentiation in the emerging plant model Arabidopsis arenosa

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolář, Filip; Fuxová, G.; Záveská, E.; Nagano, A. J.; Hyklová, L.; Lučanová, Magdalena; Kudoh, H.; Marhold, K.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 16 (2016), s. 3929-3949 ISSN 0962-1083 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : approximate Bayesian computatuion * niche differentiation * phytogeography * Arabidopsis Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  8. Reconstitution of bone-like matrix in osteogenically differentiated mesenchymal stem cell–collagen constructs: A three-dimensional in vitro model to study hematopoietic stem cell niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WY Lai

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs and osteoblasts are important niche cells for hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs in bone marrow osteoblastic niche. Here, we aim to partially reconstitute the bone marrow HSC niche in vitro using collagen microencapsulation for investigation of the interactions between HSCs and MSCs. Mouse MSCs (mMSCs microencapsulated in collagen were osteogenically differentiated to derive a bone-like matrix consisting of osteocalcin, osteopontin, and calcium deposits and secreted bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP2. Decellularized bone-like matrix was seeded with fluorescence-labeled human MSCs and HSCs. Comparing with pure collagen scaffold, significantly more HSCs and HSC–MSC pairs per unit area were found in the decellularized bone-like matrix. Moreover, incubation with excess neutralizing antibody of BMP2 resulted in a significantly higher number of HSC per unit area than that without in the decellularized matrix. This work suggests that the osteogenic differentiated MSC–collagen microsphere is a valuable three-dimensional in vitro model to elucidate cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions in HSC niche.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohlenhoff, Kathryn A; Codding, Brian F

    2017-09-01

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

  10. Comparing two remote video survey methods for spatial predictions of the distribution and environmental niche suitability of demersal fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galaiduk, Ronen; Radford, Ben T; Wilson, Shaun K; Harvey, Euan S

    2017-12-15

    Information on habitat associations from survey data, combined with spatial modelling, allow the development of more refined species distribution modelling which may identify areas of high conservation/fisheries value and consequentially improve conservation efforts. Generalised additive models were used to model the probability of occurrence of six focal species after surveys that utilised two remote underwater video sampling methods (i.e. baited and towed video). Models developed for the towed video method had consistently better predictive performance for all but one study species although only three models had a good to fair fit, and the rest were poor fits, highlighting the challenges associated with modelling habitat associations of marine species in highly homogenous, low relief environments. Models based on baited video dataset regularly included large-scale measures of structural complexity, suggesting fish attraction to a single focus point by bait. Conversely, models based on the towed video data often incorporated small-scale measures of habitat complexity and were more likely to reflect true species-habitat relationships. The cost associated with use of the towed video systems for surveying low-relief seascapes was also relatively low providing additional support for considering this method for marine spatial ecological modelling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  13. Inhibition of WNT signaling in the bone marrow niche prevents the development of MDS in the Apcdel/+ MDS mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoddart, Angela; Wang, Jianghong; Hu, Chunmei; Fernald, Anthony A; Davis, Elizabeth M; Cheng, Jason X; Le Beau, Michelle M

    2017-06-01

    There is accumulating evidence that functional alteration(s) of the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment contribute to the development of some myeloid disorders, such as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In addition to a cell-intrinsic role of WNT activation in leukemia stem cells, WNT activation in the BM niche is also thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of MDS and AML. We previously showed that the Apc -haploinsufficient mice ( Apc del/+ ) model MDS induced by an aberrant BM microenvironment. We sought to determine whether Apc, a multifunctional protein and key negative regulator of the canonical β-catenin (Ctnnb1)/WNT-signaling pathway, mediates this disease through modulating WNT signaling, and whether inhibition of WNT signaling prevents the development of MDS in Apc del/+ mice. Here, we demonstrate that loss of 1 copy of Ctnnb1 is sufficient to prevent the development of MDS in Apc del/+ mice and that altered canonical WNT signaling in the microenvironment is responsible for the disease. Furthermore, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug pyrvinium delays and/or inhibits disease in Apc del /+ mice, even when it is administered after the presentation of anemia. Other groups have observed increased nuclear CTNNB1 in stromal cells from a high frequency of MDS/AML patients, a finding that together with our results highlights a potential new strategy for treating some myeloid disorders. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  15. Integrated Environmental Assessment Modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guardanz, R; Gimeno, B S; Bermejo, V; Elvira, S; Martin, F; Palacios, M; Rodriguez, E; Donaire, I [Ciemat, Madrid (Spain)

    2000-07-01

    This report describes the results of the Spanish participation in the project Coupling CORINAIR data to cost-effect emission reduction strategies based on critical threshold. (EU/LIFE97/ENV/FIN/336). The subproject has focused on three tasks. Develop tools to improve knowledge on the spatial and temporal details of emissions of air pollutants in Spain. Exploit existing experimental information on plant response to air pollutants in temperate ecosystem and Integrate these findings in a modelling framework that can asses with more accuracy the impact of air pollutants to temperate ecosystems. The results obtained during the execution of this project have significantly improved the models of the impact of alternative emission control strategies on ecosystems and crops in the Iberian Peninsula. (Author) 375 refs.

  16. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

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

  17. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  20. Competition influence in the segregation of the trophic niche of otariids: a case study using isotopic Bayesian mixing models in Galapagos pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páez-Rosas, Diego; Rodríguez-Pérez, Mónica; Riofrío-Lazo, Marjorie

    2014-12-15

    The feeding success of predators is associated with the competition level for resources, and, thus, sympatric species are exposed to a potential trophic overlap. Isotopic Bayesian mixing models should provide a better understanding of the contribution of preys to the diet of predators and the feeding behavior of a species over time. The carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures from pup hair samples of 93 Galapagos sea lions and 48 Galapagos fur seals collected between 2003 and 2009 in different regions (east and west) of the archipelago were analyzed. A PDZ Europa ANCA-GSL elemental analyzer interfaced with a PDZ Europa 20-20 continuous flow gas source mass spectrometer was employed. Bayesian models, SIAR and SIBER, were used to estimate the contribution of prey to the diet of predators, the niche breadth, and the trophic overlap level between the populations. Statistical differences in the isotopic values of both predators were observed over the time. The mixing model determined that Galapagos fur seals had a primarily teutophagous diet, whereas the Galapagos sea lions fed exclusively on fish in both regions of the archipelago. The SIBER analysis showed differences in the trophic niche between the two sea lion populations, with the western rookery of the Galapagos sea lion being the population with the largest trophic niche area. A trophic niche partitioning between Galapagos fur seals and Galapagos sea lions in the west of the archipelago is suggested by our results. At intraspecific level, the western population of the Galapagos sea lion (ZwW) showed higher trophic breadth than the eastern population, a strategy adopted by the ZwW to decrease the interspecific competition levels in the western region. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-24

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Anne-Isola Nekaris

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Communication models in environmental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidotti, Tee L

    2013-01-01

    Communication models common in environmental health are not well represented in the literature on health communication. Risk communication is a systematic approach to conveying essential information about a specific environmental issue and a framework for thinking about community risk and the alternatives for dealing with it. Crisis communication is intended to provide essential information to people facing an emergency in order to mitigate its effects and to enable them to make appropriate decisions, and it is primarily used in emergency management. Corporate communication is intended to achieve a change in attitude or perception of an organization, and its role in environmental health is usually public relations or to rehabilitate a damaged reputation. Environmental health education is a more didactic approach to science education with respect to health and the environment. Social marketing uses conventional marketing methods to achieve a socially desirable purpose but is more heavily used in health promotion generally. Communication models and styles in environmental health are specialized to serve the needs of the field in communicating with the community. They are highly structured and executed in different ways but have in common a relative lack of emphasis on changing personal or lifestyle behavior compared with health promotion and public health in general and a tendency to emphasize content on specific environmental issues and decision frameworks for protecting oneself or the community through collective action.

  4. Ecological niches of open ocean phytoplankton taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Thermal niche for in situ seed germination by Mediterranean mountain streams: model prediction and validation for Rhamnus persicifolia seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porceddu, Marco; Mattana, Efisio; Pritchard, Hugh W.; Bacchetta, Gianluigi

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Mediterranean mountain species face exacting ecological conditions of rainy, cold winters and arid, hot summers, which affect seed germination phenology. In this study, a soil heat sum model was used to predict field emergence of Rhamnus persicifolia, an endemic tree species living at the edge of mountain streams of central eastern Sardinia. Methods Seeds were incubated in the light at a range of temperatures (10–25 and 25/10 °C) after different periods (up to 3 months) of cold stratification at 5 °C. Base temperatures (Tb), and thermal times for 50 % germination (θ50) were calculated. Seeds were also buried in the soil in two natural populations (Rio Correboi and Rio Olai), both underneath and outside the tree canopy, and exhumed at regular intervals. Soil temperatures were recorded using data loggers and soil heat sum (°Cd) was calculated on the basis of the estimated Tb and soil temperatures. Key Results Cold stratification released physiological dormancy (PD), increasing final germination and widening the range of germination temperatures, indicative of a Type 2 non-deep PD. Tb was reduced from 10·5 °C for non-stratified seeds to 2·7 °C for seeds cold stratified for 3 months. The best thermal time model was obtained by fitting probit germination against log °Cd. θ50 was 2·6 log °Cd for untreated seeds and 2·17–2·19 log °Cd for stratified seeds. When θ50 values were integrated with soil heat sum estimates, field emergence was predicted from March to April and confirmed through field observations. Conclusions Tb and θ50 values facilitated model development of the thermal niche for in situ germination of R. persicifolia. These experimental approaches may be applied to model the natural regeneration patterns of other species growing on Mediterranean mountain waterways and of physiologically dormant species, with overwintering cold stratification requirement and spring germination. PMID:24201139

  6. Uncertainty analysis of environmental models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Monte, L.

    1990-01-01

    In the present paper an evaluation of the output uncertainty of an environmental model for assessing the transfer of 137 Cs and 131 I in the human food chain are carried out on the basis of a statistical analysis of data reported by the literature. The uncertainty analysis offers the oppotunity of obtaining some remarkable information about the uncertainty of models predicting the migration of non radioactive substances in the environment mainly in relation to the dry and wet deposition

  7. Modeling Environmental Literacy of University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teksoz, Gaye; Sahin, Elvan; Tekkaya-Oztekin, Ceren

    2012-01-01

    The present study proposed an Environmental Literacy Components Model to explain how environmental attitudes, environmental responsibility, environmental concern, and environmental knowledge as well as outdoor activities related to each other. A total of 1,345 university students responded to an environmental literacy survey (Kaplowitz and Levine…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola

    2017-10-06

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

  9. Comparison of Hematopoietic and Spermatogonial Stem Cell Niches from the Regenerative Medicine Aspect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köse, Sevil; Yersal, Nilgün; Önen, Selin; Korkusuz, Petek

    2018-06-08

    Recent advances require a dual evaluation of germ and somatic stem cell niches with a regenerative medicine perspective. For a better point of view of the niche concept, it is needed to compare the microenvironments of those niches in respect to several components. The cellular environment of spermatogonial stem cells' niche consists of Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, vascular endothelial cells, epididymal fat cells, peritubular myoid cells while hematopoietic stem cells have mesenchymal stem cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, megacaryocytes, macrophages, vascular endothelial cells, pericytes and adipocytes in their microenvironment. Not only those cells', but also the effect of the other factors such as hormones, growth factors, chemokines, cytokines, extracellular matrix components, biomechanical forces (like shear stress, tension or compression) and physical environmental elements such as temperature, oxygen level and pH will be clarified during the chapter. Because it is known that the microenvironment has an important role in the stem cell homeostasis and disease conditions, it is crucial to understand the details of the microenvironment and to be able to compare the niche concepts of the different types of stem cells from each other, for the regenerative interventions. Indeed, the purpose of this chapter is to point out the usage of niche engineering within the further studies in the regenerative medicine field. Decellularized, synthetic or non-synthetic scaffolds may help to mimic the stem cell niche. However, the shared or different characteristics of germ and somatic stem cell microenvironments are necessary to constitute a proper niche model. When considered from this aspect, it is possible to produce some strategies on the personalized medicine by using those artificial models of stem cell microenvironment.

  10. The United States pork niche market phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  11. Uncertainty quantification for environmental models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Mary C.; Lu, Dan; Kavetski, Dmitri; Clark, Martyn P.; Ye, Ming

    2012-01-01

    Environmental models are used to evaluate the fate of fertilizers in agricultural settings (including soil denitrification), the degradation of hydrocarbons at spill sites, and water supply for people and ecosystems in small to large basins and cities—to mention but a few applications of these models. They also play a role in understanding and diagnosing potential environmental impacts of global climate change. The models are typically mildly to extremely nonlinear. The persistent demand for enhanced dynamics and resolution to improve model realism [17] means that lengthy individual model execution times will remain common, notwithstanding continued enhancements in computer power. In addition, high-dimensional parameter spaces are often defined, which increases the number of model runs required to quantify uncertainty [2]. Some environmental modeling projects have access to extensive funding and computational resources; many do not. The many recent studies of uncertainty quantification in environmental model predictions have focused on uncertainties related to data error and sparsity of data, expert judgment expressed mathematically through prior information, poorly known parameter values, and model structure (see, for example, [1,7,9,10,13,18]). Approaches for quantifying uncertainty include frequentist (potentially with prior information [7,9]), Bayesian [13,18,19], and likelihood-based. A few of the numerous methods, including some sensitivity and inverse methods with consequences for understanding and quantifying uncertainty, are as follows: Bayesian hierarchical modeling and Bayesian model averaging; single-objective optimization with error-based weighting [7] and multi-objective optimization [3]; methods based on local derivatives [2,7,10]; screening methods like OAT (one at a time) and the method of Morris [14]; FAST (Fourier amplitude sensitivity testing) [14]; the Sobol' method [14]; randomized maximum likelihood [10]; Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) [10

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  13. The vasculature as a neural stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuki, Leo; Brand, Andrea H

    2017-11-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are multipotent, self-renewing progenitors that generate progeny that differentiate into neurons and glia. NSCs in the adult mammalian brain are generally quiescent. Environmental stimuli such as learning or exercise can activate quiescent NSCs, inducing them to proliferate and produce new neurons and glia. How are these behaviours coordinated? The neurovasculature, the circulatory system of the brain, is a key component of the NSC microenvironment, or 'niche'. Instructive signals from the neurovasculature direct NSC quiescence, proliferation, self-renewal and differentiation. During ageing, a breakdown in the niche accompanies NSC dysfunction and cognitive decline. There is much interest in reversing these changes and enhancing NSC activity by targeting the neurovasculature therapeutically. Here we discuss principles of neurovasculature-NSC crosstalk, and the implications for the design of NSC-based therapies. We also consider the emerging contributions to this field of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Invasion of Old World Phragmites australis in the New World: precipitation and temperature patterns combined with human influences redesign the invasive niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guo, Wen-Yong; Lambertini, Carla; Li, Xiu-Zhen

    2013-01-01

    niches. We suggest that an increase in precipitation in the 20(th) century, global warming and human-made habitats have shaped the invasive niches of the two lineages in the New World. However, as the invasions are on-going and human and natural disturbances occur concomitantly, the future distribution....... australis (Haplotype M and Med) in both their native and introduced ranges using environmental niche models (ENMs) to assess (i) whether a niche shift accompanied the invasions in the New World; (ii) the role of biologically relevant climatic variables and human influence in the process of invasion...... for temperature fluctuations and increased precipitation. The introduced Med lineage has enlarged its original subtropical niche to the tropics-subtropics, invading regions with a high annual mean temperature (> c. 10 °C) and high precipitation in the driest period. Human influence is an important factor for both...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, Roberto Cazzolla

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Probabilistic and spatially variable niches inferred from demography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey M. Diez; Itamar Giladi; Robert Warren; H. Ronald. Pulliam

    2014-01-01

    Summary 1. Mismatches between species distributions and habitat suitability are predicted by niche theory and have important implications for forecasting how species may respond to environmental changes. Quantifying these mismatches is challenging, however, due to the high dimensionality of species niches and the large spatial and temporal variability in population...

  18. Hanging drop cultures of human testis and testis cancer samples: a model used to investigate activin treatment effects in a preserved niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, A; Young, J; Nielsen, J E; Joensen, U N; Toft, B G; Rajpert-De Meyts, E; Loveland, K L

    2014-05-13

    Testicular germ cell tumours of young adults, seminoma or non-seminomas, are preceded by a pre-invasive precursor, carcinoma in situ (CIS), understood to arise through differentiation arrest of embryonic germ cells. Knowledge about the malignant transformation of germ cells is currently limited by the lack of experimental models. The aim of this study was to establish an experimental tissue culture model to maintain normal and malignant germ cells within their niche and allow investigation of treatment effects. Human testis and testis cancer specimens from orchidectomies were cultured in 'hanging drops' and effects of activin A and follistatin treatment were investigated in seminoma cultures. Testis fragments with normal spermatogenesis or CIS cells were cultured for 14 days with sustained proliferation of germ cells and CIS cells and without increased apoptosis. Seminoma cultures survived 7 days, with proliferating cells detectable during the first 5 days. Activin A treatment significantly reduced KIT transcript and protein levels in seminoma cultures, thereby demonstrating a specific treatment response. Hanging drop cultures of human testis and testis cancer samples can be employed to delineate mechanisms governing growth of normal, CIS and tumorigenic germ cells retained within their niche.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Walsh

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Plant stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Yvonne; Simon, Rüdiger

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Environmental model for a capital city

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Eugenia Toca Torres

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available From a review of the various options for modeling a sustainable development in its environmental dimension, this research proposes a model of environmental impact for Bogota, using the Vensim PLE software to model the pollution, the pollution load and soil contamination. The model includes a limited number of endogenous variables, as well as a greater number of exogenous variables. This modeling allows us to anticipate the environmental situation in the capital, in order to support public policies for addressing issues such as economic sanctions and moral regulations on emissions, discharges and waste, environmental measures and environmentally friendly practices

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kylafis, Grigoris; Loreau, Michel

    2008-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-11

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Vázquez, Uri; D’Addario, Maristella

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Social intelligence, human intelligence and niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterelny, Kim

    2007-04-29

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

  8. Geographical parthenogenesis: General purpose genotypes and frozen niche variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vrijenhoek, Robert C.; Parker, Dave

    2009-01-01

    hypotheses concerning the evolution of niche breadth in asexual species - the "general-purpose genotype" (GPG) and "frozen niche-variation" (FNV) models. The two models are often portrayed as mutually exclusive, respectively viewing clonal lineages as generalists versus specialists. Nonetheless...

  9. The Environmental Acinetobacter baumannii Isolate DSM30011 Reveals Clues into the Preantibiotic Era Genome Diversity, Virulence Potential, and Niche Range of a Predominant Nosocomial Pathogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viale, Alejandro M.; Borges, Vítor; Cameranesi, María M.; Taib, Najwa; Espariz, Martín; Brochier-Armanet, Céline; Gomes, João Paulo; Salcedo, Suzana P.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Acinetobacter baumannii represents nowadays an important nosocomial opportunistic pathogen whose reservoirs outside the clinical setting are obscure. Here, we traced the origins of the collection strain A. baumannii DSM30011 to an isolate first reported in 1944, obtained from the enriched microbiota responsible of the aerobic decomposition of the resinous desert shrub guayule. Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis based on core genes confirmed DSM30011 affiliation to A. baumannii. Comparative studies with 32 complete A. baumannii genomes revealed the presence of 12 unique accessory chromosomal regions in DSM30011 including five encompassing phage-related genes, five containing toxin genes of the type-6 secretion system, and one with an atypical CRISPRs/cas cluster. No antimicrobial resistance islands were identified in DSM30011 agreeing with a general antimicrobial susceptibility phenotype including folate synthesis inhibitors. The marginal ampicillin resistance of DSM30011 most likely derived from chromosomal ADC-type ampC and blaOXA-51-type genes. Searching for catabolic pathways genes revealed several clusters involved in the degradation of plant defenses including woody tissues and a previously unreported atu locus responsible of aliphatic terpenes degradation, thus suggesting that resinous plants may provide an effective niche for this organism. DSM30011 also harbored most genes and regulatory mechanisms linked to persistence and virulence in pathogenic Acinetobacter species. This strain thus revealed important clues into the genomic diversity, virulence potential, and niche ranges of the preantibiotic era A. baumannii population, and may provide an useful tool for our understanding of the processes that led to the recent evolution of this species toward an opportunistic pathogen of humans. PMID:28934377

  10. Phylogeography of Thlaspi arvense (Brassicaceae in China Inferred from Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Sequences and Ecological Niche Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miao An

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Thlaspi arvense is a well-known annual farmland weed with worldwide distribution, which can be found from sea level to above 4000 m high on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP. In this paper, a phylogeographic history of T. arvense including 19 populations from China was inferred by using three chloroplast (cp DNA segments (trnL-trnF, rpl32-trnL and rps16 and one nuclear (n DNA segment (Fe-regulated transporter-like protein, ZIP. A total of 11 chloroplast haplotypes and six nuclear alleles were identified, and haplotypes unique to the QTP were recognized (C4, C5, C7 and N4. On the basis of molecular dating, haplotypes C4, C5 and C7 have separated from others around 1.58 Ma for cpDNA, which corresponds to the QTP uplift. In addition, this article suggests that the T. arvense populations in China are a mixture of diverged subpopulations as inferred by hT/vT test (hT ≤ vT, cpDNA and positive Tajima’s D values (1.87, 0.05 < p < 0.10 for cpDNA and 3.37, p < 0.01 for nDNA. Multimodality mismatch distribution curves and a relatively large shared area of suitable environmental conditions between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM as well as the present time recognized by MaxEnt software reject the sudden expansion population model.

  11. Primer and interviews: The dynamic stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Julie C

    2011-03-01

    A stem cell niche is a microenvironment that supports self-renewal of a population of stem cells, and their production of differentiated cells. While the definition evokes images of a stem cell Shangri-La-where a serene stem cell pool nestles within a niche that shelters and sustains it-the reality is much more tumultuous. Niches are subject to an ever-changing maelstrom of environmental factors, the ravages of old age, and the sly tactics of disease. Presented here is a basic overview of the different ways in which stem cell niches respond to local and systemic environments, and their impact on stem cell behavior. The primer culminates with a discussion of the topic with stem cell and niche biologists D. Leanne Jones, Ph.D., and Tudorita Tumbar, Ph.D. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Energy and externality environmental regional model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldi, L.; Bianchi, A.; Peri, M.

    2000-01-01

    The use of environmental externalities in both territorial management and the direction of energy and environment, faces the difficulties arising from their calculation. The so-called MACBET regional model, which has been constructed for Lombardy, is a first brand new attempt to overcome them. MACBET is a calculation model to assess environmental and employment externalities connected to energy use [it

  13. Niche dimensions in fishes: an integrative view.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Pre-metastatic niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. How many studies are necessary to compare niche-based models for geographic distributions? Inductive reasoning may fail at the end.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terribile, L C; Diniz-Filho, J A F; De Marco, P

    2010-05-01

    The use of ecological niche models (ENM) to generate potential geographic distributions of species has rapidly increased in ecology, conservation and evolutionary biology. Many methods are available and the most used are Maximum Entropy Method (MAXENT) and the Genetic Algorithm for Rule Set Production (GARP). Recent studies have shown that MAXENT perform better than GARP. Here we used the statistics methods of ROC - AUC (area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve) and bootstrap to evaluate the performance of GARP and MAXENT in generate potential distribution models for 39 species of New World coral snakes. We found that values of AUC for GARP ranged from 0.923 to 0.999, whereas those for MAXENT ranged from 0.877 to 0.999. On the whole, the differences in AUC were very small, but for 10 species GARP outperformed MAXENT. Means and standard deviations for 100 bootstrapped samples with sample sizes ranging from 3 to 30 species did not show any trends towards deviations from a zero difference in AUC values of GARP minus AUC values of MAXENT. Ours results suggest that further studies are still necessary to establish under which circumstances the statistical performance of the methods vary. However, it is also important to consider the possibility that this empirical inductive reasoning may fail in the end, because we almost certainly could not establish all potential scenarios generating variation in the relative performance of models.

  17. Coupling GIS spatial analysis and Ensemble Niche Modelling to investigate climate change-related threats to the Sicilian pond turtle Emys trinacris, an endangered species from the Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mattia Iannella

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The pond turtle Emys trinacris is an endangered endemic species of Sicily showing a fragmented distribution throughout the main island. In this study, we applied “Ensemble Niche Modelling”, combining more classical statistical techniques as Generalized Linear Models and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines with machine-learning approaches as Boosted Regression Trees and Maxent, to model the potential distribution of the species under current and future climatic conditions. Moreover, a “gap analysis” performed on both the species’ presence sites and the predictions from the Ensemble Models is proposed to integrate outputs from these models, in order to assess the conservation status of this threatened species in the context of biodiversity management. For this aim, four “Representative Concentration Pathways”, corresponding to different greenhouse gases emissions trajectories were considered to project the obtained models to both 2050 and 2070. Areas lost, gained or remaining stable for the target species in the projected models were calculated. E. trinacris’ potential distribution resulted to be significantly dependent upon precipitation-linked variables, mainly precipitation of wettest and coldest quarter. Future negative effects for the conservation of this species, because of more unstable precipitation patterns and extreme meteorological events, emerged from our analyses. Further, the sites currently inhabited by E. trinacris are, for more than a half, out of the Protected Areas network, highlighting an inadequate management of the species by the authorities responsible for its protection. Our results, therefore, suggest that in the next future the Sicilian pond turtle will need the utmost attention by the scientific community to avoid the imminent risk of extinction. Finally, the gap analysis performed in GIS environment resulted to be a very informative post-modeling technique, potentially applicable to the management

  18. The restoration of the endangered Sambucus palmensis after 30 years of conservation actions in the Garajonay National Park: genetic assessment and niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Priscila; Fernández de Castro, Alejandro G; Sosa, Pedro A

    2018-01-01

    The translocation of individuals or the reinforcement of populations are measures in the genetic rescue of endangered species. Although it can be controversial to decide which and how many individuals must be reintroduced, populations can benefit from reinforcements. Sambucus palmensis is a critically endangered endemic to the Canary Islands. During the past 30 years, the Garajonay National Park (La Gomera) has carried out an intensive program of translocations using cuttings, due to the low germination rates of seeds. To assess the effect of the restorations on the population genetics of S. palmensis in La Gomera, we collected 402 samples from all the restored sites and all known natural individuals, which were genotyped with seven microsatellite markers. In addition, we conducted a species distribution modeling approach to assess how restorations fit the ecological niche of the species. Results show that there is a high proportion of clone specimens due to the propagation method, and the natural clonal reproduction of the species. Nonetheless, the observed heterozygosity has increased with the restorations and there still are private alleles and unique genotypes in the natural populations that have not been considered in the restorations. The population of Liria constitutes a very important genetic reservoir for the species. To optimize future reintroductions, we have proposed a list of specimens that are suitable for the extraction of seeds or cuttings in a greenhouse, as well as new suitable areas obtained by the species distribution models.

  19. Realized niches explain spatial gradients in seasonal abundance of phytoplankton groups in the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Wupeng; Wang, Lei; Laws, Edward; Xie, Yuyuan; Chen, Jixin; Liu, Xin; Chen, Bingzhang; Huang, Bangqin

    2018-03-01

    A basic albeit elusive goal of ocean science is to predict the structure of biological communities from the multitude of environmental conditions they experience. Estimates of the realized niche-based traits (realized traits) of phytoplankton species or functional groups in temperate seas have shown that response traits can help reveal the mechanisms responsible for structuring phytoplankton communities, but such approaches have not been tested in tropical and subtropical marginal seas. Here, we used decadal-scale studies of pigment-based phytoplankton groups and environmental conditions in the South China Sea to test whether realized traits could explain the biogeographic patterns of phytoplankton variability. We estimated the mean and breadth of the phytoplankton realized niches based on responses of the group-specific phytoplankton composition to key environmental factors, and we showed that variations of major phytoplankton groups in this system can be explained by different adaptive trade-offs to constraints imposed by temperature, irradiance, and nutrient concentrations. Differences in the patterns of trade-offs clearly separated the dominant groups from one another and generated four sets of realized traits that mirrored the observed biogeographic distribution patterns. The phytoplankton realized niches and their associated traits that we characterized in the present study could help to predict responses of phytoplankton to changes in environmental conditions in the South China Sea and could be incorporated into global biogeochemical models to anticipate shifts in community structure under future climate scenarios.

  20. Models in environmental regulatory decision making

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Models in the Regulatory Decision Process, National Research Council

    2007-01-01

    .... Models help EPA explain environmental phenomena in settings where direct observations are limited or unavailable, and anticipate the effects of agency policies on the environment, human health and the economy...

  1. Hydrological models for environmental management

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bolgov, Mikhail V

    2002-01-01

    .... Stochastic modelling and forecasting cannot at present adequately represent the characteristics of hydrological regimes, nor analyze the influence of water on processes that arise in biological...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁圣彦; 李志恒

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Pseudomonas biofilm matrix composition and niche biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Ethan E.; Wozniak, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Biofilms are a predominant form of growth for bacteria in the environment and in the clinic. Critical for biofilm development are adherence, proliferation, and dispersion phases. Each of these stages includes reinforcement by, or modulation of, the extracellular matrix. Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been a model organism for the study of biofilm formation. Additionally, other Pseudomonas species utilize biofilm formation during plant colonization and environmental persistence. Pseudomonads produce several biofilm matrix molecules, including polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and proteins. Accessory matrix components shown to aid biofilm formation and adaptability under varying conditions are also produced by pseudomonads. Adaptation facilitated by biofilm formation allows for selection of genetic variants with unique and distinguishable colony morphology. Examples include rugose small-colony variants and wrinkly spreaders (WS), which over produce Psl/Pel or cellulose, respectively, and mucoid bacteria that over produce alginate. The well-documented emergence of these variants suggests that pseudomonads take advantage of matrix-building subpopulations conferring specific benefits for the entire population. This review will focus on various polysaccharides as well as additional Pseudomonas biofilm matrix components. Discussions will center on structure–function relationships, regulation, and the role of individual matrix molecules in niche biology. PMID:22212072

  4. THE GERMLINE STEM CELL NICHE UNIT IN MAMMALIAN TESTES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oatley, Jon M.; Brinster, Ralph L.

    2014-01-01

    This review addresses current understanding of the germline stem cell niche unit in mammalian testes. Spermatogenesis is a classic model of tissue-specific stem cell function relying on self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). These fate decisions are influenced by a niche microenvironment composed of a growth factor milieu that is provided by several testis somatic support cell populations. Investigations over the last two decades have identified key determinants of the SSC niche including cytokines that regulate SSC functions and support cells providing these factors, adhesion molecules that influence SSC homing, and developmental heterogeneity of the niche during postnatal aging. Emerging evidence suggests that Sertoli cells are a key support cell population influencing the formation and function of niches by secreting soluble factors and possibly orchestrating contributions of other support cells. Investigations with mice have shown that niche influence on SSC proliferation differs during early postnatal development and adulthood. Moreover, there is mounting evidence of an age-related decline in niche function, which is likely influenced by systemic factors. Defining the attributes of stem cell niches is key to developing methods to utilize these cells for regenerative medicine. The SSC population and associated niche comprise a valuable model system for study that provides fundamental knowledge about the biology of tissue-specific stem cells and their capacity to sustain homeostasis of regenerating tissue lineages. While the stem cell is essential for maintenance of all self-renewing tissues and has received considerable attention, the role of niche cells is at least as important and may prove to be more receptive to modification in regenerative medicine. PMID:22535892

  5. Modelling environmental dynamics. Advances in goematic solutions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paegelow, Martin [Toulouse-2 Univ., 31 (France). GEODE UMR 5602 CNRS; Camacho Olmedo, Maria Teresa (eds.) [Granada Univ (Spain). Dpto. de Analisis Geografico Regional y Geografia Fisica

    2008-07-01

    Modelling environmental dynamics is critical to understanding and predicting the evolution of the environment in response to the large number of influences including urbanisation, climate change and deforestation. Simulation and modelling provide support for decision making in environmental management. The first chapter introduces terminology and provides an overview of methodological modelling approaches which may be applied to environmental and complex dynamics. Based on this introduction this book illustrates various models applied to a large variety of themes: deforestation in tropical regions, fire risk, natural reforestation in European mountains, agriculture, biodiversity, urbanism, climate change and land management for decision support, etc. These case studies, provided by a large international spectrum of researchers and presented in a uniform structure, focus particularly on methods and model validation so that this book is not only aimed at researchers and graduates but also at professionals. (orig.)

  6. The integrated environmental control model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubin, E.S.; Berkenpas, M.B.; Kalagnanam, J.R. [Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)

    1995-11-01

    The capability to estimate the performance and cost of emission control systems is critical to a variety of planning and analysis requirements faced by utilities, regulators, researchers and analysts in the public and private sectors. The computer model described in this paper has been developed for DOe to provide an up-to-date capability for analyzing a variety of pre-combustion, combustion, and post-combustion options in an integrated framework. A unique capability allows performance and costs to be modeled probabilistically, which allows explicit characterization of uncertainties and risks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  8. Predictions of models for environmental radiological assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peres, Sueli da Silva; Lauria, Dejanira da Costa; Mahler, Claudio Fernando

    2011-01-01

    In the field of environmental impact assessment, models are used for estimating source term, environmental dispersion and transfer of radionuclides, exposure pathway, radiation dose and the risk for human beings Although it is recognized that the specific information of local data are important to improve the quality of the dose assessment results, in fact obtaining it can be very difficult and expensive. Sources of uncertainties are numerous, among which we can cite: the subjectivity of modelers, exposure scenarios and pathways, used codes and general parameters. The various models available utilize different mathematical approaches with different complexities that can result in different predictions. Thus, for the same inputs different models can produce very different outputs. This paper presents briefly the main advances in the field of environmental radiological assessment that aim to improve the reliability of the models used in the assessment of environmental radiological impact. The intercomparison exercise of model supplied incompatible results for 137 Cs and 60 Co, enhancing the need for developing reference methodologies for environmental radiological assessment that allow to confront dose estimations in a common comparison base. The results of the intercomparison exercise are present briefly. (author)

  9. Niche-based modelling as a tool for predicting the risk of alien plant invasions at a global scale

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Thuiller, W.; Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr; Midgley, G. F.; Hughes, G. O.; Rouget, M.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 11, - (2005), s. 2234-2250 ISSN 1354-1013 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/03/1216 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : bioclimatic modelling * biological invasions * risk assessment Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.075, year: 2005

  10. Niche conservatism and dispersal limitation cause large-scale phylogenetic structure in the New World palm flora

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Baker, William J.

    similarity decays after speciation depends on the rates of niche evolution and dispersal. If dispersal is slow compared to the tempo of lineage diversification, distributions change little during clade diversification. Phylogenetic niche conservatism precludes distributional shifts in environmental space......, and to the degree that distributions are limited by the niche, also in geographic space. Using phylogenetic turnover methods, we simultaneously analysed the distributions of all New World palms (n=547) and inferred to which degree phylogenetic niche conservatism and dispersal limitation, respectively, caused...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

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

  12. Ecological niche modeling and land cover risk areas for rift valley fever vector, culex tritaeniorhynchus giles in Jazan, Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallam, Mohamed F; Al Ahmed, Azzam M; Abdel-Dayem, Mahmoud S; Abdullah, Mohamed A R

    2013-01-01

    The mosquito, Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles is a prevalent and confirmed Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) vector. This vector, in association with Aedimorphus arabiensis (Patton), was responsible for causing the outbreak of 2000 in Jazan Province, Saudi Arabia. Larval occurrence records and a total of 19 bioclimatic and three topographic layers imported from Worldclim Database were used to predict the larval suitable breeding habitats for this vector in Jazan Province using ArcGIS ver.10 and MaxEnt modeling program. Also, a supervised land cover classification from SPOT5 imagery was developed to assess the land cover distribution within the suitable predicted habitats. Eleven bioclimatic and slope attributes were found to be the significant predictors for this larval suitable breeding habitat. Precipitation and temperature were strong predictors of mosquito distribution. Among six land cover classes, the linear regression model (LM) indicated wet muddy substrate is significantly associated with high-very high suitable predicted habitats (R(2) = 73.7%, Presearchers.

  13. Mapping the zoonotic niche of Ebola virus disease in Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigott, David M; Golding, Nick; Mylne, Adrian; Huang, Zhi; Henry, Andrew J; Weiss, Daniel J; Brady, Oliver J; Kraemer, Moritz UG; Smith, David L; Moyes, Catherine L; Bhatt, Samir; Gething, Peter W; Horby, Peter W; Bogoch, Isaac I; Brownstein, John S; Mekaru, Sumiko R; Tatem, Andrew J; Khan, Kamran; Hay, Simon I

    2014-01-01

    Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a complex zoonosis that is highly virulent in humans. The largest recorded outbreak of EVD is ongoing in West Africa, outside of its previously reported and predicted niche. We assembled location data on all recorded zoonotic transmission to humans and Ebola virus infection in bats and primates (1976–2014). Using species distribution models, these occurrence data were paired with environmental covariates to predict a zoonotic transmission niche covering 22 countries across Central and West Africa. Vegetation, elevation, temperature, evapotranspiration, and suspected reservoir bat distributions define this relationship. At-risk areas are inhabited by 22 million people; however, the rarity of human outbreaks emphasises the very low probability of transmission to humans. Increasing population sizes and international connectivity by air since the first detection of EVD in 1976 suggest that the dynamics of human-to-human secondary transmission in contemporary outbreaks will be very different to those of the past. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04395.001 PMID:25201877

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea G. Castillo

    2018-05-01

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

  15. Model-based uncertainty in species range prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pearson, R. G.; Thuiller, Wilfried; Bastos Araujo, Miguel

    2006-01-01

    Aim Many attempts to predict the potential range of species rely on environmental niche (or 'bioclimate envelope') modelling, yet the effects of using different niche-based methodologies require further investigation. Here we investigate the impact that the choice of model can have on predictions...

  16. Niche entrepreneurs in urban systems integration : On the role of individuals in niche formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pesch, U.; Vernay, A.L.; van Bueren, E.M.; Pandis Iveroth, S

    2017-01-01

    In many sustainable urban innovation projects, the efforts, endurance and enthusiasm of individuals at key positions are considered a crucial factor for success. This article studies the role of individual agency in sociotechnical niches by using Kingdon’s agenda-setting model. Although strategic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  18. Using niche-modelling and species-specific cost analyses to determine a multispecies corridor in a fragmented landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurano, Juan Pablo; Selleski, Nicole; Schneider, Rosio G.

    2017-01-01

    types independent of the degree of legal protection. These data used with multifocal GIS analyses balance the varying degree of overlap and unique properties among them allowing for comprehensive conservation strategies to be developed relatively rapidly. Our comprehensive approach serves as a model to other regions faced with habitat loss and lack of data. The five carnivores focused on in our study have wide ranges, so the results from this study can be expanded and combined with surrounding countries, with analyses at the species or community level. PMID:28841692

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamblin, Steven; Tanaka, Mark M

    2013-08-16

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L. MacLean

    2015-11-01

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

  1. Niche-specific cognitive strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulgard, K.; Ratcliffe, J. M.

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Inferring large-scale patterns of niche evolution and dispersal limitation from the phylogenetic composition of assemblages: A case study on New World palms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Baker, William J.

    How fast species’ environmental tolerances can evolve is crucial for their survival prospect under climate change. Phylogenetic information can yield insights into the tempo of niche evolution. Phylogenetic community structure (PCS) complements the more widely used approach of studying niche...

  3. Community Environmental Education as a Model for Effective Environmental Programmes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Morag

    2008-01-01

    The benefits of community environmental education outlined in environmental education literature are supported by the findings and implications of a research study undertaken in New Zealand. Evidence from a two-case case study suggests that environmental programmes guided by the key principles and practices of community environmental education,…

  4. International Summit on Integrated Environmental Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    This report describes the International Summit on Integrated Environmental Modeling (IEM), held in Washington, DC 7th-9th December 2010. The meeting brought together 57 scientists and managers from leading US and European government and non-governmental organizations, universitie...

  5. Model comparisons and genetic and environmental parameter ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    arc

    Model comparisons and genetic and environmental parameter estimates of growth and the ... breeding strategies and for accurate breeding value estimation. The objectives ...... Sci. 23, 72-76. Van Wyk, J.B., Fair, M.D. & Cloete, S.W.P., 2003.

  6. Streamlining environmental product declarations: a stage model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Elisabeth; Lefebvre, Louis A.; Talbot, Stephane; Le Hen, Gael

    2001-02-01

    General public environmental awareness and education is increasing, therefore stimulating the demand for reliable, objective and comparable information about products' environmental performances. The recently published standard series ISO 14040 and ISO 14025 are normalizing the preparation of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) containing comprehensive information relevant to a product's environmental impact during its life cycle. So far, only a few environmentally leading manufacturing organizations have experimented the preparation of EPDs (mostly from Europe), demonstrating its great potential as a marketing weapon. However the preparation of EPDs is a complex process, requiring collection and analysis of massive amounts of information coming from disparate sources (suppliers, sub-contractors, etc.). In a foreseeable future, the streamlining of the EPD preparation process will require product manufacturers to adapt their information systems (ERP, MES, SCADA) in order to make them capable of gathering, and transmitting the appropriate environmental information. It also requires strong functional integration all along the product supply chain in order to ensure that all the information is made available in a standardized and timely manner. The goal of the present paper is two fold: first to propose a transitional model towards green supply chain management and EPD preparation; second to identify key technologies and methodologies allowing to streamline the EPD process and subsequently the transition toward sustainable product development

  7. A motivational model for environmentally responsible behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabernero, Carmen; Hernández, Bernardo

    2012-07-01

    This paper presents a study examining whether self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation are related to environmentally responsible behavior (ERB). The study analysed past environmental behavior, self-regulatory mechanisms (self-efficacy, satisfaction, goals), and intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in relation to ERBs in a sample of 156 university students. Results show that all the motivational variables studied are linked to ERB. The effects of self-efficacy on ERB are mediated by the intrinsic motivation responses of the participants. A theoretical model was created by means of path analysis, revealing the power of motivational variables to predict ERB. Structural equation modeling was used to test and fit the research model. The role of motivational variables is discussed with a view to creating adequate learning contexts and experiences to generate interest and new sensations in which self-efficacy and affective reactions play an important role.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benito A González

    Full Text Available Niche description and differentiation at broad geographic scales have been recent major topics in ecology and evolution. Describing the environmental niche structure of sister taxa with known evolutionary trajectories stands out as a useful exercise in understanding niche requirements. Here we model the environmental niche structure and distribution of the recently resolved phylogeography of guanaco (Lama guanicoe lineages on the western slope of the southern Andes. Using a maximum entropy framework, field data, and information on climate, topography, human density, and vegetation cover, we identify differences between the two subspecies (L.g.cacsilensis, L.g.guanicoe and their intermediate-hybrid lineage, that most likely determine the distribution of this species. While aridity seems to be a major factor influencing the distribution at the species-level (annual precipitation <900 mm, we also document important differences in niche specificity for each subspecies, where distribution of Northern lineage is explained mainly by elevation (mean = 3,413 m and precipitation seasonality (mean = 161 mm, hybrid lineage by annual precipitation (mean = 139 mm, and Southern subspecies by annual precipitation (mean = 553 mm, precipitation seasonality (mean = 21 mm and grass cover (mean = 8.2%. Among lineages, we detected low levels of niche overlap: I (Similarity Index = 0.06 and D (Schoener's Similarity Index = 0.01; and higher levels when comparing Northern and Southern subspecies with hybrids lineage ( I = 0.32-0.10 and D = 0.12-0.03, respectively. This suggests that important ecological and/or evolutionary processes are shaping the niche of guanacos in Chile, producing discrepancies when comparing range distribution at the species-level (81,756 km(2 with lineages-level (65,321 km(2. The subspecies-specific description of niche structure is provided here based upon detailed spatial distribution of the lineages of guanacos in Chile. Such description

  9. Stem cell dynamics in the hair follicle niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rompolas, Panteleimon; Greco, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    Hair follicles are skin appendages of the mammalian skin that have the ability to periodically and stereotypically regenerate in order to continuously produce new hair over our lifetime. The ability of the hair follicle to regenerate is due to the presence of stem cells that along with other cell populations and non-cellular components, including molecular signals and extracellular material, make up a niche microenvironment. Mounting evidence suggests that the niche is critical for regulating stem cell behavior and thus the process of regeneration. Here we review the literature concerning past and current studies that have utilized mouse genetic models, combined with other approaches to dissect the molecular and cellular composition of the hair follicle niche. We also discuss our current understanding of how stem cells operate within the niche during the process of tissue regeneration and the factors that regulate their behavior. PMID:24361866

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  11. Environmental Governance as a Model of Environmental Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Budi Kristianto

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The concept of environmental governance does not promise practical solutions and provides short guidance in solving intertwined environmental problems in Indonesia. But at least environmental concept is useful when we try to realize environmental management in Indonesia currently. The worst is that the mistake has become routine manifesting in pragmatism in environmental management. Before it all too late, it is better that we keep in mind a German proverb in the beginning of this writing, which more or less, means “ we do not know what the future brings, but we know that we should act.”

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seon-Hee Kim

    2018-05-01

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

  13. Atmospheric dispersion models for environmental pollution applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gifford, F.A.

    1976-01-01

    Pollutants are introduced into the air by many of man's activities. The potentially harmful effects these can cause are, broadly speaking, of two kinds: long-term, possibly large-scale and wide-spread chronic effects, including long-term effects on the earth's climate; and acute, short-term effects such as those associated with urban air pollution. This section is concerned with mathematical cloud or plume models describing the role of the atmosphere, primarily in relation to the second of these, the acute effects of air pollution, i.e., those arising from comparatively high concentration levels. The need for such air pollution modeling studies has increased spectacularly as a result of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1968 and, especially, two key court decisions; the Calvert Cliffs decision, and the Sierra Club ruling on environmental non-degradation

  14. Uncertainty associated with selected environmental transport models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.; Miller, C.W.

    1979-11-01

    A description is given of the capabilities of several models to predict accurately either pollutant concentrations in environmental media or radiological dose to human organs. The models are discussed in three sections: aquatic or surface water transport models, atmospheric transport models, and terrestrial and aquatic food chain models. Using data published primarily by model users, model predictions are compared to observations. This procedure is infeasible for food chain models and, therefore, the uncertainty embodied in the models input parameters, rather than the model output, is estimated. Aquatic transport models are divided into one-dimensional, longitudinal-vertical, and longitudinal-horizontal models. Several conclusions were made about the ability of the Gaussian plume atmospheric dispersion model to predict accurately downwind air concentrations from releases under several sets of conditions. It is concluded that no validation study has been conducted to test the predictions of either aquatic or terrestrial food chain models. Using the aquatic pathway from water to fish to an adult for 137 Cs as an example, a 95% one-tailed confidence limit interval for the predicted exposure is calculated by examining the distributions of the input parameters. Such an interval is found to be 16 times the value of the median exposure. A similar one-tailed limit for the air-grass-cow-milk-thyroid for 131 I and infants was 5.6 times the median dose. Of the three model types discussed in this report,the aquatic transport models appear to do the best job of predicting observed concentrations. However, this conclusion is based on many fewer aquatic validation data than were availaable for atmospheric model validation

  15. Environmental Models as a Service: Enabling Interoperability ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achieving interoperability in environmental modeling has evolved as software technology has progressed. The recent rise of cloud computing and proliferation of web services initiated a new stage for creating interoperable systems. Scientific programmers increasingly take advantage of streamlined deployment processes and affordable cloud access to move algorithms and data to the web for discoverability and consumption. In these deployments, environmental models can become available to end users through RESTful web services and consistent application program interfaces (APIs) that consume, manipulate, and store modeling data. RESTful modeling APIs also promote discoverability and guide usability through self-documentation. Embracing the RESTful paradigm allows models to be accessible via a web standard, and the resulting endpoints are platform- and implementation-agnostic while simultaneously presenting significant computational capabilities for spatial and temporal scaling. RESTful APIs present data in a simple verb-noun web request interface: the verb dictates how a resource is consumed using HTTP methods (e.g., GET, POST, and PUT) and the noun represents the URL reference of the resource on which the verb will act. The RESTful API can self-document in both the HTTP response and an interactive web page using the Open API standard. This lets models function as an interoperable service that promotes sharing, documentation, and discoverability. Here, we discuss the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra López

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

  17. Towards policy relevant environmental modeling: contextual validity and pragmatic models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Scott B.

    2000-01-01

    "What makes for a good model?" In various forms, this question is a question that, undoubtedly, many people, businesses, and institutions ponder with regards to their particular domain of modeling. One particular domain that is wrestling with this question is the multidisciplinary field of environmental modeling. Examples of environmental models range from models of contaminated ground water flow to the economic impact of natural disasters, such as earthquakes. One of the distinguishing claims of the field is the relevancy of environmental modeling to policy and environment-related decision-making in general. A pervasive view by both scientists and decision-makers is that a "good" model is one that is an accurate predictor. Thus, determining whether a model is "accurate" or "correct" is done by comparing model output to empirical observations. The expected outcome of this process, usually referred to as "validation" or "ground truthing," is a stamp on the model in question of "valid" or "not valid" that serves to indicate whether or not the model will be reliable before it is put into service in a decision-making context. In this paper, I begin by elaborating on the prevailing view of model validation and why this view must change. Drawing from concepts coming out of the studies of science and technology, I go on to propose a contextual view of validity that can overcome the problems associated with "ground truthing" models as an indicator of model goodness. The problem of how we talk about and determine model validity has much to do about how we perceive the utility of environmental models. In the remainder of the paper, I argue that we should adopt ideas of pragmatism in judging what makes for a good model and, in turn, developing good models. From such a perspective of model goodness, good environmental models should facilitate communication, convey—not bury or "eliminate"—uncertainties, and, thus, afford the active building of consensus decisions, instead

  18. Pleistocene niche stability and lineage diversification in the subtropical spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elen A Peres

    Full Text Available The influence of Quaternary climate oscillations on the diversification of the South American fauna is being increasingly explored. However, most of these studies have focused on taxa that are endemic to tropical environments, and relatively few have treated organisms restricted to subtropical biomes. Here we used an integrative phylogeographical framework to investigate the effects of these climate events on the ecological niche and genetic patterns of the subtropical orb-weaver spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae. We analyzed the mitochondrial (Cytochrome Oxidase I, COI and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Subunit II, ITS2 DNA of 130 individuals throughout the species' range, and generated distribution models in three different climate scenarios [present, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, and Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG]. Additionally, we used an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC approach to compare possible demographic scenarios and select the hypothesis that better explains the genetic patterns of A. omnicolor. We obtained high haplotype diversity but low nucleotide variation among sequences. The population structure and demographic analyses showed discrepancies between markers, suggesting male-biased dispersal in the species. The time-calibrated COI phylogenetic inference showed a recent diversification of lineages (Middle/Late Pleistocene, while the paleoclimate modeling indicated niche stability since ~120 Kya. The ABC results agreed with the niche models, supporting a panmictic population as the most likely historical scenario for the species. These results indicate that A. omnicolor experienced no niche or population reductions during the Late Pleistocene, despite the intense landscape modifications that occurred in the subtropical region, and that other factors beside LGM and LIG climate oscillations might have contributed to the demographic history of this species. This pattern may be related to the high dispersal ability and wide

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  20. Model evaluation methodology applicable to environmental assessment models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaeffer, D.L.

    1979-08-01

    A model evaluation methodology is presented to provide a systematic framework within which the adequacy of environmental assessment models might be examined. The necessity for such a tool is motivated by the widespread use of models for predicting the environmental consequences of various human activities and by the reliance on these model predictions for deciding whether a particular activity requires the deployment of costly control measures. Consequently, the uncertainty associated with prediction must be established for the use of such models. The methodology presented here consists of six major tasks: model examination, algorithm examination, data evaluation, sensitivity analyses, validation studies, and code comparison. This methodology is presented in the form of a flowchart to show the logical interrelatedness of the various tasks. Emphasis has been placed on identifying those parameters which are most important in determining the predictive outputs of a model. Importance has been attached to the process of collecting quality data. A method has been developed for analyzing multiplicative chain models when the input parameters are statistically independent and lognormally distributed. Latin hypercube sampling has been offered as a promising candidate for doing sensitivity analyses. Several different ways of viewing the validity of a model have been presented. Criteria are presented for selecting models for environmental assessment purposes

  1. Predicting Environmental Suitability for a Rare and Threatened Species (Lao Newt, Laotriton laoensis) Using Validated Species Distribution Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chunco, Amanda J.; Phimmachak, Somphouthone; Sivongxay, Niane; Stuart, Bryan L.

    2013-01-01

    The Lao newt (Laotriton laoensis) is a recently described species currently known only from northern Laos. Little is known about the species, but it is threatened as a result of overharvesting. We integrated field survey results with climate and altitude data to predict the geographic distribution of this species using the niche modeling program Maxent, and we validated these predictions by using interviews with local residents to confirm model predictions of presence and absence. The results of the validated Maxent models were then used to characterize the environmental conditions of areas predicted suitable for L. laoensis. Finally, we overlaid the resulting model with a map of current national protected areas in Laos to determine whether or not any land predicted to be suitable for this species is coincident with a national protected area. We found that both area under the curve (AUC) values and interview data provided strong support for the predictive power of these models, and we suggest that interview data could be used more widely in species distribution niche modeling. Our results further indicated that this species is mostly likely geographically restricted to high altitude regions (i.e., over 1,000 m elevation) in northern Laos and that only a minute fraction of suitable habitat is currently protected. This work thus emphasizes that increased protection efforts, including listing this species as endangered and the establishment of protected areas in the region predicted to be suitable for L. laoensis, are urgently needed. PMID:23555808

  2. Models and parameters for environmental radiological assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, C.W.

    1983-01-01

    This article reviews the forthcoming book Models and Parameters for Environmental Radiological Assessments, which presents a unified compilation of models and parameters for assessing the impact on man of radioactive discharges, both routine and accidental, into the environment. Models presented in this book include those developed for the prediction of atmospheric and hydrologic transport and deposition, for terrestrial and aquatic food-chain bioaccumulation, and for internal and external dosimetry. Summaries are presented for each of the transport and dosimetry areas previously for each of the transport and dosimetry areas previously mentioned, and details are available in the literature cited. A chapter of example problems illustrates many of the methodologies presented throughout the text. Models and parameters presented are based on the results of extensive literature reviews and evaluations performed primarily by the staff of the Health and Safety Research Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

  3. Underwater noise modelling for environmental impact assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farcas, Adrian [Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0HT (United Kingdom); Thompson, Paul M. [Lighthouse Field Station, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Cromarty IV11 8YL (United Kingdom); Merchant, Nathan D., E-mail: nathan.merchant@cefas.co.uk [Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, NR33 0HT (United Kingdom)

    2016-02-15

    Assessment of underwater noise is increasingly required by regulators of development projects in marine and freshwater habitats, and noise pollution can be a constraining factor in the consenting process. Noise levels arising from the proposed activity are modelled and the potential impact on species of interest within the affected area is then evaluated. Although there is considerable uncertainty in the relationship between noise levels and impacts on aquatic species, the science underlying noise modelling is well understood. Nevertheless, many environmental impact assessments (EIAs) do not reflect best practice, and stakeholders and decision makers in the EIA process are often unfamiliar with the concepts and terminology that are integral to interpreting noise exposure predictions. In this paper, we review the process of underwater noise modelling and explore the factors affecting predictions of noise exposure. Finally, we illustrate the consequences of errors and uncertainties in noise modelling, and discuss future research needs to reduce uncertainty in noise assessments.

  4. Underwater noise modelling for environmental impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farcas, Adrian; Thompson, Paul M.; Merchant, Nathan D.

    2016-01-01

    Assessment of underwater noise is increasingly required by regulators of development projects in marine and freshwater habitats, and noise pollution can be a constraining factor in the consenting process. Noise levels arising from the proposed activity are modelled and the potential impact on species of interest within the affected area is then evaluated. Although there is considerable uncertainty in the relationship between noise levels and impacts on aquatic species, the science underlying noise modelling is well understood. Nevertheless, many environmental impact assessments (EIAs) do not reflect best practice, and stakeholders and decision makers in the EIA process are often unfamiliar with the concepts and terminology that are integral to interpreting noise exposure predictions. In this paper, we review the process of underwater noise modelling and explore the factors affecting predictions of noise exposure. Finally, we illustrate the consequences of errors and uncertainties in noise modelling, and discuss future research needs to reduce uncertainty in noise assessments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Knowledge-Based Environmental Context Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pukite, P. R.; Challou, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    As we move from the oil-age to an energy infrastructure based on renewables, the need arises for new educational tools to support the analysis of geophysical phenomena and their behavior and properties. Our objective is to present models of these phenomena to make them amenable for incorporation into more comprehensive analysis contexts. Starting at the level of a college-level computer science course, the intent is to keep the models tractable and therefore practical for student use. Based on research performed via an open-source investigation managed by DARPA and funded by the Department of Interior [1], we have adapted a variety of physics-based environmental models for a computer-science curriculum. The original research described a semantic web architecture based on patterns and logical archetypal building-blocks (see figure) well suited for a comprehensive environmental modeling framework. The patterns span a range of features that cover specific land, atmospheric and aquatic domains intended for engineering modeling within a virtual environment. The modeling engine contained within the server relied on knowledge-based inferencing capable of supporting formal terminology (through NASA JPL's Semantic Web for Earth and Environmental Technology (SWEET) ontology and a domain-specific language) and levels of abstraction via integrated reasoning modules. One of the key goals of the research was to simplify models that were ordinarily computationally intensive to keep them lightweight enough for interactive or virtual environment contexts. The breadth of the elements incorporated is well-suited for learning as the trend toward ontologies and applying semantic information is vital for advancing an open knowledge infrastructure. As examples of modeling, we have covered such geophysics topics as fossil-fuel depletion, wind statistics, tidal analysis, and terrain modeling, among others. Techniques from the world of computer science will be necessary to promote efficient

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-06

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

  9. Global Environmental Change: An integrated modelling approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Den Elzen, M.

    1993-01-01

    Two major global environmental problems are dealt with: climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion (and their mutual interactions), briefly surveyed in part 1. In Part 2 a brief description of the integrated modelling framework IMAGE 1.6 is given. Some specific parts of the model are described in more detail in other Chapters, e.g. the carbon cycle model, the atmospheric chemistry model, the halocarbon model, and the UV-B impact model. In Part 3 an uncertainty analysis of climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion is presented (Chapter 4). Chapter 5 briefly reviews the social and economic uncertainties implied by future greenhouse gas emissions. Chapters 6 and 7 describe a model and sensitivity analysis pertaining to the scientific uncertainties and/or lacunae in the sources and sinks of methane and carbon dioxide, and their biogeochemical feedback processes. Chapter 8 presents an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of the carbon cycle model, the halocarbon model, and the IMAGE model 1.6 as a whole. Part 4 presents the risk assessment methodology as applied to the problems of climate change and stratospheric ozone depletion more specifically. In Chapter 10, this methodology is used as a means with which to asses current ozone policy and a wide range of halocarbon policies. Chapter 11 presents and evaluates the simulated globally-averaged temperature and sea level rise (indicators) for the IPCC-1990 and 1992 scenarios, concluding with a Low Risk scenario, which would meet the climate targets. Chapter 12 discusses the impact of sea level rise on the frequency of the Dutch coastal defence system (indicator) for the IPCC-1990 scenarios. Chapter 13 presents projections of mortality rates due to stratospheric ozone depletion based on model simulations employing the UV-B chain model for a number of halocarbon policies. Chapter 14 presents an approach for allocating future emissions of CO 2 among regions. (Abstract Truncated)

  10. An introduction to niche construction theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. Invasion of Old World Phragmites australis in the New World: precipitation and temperature patterns combined with human influences redesign the invasive niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Wen-Yong; Lambertini, Carla; Li, Xiu-Zhen; Meyerson, Laura A; Brix, Hans

    2013-11-01

    After its introduction into North America, Euro-Asian Phragmites australis became an aggressive invasive wetland grass along the Atlantic coast of North America. Its distribution range has since expanded to the middle, south and southwest of North America, where invasive P. australis has replaced millions of hectares of native plants in inland and tidal wetlands. Another P. australis invasion from the Mediterranean region is simultaneously occurring in the Gulf region of the United States and some countries in South America. Here, we analysed the occurrence records of the two Old World invasive lineages of P. australis (Haplotype M and Med) in both their native and introduced ranges using environmental niche models (ENMs) to assess (i) whether a niche shift accompanied the invasions in the New World; (ii) the role of biologically relevant climatic variables and human influence in the process of invasion; and (iii) the current potential distribution of these two lineages. We detected local niche shifts along the East Coast of North America and the Gulf Coast of the United States for Haplotype M and around the Mississippi Delta and Florida of the United States for Med. The new niche of the introduced Haplotype M accounts for temperature fluctuations and increased precipitation. The introduced Med lineage has enlarged its original subtropical niche to the tropics-subtropics, invading regions with a high annual mean temperature (> ca. 10 °C) and high precipitation in the driest period. Human influence is an important factor for both niches. We suggest that an increase in precipitation in the 20th century, global warming and human-made habitats have shaped the invasive niches of the two lineages in the New World. However, as the invasions are ongoing and human and natural disturbances occur concomitantly, the future distribution ranges of the two lineages may diverge from the potential distribution ranges detected in this study. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Innovative mathematical modeling in environmental remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeh, Gour T.; Gwo, Jin Ping; Siegel, Malcolm D.; Li, Ming-Hsu; Fang, Yilin; Zhang, Fan; Luo, Wensui; Yabusaki, Steven B.

    2013-01-01

    There are two different ways to model reactive transport: ad hoc and innovative reaction-based approaches. The former, such as the Kd simplification of adsorption, has been widely employed by practitioners, while the latter has been mainly used in scientific communities for elucidating mechanisms of biogeochemical transport processes. It is believed that innovative mechanistic-based models could serve as protocols for environmental remediation as well. This paper reviews the development of a mechanistically coupled fluid flow, thermal transport, hydrologic transport, and reactive biogeochemical model and example-applications to environmental remediation problems. Theoretical bases are sufficiently described. Four example problems previously carried out are used to demonstrate how numerical experimentation can be used to evaluate the feasibility of different remediation approaches. The first one involved the application of a 56-species uranium tailing problem to the Melton Branch Subwatershed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) using the parallel version of the model. Simulations were made to demonstrate the potential mobilization of uranium and other chelating agents in the proposed waste disposal site. The second problem simulated laboratory-scale system to investigate the role of natural attenuation in potential off-site migration of uranium from uranium mill tailings after restoration. It showed inadequacy of using a single Kd even for a homogeneous medium. The third example simulated laboratory experiments involving extremely high concentrations of uranium, technetium, aluminum, nitrate, and toxic metals (e.g.,Ni, Cr, Co). The fourth example modeled microbially-mediated immobilization of uranium in an unconfined aquifer using acetate amendment in a field-scale experiment. The purposes of these modeling studies were to simulate various mechanisms of mobilization and immobilization of radioactive wastes and to illustrate how to apply reactive transport models

  13. Innovative mathematical modeling in environmental remediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yeh, Gour T. [Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute (Taiwan); National Central Univ. (Taiwan); Univ. of Central Florida (United States); Gwo, Jin Ping [Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Rockville, MD (United States); Siegel, Malcolm D. [Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Li, Ming-Hsu [National Central Univ. (Taiwan); ; Fang, Yilin [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Zhang, Fan [Inst. of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Luo, Wensui [Inst. of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Yabusaki, Steven B. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2013-05-01

    There are two different ways to model reactive transport: ad hoc and innovative reaction-based approaches. The former, such as the Kd simplification of adsorption, has been widely employed by practitioners, while the latter has been mainly used in scientific communities for elucidating mechanisms of biogeochemical transport processes. It is believed that innovative mechanistic-based models could serve as protocols for environmental remediation as well. This paper reviews the development of a mechanistically coupled fluid flow, thermal transport, hydrologic transport, and reactive biogeochemical model and example-applications to environmental remediation problems. Theoretical bases are sufficiently described. Four example problems previously carried out are used to demonstrate how numerical experimentation can be used to evaluate the feasibility of different remediation approaches. The first one involved the application of a 56-species uranium tailing problem to the Melton Branch Subwatershed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) using the parallel version of the model. Simulations were made to demonstrate the potential mobilization of uranium and other chelating agents in the proposed waste disposal site. The second problem simulated laboratory-scale system to investigate the role of natural attenuation in potential off-site migration of uranium from uranium mill tailings after restoration. It showed inadequacy of using a single Kd even for a homogeneous medium. The third example simulated laboratory experiments involving extremely high concentrations of uranium, technetium, aluminum, nitrate, and toxic metals (e.g.,Ni, Cr, Co).The fourth example modeled microbially-mediated immobilization of uranium in an unconfined aquifer using acetate amendment in a field-scale experiment. The purposes of these modeling studies were to simulate various mechanisms of mobilization and immobilization of radioactive wastes and to illustrate how to apply reactive transport models

  14. The niche party concept and its measurement

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Thomas M; Miller, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Development of Dynamic Environmental Effect Calculation Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Chang Joon; Ko, Won Il

    2010-01-01

    The short-term, long-term decay heat, and radioactivity are considered as main environmental parameters of SF and HLA. In this study, the dynamic calculation models for radioactivity, short-term decay heat, and long-term heat load of the SF are developed and incorporated into the Doneness code. The spent fuel accumulation has become a major issue for sustainable operation of nuclear power plants. If a once-through fuel cycle is selected, the SF will be disposed into the repository. Otherwise, in case of fast reactor or reuse cycle, the SF will be reprocessed and the high level waste will be disposed

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prixia Nieto

    2006-11-01

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

  17. Validated predictive modelling of the environmental resistome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amos, Gregory C A; Gozzard, Emma; Carter, Charlotte E; Mead, Andrew; Bowes, Mike J; Hawkey, Peter M; Zhang, Lihong; Singer, Andrew C; Gaze, William H; Wellington, Elizabeth M H

    2015-06-01

    Multi-drug-resistant bacteria pose a significant threat to public health. The role of the environment in the overall rise in antibiotic-resistant infections and risk to humans is largely unknown. This study aimed to evaluate drivers of antibiotic-resistance levels across the River Thames catchment, model key biotic, spatial and chemical variables and produce predictive models for future risk assessment. Sediment samples from 13 sites across the River Thames basin were taken at four time points across 2011 and 2012. Samples were analysed for class 1 integron prevalence and enumeration of third-generation cephalosporin-resistant bacteria. Class 1 integron prevalence was validated as a molecular marker of antibiotic resistance; levels of resistance showed significant geospatial and temporal variation. The main explanatory variables of resistance levels at each sample site were the number, proximity, size and type of surrounding wastewater-treatment plants. Model 1 revealed treatment plants accounted for 49.5% of the variance in resistance levels. Other contributing factors were extent of different surrounding land cover types (for example, Neutral Grassland), temporal patterns and prior rainfall; when modelling all variables the resulting model (Model 2) could explain 82.9% of variations in resistance levels in the whole catchment. Chemical analyses correlated with key indicators of treatment plant effluent and a model (Model 3) was generated based on water quality parameters (contaminant and macro- and micro-nutrient levels). Model 2 was beta tested on independent sites and explained over 78% of the variation in integron prevalence showing a significant predictive ability. We believe all models in this study are highly useful tools for informing and prioritising mitigation strategies to reduce the environmental resistome.

  18. A life cycle assessment of biodiesel derived from the “niche filling” energy crop camelina in the USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krohn, Brian J.; Fripp, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► We conducted a life cycle analysis of biodiesel derived from Camelina sativa. ► Camelina biodiesel reduced GHG emissions and fossil fuel use by 40–60%. ► As a “niche filling” crop camelina can avoid land use change emissions. ► Low fertilizer use and yields >800 kg/ha are necessary for environmental viability. -- Abstract: Camelina sativa (L.) is a promising crop for biodiesel production that avoids many of the potential pitfalls of traditional biofuel crops, such as land use change (LUC) and food versus fuel. In this study the environmental viability of camelina biodiesel was assessed using life cycle analysis (LCA) methodology. The LCA was conducted using the spreadsheet model dubbed KABAM. KABAM found that camelina grown as a niche filling crop (in rotation with wheat or as a double crop) reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fossil fuel use by 40–60% when compared to petroleum diesel. Furthermore, by avoiding LUC emissions, camelina biodiesel emits fewer GHGs than traditional soybean and canola biodiesel. Finally, a sensitivity analysis concluded that in order to maintain and increase the environmental viability of camelina and other niche filling biofuel crops, researchers and policy makers should focus their efforts on achieving satisfactory yields (1000–2000 kg/ha) while reducing nitrogen fertilizer inputs.

  19. A data model for environmental scientists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapeljushnik, O.; Beran, B.; Valentine, D.; van Ingen, C.; Zaslavsky, I.; Whitenack, T.

    2008-12-01

    Environmental science encompasses a wide range of disciplines from water chemistry to microbiology, ecology and atmospheric sciences. Studies often require working across disciplines which differ in their ways of describing and storing data such that it is not possible to devise a monolithic one-size-fits-all data solution. Based on our experiences with Consortium of the Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science Inc. (CUAHSI) Observations Data Model, Berkeley Water Center FLUXNET carbon-climate work and by examining standards like EPA's Water Quality Exchange (WQX), we have developed a flexible data model that allows extensions without need to altering the schema such that scientists can define custom metadata elements to describe their data including observations, analysis methods as well as sensors and geographical features. The data model supports various types of observations including fixed point and moving sensors, bottled samples, rasters from remote sensors and models, and categorical descriptions (e.g. taxonomy) by employing user-defined-types when necessary. It leverages ADO .NET Entity Framework to provide the semantic data models for differing disciplines, while maintaining a common schema below the entity layer. This abstraction layer simplifies data retrieval and manipulation by hiding the logic and complexity of the relational schema from users thus allows programmers and scientists to deal directly with objects such as observations, sensors, watersheds, river reaches, channel cross-sections, laboratory analysis methods and samples as opposed to table joins, columns and rows.

  20. An electricity and environmental policy model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, D.A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes work being done to simulate the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), Title IV, Acidic Deposition Control, which introduced tradable, bankable SO 2 emission allowances. The Title IV simulations are compared with three other scenarios on a regional basis in order to calculate the following: the absolute cost savings of the tradable/ bankable approach, the relative cost savings of the tradable/ bankable approach derived from a baseline of no controls, the environmental improvement, measured in terms of SO 2 emission reduction, that will be achieved under Title IV compared with a more rigid command-and-control regulation with the same cost. Hence, the simulations illustrate the basic point that more efficient market-based regulation can either reduce costs or can provide enhanced environmental quality, or both. It is important for policy formation to get a handle on relative magnitudes. The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP) 1990 Assessment suggested a 25% cost saving from tradable emission allowances relative to command-and-control. Both the relative savings potential and the absolute savings potential matter because a small relative savings in a large regulatory program may still be worth pursuing. Regional cost reductions and environmental improvements are of particular interest. However, this study goes further to characterize likely SO 2 emission trading patterns within and among utility operating systems. The study also characterizes the coal market and the induced sulfur premiums over time and the market price path for SO 2 emission allowances. It is shown that the sulfur premium is equivalent to the SO 2 allowance price. This paper focuses on the methodology and on the new electric utility planning and compliance model which was designed for the study

  1. Niche energy markets in rural areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, M.; McCarthy, S.

    1996-01-01

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

  2. Language, embodiment, and the cognitive niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Andy

    2006-08-01

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

  3. Environmental flows in hydro-economic models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereau, Jean-Christophe; Pryet, Alexandre

    2018-03-01

    The protection of environmental flows, as a management objective for a regulating agency, needs to be consistent with the aquifer water balance and the degree of resource renewability. A stylized hydro-economic model is used where natural recharge, which sustains environmental flows, is considered both in the aquifer water budget and in the welfare function as ecosystem damage. Groundwater recharge and the associated natural drainage may be neglected for aquifers containing fossil water, where the groundwater is mined. However, when dealing with an aquifer that constitutes a renewable resource, for which recharge is not negligible, natural drainage should explicitly appear in the water budget. In doing so, the optimum path of net extraction rate does not necessarily converge to the recharge rate, but depends on the costs associated with ecosystem damages. The optimal paths and equilibrium values for the water volume and water extraction are analytically derived, and numerical simulations based on the Western La Mancha aquifer (southwest Spain) illustrate the theoretical results of the study.

  4. Environmental species sorting dominates forest-bird community assembly across scales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Özkan, Korhan; Svenning, J.-C.; Jeppesen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    species richness and composition within the metacommunity. Second, we analysed species' abundance–occupancy relationship across the metacommunity and used null models to assess whether occupancy is determined by species' environmental niches. Third, we used generalized linear models to test for links...... between species' metacommunity-wide occupancy and their broader WP regional populations and assessed whether these links are consistent with environmental species sorting. There was strong environmental control on local species richness and composition patterns within the metacommunity, but non......-environmental spatial factors had also an important joint role. Null model analyses on randomized communities showed that species' occupancy across the metacommunity was strongly determined by species' environmental niches, with occupancy being related to niche position marginality. Species' metacommunity...

  5. Including irrigation in niche modelling of the invasive wasp Vespula germanica (Fabricius) improves model fit to predict potential for further spread.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Villiers, Marelize; Kriticos, Darren J; Veldtman, Ruan

    2017-01-01

    The European wasp, Vespula germanica (Fabricius) (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), is of Palaearctic origin, being native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and introduced into North America, Chile, Argentina, Iceland, Ascension Island, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Due to its polyphagous nature and scavenging behaviour, V. germanica threatens agriculture and silviculture, and negatively affects biodiversity, while its aggressive nature and venomous sting pose a health risk to humans. In areas with warmer winters and longer summers, queens and workers can survive the winter months, leading to the build-up of large nests during the following season; thereby increasing the risk posed by this species. To prevent or prepare for such unwanted impacts it is important to know where the wasp may be able to establish, either through natural spread or through introduction as a result of human transport. Distribution data from Argentina and Australia, and seasonal phenology data from Argentina were used to determine the potential distribution of V. germanica using CLIMEX modelling. In contrast to previous models, the influence of irrigation on its distribution was also investigated. Under a natural rainfall scenario, the model showed similarities to previous models. When irrigation is applied, dry stress is alleviated, leading to larger areas modelled climatically suitable compared with previous models, which provided a better fit with the actual distribution of the species. The main areas at risk of invasion by V. germanica include western USA, Mexico, small areas in Central America and in the north-western region of South America, eastern Brazil, western Russia, north-western China, Japan, the Mediterranean coastal regions of North Africa, and parts of southern and eastern Africa.

  6. Including irrigation in niche modelling of the invasive wasp Vespula germanica (Fabricius improves model fit to predict potential for further spread.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marelize de Villiers

    Full Text Available The European wasp, Vespula germanica (Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, is of Palaearctic origin, being native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and introduced into North America, Chile, Argentina, Iceland, Ascension Island, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Due to its polyphagous nature and scavenging behaviour, V. germanica threatens agriculture and silviculture, and negatively affects biodiversity, while its aggressive nature and venomous sting pose a health risk to humans. In areas with warmer winters and longer summers, queens and workers can survive the winter months, leading to the build-up of large nests during the following season; thereby increasing the risk posed by this species. To prevent or prepare for such unwanted impacts it is important to know where the wasp may be able to establish, either through natural spread or through introduction as a result of human transport. Distribution data from Argentina and Australia, and seasonal phenology data from Argentina were used to determine the potential distribution of V. germanica using CLIMEX modelling. In contrast to previous models, the influence of irrigation on its distribution was also investigated. Under a natural rainfall scenario, the model showed similarities to previous models. When irrigation is applied, dry stress is alleviated, leading to larger areas modelled climatically suitable compared with previous models, which provided a better fit with the actual distribution of the species. The main areas at risk of invasion by V. germanica include western USA, Mexico, small areas in Central America and in the north-western region of South America, eastern Brazil, western Russia, north-western China, Japan, the Mediterranean coastal regions of North Africa, and parts of southern and eastern Africa.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. A software engineering perspective on environmental modeling framework design: The object modeling system

    Science.gov (United States)

    The environmental modeling community has historically been concerned with the proliferation of models and the effort associated with collective model development tasks (e.g., code generation, data provisioning and transformation, etc.). Environmental modeling frameworks (EMFs) have been developed to...

  9. Predicting People's Environmental Behaviour: Theory of Planned Behaviour and Model of Responsible Environmental Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Yu-Long

    2012-01-01

    Using different measures of self-reported and other-reported environmental behaviour (EB), two important theoretical models explaining EB--Hines, Hungerford and Tomera's model of responsible environmental behaviour (REB) and Ajzen's theory of planned behaviour (TPB)--were compared regarding the fit between model and data, predictive ability,…

  10. Physical modelling and testing in environmental geotechnics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garnier, J.; Thorel, L.; Haza, E.

    2000-01-01

    The preservation of natural environment has become a major concern, which affects nowadays a wide range of professionals from local communities administrators to natural resources managers (water, wildlife, flora, etc) and, in the end, to the consumers that we all are. Although totally ignored some fifty years ago, environmental geotechnics has become an emergent area of study and research which borders on the traditional domains, with which the geo-technicians are confronted (soil and rock mechanics, engineering geology, natural and anthropogenic risk management). Dedicated to experimental approaches (in-situ investigations and tests, laboratory tests, small-scale model testing), the Symposium fits in with the geotechnical domains of environment and transport of soil pollutants. These proceedings report some progress of developments in measurement techniques and studies of transport of pollutants in saturated and unsaturated soils in order to improve our understanding of such phenomena within multiphase environments. Experimental investigations on decontamination and isolation methods for polluted soils are discussed. The intention is to assess the impact of in-situ and laboratory tests, as well as small-scale model testing, on engineering practice. One paper is analysed in INIS data base for its specific interest in nuclear industry. The other ones, concerning the energy, are analyzed in ETDE data base

  11. Integrated Environmental Modelling: Human decisions, human challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, Pierre D.

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) is an invaluable tool for understanding the complex, dynamic ecosystems that house our natural resources and control our environments. Human behaviour affects the ways in which the science of IEM is assembled and used for meaningful societal applications. In particular, human biases and heuristics reflect adaptation and experiential learning to issues with frequent, sharply distinguished, feedbacks. Unfortunately, human behaviour is not adapted to the more diffusely experienced problems that IEM typically seeks to address. Twelve biases are identified that affect IEM (and science in general). These biases are supported by personal observations and by the findings of behavioural scientists. A process for critical analysis is proposed that addresses some human challenges of IEM and solicits explicit description of (1) represented processes and information, (2) unrepresented processes and information, and (3) accounting for, and cognizance of, potential human biases. Several other suggestions are also made that generally complement maintaining attitudes of watchful humility, open-mindedness, honesty and transparent accountability. These suggestions include (1) creating a new area of study in the behavioural biogeosciences, (2) using structured processes for engaging the modelling and stakeholder communities in IEM, and (3) using ‘red teams’ to increase resilience of IEM constructs and use.

  12. Physical modelling and testing in environmental geotechnics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garnier, J.; Thorel, L.; Haza, E. [Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussees a Nantes, 44 - Nantes (France)

    2000-07-01

    The preservation of natural environment has become a major concern, which affects nowadays a wide range of professionals from local communities administrators to natural resources managers (water, wildlife, flora, etc) and, in the end, to the consumers that we all are. Although totally ignored some fifty years ago, environmental geotechnics has become an emergent area of study and research which borders on the traditional domains, with which the geo-technicians are confronted (soil and rock mechanics, engineering geology, natural and anthropogenic risk management). Dedicated to experimental approaches (in-situ investigations and tests, laboratory tests, small-scale model testing), the Symposium fits in with the geotechnical domains of environment and transport of soil pollutants. These proceedings report some progress of developments in measurement techniques and studies of transport of pollutants in saturated and unsaturated soils in order to improve our understanding of such phenomena within multiphase environments. Experimental investigations on decontamination and isolation methods for polluted soils are discussed. The intention is to assess the impact of in-situ and laboratory tests, as well as small-scale model testing, on engineering practice. One paper has been analyzed in INIS data base for its specific interest in nuclear industry.

  13. Niche suitability affects development: skull asymmetry increases in less suitable areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Maestri

    Full Text Available For conservation purposes, it is important to take into account the suitability of a species to particular habitats; this information may predict the long-term survival of a species. In this sense, morphological measures of developmental stress, such as fluctuating asymmetry, can be proxies for an individual's performance in different regions. In this study, we conducted tests to determine whether areas with different levels of suitability for a species (generated by ecological niche models were congruent with morphological markers that reflect environmental stress and morphological variance. We generated a Maxent niche model and compared the suitability assessments of several areas with the skull morphology data (fluctuating asymmetry and morphological disparity of populations of the Atlantic forest endemic to Brazil rodent Akodon cursor. Our analyses showed a significant negative relationship between suitability levels and fluctuating asymmetry levels, which indicates that in less suitable areas, the individuals experience numerous disturbances during skull ontogeny. We have not found an association between morphological variance and environmental suitability. As expected, these results suggest that in environments with a lower suitability, developmental stress is increased. Such information is helpful in the understanding of the species evolution and in the selection of priority areas for the conservation of species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Wolf

    2016-06-01

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

  16. Model Fusion Tool - the Open Environmental Modelling Platform Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, H.; Giles, J. R.

    2010-12-01

    The vision of an Open Environmental Modelling Platform - seamlessly linking geoscience data, concepts and models to aid decision making in times of environmental change. Governments and their executive agencies across the world are facing increasing pressure to make decisions about the management of resources in light of population growth and environmental change. In the UK for example, groundwater is becoming a scarce resource for large parts of its most densely populated areas. At the same time river and groundwater flooding resulting from high rainfall events are increasing in scale and frequency and sea level rise is threatening the defences of coastal cities. There is also a need for affordable housing, improved transport infrastructure and waste disposal as well as sources of renewable energy and sustainable food production. These challenges can only be resolved if solutions are based on sound scientific evidence. Although we have knowledge and understanding of many individual processes in the natural sciences it is clear that a single science discipline is unable to answer the questions and their inter-relationships. Modern science increasingly employs computer models to simulate the natural, economic and human system. Management and planning requires scenario modelling, forecasts and ‘predictions’. Although the outputs are often impressive in terms of apparent accuracy and visualisation, they are inherently not suited to simulate the response to feedbacks from other models of the earth system, such as the impact of human actions. Geological Survey Organisations (GSO) are increasingly employing advances in Information Technology to visualise and improve their understanding of geological systems. Instead of 2 dimensional paper maps and reports many GSOs now produce 3 dimensional geological framework models and groundwater flow models as their standard output. Additionally the British Geological Survey have developed standard routines to link geological

  17. A Survey of Precipitation Data for Environmental Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    This report explores the types of precipitation data available for environmental modeling. Precipitation is the main driver in the hydrological cycle and modelers use this information to understand water quality and water availability. Models use observed precipitation informatio...

  18. Supply Chain Development: Insights from Strategic Niche Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caniels, Marjolein C. J.; Romijn, Henny A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the study of supply chain design from the perspective of complex dynamic systems. Unlike extant studies that use formal simulation modelling and associated methodologies rooted in the physical sciences, it adopts a framework rooted in the social sciences, strategic niche management, which…

  19. Prospects for population expansion of the exotic aoudad (Ammotragus lervia; Bovidae) in the Iberian Peninsula: clues from habitat suitability modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

    We studied the geographical distribution and habitat suitability of an introduced ungulate, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), that is currently expanding its range in south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the niche of the species using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) on (1......) environmental variables (climate and habitat type), and (2) potential aoudad landscape avoidance and human disturbance variables. We compared both niche descriptions to study the impact of human interference on niche selection of the species. ENFA models were calibrated using data on the population expanded...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique G. de la Riva

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Wiens, John J

    2017-07-01

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

  4. National Environmental Policy Act guidance: A model process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angle, B.M.; Lockhart, V.A.T.; Sema, B.; Tuott, L.C.; Irving, J.S.

    1995-04-01

    The ''Model National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process'' includes: References to regulations, guidance documents, and plans; training programs; procedures; and computer databases. Legislative Acts and reference documents from Congress, US Department of Energy, and Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company provide the bases for conducting NEPA at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company (LITCO) NEPA / Permitting Department, the Contractor Environmental Organization (CEO) is responsible for developing and maintaining LITCO NEPA and permitting policies, guidance, and procedures. The CEO develops procedures to conduct environmental evaluations based on NEPA, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, and DOE guidance. This procedure includes preparation or support of environmental checklists, categorical exclusion determinations, environmental assessment determinations, environmental assessments, and environmental impact statements. In addition, the CEO uses this information to train personnel conducting environmental evaluations at the INEL. Streamlining these procedures fosters efficient use of resources, quality documents, and better decisions on proposed actions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry R. Haverkost

    2010-12-01

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

  9. Transcriptional reprogramming and phenotypic switching associated with the adaptation of Lactobacillus plantarum C2 to plant niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filannino, Pasquale; Di Cagno, Raffaella; Crecchio, Carmine; De Virgilio, Caterina; De Angelis, Maria; Gobbetti, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Lactobacillus plantarum has been isolated from a large variety of ecological niches, thus highlighting its remarkable environmental adaptability as a generalist. Plant fermentation conditions markedly affect the functional features of L. plantarum strains. We investigated the plant niche-specific traits of L. plantarum through whole-transcriptome and phenotypic microarray profiles. Carrot (CJ) and pineapple (PJ) juices were chosen as model systems, and MRS broth was used as a control. A set of 3,122 genes was expressed, and 21 to 31% of genes were differentially expressed depending on the plant niche and cell physiological state. L. plantarum C2 seemed to specifically respond to plant media conditions. When L. plantarum was cultured in CJ, useful pathways were activated, which were aimed to sense the environment, save energy and adopt alternative routes for NAD+ regeneration. In PJ the acidic environment caused a transcriptional switching, which was network-linked to an acid tolerance response involving carbohydrate flow, amino acid and protein metabolism, pH homeostasis and membrane fluidity. The most prominent phenotypic dissimilarities observed in cells grown in CJ and PJ were related to carbon and nitrogen metabolism, respectively. Summarising, a snapshot of a carrot and pineapple sensing and adaptive regulation model for L. plantarum C2 was proposed. PMID:27273017

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culumber, Zachary W; Tobler, Michael

    2016-02-19

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

  11. Cellular Models for Environmental Toxicant Biomarker Discovery

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Halverson, Kelly M; Lewsis, John A; Jackson, David A; Dennis, William; Brennan, Linda; Krakaner, Teresa

    2006-01-01

    ...) is the development of biomarkers of exposure, effect, and susceptibility. As exposure monitoring using environmental sampling equipment can be impractical and doesn't account for differences in individual responses, new methodologies must be sought...

  12. Occupy the Financial Niche: Saturation and Crisis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purica, Ionut

    The model presented is one theoretical approach within a broader research program that could verify the nonlinear conjectures made, such that to quantify and predict potential discontinuous behaviour. In this case, the crisis behaviour associated with financial funds reallocation among various credit instruments, described as memes with the sense of Dawkins, is shown to be of discontinuous nature stemming from a logistic penetration in the behaviour niche. Actually the logistic penetration is typical in creating cyclic behaviour of economic structures as shown by Marchetti and others from IIASA. A Fokker-Planck equation description results in a stationary solution having a bifurcation like solution with evolution trajectories on a `cusp' type catastrophe that may describe discontinuous decision behaviour.

  13. Trophic niche shifts driven by phytoplankton in sandy beach ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergamino, Leandro; Martínez, Ana; Han, Eunah; Lercari, Diego; Defeo, Omar

    2016-10-01

    Stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) together with chlorophyll a and densities of surf diatoms were used to analyze changes in trophic niches of species in two sandy beaches of Uruguay with contrasting morphodynamics (i.e. dissipative vs. reflective). Consumers and food sources were collected over four seasons, including sediment organic matter (SOM), suspended particulate organic matter (POM) and the surf zone diatom Asterionellopsis guyunusae. Circular statistics and a Bayesian isotope mixing model were used to quantify food web differences between beaches. Consumers changed their trophic niche between beaches in the same direction of the food web space towards higher reliance on surf diatoms in the dissipative beach. Mixing models indicated that A. guyunusae was the primary nutrition source for suspension feeders in the dissipative beach, explaining their change in dietary niche compared to the reflective beach where the proportional contribution of surf diatoms was low. The high C/N ratios in A. guyunusae indicated its high nutritional value and N content, and may help to explain the high assimilation by suspension feeders at the dissipative beach. Furthermore, density of A. guyunusae was higher in the dissipative than in the reflective beach, and cell density was positively correlated with chlorophyll a only in the dissipative beach. Therefore, surf diatoms are important drivers in the dynamics of sandy beach food webs, determining the trophic niche space and productivity. Our study provides valuable insights on shifting foraging behavior by beach fauna in response to changes in resource availability.

  14. Identification of hepatic niche harboring human acute lymphoblastic leukemic cells via the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itaru Kato

    Full Text Available In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL patients, the bone marrow niche is widely known to be an important element of treatment response and relapse. Furthermore, a characteristic liver pathology observed in ALL patients implies that the hepatic microenvironment provides an extramedullary niche for leukemic cells. However, it remains unclear whether the liver actually provides a specific niche. The mechanism underlying this pathology is also poorly understood. Here, to answer these questions, we reconstituted the histopathology of leukemic liver by using patients-derived primary ALL cells into NOD/SCID/Yc (null mice. The liver pathology in this model was similar to that observed in the patients. By using this model, we clearly demonstrated that bile duct epithelial cells form a hepatic niche that supports infiltration and proliferation of ALL cells in the liver. Furthermore, we showed that functions of the niche are maintained by the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis, proposing a novel therapeutic approach targeting the extramedullary niche by inhibition of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the liver dissemination of leukemia is not due to nonselective infiltration, but rather systematic invasion and proliferation of leukemic cells in hepatic niche. Although the contribution of SDF-1/CXCR4 axis is reported in some cancer cells or leukemic niches such as bone marrow, we demonstrated that this axis works even in the extramedullary niche of leukemic cells. Our findings form the basis for therapeutic approaches that target the extramedullary niche by inhibiting the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis.

  15. Advanced aviation environmental modeling tools to inform policymakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-19

    Aviation environmental models which conform to international guidance have advanced : over the past several decades. Enhancements to algorithms and databases have increasingly : shown these models to compare well with gold standard measured data. The...

  16. Modelling consumers' preferences for Novel Protein Foods and environmental quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhu, X.; Ierland, van E.C.

    2005-01-01

    We develop a theoretical Applied General Equilibrium (AGE) model that explicitly includes the environmental input in production functions and the consumers' preferences for environmental quality in utility functions. We empirically apply the model to provide some insights into the effects of the

  17. EASETECH – A LCA model for assessment of environmental technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Anders; Baumeister, Hubert; Astrup, Thomas Fruergaard

    2014-01-01

    EASETECH is a new model for the environmental assessment of environmental technologies developed in collaboration between DTU Environment and DTU Compute. EASETECH is based on experience gained in the field of waste management modelling over the last decade and applies the same concepts to systems...

  18. Data Sources Available for Modeling Environmental Exposures in Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    This report, “Data Sources Available for Modeling Environmental Exposures in Older Adults,” focuses on information sources and data available for modeling environmental exposures in the older U.S. population, defined here to be people 60 years and older, with an emphasis on those...

  19. Cystic fibrosis-niche adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa reduces virulence in multiple infection hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Ivan Lorè

    Full Text Available The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to thrive in diverse ecological niches and to cause serious human infection. P. aeruginosa environmental strains are producing various virulence factors that are required for establishing acute infections in several host organisms; however, the P. aeruginosa phenotypic variants favour long-term persistence in the cystic fibrosis (CF airways. Whether P. aeruginosa strains, which have adapted to the CF-niche, have lost their competitive fitness in the other environment remains to be investigated. In this paper, three P. aeruginosa clonal lineages, including early strains isolated at the onset of infection, and late strains, isolated after several years of chronic lung infection from patients with CF, were analysed in multi-host model systems of acute infection. P. aeruginosa early isolates caused lethality in the three non-mammalian hosts, namely Caenorhabditis elegans, Galleria mellonella, and Drosophila melanogaster, while late adapted clonal isolates were attenuated in acute virulence. When two different mouse genetic background strains, namely C57Bl/6NCrl and Balb/cAnNCrl, were used as acute infection models, early P. aeruginosa CF isolates were lethal, while late isolates exhibited reduced or abolished acute virulence. Severe histopathological lesions, including high leukocytes recruitment and bacterial load, were detected in the lungs of mice infected with P. aeruginosa CF early isolates, while late isolates were progressively cleared. In addition, systemic bacterial spread and invasion of epithelial cells, which were detected for P. aeruginosa CF early strains, were not observed with late strains. Our findings indicate that niche-specific selection in P. aeruginosa reduced its ability to cause acute infections across a broad range of hosts while maintaining the capacity for chronic infection in the CF host.

  20. Target Article with Commentaries: Developmental Niche Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. A mathematical model for environmental risk assessment in manufacturing industry

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何莉萍; 徐盛明; 陈大川; 党创寅

    2002-01-01

    Environmental conscious manufacturing has become an important issue in industry because of market pressure and environmental regulations. An environmental risk assessment model was developed based on the network analytic method and fuzzy set theory. The "interval analysis method" was applied to deal with the on-site monitoring data as basic information for assessment. In addition, the fuzzy set theory was employed to allow uncertain, interactive and dynamic information to be effectively incorporated into the environmental risk assessment. This model is a simple, practical and effective tool for evaluating the environmental risk of manufacturing industry and for analyzing the relative impacts of emission wastes, which are hazardous to both human and ecosystem health. Furthermore, the model is considered useful for design engineers and decision-maker to design and select processes when the costs, environmental impacts and performances of a product are taken into consideration.

  2. Environmental Parametric Cost Model in Oil and Gas EPC Contracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madjid Abbaspour

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims at identifying the parameters that govern the environmental costs in oil and gas projects. An initial conceptual model was proposed. Next, the costs of environmental management work packages were estimated, separately and were applied in project control tools (WBS/CBS. Then, an environmental parametric cost model was designed to determine the environmental costs and relevant weighting factors. The suggested model can be considered as an innovative approach to designate the environmental indicators in oil and gas projects. The validity of variables was investigated based on Delphi method. The results indicated that the project environmental management’s weighting factor is 0.87% of total project’s weighting factor.

  3. A Knowledge-Based Representation Scheme for Environmental Science Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Richard M.; Dungan, Jennifer L.; Lum, Henry, Jr. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    One of the primary methods available for studying environmental phenomena is the construction and analysis of computational models. We have been studying how artificial intelligence techniques can be applied to assist in the development and use of environmental science models within the context of NASA-sponsored activities. We have identified several high-utility areas as potential targets for research and development: model development; data visualization, analysis, and interpretation; model publishing and reuse, training and education; and framing, posing, and answering questions. Central to progress on any of the above areas is a representation for environmental models that contains a great deal more information than is present in a traditional software implementation. In particular, a traditional software implementation is devoid of any semantic information that connects the code with the environmental context that forms the background for the modeling activity. Before we can build AI systems to assist in model development and usage, we must develop a representation for environmental models that adequately describes a model's semantics and explicitly represents the relationship between the code and the modeling task at hand. We have developed one such representation in conjunction with our work on the SIGMA (Scientists' Intelligent Graphical Modeling Assistant) environment. The key feature of the representation is that it provides a semantic grounding for the symbols in a set of modeling equations by linking those symbols to an explicit representation of the underlying environmental scenario.

  4. A variational approach to niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  5. The niche party concept and its measurement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Thomas M; Miller, Bernhard

    2015-03-01

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

  6. MODEL OF IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM BY MULTI - SOFTWARE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelena Jovanovic

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper is based on doctoral dissertation which is oriented on improving environmental management system using multi - software. In this doctoral dissertation will be used key results of master thesis which is oriented on quantification environmental aspects and impacts by artificial neural network in organizations. This paper recommend improving environmental management system in organization using Balanced scorecard model and MCDM method - AHP (Analytic hierarchy process based on group decision. BSC would be spread with elements of Environmental management system and used in area of strategic management system in organization and AHP would be used in area of checking results getting by quantification environmental aspects and impacts.

  7. A review of mathematical models in economic environmental problems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nahorski, Z.; Ravn, H.F.

    2000-01-01

    The paper presents a review of mathematical models used,in economic analysis of environmental problems. This area of research combines macroeconomic models of growth, as dependent on capital, labour, resources, etc., with environmental models describing such phenomena like natural resources...... exhaustion or pollution accumulation and degradation. In simpler cases the models can be treated analytically and the utility function can be optimized using, e.g., such tools as the maximum principle. In more complicated cases calculation of the optimal environmental policies requires a computer solution....

  8. Proposing an Environmental Excellence Self-Assessment Model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meulengracht Jensen, Peter; Johansen, John; Wæhrens, Brian Vejrum

    2013-01-01

    that the EEA model can be used in global organizations to differentiate environmental efforts depending on the maturity stage of the individual sites. Furthermore, the model can be used to support the decision-making process regarding when organizations should embark on more complex environmental efforts......This paper presents an Environmental Excellence Self-Assessment (EEA) model based on the structure of the European Foundation of Quality Management Business Excellence Framework. Four theoretical scenarios for deploying the model are presented as well as managerial implications, suggesting...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fotsing Jean-Marie

    2009-05-01

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

  10. Drosophila Glypicans Regulate Follicle Stem Cell Maintenance and Niche Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Tsu-Yi; Nakato, Eriko; Choi, Pui Yee; Nakato, Hiroshi

    2018-04-09

    Adult stem cells reside in specialized microenvironments, called niches, which provide signals for stem cells to maintain their undifferentiated and self-renewing state. To maintain stem cell quality, several types of stem cells are known to be regularly replaced by progenitor cells through niche competition. However, the cellular and molecular bases for stem cell competition for niche occupancy are largely unknown. Here, we show that two Drosophila members of the glypican family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), Dally and Dally-like (Dlp), differentially regulate follicle stem cell (FSC) maintenance and FSC competitiveness for niche occupancy. Lineage analyses of glypican mutant FSC clones showed that dally is essential for normal FSC maintenance. In contrast, dlp is a hyper-competitive mutation: dlp mutant FSC progenitors often eventually occupy the entire epithelial sheet. RNAi knockdown experiments showed that Dally and Dlp play both partially redundant and distinct roles in regulating Jak/Stat, Wg and Hh signaling in FSCs. The Drosophila FSC system offers a powerful genetic model to study the mechanisms by which HSPGs exert specific functions in stem cell replacement and competition. Copyright © 2018, Genetics.

  11. Niche as a determinant of word fate in online groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo G Altmann

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Patterns of word use both reflect and influence a myriad of human activities and interactions. Like other entities that are reproduced and evolve, words rise or decline depending upon a complex interplay between their intrinsic properties and the environments in which they function. Using Internet discussion communities as model systems, we define the concept of a word niche as the relationship between the word and the characteristic features of the environments in which it is used. We develop a method to quantify two important aspects of the size of the word niche: the range of individuals using the word and the range of topics it is used to discuss. Controlling for word frequency, we show that these aspects of the word niche are strong determinants of changes in word frequency. Previous studies have already indicated that word frequency itself is a correlate of word success at historical time scales. Our analysis of changes in word frequencies over time reveals that the relative sizes of word niches are far more important than word frequencies in the dynamics of the entire vocabulary at shorter time scales, as the language adapts to new concepts and social groupings. We also distinguish endogenous versus exogenous factors as additional contributors to the fates of words, and demonstrate the force of this distinction in the rise of novel words. Our results indicate that short-term nonstationarity in word statistics is strongly driven by individual proclivities, including inclinations to provide novel information and to project a distinctive social identity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Robert; Winiwarter, Verena

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  14. Not all renal stem cell niches are the same: anatomy of an evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara Gerosa

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The renal stem cell niche represents the most important structure of the developing kidney, responsible for nephrogenesis. Recently, some Authors have reported, at ultrastructural level, a previously unknown complexity of the architecture of renal stem cell niche in experimental models. This study was aimed at studying, at histological level, the anatomy of renal stem cell niches in the human fetal kidney. To this end, ten fetal kidneys, whose gestational ages ranged from 11 up to 24 weeks, were studied. H&E-stained sections were observed at high power. The study of the anatomy of renal stem cell niches in the human kidney revealed a previously unreported complexity: some niches appeared as a roundish arrangement of mesenchymal cells; others showed the initial phases of induction by ureteric buds; in other niches the process of mesenchymal epithelial transition was more evident; finally, in other stem cell niches the first signs of nephron origin were detectable. These findings suggest the existence of niches with different anatomy in the same kidney, indicating different stages of evolution even in adjacent niches. All stem cell niches were in strict contact with the capsular cells, suggesting a major role of the renal capsule in nephrogenesis. Finally, our study confirms the existence of a strict contact between the bud tip cells and the surrounding mesenchyme in the human developing kidney, giving a morphological support to the theory of intercellular channels allowing the passage of transcription factors from the epithelial to the mesenchymal stem/progenitors cells.Proceedings of the 2nd International Course on Perinatal Pathology (part of the 11th International Workshop on Neonatology · October 26th-31st, 2015 · Cagliari (Italy · October 31st, 2015 · Stem cells: present and future Guest Editors: Gavino Faa, Vassilios Fanos, Antonio Giordano

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. Considerations on the modelling of environmental radiocarbon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott, E.M.; McCartney, M.

    1991-01-01

    Modelling radionuclide transfer within the natural environment involves three general steps: model formulation, its fitting using appropriate experimental data and model validation. The last process typically involves a sensitivity analysis and is used to modify model formulation and to direct future experimental effort. A wide variety of models exists appropriate to a number of different applications. Recently, attention has been directed to the development of principles for establishing local, regional and global upper bounds to doses. Here important considerations in model choice are the spatial detail required within the model, the links between models of differing resolution and the availability of suitable experimental data. We illustrate the model-building stages and discuss the above considerations in transfer modelling using radiocarbon which is produced and released as part of the nuclear fuel cycle. Its long half life of 5730 years, its mobility in the environment and its incorporation into man via the food chain make it of some considerable radiological significance. We consider local modelling of 14 C transfer using a Gaussian plume model, while its global dispersal is modelled using a large globally-averaged compartmental model. The global analysis is used to make short term predictions of 14 C specific activities to 2050 and longer-term predictions over a period of 10,000 years. We discuss the validation of these models and attempt to quantify the sources and magnitudes of the uncertainties in the model predictions. (26 refs., 2 figs.)

  17. The use of models to assess environmental impacts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gustafson, P.F.

    1978-01-01

    Environmental impacts will include the effects on man as well as on other major segments of the natural or indigenous ecosystems. In their present state of development, the models used for environmental impact analysis give at least a semiquantitative estimate of the magnitude of such impacts. The methods used in the development of models are given, and their strengths and weaknesses are described. The relationship between predictive, before-the-fact models, and monitoring programs conducted during facility operation are also discussed

  18. The application of DEA model in enterprise environmental performance auditing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, F.; Zhu, L. Y.; Zhang, J. D.; Liu, C. Y.; Qu, Z. G.; Xiao, M. S.

    2017-01-01

    As a part of society, enterprises have an inescapable responsibility for environmental protection and governance. This article discusses the feasibility and necessity of enterprises environmental performance auditing and uses DEA model calculate the environmental performance of Haier for example. The most of reference data are selected and sorted from Haier’s environmental reportspublished in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2015, and some of the data from some published articles and fieldwork. All the calculation results are calculated by DEAP software andhave a high credibility. The analysis results of this article can give corporate managements an idea about using environmental performance auditing to adjust their corporate environmental investments capital quota and change their company’s environmental strategies.

  19. Environmental problems and economic development in an endogenous fertility model

    OpenAIRE

    Frank Joest; Martin Quaas; Johannes Schiller

    2006-01-01

    Population growth is often viewed as a most oppressive global problem with respect to environmental deterioration, but the relationships between population development, economic dynamics and environmental pollution are complex due to various feedback mechanisms. We analyze society’s economic decisions on birth rates, investment into human and physical capital, and polluting emissions within an optimal control model of the coupled demographic-economic-environmental system. We show that a long-...

  20. THE NICHE CONSTRUCTION PERSPECTIVE: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL*

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. The niche construction perspective: a critical appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  2. Design and validation of a model to offer environmental consulting services to minimize oil pollution at gas stations: case study: a gas station in Costa Rica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calderon Hernandez, Teresita

    2016-01-01

    An environmental consulting service was designed and validated to minimize hydrocarbon contamination at gas stations, to be used by Migliore S.A. in order to strengthen and increase the number of services offered in the market niche of these companies. A matrix was synthesized with tools such as SWOT, deployment of the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and international analysis. With the standardized protocols it will be possible to increase in a fluid way, the offer of consulting services. The final validation of the model allowed to verify the functionality of the same, through the generation of solid evaluation criteria that allowed a good knowledge of the gas station, case study, to offer a timely solution to your particular case, in a simple way and harmonious. The company providing environmental consulting services Migliore S.A. can count on a better commercial development, using the designed model [es

  3. The copepod Tigriopus: A promising marine model organism for ecotoxicology and environmental genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raisuddin, Sheikh [Department of Chemistry and the National Research Lab of Marine Molecular and Environmental Bioscience, College of Natural Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of); Kwok, Kevin W.H. [Swire Institute of Marine Science, Department of Ecology and Biodiversity, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong (China); Leung, Kenneth M.Y. [Swire Institute of Marine Science, Department of Ecology and Biodiversity, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong (China); Schlenk, Daniel [Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States); Lee, Jae-Seong [Department of Chemistry and the National Research Lab of Marine Molecular and Environmental Bioscience, College of Natural Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791 (Korea, Republic of)]. E-mail: jslee2@hanyang.ac.kr

    2007-07-20

    gene expression techniques has allowed evaluation of transcriptional changes in T. japonicus with the ultimate aim of understanding the mechanisms of action of environmental stressors. Through a better understanding of toxicological mechanisms, ecotoxicologists may use this ecologically relevant species in risk assessment studies in marine systems. The combination of uses as a whole-animal bioassay and gene expression studies indicate that Tigriopus may serve as an excellent tool to evaluate the impacts of marine pollution throughout the coastal region. The purpose of this review is to illustrate the potential of using Tigriopus to fulfill the niche as an important invertebrate marine model organism for ecotoxicology and environmental genomics. In addition, the knowledge gaps and areas for further studies have also been discussed.

  4. The copepod Tigriopus: A promising marine model organism for ecotoxicology and environmental genomics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raisuddin, Sheikh; Kwok, Kevin W.H.; Leung, Kenneth M.Y.; Schlenk, Daniel; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2007-01-01

    gene expression techniques has allowed evaluation of transcriptional changes in T. japonicus with the ultimate aim of understanding the mechanisms of action of environmental stressors. Through a better understanding of toxicological mechanisms, ecotoxicologists may use this ecologically relevant species in risk assessment studies in marine systems. The combination of uses as a whole-animal bioassay and gene expression studies indicate that Tigriopus may serve as an excellent tool to evaluate the impacts of marine pollution throughout the coastal region. The purpose of this review is to illustrate the potential of using Tigriopus to fulfill the niche as an important invertebrate marine model organism for ecotoxicology and environmental genomics. In addition, the knowledge gaps and areas for further studies have also been discussed

  5. Macrophytes shape trophic niche variation among generalist fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivana Vejříková

    Full Text Available Generalist species commonly have a fundamental role in ecosystems as they can integrate spatially distinct habitats and food-web compartments, as well as control the composition, abundance and behavior of organisms at different trophic levels. Generalist populations typically consist of specialized individuals, but the potential for and hence degree of individual niche variation can be largely determined by habitat complexity. We compared individual niche variation within three generalist fishes between two comparable lakes in the Czech Republic differing in macrophyte cover, i.e. macrophyte-rich Milada and macrophyte-poor Most. We tested the hypothesis that large individual niche variation among generalist fishes is facilitated by the presence of macrophytes, which provides niches and predation shelter for fish and their prey items. Based on results from stable nitrogen (δ15N and carbon (δ13C isotopic mixing models, perch (Perca fluviatilis L. and rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus (L. showed larger individual variation (i.e., variance in trophic position in Milada as compared to Most, whereas no significant between-lake differences were observed for roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.. Contrary to our hypothesis, all the three species showed significantly lower individual variation in the relative reliance on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most. Rudd relied significantly more whereas perch and roach relied less on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most, likely due to prevalent herbivory by rudd and prevalent zooplanktivory by perch and roach in the macrophyte-rich Milada as compared to macrophyte-poor Most. Our study demonstrates how the succession of macrophyte vegetation, via its effects on the physical and biological complexity of the littoral zone and on the availability of small prey fish and zooplankton, can strongly influence individual niche variation among generalist fishes with different ontogenetic trajectories, and hence

  6. Macrophytes shape trophic niche variation among generalist fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vejřík, Lukáš; Šmejkal, Marek; Čech, Martin; Sajdlová, Zuzana; Frouzová, Jaroslava; Kiljunen, Mikko; Peterka, Jiří

    2017-01-01

    Generalist species commonly have a fundamental role in ecosystems as they can integrate spatially distinct habitats and food-web compartments, as well as control the composition, abundance and behavior of organisms at different trophic levels. Generalist populations typically consist of specialized individuals, but the potential for and hence degree of individual niche variation can be largely determined by habitat complexity. We compared individual niche variation within three generalist fishes between two comparable lakes in the Czech Republic differing in macrophyte cover, i.e. macrophyte-rich Milada and macrophyte-poor Most. We tested the hypothesis that large individual niche variation among generalist fishes is facilitated by the presence of macrophytes, which provides niches and predation shelter for fish and their prey items. Based on results from stable nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) isotopic mixing models, perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) and rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus (L.)) showed larger individual variation (i.e., variance) in trophic position in Milada as compared to Most, whereas no significant between-lake differences were observed for roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.)). Contrary to our hypothesis, all the three species showed significantly lower individual variation in the relative reliance on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most. Rudd relied significantly more whereas perch and roach relied less on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most, likely due to prevalent herbivory by rudd and prevalent zooplanktivory by perch and roach in the macrophyte-rich Milada as compared to macrophyte-poor Most. Our study demonstrates how the succession of macrophyte vegetation, via its effects on the physical and biological complexity of the littoral zone and on the availability of small prey fish and zooplankton, can strongly influence individual niche variation among generalist fishes with different ontogenetic trajectories, and hence the overall

  7. Environmental Management Model for Road Maintenance Operation Involving Community Participation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triyono, A. R. H.; Setyawan, A.; Sobriyah; Setiono, P.

    2017-07-01

    Public expectations of Central Java, which is very high on demand fulfillment, especially road infrastructure as outlined in the number of complaints and community expectations tweeter, Short Mail Massage (SMS), e-mail and public reports from various media, Highways Department of Central Java province requires development model of environmental management in the implementation of a routine way by involving the community in order to fulfill the conditions of a representative, may serve road users safely and comfortably. This study used survey method with SEM analysis and SWOT with Latent Independent Variable (X), namely; Public Participation in the regulation, development, construction and supervision of road (PSM); Public behavior in the utilization of the road (PMJ) Provincial Road Service (PJP); Safety in the Provincial Road (KJP); Integrated Management System (SMT) and latent dependent variable (Y) routine maintenance of the provincial road that is integrated with the environmental management system and involve the participation of the community (MML). The result showed the implementation of routine maintenance of road conditions in Central Java province has yet to implement an environmental management by involving the community; Therefore developed environmental management model with the results of H1: Community Participation (PSM) has positive influence on the Model of Environmental Management (MML); H2: Behavior Society in Jalan Utilization (PMJ) positive effect on Model Environmental Management (MML); H3: Provincial Road Service (PJP) positive effect on Model Environmental Management (MML); H4: Safety in the Provincial Road (KJP) positive effect on Model Environmental Management (MML); H5: Integrated Management System (SMT) has positive influence on the Model of Environmental Management (MML). From the analysis obtained formulation model describing the relationship / influence of the independent variables PSM, PMJ, PJP, KJP, and SMT on the dependent variable

  8. PEEX Modelling Platform for Seamless Environmental Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baklanov, Alexander; Mahura, Alexander; Arnold, Stephen; Makkonen, Risto; Petäjä, Tuukka; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Lappalainen, Hanna K.; Ezau, Igor; Nuterman, Roman; Zhang, Wen; Penenko, Alexey; Gordov, Evgeny; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Kulmala, Markku

    2017-04-01

    The Pan-Eurasian EXperiment (PEEX) is a multidisciplinary, multi-scale research programme stared in 2012 and aimed at resolving the major uncertainties in Earth System Science and global sustainability issues concerning the Arctic and boreal Northern Eurasian regions and in China. Such challenges include climate change, air quality, biodiversity loss, chemicalization, food supply, and the use of natural resources by mining, industry, energy production and transport. The research infrastructure introduces the current state of the art modeling platform and observation systems in the Pan-Eurasian region and presents the future baselines for the coherent and coordinated research infrastructures in the PEEX domain. The PEEX modeling Platform is characterized by a complex seamless integrated Earth System Modeling (ESM) approach, in combination with specific models of different processes and elements of the system, acting on different temporal and spatial scales. The ensemble approach is taken to the integration of modeling results from different models, participants and countries. PEEX utilizes the full potential of a hierarchy of models: scenario analysis, inverse modeling, and modeling based on measurement needs and processes. The models are validated and constrained by available in-situ and remote sensing data of various spatial and temporal scales using data assimilation and top-down modeling. The analyses of the anticipated large volumes of data produced by available models and sensors will be supported by a dedicated virtual research environment developed for these purposes.

  9. 1987 Oak Ridge model conference: Proceedings: Volume 2, Environmental protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    See the abstract for Volume I for general information on the conference. Topics discussed in Volume II include data management techiques for environmental protection efforts, the use of models in environmental auditing, in emergency plans, chemical accident emergency response, risk assessment, monitoring of waste sites, air and water monitoring of waste sites, and in training programs

  10. 1987 Oak Ridge model conference: Proceedings: Volume 2, Environmental protection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1987-01-01

    See the abstract for Volume I for general information on the conference. Topics discussed in Volume II include data management techiques for environmental protection efforts, the use of models in environmental auditing, in emergency plans, chemical accident emergency response, risk assessment, monitoring of waste sites, air and water monitoring of waste sites, and in training programs. (TEM)

  11. LOUISIANA ENVIRONMENTAL MODELING SYSTEM FOR HYPOXIA RELATED ISSUES

    Science.gov (United States)

    An environmental assessment tool to evaluate the impacts of nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants discharged from Mississippi River basins into the Gulf of Mexico and to assess their effects on receiving water quality will be described. This system (Louisiana Environmental Modeling S...

  12. Modeling Environmental Literacy of Malaysian Pre-University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamuganathan, Sheila; Karpudewan, Mageswary

    2015-01-01

    In this study attempt was made to model the environmental literacy of Malaysian pre-university students enrolled in a matriculation college. Students enrolled in the matriculation colleges in Malaysia are the top notch students in the country. Environmental literacy of this group is perceived important because in the future these students will be…

  13. Frontier models for evaluating environmental efficiency: an overview

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M.; Wall, A.

    2014-01-01

    Our aim in this paper is to provide a succinct overview of frontier-based models used to evaluate environmental efficiency, with a special emphasis on agricultural activity. We begin by providing a brief, up-to-date review of the main approaches used to measure environmental efficiency, with

  14. Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Deposition on Model Environmental Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deposition of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) on model environmental surfaces was investigated using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D). Deposition behaviors of MWNTs on positively and negatively charged surfaces were in good agreement with Der...

  15. Assaying environmental nickel toxicity using model nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Rudel

    Full Text Available Although nickel exposure results in allergic reactions, respiratory conditions, and cancer in humans and rodents, the ramifications of excess nickel in the environment for animal and human health remain largely undescribed. Nickel and other cationic metals travel through waterways and bind to soils and sediments. To evaluate the potential toxic effects of nickel at environmental contaminant levels (8.9-7,600 µg Ni/g dry weight of sediment and 50-800 µg NiCl2/L of water, we conducted assays using two cosmopolitan nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus. We assayed the effects of both sediment-bound and aqueous nickel upon animal growth, developmental survival, lifespan, and fecundity. Uncontaminated sediments were collected from sites in the Midwestern United States and spiked with a range of nickel concentrations. We found that nickel-spiked sediment substantially impairs both survival from larval to adult stages and adult longevity in a concentration-dependent manner. Further, while aqueous nickel showed no adverse effects on either survivorship or longevity, we observed a significant decrease in fecundity, indicating that aqueous nickel could have a negative impact on nematode physiology. Intriguingly, C. elegans and P. pacificus exhibit similar, but not identical, responses to nickel exposure. Moreover, P. pacificus could be tested successfully in sediments inhospitable to C. elegans. Our results add to a growing body of literature documenting the impact of nickel on animal physiology, and suggest that environmental toxicological studies could gain an advantage by widening their repertoire of nematode species.

  16. Assaying environmental nickel toxicity using model nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudel, David; Douglas, Chandler; Huffnagle, Ian; Besser, John M.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.

    2013-01-01

    Although nickel exposure results in allergic reactions, respiratory conditions, and cancer in humans and rodents, the ramifications of excess nickel in the environment for animal and human health remain largely undescribed. Nickel and other cationic metals travel through waterways and bind to soils and sediments. To evaluate the potential toxic effects of nickel at environmental contaminant levels (8.9-7,600 µg Ni/g dry weight of sediment and 50-800 µg NiCl2/L of water), we conducted assays using two cosmopolitan nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus. We assayed the effects of both sediment-bound and aqueous nickel upon animal growth, developmental survival, lifespan, and fecundity. Uncontaminated sediments were collected from sites in the Midwestern United States and spiked with a range of nickel concentrations. We found that nickel-spiked sediment substantially impairs both survival from larval to adult stages and adult longevity in a concentration-dependent manner. Further, while aqueous nickel showed no adverse effects on either survivorship or longevity, we observed a significant decrease in fecundity, indicating that aqueous nickel could have a negative impact on nematode physiology. Intriguingly, C. elegansand P. pacificus exhibit similar, but not identical, responses to nickel exposure. Moreover, P. pacificus could be tested successfully in sediments inhospitable to C. elegans. Our results add to a growing body of literature documenting the impact of nickel on animal physiology, and suggest that environmental toxicological studies could gain an advantage by widening their repertoire of nematode species.

  17. ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY MODEL BASED ON ISO 14000 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina SITNIKOV

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Worldwide corporations, as well as their stakeholders, are more conscious of the need for environmental management, SR behaviour, and sustainable growth and development. International Standards are becoming more significant for corporations to work towards common environmental management practices. ISO 14001 is the first and the broadest standard intended at a more responsible approach of corporations and the world’s most acknowledged framework for environmental management systems that assists corporations to better manage the effect of their activities on the environment. This article aims to study ISO 14001 implementation and its effects on the environmental responsibility. A model will be built, which covers the environmental management system, the components of organizational culture, being able to influence environmental standards implementation.

  18. Models and parameters for environmental radiological assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, C.W.

    1984-01-01

    This book presents a unified compilation of models and parameters appropriate for assessing the impact of radioactive discharges to the environment. Models examined include those developed for the prediction of atmospheric and hydrologic transport and deposition, for terrestrial and aquatic food-chain bioaccumulation, and for internal and external dosimetry. Chapters have been entered separately into the data base

  19. Models and parameters for environmental radiological assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, C W [ed.

    1984-01-01

    This book presents a unified compilation of models and parameters appropriate for assessing the impact of radioactive discharges to the environment. Models examined include those developed for the prediction of atmospheric and hydrologic transport and deposition, for terrestrial and aquatic food-chain bioaccumulation, and for internal and external dosimetry. Chapters have been entered separately into the data base. (ACR)

  20. CROSS DRIFT ALCOVE/NICHE UTILITIES ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    S. Goodin

    1999-01-01

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

  1. STABILITY OF INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS IN LEADERSHIP MODEL

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jin ZHANG; Shouyang WANG; Lei ZU

    2008-01-01

    International Environmental Agreements (IEAs) are a form of cooperation ratified by countries which can improve the management of shared environmental resources. The authors analyze the stability of International Environmental Agreements in leadership model. In 2006, Diamantoudi & Sartzetakis found that a stable coalition consists of either 2, 3, or 4 members if the number of countries is greater than 4. Their model is reconsidered. It is shown that the size of stable IEAs decreases from 3 to 2 when the total number of countries involved increases. However, a situation that can guarantee 4 to be the size of stable IEAs could not be found.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. A niche marketing guide for lamb cooperatives

    OpenAIRE

    Kazmierczak, Tamra Kirkpatrick; Bell, James B.

    1995-01-01

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

  4. Mathematical model in economic environmental problems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nahorski, Z. [Polish Academy of Sciences, Systems Research Inst. (Poland); Ravn, H.F. [Risoe National Lab. (Denmark)

    1996-12-31

    The report contains a review of basic models and mathematical tools used in economic regulation problems. It starts with presentation of basic models of capital accumulation, resource depletion, pollution accumulation, and population growth, as well as construction of utility functions. Then the one-state variable model is discussed in details. The basic mathematical methods used consist of application of the maximum principle and phase plane analysis of the differential equations obtained as the necessary conditions of optimality. A summary of basic results connected with these methods is given in appendices. (au) 13 ills.; 17 refs.

  5. Assessing environmental attributes and effects of climate change on Sphagnum peatland distributions in North America using single- and multi-species models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oke, Tobi A; Hager, Heather A

    2017-01-01

    The fate of Northern peatlands under climate change is important because of their contribution to global carbon (C) storage. Peatlands are maintained via greater plant productivity (especially of Sphagnum species) than decomposition, and the processes involved are strongly mediated by climate. Although some studies predict that warming will relax constraints on decomposition, leading to decreased C sequestration, others predict increases in productivity and thus increases in C sequestration. We explored the lack of congruence between these predictions using single-species and integrated species distribution models as proxies for understanding the environmental correlates of North American Sphagnum peatland occurrence and how projected changes to the environment might influence these peatlands under climate change. Using Maximum entropy and BIOMOD modelling platforms, we generated single and integrated species distribution models for four common Sphagnum species in North America under current climate and a 2050 climate scenario projected by three general circulation models. We evaluated the environmental correlates of the models and explored the disparities in niche breadth, niche overlap, and climate suitability among current and future models. The models consistently show that Sphagnum peatland distribution is influenced by the balance between soil moisture deficit and temperature of the driest quarter-year. The models identify the east and west coasts of North America as the core climate space for Sphagnum peatland distribution. The models show that, at least in the immediate future, the area of suitable climate for Sphagnum peatland could expand. This result suggests that projected warming would be balanced effectively by the anticipated increase in precipitation, which would increase Sphagnum productivity.

  6. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    K. Rasmuson; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-01-01

    This analysis is one of 10 technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) (i.e., the biosphere model). It documents development of agricultural and environmental input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters

  7. Application of a predictive Bayesian model to environmental accounting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anex, R P; Englehardt, J D

    2001-03-30

    Environmental accounting techniques are intended to capture important environmental costs and benefits that are often overlooked in standard accounting practices. Environmental accounting methods themselves often ignore or inadequately represent large but highly uncertain environmental costs and costs conditioned by specific prior events. Use of a predictive Bayesian model is demonstrated for the assessment of such highly uncertain environmental and contingent costs. The predictive Bayesian approach presented generates probability distributions for the quantity of interest (rather than parameters thereof). A spreadsheet implementation of a previously proposed predictive Bayesian model, extended to represent contingent costs, is described and used to evaluate whether a firm should undertake an accelerated phase-out of its PCB containing transformers. Variability and uncertainty (due to lack of information) in transformer accident frequency and severity are assessed simultaneously using a combination of historical accident data, engineering model-based cost estimates, and subjective judgement. Model results are compared using several different risk measures. Use of the model for incorporation of environmental risk management into a company's overall risk management strategy is discussed.

  8. Lumped parameter models for the interpretation of environmental tracer data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maloszewski, P.; Zuber, A.

    1996-01-01

    Principles of the lumped-parameter approach to the interpretation of environmental tracer data are given. The following models are considered: the piston flow model (PFM), exponential flow model (EM), linear model (LM), combined piston flow and exponential flow model (EPM), combined linear flow and piston flow model (LPM), and dispersion model (DM). The applicability of these models for the interpretation of different tracer data is discussed for a steady state flow approximation. Case studies are given to exemplify the applicability of the lumped-parameter approach. Description of a user-friendly computer program is given. (author). 68 refs, 25 figs, 4 tabs

  9. Lumped parameter models for the interpretation of environmental tracer data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maloszewski, P [GSF-Inst. for Hydrology, Oberschleissheim (Germany); Zuber, A [Institute of Nuclear Physics, Cracow (Poland)

    1996-10-01

    Principles of the lumped-parameter approach to the interpretation of environmental tracer data are given. The following models are considered: the piston flow model (PFM), exponential flow model (EM), linear model (LM), combined piston flow and exponential flow model (EPM), combined linear flow and piston flow model (LPM), and dispersion model (DM). The applicability of these models for the interpretation of different tracer data is discussed for a steady state flow approximation. Case studies are given to exemplify the applicability of the lumped-parameter approach. Description of a user-friendly computer program is given. (author). 68 refs, 25 figs, 4 tabs.

  10. Model of environmental management system for environmentally sustainable universities training in Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rivas Marin, Maria Isabel

    2011-01-01

    Sustainable campuses have become one of the main objectives of the Agendas University as a result of the impacts generated by the activities developed there and affect the environment. Given this, there are environmental management systems which are the set of practices, procedures, processes and resources needed to meet environmental regulations on business and are focused on reducing the impacts on the environment and the efficiency of processes. College- level companies still being considered, these systems do not work efficiently, it is necessary and urgent that the adequacy of a model environmental management system and that, through education and research, will help society to achieve the transition to sustainable lifestyles.

  11. Environmental Warning System Based on the DPSIR Model: A Practical and Concise Method for Environmental Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenqi Wang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Though we are in urgent need of environmental warnings to slow environmental deterioration, currently, there is no internationally concise method for environmental warnings. In addition, the existing approaches do not combine the three aspects of ecology, resources, and environment. At the same time, the three elements of the environment (air, water, and soil are separated in most environmental warning systems. Thus, the method this paper gives is an innovative attempt and aims to make environmental assessment more practical. This paper establishes the index system of an environmental early warning based on the Driving–Pressure–State–Influence–Response (DPSIR model. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP method was used to determine the weights. Next, single and integrated index methods further assess the environmental warning state, in which the weighted summation method is used to summarize the data and results. The case of Tianjin is used to confirm the applicability of this method. In conclusion, the method in this paper is more well-behaved and, therefore, more suitable to assist cities in their environmental assessment.

  12. Coupling model of energy consumption with changes in environmental utility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    He Hongming; Jim, C.Y.

    2012-01-01

    This study explores the relationships between metropolis energy consumption and environmental utility changes by a proposed Environmental Utility of Energy Consumption (EUEC) model. Based on the dynamic equilibrium of input–output economics theory, it considers three simulation scenarios: fixed-technology, technological-innovation, and green-building effect. It is applied to analyse Hong Kong in 1980–2007. Continual increase in energy consumption with rapid economic growth degraded environmental utility. First, energy consumption at fixed-technology was determined by economic outcome. In 1990, it reached a critical balanced state when energy consumption was 22×10 9 kWh. Before 1990 (x 1 9 kWh), rise in energy consumption improved both economic development and environmental utility. After 1990 (x 1 >22×10 9 kWh), expansion of energy consumption facilitated socio-economic development but suppressed environmental benefits. Second, technological-innovation strongly influenced energy demand and improved environmental benefits. The balanced state remained in 1999 when energy consumption reached 32.33×10 9 kWh. Technological-innovation dampened energy consumption by 12.99%, exceeding the fixed-technology condition. Finally, green buildings reduced energy consumption by an average of 17.5% in 1990–2007. They contributed significantly to energy saving, and buffered temperature fluctuations between external and internal environment. The case investigations verified the efficiency of the EUEC model, which can effectively evaluate the interplay of energy consumption and environmental quality. - Highlights: ► We explore relationships between metropolis energy consumption and environmental utility. ► An Environmental Utility of Energy Consumption (EUEC) model is proposed. ► Technological innovation mitigates energy consumption impacts on environmental quality. ► Technological innovation decreases demand of energy consumption more than fixed technology scenario

  13. Environmental indicators and international models for making decision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polanco, Camilo

    2006-01-01

    The last international features proposed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) and United Nations (UN) are analyzed in the use of the environmental indicators, in typology, selection criteria, and models, for organizing the information for management, environmental performance, and decision making. The advantages and disadvantages of each model are analyzed, as well as their environmental index characteristics. The analyzed models are Pressure - State - Response (PSR) and its conceptual developments: Driving Force - State Response (DSR), Driving Force - Pressure - State - Impact - Response (DPSIR), Model- Flow-Quality (MFQ), Pressure - State - Impact - Effect - Response (PSIER), and, finally, Pressure-State - Impact - Effect - Response - Management (PSIERM). The use of one or another model will depend on the quality of the available information, as well as on the proposed objectives

  14. Modeling Influenza Transmission Using Environmental Parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soebiyanto, Radina P.; Kiang, Richard K.

    2010-01-01

    Influenza is an acute viral respiratory disease that has significant mortality, morbidity and economic burden worldwide. It infects approximately 5-15% of the world population, and causes 250,000 500,000 deaths each year. The role of environments on influenza is often drawn upon the latitude variability of influenza seasonality pattern. In regions with temperate climate, influenza epidemics exhibit clear seasonal pattern that peak during winter months, but it is not as evident in the tropics. Toward this end, we developed mathematical model and forecasting capabilities for influenza in regions characterized by warm climate Hong Kong (China) and Maricopa County (Arizona, USA). The best model for Hong Kong uses Land Surface Temperature (LST), precipitation and relative humidity as its covariates. Whereas for Maricopa County, we found that weekly influenza cases can be best modelled using mean air temperature as its covariates. Our forecasts can further guides public health organizations in targeting influenza prevention and control measures such as vaccination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Using potential distributions to explore environmental correlates of bat species richness in southern Africa: Effects of model selection and taxonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Corrie SCHOEMAN, F. P. D. (Woody COTTERILL, Peter J. TAYLOR, Ara MONADJEM

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available We tested the prediction that at coarse spatial scales, variables associated with climate, energy, and productivity hypotheses should be better predictor(s of bat species richness than those associated with environmental heterogeneity. Distribution ranges of 64 bat species were estimated with niche-based models informed by 3629 verified museum specimens. The influence of environmental correlates on bat richness was assessed using ordinary least squares regression (OLS, simultaneous autoregressive models (SAR, conditional autoregressive models (CAR, spatial eigenvector-based filtering models (SEVM, and Classification and Regression Trees (CART. To test the assumption of stationarity, Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR was used. Bat species richness was highest in the eastern parts of southern Africa, particularly in central Zimbabwe and along the western border of Mozambique. We found support for the predictions of both the habitat heterogeneity and climate/productivity/ energy hypotheses, and as we expected, support varied among bat families and model selection. Richness patterns and predictors of Miniopteridae and Pteropodidae clearly differed from those of other bat families. Altitude range was the only independent variable that was sig­nificant in all models and it was most often the best predictor of bat richness. Standard coefficients of SAR and CAR models were similar to those of OLS models, while those of SEVM models differed. Although GWR indicated that the assumption of stationa­rity was violated, the CART analysis corroborated the findings of the curve-fitting models. Our results identify where additional data on current species ranges, and future conservation action and ecological work are needed [Current Zoology 59 (3: 279–293, 2013].

  17. Models in environmental regulatory decision making

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Models in the Regulatory Decision Process; National Research Council; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

    2007-01-01

    .... The centerpiece of the book's recommended vision is a life-cycle approach to model evaluation which includes peer review, corroboration of results, and other activities. This will enhance the agency's ability to respond to requirements from a 2001 law on information quality and improve policy development and implementation.

  18. Working Group Reports: Working Group 1 - Software Systems Design and Implementation for Environmental Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of the Interagency Steering Committee on Multimedia Environmental Modeling (ISCMEM) is to foster the exchange of information about environmental modeling tools, modeling frameworks, and environmental monitoring databases that are all in the public domain. It is compos...

  19. Modeling species’ realized climatic niche space and predicting their response to global warming for several western forest species with small geographic distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcus V. Warwell; Gerald E. Rehfeldt; Nicholas L. Crookston

    2010-01-01

    The Random Forests multiple regression tree was used to develop an empirically based bioclimatic model of the presence-absence of species occupying small geographic distributions in western North America. The species assessed were subalpine larch (Larix lyallii), smooth Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica ssp. glabra...

  20. Modeling adaptive and non-adaptive responses to environmental change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Coulson, Tim; Kendall, Bruce E; Barthold, Julia A.

    2017-01-01

    , with plastic responses being either adaptive or non-adaptive. We develop an approach that links quantitative genetic theory with data-driven structured models to allow prediction of population responses to environmental change via plasticity and adaptive evolution. After introducing general new theory, we...... construct a number of example models to demonstrate that evolutionary responses to environmental change over the short-term will be considerably slower than plastic responses, and that the rate of adaptive evolution to a new environment depends upon whether plastic responses are adaptive or non-adaptive....... Parameterization of the models we develop requires information on genetic and phenotypic variation and demography that will not always be available, meaning that simpler models will often be required to predict responses to environmental change. We consequently develop a method to examine whether the full...

  1. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-05

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche-efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche-efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species' inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty.

  2. A discrete-space urban model with environmental amenities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liaila Tajibaeva; Robert G. Haight; Stephen Polasky

    2008-01-01

    This paper analyzes the effects of providing environmental amenities associated with open space in a discrete-space urban model and characterizes optimal provision of open space across a metropolitan area. The discrete-space model assumes distinct neighborhoods in which developable land is homogeneous within a neighborhood but heterogeneous across neighborhoods. Open...

  3. Integrative Models in Environmental Planning and Policy Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyler, David Clinton

    1984-01-01

    Discusses conceptual models of thought that have recently emerged to confront the conventional approaches to analysis and solution to complex environmental problems. In addition to a critical attack on the tradition of specialization and reductionism, several models are summarized that originated from ecology, cybernetics, and system theory. (BC)

  4. Integrating environmental component models. Development of a software framework

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schmitz, O.

    2014-01-01

    Integrated models consist of interacting component models that represent various natural and social systems. They are important tools to improve our understanding of environmental systems, to evaluate cause–effect relationships of human–natural interactions, and to forecast the behaviour of

  5. Prediction of the niche effect for single flat panels with or without attached sound absorbing materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgard, Franck; Atalla, Noureddine; Nélisse, Hugues

    2015-01-01

    The sound transmission loss (STL) of a test sample measured in sound transmission facilities is affected by the opening in which it is located. This is called the niche effect. This paper uses a modal approach to study the STL of a rectangular plate with or without an attached porous material located inside a box-shaped niche. The porous material is modeled as a limp equivalent fluid. The proposed model is validated by comparison with finite element/boundary element computations. Using a condensation of the pressure fields in the niche, the niche effect is interpreted in terms of a modification of the modal blocked pressure fields acting on the panel induced by the front cavity and by a modification of the radiation efficiency of the panel modes due to the presence of the back cavity. The modal approach is then used to investigate the impact of (1) the presence of a porous material attached to the panel on the niche effect and (2) the niche effect on the assessment of the porous material insertion loss. A simplified model for the porous material based on a transfer matrix approach is also proposed to predict the STL of the system and its validity is discussed.

  6. A social identity model of pro-environmental action (SIMPEA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsche, Immo; Barth, Markus; Jugert, Philipp; Masson, Torsten; Reese, Gerhard

    2018-03-01

    Large-scale environmental crises are genuinely collective phenomena: they usually result from collective, rather than personal, behavior and how they are cognitively represented and appraised is determined by collectively shared interpretations (e.g., differing across ideological groups) and based on concern for collectives (e.g., humankind, future generations) rather than for individuals. Nevertheless, pro-environmental action has been primarily investigated as a personal decision-making process. We complement this research with a social identity perspective on pro-environmental action. Social identity is the human capacity to define the self in terms of "We" instead of "I," enabling people to think and act as collectives, which should be crucial given personal insufficiency to appraise and effectively respond to environmental crises. We propose a Social Identity Model of Pro-Environmental Action (SIMPEA) of how social identity processes affect both appraisal of and behavioral responses to large-scale environmental crises. We review related and pertinent research providing initial evidence for the role of 4 social identity processes hypothesized in SIMPEA. Specifically, we propose that ingroup identification, ingroup norms and goals, and collective efficacy determine environmental appraisals as well as both private and public sphere environmental action. These processes are driven by personal and collective emotions and motivations that arise from environmental appraisal and operate on both a deliberate and automatic processing level. Finally, we discuss SIMPEA's implications for the research agenda in environmental and social psychology and for interventions fostering pro-environmental action. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Monitoring And Modeling Environmental Water Quality To Support Environmental Water Purchase Decision-making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Null, S. E.; Elmore, L.; Mouzon, N. R.; Wood, J. R.

    2016-12-01

    More than 25 million cubic meters (20,000 acre feet) of water has been purchased from willing agricultural sellers for environmental flows in Nevada's Walker River to improve riverine habitat and connectivity with downstream Walker Lake. Reduced instream flows limit native fish populations, like Lahontan cutthroat trout, through warm daily stream temperatures and low dissolved oxygen concentrations. Environmental water purchases maintain instream flows, although effects on water quality are more varied. We use multi-year water quality monitoring and physically-based hydrodynamic and water quality modeling to estimate streamflow, water temperature, and dissolved oxygen concentrations with alternative environmental water purchases. We simulate water temperature and dissolved oxygen changes from increased streamflow to prioritize the time periods and locations that environmental water purchases most enhance trout habitat as a function of water quality. Monitoring results indicate stream temperature and dissolved oxygen limitations generally exist in the 115 kilometers upstream of Walker Lake (about 37% of the study area) from approximately May through September, and this reach acts as a water quality barrier for fish passage. Model results indicate that low streamflows generally coincide with critically warm stream temperatures, water quality refugia exist on a tributary of the Walker River, and environmental water purchases may improve stream temperature and dissolved oxygen conditions for some reaches and seasons, especially in dry years and prolonged droughts. This research supports environmental water purchase decision-making and allows water purchase decisions to be prioritized with other river restoration alternatives.

  8. Working Group 1: Software System Design and Implementation for Environmental Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    ISCMEM Working Group One Presentation, presentation with the purpose of fostering the exchange of information about environmental modeling tools, modeling frameworks, and environmental monitoring databases.

  9. Modeling heat stress under different environmental conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carabaño, M J; Logar, B; Bormann, J; Minet, J; Vanrobays, M-L; Díaz, C; Tychon, B; Gengler, N; Hammami, H

    2016-05-01

    Renewed interest in heat stress effects on livestock productivity derives from climate change, which is expected to increase temperatures and the frequency of extreme weather events. This study aimed at evaluating the effect of temperature and humidity on milk production in highly selected dairy cattle populations across 3 European regions differing in climate and production systems to detect differences and similarities that can be used to optimize heat stress (HS) effect modeling. Milk, fat, and protein test day data from official milk recording for 1999 to 2010 in 4 Holstein populations located in the Walloon Region of Belgium (BEL), Luxembourg (LUX), Slovenia (SLO), and southern Spain (SPA) were merged with temperature and humidity data provided by the state meteorological agencies. After merging, the number of test day records/cows per trait ranged from 686,726/49,655 in SLO to 1,982,047/136,746 in BEL. Values for the daily average and maximum temperature-humidity index (THIavg and THImax) ranges for THIavg/THImax were largest in SLO (22-74/28-84) and shortest in SPA (39-76/46-83). Change point techniques were used to determine comfort thresholds, which differed across traits and climatic regions. Milk yield showed an inverted U-shaped pattern of response across the THI scale with a HS threshold around 73 THImax units. For fat and protein, thresholds were lower than for milk yield and were shifted around 6 THI units toward larger values in SPA compared with the other countries. Fat showed lower HS thresholds than protein traits in all countries. The traditional broken line model was compared with quadratic and cubic fits of the pattern of response in production to increasing heat loads. A cubic polynomial model allowing for individual variation in patterns of response and THIavg as heat load measure showed the best statistical features. Higher/lower producing animals showed less/more persistent production (quantity and quality) across the THI scale. The

  10. Physical and Chemical Environmental Abstraction Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowak, E.

    2000-01-01

    As directed by a written development plan (CRWMS M and O 1999a), Task 1, an overall conceptualization of the physical and chemical environment (P/CE) in the emplacement drift is documented in this Analysis/Model Report (AMR). Included are the physical components of the engineered barrier system (EBS). The intended use of this descriptive conceptualization is to assist the Performance Assessment Department (PAD) in modeling the physical and chemical environment within a repository drift. It is also intended to assist PAD in providing a more integrated and complete in-drift geochemical model abstraction and to answer the key technical issues raised in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Issue Resolution Status Report (IRSR) for the Evolution of the Near-Field Environment (NFE) Revision 2 (NRC 1999). EBS-related features, events, and processes (FEPs) have been assembled and discussed in ''EBS FEPs/Degradation Modes Abstraction'' (CRWMS M and O 2000a). Reference AMRs listed in Section 6 address FEPs that have not been screened out. This conceptualization does not directly address those FEPs. Additional tasks described in the written development plan are recommended for future work in Section 7.3. To achieve the stated purpose, the scope of this document includes: (1) the role of in-drift physical and chemical environments in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) (Section 6.1); (2) the configuration of engineered components (features) and critical locations in drifts (Sections 6.2.1 and 6.3, portions taken from EBS Radionuclide Transport Abstraction (CRWMS M and O 2000b)); (3) overview and critical locations of processes that can affect P/CE (Section 6.3); (4) couplings and relationships among features and processes in the drifts (Section 6.4); and (5) identities and uses of parameters transmitted to TSPA by some of the reference AMRs (Section 6.5). This AMR originally considered a design with backfill, and is now being updated (REV 00 ICN1) to address

  11. Modeling of environmentally induced transients within satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, N. John; Barbay, Gordon J.; Jones, Michael R.; Viswanathan, R.

    1987-01-01

    A technique is described that allows an estimation of possible spacecraft charging hazards. This technique, called SCREENS (spacecraft response to environments of space), utilizes the NASA charging analyzer program (NASCAP) to estimate the electrical stress locations and the charge stored in the dielectric coatings due to spacecraft encounter with a geomagnetic substorm environment. This information can then be used to determine the response of the spacecraft electrical system to a surface discharge by means of lumped element models. The coupling into the electronics is assumed to be due to magnetic linkage from the transient currents flowing as a result of the discharge transient. The behavior of a spinning spacecraft encountering a severe substorm is predicted using this technique. It is found that systems are potentially vulnerable to upset if transient signals enter through the ground lines.

  12. A resource oriented webs service for environmental modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferencik, Ioan

    2013-04-01

    Environmental modeling is a largely adopted practice in the study of natural phenomena. Environmental models can be difficult to build and use and thus sharing them within the community is an important aspect. The most common approach to share a model is to expose it as a web service. In practice the interaction with this web service is cumbersome due to lack of standardized contract and the complexity of the model being exposed. In this work we investigate the use of a resource oriented approach in exposing environmental models as web services. We view a model as a layered resource build atop the object concept from Object Oriented Programming, augmented with persistence capabilities provided by an embedded object database to keep track of its state and implementing the four basic principles of resource oriented architectures: addressability, statelessness, representation and uniform interface. For implementation we use exclusively open source software: Django framework, dyBase object oriented database and Python programming language. We developed a generic framework of resources structured into a hierarchy of types and consequently extended this typology with recurses specific to the domain of environmental modeling. To test our web service we used cURL, a robust command-line based web client.

  13. Sparse modeling of spatial environmental variables associated with asthma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Timothy S; Gangnon, Ronald E; David Page, C; Buckingham, William R; Tandias, Aman; Cowan, Kelly J; Tomasallo, Carrie D; Arndt, Brian G; Hanrahan, Lawrence P; Guilbert, Theresa W

    2015-02-01

    Geographically distributed environmental factors influence the burden of diseases such as asthma. Our objective was to identify sparse environmental variables associated with asthma diagnosis gathered from a large electronic health record (EHR) dataset while controlling for spatial variation. An EHR dataset from the University of Wisconsin's Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Departments was obtained for 199,220 patients aged 5-50years over a three-year period. Each patient's home address was geocoded to one of 3456 geographic census block groups. Over one thousand block group variables were obtained from a commercial database. We developed a Sparse Spatial Environmental Analysis (SASEA). Using this method, the environmental variables were first dimensionally reduced with sparse principal component analysis. Logistic thin plate regression spline modeling was then used to identify block group variables associated with asthma from sparse principal components. The addresses of patients from the EHR dataset were distributed throughout the majority of Wisconsin's geography. Logistic thin plate regression spline modeling captured spatial variation of asthma. Four sparse principal components identified via model selection consisted of food at home, dog ownership, household size, and disposable income variables. In rural areas, dog ownership and renter occupied housing units from significant sparse principal components were associated with asthma. Our main contribution is the incorporation of sparsity in spatial modeling. SASEA sequentially added sparse principal components to Logistic thin plate regression spline modeling. This method allowed association of geographically distributed environmental factors with asthma using EHR and environmental datasets. SASEA can be applied to other diseases with environmental risk factors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Flexible Environmental Modeling with Python and Open - GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pryet, Alexandre; Atteia, Olivier; Delottier, Hugo; Cousquer, Yohann

    2015-04-01

    Numerical modeling now represents a prominent task of environmental studies. During the last decades, numerous commercial programs have been made available to environmental modelers. These software applications offer user-friendly graphical user interfaces that allow an efficient management of many case studies. However, they suffer from a lack of flexibility and closed-source policies impede source code reviewing and enhancement for original studies. Advanced modeling studies require flexible tools capable of managing thousands of model runs for parameter optimization, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis. In addition, there is a growing need for the coupling of various numerical models associating, for instance, groundwater flow modeling to multi-species geochemical reactions. Researchers have produced hundreds of open-source powerful command line programs. However, there is a need for a flexible graphical user interface allowing an efficient processing of geospatial data that comes along any environmental study. Here, we present the advantages of using the free and open-source Qgis platform and the Python scripting language for conducting environmental modeling studies. The interactive graphical user interface is first used for the visualization and pre-processing of input geospatial datasets. Python scripting language is then employed for further input data processing, call to one or several models, and post-processing of model outputs. Model results are eventually sent back to the GIS program, processed and visualized. This approach combines the advantages of interactive graphical interfaces and the flexibility of Python scripting language for data processing and model calls. The numerous python modules available facilitate geospatial data processing and numerical analysis of model outputs. Once input data has been prepared with the graphical user interface, models may be run thousands of times from the command line with sequential or parallel calls. We

  15. Model of environmental life cycle assessment for coal mining operations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burchart-Korol, Dorota; Fugiel, Agata; Czaplicka-Kolarz, Krystyna; Turek, Marian

    2016-08-15

    This paper presents a novel approach to environmental assessment of coal mining operations, which enables assessment of the factors that are both directly and indirectly affecting the environment and are associated with the production of raw materials and energy used in processes. The primary novelty of the paper is the development of a computational environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) model for coal mining operations and the application of the model for coal mining operations in Poland. The LCA model enables the assessment of environmental indicators for all identified unit processes in hard coal mines with the life cycle approach. The proposed model enables the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) based on the IPCC method and the assessment of damage categories, such as human health, ecosystems and resources based on the ReCiPe method. The model enables the assessment of GHGs for hard coal mining operations in three time frames: 20, 100 and 500years. The model was used to evaluate the coal mines in Poland. It was demonstrated that the largest environmental impacts in damage categories were associated with the use of fossil fuels, methane emissions and the use of electricity, processing of wastes, heat, and steel supports. It was concluded that an environmental assessment of coal mining operations, apart from direct influence from processing waste, methane emissions and drainage water, should include the use of electricity, heat and steel, particularly for steel supports. Because the model allows the comparison of environmental impact assessment for various unit processes, it can be used for all hard coal mines, not only in Poland but also in the world. This development is an important step forward in the study of the impacts of fossil fuels on the environment with the potential to mitigate the impact of the coal industry on the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Development of Dynamic Spent Nuclear Fuel Environmental Effect Analysis Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Chang Joon; Ko, Won Il; Lee, Ho Hee; Cho, Dong Keun; Park, Chang Je

    2010-07-01

    The dynamic environmental effect evaluation model for spent nuclear fuel has been developed and incorporated into the system dynamic DANESS code. First, the spent nuclear fuel isotope decay model was modeled. Then, the environmental effects were modeled through short-term decay heat model, short-term radioactivity model, and long-term heat load model. By using the developed model, the Korean once-through nuclear fuel cycles was analyzed. The once-through fuel cycle analysis was modeled based on the Korean 'National Energy Basic Plan' up to 2030 and a postulated nuclear demand growth rate until 2150. From the once-through results, it is shown that the nuclear power demand would be ∼70 GWe and the total amount of the spent fuel accumulated by 2150 would be ∼168000 t. If the disposal starts from 2060, the short-term decay heat of Cs-137 and Sr-90 isotopes are W and 1.8x10 6 W in 2100. Also, the total long-term heat load in 2100 will be 4415 MW-y. From the calculation results, it was found that the developed model is very convenient and simple for evaluation of the environmental effect of the spent nuclear fuel

  17. Modeling the Environmental Impact of Air Traffic Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Neil

    2011-01-01

    There is increased interest to understand and mitigate the impacts of air traffic on the climate, since greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, and contrails generated by air traffic can have adverse impacts on the climate. The models described in this presentation are useful for quantifying these impacts and for studying alternative environmentally aware operational concepts. These models have been developed by leveraging and building upon existing simulation and optimization techniques developed for the design of efficient traffic flow management strategies. Specific enhancements to the existing simulation and optimization techniques include new models that simulate aircraft fuel flow, emissions and contrails. To ensure that these new models are beneficial to the larger climate research community, the outputs of these new models are compatible with existing global climate modeling tools like the FAA's Aviation Environmental Design Tool.

  18. Astrocitary niches in human adult medulla oblongata.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  19. Evaluation of uncertainties in selected environmental dispersion models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.; Miller, C.W.

    1979-01-01

    Compliance with standards of radiation dose to the general public has necessitated the use of dispersion models to predict radionuclide concentrations in the environment due to releases from nuclear facilities. Because these models are only approximations of reality and because of inherent variations in the input parameters used in these models, their predictions are subject to uncertainty. Quantification of this uncertainty is necessary to assess the adequacy of these models for use in determining compliance with protection standards. This paper characterizes the capabilities of several dispersion models to predict accurately pollutant concentrations in environmental media. Three types of models are discussed: aquatic or surface water transport models, atmospheric transport models, and terrestrial and aquatic food chain models. Using data published primarily by model users, model predictions are compared to observations

  20. Stochastic dynamics for two biological species and ecological niches

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Consideration of environmental pollution in MESSAGE-type energy models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rentz, O.; Hanicke, T.; Hempelmann, R.

    1981-10-01

    Macroeconomic and microeconomic data are acquired and processed to obtain a model-adequate data base. The MESSAGE model is adapted and implemented. Modifications for specific problems are described. Aspects of environmental pollution are considered for the various energy supply concepts. The model conception is flexible with regard to new technologies, in particular in the field of primary and secondary energy sources, and to cogeneration products (district heat, electric power). (HP) [de

  2. The niche construction of cultural complexity: interactions between innovations, population size and the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Laurel; Creanza, Nicole

    2017-12-05

    Niche construction is a process through which organisms alter their environments and, in doing so, influence or change the selective pressures to which they are subject. 'Cultural niche construction' refers specifically to the effect of cultural traits on the selective environments of other biological or cultural traits and may be especially important in human evolution. In addition, the relationship between population size and cultural accumulation has been the subject of extensive debate, in part because anthropological studies have demonstrated a significant association between population size and toolkit complexity in only a subset of studied cultures. Here, we review the role of cultural innovation in constructing human evolutionary niches and introduce a new model to describe the accumulation of human cultural traits that incorporates the effects of cultural niche construction. We consider the results of this model in light of available data on human toolkit sizes across populations to help elucidate the important differences between food-gathering societies and food-producing societies, in which niche construction may be a more potent force. These results support the idea that a population's relationship with its environment, represented here by cultural niche construction, should be considered alongside population size in studies of cultural complexity.This article is part of the themed issue 'Process and pattern in innovations from cells to societies'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  3. Environmental sub models for a macroeconomic model: Agricultural contribution to climate change and acidification in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, T.S.; Jensen, J.D.; Hasler, B.

    2007-01-01

    Integrated modelling of the interaction between environmental pressure and economic development is a useful tool for evaluating the progress towards sustainable development by analysing the effects on sustainability indicators of the general economic growth and implementation of national action...... economic model, environmental satellite models of energy and waste related emissions contributing to climate change and acidification. The model extension allows the main Danish contribution to climate change and acidification to be modelled. The existing model system is extended by environmental satellite...... models, in which emission coefficients are linked to economic activity variables as modelled by the agricultural sector model ESMERALDA. Agricultural emission sources related to the activity variables in ESMERALDA are mapped in order to develop the environmental satellite models and the development...

  4. An Agent Model Integrating an Adaptive Model for Environmental Dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Treur, J.; Umair, M.

    2011-01-01

    The environments in which agents are used often may be described by dynamical models, e.g., in the form of a set of differential equations. In this paper, an agent model is proposed that can perform model-based reasoning about the environment, based on a numerical (dynamical system) model of the

  5. Evaluating the reliability of predictions made using environmental transfer models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

    The development and application of mathematical models for predicting the consequences of releases of radionuclides into the environment from normal operations in the nuclear fuel cycle and in hypothetical accident conditions has increased dramatically in the last two decades. This Safety Practice publication has been prepared to provide guidance on the available methods for evaluating the reliability of environmental transfer model predictions. It provides a practical introduction of the subject and a particular emphasis has been given to worked examples in the text. It is intended to supplement existing IAEA publications on environmental assessment methodology. 60 refs, 17 figs, 12 tabs

  6. Phylogeographic investigation and ecological niche modelling of the endemic frog species Nanorana pleskei revealed multiple refugia in the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Xie, Feng; Li, Jiannan; Wang, Gang; Li, Cheng; Jiang, Jianping

    2017-01-01

    The largest plateau Tibetan Plateau supplied an excellent opportunity to investigate the influence of the Pleistocene events on the high-elevation species. To test for the alternative hypotheses of Pleistocene glacial refugia, we used partial sequences of two mitochondrial genes and one nuclear gene to examine the phylogeographic patterns of the endemic frog species Nanorana pleskei across its known range in the eastern Tibetan Plateau, and conducted species distribution modelling (SDM) to explore changes of its distribution range through current and paleo periods. In all data sets, the species was divided into lineage north occupying open plateau platform and lineage south colonizing the mountainous plateau. The divergence of two major clades was estimated at the early Pleistocene. In mtDNA, lineage north contained northeastern and northwestern sublineages, and lineage south had two overlapping-distributed sublineages. Different lineages possessed distinct demographic characteristics, i.e., subdivision in the northeastern sublineage, historical bottleneck effects and recent expansions in the northwestern sublineage and the southeastern sublineage. SDMs depicted that stable suitable habitats had existed in the upper-middle streams of the Yellow River, Dadu River, Jinsha River and Yalong River. These regions were also recognized as the ancestral areas of different lineages. In conclusion, Nanorana pleskei lineages have probably experienced long-term separations. Stable suitable habitats existing in upper-middle streams of major rivers on the eastern Tibetan Plateau and distinct demographic dynamics of different lineages indicated that the lineages possessed independent evolutionary processes in multiple glacial refugia. The findings verified the profound effects of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations on the plateau endemic species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam Shanee

    2015-03-01

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

  8. A model of the environmental impacts of hydropower projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kemppainen, T.; Haemaelaeinen, I.

    1992-01-01

    The aim was to create a model of the effects of hydropower modernization and extension projects in Finland. To illustrate the effects of hydropower projects a checklist in the form of matrice was constructed. In this matrice all issues that could be significant in future hydropower projects were collected. Stable physical environmental changes are the starting-point for this matrice. The temporary change of hydropower constructions have also been under consideration. These are mainly environmental changes during construction. In chapter two the effects of hydropower modernization and extension projects physical environmental changes were examined. In chapter three the matrice was applied to some example cases. The cases were chosen to represent future hydropower projects. In addition these example cases represent urban areas, rural areas and uninhabited areas. The example cases were the extension of Tainionkoski hydropower plant at Vuoksi river, the modernization of Aeetsae power plant at Kokemaeenjoki river, the modernization of Stadsfors power plant at Lapuanjoki river in the centre of Uusikaarlepyy town and the construction of Kaitfors power plant at Perhonjoki river. Conclusions from usability of the model can be drawn on the ground of the example cases. The purpose of the model is to produce a checklist of estimated environmental effects in hydropower project of various kinds. Examination of issues within the model depends on local circumstances. Endangered animal and plant species, for example, can be studied and estimated only if endangered animal and plant species exist in the area of hydropower plant. Furthermore, the direction and extent of environmental effects depend on the local circumstances. The model is mainly a checklist of environmental effects caused by hydropower plant projects

  9. [Mesenchymal stroma cells and their niche].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, R K

    2013-11-01

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

  10. A model evaluation checklist for process-based environmental models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson-Blake, Leah

    2015-04-01

    Mechanistic catchment-scale phosphorus models appear to perform poorly where diffuse sources dominate. The reasons for this were investigated for one commonly-applied model, the INtegrated model of CAtchment Phosphorus (INCA-P). Model output was compared to 18 months of daily water quality monitoring data in a small agricultural catchment in Scotland, and model structure, key model processes and internal model responses were examined. Although the model broadly reproduced dissolved phosphorus dynamics, it struggled with particulates. The reasons for poor performance were explored, together with ways in which improvements could be made. The process of critiquing and assessing model performance was then generalised to provide a broadly-applicable model evaluation checklist, incorporating: (1) Calibration challenges, relating to difficulties in thoroughly searching a high-dimensional parameter space and in selecting appropriate means of evaluating model performance. In this study, for example, model simplification was identified as a necessary improvement to reduce the number of parameters requiring calibration, whilst the traditionally-used Nash Sutcliffe model performance statistic was not able to discriminate between realistic and unrealistic model simulations, and alternative statistics were needed. (2) Data limitations, relating to a lack of (or uncertainty in) input data, data to constrain model parameters, data for model calibration and testing, and data to test internal model processes. In this study, model reliability could be improved by addressing all four kinds of data limitation. For example, there was insufficient surface water monitoring data for model testing against an independent dataset to that used in calibration, whilst additional monitoring of groundwater and effluent phosphorus inputs would help distinguish between alternative plausible model parameterisations. (3) Model structural inadequacies, whereby model structure may inadequately represent

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  12. A practioner's view on Strategic Niche Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  13. The making of an immigrant niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldinger, R

    1994-01-01

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

  14. Regional Persistent Organic Pollutants' Environmental Impact Assessment and Control Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurgis Staniskis

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The sources of formation, environmental distribution and fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs are increasingly seen as topics to be addressed and solved at the global scale. Therefore, there are already two international agreements concerning persistent organic pollutants: the Protocol of 1998 to the 1979 Convention on the Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Aarhus Protocol; and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. For the assessment of environmental pollution of POPs, for the risk assessment, for the evaluation of new pollutants as potential candidates to be included in the POPs list of the Stokholmo or/and Aarhus Protocol, a set of different models are developed or under development. Multimedia models help describe and understand environmental processes leading to global contamination through POPs and actual risk to the environment and human health. However, there is a lack of the tools based on a systematic and integrated approach to POPs management difficulties in the region.

  15. Classification and comparison of niche services for developing strategy of medical tourism in Asian countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hung-chi; Kuo, Hsin-chih; Chung, Kuo-Piao; Chang, Sophia; Su, Syi; Yang, Ming-chin

    2010-01-01

    Medical tourism is a new trend in medical service. It is booming not only in Asian countries but also in European and South American countries. Worldwide competition of medical service is expected in the future, and niche service will be a "trademark" for the promotion of global medicine. Niche service also functions for market segmentation. Niche services are usually surgical procedures. A study was carried out to compare different strategies for developing medical tourism in Asian countries. The role of a niche service is evaluated in the initiation and further development of medical tourism for individual countries. From this study, a general classification was proposed in terms of treatment procedures. It can be used as a useful guideline for additional studies in medical tourism. Niche service plays the following roles in the development of medical tourism: (1) It attracts attention in the mass media and helps in subsequent promotion of business, (2) it exerts pressure on the hospital, which must improve the quality of health care provided in treating foreign patients, especially the niche services, and (3) it is a tool for setting up the business model. E-Da Hospital is an example for developing medical tourism in Taiwan. A side effect is that niche service brings additional foreign patients, which will contribute to the benefit of the hospital, but this leaves less room for treating domestic patients. A niche service is a means of introduction for entry into the market of medical tourism. How to create a successful story is important for the development of a niche service. When a good reputation has been established, the information provided on the Internet can last for a long time and can spread internationally to form a distinguished mark for further development. Niche services can be classified into 3 categories: (1) Low-risk procedures with large price differences and long stay after retirement; (2) high-risk procedures with less of a price difference

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Kolanowska

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaylie Rasmuson; Kurt Rautenstrauch

    2003-01-01

    This analysis is one of nine technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) biosphere model. It documents input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCF). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in the biosphere Technical Work Plan (TWP, BSC 2003a). It should be noted that some documents identified in Figure 1-1 may be under development and therefore not available at the time this document is issued. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003b) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters. This analysis report, ANL-MGR-MD-000006, ''Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model'', is one of the five reports that develop input parameters for the biosphere model. This report defines and justifies values for twelve parameters required in the biosphere model. These parameters are related to use of contaminated groundwater to grow crops. The parameter values recommended in this report are used in the soil, plant, and carbon-14 submodels of the ERMYN

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolanowska, Marta; Grochocka, Elżbieta; Konowalik, Kamil

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Directional heterogeneity in WTP models for environmental valuation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaafsma, M.; Brouwer, R.; Rose, J.

    2012-01-01

    Many studies in the stated preference literature on environmental valuation do not include the effects of substitutes and distance in willingness-to-pay (WTP) models, in spite of the relevance of these effects in aggregation and benefit transfer. Heterogeneity in the availability of substitutes over

  20. Modeling the Relationships between Subdimensions of Environmental Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genc, Murat; Akilli, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to demonstrate the relationships between subdimensions of environmental literacy using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The study was conducted by the analysis of students' answers to questionnaires data using SEM. Initially, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin and Bartlett's tests were done to test appropriateness of subdimensions to…

  1. Heuristic Model Of The Composite Quality Index Of Environmental Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khabarov, A. N.; Knyaginin, A. A.; Bondarenko, D. V.; Shepet, I. P.; Korolkova, L. N.

    2017-01-01

    The goal of the paper is to present the heuristic model of the composite environmental quality index based on the integrated application of the elements of utility theory, multidimensional scaling, expert evaluation and decision-making. The composite index is synthesized in linear-quadratic form, it provides higher adequacy of the results of the assessment preferences of experts and decision-makers.

  2. Hierarchical modelling for the environmental sciences statistical methods and applications

    CERN Document Server

    Clark, James S

    2006-01-01

    New statistical tools are changing the way in which scientists analyze and interpret data and models. Hierarchical Bayes and Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods for analysis provide a consistent framework for inference and prediction where information is heterogeneous and uncertain, processes are complicated, and responses depend on scale. Nowhere are these methods more promising than in the environmental sciences.

  3. The Mathematical modelling of environmental pollution using the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper environmental pollution has been modeled mathematically using the Freundlich non-linear contaminant transport formulation. An analytical solution of lower order perturbation of the concentration C(x,f) is obtained. Flow profiles for various values of molecular diffusion D and the velocity U are studied and the ...

  4. Key processes and input parameters for environmental tritium models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bunnenberg, C.; Taschner, M.; Ogram, G.L.

    1994-01-01

    The primary objective of the work reported here is to define key processes and input parameters for mathematical models of environmental tritium behaviour adequate for use in safety analysis and licensing of fusion devices like NET and associated tritium handling facilities. (author). 45 refs., 3 figs

  5. Key processes and input parameters for environmental tritium models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunnenberg, C; Taschner, M [Niedersaechsisches Inst. fuer Radiooekologie, Hannover (Germany); Ogram, G L [Ontario Hydro, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    1994-12-31

    The primary objective of the work reported here is to define key processes and input parameters for mathematical models of environmental tritium behaviour adequate for use in safety analysis and licensing of fusion devices like NET and associated tritium handling facilities. (author). 45 refs., 3 figs.

  6. Uncertainties in environmental radiological assessment models and their implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoffman, F.O.; Miller, C.W.

    1983-01-01

    Environmental radiological assessments rely heavily on the use of mathematical models. The predictions of these models are inherently uncertain because these models are inexact representations of real systems. The major sources of this uncertainty are related to biases in model formulation and parameter estimation. The best approach for estimating the actual extent of over- or underprediction is model validation, a procedure that requires testing over the range of the intended realm of model application. Other approaches discussed are the use of screening procedures, sensitivity and stochastic analyses, and model comparison. The magnitude of uncertainty in model predictions is a function of the questions asked of the model and the specific radionuclides and exposure pathways of dominant importance. Estimates are made of the relative magnitude of uncertainty for situations requiring predictions of individual and collective risks for both chronic and acute releases of radionuclides. It is concluded that models developed as research tools should be distinguished from models developed for assessment applications. Furthermore, increased model complexity does not necessarily guarantee increased accuracy. To improve the realism of assessment modeling, stochastic procedures are recommended that translate uncertain parameter estimates into a distribution of predicted values. These procedures also permit the importance of model parameters to be ranked according to their relative contribution to the overall predicted uncertainty. Although confidence in model predictions can be improved through site-specific parameter estimation and increased model validation, risk factors and internal dosimetry models will probably remain important contributors to the amount of uncertainty that is irreducible

  7. Parametric Linear Hybrid Automata for Complex Environmental Systems Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samar Hayat Khan Tareen

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Environmental systems, whether they be weather patterns or predator-prey relationships, are dependent on a number of different variables, each directly or indirectly affecting the system at large. Since not all of these factors are known, these systems take on non-linear dynamics, making it difficult to accurately predict meaningful behavioral trends far into the future. However, such dynamics do not warrant complete ignorance of different efforts to understand and model close approximations of these systems. Towards this end, we have applied a logical modeling approach to model and analyze the behavioral trends and systematic trajectories that these systems exhibit without delving into their quantification. This approach, formalized by René Thomas for discrete logical modeling of Biological Regulatory Networks (BRNs and further extended in our previous studies as parametric biological linear hybrid automata (Bio-LHA, has been previously employed for the analyses of different molecular regulatory interactions occurring across various cells and microbial species. As relationships between different interacting components of a system can be simplified as positive or negative influences, we can employ the Bio-LHA framework to represent different components of the environmental system as positive or negative feedbacks. In the present study, we highlight the benefits of hybrid (discrete/continuous modeling which lead to refinements among the fore-casted behaviors in order to find out which ones are actually possible. We have taken two case studies: an interaction of three microbial species in a freshwater pond, and a more complex atmospheric system, to show the applications of the Bio-LHA methodology for the timed hybrid modeling of environmental systems. Results show that the approach using the Bio-LHA is a viable method for behavioral modeling of complex environmental systems by finding timing constraints while keeping the complexity of the model

  8. Niche models tell half the story

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Swab, Rebecca Marie; Regan, Helen M.; Keith, David A.

    2012-01-01

    functions representing a suite of average fire return intervals. We compared scenarios with a variety of hypothetical patches, a patch framework based upon current habitat suitability and one with dynamic habitat suitability based on climate change scenarios A1FI and A2. Results  Leucopogon setiger...... than frequent fire. Main conclusions  Altered fire regime, in particular more frequent fires relative to the historical regime, was predicted to be a strong threat to this species, which may reflect a vulnerability of obligate seeders in general. Range shifts induced by climate change were a secondary...

  9. Model to Evaluate Pro-Environmental Consumer Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendolyn Aguilar-Salinas

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The consumer plays a key role in resource conservation; therefore, it is important to know consumer behavior to identify consumer profiles and to promote pro-environmental practices in society that encourage resource conservation and reductions in waste generation. The purpose of this paper is to implement a fuzzy model to evaluate consumer behavior in relation to three pro-environmental practices that can be implemented at the household level, including reductions in resource consumption (reduce, reuse of resources (reuse, and recycling (recycle. To identify socio-demographic profiles that characterize an environmentally responsible consumer, 2831 surveys were applied on a representative sample of consumers residing in a Mexican city. Fuzzy logic and neural networks were applied using a Sugeno-type subtractive clustering to determine each profile. The model input variables were socioeconomic status, age, education level, monthly income, occupation and the type of organizations with which the consumer is affiliated. The output variables were represented by pro-environmental practices. Results show that the consumer practices are performed independently of each other, with the most frequent pro-environmental consumer practices being reduction and reuse.

  10. A model for measuring the environmental sustainability of events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boggia, Antonio; Massei, Gianluca; Paolotti, Luisa; Rocchi, Lucia; Schiavi, Federico

    2018-01-15

    Like all human activities, events can generate significant pressures on environmental resources, unless they are well-managed and monitored. Therefore, it is becoming more and more important to develop models that can measure their environmental sustainability. Although increasing attention is being paid to this sector, there is currently no standard protocol or method to assess the eco-sustainability of events. This article presents an innovative assessment procedure to measure the environmental sustainability of events. It is based on several indicators, combined by means of a multi-criteria approach and aggregated into a final index, which we called METER (Measuring Events Through Environmental Research). The METER index uses nine major operational categories, divided in sub-categories and detailed items, which cover all the main aspects concerning environmental sustainability of an event and are evaluated for all its phases, i.e. planning, organisation, implementation, post event. The index is fairly analytical, and is thus able to represent the numerous aspects to be taken into consideration in the environmental assessment of an event. At the same time, it is simple to apply and user-friendly, thanks to its graphics and effective communication of the web platform within it is implemented. Moreover, METER is based on a participatory approach using the bottom-up model and on the principle of subsidiarity. All official international documents regarding sustainable development now require subsidiarity. However, it is not being currently applied as part of any certification or with any evaluation tool. Therefore, although the index is still a prototype, it represents an innovation in the field of environmental management. A simple exemplary case is presented, about a European Spring School held at University of Perugia (Italy) in 2014, in which the application of METER showed a sustainability assessment score of 638 points out of 1000, with an excellent management

  11. Individual foraging strategies reveal niche overlap between endangered galapagos pinnipeds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella Villegas-Amtmann

    Full Text Available Most competition studies between species are conducted from a population-level approach. Few studies have examined inter-specific competition in conjunction with intra-specific competition, with an individual-based approach. To our knowledge, none has been conducted on marine top predators. Sympatric Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis and sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki share similar geographic habitats and potentially compete. We studied their foraging niche overlap at Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island from simultaneously collected dive and movement data to examine spatial and temporal inter- and intra-specific competition. Sea lions exhibited 3 foraging strategies (shallow, intermediate and deep indicating intra-specific competition. Fur seals exhibited one foraging strategy, diving predominantly at night, between 0-80 m depth and mostly at 19-22 h. Most sea lion dives also occurred at night (63%, between 0-40 m, within fur seals' diving depth range. 34% of sea lions night dives occurred at 19-22 h, when fur seals dived the most, but most of them occurred at dawn and dusk, when fur seals exhibited the least amount of dives. Fur seals and sea lions foraging behavior overlapped at 19 and 21 h between 0-30 m depths. Sea lions from the deep diving strategy exhibited the greatest foraging overlap with fur seals, in time (19 h, depth during overlapping time (21-24 m, and foraging range (37.7%. Fur seals foraging range was larger. Cabo Douglas northwest coastal area, region of highest diving density, is a foraging "hot spot" for both species. Fur seals and sea lions foraging niche overlap occurred, but segregation also occurred; fur seals primarily dived at night, while sea lions exhibited night and day diving. Both species exploited depths and areas exclusive to their species. Niche breadth generally increases with environmental uncertainty and decreased productivity. Potential competition between these species could be greater during

  12. Reproductive niche conservatism in the isolated New Zealand flora over 23 million years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conran, John G; Lee, William G; Lee, Daphne E; Bannister, Jennifer M; Kaulfuss, Uwe

    2014-10-01

    The temporal stability of plant reproductive features on islands has rarely been tested. Using flowers, fruits/cones and seeds from a well-dated (23 Ma) Miocene Lagerstätte in New Zealand, we show that across 23 families and 30 genera of forest angiosperms and conifers, reproductive features have remained constant for more than 20 Myr. Insect-, wind- and bird-pollinated flowers and wind- and bird-dispersed diaspores all indicate remarkable reproductive niche conservatism, despite widespread environmental and biotic change. In the past 10 Myr, declining temperatures and the absence of low-latitude refugia caused regional extinction of thermophiles, while orogenic processes steepened temperature, precipitation and nutrient gradients, limiting forest niches. Despite these changes, the palaeontological record provides empirical support for evidence from phylogeographical studies of strong niche conservatism within lineages and biomes. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Climatic niche conservatism and biogeographical non-equilibrium in Eschscholzia californica (Papaveraceae), an invasive plant in the Chilean Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña-Gómez, Francisco T; Guerrero, Pablo C; Bizama, Gustavo; Duarte, Milén; Bustamante, Ramiro O

    2014-01-01

    Species climate requirements are useful for predicting their geographic distribution. It is often assumed that the niche requirements for invasive plants are conserved during invasion, especially when the invaded regions share similar climate conditions. California and central Chile have a remarkable degree of convergence in their vegetation structure, and a similar Mediterranean climate. Such similarities make these geographic areas an interesting natural experiment for testing climatic niche dynamics and the equilibrium of invasive species in a new environment. We tested to see if the climatic niche of Eschscholzia californica is conserved in the invaded range (central Chile), and we assessed whether the invasion process has reached a biogeographical equilibrium, i.e., occupy all the suitable geographic locations that have suitable conditions under native niche requirements. We compared the climatic niche in the native and invaded ranges as well as the projected potential geographic distribution in the invaded range. In order to compare climatic niches, we conducted a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Species Distribution Models (SDMs), to estimate E. californica's potential geographic distribution. We also used SDMs to predict altitudinal distribution limits in central Chile. Our results indicated that the climatic niche occupied by E. californica in the invaded range is firmly conserved, occupying a subset of the native climatic niche but leaving a substantial fraction of it unfilled. Comparisons of projected SDMs for central Chile indicate a similarity, yet the projection from native range predicted a larger geographic distribution in central Chile compared to the prediction of the model constructed for central Chile. The projected niche occupancy profile from California predicted a higher mean elevation than that projected from central Chile. We concluded that the invasion process of E. californica in central Chile is consistent with climatic niche

  14. Joint Distributed Surf Zone Environmental Model: FY96 Modeling Procedure

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Allard, Richard

    1997-01-01

    ... to the modeling and simulation community. To test this proof of concept, a suite of models were identified and tested for Camp Pendelton, CA, during two 7 day periods in January and August 1995, in which data from the Coupled Ocean...

  15. Effects of species biological traits and environmental heterogeneity on simulated tree species distribution shifts under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen J. Wang; Hong S. He; Frank R. Thompson; Martin A. Spetich; Jacob S. Fraser

    2018-01-01

    Demographic processes (fecundity, dispersal, colonization, growth, and mortality) and their interactions with environmental changes are notwell represented in current climate-distribution models (e.g., niche and biophysical process models) and constitute a large uncertainty in projections of future tree species distribution shifts.We investigate how species biological...

  16. Integrated environmental modeling: a vision and roadmap for the future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laniak, Gerard F.; Olchin, Gabriel; Goodall, Jonathan; Voinov, Alexey; Hill, Mary; Glynn, Pierre; Whelan, Gene; Geller, Gary; Quinn, Nigel; Blind, Michiel; Peckham, Scott; Reaney, Sim; Gaber, Noha; Kennedy, Philip R.; Hughes, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Integrated environmental modeling (IEM) is inspired by modern environmental problems, decisions, and policies and enabled by transdisciplinary science and computer capabilities that allow the environment to be considered in a holistic way. The problems are characterized by the extent of the environmental system involved, dynamic and interdependent nature of stressors and their impacts, diversity of stakeholders, and integration of social, economic, and environmental considerations. IEM provides a science-based structure to develop and organize relevant knowledge and information and apply it to explain, explore, and predict the behavior of environmental systems in response to human and natural sources of stress. During the past several years a number of workshops were held that brought IEM practitioners together to share experiences and discuss future needs and directions. In this paper we organize and present the results of these discussions. IEM is presented as a landscape containing four interdependent elements: applications, science, technology, and community. The elements are described from the perspective of their role in the landscape, current practices, and challenges that must be addressed. Workshop participants envision a global scale IEM community that leverages modern technologies to streamline the movement of science-based knowledge from its sources in research, through its organization into databases and models, to its integration and application for problem solving purposes. Achieving this vision will require that the global community of IEM stakeholders transcend social, and organizational boundaries and pursue greater levels of collaboration. Among the highest priorities for community action are the development of standards for publishing IEM data and models in forms suitable for automated discovery, access, and integration; education of the next generation of environmental stakeholders, with a focus on transdisciplinary research, development, and

  17. Untangling the relationships among regional occupancy, species traits, and niche characteristics in stream invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heino, Jani; Grönroos, Mira

    2014-01-01

    The regional occupancy and local abundance of species are affected by various species traits, but their relative effects are poorly understood. We studied the relationships between species traits and occupancy (i.e., proportion of sites occupied) or abundance (i.e., mean local abundance at occupied sites) of stream invertebrates using small-grained data (i.e., local stream sites) across a large spatial extent (i.e., three drainage basins). We found a significant, yet rather weak, linear relationship between occupancy and abundance. However, occupancy was strongly related to niche position (NP), but it showed a weaker relationship with niche breadth (NB). Abundance was at best weakly related to these explanatory niche-based variables. Biological traits, including feeding modes, habit traits, dispersal modes and body size classes, were generally less important in accounting for variation in occupancy and abundance. Our findings showed that the regional occupancy of stream invertebrate species is mostly related to niche characteristics, in particular, NP. However, the effects of NB on occupancy were affected by the measure itself. We conclude that niche characteristics determine the regional occupancy of species at relatively large spatial extents, suggesting that species distributions are determined by environmental variation among sites. PMID:24963387

  18. Model of environmental life cycle assessment for coal mining operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burchart-Korol, Dorota, E-mail: dburchart@gig.eu; Fugiel, Agata, E-mail: afugiel@gig.eu; Czaplicka-Kolarz, Krystyna, E-mail: kczaplicka@gig.eu; Turek, Marian, E-mail: mturek@gig.eu

    2016-08-15

    This paper presents a novel approach to environmental assessment of coal mining operations, which enables assessment of the factors that are both directly and indirectly affecting the environment and are associated with the production of raw materials and energy used in processes. The primary novelty of the paper is the development of a computational environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) model for coal mining operations and the application of the model for coal mining operations in Poland. The LCA model enables the assessment of environmental indicators for all identified unit processes in hard coal mines with the life cycle approach. The proposed model enables the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) based on the IPCC method and the assessment of damage categories, such as human health, ecosystems and resources based on the ReCiPe method. The model enables the assessment of GHGs for hard coal mining operations in three time frames: 20, 100 and 500 years. The model was used to evaluate the coal mines in Poland. It was demonstrated that the largest environmental impacts in damage categories were associated with the use of fossil fuels, methane emissions and the use of electricity, processing of wastes, heat, and steel supports. It was concluded that an environmental assessment of coal mining operations, apart from direct influence from processing waste, methane emissions and drainage water, should include the use of electricity, heat and steel, particularly for steel supports. Because the model allows the comparison of environmental impact assessment for various unit processes, it can be used for all hard coal mines, not only in Poland but also in the world. This development is an important step forward in the study of the impacts of fossil fuels on the environment with the potential to mitigate the impact of the coal industry on the environment. - Highlights: • A computational LCA model for assessment of coal mining operations • Identification of

  19. Model of environmental life cycle assessment for coal mining operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burchart-Korol, Dorota; Fugiel, Agata; Czaplicka-Kolarz, Krystyna; Turek, Marian

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a novel approach to environmental assessment of coal mining operations, which enables assessment of the factors that are both directly and indirectly affecting the environment and are associated with the production of raw materials and energy used in processes. The primary novelty of the paper is the development of a computational environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) model for coal mining operations and the application of the model for coal mining operations in Poland. The LCA model enables the assessment of environmental indicators for all identified unit processes in hard coal mines with the life cycle approach. The proposed model enables the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) based on the IPCC method and the assessment of damage categories, such as human health, ecosystems and resources based on the ReCiPe method. The model enables the assessment of GHGs for hard coal mining operations in three time frames: 20, 100 and 500 years. The model was used to evaluate the coal mines in Poland. It was demonstrated that the largest environmental impacts in damage categories were associated with the use of fossil fuels, methane emissions and the use of electricity, processing of wastes, heat, and steel supports. It was concluded that an environmental assessment of coal mining operations, apart from direct influence from processing waste, methane emissions and drainage water, should include the use of electricity, heat and steel, particularly for steel supports. Because the model allows the comparison of environmental impact assessment for various unit processes, it can be used for all hard coal mines, not only in Poland but also in the world. This development is an important step forward in the study of the impacts of fossil fuels on the environment with the potential to mitigate the impact of the coal industry on the environment. - Highlights: • A computational LCA model for assessment of coal mining operations • Identification of

  20. ECRB ALCOVE AND NICHE GROUND SUPPORT ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.W. Keifer

    1999-01-01

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

  1. Niche versus neutrality: a dynamical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Development of a laboratory niche Web site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimenstein, Izak B; Dimenstein, Simon I

    2013-10-01

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

  3. Niche construction and the evolution of leadership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Rasmuson; K. Rautenstrauch

    2004-09-14

    This analysis is one of 10 technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) (i.e., the biosphere model). It documents development of agricultural and environmental input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]). The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ningning He

    2014-01-01

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

  7. The Hyper-Envelope Modeling Interface (HEMI): A Novel Approach Illustrated Through Predicting Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) Habitat in the Western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jim; Young, Nick; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Newman, Greg; Evangelista, Paul; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat suitability maps are commonly created by modeling a species’ environmental niche from occurrences and environmental characteristics. Here, we introduce the hyper-envelope modeling interface (HEMI), providing a new method for creating habitat suitability models using Bezier surfaces to model a species niche in environmental space. HEMI allows modeled surfaces to be visualized and edited in environmental space based on expert knowledge and does not require absence points for model development. The modeled surfaces require relatively few parameters compared to similar modeling approaches and may produce models that better match ecological niche theory. As a case study, we modeled the invasive species tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western USA. We compare results from HEMI with those from existing similar modeling approaches (including BioClim, BioMapper, and Maxent). We used synthetic surfaces to create visualizations of the various models in environmental space and used modified area under the curve (AUC) statistic and akaike information criterion (AIC) as measures of model performance. We show that HEMI produced slightly better AUC values, except for Maxent and better AIC values overall. HEMI created a model with only ten parameters while Maxent produced a model with over 100 and BioClim used only eight. Additionally, HEMI allowed visualization and editing of the model in environmental space to develop alternative potential habitat scenarios. The use of Bezier surfaces can provide simple models that match our expectations of biological niche models and, at least in some cases, out-perform more complex approaches.

  8. The Hyper-Envelope Modeling Interface (HEMI): A Novel Approach Illustrated Through Predicting Tamarisk ( Tamarix spp.) Habitat in the Western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jim; Young, Nick; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Newman, Greg; Evangelista, Paul; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2013-10-01

    Habitat suitability maps are commonly created by modeling a species' environmental niche from occurrences and environmental characteristics. Here, we introduce the hyper-envelope modeling interface (HEMI), providing a new method for creating habitat suitability models using Bezier surfaces to model a species niche in environmental space. HEMI allows modeled surfaces to be visualized and edited in environmental space based on expert knowledge and does not require absence points for model development. The modeled surfaces require relatively few parameters compared to similar modeling approaches and may produce models that better match ecological niche theory. As a case study, we modeled the invasive species tamarisk ( Tamarix spp.) in the western USA. We compare results from HEMI with those from existing similar modeling approaches (including BioClim, BioMapper, and Maxent). We used synthetic surfaces to create visualizations of the various models in environmental space and used modified area under the curve (AUC) statistic and akaike information criterion (AIC) as measures of model performance. We show that HEMI produced slightly better AUC values, except for Maxent and better AIC values overall. HEMI created a model with only ten parameters while Maxent produced a model with over 100 and BioClim used only eight. Additionally, HEMI allowed visualization and editing of the model in environmental space to develop alternative potential habitat scenarios. The use of Bezier surfaces can provide simple models that match our expectations of biological niche models and, at least in some cases, out-perform more complex approaches.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania Escalante

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Modeling impact of environmental factors on photovoltaic array performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jie; Sun, Yize; Xu, Yang [College of Mechanical Engineering, Donghua University NO.2999, North Renmin Road, Shanghai (China)

    2013-07-01

    It is represented in this paper that a methodology to model and quantify the impact of the three environmental factors, the ambient temperature, the incident irradiance and the wind speed, upon the performance of photovoltaic array operating under outdoor conditions. First, A simple correlation correlating operating temperature with the three environmental variables is validated for a range of wind speed studied, 2-8, and for irradiance values between 200 and 1000. Root mean square error (RMSE) between modeled operating temperature and measured values is 1.19% and the mean bias error (MBE) is -0.09%. The environmental factors studied influence I-V curves, P-V curves, and maximum-power outputs of photovoltaic array. The cell-to-module-to-array mathematical model for photovoltaic panels is established in this paper and the method defined as segmented iteration is adopted to solve the I-V curve expression to relate model I-V curves. The model I-V curves and P-V curves are concluded to coincide well with measured data points. The RMSE between numerically calculated maximum-power outputs and experimentally measured ones is 0.2307%, while the MBE is 0.0183%. In addition, a multivariable non-linear regression equation is proposed to eliminate the difference between numerically calculated values and measured ones of maximum power outputs over the range of high ambient temperature and irradiance at noon and in the early afternoon. In conclusion, the proposed method is reasonably simple and accurate.

  11. Environmental sub models for a macroeconomic model: agricultural contribution to climate change and acidification in Denmark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Trine S; Jensen, Jørgen D; Hasler, Berit; Illerup, Jytte B; Andersen, Frits M

    2007-01-01

    Integrated modelling of the interaction between environmental pressure and economic development is a useful tool to evaluate environmental consequences of policy initiatives. However, the usefulness of such models is often restricted by the fact that these models only include a limited set of environmental impacts, which are often energy-related emissions. In order to evaluate the development in the overall environmental pressure correctly, these model systems must be extended. In this article an integrated macroeconomic model system of the Danish economy with environmental modules of energy related emissions is extended to include the agricultural contribution to climate change and acidification. Next to the energy sector, the agricultural sector is the most important contributor to these environmental themes and subsequently the extended model complex calculates more than 99% of the contribution to both climate change and acidification. Environmental sub-models are developed for agriculture-related emissions of CH(4), N(2)O and NH(3). Agricultural emission sources related to the production specific activity variables are mapped and emission dependent parameters are identified in order to calculate emission coefficients. The emission coefficients are linked to the economic activity variables of the Danish agricultural production. The model system is demonstrated by projections of agriculture-related emissions in Denmark under two alternative sets of assumptions: a baseline projection of the general economic development and a policy scenario for changes in the husbandry sector within the agricultural sector.

  12. Inventory of environmental impact models related to energy technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Owen, P.T.; Dailey, N.S.; Johnson, C.A.; Martin, F.M. (eds.)

    1979-02-01

    The purpose of this inventory is to identify and collect data on computer simulations and computational models related to the environmental effects of energy source development, energy conversion, or energy utilization. Information for 33 data fields was sought for each model reported. All of the information which could be obtained within the time alloted for completion of the project is presented for each model listed. Efforts will be continued toward acquiring the needed information. Readers who are interested in these particular models are invited to contact ESIC for assistance in locating them. In addition to the standard bibliographic information, other data fields of interest to modelers, such as computer hardware and software requirements, algorithms, applications, and existing model validation information, are included. Indexes are provided for contact person, acronym, keyword, and title. The models are grouped into the following categories: atmospheric transport, air quality, aquatic transport, terrestrial food chains, soil transport, aquatic food chains, water quality, dosimetry, and human effects, animal effects, plant effects, and generalized environmental transport. Within these categories, the models are arranged alphabetically by last name of the contact person.

  13. Inventory of environmental impact models related to energy technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owen, P.T.; Dailey, N.S.; Johnson, C.A.; Martin, F.M.

    1979-02-01

    The purpose of this inventory is to identify and collect data on computer simulations and computational models related to the environmental effects of energy source development, energy conversion, or energy utilization. Information for 33 data fields was sought for each model reported. All of the information which could be obtained within the time alloted for completion of the project is presented for each model listed. Efforts will be continued toward acquiring the needed information. Readers who are interested in these particular models are invited to contact ESIC for assistance in locating them. In addition to the standard bibliographic information, other data fields of interest to modelers, such as computer hardware and software requirements, algorithms, applications, and existing model validation information, are included. Indexes are provided for contact person, acronym, keyword, and title. The models are grouped into the following categories: atmospheric transport, air quality, aquatic transport, terrestrial food chains, soil transport, aquatic food chains, water quality, dosimetry, and human effects, animal effects, plant effects, and generalized environmental transport. Within these categories, the models are arranged alphabetically by last name of the contact person

  14. EcoMark: Evaluating Models of Vehicular Environmental Impact

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guo, Chenjuan; Ma, Mike; Yang, Bin

    2012-01-01

    The reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transporta- tion is essential for achieving politically agreed upon emissions re- duction targets that aim to combat global climate change. So-called eco-routing and eco-driving are able to substantially reduce GHG emissions caused by vehicular...... the vehicle travels in. We develop an evaluation framework, called EcoMark, for such environmental impact models. In addition, we survey all eleven state-of-the-art impact models known to us. To gain insight into the capabilities of the models and to understand the effectiveness of the EcoMark, we apply...

  15. Stochastic models for predicting environmental impact in aquatic ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart-Oaten, A.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of stochastic predictions are discussed in relation to the environmental impacts of nuclear power plants on aquatic ecosystems. One purpose is to aid in making rational decisions about whether a power plant should be built, where, and how it should be designed. The other purpose is to check on the models themselves in the light of what eventually happens. The author discusses the role or statistical decision theory in the decision-making problem. Various types of stochastic models and their problems are presented. In addition some suggestions are made for generating usable stochastic models, and checking and improving on them. 12 references

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. Environmental Modeling Center / Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch

    Science.gov (United States)

    weather and climate. Both have a history. Marine Meteorology Group Products Ocean Winds - Satellite Remote announcement list for changes to our products and services. SDM Contact Notes: Ocean Models -- Avichal Mehra Ocean Waves Sea Ice SST Marine Met. Real Time Ocean Forecasting System (RTOFS) Global RTOFS A hybrid

  19. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-09-10

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment for the license application (TSPA-LA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA-LA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]) (TWP). This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA). This report is one of the five reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model and the mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the Biosphere Model Report in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters. The output of this report is used as direct input in the ''Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' and in the ''Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios, respectively. The purpose of this analysis was to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or in volcanic ash). The analysis

  20. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    M. Wasiolek

    2004-01-01

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain, Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment for the license application (TSPA-LA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA-LA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573]) (TWP). This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA). This report is one of the five reports that develop input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169460]) describes the conceptual model and the mathematical model. The input parameter reports, shown to the right of the Biosphere Model Report in Figure 1-1, contain detailed description of the model input parameters. The output of this report is used as direct input in the ''Nominal Performance Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' and in the ''Disruptive Event Biosphere Dose Conversion Factor Analysis'' that calculate the values of biosphere dose conversion factors (BDCFs) for the groundwater and volcanic ash exposure scenarios, respectively. The purpose of this analysis was to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or in volcanic ash). The analysis was performed in accordance with the TWP (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169573])

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-05

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

  2. Modelling environmental change in Europe: towards a model inventory (SEIS/Forward)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaeger, Annekathrin; Henrichs, Thomas

    This technical report provides a non-exhaustive overview of modelling tools currently available to simulate future environmental change at a European scale. Modelling tools have become an important cornerstone of environmental assessments, and play an important role in providing the data......, many of which have been used by the European Environment Agency in its recent environmental assessments and reports, a limited number of which are described in more detail. This review identifies gaps in the availability, accessibility and applicability of current modelling tools, and stresses the need...

  3. Specification and Aggregation Errors in Environmentally Extended Input-Output Models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bouwmeester, Maaike C.; Oosterhaven, Jan

    This article considers the specification and aggregation errors that arise from estimating embodied emissions and embodied water use with environmentally extended national input-output (IO) models, instead of with an environmentally extended international IO model. Model specification errors result

  4. Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaylie Rasmuson; Kurt Rautenstrauch

    2003-06-20

    This analysis is one of nine technical reports that support the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN) biosphere model. It documents input parameters for the biosphere model, and supports the use of the model to develop Biosphere Dose Conversion Factors (BDCF). The biosphere model is one of a series of process models supporting the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the repository at Yucca Mountain. The ERMYN provides the TSPA with the capability to perform dose assessments. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows the interrelationships between the major activities and their products (the analysis and model reports) that were planned in the biosphere Technical Work Plan (TWP, BSC 2003a). It should be noted that some documents identified in Figure 1-1 may be under development and therefore not available at the time this document is issued. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003b) describes the ERMYN and its input parameters. This analysis report, ANL-MGR-MD-000006, ''Agricultural and Environmental Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model'', is one of the five reports that develop input parameters for the biosphere model. This report defines and justifies values for twelve parameters required in the biosphere model. These parameters are related to use of contaminated groundwater to grow crops. The parameter values recommended in this report are used in the soil, plant, and carbon-14 submodels of the ERMYN.

  5. Environmental impact assessments and geological repositories: A model process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Webster, S.

    2000-01-01

    In a recent study carried out for the European Commission, the scope and application of environmental impact assessment (EIA) legislation and current EIA practice in European Union Member States and applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe was investigated, specifically in relation to the geological disposal of radioactive waste. This paper reports the study's investigations into a model approach to EIA in the context of geological repositories, including the role of the assessment in the overall decision processes and public involvement. (author)

  6. Environmental radionuclide concentrations: statistical model to determine uniformity of distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cawley, C.N.; Fenyves, E.J.; Spitzberg, D.B.; Wiorkowski, J.; Chehroudi, M.T.

    1980-01-01

    In the evaluation of data from environmental sampling and measurement, a basic question is whether the radionuclide (or pollutant) is distributed uniformly. Since physical measurements have associated errors, it is inappropriate to consider the measurements alone in this determination. Hence, a statistical model has been developed. It consists of a weighted analysis of variance with subsequent t-tests between weighted and independent means. A computer program to perform the calculations is included

  7. OPERA models for predicting physicochemical properties and environmental fate endpoints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansouri, Kamel; Grulke, Chris M; Judson, Richard S; Williams, Antony J

    2018-03-08

    The collection of chemical structure information and associated experimental data for quantitative structure-activity/property relationship (QSAR/QSPR) modeling is facilitated by an increasing number of public databases containing large amounts of useful data. However, the performance of QSAR models highly depends on the quality of the data and modeling methodology used. This study aims to develop robust QSAR/QSPR models for chemical properties of environmental interest that can be used for regulatory purposes. This study primarily uses data from the publicly available PHYSPROP database consisting of a set of 13 common physicochemical and environmental fate properties. These datasets have undergone extensive curation using an automated workflow to select only high-quality data, and the chemical structures were standardized prior to calculation of the molecular descriptors. The modeling procedure was developed based on the five Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) principles for QSAR models. A weighted k-nearest neighbor approach was adopted using a minimum number of required descriptors calculated using PaDEL, an open-source software. The genetic algorithms selected only the most pertinent and mechanistically interpretable descriptors (2-15, with an average of 11 descriptors). The sizes of the modeled datasets varied from 150 chemicals for biodegradability half-life to 14,050 chemicals for logP, with an average of 3222 chemicals across all endpoints. The optimal models were built on randomly selected training sets (75%) and validated using fivefold cross-validation (CV) and test sets (25%). The CV Q 2 of the models varied from 0.72 to 0.95, with an average of 0.86 and an R 2 test value from 0.71 to 0.96, with an average of 0.82. Modeling and performance details are described in QSAR model reporting format and were validated by the European Commission's Joint Research Center to be OECD compliant. All models are freely available as an open

  8. Modeling of environmentally significant interfaces: Two case studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williford, R.E.

    2006-01-01

    When some parameters cannot be easily measured experimentally, mathematical models can often be used to deconvolute or interpret data collected on complex systems, such as those characteristic of many environmental problems. These models can help quantify the contributions of various physical or chemical phenomena that contribute to the overall behavior, thereby enabling the scientist to control and manipulate these phenomena, and thus to optimize the performance of the material or device. In the first case study presented here, a model is used to test the hypothesis that oxygen interactions with hydrogen on the catalyst particles of solid oxide fuel cell anodes can sometimes occur a finite distance away from the triple phase boundary (TPB), so that such reactions are not restricted to the TPB as normally assumed. The model may help explain a discrepancy between the observed structure of SOFCs and their performance. The second case study develops a simple physical model that allows engineers to design and control the sizes and shapes of mesopores in silica thin films. Such pore design can be useful for enhancing the selectivity and reactivity of environmental sensors and catalysts. This paper demonstrates the mutually beneficial interactions between experiment and modeling in the solution of a wide range of problems

  9. Kumaraswamy autoregressive moving average models for double bounded environmental data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Fábio Mariano; Bayer, Débora Missio; Pumi, Guilherme

    2017-12-01

    In this paper we introduce the Kumaraswamy autoregressive moving average models (KARMA), which is a dynamic class of models for time series taking values in the double bounded interval (a,b) following the Kumaraswamy distribution. The Kumaraswamy family of distribution is widely applied in many areas, especially hydrology and related fields. Classical examples are time series representing rates and proportions observed over time. In the proposed KARMA model, the median is modeled by a dynamic structure containing autoregressive and moving average terms, time-varying regressors, unknown parameters and a link function. We introduce the new class of models and discuss conditional maximum likelihood estimation, hypothesis testing inference, diagnostic analysis and forecasting. In particular, we provide closed-form expressions for the conditional score vector and conditional Fisher information matrix. An application to environmental real data is presented and discussed.

  10. Socio-Environmental Resilience and Complex Urban Systems Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deal, Brian; Petri, Aaron; Pan, Haozhi; Goldenberg, Romain; Kalantari, Zahra; Cvetkovic, Vladimir

    2017-04-01

    The increasing pressure of climate change has inspired two normative agendas; socio-technical transitions and socio-ecological resilience, both sharing a complex-systems epistemology (Gillard et al. 2016). Socio-technical solutions include a continuous, massive data gathering exercise now underway in urban places under the guise of developing a 'smart'(er) city. This has led to the creation of data-rich environments where large data sets have become central to monitoring and forming a response to anomalies. Some have argued that these kinds of data sets can help in planning for resilient cities (Norberg and Cumming 2008; Batty 2013). In this paper, we focus on a more nuanced, ecologically based, socio-environmental perspective of resilience planning that is often given less consideration. Here, we broadly discuss (and model) the tightly linked, mutually influenced, social and biophysical subsystems that are critical for understanding urban resilience. We argue for the need to incorporate these sub system linkages into the resilience planning lexicon through the integration of systems models and planning support systems. We make our case by first providing a context for urban resilience from a socio-ecological and planning perspective. We highlight the data needs for this type of resilient planning and compare it to currently collected data streams in various smart city efforts. This helps to define an approach for operationalizing socio-environmental resilience planning using robust systems models and planning support systems. For this, we draw from our experiences in coupling a spatio-temporal land use model (the Landuse Evolution and impact Assessment Model (LEAM)) with water quality and quantity models in Stockholm Sweden. We describe the coupling of these systems models using a robust Planning Support System (PSS) structural framework. We use the coupled model simulations and PSS to analyze the connection between urban land use transformation (social) and water

  11. Proceedings of the international symposium on environmental modeling and radioecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hisamatsu, Shun'ichi; Ueda, Shinji; Kakiuchi, Hideki; Akata, Naofumi

    2007-03-01

    Environmental models using radioecological parameters are essential for predicting the behavior of radionuclides in the environment. Due to the complex behaviors of radionuclides in the environment, simplified models and parameters with ample margins are used for the safety assessment of nuclear facilities to ensure the safety of people in the surrounding area. As a consequence, radiation exposure doses from the radionuclides have generally been overestimated. Information with more precise predictions of the fate of the radionuclides in the environment and realistic radiation dose estimates are necessary for the public acceptance of nuclear facilities. Realistic dose estimates require continuous improvement of the models and their parameters as well as using state of the art modeling techniques and radioecological knowledge. The first commercial nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Japan has been built in Rokkasho, Aomori, and the Institute for Environmental Sciences was established for the purpose of assessing the effects of radionuclides released from the plant. Test runs by the plant using actual spent nuclear fuel began in March 2006. With commercial operation soon to begin, there is increasing concern regarding the behavior of radionuclides in the environment. This was a good time to hold a symposium here in Rokkasho to discuss recent progress in the field of environmental modeling and studies of the behaviors of radionuclides in the environment. The exchange of up-to-date information between modelers and experiments was an important aspect of the symposium. The symposium featured 26 oral lectures and 32 poster presentations. The 57 of the presented papers are indexed individually. (J.P.N.)

  12. Analysis of Alcove 8/Niche 3 Flow and Transport Tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    H.H. Liu

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to document analyses of the Alcove 8/Niche 3 flow and transport tests, with a focus on the large-infiltration-plot tests and compare pre-test model predictions with the actual test observations. The tests involved infiltration that originated from the floor of Alcove 8 (located in the Enhanced Characterization of Repository Block (ECRB) Cross Drift) and observations of seepage and tracer transport at Niche 3 (located in the Main Drift of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF)). The test results are relevant to drift seepage and solute transport in the unsaturated zone (UZ) of Yucca Mountain. The main objective of this analysis was to evaluate the modeling approaches used and the importance of the matrix diffusion process by comparing simulation and actual test observations. The pre-test predictions for the large plot test were found to differ from the observations and the reasons for the differences were documented in this report to partly address CR 6783, which concerns unexpected test results. These unexpected results are discussed and assessed with respect to the current baseline unsaturated zone radionuclide transport model in Sections 6.2.4, 6.3.2, and 6.4

  13. Environmental challenges and opportunities of the evolving North American electricity market : Modeling techniques and estimating environmental outcomes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patterson, Z.

    2002-06-01

    Background information and results of the different models publicly available used for the evaluation of environmental effects of electricity market restructuring in the various jurisdictions in North America were included in this working paper. It comprised the description of eleven models and twelve modeling exercises. The information on each model varied greatly, as it is proprietary. The models described were: (1) the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) National Energy Modeling System (NEMS), (2) the Department of Energy's Policy Office Electricity Modeling System (POEMS), (3) the Integrated Planning Model (IPM) utilized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), (4) Resources for the Future's (RFF) Haiku model, (5) the Canadian Energy Research Institute's Energy 2020 Model, (6) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) use of ICF's Coal and Electric Utilities Model, (7) the Center for Clean Air Policy's use of General Electric's Market Assessment and Portfolio Strategies (GE MAPS) model, (8) the Center for Clean Air Policy's use of GE MAPS in combination with New Energy Associates' Proscreen II, (9) the Commission for Environmental Cooperation use of the Front of Envelope Model, (10) Ontario Power Generation's use of the Utility Fuel Economics Model and National Power Model, and (11) New York State Department of Public Service's (NYDPS) Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement using New Energy Associates' PROMOD. Also included in this working paper was a comparison of the results of models and modeling exercises on which the estimation of the environmental effects of electricity market restructuring in the United States was based. 18 refs., 5 tabs

  14. Doctoral education in a successful ecological niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mette Krogh; Lund, Ole

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Modeling Of Construction Noise For Environmental Impact Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed F. Hamoda

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This study measured the noise levels generated at different construction sites in reference to the stage of construction and the equipment used, and examined the methods to predict such noise in order to assess the environmental impact of noise. It included 33 construction sites in Kuwait and used artificial neural networks (ANNs for the prediction of noise. A back-propagation neural network (BPNN model was compared with a general regression neural network (GRNN model. The results obtained indicated that the mean equivalent noise level was 78.7 dBA which exceeds the threshold limit. The GRNN model was superior to the BPNN model in its accuracy of predicting construction noise due to its ability to train quickly on sparse data sets. Over 93% of the predictions were within 5% of the observed values. The mean absolute error between the predicted and observed data was only 2 dBA. The ANN modeling proved to be a useful technique for noise predictions required in the assessment of environmental impact of construction activities.

  16. Study on the development of geological environmental model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsujimoto, Keiichi; Shinohara, Yoshinori; Ueta, Shinzo; Saito, Shigeyuki; Kawamura, Yuji; Tomiyama, Shingo; Ohashi, Toyo

    2002-03-01

    The safety performance assessment was carried out in potential geological environment in the conventional research and development of geological disposal, but the importance of safety assessment based on the repository design and scenario considering the concrete geological environment will increase in the future. The research considering the link of the major three fields of geological disposal, investigation of geological environment, repository design, and safety performance assessment, is the contemporary worldwide research theme. Hence it is important to organize information flow that contains the series of information process form the data production to analysis in the three fields, and to systemize the knowledge base that unifies the information flow hierarchically. The purpose of the research is to support the development of the unified analysis system for geological disposal. The development technology for geological environmental model studied for the second progress report by JNC are organized and examined for the purpose of developing database system with considering the suitability for the deep underground research facility. The geological environmental investigation technology and building methodology for geological structure and hydro geological structure models are organized and systemized. Furthermore, the quality assurance methods in building geological environment models are examined. Information which is used and stored in the unified analysis system are examined to design database structure of the system based on the organized methodology for building geological environmental model. The graphic processing function for data stored in the unified database are examined. furthermore, future research subjects for the development of detail models for geological disposal are surveyed to organize safety performance system. (author)

  17. Human niche, human behaviour, human nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin

    2017-10-06

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

  18. Making Blood: The Haematopoietic Niche throughout Ontogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad A. Al-Drees

    2015-01-01

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

  19. From Microhabitat of Floral Nectar Up to Biogeographic Scale: Novel Insights on Neutral and Niche Bacterial Assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizenberg-Gershtein, Yana; Izhaki, Ido; Halpern, Malka

    2017-07-01

    Microbial model systems are very useful in addressing macro-ecological questions. Two major theories exist to date, to explain the community structure of organisms: (1) the dispersal (neutral) assembly theory which predicts that community similarity decreases with increasing geographic distance, independent of any environmental variables, and (2) the niche assembly theory which predicts that the communities' compositions are more homogeneous among sites characterized by similar environmental conditions. Our study system offered a unique opportunity to investigate the relative role of environmental conditions and spatial factors in shaping community composition. We explored the bacterial community composition (BCC) of Nicotiana glauca floral nectar using the Illumina MiSeq technique at three spatial scales (plants, site, and region) and two taxonomic levels. Floral nectar samples were collected from 69 N. glauca plants at 11 different sites along a 200-km transect in Israel, along three biogeographic regions. A distance decay of BCC was found among all plants throughout Israel, but such pattern was not found among either sites or biogeographical regions. The BCC was also governed by environmental conditions in all examined scales (from the plant up to the biogeographical region). We also found that taxonomic resolution (89 and 97% sequence identity for clustering operational taxonomic units) affected the results of these BCC analyses. Hence, our study revealed that the BCC in N. glauca floral nectar is shaped by both the environmental conditions and the distance between plants, depending on the sampling scale under examination as well as by taxonomic resolution.

  20. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wasiolek, M. A.

    2003-01-01

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2003 [163602]). Some documents in Figure 1-1 may be under development and not available when this report is issued. This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA), but access to the listed documents is not required to understand the contents of this report. This report is one of the reports that develops input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003 [160699]) describes the conceptual model, the mathematical model, and the input parameters. The purpose of this analysis is to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or volcanic ash). The analysis was performed in accordance with the TWP (BSC 2003 [163602]). This analysis develops values of parameters associated with many features, events, and processes (FEPs) applicable to the reference biosphere (DTN: M00303SEPFEPS2.000 [162452]), which are addressed in the biosphere model (BSC 2003 [160699]). The treatment of these FEPs is described in BSC (2003 [160699], Section 6.2). Parameter values

  1. Environmental Transport Input Parameters for the Biosphere Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. A. Wasiolek

    2003-06-27

    This analysis report is one of the technical reports documenting the Environmental Radiation Model for Yucca Mountain Nevada (ERMYN), a biosphere model supporting the total system performance assessment (TSPA) for the geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. A graphical representation of the documentation hierarchy for the ERMYN is presented in Figure 1-1. This figure shows relationships among the reports developed for biosphere modeling and biosphere abstraction products for the TSPA, as identified in the ''Technical Work Plan: for Biosphere Modeling and Expert Support'' (TWP) (BSC 2003 [163602]). Some documents in Figure 1-1 may be under development and not available when this report is issued. This figure provides an understanding of how this report contributes to biosphere modeling in support of the license application (LA), but access to the listed documents is not required to understand the contents of this report. This report is one of the reports that develops input parameter values for the biosphere model. The ''Biosphere Model Report'' (BSC 2003 [160699]) describes the conceptual model, the mathematical model, and the input parameters. The purpose of this analysis is to develop biosphere model parameter values related to radionuclide transport and accumulation in the environment. These parameters support calculations of radionuclide concentrations in the environmental media (e.g., soil, crops, animal products, and air) resulting from a given radionuclide concentration at the source of contamination (i.e., either in groundwater or volcanic ash). The analysis was performed in accordance with the TWP (BSC 2003 [163602]). This analysis develops values of parameters associated with many features, events, and processes (FEPs) applicable to the reference biosphere (DTN: M00303SEPFEPS2.000 [162452]), which are addressed in the biosphere model (BSC 2003 [160699]). The treatment of these FEPs is described in BSC (2003 [160699

  2. Development and molecular composition of the hepatic progenitor cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vestentoft, Peter Siig

    2013-05-01

    End-stage liver diseases represent major health problems that are currently treated by liver transplantation. However, given the world-wide shortage of donor livers novel strategies are needed for therapeutic treatment. Adult stem cells have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into the more specialized cell types of a given organ and are found in tissues throughout the body. These cells, whose progeny are termed progenitor cells in human liver and oval cells in rodents, have the potential to treat patients through the generation of hepatic parenchymal cells, even from the patient's own tissue. Little is known regarding the nature of the hepatic progenitor cells. Though they are suggested to reside in the most distal part of the biliary tree, the canal of Hering, the lack of unique surface markers for these cells has hindered their isolation and characterization. Upon activation, they proliferate and form ductular structures, termed "ductular reactions", which radiate into the hepatic parenchyma. The ductular reactions contain activated progenitor cells that not only acquire a phenotype resembling that observed in developing liver but also display markers of differentiation shared with the cholangiocytic or hepatocytic lineages, the two parenchymal hepatic cell types. Interactions between the putative progenitor cells, the surrounding support cells and the extracellular matrix scaffold, all constituting the progenitor cell niche, are likely to be important for regulating progenitor cell activity and differentiation. Therefore, identifying novel progenitor cell markers and deciphering their microenvironment could facilitate clinical use. The aims of the present PhD thesis were to expand knowledge of the hepatic progenitor cell niche and characterize it both during development and in disease. Several animal models of hepatic injury are known to induce activation of the progenitor cells. In order to identify possible progenitor cell markers and niche components

  3. Dose estimation models for environmental tritium released from fusion facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murata, Mikio

    1993-01-01

    Various mathematical models are being developed to predict the behavior of HT released to the natural environment and their consequent impact. This report outlines models and the major findings of HT field release studies in France and Canada. The models are constructed to incorporate the key processes thought to be responsible for the formation of atmospheric HTO from a release of HT. It has been established from the experiments that HT oxidized in surface soil is incorporated almost entirely into soil water as HTO. This tritium may be reemitted to the atmosphere in the form of HTO through exchange of soil and atmospheric moisture as well as through the bulk water mass flux from the soil the atmosphere due to evaporation and transpiration. The direct conversion of HT to HTO in air and direct uptake of HT by vegetation are expected to be negligible for the time and space scales of interest in considering short duration releases. HTO emitted to the atmosphere is can further exchange with soil and vegetation water. Validation of these models against experimental data is conducted to demonstrate their credibility. It may be concluded that further laboratory and field works are needed in order to develop a sufficiently good understanding of the dependence of the key processes on environmental factors (including diurnal cycling and seasonality) to allow the rates of the processes to be predicted from a knowledge of environmental conditions. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Felix

    2011-03-27

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

  5. Environmental Pathway Models-Ground-Water Modeling in Support of Remedial Decision Making at Sites Contaminated with Radioactive Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Joint Interagency Environmental Pathway Modeling Working Group wrote this report to promote appropriate and consistent use of mathematical environmental models in the remediation and restoration of sites contaminated by radioactive substances.

  6. Bird diversity and environmental heterogeneity in North America: A test of the area-heterogeneity trade-off

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rachel Chocron; Curtis H. Flather; Ronen Kadmon

    2015-01-01

    Aim: Deterministic niche theory predicts that increasing environmental heterogeneity increases species richness. In contrast, a recent stochastic model suggests that heterogeneity has a unimodal effect on species richness since high levels of heterogeneity reduce the effective area available per species, thereby increasing the likelihood of stochastic...

  7. Integration of models for the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Napier, B.A.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project is to estimate the radiation dose that individuals could have received as a result of emissions from nuclear operations at Hanford since 1944. The objective of phase 1 of the project was to demonstrate through calculations that adequate models and support data exist or could be developed to allow realistic estimations of doses to individuals from releases of radionuclides to the environment that occurred as long as 45 years ago. Much of the data used in phase 1 was preliminary; therefore, the doses calculated must be considered preliminary approximations. This paper describes the integration of various models that was implemented for initial computer calculations. Models were required for estimating the quantity of radioactive material released, for evaluating its transport through the environment, for estimating human exposure, and for evaluating resultant doses

  8. Modelling of Electrokinetic Processes in Civil and Environmental Engineering Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paz-Garcia, Juan Manuel; Johannesson, Björn; Ottosen, Lisbeth M.

    2011-01-01

    conditions are assumed between the aqueous species and the solid matrix for a set of feasible chemical equilibrium reactions defined for each specific application. A module for re-establishing the chemical equilibrium has been developed and included in the system for this purpose. Changes in the porosity......A mathematical model for the electrokinetic phenomena is described. Numerical simulations of different applications of electrokinetic techniques to the fields of civil and environmental engineering are included, showing the versatility and consistency of the model. The electrokinetics phenomena......-Nernst-Planck system of equations, accounting for ionic migration, chemical diffusion and advection is used for modeling the transport process. The advection term contributor is studied by including in the system the water transport through the porous media, mainly due to electroosmosis. The pore solution filling...

  9. Assessing the Hydrogeomorphic Effects of Environmental Flows using Hydrodynamic Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Angela; Morrison, Ryan R; Stone, Mark

    2018-04-13

    Water managers are increasingly using environmental flows (e-flows) as a tool to improve ecological conditions downstream from impoundments. Recent studies have called for e-flow approaches that explicitly consider impacts on hydrogeomorphic processes when developing management alternatives. Process-based approaches are particularly relevant in river systems that have been highly modified and where water supplies are over allocated. One-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic models can be used to resolve hydrogeomorphic processes at different spatial and temporal scales to support the development, testing, and refinement of e-flow hypotheses. Thus, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate the use of hydrodynamic models as a tool for assisting stakeholders in targeting and assessing environmental flows within a decision-making framework. We present a case study of e-flows on the Rio Chama in northern New Mexico, USA, where 1D and 2D hydrodynamic modeling was used within a collaborative process to implement an e-flow experiment. A specific goal of the e-flow process was to improve spawning habitat for brown trout by flushing fine sediments from gravel features. The results revealed that the 2D hydrodynamic model provided much greater insight with respect to hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes, which led to a reduction in the recommended e-flow discharge. The results suggest that 2D hydrodynamic models can be useful tools for improving process understanding, developing e-flow recommendations, and supporting adaptive management even when limited or no data are available for model calibration and validation.

  10. Guidance for modeling causes and effects in environmental problem solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armour, Carl L.; Williamson, Samuel C.

    1988-01-01

    Environmental problems are difficult to solve because their causes and effects are not easily understood. When attempts are made to analyze causes and effects, the principal challenge is organization of information into a framework that is logical, technically defensible, and easy to understand and communicate. When decisionmakers attempt to solve complex problems before an adequate cause and effect analysis is performed there are serious risks. These risks include: greater reliance on subjective reasoning, lessened chance for scoping an effective problem solving approach, impaired recognition of the need for supplemental information to attain understanding, increased chance for making unsound decisions, and lessened chance for gaining approval and financial support for a program/ Cause and effect relationships can be modeled. This type of modeling has been applied to various environmental problems, including cumulative impact assessment (Dames and Moore 1981; Meehan and Weber 1985; Williamson et al. 1987; Raley et al. 1988) and evaluation of effects of quarrying (Sheate 1986). This guidance for field users was written because of the current interest in documenting cause-effect logic as a part of ecological problem solving. Principal literature sources relating to the modeling approach are: Riggs and Inouye (1975a, b), Erickson (1981), and United States Office of Personnel Management (1986).

  11. Animal Models of Autism: An Epigenetic and Environmental Viewpoint

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiko Iwata

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder of social behavior, which is more common in males than in females. The causes of autism are unknown; there is evidence for a substantial genetic component, but it is likely that a combination of genetic, environmental and epigenetic factors contribute to its complex pathogenesis. Rodent models that mimic the behavioral deficits of autism can be useful tools for dissecting both the etiology and molecular mechanisms. This review discusses animal models of autism generated by prenatal or neonatal environmental challenges, including virus infection and exposure to valproic acid (VPA or stress. Studies of viral infection models suggest that interleukin-6 can influence fetal development and programming. Prenatal exposure to the histone deacetylase inhibitor VPA has been linked to autism in children, and male VPA-exposed rats exhibit a spectrum of autistic-like behaviors. The experience of prenatal stress produces male-specific behavioral abnormalities in rats. These effects may be mediated by epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone acetylation resulting in alterations to the transcriptome.

  12. Simultaneity modeling analysis of the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ben Youssef, Adel; Hammoudeh, Shawkat; Omri, Anis

    2016-01-01

    The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis has been recognized in the environmental economics literature since the 1990's. Various statistical tests have been used on time series, cross section and panel data related to single and groups of countries to validate this hypothesis. In the literature, the validation has always been conducted by using a single equation. However, since both the environment and income variables are endogenous, the estimation of a single equation model when simultaneity exists produces inconsistent and biased estimates. Therefore, we formulate simultaneous two-equation models to investigate the EKC hypothesis for fifty-six countries, using annual panel data from 1990 to 2012, with the end year is determined by data availability for the panel. To make the panel data analysis more homogeneous, we investigate this issue for a three income-based panels (namely, high-, middle-, and low-income panels) given several explanatory variables. Our results indicate that there exists a bidirectional causality between economic growth and pollution emissions in the overall panels. We also find that the relationship is nonlinear and has an inverted U-shape for all the considered panels. Policy implications are provided. - Highlights: • We have given a new look for the validity of the EKC hypothesis. • We formulate two-simultaneous equation models to validate this hypothesis for fifty-six countries. • We find a bidirectional causality between economic growth and pollution emissions. • We also discover an inverted U-shaped between environmental degradation and economic growth. • This relationship varies at different stages of economic development.

  13. Different Motile Behaviors of Human Hematopoietic Stem versus Progenitor Cells at the Osteoblastic Niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie Foster

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Despite advances in our understanding of interactions between mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs and their niche, little is known about communication between human HSCs and the microenvironment. Using a xenotransplantation model and intravital imaging, we demonstrate that human HSCs display distinct motile behaviors to their hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC counterparts, and the same pattern can be found between mouse HSCs and HPCs. HSCs become significantly less motile after transplantation, while progenitor cells remain motile. We show that human HSCs take longer to find their niche than previously expected and suggest that the niche be defined as the position where HSCs stop moving. Intravital imaging is the only technique to determine where in the bone marrow stem cells stop moving, and future analyses should focus on the environment surrounding the HSC at this point.

  14. (Environmental and geophysical modeling, fracture mechanics, and boundary element methods)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gray, L.J.

    1990-11-09

    Technical discussions at the various sites visited centered on application of boundary integral methods for environmental modeling, seismic analysis, and computational fracture mechanics in composite and smart'' materials. The traveler also attended the International Association for Boundary Element Methods Conference at Rome, Italy. While many aspects of boundary element theory and applications were discussed in the papers, the dominant topic was the analysis and application of hypersingular equations. This has been the focus of recent work by the author, and thus the conference was highly relevant to research at ORNL.

  15. Comprehensive probabilistic modelling of environmental emissions of engineered nanomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Tian Yin; Gottschalk, Fadri; Hungerbühler, Konrad; Nowack, Bernd

    2014-02-01

    Concerns about the environmental risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) are growing, however, currently very little is known about their concentrations in the environment. Here, we calculate the concentrations of five ENM (nano-TiO2, nano-ZnO, nano-Ag, CNT and fullerenes) in environmental and technical compartments using probabilistic material-flow modelling. We apply the newest data on ENM production volumes, their allocation to and subsequent release from different product categories, and their flows into and within those compartments. Further, we compare newly predicted ENM concentrations to estimates from 2009 and to corresponding measured concentrations of their conventional materials, e.g. TiO2, Zn and Ag. We show that the production volume and the compounds' inertness are crucial factors determining final concentrations. ENM production estimates are generally higher than a few years ago. In most cases, the environmental concentrations of corresponding conventional materials are between one and seven orders of magnitude higher than those for ENM. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Sorption models and their application in environmental samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamel, Nariman H.M.

    2008-01-01

    Full text: Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) were found in some environmental soils not high enough to pose problems for human health. The health may be affected by increasing of NORM at some environmental soils. Four soil samples obtained from certain coastal regions in Egypt. Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) of the uranium ( 238 U) series, thorium ( 232 Th) series and the radioactive isotope of potassium ( 40 K) were measured. The soil samples were selected from the situations where the radionuclide concentrations are significantly higher than the average level of other sites. It were chemically analyzed for the uranium, silicon aluminum and iron. The cation exchange capacity (CEC) were determined, it was found lower in the presence of Fe-silicates suggested that Fe-hydroxide had precipitin at the exchangeable edge sites of the clay minerals. The pH of the solid particles at which the net total surface charge is zero was known as the point of zero charge (PZC). The PZC is very important in determining the affinity of the soil samples for different cations and anions. The aim of this work is to determine the natural radiological hazardous of radionuclide at four environmental coastal soil samples in Egypt. The point of zero surface charge was determined using titration tests. Sorption model was developed for this purpose. (author)

  17. Simplified risk model support for environmental management integration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eide, S.A.; Jones, J.L.; Wierman, T.E.

    1998-01-01

    This paper summarizes the process and results of human health risk assessments of the US Department of Energy (DOE) complex-wide programs for high-level waste, transuranic waste, low-level, mixed low-level waste, and spent nuclear fuel. The DOE baseline programs and alternatives for these five material types were characterized by disposition maps (material flow diagrams) and supporting information in the May 1997 report 'A Contractor Report to the Department of Energy on Environmental Baseline Programs and Integration Opportunities' (Discussion Draft). Risk analyses were performed using the Simplified Risk Model (SRM), developed to support DOE Environmental Management Integration studies. The SRM risk analyses consistently and comprehensively cover the life cycle programs for the five material types, from initial storage through final disposition. Risk results are presented at several levels: DOE complex-wide, material type program, individual DOE sites, and DOE site activities. The detailed risk results are documented in the February 1998 report 'Human Health Risk Comparisons for Environmental Management Baseline Programs and Integration Opportunities' (Discussion Draft)

  18. Improved data for integrated modeling of global environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotze-Campen, Hermann

    2011-12-01

    The assessment of global environmental changes, their impact on human societies, and possible management options requires large-scale, integrated modeling efforts. These models have to link biophysical with socio-economic processes, and they have to take spatial heterogeneity of environmental conditions into account. Land use change and freshwater use are two key research areas where spatial aggregation and the use of regional average numbers may lead to biased results. Useful insights can only be obtained if processes like economic globalization can be consistently linked to local environmental conditions and resource constraints (Lambin and Meyfroidt 2011). Spatially explicit modeling of environmental changes at the global scale has a long tradition in the natural sciences (Woodward et al 1995, Alcamo et al 1996, Leemans et al 1996). Socio-economic models with comparable spatial detail, e.g. on grid-based land use change, are much less common (Heistermann et al 2006), but are increasingly being developed (Popp et al 2011, Schneider et al 2011). Spatially explicit models require spatially explicit input data, which often constrains their development and application at the global scale. The amount and quality of available data on environmental conditions is growing fast—primarily due to improved earth observation methods. Moreover, systematic efforts for collecting and linking these data across sectors are on the way (www.earthobservations.org). This has, among others, also helped to provide consistent databases on different land cover and land use types (Erb et al 2007). However, spatially explicit data on specific anthropogenic driving forces of global environmental change are still scarce—also because these cannot be collected with satellites or other devices. The basic data on socio-economic driving forces, i.e. population density and wealth (measured as gross domestic product per capita), have been prepared for spatially explicit analyses (CIESIN, IFPRI

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GISELE R. WINCK

    2016-01-01

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