WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary ecology approach

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, Sébastien

    2018-01-01

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

  2. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  3. Adaptive developmental delay in Chagas disease vectors: an evolutionary ecology approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Menu

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae, vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability.We applied four methods: (1 an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2 a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3 a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4 a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause.85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5(th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5(th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of "bad" environmental conditions are sufficiently high.Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test this hypothesis. The importance of these findings is

  4. Evolutionary ecology of virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennehy, John J

    2017-02-01

    The cross-species transmission of viruses into new host populations, termed virus emergence, is a significant issue in public health, agriculture, wildlife management, and related fields. Virus emergence requires overlap between host populations, alterations in virus genetics to permit infection of new hosts, and adaptation to novel hosts such that between-host transmission is sustainable, all of which are the purview of the fields of ecology and evolution. A firm understanding of the ecology of viruses and how they evolve is required for understanding how and why viruses emerge. In this paper, I address the evolutionary mechanisms of virus emergence and how they relate to virus ecology. I argue that, while virus acquisition of the ability to infect new hosts is not difficult, limited evolutionary trajectories to sustained virus between-host transmission and the combined effects of mutational meltdown, bottlenecking, demographic stochasticity, density dependence, and genetic erosion in ecological sinks limit most emergence events to dead-end spillover infections. Despite the relative rarity of pandemic emerging viruses, the potential of viruses to search evolutionary space and find means to spread epidemically and the consequences of pandemic viruses that do emerge necessitate sustained attention to virus research, surveillance, prophylaxis, and treatment. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. The evolutionary ecology of molecular replicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nee, Sean

    2016-08-01

    By reasonable criteria, life on the Earth consists mainly of molecular replicators. These include viruses, transposons, transpovirons, coviruses and many more, with continuous new discoveries like Sputnik Virophage. Their study is inherently multidisciplinary, spanning microbiology, genetics, immunology and evolutionary theory, and the current view is that taking a unified approach has great power and promise. We support this with a new, unified, model of their evolutionary ecology, using contemporary evolutionary theory coupling the Price equation with game theory, studying the consequences of the molecular replicators' promiscuous use of each others' gene products for their natural history and evolutionary ecology. Even at this simple expository level, we can make a firm prediction of a new class of replicators exploiting viruses such as lentiviruses like SIVs, a family which includes HIV: these have been explicitly stated in the primary literature to be non-existent. Closely connected to this departure is the view that multicellular organism immunology is more about the management of chronic infections rather than the elimination of acute ones and new understandings emerging are changing our view of the kind of theatre we ourselves provide for the evolutionary play of molecular replicators. This study adds molecular replicators to bacteria in the emerging field of sociomicrobiology.

  6. Marine Dispersal Scales Are Congruent over Evolutionary and Ecological Time

    KAUST Repository

    Pinsky, Malin L.; Saenz-Agudelo, Pablo; Salles, Océ ane C.; Almany, Glenn R.; Bode, Michael; Berumen, Michael L.; André fouë t, Serge; Thorrold, Simon R.; Jones, Geoffrey P.; Planes, Serge

    2016-01-01

    -distance dispersal are based on direct ecological observations of dispersing individuals, while indirect evolutionary estimates often suggest substantially greater homogeneity among populations. Reconciling these two approaches and their seemingly competing

  7. An evolutionary basis for pollination ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In the introduction and chapter 2 the incentives and way of reasoning are given for the description of an evolutionary basis of pollination ecology. Starting from the until recently rather anecdotical character of the study of pollination ecology as a whole, and in the absence of large-scale

  8. An evolutionary ecology of individual differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall, Sasha R. X.; Bell, Alison M.; Bolnick, Daniel I.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals often differ in what they do. This has been recognised since antiquity. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary significance of such variation is attracting widespread interest, which is burgeoning to an extent that is fragmenting the literature. As a first attempt at synthesis, we focus on individual differences in behaviour within populations that exceed the day-to-day variation in individual behaviour (i.e. behavioural specialisation). Indeed, the factors promoting ecologically relevant behavioural specialisation within natural populations are likely to have far-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences. We discuss such individual differences from three distinct perspectives: individual niche specialisations, the division of labour within insect societies and animal personality variation. In the process, while recognising that each area has its own unique motivations, we identify a number of opportunities for productive ‘crossfertilisation’ among the (largely independent) bodies of work. We conclude that a complete understanding of evolutionarily and ecologically relevant individual differences must specify how ecological interactions impact the basic biological process (e.g. Darwinian selection, development and information processing) that underpin the organismal features determining behavioural specialisations. Moreover, there is likely to be covariation amongst behavioural specialisations. Thus, we sketch the key elements of a general framework for studying the evolutionary ecology of individual differences. PMID:22897772

  9. Evolutionary heritage influences amazon tree ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Marine Dispersal Scales Are Congruent over Evolutionary and Ecological Time

    KAUST Repository

    Pinsky, Malin L.

    2016-12-15

    The degree to which offspring remain near their parents or disperse widely is critical for understanding population dynamics, evolution, and biogeography, and for designing conservation actions. In the ocean, most estimates suggesting short-distance dispersal are based on direct ecological observations of dispersing individuals, while indirect evolutionary estimates often suggest substantially greater homogeneity among populations. Reconciling these two approaches and their seemingly competing perspectives on dispersal has been a major challenge. Here we show for the first time that evolutionary and ecological measures of larval dispersal can closely agree by using both to estimate the distribution of dispersal distances. In orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) populations in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, we found that evolutionary dispersal kernels were 17 km (95% confidence interval: 12–24 km) wide, while an exhaustive set of direct larval dispersal observations suggested kernel widths of 27 km (19–36 km) or 19 km (15–27 km) across two years. The similarity between these two approaches suggests that ecological and evolutionary dispersal kernels can be equivalent, and that the apparent disagreement between direct and indirect measurements can be overcome. Our results suggest that carefully applied evolutionary methods, which are often less expensive, can be broadly relevant for understanding ecological dispersal across the tree of life.

  11. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  12. The ecological and evolutionary implications of merging different types of networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fontaine, C.; Guimaraes, P.R.; Kéfi, S.; Loeuille, N.; Memmott, J.; Putten, van der W.H.; Veen, F.J.; Thébault, E.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions among species drive the ecological and evolutionary processes in ecological communities. These interactions are effectively key components of biodiversity. Studies that use a network approach to study the structure and dynamics of communities of interacting species have revealed many

  13. Evolutionary computation in zoology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Randall B

    2017-12-01

    Evolutionary computational methods have adopted attributes of natural selection and evolution to solve problems in computer science, engineering, and other fields. The method is growing in use in zoology and ecology. Evolutionary principles may be merged with an agent-based modeling perspective to have individual animals or other agents compete. Four main categories are discussed: genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, genetic programming, and evolutionary strategies. In evolutionary computation, a population is represented in a way that allows for an objective function to be assessed that is relevant to the problem of interest. The poorest performing members are removed from the population, and remaining members reproduce and may be mutated. The fitness of the members is again assessed, and the cycle continues until a stopping condition is met. Case studies include optimizing: egg shape given different clutch sizes, mate selection, migration of wildebeest, birds, and elk, vulture foraging behavior, algal bloom prediction, and species richness given energy constraints. Other case studies simulate the evolution of species and a means to project shifts in species ranges in response to a changing climate that includes competition and phenotypic plasticity. This introduction concludes by citing other uses of evolutionary computation and a review of the flexibility of the methods. For example, representing species' niche spaces subject to selective pressure allows studies on cladistics, the taxon cycle, neutral versus niche paradigms, fundamental versus realized niches, community structure and order of colonization, invasiveness, and responses to a changing climate.

  14. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-14

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

  16. An Evolutionary Psychology Approach to Consumer Choice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZURINA BT MOHAIDIN

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Human behaviour can be explained not only through experience and environments but also by incorporating evolutionary explanation. Consumer behaviour could not be understood accurately without infusing Darwinian evolutionary theory which has contributed in the knowledge of human nature. Evolutionary psychology revolves around the human’s evolved mental and the impact on human’s traits and behaviour where the influence of the environment to our genes would determine our individual behaviour and traits, resulting in variation among us. Foraging which is a part of behavioural ecology involves many sequences or repetitions of animals’ activities and decision making which is useful to relate these patterns of activities to the decisions made in human consumption. The aim of this research is to investigate the similarities of human consumption and ecological behaviour by employing interpretative and comparative approach. It is hoped that by applying the evolutionary theory in explaining consumer choice, this study is able to contribute to the development of behavioural ecology in human consumption. The analysis of the data is done aggregately for 200 consumers and individually for 20 consumers, who have purchased four product categories over a year. This study concludes that the theories of evolutionary psychology can fit to the consumers’ buying behaviour implicating its usefulness in explaining the consumers’ choice.

  17. Evolutionary and Ecological Consequences of Interspecific Hybridization in Cladocerans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwenk, K.; Spaak, P.

    1995-01-01

    The evolutionary process of interspecific hybridization in cladocerans is reviewed based on ecological and population genetic data. The evolutionary consequences of hybridization, biogeographic patterns and fitness comparisons are analyzed within the conceptual framework of theories on

  18. 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.

  19. Ecological theatre and the evolutionary game: how environmental and demographic factors determine payoffs in evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argasinski, K; Broom, M

    2013-10-01

    In the standard approach to evolutionary games and replicator dynamics, differences in fitness can be interpreted as an excess from the mean Malthusian growth rate in the population. In the underlying reasoning, related to an analysis of "costs" and "benefits", there is a silent assumption that fitness can be described in some type of units. However, in most cases these units of measure are not explicitly specified. Then the question arises: are these theories testable? How can we measure "benefit" or "cost"? A natural language, useful for describing and justifying comparisons of strategic "cost" versus "benefits", is the terminology of demography, because the basic events that shape the outcome of natural selection are births and deaths. In this paper, we present the consequences of an explicit analysis of births and deaths in an evolutionary game theoretic framework. We will investigate different types of mortality pressures, their combinations and the possibility of trade-offs between mortality and fertility. We will show that within this new approach it is possible to model how strictly ecological factors such as density dependence and additive background fitness, which seem neutral in classical theory, can affect the outcomes of the game. We consider the example of the Hawk-Dove game, and show that when reformulated in terms of our new approach new details and new biological predictions are produced.

  20. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M.; Bezbradica, Jelena S.; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective. PMID:29312339

  1. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Amrendra; Suryadevara, Naveenchandra; Hill, Timothy M; Bezbradica, Jelena S; Van Kaer, Luc; Joyce, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Type I natural killer T (NKT) cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo) perspective.

  2. Natural Killer T Cells: An Ecological Evolutionary Developmental Biology Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrendra Kumar

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Type I natural killer T (NKT cells are innate-like T lymphocytes that recognize glycolipid antigens presented by the MHC class I-like protein CD1d. Agonistic activation of NKT cells leads to rapid pro-inflammatory and immune modulatory cytokine and chemokine responses. This property of NKT cells, in conjunction with their interactions with antigen-presenting cells, controls downstream innate and adaptive immune responses against cancers and infectious diseases, as well as in several inflammatory disorders. NKT cell properties are acquired during development in the thymus and by interactions with the host microbial consortium in the gut, the nature of which can be influenced by NKT cells. This latter property, together with the role of the host microbiota in cancer therapy, necessitates a new perspective. Hence, this review provides an initial approach to understanding NKT cells from an ecological evolutionary developmental biology (eco-evo-devo perspective.

  3. Testing the ecological consequences of evolutionary change using elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeyasingh, Punidan D; Cothran, Rickey D; Tobler, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the ecological consequences of evolutionary change is a central challenge in contemporary biology. We propose a framework based on the ˜25 elements represented in biology, which can serve as a conduit for a general exploration of poorly understood evolution-to-ecology links. In this framework, known as ecological stoichiometry, the quantity of elements in the inorganic realm is a fundamental environment, while the flow of elements from the abiotic to the biotic realm is due to the action of genomes, with the unused elements excreted back into the inorganic realm affecting ecological processes at higher levels of organization. Ecological stoichiometry purposefully assumes distinct elemental composition of species, enabling powerful predictions about the ecological functions of species. However, this assumption results in a simplified view of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying diversification in the elemental composition of species. Recent research indicates substantial intraspecific variation in elemental composition and associated ecological functions such as nutrient excretion. We posit that attention to intraspecific variation in elemental composition will facilitate a synthesis of stoichiometric information in light of population genetics theory for a rigorous exploration of the ecological consequences of evolutionary change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Des Roches

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

  5. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

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

  6. The domestication and evolutionary ecology of apples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornille, A.; Giraud, T.; Smulders, M.J.M.; Roldán-Ruiz, I.; Gladieux, P.

    2014-01-01

    The cultivated apple is a major fruit crop in temperate zones. Its wild relatives, distributed across temperate Eurasia and growing in diverse habitats, represent potentially useful sources of diversity for apple breeding. We review here the most recent findings on the genetics and ecology of apple

  7. Advances in Ecological Speciation: an integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  8. Evolutionary impact assessment: accounting for evolutionary consequences of fishing in an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laugen, Ane T; Engelhard, Georg H; Whitlock, Rebecca; Arlinghaus, Robert; Dankel, Dorothy J; Dunlop, Erin S; Eikeset, Anne M; Enberg, Katja; Jørgensen, Christian; Matsumura, Shuichi; Nusslé, Sébastien; Urbach, Davnah; Baulier, Loїc; Boukal, David S; Ernande, Bruno; Johnston, Fiona D; Mollet, Fabian; Pardoe, Heidi; Therkildsen, Nina O; Uusi-Heikkilä, Silva; Vainikka, Anssi; Heino, Mikko; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2014-03-01

    Managing fisheries resources to maintain healthy ecosystems is one of the main goals of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). While a number of international treaties call for the implementation of EAF, there are still gaps in the underlying methodology. One aspect that has received substantial scientific attention recently is fisheries-induced evolution (FIE). Increasing evidence indicates that intensive fishing has the potential to exert strong directional selection on life-history traits, behaviour, physiology, and morphology of exploited fish. Of particular concern is that reversing evolutionary responses to fishing can be much more difficult than reversing demographic or phenotypically plastic responses. Furthermore, like climate change, multiple agents cause FIE, with effects accumulating over time. Consequently, FIE may alter the utility derived from fish stocks, which in turn can modify the monetary value living aquatic resources provide to society. Quantifying and predicting the evolutionary effects of fishing is therefore important for both ecological and economic reasons. An important reason this is not happening is the lack of an appropriate assessment framework. We therefore describe the evolutionary impact assessment (EvoIA) as a structured approach for assessing the evolutionary consequences of fishing and evaluating the predicted evolutionary outcomes of alternative management options. EvoIA can contribute to EAF by clarifying how evolution may alter stock properties and ecological relations, support the precautionary approach to fisheries management by addressing a previously overlooked source of uncertainty and risk, and thus contribute to sustainable fisheries.

  9. Book Review: Evolutionary Ecology of Birds: Life Histories, Mating ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Book Title: Evolutionary Ecology of Birds: Life Histories, Mating Systems and Extinction. Book Authors: P.M. Bennett & I.P.F. Owens. Oxford University. Press. 2002. Pp. 272. Price £24.95 (paperback). ISBN 0 19 851089 6.

  10. Using Ancient DNA to Understand Evolutionary and Ecological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre; Cooper, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Ancient DNA provides a unique means to record genetic change through time and directly observe evolutionary and ecological processes. Although mostly based on mitochondrial DNA, the increasing availability of genomic sequences is leading to unprecedented levels of resolution. Temporal studies of ...

  11. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Are ecological and evolutionary theories scientific?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B G

    2001-05-01

    Scientists observe nature, search for generalizations, and provide explanations for why the world is as it is. Generalizations are of two kinds. The first are descriptive and inductive, such as Boyle's Law. They are derived from observations and therefore refer to observables (in this case, pressure and volume). The second are often imaginative and form the axioms of a deductive theory, such as Newton's Laws of Motion. They often refer to unobservables (e.g. inertia and gravitation). Biology has many inductive generalizations (e.g. Bergmann's Rule and 'all cells arise from preexisting cells') but few, if any, recognized universal laws and virtually no deductive theory. Many biologists and philosophers of biology have agreed that predictive theory is inappropriate in biology, which is said to be more complex than physics, and that one can have nonpredictive explanations, such as the neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Other philosophers dismiss nonpredictive, explanatory theories, including evolutionary 'theory', as metaphysics. Most biologists do not think of themselves as philosophers or give much thought to the philosophical basis of their research. Nevertheless, their philosophy shows in the way they do research. The plethora of ad hoc (i.e. not universal) hypotheses indicates that biologists are reluctant inductivists in that the search for generalization does not have a high priority. Biologists test their hypotheses by verification. Theoretical physicists, in contrast, are deductive unifiers and test their explanatory hypotheses by falsification. I argue that theoretical biology (concerned with unobservables, such as fitness and natural selection) is not scientific because it lacks universal laws and predictive theory. In order to make this argument, I review the differences between verificationism and falsificationism, induction and deduction, and descriptive and explanatory laws. I show how these differ with a specific example of a

  13. Urban Evolutionary Ecology and the Potential Benefits of Implementing Genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, Christopher J

    2018-02-14

    Urban habitats are quickly becoming exceptional models to address adaptation under rapid environmental change, given the expansive temporal and spatial scales with which anthropogenic landscape conversion occurs. Urban ecologists in the last 10-15 years have done an extraordinary job of highlighting phenotypic patterns that correspond with urban living, as well as delineating urban population structure using traditional genetic markers. The underpinning genetic mechanisms that govern those phenotypic patterns, however, are less well established. Moreover, the power of traditional molecular studies is constrained by the number of markers being evaluated, which limits the potential to assess fine-scale population structure potentially common in urban areas. With the recent proliferation of low-cost, high-throughput sequencing methods, we can begin to address an emerging question in urban ecology: are species adapted to local optima within cities or are they expressing latent phenotypic plasticity? Here, I provide a comprehensive review of previous urban ecological studies, with special focus on the molecular ecology and phenotypic adjustments documented in urban terrestrial and amphibious fauna. I subsequently pinpoint areas in the literature that could benefit from a genomic investigation and briefly discuss the suitability of specific techniques in addressing eco-evolutionary questions within urban ecology. Though many challenges exist with implementing genomics into urban ecology, such studies provide an exceptional opportunity to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary processes in metropolitan areas. © The American Genetic Association 2018. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Ecological and evolutionary drivers of the elevational gradient of diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laiolo, Paola; Pato, Joaquina; Obeso, José Ramón

    2018-05-02

    Ecological, evolutionary, spatial and neutral theories make distinct predictions and provide distinct explanations for the mechanisms that control the relationship between diversity and the environment. Here, we test predictions of the elevational diversity gradient focusing on Iberian bumblebees, grasshoppers and birds. Processes mediated by local abundance and regional diversity concur in explaining local diversity patterns along elevation. Effects expressed through variation in abundance were similar among taxa and point to the overriding role of a physical factor, temperature. This determines how energy is distributed among individuals and ultimately how the resulting pattern of abundance affects species incidence. Effects expressed through variation in regional species pools depended instead on taxon-specific evolutionary history, and lead to diverging responses under similar environmental pressures. Local filters and regional variation also explain functional diversity gradients, in line with results from species richness that indicate an (local) ecological and (regional) historical unfolding of diversity-elevation relationships. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-04-02

    As part of BioMed Central's open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage a more widespread adoption of open data sharing in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology by facilitating this process for our authors. We also take this opportunity to discuss some of the wider issues that may concern researchers when making their data openly available. Although we offer a number of positive examples from different fields of biology, we also recognise that reticence to data sharing still exists, and that change must be driven from within research communities in order to create future science that is fit for purpose in the digital age. This editorial was published jointly in both BMC Ecology and BMC Evolutionary Biology.

  16. The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKey, Doyle; Elias, Marianne; Pujol, Benoît; Duputié, Anne

    2010-04-01

    While seed-propagated crops have contributed many evolutionary insights, evolutionary biologists have often neglected clonally propagated crops. We argue that widespread notions about their evolution under domestication are oversimplified, and that they offer rich material for evolutionary studies. The diversity of their wild ancestors, the diverse ecologies of the crop populations themselves, and the intricate mix of selection pressures, acting not only on the parts harvested but also on the parts used by humans to make clonal propagules, result in complex and diverse evolutionary trajectories under domestication. We examine why farmers propagate some plants clonally, and discuss the evolutionary dynamics of sexual reproduction in clonal crops. We explore how their mixed clonal/sexual reproductive systems function, based on the sole example studied in detail, cassava (Manihot esculenta). Biotechnology is now expanding the number of clonal crops, continuing the 10 000-yr-old trend to increase crop yields by propagating elite genotypes. In an era of rapid global change, it is more important than ever to understand how the adaptive potential of clonal crops can be maintained. A key component of strategies for preserving this adaptive potential is the maintenance of mixed clonal/sexual systems, which can be achieved by encouraging and valuing farmer knowledge about the sexual reproductive biology of their clonal crops.

  17. Classifying the evolutionary and ecological features of neoplasms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maley, Carlo C.; Aktipis, Athena; Graham, Trevor A.; Sottoriva, Andrea; Boddy, Amy M.; Janiszewska, Michalina; Silva, Ariosto S.; Gerlinger, Marco; Yuan, Yinyin; Pienta, Kenneth J.; Anderson, Karen S.; Gatenby, Robert; Swanton, Charles; Posada, David; Wu, Chung-I; Schiffman, Joshua D.; Hwang, E. Shelley; Polyak, Kornelia; Anderson, Alexander R. A.; Brown, Joel S.; Greaves, Mel; Shibata, Darryl

    2018-01-01

    Neoplasms change over time through a process of cell-level evolution, driven by genetic and epigenetic alterations. However, the ecology of the microenvironment of a neoplastic cell determines which changes provide adaptive benefits. There is widespread recognition of the importance of these evolutionary and ecological processes in cancer, but to date, no system has been proposed for drawing clinically relevant distinctions between how different tumours are evolving. On the basis of a consensus conference of experts in the fields of cancer evolution and cancer ecology, we propose a framework for classifying tumours that is based on four relevant components. These are the diversity of neoplastic cells (intratumoural heterogeneity) and changes over time in that diversity, which make up an evolutionary index (Evo-index), as well as the hazards to neoplastic cell survival and the resources available to neoplastic cells, which make up an ecological index (Eco-index). We review evidence demonstrating the importance of each of these factors and describe multiple methods that can be used to measure them. Development of this classification system holds promise for enabling clinicians to personalize optimal interventions based on the evolvability of the patient’s tumour. The Evo- and Eco-indices provide a common lexicon for communicating about how neoplasms change in response to interventions, with potential implications for clinical trials, personalized medicine and basic cancer research. PMID:28912577

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

    OpenAIRE

    ZHOU, Chaohong; VAN WITTELOOSTUIJN, Arjen

    2009-01-01

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

  19. A Common, Conceptual Framework for Behavioral Ecology and Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald W. White

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Since evolutionary psychology and behavioral ecology have much in common despite their using different objects for their study, one might expect these disciplines to share a common conceptual framework with associated definitions. Unfortunately, such agreement does not entirely exist. To address the problem, we propose a common, conceptual framework, the Adaptive Behavioral System (ABS, which organizes behavior within an evolutionary framework around an organism's life history tasks. An ABS includes strategies that use decision rules and employs tactics administered by a hypothesized construct, the Evolved Processing Unit (EPU. The ABS also includes observed or predicted behavior which can be tested experimentally – the ultimate test of construct validity. Use of the proposed framework should help the two disciplines focus on their common, core business of behavior and, ultimately, be to the benefit of both.

  20. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    OpenAIRE

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    As part of BioMed Central’s open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage...

  1. Does Gender Affect a Scientist's Research Output in Evolutionary Ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, Xavier; Shine, Richard; Lourdais, Olivier

    To examine how an author's gender influences his or her research output, the authors analyzed (not simply scored) more than 900 published articles in nine leading scientific journals in the field of evolutionary ecology. Women were strongly underrepresented in all countries, but this bias is decreasing. Men and women differed significantly in their fields of research, with women preferentially conducting projects on behavior rather than evolution or ecology. Most aspects of the structure of published articles and the level of conceptual generality were unaffected by an author's gender. Because discriminatory practices by reviewers and editors can be manifested in attributes of the articles that survive the review process, the latter result suggests a lack of gender-based discrimination during the review process. Gender differences in research output presumably reflect a complex array of genetic and social influences; a clearer understanding of these causal factors may help identify (and thus reduce) gender-based discrimination.

  2. Structured synthesis of MEMS using evolutionary approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fan, Zhun; Wang, Jiachuan; Achiche, Sofiane

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we discuss the hierarchy that is involved in a typical MEMS design and how evolutionary approaches can be used to automate the hierarchical synthesis process for MEMS. The paper first introduces the flow of a structured MEMS design process and emphasizes that system-level lumped...

  3. 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.

  4. Thermodynamics, ecology and evolutionary biology: A bridge over troubled water or common ground?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skene, Keith R.

    2017-11-01

    This paper addresses a key issue confronting ecological and evolutionary biology, namely the challenge of a cohesive approach to these fields given significant differences in the concepts and foundations of their study. Yet these two areas of scientific research are paramount in terms addressing the spatial and temporal dynamics and distribution of diversity, an understanding of which is needed if we are to resolve the current crisis facing the biosphere. The importance of understanding how nature responds to change is now of essential rather than of metaphysical interest as our planet struggles with increasing anthropogenic damage. Ecology and evolutionary biology can no longer remain disjointed. While some progress has been made in terms of synthetic thinking across these areas, this has often been in terms of bridge building, where thinking in one aspect is extended over to the other side. We review these bridges and the success or otherwise of such efforts. This paper then suggests that in order to move from a descriptive to a mechanistic understanding of the biosphere, we may need to re-evaluate our approach to the studies of ecology and evolutionary biology, finding a common denominator that will enable us to address the critical issues facing us, particularly in terms of understanding what drives change, what determines tempo and how communities function. Common ground, we argue, is essential if we are to comprehend how resilience operates in the natural world and how diversification can counter increasing extinction rates. This paper suggests that thermodynamics may provide a bridge between ecology and evolutionary biology, and that this will enable us to move forward with otherwise intractable problems.

  5. Consumptive emasculation: the ecological and evolutionary consequences of pollen theft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Harder, Lawrence D; Johnson, Steven D

    2009-05-01

    Many of the diverse animals that consume floral rewards act as efficient pollinators; however, others 'steal' rewards without 'paying' for them by pollinating. In contrast to the extensive studies of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of nectar theft, pollen theft and its implications remain largely neglected, even though it affects plant reproduction more directly. Here we review existing studies of pollen theft and find that: (1) most pollen thieves pollinate other plant species, suggesting that theft generally arises from a mismatch between the flower and thief that precludes pollen deposition, (2) bees are the most commonly documented pollen thieves, and (3) the floral traits that typically facilitate pollen theft involve either spatial or temporal separation of sex function within flowers (herkogamy and dichogamy, respectively). Given that herkogamy and dichogamy occur commonly and that bees are globally the most important floral visitors, pollen theft is likely a greatly under-appreciated component of floral ecology and influence on floral evolution. We identify the mechanisms by which pollen theft can affect plant fitness, and review the evidence for theft-induced ecological effects, including pollen limitation. We then explore the consequences of pollen theft for the evolution of floral traits and sexual systems, and conclude by identifying key directions for future research.

  6. The evolutionary ecology of cytonuclear interactions in angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Christina M; Case, Andrea L; Bailey, Maia F

    2012-11-01

    Interactions between cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes have significant evolutionary consequences. In angiosperms, the most common cytonuclear interaction is between mitochondrial genes that disrupt pollen production (cytoplasmic male sterility, CMS) and nuclear genes that restore it (nuclear male fertility restorers, Rf). The outcome of CMS/Rf interactions can depend on whether Rf alleles have negative pleiotropic effects on fitness. Although these fitness costs are often considered to be independent of the ecological context, we argue that the effects of Rf alleles on fitness should be context dependent. Thus, measuring the cost of restoration across a range of environments could help explain geographic and phylogenetic variation in the distribution of Rf alleles and the outcome of CMS/Rf interactions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Ecological and evolutionary impacts of changing climatic variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez, Diego P; Gianoli, Ernesto; Morris, William F; Bozinovic, Francisco

    2017-02-01

    While average temperature is likely to increase in most locations on Earth, many places will simultaneously experience higher variability in temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables. Although ecologists and evolutionary biologists widely recognize the potential impacts of changes in average climatic conditions, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential impacts of changes in climatic variability and extremes. We review the evidence on the impacts of increased climatic variability and extremes on physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes at multiple levels of biological organization, from individuals to populations and communities. Our review indicates that climatic variability can have profound influences on biological processes at multiple scales of organization. Responses to increased climatic variability and extremes are likely to be complex and cannot always be generalized, although our conceptual and methodological toolboxes allow us to make informed predictions about the likely consequences of such climatic changes. We conclude that climatic variability represents an important component of climate that deserves further attention. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  8. Perspectives on the evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolff, Jens; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2016-05-26

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important elements of the innate immune defence in multicellular organisms that target and kill microbes. Here, we reflect on the various points that are raised by the authors of the 11 contributions to a special issue of Philosophical Transactions on the 'evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'. We see five interesting topics emerging. (i) AMP genes in insects, and perhaps in arthropods more generally, evolve much slower than most other immune genes. One explanation refers to the constraints set by AMPs being part of a finely tuned defence system. A new view argues that AMPs are under strong stabilizing selection. Regardless, this striking observation still invites many more questions than have been answered so far. (ii) AMPs almost always are expressed in combinations and sometimes show expression patterns that are dependent on the infectious agent. While it is often assumed that this can be explained by synergistic interactions, such interactions have rarely been demonstrated and need to be studied further. Moreover, how to define synergy in the first place remains difficult and needs to be addressed. (iii) AMPs play a very important role in mediating the interaction between a host and its mutualistic or commensal microbes. This has only been studied in a very small number of (insect) species. It has become clear that the very same AMPs play different roles in different situations and hence are under concurrent selection. (iv) Different environments shape the physiology of organisms; especially the host-associated microbial communities should impact on the evolution host AMPs. Studies in social insects and some organisms from extreme environments seem to support this notion, but, overall, the evidence for adaptation of AMPs to a given environment is scant. (v) AMPs are considered or already developed as new drugs in medicine. However, bacteria can evolve resistance to AMPs. Therefore, in the light of our

  9. An evolutionary approach to financial history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, N

    2009-01-01

    Financial history is not conventionally thought of in evolutionary terms, but it should be. Traditional ways of thinking about finance, dating back to Hilferding, emphasize the importance of concentration and economies of scale. But these approaches overlook the rich "biodiversity" that characterizes the financial world. They also overlook the role of natural selection. To be sure, natural selection in the financial world is not exactly analogous to the processes first described by Darwin and elaborated on by modern biologists. There is conscious adaptation as well as random mutation. Moreover, there is something resembling "intelligent design" in finance, whereby regulators and legislators act in a quasidivine capacity, putting dinosaurs on life support. The danger is that such interventions in the natural processes of the market may ultimately distort the evolutionary process, by getting in the way of Schumpeter's "creative destruction."

  10. ECOLOGICAL AND EVOLUTIONARY APPLICATIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SEX REVERSAL OF FISH.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcnair, Alistair; Lokman, P Mark; Closs, Gerard P; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2015-03-01

    Environmental sex reversal (ESR), which results in a mismatch between genotypic and phenotypic sex, is well documented in numerous fish species and may be induced by chemical exposure. Historically, research involving piscine ESR has been carried out with a view to improving profitability in aquaculture or to elucidate the processes governing sex determination and sexual differentiation. However, recent studies in evolution and ecology suggest research on ESR now has much wider applications and ramifications. We begin with an overview of ESR in fish and a brief review of the traditional applications thereof. We then discuss ESR and its potential demographic consequences in wild populations. Theory even suggests sex-reversed fish may be purposefully released to manipulate population dynamics. We suggest new research directions that may prove fruitful in understanding how ESR at the individual level translates to population-level processes. In the latter portion of the review we focus on evolutionary applications of ESR. Sex-reversal studies from the aquaculture literature provide insight in to the evolvability of determinants of sexual phenotype. Additionally, induced sex reversal can provide information about the evolution of sex chromosomes and sex-linked traits. Recently, naturally occurring ESR has been implicated as a mechanism contributing to the evolution of sex chromosomes.

  11. Ecological and evolutionary processes at expanding range margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, C D; Bodsworth, E J; Wilson, R J; Simmons, A D; Davies, Z G; Musche, M; Conradt, L

    2001-05-31

    Many animals are regarded as relatively sedentary and specialized in marginal parts of their geographical distributions. They are expected to be slow at colonizing new habitats. Despite this, the cool margins of many species' distributions have expanded rapidly in association with recent climate warming. We examined four insect species that have expanded their geographical ranges in Britain over the past 20 years. Here we report that two butterfly species have increased the variety of habitat types that they can colonize, and that two bush cricket species show increased fractions of longer-winged (dispersive) individuals in recently founded populations. Both ecological and evolutionary processes are probably responsible for these changes. Increased habitat breadth and dispersal tendencies have resulted in about 3- to 15-fold increases in expansion rates, allowing these insects to cross habitat disjunctions that would have represented major or complete barriers to dispersal before the expansions started. The emergence of dispersive phenotypes will increase the speed at which species invade new environments, and probably underlies the responses of many species to both past and future climate change.

  12. Improving the reviewing process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grossman, G. D.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available I discuss current issues in reviewing and editorial practices in ecology and evolutionary biology and suggest possible solutions for current problems. The reviewing crisis is unlikely to change unless steps are taken by journals to provide greater inclusiveness and incentives to reviewers. In addition, both journals and institutions should reduce their emphasis on publication numbers (least publishable units and impact factors and focus instead on article synthesis and quality which will require longer publications. Academic and research institutions should consider reviewing manuscripts and editorial positions an important part of a researcher’s professional activities and reward them accordingly. Rewarding reviewers either monetarily or via other incentives such as free journal subscriptions may encourage participation in the reviewing process for both profit and non–profit journals. Reviewer performance will likely be improved by measures that increase inclusiveness, such as sending reviews and decision letters to reviewers. Journals may be able to evaluate the efficacy of their reviewing process by comparing citations of rejected but subsequently published papers with those published within the journal at similar times. Finally, constructive reviews: 1 identify important shortcomings and suggest solutions when possible, 2 distinguish trivial from non–trivial problems, and 3 include editor’s evaluations of the reviews including identification of trivial versus substantive comments (i.e., those that must be addressed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kidwell, S.M.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Nosil

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

  15. Anatomy, functional morphology, evolutionary ecology and systematics of the invasive gastropod Cipangopaludina japonica (Viviparidae: Bellamyinae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bocxlaer, Van B.; Strong, E.E.

    2016-01-01

    The anatomy, functional morphology and evolutionary ecology of the Viviparidae, and the subfamily Bellamyinae in particular, are incompletely known. Partly as a result, genealogical relationships within the family remain poorly understood. Because of this lack in knowledge, few informed hypotheses

  16. Evolutionary approaches to cultural and linguistic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, James; Jordan, Peter; Cochrane, Ethan

    2010-12-12

    Evolutionary approaches to cultural change are increasingly influential, and many scientists believe that a 'grand synthesis' is now in sight. The papers in this Theme Issue, which derives from a symposium held by the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity (University College London) in December 2008, focus on how the phylogenetic tree-building and network-based techniques used to estimate descent relationships in biology can be adapted to reconstruct cultural histories, where some degree of inter-societal diffusion will almost inevitably be superimposed on any deeper signal of a historical branching process. The disciplines represented include the three most purely 'cultural' fields from the four-field model of anthropology (cultural anthropology, archaeology and linguistic anthropology). In this short introduction, some context is provided from the history of anthropology, and key issues raised by the papers are highlighted.

  17. Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) as a bridge between ecology and evolutionary genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bybee, Seth; Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex; Duryea, M Catherine; Futahashi, Ryo; Hansson, Bengt; Lorenzo-Carballa, M Olalla; Schilder, Ruud; Stoks, Robby; Suvorov, Anton; Svensson, Erik I; Swaegers, Janne; Takahashi, Yuma; Watts, Phillip C; Wellenreuther, Maren

    2016-01-01

    Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) present an unparalleled insect model to integrate evolutionary genomics with ecology for the study of insect evolution. Key features of Odonata include their ancient phylogenetic position, extensive phenotypic and ecological diversity, several unique evolutionary innovations, ease of study in the wild and usefulness as bioindicators for freshwater ecosystems worldwide. In this review, we synthesize studies on the evolution, ecology and physiology of odonates, highlighting those areas where the integration of ecology with genomics would yield significant insights into the evolutionary processes that would not be gained easily by working on other animal groups. We argue that the unique features of this group combined with their complex life cycle, flight behaviour, diversity in ecological niches and their sensitivity to anthropogenic change make odonates a promising and fruitful taxon for genomics focused research. Future areas of research that deserve increased attention are also briefly outlined.

  18. Ecological approaches to human nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  19. Naturalizing Perception Developing the Gibsonian Approach to Perception along Evolutionary Lines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen, Rob; Chemero, Anthony

    We believe that one of the most important aspects of Gibson's ecological psychology is his attempted naturalization of perception, that is, his attempt to place perception in the context of evolutionary theory. However, the dominant neo-Gibsonian approach to perception has been criticized for being

  20. The hormetic zone: an ecological and evolutionary perspective based upon habitat characteristics and fitness selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, P A

    2001-12-01

    Fitness varies nonlinearly with environmental variables such as temperature, water availability, and nutrition, with maximum fitness at intermediate levels between more stressful extremes. For environmental agents that are highly toxic at exposures that substantially exceed background levels, fitness is maximized at concentrations near zero--a phenomenon often referred to as hormesis. Two main components are suggested: (1) background hormesis, which derives from the direct adaptation of organisms to their habitats; and (2) stress-derived hormonesis, which derives from metabolic reserves that are maintained as an adaptation to environmental stresses through evolutionary time. These reserves provide protection from lesser correlated stresses. This article discusses illustrative examples, including ethanol and ionizing radiation, aimed at placing hormesis into an ecological and evolutionary context. A unifying approach comes from fitness-stress continua that underlie responses to abiotic variables, whereby selection for maximum metabolic efficiency and hence fitness in adaptation to habitats in nature underlies hormetic zones. Within this reductionist model, more specific metabolic mechanisms to explain hormesis are beginning to emerge, depending upon the agent and the taxon in question. Some limited research possibilities based upon this evolutionary perspective are indicated.

  1. Ecological divergence and evolutionary transition of resprouting types in Banksia attenuata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Tianhua

    2014-08-01

    Resprouting is a key functional trait that allows plants to survive diverse disturbances. The fitness benefits associated with resprouting include a rapid return to adult growth, early flowering, and setting seed. The resprouting responses observed following fire are varied, as are the ecological outcomes. Understanding the ecological divergence and evolutionary pathways of different resprouting types and how the environment and genetics interact to drive such morphological evolution represents an important, but under-studied, topic. In the present study, microsatellite markers and microevolutionary approaches were used to better understand: (1) whether genetic differentiation is related to morphological divergence among resprouting types and if so, whether there are any specific genetic variations associated with morphological divergence and (2) the evolutionary pathway of the transitions between two resprouting types in Banksia attenuata (epicormic resprouting from aerial stems or branch; resprouting from a underground lignotuber). The results revealed an association between population genetic differentiation and the morphological divergence of postfire resprouting types in B. attenuata. A microsatellite allele has been shown to be associated with epicormic populations. Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis revealed a likely evolutionary transition from epicormic to lignotuberous resprouting in B. attenuata. It is concluded that the postfire resprouting type in B. attenuata is likely determined by the fire's characteristics. The differentiated expression of postfire resprouting types in different environments is likely a consequence of local genetic adaptation. The capacity to shift the postfire resprouting type to adapt to diverse fire regimes is most likely the key factor explaining why B. attenuata is the most widespread member of the Banksia genus.

  2. Genetic approaches in comparative and evolutionary physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridgham, Jamie T.; Kelly, Scott A.; Garland, Theodore

    2015-01-01

    Whole animal physiological performance is highly polygenic and highly plastic, and the same is generally true for the many subordinate traits that underlie performance capacities. Quantitative genetics, therefore, provides an appropriate framework for the analysis of physiological phenotypes and can be used to infer the microevolutionary processes that have shaped patterns of trait variation within and among species. In cases where specific genes are known to contribute to variation in physiological traits, analyses of intraspecific polymorphism and interspecific divergence can reveal molecular mechanisms of functional evolution and can provide insights into the possible adaptive significance of observed sequence changes. In this review, we explain how the tools and theory of quantitative genetics, population genetics, and molecular evolution can inform our understanding of mechanism and process in physiological evolution. For example, lab-based studies of polygenic inheritance can be integrated with field-based studies of trait variation and survivorship to measure selection in the wild, thereby providing direct insights into the adaptive significance of physiological variation. Analyses of quantitative genetic variation in selection experiments can be used to probe interrelationships among traits and the genetic basis of physiological trade-offs and constraints. We review approaches for characterizing the genetic architecture of physiological traits, including linkage mapping and association mapping, and systems approaches for dissecting intermediary steps in the chain of causation between genotype and phenotype. We also discuss the promise and limitations of population genomic approaches for inferring adaptation at specific loci. We end by highlighting the role of organismal physiology in the functional synthesis of evolutionary biology. PMID:26041111

  3. Radiation, ecology and the invalid LNT model: the evolutionary imperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Peter A

    2006-09-27

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-no threshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substantially beyond common background levels, can be explained by metabolic interactions among multiple abiotic stresses. Demographic and experimental data are mainly in accord with this expectation. Therefore, non-linearity becomes the primary model for assessing risks from low-dose ionizing radiation. This is the evolutionary imperative upon which risk assessment for radiation should be based.

  4. Radiation, Ecology and the Invalid LNT Model: The Evolutionary Imperative

    OpenAIRE

    Parsons, Peter A.

    2006-01-01

    Metabolic and energetic efficiency, and hence fitness of organisms to survive, should be maximal in their habitats. This tenet of evolutionary biology invalidates the linear-nothreshold (LNT) model for the risk consequences of environmental agents. Hormesis in response to selection for maximum metabolic and energetic efficiency, or minimum metabolic imbalance, to adapt to a stressed world dominated by oxidative stress should therefore be universal. Radiation hormetic zones extending substanti...

  5. The Evolutionary Ecology of Multi-Queen Breeding in Ants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huszár, Dóra Borbála

    on other ant species to better understand the social syndromes and how supercolonies function. Foremost, this would help to manage invasive supercolonies that harm humans and biodiversity, but could also provide contribution to our general understanding on how ecology, especially demography impacts upon......). Multi-queen breeding requires both social and life-history adaptations from individuals to decrease intra-colony conflicts and to ensure that sterile workers receive inclusive fitness benefits despite lowered relatedness. However, it remains unclear exactly what ecological and life-history covariates...

  6. Summary and perspective on evolutionary ecology of fishes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mehner, T.; Freyhof, J.; Reichard, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 3 (2011), s. 547-556 ISSN 0269-7653 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0815 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : non-model systems * ecological speciation * behavioural interactions * local adaptation Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.453, year: 2011

  7. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquatic habitats and freshwater taxa (fishes and aquatic invertebrates) in arid Australia. We also identify methods of recognizing likely future refugia and approaches to assessing the vulnerability of arid-adapted freshwater biota to a warming and drying climate. Evolutionary refugia in arid areas are characterized as permanent, groundwater-dependent habitats (subterranean aquifers and springs) supporting vicariant relicts and short-range endemics. Ecological refuges can vary across space and time, depending on the dispersal abilities of aquatic taxa and the geographical proximity and hydrological connectivity of aquatic habitats. The most important are the perennial waterbodies (both groundwater and surface water fed) that support obligate aquatic organisms. These species will persist where suitable habitats are available and dispersal pathways are maintained. For very mobile species (invertebrates with an aerial dispersal phase) evolutionary refugia may also act as ecological refuges. Evolutionary refugia are likely future refugia because their water source (groundwater) is decoupled from local precipitation. However, their biota is extremely vulnerable to changes in local conditions because population extinction risks cannot be abated by the dispersal of individuals from other sites. Conservation planning must incorporate a high level of protection for aquifers that support refugial sites. Ecological refuges are vulnerable to changes in regional climate because they have little

  8. Lessons in modularity: the evolutionary ecology of colonial invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger N. Hughes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Benthic colonial invertebrates share with higher plants a modular construction and a sessile adult life. Both types of organism show parallel evolutionary responses to common selective forces, but in contrast to the long-established focus on plants, comparable study of colonial invertebrates has developed relatively recently, largely owing to the application of new techniques in image processing and molecular biology. Species whose life cycles are readily completed under laboratory conditions and whose colonies are easily propagated from cuttings provide powerful models for experimentally investigating fundamental evolutionary problems, including metabolic allometry, the manifestation of ageing and the origin of allorecognition systems. Free of the confounding influences of behavioural manipulation and costs of copulation, colonial invertebrates whose water-borne sperm fertilize retained eggs lend themselves well to the experimental study of cryptic female choice, sperm competition and sexual conflict. In these respects, it will be productive to adopt and extend theoretical frameworks developed for flowering plants to guide experimental investigation of modular animals. Since mate choice occurs at the cellular level in modular animals, reproductive isolation is uncorrelated with morphology and cryptic speciation is likely to be widespread.

  9. Evolutionary ecology of the interactions between aphids and their parasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Ralec, Anne; Anselme, Caroline; Outreman, Yannick; Poirié, Marylène; van Baaren, Joan; Le Lann, Cécile; van Alphen, Jacques J-M

    2010-01-01

    Many organisms, including entomopathogenous fungi, predators or parasites, use aphids as ressources. Parasites of aphids are mostly endoparasitoid insects, i.e. insects which lay eggs inside the body of an other insect which will die as a result of their development. In this article, we review the consequences of the numerous pecularities of aphid biology and ecology for their endoparasitoids, notably the Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We first examine the various mechanisms used by aphids for defence against these enemies. We then explore the strategies used by aphidiine parasitoids to exploit their aphid hosts. Finally, we consider the responses of both aphids and parasitoids to ecological constraints induced by seasonal cycles and to environmental variations linked to host plants and climate. The fundamental and applied interest of studying these organisms is discussed. Copyright 2010 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  10. Natural hybridization between Senecio jacobaea and Senecio aquaticus : ecological outcomes and evolutionary consequences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kirk, Heather Erin

    2009-01-01

    Plant hybridization has been shown to have important ecological and evolutionary consequences in a number of genera, including Senecio. Here, I investigate the possible consequences of natural hybridization between Senecio jacobaea and S. aquaticus. It is shown that many factors are involved in

  11. Symbioses: a key driver of insect physiological processes, ecological interactions, evolutionary diversification, and impacts on humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; A.S. Adams; J. Handelsman; K.F. Raffa

    2009-01-01

    Symbiosis is receiving increased attention among all aspects of biology because of the unifying themes it helps construct across ecological,evolutionary, developmental, semiochemical, and pest management theory. Insects show a vast array of symbiotic relationships with a wide diversity of microorganisms. These relationships may confer a variety of benefits to the host...

  12. Pheromone-mediated aggregation in nonsocial arthropods: an evolutionary ecological perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B.; van Baalen, E-J.A.; Dicke, M.; Vet, L.E.M.

    2005-01-01

    Although the use of aggregation pheromones has been reported for hundreds of nonsocial arthropod species, the evolutionary ecological aspects of this behavior have received little attention. Despite the elaborate literature on mechanisms, robust data on costs and benefits of aggregation pheromones

  13. Space, time and thrips: biogeographic issues in the evolutionary ecology of Thysanoptera

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Grehan

    1991-01-01

    Most participants of this symposium will be concerned with understanding thrips ecology primarily in order to develop practical and effective control strategies. Questions dealing with historical aspects (evolution) may seem of only isolated "theoretical" interest with little significance for everyday pragmatic concerns. Evolutionary theory is widely...

  14. Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events : Challenges and directions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Pol, Martijn; Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Cornelissen, Johannes H.C.; Visser, Marcel E.

    2017-01-01

    More extreme climatic events (ECEs) are among the most prominent consequences of climate change. Despite a long-standing recognition of the importance of ECEs by paleo-ecologists and macro-evolutionary biologists, ECEs have only recently received a strong interest in the wider ecological and

  15. Concept Analysis of Spirituality: An Evolutionary Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weathers, Elizabeth; McCarthy, Geraldine; Coffey, Alice

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this article is to clarify the concept of spirituality for future nursing research. Previous concept analyses of spirituality have mostly reviewed the conceptual literature with little consideration of the empirical literature. The literature reviewed in prior concept analyses extends from 1972 to 2005, with no analysis conducted in the past 9 years. Rodgers' evolutionary framework was used to review both the theoretical and empirical literature pertaining to spirituality. Evolutionary concept analysis is a formal method of philosophical inquiry, in which papers are analyzed to identify attributes, antecedents, and consequences of the concept. Empirical and conceptual literature. Three defining attributes of spirituality were identified: connectedness, transcendence, and meaning in life. A conceptual definition of spirituality was proposed based on the findings. Also, four antecedents and five primary consequences of spirituality were identified. Spirituality is a complex concept. This concept analysis adds some clarification by proposing a definition of spirituality that is underpinned by both conceptual and empirical research. Furthermore, exemplars of spirituality, based on prior qualitative research, are presented to support the findings. Hence, the findings of this analysis could guide future nursing research on spirituality. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  17. The ecology of cancer from an evolutionary game theory perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Jorge M; Santos, Francisco C; Dingli, David

    2014-08-06

    The accumulation of somatic mutations, to which the cellular genome is permanently exposed, often leads to cancer. Analysis of any tumour shows that, besides the malignant cells, one finds other 'supporting' cells such as fibroblasts, immune cells of various types and even blood vessels. Together, these cells generate the microenvironment that enables the malignant cell population to grow and ultimately lead to disease. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of tumour growth and response to therapy is incomplete unless the interactions between the malignant cells and normal cells are investigated in the environment in which they take place. The complex interactions between cells in such an ecosystem result from the exchange of information in the form of cytokines- and adhesion-dependent interactions. Such processes impose costs and benefits to the participating cells that may be conveniently recast in the form of a game pay-off matrix. As a result, tumour progression and dynamics can be described in terms of evolutionary game theory (EGT), which provides a convenient framework in which to capture the frequency-dependent nature of ecosystem dynamics. Here, we provide a tutorial review of the central aspects of EGT, establishing a relation with the problem of cancer. Along the way, we also digress on fitness and of ways to compute it. Subsequently, we show how EGT can be applied to the study of the various manifestations and dynamics of multiple myeloma bone disease and its preceding condition known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. We translate the complex biochemical signals into costs and benefits of different cell types, thus defining a game pay-off matrix. Then we use the well-known properties of the EGT equations to reduce the number of core parameters that characterize disease evolution. Finally, we provide an interpretation of these core parameters in terms of what their function is in the ecosystem we are describing and generate

  18. Civic Ecology: A Postmodern Approach to Ecological Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    Human agency is transforming the planetary processes at unprecedented rates risking damaging essential life-support systems. Climate change, massive species extinction, land degradation, resources depletion, overpopulation, poverty and social injustice are all the result of human choices and non-sustainable ways of life. The survival of our modern economic systems depends upon insatiable consumption - a simple way of life no longer satisfies most people. Detached, instrumental rationality has created an ideal of liberalism based on individual pursuit of self-interest, leading the way into unprecedented material progress but bringing with it human alienation, social injustice, and ecological degradation. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a community-based systems response to a growing sense that the interlocked social-ecological crisis is as much a problem of human thought and behavior as it is about identifying carrying capacities and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This approach, referred to here as civic ecology, presents a new and important paradigm shift in sustainability practice that attempts to bring together and integrate ecological ideas and postmodern thinking. As such, it is as much a holistic, dynamic, and synergistic approach to ecological sustainability, as it is a philosophy of life and ethical perspective born of ecological understanding and insight. Civic ecology starts with the proposition that the key factor determining the health of the ecosphere is the behavior of human beings, and therefore many of the most important issues related to sustainability lie in the areas of human thought and culture. Thus, the quest for sustainability must include as a central concern the transformation of psychological and behavioral patterns that have become an imminent danger to planetary health. At the core of this understanding is a fundamental paradigm shift from the basic commitments of modern Western culture to its model of mechanism

  19. Quantitative approaches in climate change ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Ecology scientific and practical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  1. Evolutionary history of Indian Ocean nycteribiid bat flies mirroring the ecology of their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tortosa, Pablo; Dsouli, Najla; Gomard, Yann; Ramasindrazana, Beza; Dick, Carl W; Goodman, Steven M

    2013-01-01

    Bats and their parasites are increasingly investigated for their role in maintenance and transmission of potentially emerging pathogens. The islands of the western Indian Ocean hold nearly 50 bat species, mostly endemic and taxonomically well studied. However, investigation of associated viral, bacterial, and external parasites has lagged behind. In the case of their ectoparasites, more detailed information should provide insights into the evolutionary history of their hosts, as well as pathogen cycles in these wild animals. Here we investigate species of Nycteribiidae, a family of obligate hematophagous wingless flies parasitizing bats. Using morphological and molecular approaches, we describe fly species diversity sampled on Madagascar and the Comoros for two cave-roosting bat genera with contrasting ecologies: Miniopterus and Rousettus. Within the sampling area, 11 endemic species of insect-feeding Miniopterus occur, two of which are common to Madagascar and Comoros, while fruit-consuming Rousettus are represented by one species endemic to each of these zones. Morphological and molecular characterization of flies reveals that nycteribiids associated with Miniopterus bats comprise three species largely shared by most host species. Flies of M. griveaudi, one of the two bats found on Madagascar and certain islands in the Comoros, belong to the same taxon, which accords with continued over-water population exchange of this bat species and the lack of inter-island genetic structuring. Flies parasitizing Rousettus belong to two distinct species, each associated with a single host species, again in accordance with the distribution of each endemic bat species.

  2. Evolutionary history of Indian Ocean nycteribiid bat flies mirroring the ecology of their hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Tortosa

    Full Text Available Bats and their parasites are increasingly investigated for their role in maintenance and transmission of potentially emerging pathogens. The islands of the western Indian Ocean hold nearly 50 bat species, mostly endemic and taxonomically well studied. However, investigation of associated viral, bacterial, and external parasites has lagged behind. In the case of their ectoparasites, more detailed information should provide insights into the evolutionary history of their hosts, as well as pathogen cycles in these wild animals. Here we investigate species of Nycteribiidae, a family of obligate hematophagous wingless flies parasitizing bats. Using morphological and molecular approaches, we describe fly species diversity sampled on Madagascar and the Comoros for two cave-roosting bat genera with contrasting ecologies: Miniopterus and Rousettus. Within the sampling area, 11 endemic species of insect-feeding Miniopterus occur, two of which are common to Madagascar and Comoros, while fruit-consuming Rousettus are represented by one species endemic to each of these zones. Morphological and molecular characterization of flies reveals that nycteribiids associated with Miniopterus bats comprise three species largely shared by most host species. Flies of M. griveaudi, one of the two bats found on Madagascar and certain islands in the Comoros, belong to the same taxon, which accords with continued over-water population exchange of this bat species and the lack of inter-island genetic structuring. Flies parasitizing Rousettus belong to two distinct species, each associated with a single host species, again in accordance with the distribution of each endemic bat species.

  3. The evolutionary and ecological consequences of animal social networks: emerging issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurvers, Ralf H J M; Krause, Jens; Croft, Darren P; Wilson, Alexander D M; Wolf, Max

    2014-06-01

    The first generation of research on animal social networks was primarily aimed at introducing the concept of social networks to the fields of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology. More recently, a diverse body of evidence has shown that social fine structure matters on a broader scale than initially expected, affecting many key ecological and evolutionary processes. Here, we review this development. We discuss the effects of social network structure on evolutionary dynamics (genetic drift, fixation probabilities, and frequency-dependent selection) and social evolution (cooperation and between-individual behavioural differences). We discuss how social network structure can affect important coevolutionary processes (host-pathogen interactions and mutualisms) and population stability. We also discuss the potentially important, but poorly studied, role of social network structure on dispersal and invasion. Throughout, we highlight important areas for future research. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  5. Deathly drool: evolutionary and ecological basis of septic bacteria in Komodo dragon mouths.

    OpenAIRE

    J J Bull; Tim S Jessop; Marvin Whiteley

    2010-01-01

    Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The ?bacteria as venom? model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture ir...

  6. Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events: challenges and directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Pol, Martijn; Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Visser, Marcel E

    2017-06-19

    More extreme climatic events (ECEs) are among the most prominent consequences of climate change. Despite a long-standing recognition of the importance of ECEs by paleo-ecologists and macro-evolutionary biologists, ECEs have only recently received a strong interest in the wider ecological and evolutionary community. However, as with many rapidly expanding fields, it lacks structure and cohesiveness, which strongly limits scientific progress. Furthermore, due to the descriptive and anecdotal nature of many ECE studies it is still unclear what the most relevant questions and long-term consequences are of ECEs. To improve synthesis, we first discuss ways to define ECEs that facilitate comparison among studies. We then argue that biologists should adhere to more rigorous attribution and mechanistic methods to assess ECE impacts. Subsequently, we discuss conceptual and methodological links with climatology and disturbance-, tipping point- and paleo-ecology. These research fields have close linkages with ECE research, but differ in the identity and/or the relative severity of environmental factors. By summarizing the contributions to this theme issue we draw parallels between behavioural, ecological and evolutionary ECE studies, and suggest that an overarching challenge is that most empirical and theoretical evidence points towards responses being highly idiosyncratic, and thus predictability being low. Finally, we suggest a roadmap based on the proposition that an increased focus on the mechanisms behind the biological response function will be crucial for increased understanding and predictability of the impacts of ECE.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Human drivers of ecological and evolutionary dynamics in emerging and disappearing infectious disease systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalski, Mary A; Gowler, Camden D; Shaw, Clara L; Hufbauer, Ruth A; Duffy, Meghan A

    2017-01-19

    Humans have contributed to the increased frequency and severity of emerging infectious diseases, which pose a significant threat to wild and domestic species, as well as human health. This review examines major pathways by which humans influence parasitism by altering (co)evolutionary interactions between hosts and parasites on ecological timescales. There is still much to learn about these interactions, but a few well-studied cases show that humans influence disease emergence every step of the way. Human actions significantly increase dispersal of host, parasite and vector species, enabling greater frequency of infection in naive host populations and host switches. Very dense host populations resulting from urbanization and agriculture can drive the evolution of more virulent parasites and, in some cases, more resistant host populations. Human activities that reduce host genetic diversity or impose abiotic stress can impair the ability of hosts to adapt to disease threats. Further, evolutionary responses of hosts and parasites can thwart disease management and biocontrol efforts. Finally, in rare cases, humans influence evolution by eradicating an infectious disease. If we hope to fully understand the factors driving disease emergence and potentially control these epidemics we must consider the widespread influence of humans on host and parasite evolutionary trajectories.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Evolutionary modeling-based approach for model errors correction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Q. Wan

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The inverse problem of using the information of historical data to estimate model errors is one of the science frontier research topics. In this study, we investigate such a problem using the classic Lorenz (1963 equation as a prediction model and the Lorenz equation with a periodic evolutionary function as an accurate representation of reality to generate "observational data."

    On the basis of the intelligent features of evolutionary modeling (EM, including self-organization, self-adaptive and self-learning, the dynamic information contained in the historical data can be identified and extracted by computer automatically. Thereby, a new approach is proposed to estimate model errors based on EM in the present paper. Numerical tests demonstrate the ability of the new approach to correct model structural errors. In fact, it can actualize the combination of the statistics and dynamics to certain extent.

  9. Two new species of Ateuchus with remarks on ecology, distributions, and evolutionary relationships (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Scarabaeinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moctezuma, Victor; Sánchez-Huerta, José Luis; Halffter, Gonzalo

    2018-01-01

    Two new species of the genus Ateuchus Weber are described from the region of Los Chimalapas, Oaxaca, Mexico: A. benitojuarezi sp. n. and A. colossus sp. n. A diagnosis for distinguishing these new species from the other species of this genus in North America is included. This paper is illustrated with pictures of the dorsal habitus and the male genitalia of the new species. The evolutionary relationships of the species are discussed, as well as their distribution and ecology. It is considered that the species of the genus Ateuchus present in North and Central America correspond to the Typical Neotropical and Mountain Mesoamerican distribution patterns.

  10. An Evolutionary Approach for Robust Layout Synthesis of MEMS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fan, Zhun; Wang, Jiachuan; Goodman, Erik

    2005-01-01

    The paper introduces a robust design method for layout synthesis of MEM resonators subject to inherent geometric uncertainties such as the fabrication error on the sidewall of the structure. The robust design problem is formulated as a multi-objective constrained optimisation problem after certain...... assumptions and treated with multiobjective genetic algorithm (MOGA), a special type of evolutionary computing approaches. Case study based on layout synthesis of a comb-driven MEM resonator shows that the approach proposed in this paper can lead to design results that meet the target performance and are less...

  11. The deep subterranean environment as a potential model system in ecological, biogeographical and evolutionary research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sánchez-Fernández

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the main challenges in ecology, biogeography and evolution is to understand and predict how species may respond to environmental changes. Here we focus on the deep subterranean environment, a system that minimizes most of the typical uncertainties of studies on epigean (surface environments. Caves are relatively homogeneous habitats with nearly constant environmental conditions and simplified biological communities, allowing to control for biotic interactions. Thus, this particular system could be considered a natural habitat whose environmental conditions are similar to what can be reproduced in a laboratory, being an ideal model system for ecological, biogeographical and evolutionary studies. Subterranean species may potentially be used to assess the capability to persist in situ in a global change scenario, as they cannot accommodate to drastic changing conditions by behavioural plasticity, microhabitat use or by migrating to distant, more suitable areas, something frequent in epigean environments. In order to provide accurate predictions of the response of the subterranean biodiversity to climate change, we encourage evolutionary biologist, biogeographers and conservation biologist to work in this interesting ecosystem.

  12. Holistic and Ecological Approaches in Talent Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Kristoffer

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

  13. Molecular evolutionary rates are not correlated with temperature and latitude in Squamata: an exception to the metabolic theory of ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolland, Jonathan; Loiseau, Oriane; Romiguier, Jonathan; Salamin, Nicolas

    2016-05-20

    The metabolic theory of ecology stipulates that molecular evolutionary rates should correlate with temperature and latitude in ectothermic organisms. Previous studies have shown that most groups of vertebrates, such as amphibians, turtles and even endothermic mammals, have higher molecular evolutionary rates in regions where temperature is high. However, the association between molecular evolutionary rates and temperature or latitude has never been tested in Squamata. We used a large dataset including the spatial distributions and environmental variables for 1,651 species of Squamata and compared the contrast of the rates of molecular evolution with the contrast of temperature and latitude between sister species. Using major axis regressions and a new algorithm to choose independent sister species pairs, we found that temperature and absolute latitude were not associated with molecular evolutionary rates. This absence of association in such a diverse ectothermic group questions the mechanisms explaining current pattern of species diversity in Squamata and challenges the presupposed universality of the metabolic theory of ecology.

  14. Fault bars in bird feathers: mechanisms, and ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovani, Roger; Rohwer, Sievert

    2017-05-01

    Fault bars are narrow malformations in feathers oriented almost perpendicular to the rachis where the feather vein and even the rachis may break. Breaks in the barbs and barbules result in small pieces of the feather vein being lost, while breaks in the rachis result in loss of the distal portion of the feather. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of 74 papers on fault bar formation in hopes of providing a clearer approach to their study. First, we review the evidence that the propensity to develop fault bars is modified by natural selection. Given that fault bars persist in the face of survival costs, we conclude that they must be an unfortunate consequence of some alternative adaptation that outweighs the fitness costs of fault bars. Second, we summarize evidence that the development of fault bars is triggered by psychological stress such as that of handling or predation attempts, and that they persist because the sudden contractions of the muscles in the feather follicle that control fright moults also causes the development of fault bars in growing feathers. Third, we review external and physiological (e.g. corticosterone) agents that may affect the likelihood that an acute stress will result in a growing feather exhibiting a fault bar. These modifying factors have often been treated as fundamental causes in the earlier literature on fault bars. Fourth, we then use this classification to propose a tentative model where fault bars of different severity (from light to severe) are the outcome of the interaction between the propensity to produce fault bars (which differs between species, individuals and feather follicles within individuals) and the intensity of the perturbation. This model helps to explain contradictory results in the literature, to identify gaps in our knowledge, and to suggest further studies. Lastly, we discuss ways in which better understanding of fault bars can inform us about other aspects of avian evolutionary ecology, such as the

  15. Deterministic network interdiction optimization via an evolutionary approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rocco S, Claudio M.; Ramirez-Marquez, Jose Emmanuel

    2009-01-01

    This paper introduces an evolutionary optimization approach that can be readily applied to solve deterministic network interdiction problems. The network interdiction problem solved considers the minimization of the maximum flow that can be transmitted between a source node and a sink node for a fixed network design when there is a limited amount of resources available to interdict network links. Furthermore, the model assumes that the nominal capacity of each network link and the cost associated with their interdiction can change from link to link. For this problem, the solution approach developed is based on three steps that use: (1) Monte Carlo simulation, to generate potential network interdiction strategies, (2) Ford-Fulkerson algorithm for maximum s-t flow, to analyze strategies' maximum source-sink flow and, (3) an evolutionary optimization technique to define, in probabilistic terms, how likely a link is to appear in the final interdiction strategy. Examples for different sizes of networks and network behavior are used throughout the paper to illustrate the approach. In terms of computational effort, the results illustrate that solutions are obtained from a significantly restricted solution search space. Finally, the authors discuss the need for a reliability perspective to network interdiction, so that solutions developed address more realistic scenarios of such problem

  16. Species co-evolutionary algorithm: a novel evolutionary algorithm based on the ecology and environments for optimization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Wuzhao; Wang, Lei; Cai, Xingjuan

    2015-01-01

    and affect each other in many ways. The relationships include competition, predation, parasitism, mutualism and pythogenesis. In this paper, we consider the five relationships between solutions to propose a co-evolutionary algorithm termed species co-evolutionary algorithm (SCEA). In SCEA, five operators...

  17. Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a model facultative pathogen: Agrobacterium and crown gall disease of plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Ian S; Fuqua, Clay; Platt, Thomas G

    2018-01-01

    Many important pathogens maintain significant populations in highly disparate disease and non-disease environments. The consequences of this environmental heterogeneity in shaping the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of these facultative pathogens are incompletely understood. Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the causative agent for crown gall disease of plants has proven a productive model for many aspects of interactions between pathogens and their hosts and with other microbes. In this review, we highlight how this past work provides valuable context for the use of this system to examine how heterogeneity and transitions between disease and non-disease environments influence the ecology and evolution of facultative pathogens. We focus on several features common among facultative pathogens, such as the physiological remodelling required to colonize hosts from environmental reservoirs and the consequences of competition with host and non-host associated microbiota. In addition, we discuss how the life history of facultative pathogens likely often results in ecological tradeoffs associated with performance in disease and non-disease environments. These pathogens may therefore have different competitive dynamics in disease and non-disease environments and are subject to shifting selective pressures that can result in pathoadaptation or the within-host spread of avirulent phenotypes. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Evolutionary conservatism and convergence both lead to striking similarity in ecology, morphology and performance across continents in frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Irschick, Duncan J; Wiens, John J

    2013-12-22

    Many clades contain ecologically and phenotypically similar species across continents, yet the processes generating this similarity are largely unstudied, leaving fundamental questions unanswered. Is similarity in morphology and performance across assemblages caused by evolutionary convergence or by biogeographic dispersal of evolutionarily conserved ecotypes? Does convergence to new ecological conditions erase evidence of past adaptation? Here, we analyse ecology, morphology and performance in frog assemblages from three continents (Asia, Australia and South America), assessing the importance of dispersal and convergent evolution in explaining similarity across regions. We find three striking results. First, species using the same microhabitat type are highly similar in morphology and performance across both clades and continents. Second, some species on different continents owe their similarity to dispersal and evolutionary conservatism (rather than evolutionary convergence), even over vast temporal and spatial scales. Third, in one case, an ecologically specialized ancestor radiated into diverse ecotypes that have converged with those on other continents, largely erasing traces of past adaptation to their ancestral ecology. Overall, our study highlights the roles of both evolutionary conservatism and convergence in explaining similarity in species traits over large spatial and temporal scales and demonstrates a statistical framework for addressing these questions in other systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  20. Biotic response to late Quaternary rapid climate switches in Santa Barbara Basin: Ecological and evolutionary implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cannariato, K.G.; Kennett, J.P.; Behl, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Benthic foraminiferal assemblages from Santa Barbara Basin exhibit major faunal and ecological switches associated with late Quaternary millennial- to decadal-scale global climate oscillations. Repeated turnovers of entire faunas occurred rapidly (<40--400 yr) without extinction or speciation in conjunction with Dansgaard-Oeschger shifts in thermohaline circulation, ventilation, and climate, confirming evolutionary model predictions of Roy et al. Consistent faunal successions of dysoxic taxa during successive interstadials reflect the extreme sensitivity and adaptation of the benthic ecosystem to the rapid environmental changes that marked the late Quaternary and possibly other transitional intervals in the history of the Earth's ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere system. These data support the hypothesis that broad segments of the biosphere are well adapted to rapid climate change

  1. Insect herbivores drive real-time ecological and evolutionary change in plant populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Hastings, Amy P; Johnson, Marc T J; Maron, John L; Salminen, Juha-Pekka

    2012-10-05

    Insect herbivores are hypothesized to be major factors affecting the ecology and evolution of plants. We tested this prediction by suppressing insects in replicated field populations of a native plant, Oenothera biennis, which reduced seed predation, altered interspecific competitive dynamics, and resulted in rapid evolutionary divergence. Comparative genotyping and phenotyping of nearly 12,000 O. biennis individuals revealed that in plots protected from insects, resistance to herbivores declined through time owing to changes in flowering time and lower defensive ellagitannins in fruits, whereas plant competitive ability increased. This independent real-time evolution of plant resistance and competitive ability in the field resulted from the relaxation of direct selective effects of insects on plant defense and through indirect effects due to reduced herbivory on plant competitors.

  2. Patterns in Orthoptera biodiversity. I. Adaptations in ecological and evolutionary contexts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio J. Bidau

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The Orthoptera have inhabited the Earth for ca 300 million years and today include about 25,000 described species. Although orthopterans are mainly known to the general public by their most conspicuous species such as rangeland grasshoppers, locusts, katydids and crickets, they include an amazing diversity of forms and life-styles. In this review, I bring together a series of facts about orthopteran biology that demonstrate their enormous biodiversity, concentrating on ecological and evolutionary characteristics such as habitat variation, modes of feeding, defense mechanisms and phase transformation. In a second part of this review I will consider subjects of more direct human interest as their use as food, their importance in folk medicine and their role as entertainment.

  3. Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.

    2010-01-01

    Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…

  4. The causal pie model: an epidemiological method applied to evolutionary biology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette

    2014-05-01

    A general concept for thinking about causality facilitates swift comprehension of results, and the vocabulary that belongs to the concept is instrumental in cross-disciplinary communication. The causal pie model has fulfilled this role in epidemiology and could be of similar value in evolutionary biology and ecology. In the causal pie model, outcomes result from sufficient causes. Each sufficient cause is made up of a "causal pie" of "component causes". Several different causal pies may exist for the same outcome. If and only if all component causes of a sufficient cause are present, that is, a causal pie is complete, does the outcome occur. The effect of a component cause hence depends on the presence of the other component causes that constitute some causal pie. Because all component causes are equally and fully causative for the outcome, the sum of causes for some outcome exceeds 100%. The causal pie model provides a way of thinking that maps into a number of recurrent themes in evolutionary biology and ecology: It charts when component causes have an effect and are subject to natural selection, and how component causes affect selection on other component causes; which partitions of outcomes with respect to causes are feasible and useful; and how to view the composition of a(n apparently homogeneous) population. The diversity of specific results that is directly understood from the causal pie model is a test for both the validity and the applicability of the model. The causal pie model provides a common language in which results across disciplines can be communicated and serves as a template along which future causal analyses can be made.

  5. Lessons from applied ecology: cancer control using an evolutionary double bind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatenby, Robert A; Brown, Joel; Vincent, Thomas

    2009-10-01

    Because the metastatic cascade is largely governed by the ability of malignant cells to adapt and proliferate at the distant tissue site, we propose that disseminated cancers are analogous in many important ways to the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of exotic species. Although pests can be decimated through the application of chemical toxins, this strategy virtually never achieves robust control as evolution of resistant phenotypes typically permits population recovery to pretreatment levels. In general, biological strategies that introduce predators, parasitoids, or pathogens have achieved more durable control of pest populations even after emergence of resistant phenotypes. From this we propose that long term outcome from any treatment strategy for invasive pests, including cancer, is not limited by evolution of resistance, but rather by the phenotypic cost of that resistance. If a cancerous cell's adaptation to therapy is achieved by upregulating xenobiotic metabolism or a redundant signaling pathway, the required investment in resources is small, and the original malignant phenotype remains essentially intact. As a result, the cancer cells' initial high level of fitness is little changed and unconstrained proliferation will resume once resistance evolves. Robust population control is possible if resistance to therapy requires a substantial and costly phenotypic adaptation that also significantly reduces the organism's fitness in its original niche: an evolutionary double bind.

  6. Deathly drool: evolutionary and ecological basis of septic bacteria in Komodo dragon mouths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, J J; Jessop, Tim S; Whiteley, Marvin

    2010-06-21

    Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The "bacteria as venom" model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture irrespective of any benefit to the bacteria. The "passive acquisition" model is that the oral flora of lizards reflects the bacteria found in carrion and sick prey, with no relevance to the ability to induce sepsis in subsequent prey. A third model is proposed and analyzed here, the "lizard-lizard epidemic" model. In this model, bacteria are spread indirectly from one lizard mouth to another. Prey escaping an initial attack act as vectors in infecting new lizards. This model requires specific life history characteristics and ways to refute the model based on these characteristics are proposed and tested. Dragon life histories (some details of which are reported here) prove remarkably consistent with the model, especially that multiple, unrelated lizards feed communally on large carcasses and that escaping, wounded prey are ultimately fed on by other lizards. The identities and evolutionary histories of bacteria in the oral flora may yield the most useful additional insights for further testing the epidemic model and can now be obtained with new technologies.

  7. Deathly drool: evolutionary and ecological basis of septic bacteria in Komodo dragon mouths.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J J Bull

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The "bacteria as venom" model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture irrespective of any benefit to the bacteria. The "passive acquisition" model is that the oral flora of lizards reflects the bacteria found in carrion and sick prey, with no relevance to the ability to induce sepsis in subsequent prey. A third model is proposed and analyzed here, the "lizard-lizard epidemic" model. In this model, bacteria are spread indirectly from one lizard mouth to another. Prey escaping an initial attack act as vectors in infecting new lizards. This model requires specific life history characteristics and ways to refute the model based on these characteristics are proposed and tested. Dragon life histories (some details of which are reported here prove remarkably consistent with the model, especially that multiple, unrelated lizards feed communally on large carcasses and that escaping, wounded prey are ultimately fed on by other lizards. The identities and evolutionary histories of bacteria in the oral flora may yield the most useful additional insights for further testing the epidemic model and can now be obtained with new technologies.

  8. Deathly Drool: Evolutionary and Ecological Basis of Septic Bacteria in Komodo Dragon Mouths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, J. J.; Jessop, Tim S.; Whiteley, Marvin

    2010-01-01

    Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizard, dispatch their large ungulate prey by biting and tearing flesh. If a prey escapes, oral bacteria inoculated into the wound reputedly induce a sepsis that augments later prey capture by the same or other lizards. However, the ecological and evolutionary basis of sepsis in Komodo prey acquisition is controversial. Two models have been proposed. The “bacteria as venom” model postulates that the oral flora directly benefits the lizard in prey capture irrespective of any benefit to the bacteria. The “passive acquisition” model is that the oral flora of lizards reflects the bacteria found in carrion and sick prey, with no relevance to the ability to induce sepsis in subsequent prey. A third model is proposed and analyzed here, the “lizard-lizard epidemic” model. In this model, bacteria are spread indirectly from one lizard mouth to another. Prey escaping an initial attack act as vectors in infecting new lizards. This model requires specific life history characteristics and ways to refute the model based on these characteristics are proposed and tested. Dragon life histories (some details of which are reported here) prove remarkably consistent with the model, especially that multiple, unrelated lizards feed communally on large carcasses and that escaping, wounded prey are ultimately fed on by other lizards. The identities and evolutionary histories of bacteria in the oral flora may yield the most useful additional insights for further testing the epidemic model and can now be obtained with new technologies. PMID:20574514

  9. Designing synthetic networks in silico: a generalised evolutionary algorithm approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Robert W; van Sluijs, Bob; Fleck, Christian

    2017-12-02

    Evolution has led to the development of biological networks that are shaped by environmental signals. Elucidating, understanding and then reconstructing important network motifs is one of the principal aims of Systems & Synthetic Biology. Consequently, previous research has focused on finding optimal network structures and reaction rates that respond to pulses or produce stable oscillations. In this work we present a generalised in silico evolutionary algorithm that simultaneously finds network structures and reaction rates (genotypes) that can satisfy multiple defined objectives (phenotypes). The key step to our approach is to translate a schema/binary-based description of biological networks into systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The ODEs can then be solved numerically to provide dynamic information about an evolved networks functionality. Initially we benchmark algorithm performance by finding optimal networks that can recapitulate concentration time-series data and perform parameter optimisation on oscillatory dynamics of the Repressilator. We go on to show the utility of our algorithm by finding new designs for robust synthetic oscillators, and by performing multi-objective optimisation to find a set of oscillators and feed-forward loops that are optimal at balancing different system properties. In sum, our results not only confirm and build on previous observations but we also provide new designs of synthetic oscillators for experimental construction. In this work we have presented and tested an evolutionary algorithm that can design a biological network to produce desired output. Given that previous designs of synthetic networks have been limited to subregions of network- and parameter-space, the use of our evolutionary optimisation algorithm will enable Synthetic Biologists to construct new systems with the potential to display a wider range of complex responses.

  10. Physiological ecology: an evolutionary approach to resource use

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Townsend, Colin R; Calow, Peter

    1981-01-01

    ... and reproduction in plants, animals and microorganisms. Data and theory from many disciplines are drawn together in a stimulating collection of essays which discuss allocation strategies and their consequences for a wide range of examples, from bacteria...

  11. Selectionist and evolutionary approaches to brain function: a critical appraisal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chrisantha Thomas Fernando

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available We consider approaches to brain dynamics and function that have been claimed to be Darwinian. These include Edelman’s theory of neuronal group selection, Changeux’s theory of synaptic selection and selective stabilization of pre-representations, Seung’s Darwinian synapse, Loewenstein’s synaptic melioration, Adam’s selfish synapse and Calvin’s replicating activity patterns. Except for the last two, the proposed mechanisms are selectionist but not truly Darwinian, because no replicators with information transfer to copies and hereditary variation can be identified in them. All of them fit, however, a generalized selectionist framework conforming to the picture of Price’s covariance formulation, which deliberately was not specific even to selection in biology, and therefore does not imply an algorithmic picture of biological evolution. Bayesian models and reinforcement learning are formally in agreement with selection dynamics. A classification of search algorithms is shown to include Darwinian replicators (evolutionary units with multiplication, heredity and variability as the most powerful mechanism in a sparsely occupied search space. Examples of why parallel competitive search with information transfer among the units is efficient are given. Finally, we review our recent attempts to construct and analyze simple models of true Darwinian evolutionary units in the brain in terms of connectivity and activity copying of neuronal groups. Although none of the proposed neuronal replicators include miraculous mechanisms, their identification remains a challenge but also a great promise.

  12. Cosmic Evolutionary Philosophy and a Dialectical Approach to Technological Singularity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cadell Last

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The anticipated next stage of human organization is often described by futurists as a global technological singularity. This next stage of complex organization is hypothesized to be actualized by scientific-technic knowledge networks. However, the general consequences of this process for the meaning of human existence are unknown. Here, it is argued that cosmic evolutionary philosophy is a useful worldview for grounding an understanding of the potential nature of this futures event. In the cosmic evolutionary philosophy, reality is conceptualized locally as a universal dynamic of emergent evolving relations. This universal dynamic is structured by a singular astrophysical origin and an organizational progress from sub-atomic particles to global civilization mediated by qualitative phase transitions. From this theoretical ground, we attempt to understand the next stage of universal dynamics in terms of the motion of general ideation attempting to actualize higher unity. In this way, we approach technological singularity dialectically as an event caused by ideational transformations and mediated by an emergent intersubjective objectivity. From these speculations, a historically-engaged perspective on the nature of human consciousness is articulated where the truth of reality as an emergent unity depends on the collective action of a multiplicity of human observers.

  13. Multipurpose Water Reservoir Management: An Evolutionary Multiobjective Optimization Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luís A. Scola

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The reservoirs that feed large hydropower plants should be managed in order to provide other uses for the water resources. Those uses include, for instance, flood control and avoidance, irrigation, navigability in the rivers, and other ones. This work presents an evolutionary multiobjective optimization approach for the study of multiple water usages in multiple interlinked reservoirs, including both power generation objectives and other objectives not related to energy generation. The classical evolutionary algorithm NSGA-II is employed as the basic multiobjective optimization machinery, being modified in order to cope with specific problem features. The case studies, which include the analysis of a problem which involves an objective of navigability on the river, are tailored in order to illustrate the usefulness of the data generated by the proposed methodology for decision-making on the problem of operation planning of multiple reservoirs with multiple usages. It is shown that it is even possible to use the generated data in order to determine the cost of any new usage of the water, in terms of the opportunity cost that can be measured on the revenues related to electric energy sales.

  14. Life on a block of limestone: Evolutionary, ecological and geological dynamics of isolated malacofaunas on tropical karst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilthuizen, M.

    2011-01-01

    The karst formations of southeast Asia are a wonderful evolutionary and ecological experiment, and a sad example of observable extinction (Clements et al., 2006). In this paper, I shall focus on those in Malaysia and, in particular, on the land snail faunas that they support.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. The effects of ecology and evolutionary history on robust capuchin morphological diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Kristin A; Wright, Barth W; Ford, Susan M; Fragaszy, Dorothy; Izar, Patricia; Norconk, Marilyn; Masterson, Thomas; Hobbs, David G; Alfaro, Michael E; Lynch Alfaro, Jessica W

    2015-01-01

    Recent molecular work has confirmed the long-standing morphological hypothesis that capuchins are comprised of two distinct clades, the gracile (untufted) capuchins (genus Cebus, Erxleben, 1777) and the robust (tufted) capuchins (genus Sapajus Kerr, 1792). In the past, the robust group was treated as a single, undifferentiated and cosmopolitan species, with data from all populations lumped together in morphological and ecological studies, obscuring morphological differences that might exist across this radiation. Genetic evidence suggests that the modern radiation of robust capuchins began diversifying ∼2.5 Ma, with significant subsequent geographic expansion into new habitat types. In this study we use a morphological sample of gracile and robust capuchin craniofacial and postcranial characters to examine how ecology and evolutionary history have contributed to morphological diversity within the robust capuchins. We predicted that if ecology is driving robust capuchin variation, three distinct robust morphotypes would be identified: (1) the Atlantic Forest species (Sapajus xanthosternos, S. robustus, and S. nigritus), (2) the Amazonian rainforest species (S. apella, S. cay and S. macrocephalus), and (3) the Cerrado-Caatinga species (S. libidinosus). Alternatively, if diversification time between species pairs predicts degree of morphological difference, we predicted that the recently diverged S. apella, S. macrocephalus, S. libidinosus, and S. cay would be morphologically comparable, with greater variation among the more ancient lineages of S. nigritus, S. xanthosternos, and S. robustus. Our analyses suggest that S. libidinosus has the most derived craniofacial and postcranial features, indicative of inhabiting a more terrestrial niche that includes a dependence on tool use for the extraction of imbedded foods. We also suggest that the cranial robusticity of S. macrocephalus and S. apella are indicative of recent competition with sympatric gracile capuchin

  17. Integrating Ecological and Evolutionary Context in the Study of Maternal Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheriff, Michael J; Bell, Alison; Boonstra, Rudy; Dantzer, Ben; Lavergne, Sophia G; McGhee, Katie E; MacLeod, Kirsty J; Winandy, Laurane; Zimmer, Cedric; Love, Oliver P

    2017-09-01

    Maternal stress can prenatally influence offspring phenotypes and there are an increasing number of ecological studies that are bringing to bear biomedical findings to natural systems. This is resulting in a shift from the perspective that maternal stress is unanimously costly, to one in which maternal stress may be beneficial to offspring. However, this adaptive perspective is in its infancy with much progress to still be made in understanding the role of maternal stress in natural systems. Our aim is to emphasize the importance of the ecological and evolutionary context within which adaptive hypotheses of maternal stress can be evaluated. We present five primary research areas where we think future research can make substantial progress: (1) understanding maternal and offspring control mechanisms that modulate exposure between maternal stress and subsequent offspring phenotype response; (2) understanding the dynamic nature of the interaction between mothers and their environment; (3) integrating offspring phenotypic responses and measuring both maternal and offspring fitness outcomes under real-life (either free-living or semi-natural) conditions; (4) empirically testing these fitness outcomes across relevant spatial and temporal environmental contexts (both pre- and post-natal environments); (5) examining the role of maternal stress effects in human-altered environments-i.e., do they limit or enhance fitness. To make progress, it is critical to understand the role of maternal stress in an ecological context and to do that, we must integrate across physiology, behavior, genetics, and evolution. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. ECOMOD - An ecological approach to radioecological modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sazykina, Tatiana G.

    2000-01-01

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

  19. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  20. The ecological and evolutionary consequences of noise-induced acoustic habitat loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennessen, Jennifer Beissinger

    Anthropogenic threats are facilitating rapid environmental change and exerting novel pressures on the integrity of ecological patterns and processes. Currently, habitat loss is the leading factor contributing to global biodiversity loss. Noise created by human activities is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial and marine systems, and causes acoustic habitat loss by interfering with species' abilities to freely send and receive critical acoustic biological information. My dissertation investigates how novel sounds from human activities affect ecological and evolutionary processes in space and time in marine and terrestrial systems, and how species may cope with this emerging novel pressure. Using species from both marine and terrestrial systems, I present results from a theoretical investigation, and four acoustic playback experiments combining laboratory studies and field trials, that reveal a range of eco-evolutionary consequences of noiseinduced acoustic habitat loss. First, I use sound propagation modeling to assess how marine shipping noise reduces communication space between mother-calf pairs of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis ), an important unit of an endangered species. I show that shipping noise poses significant challenges for mother-calf pairs, but that vocal compensation strategies can substantially improve communication space. Next, in a series of acoustic playback experiments I show that road traffic noise impairs breeding migration behavior and physiology of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus ). This work reveals the first evidence that traffic noise elicits a physiological stress response and suppresses production of antimicrobial peptides (a component of the innate immune response) in anurans. Further, wood frogs from populations with a history of inhabiting noisy sites mounted reduced physiological stress responses to continuous traffic noise exposure. This research using wood frogs suggests that chronic traffic noise exposure has

  1. PARETO: A novel evolutionary optimization approach to multiobjective IMRT planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fiege, Jason; McCurdy, Boyd; Potrebko, Peter; Champion, Heather; Cull, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: In radiation therapy treatment planning, the clinical objectives of uniform high dose to the planning target volume (PTV) and low dose to the organs-at-risk (OARs) are invariably in conflict, often requiring compromises to be made between them when selecting the best treatment plan for a particular patient. In this work, the authors introduce Pareto-Aware Radiotherapy Evolutionary Treatment Optimization (pareto), a multiobjective optimization tool to solve for beam angles and fluence patterns in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning. Methods: pareto is built around a powerful multiobjective genetic algorithm (GA), which allows us to treat the problem of IMRT treatment plan optimization as a combined monolithic problem, where all beam fluence and angle parameters are treated equally during the optimization. We have employed a simple parameterized beam fluence representation with a realistic dose calculation approach, incorporating patient scatter effects, to demonstrate feasibility of the proposed approach on two phantoms. The first phantom is a simple cylindrical phantom containing a target surrounded by three OARs, while the second phantom is more complex and represents a paraspinal patient. Results: pareto results in a large database of Pareto nondominated solutions that represent the necessary trade-offs between objectives. The solution quality was examined for several PTV and OAR fitness functions. The combination of a conformity-based PTV fitness function and a dose-volume histogram (DVH) or equivalent uniform dose (EUD) -based fitness function for the OAR produced relatively uniform and conformal PTV doses, with well-spaced beams. A penalty function added to the fitness functions eliminates hotspots. Comparison of resulting DVHs to those from treatment plans developed with a single-objective fluence optimizer (from a commercial treatment planning system) showed good correlation. Results also indicated that pareto shows

  2. PARETO: A novel evolutionary optimization approach to multiobjective IMRT planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiege, Jason; McCurdy, Boyd; Potrebko, Peter; Champion, Heather; Cull, Andrew

    2011-09-01

    In radiation therapy treatment planning, the clinical objectives of uniform high dose to the planning target volume (PTV) and low dose to the organs-at-risk (OARs) are invariably in conflict, often requiring compromises to be made between them when selecting the best treatment plan for a particular patient. In this work, the authors introduce Pareto-Aware Radiotherapy Evolutionary Treatment Optimization (pareto), a multiobjective optimization tool to solve for beam angles and fluence patterns in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning. pareto is built around a powerful multiobjective genetic algorithm (GA), which allows us to treat the problem of IMRT treatment plan optimization as a combined monolithic problem, where all beam fluence and angle parameters are treated equally during the optimization. We have employed a simple parameterized beam fluence representation with a realistic dose calculation approach, incorporating patient scatter effects, to demonstrate feasibility of the proposed approach on two phantoms. The first phantom is a simple cylindrical phantom containing a target surrounded by three OARs, while the second phantom is more complex and represents a paraspinal patient. pareto results in a large database of Pareto nondominated solutions that represent the necessary trade-offs between objectives. The solution quality was examined for several PTV and OAR fitness functions. The combination of a conformity-based PTV fitness function and a dose-volume histogram (DVH) or equivalent uniform dose (EUD) -based fitness function for the OAR produced relatively uniform and conformal PTV doses, with well-spaced beams. A penalty function added to the fitness functions eliminates hotspots. Comparison of resulting DVHs to those from treatment plans developed with a single-objective fluence optimizer (from a commercial treatment planning system) showed good correlation. Results also indicated that pareto shows promise in optimizing the number

  3. Biodiversity, Extinction, and Humanity’s Future: The Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Human Population and Resource Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick L. Hindmarsh

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Human actions have altered global environments and reduced biodiversity by causing extinctions and reducing the population sizes of surviving species. Increasing human population size and per capita resource use will continue to have direct and indirect ecological and evolutionary consequences. As a result, future generations will inhabit a planet with significantly less wildlife, reduced evolutionary potential, diminished ecosystem services, and an increased likelihood of contracting infectious disease. The magnitude of these effects will depend on the rate at which global human population and/or per capita resource use decline to sustainable levels and the degree to which population reductions result from increased death rates rather than decreased birth rates.

  4. Crowd Computing as a Cooperation Problem: An Evolutionary Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoforou, Evgenia; Fernández Anta, Antonio; Georgiou, Chryssis; Mosteiro, Miguel A.; Sánchez, Angel

    2013-05-01

    Cooperation is one of the socio-economic issues that has received more attention from the physics community. The problem has been mostly considered by studying games such as the Prisoner's Dilemma or the Public Goods Game. Here, we take a step forward by studying cooperation in the context of crowd computing. We introduce a model loosely based on Principal-agent theory in which people (workers) contribute to the solution of a distributed problem by computing answers and reporting to the problem proposer (master). To go beyond classical approaches involving the concept of Nash equilibrium, we work on an evolutionary framework in which both the master and the workers update their behavior through reinforcement learning. Using a Markov chain approach, we show theoretically that under certain----not very restrictive—conditions, the master can ensure the reliability of the answer resulting of the process. Then, we study the model by numerical simulations, finding that convergence, meaning that the system reaches a point in which it always produces reliable answers, may in general be much faster than the upper bounds given by the theoretical calculation. We also discuss the effects of the master's level of tolerance to defectors, about which the theory does not provide information. The discussion shows that the system works even with very large tolerances. We conclude with a discussion of our results and possible directions to carry this research further.

  5. [Positive deviance: concept analysis using the evolutionary approach of Rodgers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Létourneau, Josiane; Alderson, Marie; Caux, Chantal; Richard, Lucie

    2013-06-01

    Positive deviance is a relatively new concept in healthcare. Since 2006, it has been applied to infection control in order to increase the awareness to good hand hygiene practices. This article focus on presenting analytical results of this concept using the evolutionary approach of Rodgers based on the philosophical postulate that concepts are dynamical and changing with time. For doing so, a census of the writings in nursing, medicine and psychology was carried out. By going through the CINAHL, Medline and PsyclNFO databases using positive deviance as a keyword for the time period: 1975 to May 2012, and in accordance with the method of Rodgers, ninety articles were retained (30 per discipline). The analysis enables one to notice that positive deviance described as an individual characteristic at first, is now used as a behavioral changing approach in nursing and medicine as well. At the end of the analysis and apart from this article, positive deviance will be used in order to study the practice of nurses that adheres to hand hygiene despite limiting constraints within hospital. We will then be able to continue the development of this concept in order to bring it, as Rodgers recommends, beyond the analysis. It would then be an important contribution to good nursing practices in the field of infection control and prevention.

  6. Data collection and storage in long-term ecological and evolutionary studies: The Mongoose 2000 system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Harry H; Griffiths, David J; Mwanguhya, Francis; Businge, Robert; Griffiths, Amber G F; Kyabulima, Solomon; Mwesige, Kenneth; Sanderson, Jennifer L; Thompson, Faye J; Vitikainen, Emma I K; Cant, Michael A

    2018-01-01

    Studying ecological and evolutionary processes in the natural world often requires research projects to follow multiple individuals in the wild over many years. These projects have provided significant advances but may also be hampered by needing to accurately and efficiently collect and store multiple streams of the data from multiple individuals concurrently. The increase in the availability and sophistication of portable computers (smartphones and tablets) and the applications that run on them has the potential to address many of these data collection and storage issues. In this paper we describe the challenges faced by one such long-term, individual-based research project: the Banded Mongoose Research Project in Uganda. We describe a system we have developed called Mongoose 2000 that utilises the potential of apps and portable computers to meet these challenges. We discuss the benefits and limitations of employing such a system in a long-term research project. The app and source code for the Mongoose 2000 system are freely available and we detail how it might be used to aid data collection and storage in other long-term individual-based projects.

  7. Ecological and evolutionary patterns of freshwater maturation in Pacific and Atlantic salmonines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloat, Matthew R.; Fraser, Dylan J.; Dunham, Jason B.; Falke, Jeffery A.; Jordan, Chris E.; McMillan, John R.; Ohms, Haley A.

    2014-01-01

    Reproductive tactics and migratory strategies in Pacific and Atlantic salmonines are inextricably linked through the effects of migration (or lack thereof) on age and size at maturity. In this review, we focus on the ecological and evolutionary patterns of freshwater maturation in salmonines, a key process resulting in the diversification of their life histories. We demonstrate that the energetics of maturation and reproduction provides a unifying theme for understanding both the proximate and ultimate causes of variation in reproductive schedules among species, populations, and the sexes. We use probabilistic maturation reaction norms to illustrate how variation in individual condition, in terms of body size, growth rate, and lipid storage, influences the timing of maturation. This useful framework integrates both genetic and environmental contributions to conditional strategies for maturation and, in doing so, demonstrates how flexible life histories can be both heritable and subject to strong environmental influences. We review evidence that the propensity for freshwater maturation in partially anadromous species is predictable across environmental gradients at geographic and local spatial scales. We note that growth is commonly associated with the propensity for freshwater maturation, but that life-history responses to changes in growth caused by temperature may be strikingly different than changes caused by differences in food availability. We conclude by exploring how contemporary management actions can constrain or promote the diversity of maturation phenotypes in Pacific and Atlantic salmonines and caution against underestimating the role of freshwater maturing forms in maintaining the resiliency of these iconic species.

  8. Evidence of Taxa-, Clone-, and Kin-discrimination in Protists: Ecological and Evolutionary Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, Avelina; Paz-Y-Miño-C, Guillermo

    2014-11-01

    Unicellular eukaryotes, or protists, are among the most ancient organisms on Earth. Protists belong to multiple taxonomic groups; they are widely distributed geographically and in all environments. Their ability to discriminate among con- and heterospecifics has been documented during the past decade. Here we discuss exemplar cases of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination in five major lineages: Mycetozoa ( Dictyostelium , Polysphondylium ), Dikarya ( Saccharomyces ), Ciliophora ( Tetrahymena ), Apicomplexa ( Plasmodium ) and Archamoebae ( Entamoeba ). We summarize the proposed genetic mechanisms involved in discrimination-mediated aggregation (self versus different), including the csA , FLO and trg (formerly lag ) genes, and the Proliferation Activation Factors (PAFs), which facilitate clustering in some protistan taxa. We caution about the experimental challenges intrinsic to studying recognition in protists, and highlight the opportunities for exploring the ecology and evolution of complex forms of cell-cell communication, including social behavior, in a polyphyletic, still superficially understood group of organisms. Because unicellular eukaryotes are the evolutionary precursors of multicellular life, we infer that their mechanisms of taxa-, clone-, and possible kin-discrimination gave origin to the complex diversification and sophistication of traits associated with species and kin recognition in plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates.

  9. Innovation in Healthcare Delivery: Commentary on an Evolutionary Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fields, Anthony L A

    2015-01-01

    Zwarenstein (2015) proposes a novel approach to healthcare innovation that parallels biological evolution, based on stimulation and reward of multiple small competing innovation projects conducted in the field by decentralized teams. Projects would be designed with explicit outcome targets and results would be widely disseminated and publicly available. More successful projects would be grown and spread. Critical to the model is accepting and reporting failure as well as success, for the benefit of future project design. Examining biological evolution for lessons for healthcare delivery innovation illuminates the need for diversity among healthcare systems to achieve optimum application of best practice interventions across jurisdictions with differing population, provider and facility characteristics. However, careful coordination will be needed to achieve the balance between diversity and harmony across jurisdictions necessary for effective governance and interaction. There are important methodological issues to be addressed to reduce the uncertainty inherent in comparisons of results among discrete innovation projects, especially when observed improvements over the baseline are modest. As well as evolutionary improvement in healthcare outcomes, the model should progressively increase decentralized capacity and expertise in innovation processes.

  10. An evolutionary computation approach to examine functional brain plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnab eRoy

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN and the executive control network (ECN during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI; the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in

  11. The Significance of Wild Plants in the Evolutionary Ecology of Three Major Viruses Infecting Cultivated Sweetpotato in Uganda

    OpenAIRE

    Tugume Kajungu, Arthur

    2010-01-01

    The studies presented in this thesis contribute to the understanding of evolutionary ecology of three major viruses threatening cultivated sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas Lam) in East Africa: Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV; genus Potyvirus; Potyviridae), Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV; genus Crinivirus; Closteroviridae) and Sweet potato mild mottle virus (SPMMV; genus Ipomovirus; Potyviridae). The viruses were serologically detected and the positive results confirmed b...

  12. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquati...

  13. Evolutionary approaches to autism: an overview and integration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, A.; Galis, F.

    2011-01-01

    Autism is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, which greatly reduces reproductive success. The combination of high heritability and low reproductive success raises an evolutionary question: why was autism not eliminated by natural selection? We review different perspectives on the

  14. EVOLUTIONARY APPROACH TO DETERMINATION OF STRUCTURE OF TAX SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalie V. Yurchenkova

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Capacity of national tax systems isn’t fully revealed across all countries. Problems with tax administration, tax avoidance, leaving from the taxation of corporations and the leading financial organizations in the offshore confirm adaptation hypothesis stating that taxpayers adapt for changes in times quicker and more qualitatively than the state institutes. The leading role in formation of an evolutionary paradigm of the taxation belongs now to tools of evolutionary dynamics at social level.

  15. Inferences from the historical distribution of wild and domesticated maize provide ecological and evolutionary insight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Hufford

    Full Text Available The species Zea mays includes both domesticated maize (ssp. mays and its closest wild relatives known as the teosintes. While genetic and archaeological studies have provided a well-established history of Z. mays evolution, there is currently minimal description of its current and past distribution. Here, we implemented species distribution modeling using paleoclimatic models of the last interglacial (LI; ∼135,000 BP and the last glacial maximum (LGM; ∼21,000 BP to hindcast the distribution of Zea mays subspecies over time and to revisit current knowledge of its phylogeography and evolutionary history.Using a large occurrence data set and the distribution modeling MaxEnt algorithm, we obtained robust present and past species distributions of the two widely distributed teosinte subspecies (ssps. parviglumis and mexicana revealing almost perfect complementarity, stable through time, of their occupied distributions. We also investigated the present distributions of primitive maize landraces, which overlapped but were broader than those of the teosintes. Our data reinforced the idea that little historical gene flow has occurred between teosinte subspecies, but maize has served as a genetic bridge between them. We observed an expansion of teosinte habitat from the LI, consistent with population genetic data. Finally, we identified locations potentially serving as refugia for the teosintes throughout epochs of climate change and sites that should be targeted in future collections.The restricted and highly contrasting ecological niches of the wild teosintes differ substantially from domesticated maize. Variables determining the distributions of these taxa can inform future considerations of local adaptation and the impacts of climate change. Our assessment of the changing distributions of Zea mays taxa over time offers a unique glimpse into the history of maize, highlighting a strategy for the study of domestication that may prove useful for other

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. An Evolutionary Approach to Regional Systems of Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Jan Sture Gunnar; Wallin, Torsten

    This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces and product......This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces...

  18. An evolutionary approach to regional systems of innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Jan Sture Gunnar; Wallin, Torsten

    2011-01-01

    This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces and product......This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces...

  19. On the stability of the Cournot equilibrium: An evolutionary approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hommes, C.H.; Ochea, M.I.; Tuinstra, J.

    2011-01-01

    We construct an evolutionary version of Theocharis (1960)'s seminal work on the stability of equilibrium in multi-player quantity-setting oligopolies. Two sets of behavioral heuristics are investigated under fixed and endogenously evolving fractions: (myopic) Cournot firms vs. Nash firms and Cournot

  20. Ecological approach in constructing residential areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdanović Ružica

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Buddhism and Ecology: A Virtue Ethics Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Keown, Damien V.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Těšitel, Jan; Kučera, Tomáš

    2005-01-01

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

  3. An evolutionary medicine approach to understanding factors that contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoshiba, Kazutetsu; Tsuji, Takao; Itoh, Masayuki; Yamaguchi, Kazuhiro; Nakamura, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Although many studies have been published on the causes and mechanisms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the reason for the existence of COPD and the reasons why COPD develops in humans have hardly been studied. Evolutionary medical approaches are required to explain not only the proximate factors, such as the causes and mechanisms of a disease, but the ultimate (evolutionary) factors as well, such as why the disease is present and why the disease develops in humans. According to the concepts of evolutionary medicine, disease susceptibility is acquired as a result of natural selection during the evolutionary process of traits linked to the genes involved in disease susceptibility. In this paper, we discuss the following six reasons why COPD develops in humans based on current evolutionary medical theories: (1) evolutionary constraints; (2) mismatch between environmental changes and evolution; (3) co-evolution with pathogenic microorganisms; (4) life history trade-off; (5) defenses and their costs, and (6) reproductive success at the expense of health. Our perspective pursues evolutionary answers to the fundamental question, 'Why are humans susceptible to this common disease, COPD, despite their long evolutionary history?' We believe that the perspectives offered by evolutionary medicine are essential for researchers to better understand the significance of their work.

  4. Comparative ecological transcriptomics and the contribution of gene expression to the evolutionary potential of a threatened fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauer, Chris J; Unmack, Peter J; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2017-12-01

    Understanding whether small populations with low genetic diversity can respond to rapid environmental change via phenotypic plasticity is an outstanding research question in biology. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has recently provided the opportunity to examine variation in gene expression, a surrogate for phenotypic variation, in nonmodel species. We used a comparative RNA-seq approach to assess expression variation within and among adaptively divergent populations of a threatened freshwater fish, Nannoperca australis, found across a steep hydroclimatic gradient in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. These populations evolved under contrasting selective environments (e.g., dry/hot lowland; wet/cold upland) and represent opposite ends of the species' spectrum of genetic diversity and population size. We tested the hypothesis that environmental variation among isolated populations has driven the evolution of divergent expression at ecologically important genes using differential expression (DE) analysis and an anova-based comparative phylogenetic expression variance and evolution model framework based on 27,425 de novo assembled transcripts. Additionally, we tested whether gene expression variance within populations was correlated with levels of standing genetic diversity. We identified 290 DE candidate transcripts, 33 transcripts with evidence for high expression plasticity, and 50 candidates for divergent selection on gene expression after accounting for phylogenetic structure. Variance in gene expression appeared unrelated to levels of genetic diversity. Functional annotation of the candidate transcripts revealed that variation in water quality is an important factor influencing expression variation for N. australis. Our findings suggest that gene expression variation can contribute to the evolutionary potential of small populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. The Costs and Risks of Maturing Technologies, Traditionally vs. Evolutionary Approaches

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pennock, Michael J; Rouse, William B

    2008-01-01

    .... This results in more frequent, smaller increments of deployed capability. In theory, evolutionary acquisition could be more cost effective than traditional acquisition approaches because it avoids most of the risk inherent...

  6. Applying ecological and evolutionary theory to cancer: a long and winding road.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Frédéric; Fisher, Daniel; Fort, Philippe; Marie, Jean-Pierre; Daoust, Simon; Roche, Benjamin; Grunau, Christoph; Cosseau, Céline; Mitta, Guillaume; Baghdiguian, Stephen; Rousset, François; Lassus, Patrice; Assenat, Eric; Grégoire, Damien; Missé, Dorothée; Lorz, Alexander; Billy, Frédérique; Vainchenker, William; Delhommeau, François; Koscielny, Serge; Itzykson, Raphael; Tang, Ruoping; Fava, Fanny; Ballesta, Annabelle; Lepoutre, Thomas; Krasinska, Liliana; Dulic, Vjekoslav; Raynaud, Peggy; Blache, Philippe; Quittau-Prevostel, Corinne; Vignal, Emmanuel; Trauchessec, Hélène; Perthame, Benoit; Clairambault, Jean; Volpert, Vitali; Solary, Eric; Hibner, Urszula; Hochberg, Michael E

    2013-01-01

    Since the mid 1970s, cancer has been described as a process of Darwinian evolution, with somatic cellular selection and evolution being the fundamental processes leading to malignancy and its many manifestations (neoangiogenesis, evasion of the immune system, metastasis, and resistance to therapies). Historically, little attention has been placed on applications of evolutionary biology to understanding and controlling neoplastic progression and to prevent therapeutic failures. This is now beginning to change, and there is a growing international interest in the interface between cancer and evolutionary biology. The objective of this introduction is first to describe the basic ideas and concepts linking evolutionary biology to cancer. We then present four major fronts where the evolutionary perspective is most developed, namely laboratory and clinical models, mathematical models, databases, and techniques and assays. Finally, we discuss several of the most promising challenges and future prospects in this interdisciplinary research direction in the war against cancer.

  7. An Evolutionary Approach to the Climate Change Negotiation Game

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Courtois, P. [CIRED and University of Paris, Paris (France); Pereau, J.C. [OEP, University of Marne-la-Vallee, Marne-la-Vallee (France); Tazdait, T. [CIRED and OEP, University of Marne-la-Vallee, Marne-la-Vallee (France)

    2001-10-01

    We describe in this paper an evolutionary game theoretic model aiming at representing the climate change negotiation. The model is used to examine the outcome of climate change negotiations in a framework which seeks to closely represent negotiation patterns. Evolutionary setting allows us to consider a decision making structure characterised by agents with bounded knowledge practising mimics and learning from past events and strategies. We show on that framework that a third significant alternative to the binary coordination-defection strategies needs to be considered: a unilateral commitment as precautionary strategy. As a means to widen cooperation, we examine the influence of linking environmental and trade policies via the implementation of a trade penalty on non cooperative behaviours.

  8. An Evolutionary Approach to the Climate Change Negotiation Game

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Courtois, P.; Pereau, J.C.; Tazdait, T.

    2001-10-01

    We describe in this paper an evolutionary game theoretic model aiming at representing the climate change negotiation. The model is used to examine the outcome of climate change negotiations in a framework which seeks to closely represent negotiation patterns. Evolutionary setting allows us to consider a decision making structure characterised by agents with bounded knowledge practising mimics and learning from past events and strategies. We show on that framework that a third significant alternative to the binary coordination-defection strategies needs to be considered: a unilateral commitment as precautionary strategy. As a means to widen cooperation, we examine the influence of linking environmental and trade policies via the implementation of a trade penalty on non cooperative behaviours

  9. Online networks, social interaction and segregation: An evolutionary approach

    OpenAIRE

    Antoci, Angelo; Sabatini, Fabio

    2018-01-01

    There is growing evidence that face-to-face interaction is declining in many countries, exacerbating the phenomenon of social isolation. On the other hand, social interaction through online networking sites is steeply rising. To analyze these societal dynamics, we have built an evolutionary game model in which agents can choose between three strategies of social participation: 1) interaction via both online social networks and face-to-face encounters; 2) interaction by exclusive means of face...

  10. Evolutionary approach to communication between humans and dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, Gabriella

    2011-01-01

    Dog-human communication has been widely investigated recently for different theoretical reasons, in most cases through dogs' comprehension of human gestural cues. Dogs have been reported to be very skilful in comprehending a variety of human pointing gestures in many independent studies. This paper provides a short overview of the possible explanations behind the dogs' exceptional communicational abilities towards humans from an evolutionary perspective, concluding that the different and seemingly contradictory hypotheses are not exclusive but they might have a synergic effect.

  11. Ecological turmoil in evolutionary dynamics of plant-insect interactions: defense to offence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Manasi; Lomate, Purushottam R; Joshi, Rakesh S; Punekar, Sachin A; Gupta, Vidya S; Giri, Ashok P

    2015-10-01

    Available history manifests contemporary diversity that exists in plant-insect interactions. A radical thinking is necessary for developing strategies that can co-opt natural insect-plant mutualism, ecology and environmental safety for crop protection since current agricultural practices can reduce species richness and evenness. The global environmental changes, such as increased temperature, CO₂ and ozone levels, biological invasions, land-use change and habitat fragmentation together play a significant role in re-shaping the plant-insect multi-trophic interactions. Diverse natural products need to be studied and explored for their biological functions as insect pest control agents. In order to assure the success of an integrated pest management strategy, human activities need to be harmonized to minimize the global climate changes. Plant-insect interaction is one of the most primitive and co-evolved associations, often influenced by surrounding changes. In this review, we account the persistence and evolution of plant-insect interactions, with particular focus on the effect of climate change and human interference on these interactions. Plants and insects have been maintaining their existence through a mutual service-resource relationship while defending themselves. We provide a comprehensive catalog of various defense strategies employed by the plants and/or insects. Furthermore, several important factors such as accelerated diversification, imbalance in the mutualism, and chemical arms race between plants and insects as indirect consequences of human practices are highlighted. Inappropriate implementation of several modern agricultural practices has resulted in (i) endangered mutualisms, (ii) pest status and resistance in insects and (iii) ecological instability. Moreover, altered environmental conditions eventually triggered the resetting of plant-insect interactions. Hence, multitrophic approaches that can harmonize human activities and minimize their

  12. The stability concept of evolutionary game theory a dynamic approach

    CERN Document Server

    1992-01-01

    These Notes grew from my research in evolutionary biology, specifically on the theory of evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS theory), over the past ten years. Personally, evolutionary game theory has given me the opportunity to transfer my enthusiasm for abstract mathematics to more practical pursuits. I was fortunate to have entered this field in its infancy when many biologists recognized its potential but were not prepared to grant it general acceptance. This is no longer the case. ESS theory is now a rapidly expanding (in both applied and theoretical directions) force that no evolutionary biologist can afford to ignore. Perhaps, to continue the life-cycle metaphor, ESS theory is now in its late adolescence and displays much of the optimism and exuberance of this exciting age. There are dangers in writing a text about a theory at this stage of development. A comprehensive treatment would involve too many loose ends for the reader to appreciate the central message. On the other hand, the current central m...

  13. Optimizing sampling approaches along ecological gradients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Evolutionary approach to communication between humans and dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriella Lakatos

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Dog-human communication has been widely investigated recently for different theoretical reasons, in most cases through dogs' comprehension of human gestural cues. Dogs have been reported to be very skilful in comprehending a variety of human pointing gestures in many independent studies. This paper provides a short overview of the possible explanations behind the dogs' exceptional communicational abilities towards humans from an evolutionary perspective, concluding that the different and seemingly contradictory hypotheses are not exclusive but they might have a synergic effect.

  15. An Evolutionary Multi-objective Approach for Speed Tuning Optimization with Energy Saving in Railway Management

    OpenAIRE

    Chevrier , Rémy

    2010-01-01

    International audience; An approach for speed tuning in railway management is presented for optimizing both travel duration and energy saving. This approach is based on a state-of-the-art evolutionary algorithm with Pareto approach. This algorithm provides a set of diversified non-dominated solutions to the decision-maker. A case study on Gonesse connection (France) is also reported and analyzed.

  16. Introduction: integrating genetic and cultural evolutionary approaches to language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesoudi, Alex; McElligott, Alan G; Adger, David

    2011-04-01

    The papers in this special issue of Human Biology address recent research in the field of language evolution, both the genetic evolution of the language faculty and the cultural evolution of specific languages. While both of these areas have received increasing interest in recent years, there is also a need to integrate these somewhat separate efforts and explore the relevant gene-culture coevolutionary interactions. Here we summarize the individual contributions, set them in the context of the wider literature, and identify outstanding future research questions. The first set of papers concerns the comparative study of nonhuman communication in primates and birds from both a behavioral and neurobiological perspective, revealing evidence for several common language-related traits in various nonhuman species and providing clues as to the evolutionary origin and function of the human language faculty. The second set of papers discusses the consequences of viewing language as a culturally evolving system in its own right, including claims that this removes the need for strong genetic biases for language acquisition, and that phylogenetic evolutionary methods can be used to reconstruct language histories. We conclude by highlighting outstanding areas for future research, including identifying the precise selection pressures that gave rise to the language faculty in ancestral hominin species, and determining the strength, domain specificity, and origin of the cultural transmission biases that shape languages as they pass along successive generations of language learners.

  17. Evolutionary impact assessent: accounting for evolutionary consequences of fishing in an ecosystem approach to fisheries management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laugen, A.T.; Engelhard, G.H.; Whitlock, R.; Mollet, F.M.; Rijnsdorp, A.D.

    2014-01-01

    Managing fisheries resources to maintain healthy ecosystems is one of the main goals of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). While a number of international treaties call for the implementation of EAF, there are still gaps in the underlying methodology. One aspect that has received substantial

  18. Temporal knowledge and autobiographical memory: an evolutionary perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Skowronski, John J.; Sedikides, Constantine

    2007-01-01

    Section I: Philosophical issues 1. Evolutionary pyschology in the round , Robin Dunbar & Louise Barrett 2. The power of culture , Henry Plotkin 3. Evolution and psychology in philosophical perspective , Matteo Mameli 4. Niche construction, human behavioural ecology and evolutionary psychology , Kevin N Laland 5. Group level evolutionary processes , David Sloan Wilson Section II: The comparative Approach 6. Homologizing the mind , Drew Rendall, Hugh Nottman & John ...

  19. A Graphical Evolutionary Game Approach to Social Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xuanyu; Liu, K. J. Ray

    2017-06-01

    In this work, we study the social learning problem, in which agents of a networked system collaborate to detect the state of the nature based on their private signals. A novel distributed graphical evolutionary game theoretic learning method is proposed. In the proposed game-theoretic method, agents only need to communicate their binary decisions rather than the real-valued beliefs with their neighbors, which endows the method with low communication complexity. Under mean field approximations, we theoretically analyze the steady state equilibria of the game and show that the evolutionarily stable states (ESSs) coincide with the decisions of the benchmark centralized detector. Numerical experiments are implemented to confirm the effectiveness of the proposed game-theoretic learning method.

  20. An Evolutionary Approach for Bilevel Multi-objective Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deb, Kalyanmoy; Sinha, Ankur

    Evolutionary multi-objective optimization (EMO) algorithms have been extensively applied to find multiple near Pareto-optimal solutions over the past 15 years or so. However, EMO algorithms for solving bilevel multi-objective optimization problems have not received adequate attention yet. These problems appear in many applications in practice and involve two levels, each comprising of multiple conflicting objectives. These problems require every feasible upper-level solution to satisfy optimality of a lower-level optimization problem, thereby making them difficult to solve. In this paper, we discuss a recently proposed bilevel EMO procedure and show its working principle on a couple of test problems and on a business decision-making problem. This paper should motivate other EMO researchers to engage more into this important optimization task of practical importance.

  1. Distribution of Marburg virus in Africa: An evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehender, Gianguglielmo; Sorrentino, Chiara; Veo, Carla; Fiaschi, Lisa; Gioffrè, Sonia; Ebranati, Erika; Tanzi, Elisabetta; Ciccozzi, Massimo; Lai, Alessia; Galli, Massimo

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the origin and geographical dispersion of Marburg virus, the first member of the Filoviridae family to be discovered. Seventy-three complete genome sequences of Marburg virus isolated from animals and humans were retrieved from public databases and analysed using a Bayesian phylogeographical framework. The phylogenetic tree of the Marburg virus data set showed two significant evolutionary lineages: Ravn virus (RAVV) and Marburg virus (MARV). MARV divided into two main clades; clade A included isolates from Uganda (five from the European epidemic in 1967), Kenya (1980) and Angola (from the epidemic of 2004-2005); clade B included most of the isolates obtained during the 1999-2000 epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and a group of Ugandan isolates obtained in 2007-2009. The estimated mean evolutionary rate of the whole genome was 3.3×10(-4) substitutions/site/year (credibility interval 2.0-4.8). The MARV strain had a mean root time of the most recent common ancestor of 177.9years ago (YA) (95% highest posterior density 87-284), thus indicating that it probably originated in the mid-XIX century, whereas the RAVV strain had a later origin dating back to a mean 33.8 YA. The most probable location of the MARV ancestor was Uganda (state posterior probability, spp=0.41), whereas that of the RAVV ancestor was Kenya (spp=0.71). There were significant migration rates from Uganda to the DRC (Bayes Factor, BF=42.0) and in the opposite direction (BF=5.7). Our data suggest that Uganda may have been the cradle of Marburg virus in Africa. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Multimodeling: new approaches for linking ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Protecting the larger fish: an ecological, economical and evolutionary analysis using a demographic model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verdiell, Nuria Calduch

    . Recently, there is increasing evidence that this size-selective fishing reduces the chances of maintaining populations at levels sufficient to produce maximum sustainable yields, the chances of recovery/rebuilding populations that have been depleted/collapsed and may causes rapid evolutionary changes...... and the consequent changes in yield. We attempt to evaluate the capability of the larger fish to mitigate the evolutionary change on life-history traits caused by fishing, while also maintaining a sustainable annual yield. This is achieved by calculating the expected selection response on three life-history traits......Many marine fish stocks are reported as overfished on a global scale. This overfishing not only removes fish biomass, but also causes dramatic changes in the age and size structure of fish stocks. In particular, targeting of the larger individuals truncates the age and size structure of stocks...

  5. Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Plant Mediation of Multi-Trophic Interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Abdala, Luis Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Consumers are strongly influenced by plant phenotypic variation. Such variation may have a genetic or environmental basis, and occurs when plant genotypes or species vary in traits or when patches of co-occurring plants vary in the number of genotypes or species. However, these sources of plant variation have usually been studied separately, their underlying mechanisms are poorly understood, and the evolutionary consequences are largely unknown. This dissertation aims to fill these gaps in re...

  6. [Migraine and evolutionary theory: paths for a clinical approach].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvaro-Gonzalez, L C

    2016-10-01

    Migraine is a very common disorder with a raising incidence. The theory of evolution allow us to explain the emergence of the disorder, due to the advantages that the overreactivity to stimulus provided to ancestral groups of Homo sapiens, and a greater presence of the disorder in modern societies, based in the interactions with external factors. Herein we analyze these points. Design of organisms and their responses to environmental factors emerge to improve survival. Thus pain and headache can be contemplated as homeostatic and adaptative responses. Below 10% of the population has no experience with headache and the migrainous phenotype is quite frequent in secondary headaches and in syndromic forms of migraine. These features can be understood under the next undergrounds: specific neurophysiological data (lack of habituation, sensibilization and low preactivation), genetic features (polygenic disorder with the implication of many gens with a low penetrance, that interact with the environment and are shared with comorbid disorders such as depression and anxiety); and environmental interactions in modern societies (increase in the number of estrogenic cycles and particularly overexposition to stress). A feature that was an evolutionary advantage has been transformed in a highly prevalent and disabling disorder in modern societies. It is the result of the interaction with internal (estrogenic cycles) and external (stress) stimuli. As a consequence, it becomes a mismatch disorder. The effects appear in childhood through epigenetics. Therefore, therapeutic interventions would yield greater benefits if whole populations were included in educative interventions incorporating these aspects.

  7. Design of an Evolutionary Approach for Intrusion Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulshan Kumar

    2013-01-01

    ensemble methods like bagging and boosting. In addition, the proposed approach is a generalized classification approach that is applicable to the problem of any field having multiple conflicting objectives, and a dataset can be represented in the form of labelled instances in terms of its features.

  8. Schizophrenia and Human Self-Domestication: An Evolutionary Linguistics Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Di Pietro, Lorena; Barba, Marta; Lattanzi, Wanda

    2017-01-01

    Schizophrenia (SZ) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder that entails social and cognitive deficits, including marked language problems. Its complex multifactorial etiopathogenesis, including genetic and environmental factors, is still widely uncertain. SZ incidence has always been high and quite stable in human populations, across time and regardless of cultural implications, for unclear reasons. It has been hypothesized that SZ pathophysiology may involve the biological components that changed during the recent human evolutionary history, and led to our distinctive mode of cognition, which includes language skills. In this paper we explore this hypothesis, focusing on the self-domestication of the human species. This has been claimed to account for many human-specific distinctive traits, including aspects of our behavior and cognition, and to favor the emergence of complex languages through cultural evolution. The "domestication syndrome" in mammals comprises the constellation of traits exhibited by domesticated strains, seemingly resulting from the hypofunction of the neural crest. It is our intention to show that people with SZ exhibit more marked domesticated traits at the morphological, physiological, and behavioral levels. We also show that genes involved in domestication and neural crest development and function comprise nearly 20% of SZ candidates, most of which exhibit altered expression profiles in the brain of SZ patients, specifically in areas involved in language processing. Based on these observations, we conclude that SZ may represent an abnormal ontogenetic itinerary for the human faculty of language, resulting, at least in part, from changes in genes important for the domestication syndrome and primarily involving the neural crest. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. Evolutionary biology and anthropology suggest biome reconstitution as a necessary approach toward dealing with immune disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, William; Ollerton, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    Industrialized society currently faces a wide range of non-infectious, immune-related pandemics. These pandemics include a variety of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases that are often associated with common environmental triggers and with genetic predisposition, but that do not occur in developing societies. In this review, we briefly present the idea that these pandemics are due to a limited number of evolutionary mismatches, the most damaging being 'biome depletion'. This particular mismatch involves the loss of species from the ecosystem of the human body, the human biome, many of which have traditionally been classified as parasites, although some may actually be commensal or even mutualistic. This view, evolved from the 'hygiene hypothesis', encompasses a broad ecological and evolutionary perspective that considers host-symbiont relations as plastic, changing through ecological space and evolutionary time. Fortunately, this perspective provides a blueprint, termed 'biome reconstitution', for disease treatment and especially for disease prevention. Biome reconstitution includes the controlled and population-wide reintroduction (i.e. domestication) of selected species that have been all but eradicated from the human biome in industrialized society and holds great promise for the elimination of pandemics of allergic, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

  10. Evolutionary ecology of aging: time to reconcile field and laboratory research

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reichard, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 9 (2016), s. 2988-3000 ISSN 2045-7758 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : condition-dependence * evolution of aging * gene-by-environment interaction * intrapopulation variability * intraspecific aging rate * mortality * senescence Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.440, year: 2016

  11. Isoprenoid emission in hygrophyte and xerophyte European woody flora: ecological and evolutionary implications

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Loreto, F.; Bagnoli, F.; Calfapietra, Carlo; Cafasso, D.; De Lillis, M.; Filibeck, G.; Finsechi, S.; Guidolotti, G.; Sramko, G.; Tökölyi, J.; Ricotta, C.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 3 (2014), s. 334-345 ISSN 1466-822X Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Adaptation * chemo-taxonomy * hygrophytes * isoprene * monoterpenes * phylogenies * salicaceae * xerophytes * water stress Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.531, year: 2014

  12. Burney J. Le Boeuf, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: Recollections of UCSC, 1966-1994

    OpenAIRE

    Reti, Irene H.; Burney, Le Boeuf J; Jarrell, Randall

    2014-01-01

    Burney Le Boeuf was born in southern Louisiana. He attended UC Berkeley, earning his PhD in experimental psychology in 1966. While at Berkeley, he also studied zoology and experimental biology. He arrived at UCSC in 1967 as a member of the psychology board and of Crown College. He already had a strong interest in evolutionary biology and participated in the biology board’s meetings as an outside member. He also began working with biology professor Richard Peterson on seal and sea lion researc...

  13. Ecological opportunity and predator-prey interactions: linking eco-evolutionary processes and diversification in adaptive radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontarp, Mikael; Petchey, Owen L

    2018-03-14

    Much of life's diversity has arisen through ecological opportunity and adaptive radiations, but the mechanistic underpinning of such diversification is not fully understood. Competition and predation can affect adaptive radiations, but contrasting theoretical and empirical results show that they can both promote and interrupt diversification. A mechanistic understanding of the link between microevolutionary processes and macroevolutionary patterns is thus needed, especially in trophic communities. Here, we use a trait-based eco-evolutionary model to investigate the mechanisms linking competition, predation and adaptive radiations. By combining available micro-evolutionary theory and simulations of adaptive radiations we show that intraspecific competition is crucial for diversification as it induces disruptive selection, in particular in early phases of radiation. The diversification rate is however decreased in later phases owing to interspecific competition as niche availability, and population sizes are decreased. We provide new insight into how predation tends to have a negative effect on prey diversification through decreased population sizes, decreased disruptive selection and through the exclusion of prey from parts of niche space. The seemingly disparate effects of competition and predation on adaptive radiations, listed in the literature, may thus be acting and interacting in the same adaptive radiation at different relative strength as the radiation progresses. © 2018 The Authors.

  14. Citizen science data reveal ecological, historical and evolutionary factors shaping interactions between woody hosts and wood-inhabiting fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Maruyama, Pietro K; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Laessøe, Thomas; Frøslev, Tobias Guldberg; Dalsgaard, Bo

    2016-12-01

    Woody plants host diverse communities of associated organisms, including wood-inhabiting fungi. In this group, host effects on species richness and interaction network structure are not well understood, especially not at large geographical scales. We investigated ecological, historical and evolutionary determinants of fungal species richness and network modularity, that is, subcommunity structure, across woody hosts in Denmark, using a citizen science data set comprising > 80 000 records of > 1000 fungal species on 91 genera of woody plants. Fungal species richness was positively related to host size, wood pH, and the number of species in the host genus, with limited influence of host frequency and host history, that is, time since host establishment in the area. Modularity patterns were unaffected by host history, but largely reflected host phylogeny. Notably, fungal communities differed substantially between angiosperm and gymnosperm hosts. Host traits and evolutionary history appear to be more important than host frequency and recent history in structuring interactions between hosts and wood-inhabiting fungi. High wood acidity appears to act as a stress factor reducing fungal species richness, while large host size, providing increased niche diversity, enhances it. In some fungal groups that are known to interact with live host cells in the establishment phase, host selectivity is common, causing a modular community structure. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. 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.

  16. It's a bear market: evolutionary and ecological effects of predation on two wild sockeye salmon populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, J E; Hard, J J; Naish, K A; Peterson, D; Hilborn, R; Hauser, L

    2016-05-01

    Predation can affect both phenotypic variation and population productivity in the wild, but quantifying evolutionary and demographic effects of predation in natural environments is challenging. The aim of this study was to estimate selection differentials and coefficients associated with brown bear (Ursus arctos) predation in wild sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) populations spawning in pristine habitat that is often subject to intense predation pressure. Using reconstructed genetic pedigrees, individual reproductive success (RS) was estimated in two sockeye salmon populations for two consecutive brood years with very different predation intensities across brood years. Phenotypic data on individual adult body length, body depth, stream entry timing and reproductive lifespan were used to calculate selection coefficients based on RS, and genetic variance components were estimated using animal models. Bears consistently killed larger and more recently arrived adults, although selection differentials were small. In both populations, mean RS was higher in the brood year experiencing lower predation intensity. Selection coefficients were similar across brood years with different levels of predation, often indicating stabilizing selection on reproductive lifespan as well as directional selection for longer reproductive lifespan. Despite these selection pressures, genetic covariation of morphology, phenology and lifespan appears to have maintained variation in spawner body size and stream entry timing in both populations. Our results therefore suggest considerable demographic but limited evolutionary effects of bear predation in the two study populations.

  17. A Novel Evolutionary Engineering Design Approach for Mixed-Domain Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fan, Zhun; Hu, J.; Seo, K.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents an approach to engineering design of mixed-domain dynamic systems. The approach aims at system-level design and has two key features: first, it generates engineering designs that satisfy predefined specifications in an automatic manner; second, it can design systems belonging ...... often encountered in evolutionary computation, a HFC (Hierarchical Fair Competition) model is adopted in this work. Examples of an analog filter design and a MEM filter design illustrate the application of the approach....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullins, Philip M.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Ecological approaches to the prevention of unintentional injuries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P. Allegrante

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available

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

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

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

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

  1. Comparative evolutionary diversity and phylogenetic structure across multiple forest dynamics plots: a mega-phylogeny approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Lee Erickson

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Forest dynamics plots, which now span longitudes, latitudes, and habitat types across the globe, offer unparalleled insights into the ecological and evolutionary processes that determine how species are assembled into communities. Understanding phylogenetic relationships among species in a community has become an important component of assessing assembly processes. However, the application of evolutionary information to questions in community ecology has been limited in large part by the lack of accurate estimates of phylogenetic relationships among individual species found within communities, and is particularly limiting in comparisons between communities. Therefore, streamlining and maximizing the information content of these community phylogenies is a priority. To test the viability and advantage of a multi-community phylogeny, we constructed a multi-plot mega-phylogeny of 1,347 species of trees across 15 forest dynamics plots in the ForestGEO network using DNA barcode sequence data (rbcL, matK and psbA-trnH and compared community phylogenies for each individual plot with respect to support for topology and branch lengths, which affect evolutionary inference of community processes. The levels of taxonomic differentiation across the phylogeny were examined by quantifying the frequency of resolved nodes throughout. In addition, three phylogenetic distance metrics that are commonly used to infer assembly processes were estimated for each plot (Phylogenetic Distance [PD], Mean Phylogenetic Distance [MPD], and Mean Nearest Taxon Distance [MNTD]. Lastly, we examine the partitioning of phylogenetic diversity among community plots through quantification of inter-community MPD and MNTD. Overall, evolutionary relationships were highly resolved across the DNA barcode-based mega-phylogeny, and phylogenetic resolution for each community plot was improved when estimated within the context of the mega-phylogeny. Likewise, when compared with phylogenies for

  2. Ecological, historical and evolutionary determinants of modularity in weighted seed-dispersal networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schleuning, Matthias; Ingmann, Lili; Strauß, Rouven

    2014-01-01

    Modularity is a recurrent and important property of bipartite ecological networks. Although well-resolved ecological networks describe interaction frequencies between species pairs, modularity of bipartite networks has been analysed only on the basis of binary presence-absence data. We employ a new...... algorithm to detect modularity in weighted bipartite networks in a global analysis of avian seed-dispersal networks. We define roles of species, such as connector values, for weighted and binary networks and associate them with avian species traits and phylogeny. The weighted, but not binary, analysis...... identified a positive relationship between climatic seasonality and modularity, whereas past climate stability and phylogenetic signal were only weakly related to modularity. Connector values were associated with foraging behaviour and were phylogenetically conserved. The weighted modularity analysis...

  3. Behavioural, ecological, and evolutionary aspects of diversity in frog colour patterns

    OpenAIRE

    Rojas Zuluaga, Bibiana

    2017-01-01

    The role of colours and colour patterns in behavioural ecology has been extensively studied in a variety of contexts and taxa, while almost overlooked in many others. For decades anurans have been the focus of research on acoustic signalling due to the prominence of vocalisations in their communication. Much less attention has been paid to the enormous diversity of colours, colour patterns, and other types of putative visual signals exhibited by frogs. With the exception of some anecdotal obs...

  4. Evolutionary Data Mining Approach to Creating Digital Logic

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    To deal with this problem a genetic program (GP) based data mining ( DM ) procedure has been invented (Smith 2005). A genetic program is an algorithm...that can operate on the variables. When a GP was used as a DM function in the past to automatically create fuzzy decision trees, the Report...rules represents an approach to the determining the effect of linguistic imprecision, i.e., the inability of experts to provide crisp rules. The

  5. A Multi-Criterion Evolutionary Approach Applied to Phylogenetic Reconstruction

    OpenAIRE

    Cancino, W.; Delbem, A.C.B.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we proposed an MOEA approach, called PhyloMOEA which solves the phylogenetic inference problem using maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood criteria. The PhyloMOEA's development was motivated by several studies in the literature (Huelsenbeck, 1995; Jin & Nei, 1990; Kuhner & Felsenstein, 1994; Tateno et al., 1994), which point out that various phylogenetic inference methods lead to inconsistent solutions. Techniques using parsimony and likelihood criteria yield to different tr...

  6. A replicated climate change field experiment reveals rapid evolutionary response in an ecologically important soil invertebrate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bataillon, Thomas; Galtier, Nicolas; Bernard, Aurelien

    2016-01-01

    to climate change in a common annelid worm using a controlled replicated experiment where climatic conditions were manipulated in a natural setting. Analyzing the transcribed genome of 15 local populations, we found that about 12% of the genetic polymorphisms exhibit differences in allele frequencies......Whether species can respond evolutionarily to current climate change is crucial for the persistence of many species. Yet, very few studies have examined genetic responses to climate change in manipulated experiments carried out innatural field conditions. We examined the evolutionary response...... associated to changes in soil temperature and soil moisture. This shows an evolutionaryresponse to realistic climate change happening over short-time scale, and calls for incorporating evolution into modelspredicting future response of species to climate change. It also shows that designed climate change...

  7. Adaptation, interaction and urgency : a complex evolutionary economic geography approach to leisure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meekes, Jasper F.; Buda, Dorina M.; de Roo, Gert

    2017-01-01

    Local and regional governments in western European peripheral areas aim to spur leisure-led regional development. We explore planning for leisure by applying an evolutionary economic geography (EEG) approach from a complexity perspective. We identify conditions which enable and constrain leisure

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary Divergences in Root Exudate Composition among Ecologically-Contrasting Helianthus Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowsher, Alan W; Ali, Rifhat; Harding, Scott A; Tsai, Chung-Jui; Donovan, Lisa A

    2016-01-01

    Plant roots exude numerous metabolites into the soil that influence nutrient availability. Although root exudate composition is hypothesized to be under selection in low fertility soils, few studies have tested this hypothesis in a phylogenetic framework. In this study, we examined root exudates of three pairs of Helianthus species chosen as phylogenetically-independent contrasts with respect to native soil nutrient availability. Under controlled environmental conditions, seedlings were grown to the three-leaf-pair stage, then transferred to either high or low nutrient treatments. After five days of nutrient treatments, we used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for analysis of root exudates, and detected 37 metabolites across species. When compared in the high nutrient treatment, species native to low nutrient soils exhibited overall higher exudation than their sister species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs, providing support for repeated evolutionary shifts in response to native soil fertility. Species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils responded similarly to low nutrient treatments with increased exudation of organic acids (fumaric, citric, malic acids) and glucose, potentially as a mechanism to enhance nutrition acquisition. However, species native to low nutrient soils also responded to low nutrient treatments with a larger decrease in exudation of amino acids than species native to high nutrient soils in all three species pairs. This indicates that species native to low nutrient soils have evolved a unique sensitivity to changes in nutrient availability for some, but not all, root exudates. Overall, these repeated evolutionary divergences between species native to low nutrient soils and those native to high nutrient soils provide evidence for the adaptive value of root exudation, and its plasticity, in contrasting soil environments.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sommer Simone

    2005-10-01

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

  11. Origins of altruism diversity I: The diverse ecological roles of altruistic strategies and their evolutionary responses to local competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Dyken, J David; Wade, Michael J

    2012-08-01

    Nature abounds with a rich variety of altruistic strategies, including public resource enhancement, resource provisioning, communal foraging, alarm calling, and nest defense. Yet, despite their vastly different ecological roles, current theory typically treats diverse altruistic traits as being favored under the same general conditions. Here, we introduce greater ecological realism into social evolution theory and find evidence of at least four distinct modes of altruism. Contrary to existing theory, we find that altruistic traits contributing to "resource-enhancement" (e.g., siderophore production, provisioning, agriculture) and "resource-efficiency" (e.g., pack hunting, communication) are most strongly favored when there is strong local competition. These resource-based modes of helping are "K-strategies" that increase a social group's growth yield, and should characterize species with scarce resources and/or high local crowding caused by low mortality, high fecundity, and/or mortality occurring late in the process of resource-acquisition. The opposite conditions, namely weak local competition (abundant resource, low crowding), favor survival (e.g., nest defense) and fecundity (e.g., nurse workers) altruism, which are "r-strategies" that increase a social group's growth rate. We find that survival altruism is uniquely favored by a novel evolutionary force that we call "sunk cost selection." Sunk cost selection favors helping that prevents resources from being wasted on individuals destined to die before reproduction. Our results contribute to explaining the observed natural diversity of altruistic strategies, reveal the necessary connection between the evolution and the ecology of sociality, and correct the widespread but inaccurate view that local competition uniformly impedes the evolution of altruism. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. An Evolutionary Approach to Driving Tendency Recognition for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Jong-Hyun

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Driving tendency recognition is important for constructing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS. However, it had not been a lot of research using vehicle sensing data, due to the high difficulty to define it. In this paper, we attempt to improve the learning capability of a machine learning method using evolutionary computation. We propose a driving tendency recognition method, with consideration of data characteristics. Comparison of our classification system with conventional methods demonstrated the effectiveness and accuracy over 92% in our system. Our proposed evolutionary approach is confirmed that improve the classification accuracy of the learning method through evolution in the experiment.

  13. An evolutionary approach to advanced water cooled reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antariksawan, A.R.; Subki, I.

    1997-01-01

    Based on the result of the Feasibility Study undertaken since 1991, Indonesia may enter in the new nuclear era by introduction of several Nuclear Power Plants in our energy supply system. Requirements for the future NPP's are developed in two step approach. First step is for the immediate future that is the next 50 years where the system will be dominated by A-LWR's/A-PHWR's and the second step is for the time period beyond 50 years in which new reactor systems may start to dominate. The integral reactor concept provides a revolutionary improvements in terms of conceptual and safety. However, it creates a new set of complex machinery and operational problems of its own. The paper concerns with a brief description of nuclear technology status in Indonesia and a qualitative assessment of integral reactor concept. (author)

  14. Pointing and the Evolution of Language: An Applied Evolutionary Epistemological Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalie Gontier

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Numerous evolutionary linguists have indicated that human pointing behaviour might be associated with the evolution of language. At an ontogenetic level, and in normal individuals, pointing develops spontaneously and the onset of human pointing precedes as well as facilitates phases in speech and language development. Phylogenetically, pointing behaviour might have preceded and facilitated the evolutionary origin of both gestural and vocal language. Contrary to wild non-human primates, captive and human-reared nonhuman primates also demonstrate pointing behaviour. In this article, we analyse the debates on pointing and its role it might have played in language evolution from a meta-level. From within an Applied Evolutionary Epistemological approach, we examine how exactly we can determine whether pointing has been a unit, a level or a mechanism in language evolution.

  15. Civility vs. Incivility in Online Social Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoci, Angelo; Delfino, Alexia; Paglieri, Fabio; Panebianco, Fabrizio; Sabatini, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    Evidence is growing that forms of incivility-e.g. aggressive and disrespectful behaviors, harassment, hate speech and outrageous claims-are spreading in the population of social networking sites' (SNS) users. Online social networks such as Facebook allow users to regularly interact with known and unknown others, who can behave either politely or rudely. This leads individuals not only to learn and adopt successful strategies for using the site, but also to condition their own behavior on that of others. Using a mean field approach, we define anevolutionary game framework to analyse the dynamics of civil and uncivil ways of interaction in online social networks and their consequences for collective welfare. Agents can choose to interact with others-politely or rudely-in SNS, or to opt out from online social networks to protect themselves from incivility. We find that, when the initial share of the population of polite users reaches a critical level, civility becomes generalized if its payoff increases more than that of incivility with the spreading of politeness in online interactions. Otherwise, the spreading of self-protective behaviors to cope with online incivility can lead the economyto non-socially optimal stationary states. JEL Codes: C61, C73, D85, O33, Z13. PsycINFO Codes: 2240, 2750.

  16. Civility vs. Incivility in Online Social Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Antoci

    Full Text Available Evidence is growing that forms of incivility-e.g. aggressive and disrespectful behaviors, harassment, hate speech and outrageous claims-are spreading in the population of social networking sites' (SNS users. Online social networks such as Facebook allow users to regularly interact with known and unknown others, who can behave either politely or rudely. This leads individuals not only to learn and adopt successful strategies for using the site, but also to condition their own behavior on that of others. Using a mean field approach, we define anevolutionary game framework to analyse the dynamics of civil and uncivil ways of interaction in online social networks and their consequences for collective welfare. Agents can choose to interact with others-politely or rudely-in SNS, or to opt out from online social networks to protect themselves from incivility. We find that, when the initial share of the population of polite users reaches a critical level, civility becomes generalized if its payoff increases more than that of incivility with the spreading of politeness in online interactions. Otherwise, the spreading of self-protective behaviors to cope with online incivility can lead the economyto non-socially optimal stationary states. JEL Codes: C61, C73, D85, O33, Z13. PsycINFO Codes: 2240, 2750.

  17. Evolutionary algorithms approach for integrated bioenergy supply chains optimization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ayoub, Nasser; Elmoshi, Elsayed; Seki, Hiroya; Naka, Yuji

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an optimization model and solution approach for designing and evaluating integrated system of bioenergy production supply chains, SC, at the local level. Designing SC that simultaneously utilize a set of bio-resources together is a complicated task, considered here. The complication arises from the different nature and sources of bio-resources used in bioenergy production i.e., wet, dry or agriculture, industrial etc. Moreover, the different concerns that decision makers should take into account, to overcome the tradeoff anxieties of the socialists and investors, i.e., social, environmental and economical factors, was considered through the options of multi-criteria optimization. A first part of this research was introduced in earlier research work explaining the general Bioenergy Decision System gBEDS [Ayoub N, Martins R, Wang K, Seki H, Naka Y. Two levels decision system for efficient planning and implementation of bioenergy production. Energy Convers Manage 2007;48:709-23]. In this paper, brief introduction and emphasize on gBEDS are given; the optimization model is presented and followed by a case study on designing a supply chain of nine bio-resources at Iida city in the middle part of Japan.

  18. Long-range seasonal migration in insects: mechanisms, evolutionary drivers and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Jason W; Reynolds, Don R; Wilson, Kenneth

    2015-03-01

    Myriad tiny insect species take to the air to engage in windborne migration, but entomology also has its 'charismatic megafauna' of butterflies, large moths, dragonflies and locusts. The spectacular migrations of large day-flying insects have long fascinated humankind, and since the advent of radar entomology much has been revealed about high-altitude night-time insect migrations. Over the last decade, there have been significant advances in insect migration research, which we review here. In particular, we highlight: (1) notable improvements in our understanding of lepidopteran navigation strategies, including the hitherto unsuspected capabilities of high-altitude migrants to select favourable winds and orientate adaptively, (2) progress in unravelling the neuronal mechanisms underlying sun compass orientation and in identifying the genetic complex underpinning key traits associated with migration behaviour and performance in the monarch butterfly, and (3) improvements in our knowledge of the multifaceted interactions between disease agents and insect migrants, in terms of direct effects on migration success and pathogen spread, and indirect effects on the evolution of migratory systems. We conclude by highlighting the progress that can be made through inter-phyla comparisons, and identify future research areas that will enhance our understanding of insect migration strategies within an eco-evolutionary perspective. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. (macro- Evolutionary ecology of parasite diversity: From determinants of parasite species richness to host diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Morand

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The present review summarized the factors or determinants that may explain parasite diversity among host species and the consequences of this parasite diversity on the evolution of host-life history traits. As host–parasite interactions are asymmetrical exploited–exploiter relationships, ecological and epidemiological theories produce hypotheses to find the potential determinants of parasite species richness, while life-history theory helps for testing potential consequences on parasite diversity on the evolution of hosts. This review referred only to studies that have specifically controlled or took into account phylogenetic information illustrated with parasites of mammals. Several points needing more investigation were identified with a special emphasis to develop the metabolic theory of epidemiology.

  20. Comparative evolutionary diversity and phylogenetic structure across multiple forest dynamics plots: a mega-phylogeny approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, David L.; Jones, Frank A.; Swenson, Nathan G.; Pei, Nancai; Bourg, Norman A.; Chen, Wenna; Davies, Stuart J.; Ge, Xue-jun; Hao, Zhanqing; Howe, Robert W.; Huang, Chun-Lin; Larson, Andrew J.; Lum, Shawn K. Y.; Lutz, James A.; Ma, Keping; Meegaskumbura, Madhava; Mi, Xiangcheng; Parker, John D.; Fang-Sun, I.; Wright, S. Joseph; Wolf, Amy T.; Ye, W.; Xing, Dingliang; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Kress, W. John

    2014-01-01

    Forest dynamics plots, which now span longitudes, latitudes, and habitat types across the globe, offer unparalleled insights into the ecological and evolutionary processes that determine how species are assembled into communities. Understanding phylogenetic relationships among species in a community has become an important component of assessing assembly processes. However, the application of evolutionary information to questions in community ecology has been limited in large part by the lack of accurate estimates of phylogenetic relationships among individual species found within communities, and is particularly limiting in comparisons between communities. Therefore, streamlining and maximizing the information content of these community phylogenies is a priority. To test the viability and advantage of a multi-community phylogeny, we constructed a multi-plot mega-phylogeny of 1347 species of trees across 15 forest dynamics plots in the ForestGEO network using DNA barcode sequence data (rbcL, matK, and psbA-trnH) and compared community phylogenies for each individual plot with respect to support for topology and branch lengths, which affect evolutionary inference of community processes. The levels of taxonomic differentiation across the phylogeny were examined by quantifying the frequency of resolved nodes throughout. In addition, three phylogenetic distance (PD) metrics that are commonly used to infer assembly processes were estimated for each plot [PD, Mean Phylogenetic Distance (MPD), and Mean Nearest Taxon Distance (MNTD)]. Lastly, we examine the partitioning of phylogenetic diversity among community plots through quantification of inter-community MPD and MNTD. Overall, evolutionary relationships were highly resolved across the DNA barcode-based mega-phylogeny, and phylogenetic resolution for each community plot was improved when estimated within the context of the mega-phylogeny. Likewise, when compared with phylogenies for individual plots, estimates of

  1. Consequences of ecological, evolutionary and biogeochemical uncertainty for coral reef responses to climatic stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Peter J; van Woesik, Robert

    2014-05-19

    Coral reefs are highly sensitive to the stress associated with greenhouse gas emissions, in particular ocean warming and acidification. While experiments show negative responses of most reef organisms to ocean warming, some autotrophs benefit from ocean acidification. Yet, we are uncertain of the response of coral reefs as systems. We begin by reviewing sources of uncertainty and complexity including the translation of physiological effects into demographic processes, indirect ecological interactions among species, the ability of coral reefs to modify their own chemistry, adaptation and trans-generational plasticity. We then incorporate these uncertainties into two simple qualitative models of a coral reef system under climate change. Some sources of uncertainty are far more problematic than others. Climate change is predicted to have an unambiguous negative effect on corals that is robust to several sources of uncertainty but sensitive to the degree of biogeochemical coupling between benthos and seawater. Macroalgal, zoanthid, and herbivorous fish populations are generally predicted to increase, but the ambiguity (confidence) of such predictions are sensitive to the source of uncertainty. For example, reversing the effect of climate-related stress on macroalgae from being positive to negative had no influence on system behaviour. By contrast, the system was highly sensitive to a change in the stress upon herbivorous fishes. Minor changes in competitive interactions had profound impacts on system behaviour, implying that the outcomes of mesocosm studies could be highly sensitive to the choice of taxa. We use our analysis to identify new hypotheses and suggest that the effects of climatic stress on coral reefs provide an exceptional opportunity to test emerging theories of ecological inheritance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Hormones and phenotypic plasticity in an ecological context: linking physiological mechanisms to evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lema, Sean C

    2014-11-01

    Hormones are chemical signaling molecules that regulate patterns of cellular physiology and gene expression underlying phenotypic traits. Hormone-signaling pathways respond to an organism's external environment to mediate developmental stage-specific malleability in phenotypes, so that environmental variation experienced at different stages of development has distinct effects on an organism's phenotype. Studies of hormone-signaling are therefore playing a central role in efforts to understand how plastic phenotypic responses to environmental variation are generated during development. But, how do adaptive, hormonally mediated phenotypes evolve if the individual signaling components (hormones, conversion enzymes, membrane transporters, and receptors) that comprise any hormone-signaling pathway show expressional flexibility in response to environmental variation? What relevance do these components hold as molecular targets for selection to couple or decouple correlated hormonally mediated traits? This article explores how studying the endocrine underpinnings of phenotypic plasticity in an ecologically relevant context can provide insights into these, and other, crucial questions into the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution, including how plasticity itself evolves. These issues are discussed in the light of investigations into how thyroid hormones mediate morphological plasticity in Death Valley's clade of pupfishes (Cyprinodon spp.). Findings from this work with pupfish illustrate that the study of hormone-signaling from an ecological perspective can reveal how phenotypic plasticity contributes to the generation of phenotypic novelty, as well as how physiological mechanisms developmentally link an organism's phenotype to its environmental experiences. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. The origin of snakes: revealing the ecology, behavior, and evolutionary history of early snakes using genomics, phenomics, and the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsiang, Allison Y; Field, Daniel J; Webster, Timothy H; Behlke, Adam D B; Davis, Matthew B; Racicot, Rachel A; Gauthier, Jacques A

    2015-05-20

    The highly derived morphology and astounding diversity of snakes has long inspired debate regarding the ecological and evolutionary origin of both the snake total-group (Pan-Serpentes) and crown snakes (Serpentes). Although speculation abounds on the ecology, behavior, and provenance of the earliest snakes, a rigorous, clade-wide analysis of snake origins has yet to be attempted, in part due to a dearth of adequate paleontological data on early stem snakes. Here, we present the first comprehensive analytical reconstruction of the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of the snake total-group, as inferred using multiple methods of ancestral state reconstruction. We use a combined-data approach that includes new information from the fossil record on extinct crown snakes, new data on the anatomy of the stem snakes Najash rionegrina, Dinilysia patagonica, and Coniophis precedens, and a deeper understanding of the distribution of phenotypic apomorphies among the major clades of fossil and Recent snakes. Additionally, we infer time-calibrated phylogenies using both new 'tip-dating' and traditional node-based approaches, providing new insights on temporal patterns in the early evolutionary history of snakes. Comprehensive ancestral state reconstructions reveal that both the ancestor of crown snakes and the ancestor of total-group snakes were nocturnal, widely foraging, non-constricting stealth hunters. They likely consumed soft-bodied vertebrate and invertebrate prey that was subequal to head size, and occupied terrestrial settings in warm, well-watered, and well-vegetated environments. The snake total-group - approximated by the Coniophis node - is inferred to have originated on land during the middle Early Cretaceous (~128.5 Ma), with the crown-group following about 20 million years later, during the Albian stage. Our inferred divergence dates provide strong evidence for a major radiation of henophidian snake diversity in the wake of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K

  4. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of tri-trophic interactions: Spatial variation and effects of plant density.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor; Moreira, Xoaquín; Ramos-Zapata, José

    2017-02-01

    The factors driving variation in species interactions are often unknown, and few studies have made a link between changes in interactions and the strength of selection. We report on spatial variation in functional responses by a seed predator (SP) and its parasitic wasps associated with the herb Ruellia nudiflora . We assessed the influence of plant density on consumer responses and determined whether density effects and spatial variation in functional responses altered natural selection by these consumers on the plant. We established common gardens at two sites in Yucatan, Mexico, and planted R. nudiflora at two densities in each garden. We recorded fruit output and SP and parasitoid attack; calculated relative fitness (seed number) under scenarios of three trophic levels (accounting for SP and parasitoid effects), two trophic levels (accounting for SP but not parasitoid effects), and one trophic level (no consumer effects); and compared selection strength on fruit number under these scenarios across sites and densities. There was spatial variation in SP recruitment, whereby the SP functional response was negatively density-dependent at one site but density-independent at the other; parasitoid responses were density-independent and invariant across sites. Site variation in SP attack led, in turn, to differences in SP selection on fruit output, and parasitoids did not alter SP selection. There were no significant effects of density at either site. Our results provide a link between consumer functional responses and consumer selection on plants, which deepens our understanding of geographic variation in the evolutionary outcomes of multitrophic interactions. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buscema, Massimo; Sacco, Pier Luigi

    2017-01-01

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

  6. The ecology and evolutionary endocrinology of reproduction in the human female.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitzthum, Virginia J

    2009-01-01

    Human reproductive ecology (HRE) is the study of the mechanisms that link variation in reproductive traits with variation in local habitats. Empirical and theoretical contributions from biological anthropology, physiology, and demography have established the foundation necessary for developing a comprehensive understanding, grounded in life history theory (LHT), of temporal, individual, and populational variation in women's reproductive functioning. LHT posits that natural selection leads to the evolution of mechanisms that tend to allocate resources to the competing demands of growth, reproduction, and survival such that fitness is locally maximized. (That is, among alternative allocation patterns exhibited in a population, those having the highest inclusive fitness will become more common over generational time.) Hence, strategic modulation of reproductive effort is potentially adaptive because investment in a new conception may risk one's own survival, future reproductive opportunities, and/or current offspring survival. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis is the principal neuroendocrine pathway by which the human female modulates reproductive functioning according to the changing conditions in her habitat. Adjustments of reproductive investment in a potential conception are manifested in temporal and individual variation in ovarian cycle length, ovulation, hormone levels, and the probability of conception. Understanding the extent and causes of adaptive and non-adaptive variation in ovarian functioning is fundamental to ascertaining the proximate and remote determinants of human reproductive patterns. In this review I consider what is known and what still needs to be learned of the ecology of women's reproductive biology, beginning with a discussion of the principal explanatory frameworks in HRE and the biometry of ovarian functioning. Turning next to empirical studies, it is evident that marked variation between cycles, women, and populations is the

  7. Insights on the evolutionary origin of Detarioideae, a clade of ecologically dominant tropical African trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Estrella, Manuel; Forest, Félix; Wieringa, Jan J; Fougère-Danezan, Marie; Bruneau, Anne

    2017-06-01

    African tropical forests are generally considered less diverse than their Neotropical and Asian counterparts. By contrast, the Detarioideae is much more diverse in Africa than in South America and Asia. To better understand the evolution of this contrasting diversity pattern, we investigated the biogeographical and ecological origin of this subfamily, testing whether they originated in dry biomes surrounding the Tethys Seaway as currently hypothesized for many groups of Leguminosae. We constructed the largest time-calibrated phylogeny for the subfamily to date, reconstructed ancestral states for geography and biome/habitat, estimated diversification and extinction rates, and evaluated biome/habitat and geographic shifts in Detarioideae. The ancestral habitat of Detarioideae is postulated to be a primary forest (terra firme) originated in Africa-South America, in the early Palaeocene, after which several biome/habitat and geographic shifts occurred. The origin of Detarioideae is older than previous estimates, which postulated a dry (succulent) biome origin according to the Tethys Seaway hypothesis, and instead we reveal a post Gondwana and terra firme origin for this early branching clade of legumes. Detarioideae include some of the most dominant trees in evergreen forests and have likely played a pivotal role in shaping continental African forest diversity. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  8. Evolutionary Ecology of Multitrophic Interactions between Plants, Insect Herbivores and Entomopathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Ikkei

    2017-06-01

    Plants play an important role in the interactions between insect herbivores and their pathogens. Since the seminal review by Cory and Hoover (2006) on plant-mediated effects on insect-pathogen interactions, considerable progress has been made in understanding the complexity of these tritrophic interactions. Increasing interest in the areas of nutritional and ecological immunology over the last decade have revealed that plant primary and secondary metabolites can influence the outcomes of insect-pathogen interactions by altering insect immune functioning and physical barriers to pathogen entry. Some insects use plant secondary chemicals and nutrients to prevent infections (prophylactic medication) and medicate to limit the severity of infections (therapeutic medication). Recent findings suggest that there may be selectable plant traits that enhance entomopathogen efficacy, suggesting that entomopathogens could potentially impose selection pressure on plant traits that improve both pathogen and plant fitness. Moreover, plants in nature are inhabited by diverse communities of microbes, in addition to entomopathogens, some of which can trigger immune responses in insect herbivores. Plants are also shared by numerous other herbivorous arthropods with different modes of feeding that can trigger different defensive responses in plants. Some insect symbionts and gut microbes can degrade ingested defensive phytochemicals and be orally secreted onto wounded plant tissue during herbivory to alter plant defenses. Since non-entomopathogenic microbes and other arthropods are likely to influence the outcomes of plant-insect-entomopathogen interactions, I discuss a need to consider these multitrophic interactions within the greater web of species interactions.

  9. Current issues in the evolutionary ecology of ant-plant symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Veronika E; Frederickson, Megan E; McKey, Doyle; Blatrix, Rumsaïs

    2014-05-01

    Ant-plant symbioses involve plants that provide hollow structures specialized for housing ants and often food to ants. In return, the inhabiting ants protect plants against herbivores and sometimes provide them with nutrients. Here, we review recent advances in ant-plant symbioses, focusing on three areas. First, the nutritional ecology of plant-ants, which is based not only on plant-derived food rewards, but also on inputs from other symbiotic partners, in particular fungi and possibly bacteria. Food and protection are the most important 'currencies' exchanged between partners and they drive the nature and evolution of the relationships. Secondly, studies of conflict and cooperation in ant-plant symbioses have contributed key insights into the evolution and maintenance of mutualism, particularly how partner-mediated feedbacks affect the specificity and stability of mutualisms. There is little evidence that mutualistic ants or plants are under selection to cheat, but the costs and benefits of ant-plant interactions do vary with environmental factors, making them vulnerable to natural or anthropogenic environmental change. Thus, thirdly, ant-plant symbioses should be considered good models for investigating the effects of global change on the outcome of mutualistic interactions. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Gender approaches to evolutionary multi-objective optimization using pre-selection of criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowalczuk, Zdzisław; Białaszewski, Tomasz

    2018-01-01

    A novel idea to perform evolutionary computations (ECs) for solving highly dimensional multi-objective optimization (MOO) problems is proposed. Following the general idea of evolution, it is proposed that information about gender is used to distinguish between various groups of objectives and identify the (aggregate) nature of optimality of individuals (solutions). This identification is drawn out of the fitness of individuals and applied during parental crossover in the processes of evolutionary multi-objective optimization (EMOO). The article introduces the principles of the genetic-gender approach (GGA) and virtual gender approach (VGA), which are not just evolutionary techniques, but constitute a completely new rule (philosophy) for use in solving MOO tasks. The proposed approaches are validated against principal representatives of the EMOO algorithms of the state of the art in solving benchmark problems in the light of recognized EC performance criteria. The research shows the superiority of the gender approach in terms of effectiveness, reliability, transparency, intelligibility and MOO problem simplification, resulting in the great usefulness and practicability of GGA and VGA. Moreover, an important feature of GGA and VGA is that they alleviate the 'curse' of dimensionality typical of many engineering designs.

  11. Evolutionary ecology of endocrine-mediated life-history variation in the garter snake Thamnophis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparkman, Amanda M; Vleck, Carol M; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2009-03-01

    The endocrine system plays an integral role in the regulation of key life-history traits. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a hormone that promotes growth and reproduction, and it has been implicated in the reduction of lifespan. IGF-1 is also capable of responding plastically to environmental stimuli such as resource availability and temperature. Thus pleiotropic control of life-history traits by IGF-1 could provide a mechanism for the evolution of correlated life-history traits in a new or changing environment. An ideal system in which to investigate the role of IGF-1 in life-history evolution exists in two ecotypes of the garter snake Thamnophis elegans, which derive from a single recent ancestral source but have evolved genetically divergent life-history characteristics. Snakes from meadow populations near Eagle Lake, California (USA) exhibit slower growth rates, lower annual reproductive output, and longer median adult lifespans relative to populations along the lakeshore. We hypothesized that the IGF-1 system has differentiated between these ecotypes and can account for increased growth and reproduction and reduced survival in lakeshore vs. meadow snakes. We tested for a difference in plasma IGF-1 levels in free-ranging snakes from replicate populations of each ecotype over three years. IGF-1 levels were significantly associated with adult body size, reproductive output, and season in a manner that reflects established differences in prey ecology and age/size-specific reproduction between the ecotypes. These findings are discussed in the context of theoretical expectations for a tradeoff between reproduction and lifespan that is mediated by pleiotropic endocrine mechanisms.

  12. Approaches to understanding the impact of life-history features on plant-pathogen co-evolutionary dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy J. Burdon; Peter H. Thrall; Adnane Nemri

    2012-01-01

    Natural plant-pathogen associations are complex interactions in which the interplay of environment, host, and pathogen factors results in spatially heterogeneous ecological and epidemiological dynamics. The evolutionary patterns that result from the interaction of these factors are still relatively poorly understood. Recently, integration of the appropriate spatial and...

  13. Social life and sanitary risks: evolutionary and current ecological conditions determine waste management in leaf-cutting ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farji-Brener, Alejandro G; Elizalde, Luciana; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2016-05-25

    Adequate waste management is vital for the success of social life, because waste accumulation increases sanitary risks in dense societies. We explored why different leaf-cutting ants (LCA) species locate their waste in internal nest chambers or external piles, including ecological context and accounting for phylogenetic relations. We propose that waste location depends on whether the environmental conditions enhance or reduce the risk of infection. We obtained the geographical range, habitat and refuse location of LCA from published literature, and experimentally determined whether pathogens on ant waste survived to the high soil temperatures typical of xeric habitats. The habitat of the LCA determined waste location after phylogenetic correction: species with external waste piles mainly occur in xeric environments, whereas those with internal waste chambers mainly inhabit more humid habitats. The ancestral reconstruction suggests that dumping waste externally is less derived than digging waste nest chambers. Empirical results showed that high soil surface temperatures reduce pathogen prevalence from LCA waste. We proposed that LCA living in environments unfavourable for pathogens (i.e. xeric habitats) avoid digging costs by dumping the refuse above ground. Conversely, in environments suitable for pathogens, LCA species prevent the spread of diseases by storing waste underground, presumably, a behaviour that contributed to the colonization of humid habitats. These results highlight the adaptation of organisms to the hygienic challenges of social living, and illustrate how sanitary behaviours can result from a combination of evolutionary history and current environmental conditions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Past, present and future distributions of an Iberian Endemic, Lepus granatensis: ecological and evolutionary clues from species distribution models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pelayo Acevedo

    Full Text Available The application of species distribution models (SDMs in ecology and conservation biology is increasing and assuming an important role, mainly because they can be used to hindcast past and predict current and future species distributions. However, the accuracy of SDMs depends on the quality of the data and on appropriate theoretical frameworks. In this study, comprehensive data on the current distribution of the Iberian hare (Lepus granatensis were used to i determine the species' ecogeographical constraints, ii hindcast a climatic model for the last glacial maximum (LGM, relating it to inferences derived from molecular studies, and iii calibrate a model to assess the species future distribution trends (up to 2080. Our results showed that the climatic factor (in its pure effect and when it is combined with the land-cover factor is the most important descriptor of the current distribution of the Iberian hare. In addition, the model's output was a reliable index of the local probability of species occurrence, which is a valuable tool to guide species management decisions and conservation planning. Climatic potential obtained for the LGM was combined with molecular data and the results suggest that several glacial refugia may have existed for the species within the major Iberian refugium. Finally, a high probability of occurrence of the Iberian hare in the current species range and a northward expansion were predicted for future. Given its current environmental envelope and evolutionary history, we discuss the macroecology of the Iberian hare and its sensitivity to climate change.

  15. Past, present and future distributions of an Iberian Endemic, Lepus granatensis: ecological and evolutionary clues from species distribution models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo, Pelayo; Melo-Ferreira, José; Real, Raimundo; Alves, Paulo Célio

    2012-01-01

    The application of species distribution models (SDMs) in ecology and conservation biology is increasing and assuming an important role, mainly because they can be used to hindcast past and predict current and future species distributions. However, the accuracy of SDMs depends on the quality of the data and on appropriate theoretical frameworks. In this study, comprehensive data on the current distribution of the Iberian hare (Lepus granatensis) were used to i) determine the species' ecogeographical constraints, ii) hindcast a climatic model for the last glacial maximum (LGM), relating it to inferences derived from molecular studies, and iii) calibrate a model to assess the species future distribution trends (up to 2080). Our results showed that the climatic factor (in its pure effect and when it is combined with the land-cover factor) is the most important descriptor of the current distribution of the Iberian hare. In addition, the model's output was a reliable index of the local probability of species occurrence, which is a valuable tool to guide species management decisions and conservation planning. Climatic potential obtained for the LGM was combined with molecular data and the results suggest that several glacial refugia may have existed for the species within the major Iberian refugium. Finally, a high probability of occurrence of the Iberian hare in the current species range and a northward expansion were predicted for future. Given its current environmental envelope and evolutionary history, we discuss the macroecology of the Iberian hare and its sensitivity to climate change.

  16. An approach to grouping species for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Segmenting healthcare terminology users: a strategic approach to large scale evolutionary development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, C; Briggs, K; Brown, P J

    1999-01-01

    Healthcare terminologies have become larger and more complex, aiming to support a diverse range of functions across the whole spectrum of healthcare activity. Prioritization of development, implementation and evaluation can be achieved by regarding the "terminology" as an integrated system of content-based and functional components. Matching these components to target segments within the healthcare community, supports a strategic approach to evolutionary development and provides essential product differentiation to enable terminology providers and systems suppliers to focus on end-user requirements.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin J. Campbell

    2014-12-01

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

  20. The AquaDEB project (phase I): Analysing the physiological flexibility of aquatic species and connecting physiological diversity to ecological and evolutionary processes by using Dynamic Energy Budgets

    OpenAIRE

    Alunno-bruscia, Marianne; Van Der Veer, Henk W.; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A.l.m.

    2009-01-01

    The European Research Project AquaDEB (2007–2011, http://www.ifremer.fr/aquadeb/) is joining skills and expertise of some French and Dutch research institutes and universities to analyse the physiological flexibility of aquatic organisms and to link it to ecological and evolutionary processes within a common theoretical framework for quantitative bioenergetics [Kooijman, S.A.L.M., 2000. Dynamic energy and mass budgets in biological systems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge]. The main sci...

  1. Ecology shapes the evolutionary trade-off between predator avoidance and defence in coral reef butterflyfishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodge, Jennifer R; Alim, Chidera; Bertrand, Nick G; Lee, Wesley; Price, Samantha A; Tran, Binh; Wainwright, Peter C

    2018-07-01

    Antipredator defensive traits are thought to trade-off evolutionarily with traits that facilitate predator avoidance. However, complexity and scale have precluded tests of this prediction in many groups, including fishes. Using a macroevolutionary approach, we test this prediction in butterflyfishes, an iconic group of coral reef inhabitants with diverse social behaviours, foraging strategies and antipredator adaptations. We find that several antipredator traits have evolved adaptively, dependent primarily on foraging strategy. We identify a previously unrecognised axis of diversity in butterflyfishes where species with robust morphological defences have riskier foraging strategies and lack sociality, while species with reduced morphological defences feed in familiar territories, have adaptations for quick escapes and benefit from the vigilance provided by sociality. Furthermore, we find evidence for the constrained evolution of fin spines among species that graze solely on corals, highlighting the importance of corals, as both prey and structural refuge, in shaping fish morphology. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Evolutionary ecology during the rise of dioxygen in the Earth's atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleep, Norman H; Bird, Dennis K

    2008-08-27

    Pre-photosynthetic niches were meagre with a productivity of much less than 10(-4) of modern photosynthesis. Serpentinization, arc volcanism and ridge-axis volcanism reliably provided H(2). Methanogens and acetogens reacted CO(2) with H(2) to obtain energy and make organic matter. These skills pre-adapted a bacterium for anoxygenic photosynthesis, probably starting with H(2) in lieu of an oxygen 'acceptor'. Use of ferrous iron and sulphide followed as abundant oxygen acceptors, allowing productivity to approach modern levels. The 'photobacterium' proliferated rooting much of the bacterial tree. Land photosynthetic microbes faced a dearth of oxygen acceptors and nutrients. A consortium of photosynthetic and soil bacteria aided weathering and access to ferrous iron. Biologically enhanced weathering led to the formation of shales and, ultimately, to granitic rocks. Already oxidized iron-poor sedimentary rocks and low-iron granites provided scant oxygen acceptors, as did freshwater in their drainages. Cyanobacteria evolved dioxygen production that relieved them of these vicissitudes. They did not immediately dominate the planet. Eventually, anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis oxidized much of the Earth's crust and supplied sulphate to the ocean. Anoxygenic photosynthesis remained important until there was enough O(2) in downwelling seawater to quantitatively oxidize massive sulphides at mid-ocean ridge axes.

  3. The translational study of apathy – an ecological approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flurin eCathomas

    2015-09-01

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

  4. Future of Beech in Southeast Europe from the Perspective of Evolutionary Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MÁTYÁS, Csaba

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to provide quantitative information on the effect of climaticchange on the growth and vitality of European beech: although the species is considered in itsoptimum highly plastic and adaptable, it becomes climate-sensitive closer to its xeric (lowerdistribution limits. The future of beech in Southeast Europe requires special attention because thisregion harbours significant populations living at or near their xeric distribution boundary. Even thoughthe low elevation occurrences are uniquely vulnerable to climatic shifts, observations and modellingstudies pertaining to this region are particularly scarce.Out of climatic factors determining the xeric distributional limits for beech, Ellenberg’s droughtindex (EQ appeared as the most influential. Growth response analyses in comparative tests haveconfirmed the existence of macroclimatic adaptation of beech and have proven that warming and morearid conditions lead to decline of growth and vitality, while no decline was observed if EQ changed inthe opposite direction. The response to weather extremes was investigated in field plots. Recurrentsummer droughts of 3 to 4 consecutive years, above mean EQ value 40-42 resulted in pest and diseaseattacks and mass mortality.The discussed approaches indicate consistently a high level of uncertainty regarding the future ofbeech at the xeric limit in Southeast Europe. According to field observations and bioclimatic data inHungary, a large part of low-elevation beech forests presently in the zone of EQ index 20 might bethreatened by the warming in the second half of the century, while higher-elevation occurrences mayremain stable.The interpretation of the results bears some stipulations, such as the consequence of ecologicaland human interactions in influencing present distribution patterns, the unclear role of persistence,natural selection and plasticity and uncertainties of climate projections. Grim projections mayprobably be partly

  5. An improved Greengenes taxonomy with explicit ranks for ecological and evolutionary analyses of bacteria and archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, Daniel; Price, Morgan N; Goodrich, Julia; Nawrocki, Eric P; DeSantis, Todd Z; Probst, Alexander; Andersen, Gary L; Knight, Rob; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2012-03-01

    Reference phylogenies are crucial for providing a taxonomic framework for interpretation of marker gene and metagenomic surveys, which continue to reveal novel species at a remarkable rate. Greengenes is a dedicated full-length 16S rRNA gene database that provides users with a curated taxonomy based on de novo tree inference. We developed a 'taxonomy to tree' approach for transferring group names from an existing taxonomy to a tree topology, and used it to apply the Greengenes, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and cyanoDB (Cyanobacteria only) taxonomies to a de novo tree comprising 408,315 sequences. We also incorporated explicit rank information provided by the NCBI taxonomy to group names (by prefixing rank designations) for better user orientation and classification consistency. The resulting merged taxonomy improved the classification of 75% of the sequences by one or more ranks relative to the original NCBI taxonomy with the most pronounced improvements occurring in under-classified environmental sequences. We also assessed candidate phyla (divisions) currently defined by NCBI and present recommendations for consolidation of 34 redundantly named groups. All intermediate results from the pipeline, which includes tree inference, jackknifing and transfer of a donor taxonomy to a recipient tree (tax2tree) are available for download. The improved Greengenes taxonomy should provide important infrastructure for a wide range of megasequencing projects studying ecosystems on scales ranging from our own bodies (the Human Microbiome Project) to the entire planet (the Earth Microbiome Project). The implementation of the software can be obtained from http://sourceforge.net/projects/tax2tree/.

  6. The Assessment of Current Biogeographic Patterns of Coral Reef Fishes in the Red Sea by Incorporating Their Evolutionary and Ecological Background

    KAUST Repository

    Robitzch Sierra, Vanessa S. N.

    2017-03-01

    The exceptional environment of the Red Sea has lead to high rates of endemism and biodiversity. Located at the periphery of the world’s coral reefs distribution, its relatively young reefs offer an ideal opportunity to study biogeography and underlying evolutionary and ecological triggers. Here, I provide baseline information on putative seasonal recruitment patterns of reef fishes along a cross shelf gradient at an inshore, mid-shelf, and shelf-edge reef in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea. I propose a basic comparative model to resolve biogeographic patterns in endemic and cosmopolitan reef fishes. Therefore, I chose the genetically, biologically, and ecologically similar coral-dwelling damselfishes Dascyllus aruanus and D. marginatus as a model species-group. As a first step, basic information on the distribution, population structure, and genetic diversity is evaluated within and outside the Red Sea along most of their global distribution. Second, pelagic larval durations (PLDs) within the Red Sea environmental gradient are explored. For the aforementioned, PLDs of the only other Red Sea Dascyllus, D. trimaculatus, are included for a more comprehensive comparison. Third, to further assess ongoing pathways of connectivity and geneflow related to larval behavior and dispersal in Red Sea reef fishes, the genetic composition and kinship of a single recruitment cohort of D. aruanus arriving together at one single reef is quantified using single nuclear polymorphisms (SNPs). Genetic diversity and relatedness of the recruits are compared to that of the standing population at the settlement reef, providing insight into putative dispersal strategies and behavior of coral reef fish larvae. As a fourth component to study traits shaping biogeography, the ecology and adaptive potential of the cosmopolitan D. aruanus is described by studying morphometric-geometrics of the body structure in relation to the stomach content and prey type from specimen along the cross

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. A parametric interpretation of Bayesian Nonparametric Inference from Gene Genealogies: Linking ecological, population genetics and evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponciano, José Miguel

    2017-11-22

    Using a nonparametric Bayesian approach Palacios and Minin (2013) dramatically improved the accuracy, precision of Bayesian inference of population size trajectories from gene genealogies. These authors proposed an extension of a Gaussian Process (GP) nonparametric inferential method for the intensity function of non-homogeneous Poisson processes. They found that not only the statistical properties of the estimators were improved with their method, but also, that key aspects of the demographic histories were recovered. The authors' work represents the first Bayesian nonparametric solution to this inferential problem because they specify a convenient prior belief without a particular functional form on the population trajectory. Their approach works so well and provides such a profound understanding of the biological process, that the question arises as to how truly "biology-free" their approach really is. Using well-known concepts of stochastic population dynamics, here I demonstrate that in fact, Palacios and Minin's GP model can be cast as a parametric population growth model with density dependence and environmental stochasticity. Making this link between population genetics and stochastic population dynamics modeling provides novel insights into eliciting biologically meaningful priors for the trajectory of the effective population size. The results presented here also bring novel understanding of GP as models for the evolution of a trait. Thus, the ecological principles foundation of Palacios and Minin (2013)'s prior adds to the conceptual and scientific value of these authors' inferential approach. I conclude this note by listing a series of insights brought about by this connection with Ecology. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Market-oriented ecological promotion - The Zurich approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

    Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as "maladaptive." In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic) adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ~40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons), evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (that provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff), and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension). Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), developmental programming and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  12. Evolutionary impact assessment: Accounting for the evolutionary consequences of fishing in an ecosystem approach to fisheries management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laugen, Ane T.; Engelhard, Georg H.; Whitlock, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    substantial scientific attention recently is fisheries-induced evolution (FIE). Increasing evidence indicates that intensive fishing has the potential to exert strong directional selection on life-history traits, behaviour, physiology, and morphology of exploited fish. Of particular concern is that reversing...... evolutionary responses to fishing can be much more difficult than reversing demographic or phenotypically plastic responses. Furthermore, like climate change, multiple agents cause FIE, with effects accumulating over time. Consequently, FIE may alter the utility derived from fish stocks, which in turn can...

  13. Assessing the evolutionary history of the class Synurophyceae (Heterokonta) using molecular, morphometric, and paleobiological approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siver, Peter A; Jo, Bok Yeon; Kim, Jong Im; Shin, Woongghi; Lott, Anne Marie; Wolfe, Alexander P

    2015-06-01

    Heterokont algae of the class Synurophyceae, characterized by distinctive siliceous scales that cover the surface of the cell, are ecologically important in inland waters, yet their evolutionary history remains enigmatic. We explore phylogenetic relationships within this group of algae relative to geologic time, with a focus on evolution of siliceous components. We combined an expansive five-gene and time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of synurophyte algae with an extensive array of fossil specimens from the middle Eocene to infer evolutionary trends within the group. The group originated in the Jurassic approximately 157 million years ago (Ma), with the keystone genera Mallomonas and Synura diverging during the Early Cretaceous at 130 Ma. Mallomonas further splits into two major subclades, signaling the evolution of the V-rib believed to aid in the spacing and organization of scales on the cell covering. Synura also diverges into two primary subclades, separating taxa with forward-projecting spines on the scale from those with a keel positioned on the scale proper. Approximately one third of the fossil species are extinct, whereas the remaining taxa are linked to modern congeners. The taxonomy of synurophytes, which relies extensively on the morphology of the siliceous components, is largely congruent with molecular analyses. Scales of extinct synurophytes were significantly larger than those of modern taxa and may have played a role in their demise. In contrast, many fossil species linked to modern lineages were smaller in the middle Eocene, possibly reflecting growth in the greenhouse climatic state that characterized this geologic interval. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  14. The Genetics Underlying Natural Variation in the Biotic Interactions of Arabidopsis thaliana: The Challenges of Linking Evolutionary Genetics and Community Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, F; Bergelson, J

    2016-01-01

    In the context of global change, predicting the responses of plant communities in an ever-changing biotic environment calls for a multipronged approach at the interface of evolutionary genetics and community ecology. However, our understanding of the genetic basis of natural variation involved in mediating biotic interactions, and associated adaptive dynamics of focal plants in their natural communities, is still in its infancy. Here, we review the genetic and molecular bases of natural variation in the response to biotic interactions (viruses, bacteria, fungi, oomycetes, herbivores, and plants) in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana as well as the adaptive value of these bases. Among the 60 identified genes are a number that encode nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR)-type proteins, consistent with early examples of plant defense genes. However, recent studies have revealed an extensive diversity in the molecular mechanisms of defense. Many types of genetic variants associate with phenotypic variation in biotic interactions, even among the genes of large effect that tend to be identified. In general, we found that (i) balancing selection rather than directional selection explains the observed patterns of genetic diversity within A. thaliana and (ii) the cost/benefit tradeoffs of adaptive alleles can be strongly dependent on both genomic and environmental contexts. Finally, because A. thaliana rarely interacts with only one biotic partner in nature, we highlight the benefit of exploring diffuse biotic interactions rather than tightly associated host-enemy pairs. This challenge would help to improve our understanding of coevolutionary quantitative genetics within the context of realistic community complexity. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Music and Its Inductive Power: A Psychobiological and Evolutionary Approach to Musical Emotions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reybrouck, Mark; Eerola, Tuomas

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this contribution is to broaden the concept of musical meaning from an abstract and emotionally neutral cognitive representation to an emotion-integrating description that is related to the evolutionary approach to music. Starting from the dispositional machinery for dealing with music as a temporal and sounding phenomenon, musical emotions are considered as adaptive responses to be aroused in human beings as the product of neural structures that are specialized for their processing. A theoretical and empirical background is provided in order to bring together the findings of music and emotion studies and the evolutionary approach to musical meaning. The theoretical grounding elaborates on the transition from referential to affective semantics, the distinction between expression and induction of emotions, and the tension between discrete-digital and analog-continuous processing of the sounds. The empirical background provides evidence from several findings such as infant-directed speech, referential emotive vocalizations and separation calls in lower mammals, the distinction between the acoustic and vehicle mode of sound perception, and the bodily and physiological reactions to the sounds. It is argued, finally, that early affective processing reflects the way emotions make our bodies feel, which in turn reflects on the emotions expressed and decoded. As such there is a dynamic tension between nature and nurture, which is reflected in the nature-nurture-nature cycle of musical sense-making. PMID:28421015

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Bartoli

    2017-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Açıkkalp, Emin

    2017-01-01

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

  18. A Hybrid Multiobjective Evolutionary Approach for Flexible Job-Shop Scheduling Problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Xiong

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses multiobjective flexible job-shop scheduling problem (FJSP with three simultaneously considered objectives: minimizing makespan, minimizing total workload, and minimizing maximal workload. A hybrid multiobjective evolutionary approach (H-MOEA is developed to solve the problem. According to the characteristic of FJSP, a modified crowding distance measure is introduced to maintain the diversity of individuals. In the proposed H-MOEA, well-designed chromosome representation and genetic operators are developed for FJSP. Moreover, a local search procedure based on critical path theory is incorporated in H-MOEA to improve the convergence ability of the algorithm. Experiment results on several well-known benchmark instances demonstrate the efficiency and stability of the proposed algorithm. The comparison with other recently published approaches validates that H-MOEA can obtain Pareto-optimal solutions with better quality and/or diversity.

  19. An Evolutionary Modelling Approach To Understanding The Factors Behind Plant Invasiveness And Community Susceptibility To Invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warren, John; Topping, Christopher John; James, Penri

    2011-01-01

    Ecologists have had limited success in understanding which introduced species may become invasive. An evolutionary model is used to investigate which traits are associated with invasiveness. Translocation experiments were simulated in which species were moved into similar but evolutionary younger...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrini, Tabea; Knop, Eva

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.P. Syroid

    2016-12-01

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

  2. Hill-Climbing search and diversification within an evolutionary approach to protein structure prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chira, Camelia; Horvath, Dragos; Dumitrescu, D

    2011-07-30

    Proteins are complex structures made of amino acids having a fundamental role in the correct functioning of living cells. The structure of a protein is the result of the protein folding process. However, the general principles that govern the folding of natural proteins into a native structure are unknown. The problem of predicting a protein structure with minimum-energy starting from the unfolded amino acid sequence is a highly complex and important task in molecular and computational biology. Protein structure prediction has important applications in fields such as drug design and disease prediction. The protein structure prediction problem is NP-hard even in simplified lattice protein models. An evolutionary model based on hill-climbing genetic operators is proposed for protein structure prediction in the hydrophobic - polar (HP) model. Problem-specific search operators are implemented and applied using a steepest-ascent hill-climbing approach. Furthermore, the proposed model enforces an explicit diversification stage during the evolution in order to avoid local optimum. The main features of the resulting evolutionary algorithm - hill-climbing mechanism and diversification strategy - are evaluated in a set of numerical experiments for the protein structure prediction problem to assess their impact to the efficiency of the search process. Furthermore, the emerging consolidated model is compared to relevant algorithms from the literature for a set of difficult bidimensional instances from lattice protein models. The results obtained by the proposed algorithm are promising and competitive with those of related methods.

  3. Evolutionary history of genus Macrobrachium inferred from mitochondrial markers: a molecular clock approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jose, Deepak; Harikrishnan, Mahadevan

    2018-04-17

    Caridea, an infraorder of shrimps coming under Pleocyemata was first reported from the oceans before 417 million years followed by their radiation recorded during the Permian period. Hitherto, about 3877 extant caridean species were accounted within which one quarter constitute freshwater species. Freshwater prawns of genus Macrobrachium (Infraorder Caridea; Family Palaemonidae), with more than 240 species are inhabitants of diverse aquatic habitats like coastal lagoons, lakes, tropical streams, ponds and rivers. Previous studies on Macrobrachium relied on the highly variable morphological characters which were insufficient for accurate diagnosis of natural species groups. Present study focuses on the utility of molecular markers (viz. COI and 16S rRNA) for resolving the evolutionary history of genus Macrobrachium using a combination of phylogeny and timescale components. It is for the first time a molecular clock approach had been carried out towards genus Macrobrachium in a broad aspect with the incorporation of congeners inhabiting diverse geographical realms including endemic species M. striatum from South West coast of India. Molecular results obtained revealed the phylogenetic relationships between congeners of genus Macrobrachium at intra/inter-continental level along with the corresponding evolutionary time estimates.

  4. Hill-Climbing search and diversification within an evolutionary approach to protein structure prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chira Camelia

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Proteins are complex structures made of amino acids having a fundamental role in the correct functioning of living cells. The structure of a protein is the result of the protein folding process. However, the general principles that govern the folding of natural proteins into a native structure are unknown. The problem of predicting a protein structure with minimum-energy starting from the unfolded amino acid sequence is a highly complex and important task in molecular and computational biology. Protein structure prediction has important applications in fields such as drug design and disease prediction. The protein structure prediction problem is NP-hard even in simplified lattice protein models. An evolutionary model based on hill-climbing genetic operators is proposed for protein structure prediction in the hydrophobic - polar (HP model. Problem-specific search operators are implemented and applied using a steepest-ascent hill-climbing approach. Furthermore, the proposed model enforces an explicit diversification stage during the evolution in order to avoid local optimum. The main features of the resulting evolutionary algorithm - hill-climbing mechanism and diversification strategy - are evaluated in a set of numerical experiments for the protein structure prediction problem to assess their impact to the efficiency of the search process. Furthermore, the emerging consolidated model is compared to relevant algorithms from the literature for a set of difficult bidimensional instances from lattice protein models. The results obtained by the proposed algorithm are promising and competitive with those of related methods.

  5. Influence of different positive emotions on persuasion processing: a functional evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griskevicius, Vladas; Shiota, Michelle N; Neufeld, Samantha L

    2010-04-01

    Much research has found that positive affect facilitates increased reliance on heuristics in cognition. However, theories proposing distinct evolutionary fitness-enhancing functions for specific positive emotions also predict important differences among the consequences of different positive emotion states. Two experiments investigated how six positive emotions influenced the processing of persuasive messages. Using different methods to induce emotions and assess processing, we showed that the positive emotions of anticipatory enthusiasm, amusement, and attachment love tended to facilitate greater acceptance of weak persuasive messages (consistent with previous research), whereas the positive emotions of awe and nurturant love reduced persuasion by weak messages. In addition, a series of mediation analyses suggested that the effects distinguishing different positive emotions from a neutral control condition were best accounted for by different mediators rather than by one common mediator. These findings build upon approaches that link affective valence to certain types of processing, documenting emotion-specific effects on cognition that are consistent with functional evolutionary accounts of discrete positive emotions. Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  6. MUSICOLOGY AS AN EVOLUTIONARY SYSTEM OF THE MUSICAL THINKING CATEGORIES (PROPOSED FORAMETHODOLOGICAL-HERMENEUTICS APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GARAZ OLEG

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The appearance of musicology as a science is due yo Guido Adler’s foundation act of 1885. The dialectical formulation of musicology as an interaction between systematic and historical disciplines were to confer it sufficien methodological force so that the newly invented science could become practicable as soon as possible. Historically being a descendant of the German historical method (Leopold von Ranke and the one contemporary with positivism (Auguste Comte, musicology affirms itself quickly as an academic discipline (begun by Wilhelm von Humboldt and takes in both sociology (Max Weber and hermeneutics (Hermann Kretzschmar as constituent disciplines. In one sense, musicology presented itself as an open conceptual system, permeable to the evolutionary changes of the thinking field and musical practices and, in a second sense, the methodology of systematic conceptual organization was oriented towards the university teaching field as an offer for pedagogical and research activities. In our text, we propose a hipothesis of approaching the conceptual system of musicology as a cosubstantional system of botn the constituent parts — the systematic and the historical ones, in such a way motivating and explaining its dialectical-evolutionary nature.

  7. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

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

  8. Analysing Buyers' and Sellers' Strategic Interactions in Marketplaces: An Evolutionary Game Theoretic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vytelingum, Perukrishnen; Cliff, Dave; Jennings, Nicholas R.

    We develop a new model to analyse the strategic behaviour of buyers and sellers in market mechanisms. In particular, we wish to understand how the different strategies they adopt affect their economic efficiency in the market and to understand the impact of these choices on the overall efficiency of the marketplace. To this end, we adopt a two-population evolutionary game theoretic approach, where we consider how the behaviours of both buyers and sellers evolve in marketplaces. In so doing, we address the shortcomings of the previous state-of-the-art analytical model that assumes that buyers and sellers have to adopt the same mixed strategy in the market. Finally, we apply our model in one of the most common market mechanisms, the Continuous Double Auction, and demonstrate how it allows us to provide new insights into the strategic interactions of such trading agents.

  9. Evolutionary Approach of Virtual Communities of Practice: A Reflection within a Network of Spanish Rural Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frossard, Frédérique; Trifonova, Anna; Barajas Frutos, Mario

    The isolation of rural communities creates special necessities for teachers and students in rural schools. The present article describes "Rural Virtual School", a Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP) in which Spanish teachers of rural schools share learning resources and teaching methodologies through social software applications. The article arrives to an evolutionary model, in which the use of the social software tools evolves together with the needs and the activities of the VCoP through the different stages of its lifetime. Currently, the community has reached a high level of maturity and, in order to keep its momentum, the members intentionally use appropriate technologies specially designed to enhance rich innovative educational approaches, through which they collaboratively generate creative practices.

  10. The coordination aspect of institutions in the context of an evolutionary approach to economic dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoran Stefanovic

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The paper provides an insight into the dominant trends of contemporary evolutionary economics and outlines the important issues related to the articulation of this approach in thinking about the economy. The paper also affirms a proposition on institutions as carrier structures of socio-economic evolution, whose numerous effects at the societal level are decoded through the coordination function. In addition to the market, the process of coordination also employs other non-market institutional structures, whose profile and operational principles are the product of the trajectories of cultural and historical evolution, different among social orders. Projects aimed at the transformation of the economic system are to be sensitized to an objectively conditioned diversity of the institutional structures of the world economy, and in this sense, should be very careful in the installation of „universal” reform solutions.

  11. Enhanced lipase recovery through RSM integrated differential evolutionary approach from the fermented biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijay Kumar Garlapati

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to apply a modeling integrated optimisation approach for a complex, highly nonlinear system for an extracellular lipase extraction process. The model was developed using mutation, crossover and selection variables of Differential Evolution (DE based on central composite design of Response Surface Methodology. The experimentally validated model was optimized by DE, a robust evolutionary optimization tool. A maximum lipase activity of 134.13 U/gds (more than 36.28 U/gds compared to one variable at a time approach was observed with the DE-stated optimum values of 25.01% dimethyl sulfoxide concentration, 40 mM buffer, 128.52 min soaking time and 35ºC with the DE control parameters, namely number of population, generations, crossover operator and scaling factor as 20, 50, 0.5 and 0.25, respectively. The use of DE approach improved the optimization capability and decision speed, resulting in an improved yield of 36.28 U/gds compared to the one variable at a time approach for the extracellular lipase activity under the non-optimized conditions. The developed mathematical model and optimization were generic in nature, which seemed to be useful for the scale-up studies of maximum recovery of lipase from the fermented biomass.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan eSpring

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Ecological and evolutionary influences on body size and shape in the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiari, Ylenia; Glaberman, Scott; Tarroso, Pedro; Caccone, Adalgisa; Claude, Julien

    2016-07-01

    Oceanic islands are often inhabited by endemic species that have undergone substantial morphological evolutionary change due to processes of multiple colonizations from various source populations, dispersal, and local adaptation. Galápagos marine iguanas are an example of an island endemic exhibiting high morphological diversity, including substantial body size variation among populations and sexes, but the causes and magnitude of this variation are not well understood. We obtained morphological measurements from marine iguanas throughout their distribution range. These data were combined with genetic and local environmental data from each population to investigate the effects of evolutionary history and environmental conditions on body size and shape variation and sexual dimorphism. Our results indicate that body size and shape are highly variable among populations. Sea surface temperature and island perimeter, but not evolutionary history as depicted by phylogeographic patterns in this species, explain variation in body size among populations. Conversely, evolutionary history, but not environmental parameters or island size, was found to influence variation in body shape among populations. Finally, in all populations except one, we found strong sexual dimorphism in body size and shape in which males are larger, with higher heads than females, while females have longer heads than males. Differences among populations suggest that plasticity and/or genetic adaptation may shape body size and shape variation in marine iguanas. This study will help target future investigations to address the contribution of plasticity versus genetic adaptation on size and shape variation in marine iguanas.

  15. An evolutionary approach to real-time moment magnitude estimation via inversion of displacement spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caprio, M.; Lancieri, M.; Cua, G. B.; Zollo, A.; Wiemer, S.

    2011-01-01

    We present an evolutionary approach for magnitude estimation for earthquake early warning based on real-time inversion of displacement spectra. The Spectrum Inversion (SI) method estimates magnitude and its uncertainty by inferring the shape of the entire displacement spectral curve based on the part of the spectra constrained by available data. The method consists of two components: 1) estimating seismic moment by finding the low frequency plateau Ω0, the corner frequency fc and attenuation factor (Q) that best fit the observed displacement spectra assuming a Brune ω2 model, and 2) estimating magnitude and its uncertainty based on the estimate of seismic moment. A novel characteristic of this method is that is does not rely on empirically derived relationships, but rather involves direct estimation of quantities related to the moment magnitude. SI magnitude and uncertainty estimates are updated each second following the initial P detection. We tested the SI approach on broadband and strong motion waveforms data from 158 Southern California events, and 25 Japanese events for a combined magnitude range of 3 ≤ M ≤ 7. Based on the performance evaluated on this dataset, the SI approach can potentially provide stable estimates of magnitude within 10 seconds from the initial earthquake detection.

  16. The AquaDEB project (phase I): Analysing the physiological flexibility of aquatic species and connecting physiological diversity to ecological and evolutionary processes by using Dynamic Energy Budgets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alunno-Bruscia, Marianne; van der Veer, Henk W.; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A. L. M.

    2009-08-01

    The European Research Project AquaDEB (2007-2011, http://www.ifremer.fr/aquadeb/) is joining skills and expertise of some French and Dutch research institutes and universities to analyse the physiological flexibility of aquatic organisms and to link it to ecological and evolutionary processes within a common theoretical framework for quantitative bioenergetics [Kooijman, S.A.L.M., 2000. Dynamic energy and mass budgets in biological systems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge]. The main scientific objectives in AquaDEB are i) to study and compare the sensitivity of aquatic species (mainly molluscs and fish) to environmental variability of natural or human origin, and ii) to evaluate the related consequences at different biological levels (individual, population, ecosystem) and temporal scales (life cycle, population dynamics, evolution). At mid-term life, the AquaDEB collaboration has already yielded interesting results by quantifying bio-energetic processes of various aquatic species (e.g. molluscs, fish, crustaceans, algae) with a single mathematical framework. It has also allowed to federate scientists with different backgrounds, e.g. mathematics, microbiology, ecology, chemistry, and working in different fields, e.g. aquaculture, fisheries, ecology, agronomy, ecotoxicology, climate change. For the two coming years, the focus of the AquaDEB collaboration will be in priority: (i) to compare energetic and physiological strategies among species through the DEB parameter values and to identify the factors responsible for any differences in bioenergetics and physiology; and to compare dynamic (DEB) versus static (SEB) energy models to study the physiological performance of aquatic species; (ii) to consider different scenarios of environmental disruption (excess of nutrients, diffuse or massive pollution, exploitation by man, climate change) to forecast effects on growth, reproduction and survival of key species; (iii) to scale up the models for a few species from

  17. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as “maladaptive.” In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or from evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ∼40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons, evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (which provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff, and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension. Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout the life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo, developmental programming, and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  18. Decoupling of body-plan diversification and ecological structuring during the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition: evolutionary and geobiological feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mángano, M Gabriela; Buatois, Luis A

    2014-04-07

    The rapid appearance of bilaterian clades at the beginning of the Phanerozoic is one of the most intriguing topics in macroevolution. However, the complex feedbacks between diversification and ecological interactions are still poorly understood. Here, we show that a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the trace-fossil record of the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition indicates that body-plan diversification and ecological structuring were decoupled. The appearance of a wide repertoire of behavioural strategies and body plans occurred by the Fortunian. However, a major shift in benthic ecological structure, recording the establishment of a suspension-feeder infauna, increased complexity of the trophic web, and coupling of benthos and plankton took place during Cambrian Stage 2. Both phases were accompanied by different styles of ecosystem engineering, but only the second one resulted in the establishment of the Phanerozoic-style ecology. In turn, the suspension-feeding infauna may have been the ecological drivers of a further diversification of deposit-feeding strategies by Cambrian Stage 3, favouring an ecological spillover scenario. Trace-fossil information strongly supports the Cambrian explosion, but allows for a short time of phylogenetic fuse during the terminal Ediacaran-Fortunian.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia F. Hoque

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hallisey Elaine J

    2006-12-01

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

  1. Evolutionary engineering for industrial microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanee, Niti; Fisher, Adam B; Fong, Stephen S

    2012-01-01

    Superficially, evolutionary engineering is a paradoxical field that balances competing interests. In natural settings, evolution iteratively selects and enriches subpopulations that are best adapted to a particular ecological niche using random processes such as genetic mutation. In engineering desired approaches utilize rational prospective design to address targeted problems. When considering details of evolutionary and engineering processes, more commonality can be found. Engineering relies on detailed knowledge of the problem parameters and design properties in order to predict design outcomes that would be an optimized solution. When detailed knowledge of a system is lacking, engineers often employ algorithmic search strategies to identify empirical solutions. Evolution epitomizes this iterative optimization by continuously diversifying design options from a parental design, and then selecting the progeny designs that represent satisfactory solutions. In this chapter, the technique of applying the natural principles of evolution to engineer microbes for industrial applications is discussed to highlight the challenges and principles of evolutionary engineering.

  2. An Evolutionary Game Theoretic Approach to Multi-Sector Coordination and Self-Organization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando P. Santos

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Coordination games provide ubiquitous interaction paradigms to frame human behavioral features, such as information transmission, conventions and languages as well as socio-economic processes and institutions. By using a dynamical approach, such as Evolutionary Game Theory (EGT, one is able to follow, in detail, the self-organization process by which a population of individuals coordinates into a given behavior. Real socio-economic scenarios, however, often involve the interaction between multiple co-evolving sectors, with specific options of their own, that call for generalized and more sophisticated mathematical frameworks. In this paper, we explore a general EGT approach to deal with coordination dynamics in which individuals from multiple sectors interact. Starting from a two-sector, consumer/producer scenario, we investigate the effects of including a third co-evolving sector that we call public. We explore the changes in the self-organization process of all sectors, given the feedback that this new sector imparts on the other two.

  3. Quantitative Trait Loci Mapping Problem: An Extinction-Based Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithm Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas S. Flann

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL mapping problem aims to identify regions in the genome that are linked to phenotypic features of the developed organism that vary in degree. It is a principle step in determining targets for further genetic analysis and is key in decoding the role of specific genes that control quantitative traits within species. Applications include identifying genetic causes of disease, optimization of cross-breeding for desired traits and understanding trait diversity in populations. In this paper a new multi-objective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA method is introduced and is shown to increase the accuracy of QTL mapping identification for both independent and epistatic loci interactions. The MOEA method optimizes over the space of possible partial least squares (PLS regression QTL models and considers the conflicting objectives of model simplicity versus model accuracy. By optimizing for minimal model complexity, MOEA has the advantage of solving the over-fitting problem of conventional PLS models. The effectiveness of the method is confirmed by comparing the new method with Bayesian Interval Mapping approaches over a series of test cases where the optimal solutions are known. This approach can be applied to many problems that arise in analysis of genomic data sets where the number of features far exceeds the number of observations and where features can be highly correlated.

  4. Evolutionary and ecological perspectives of Late Paleozoic ferns. Part III. Anachoropterid ferns (including Anachoropteris, Tubicaulis, the Sermayaceae, Kaplanopteridaceae and Psalixochlaenaceae)

    OpenAIRE

    Galtier, Jean; Phillips, Tom L.

    2014-01-01

    The anachoropterid ferns, previously assigned to the family Anachoropteridaceae, are a group of anatomically preserved late Paleozoic filicalean ferns characterized by a C-shaped foliar xylem with abaxially recurved arms (inversicatenalean anatomy) and two main protoxylem strands. The variously curved to strongly inrolled foliar xylem certainly reflects different evolutionary trends within the morphogenus Anachoropteris. The occurrence of two groups of Tubicaulis is supported by differences i...

  5. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

    Institutions are hard to define and hard to study. Long prominent in political science have been two theories: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI) and Historical Institutionalism (HI). Arising from the life sciences is now a third: Evolutionary Institutionalism (EI). Comparative strengths and weaknesses of these three theories warrant review, and the value-to-be-added by expanding the third beyond Darwinian evolutionary theory deserves consideration. Should evolutionary institutionalism expand to accommodate new understanding in ecology, such as might apply to the emergence of stability, and in genetics, such as might apply to political behavior? Core arguments are reviewed for each theory with more detailed exposition of the third, EI. Particular attention is paid to EI's gene-institution analogy; to variation, selection, and retention of institutional traits; to endogeneity and exogeneity; to agency and structure; and to ecosystem effects, institutional stability, and empirical limitations in behavioral genetics. RCI, HI, and EI are distinct but complementary. Institutional change, while amenable to rational-choice analysis and, retrospectively, to criticaljuncture and path-dependency analysis, is also, and importantly, ecological. Stability, like change, is an emergent property of institutions, which tend to stabilize after change in a manner analogous to allopatric speciation. EI is more than metaphorically biological in that institutional behaviors are driven by human behaviors whose evolution long preceded the appearance of institutions themselves.

  6. Using Evolutionary Data in Developing Phylogenetic Trees: A Scaffolded Approach with Authentic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Analyzing evolutionary relationships requires that students have a thorough understanding of evidence and of how scientists use evidence to develop these relationships. In this lesson sequence, students work in groups to process many different lines of evidence of evolutionary relationships between ungulates, then construct a scientific argument…

  7. Q&A: Friends (but sometimes foes) within: the complex evolutionary ecology of symbioses between host and microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerardo, Nicole; Hurst, Gregory

    2017-12-27

    Over the past decade, there has been a pronounced shift in the study of host-microbe associations, with recognition that many of these associations are beneficial, and often critical, for a diverse array of hosts. There may also be pronounced benefits for the microbes, though this is less well empirically understood. Significant progress has been made in understanding how ecology and evolution shape simple associations between hosts and one or a few microbial species, and this work can serve as a foundation to study the ecology and evolution of host associations with their often complex microbial communities (microbiomes).

  8. Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalusche, D.

    1978-01-01

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

  9. Restructuring of workflows to minimise errors via stochastic model checking: An automated evolutionary approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbert, L.T.; Hansen, Z.N.L.

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents a framework for the automated restructuring of stochastic workflows to reduce the impact of faults. The framework allows for the modelling of workflows by means of a formalised subset of the BPMN workflow language. We extend this modelling formalism to describe faults and incorporate an intention preserving stochastic semantics able to model both probabilistic- and non-deterministic behaviour. Stochastic model checking techniques are employed to generate the state-space of a given workflow. Possible improvements obtained by restructuring are measured by employing the framework's capacity for tracking real-valued quantities associated with states and transitions of the workflow. The space of possible restructurings of a workflow is explored by means of an evolutionary algorithm, where the goals for improvement are defined in terms of optimising quantities, typically employed to model resources, associated with a workflow. The approach is fully automated and only the modelling of the production workflows, potential faults and the expression of the goals require manual input. We present the design of a software tool implementing this framework and explore the practical utility of this approach through an industrial case study in which the risk of production failures and their impact are reduced by restructuring the workflow. - Highlights: • We present a framework which allows for the automated restructuring of workflows. • This framework seeks to minimise the impact of errors on the workflow. • We illustrate a scalable software implementation of this framework. • We explore the practical utility of this approach through an industry case. • The impact of errors can be substantially reduced by restructuring the workflow.

  10. Evolutionary approaches for the reverse-engineering of gene regulatory networks: A study on a biologically realistic dataset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gidrol Xavier

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inferring gene regulatory networks from data requires the development of algorithms devoted to structure extraction. When only static data are available, gene interactions may be modelled by a Bayesian Network (BN that represents the presence of direct interactions from regulators to regulees by conditional probability distributions. We used enhanced evolutionary algorithms to stochastically evolve a set of candidate BN structures and found the model that best fits data without prior knowledge. Results We proposed various evolutionary strategies suitable for the task and tested our choices using simulated data drawn from a given bio-realistic network of 35 nodes, the so-called insulin network, which has been used in the literature for benchmarking. We assessed the inferred models against this reference to obtain statistical performance results. We then compared performances of evolutionary algorithms using two kinds of recombination operators that operate at different scales in the graphs. We introduced a niching strategy that reinforces diversity through the population and avoided trapping of the algorithm in one local minimum in the early steps of learning. We show the limited effect of the mutation operator when niching is applied. Finally, we compared our best evolutionary approach with various well known learning algorithms (MCMC, K2, greedy search, TPDA, MMHC devoted to BN structure learning. Conclusion We studied the behaviour of an evolutionary approach enhanced by niching for the learning of gene regulatory networks with BN. We show that this approach outperforms classical structure learning methods in elucidating the original model. These results were obtained for the learning of a bio-realistic network and, more importantly, on various small datasets. This is a suitable approach for learning transcriptional regulatory networks from real datasets without prior knowledge.

  11. Multiobjective RFID Network Optimization Using Multiobjective Evolutionary and Swarm Intelligence Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanning Chen

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The development of radio frequency identification (RFID technology generates the most challenging RFID network planning (RNP problem, which needs to be solved in order to operate the large-scale RFID network in an optimal fashion. RNP involves many objectives and constraints and has been proven to be a NP-hard multi-objective problem. The application of evolutionary algorithm (EA and swarm intelligence (SI for solving multiobjective RNP (MORNP has gained significant attention in the literature, but these algorithms always transform multiple objectives into a single objective by weighted coefficient approach. In this paper, we use multiobjective EA and SI algorithms to find all the Pareto optimal solutions and to achieve the optimal planning solutions by simultaneously optimizing four conflicting objectives in MORNP, instead of transforming multiobjective functions into a single objective function. The experiment presents an exhaustive comparison of three successful multiobjective EA and SI, namely, the recently developed multiobjective artificial bee colony algorithm (MOABC, the nondominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II, and the multiobjective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO, on MORNP instances of different nature, namely, the two-objective and three-objective MORNP. Simulation results show that MOABC proves to be more superior for planning RFID networks than NSGA-II and MOPSO in terms of optimization accuracy and computation robustness.

  12. A heuristic ranking approach on capacity benefit margin determination using Pareto-based evolutionary programming technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Othman, Muhammad Murtadha; Abd Rahman, Nurulazmi; Musirin, Ismail; Fotuhi-Firuzabad, Mahmud; Rajabi-Ghahnavieh, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces a novel multiobjective approach for capacity benefit margin (CBM) assessment taking into account tie-line reliability of interconnected systems. CBM is the imperative information utilized as a reference by the load-serving entities (LSE) to estimate a certain margin of transfer capability so that a reliable access to generation through interconnected system could be attained. A new Pareto-based evolutionary programming (EP) technique is used to perform a simultaneous determination of CBM for all areas of the interconnected system. The selection of CBM at the Pareto optimal front is proposed to be performed by referring to a heuristic ranking index that takes into account system loss of load expectation (LOLE) in various conditions. Eventually, the power transfer based available transfer capability (ATC) is determined by considering the firm and nonfirm transfers of CBM. A comprehensive set of numerical studies are conducted on the modified IEEE-RTS79 and the performance of the proposed method is numerically investigated in detail. The main advantage of the proposed technique is in terms of flexibility offered to an independent system operator in selecting an appropriate solution of CBM simultaneously for all areas.

  13. A Heuristic Ranking Approach on Capacity Benefit Margin Determination Using Pareto-Based Evolutionary Programming Technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Murtadha Othman

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces a novel multiobjective approach for capacity benefit margin (CBM assessment taking into account tie-line reliability of interconnected systems. CBM is the imperative information utilized as a reference by the load-serving entities (LSE to estimate a certain margin of transfer capability so that a reliable access to generation through interconnected system could be attained. A new Pareto-based evolutionary programming (EP technique is used to perform a simultaneous determination of CBM for all areas of the interconnected system. The selection of CBM at the Pareto optimal front is proposed to be performed by referring to a heuristic ranking index that takes into account system loss of load expectation (LOLE in various conditions. Eventually, the power transfer based available transfer capability (ATC is determined by considering the firm and nonfirm transfers of CBM. A comprehensive set of numerical studies are conducted on the modified IEEE-RTS79 and the performance of the proposed method is numerically investigated in detail. The main advantage of the proposed technique is in terms of flexibility offered to an independent system operator in selecting an appropriate solution of CBM simultaneously for all areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Karen E.; And Others

    1988-01-01

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

  15. The covariance between genetic and environmental influences across ecological gradients: reassessing the evolutionary significance of countergradient and cogradient variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conover, David O; Duffy, Tara A; Hice, Lyndie A

    2009-06-01

    Patterns of phenotypic change across environmental gradients (e.g., latitude, altitude) have long captivated the interest of evolutionary ecologists. The pattern and magnitude of phenotypic change is determined by the covariance between genetic and environmental influences across a gradient. Cogradient variation (CoGV) occurs when covariance is positive: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypic expression are aligned and their joint influence accentuates the change in mean trait value across the gradient. Conversely, countergradient variation (CnGV) occurs when covariance is negative: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypes oppose one another, thereby diminishing the change in mean trait expression across the gradient. CnGV has so far been found in at least 60 species, with most examples coming from fishes, amphibians, and insects across latitudinal or altitudinal gradients. Traits that display CnGV most often involve metabolic compensation, that is, the elevation of various physiological rates processes (development, growth, feeding, metabolism, activity) to counteract the dampening effect of reduced temperature, growing season length, or food supply. Far fewer examples of CoGV have been identified (11 species), and these most often involve morphological characters. Increased knowledge of spatial covariance patterns has furthered our understanding of Bergmann size clines, phenotypic plasticity, species range limits, tradeoffs in juvenile growth rate, and the design of conservation strategies for wild species. Moreover, temporal CnGV explains some cases of an apparent lack of phenotypic response to directional selection and provides a framework for predicting evolutionary responses to climate change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mišković Milan M.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, H A

    1996-12-01

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

  19. Bridging developmental systems theory and evolutionary psychology using dynamic optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankenhuis, Willem E; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H

    2013-07-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic optimization integrates developmental systems theorists' focus on dynamics and contingency with the 'design stance' of evolutionary psychology. It provides a theoretical framework as well as a set of tools for exploring the properties of developmental systems that natural selection might favor, given particular evolutionary ecologies. We also discuss limitations of the approach. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gillian R.; Dickins, Thomas E.; Sear, Rebecca; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Human beings persist in an extraordinary range of ecological settings, in the process exhibiting enormous behavioural diversity, both within and between populations. People vary in their social, mating and parental behaviour and have diverse and elaborate beliefs, traditions, norms and institutions. The aim of this theme issue is to ask whether, and how, evolutionary theory can help us to understand this diversity. In this introductory article, we provide a background to the debate surrounding how best to understand behavioural diversity using evolutionary models of human behaviour. In particular, we examine how diversity has been viewed by the main subdisciplines within the human evolutionary behavioural sciences, focusing in particular on the human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution approaches. In addition to differences in focus and methodology, these subdisciplines have traditionally varied in the emphasis placed on human universals, ecological factors and socially learned behaviour, and on how they have addressed the issue of genetic variation. We reaffirm that evolutionary theory provides an essential framework for understanding behavioural diversity within and between human populations, but argue that greater integration between the subfields is critical to developing a satisfactory understanding of diversity. PMID:21199836

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  2. Development of a population of cancer cells: Observation and modeling by a Mixed Spatial Evolutionary Games approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Świerniak, Andrzej; Krześlak, Michał; Student, Sebastian; Rzeszowska-Wolny, Joanna

    2016-09-21

    Living cells, like whole living organisms during evolution, communicate with their neighbors, interact with the environment, divide, change their phenotypes, and eventually die. The development of specific ways of communication (through signaling molecules and receptors) allows some cellular subpopulations to survive better, to coordinate their physiological status, and during embryonal development to create tissues and organs or in some conditions to become tumors. Populations of cells cultured in vitro interact similarly, also competing for space and nutrients and stimulating each other to better survive or to die. The results of these intercellular interactions of different types seem to be good examples of biological evolutionary games, and have been the subjects of simulations by the methods of evolutionary game theory where individual cells are treated as players. Here we present examples of intercellular contacts in a population of living human cancer HeLa cells cultured in vitro and propose an evolutionary game theory approach to model the development of such populations. We propose a new technique termed Mixed Spatial Evolutionary Games (MSEG) which are played on multiple lattices corresponding to the possible cellular phenotypes which gives the possibility of simulating and investigating the effects of heterogeneity at the cellular level in addition to the population level. Analyses performed with MSEG suggested different ways in which cellular populations develop in the case of cells communicating directly and through factors released to the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparative approaches to studying strategy: towards an evolutionary account of primate decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosnan, Sarah F; Beran, Michael J; Parrish, Audrey E; Price, Sara A; Wilson, Bart J

    2013-07-18

    How do primates, humans included, deal with novel problems that arise in interactions with other group members? Despite much research regarding how animals and humans solve social problems, few studies have utilized comparable procedures, outcomes, or measures across different species. Thus, it is difficult to piece together the evolution of decision making, including the roots from which human economic decision making emerged. Recently, a comparative body of decision making research has emerged, relying largely on the methodology of experimental economics in order to address these questions in a cross-species fashion. Experimental economics is an ideal method of inquiry for this approach. It is a well-developed method for distilling complex decision making involving multiple conspecifics whose decisions are contingent upon one another into a series of simple decision choices. This allows these decisions to be compared across species and contexts. In particular, our group has used this approach to investigate coordination in New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and great apes (including humans), using identical methods. We find that in some cases there are remarkable continuities of outcome, as when some pairs in all species solved a coordination game, the Assurance game. On the other hand, we also find that these similarities in outcomes are likely driven by differences in underlying cognitive mechanisms. New World monkeys required exogenous information about their partners' choices in order to solve the task, indicating that they were using a matching strategy. Old World monkeys, on the other hand, solved the task without exogenous cues, leading to investigations into what mechanisms may be underpinning their responses (e.g., reward maximization, strategy formation, etc.). Great apes showed a strong experience effect, with cognitively enriched apes following what appears to be a strategy. Finally, humans were able to solve the task with or without exogenous cues

  4. Trickle-down evolution: an approach to getting major evolutionary adaptive changes into textbooks and curricula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padian, Kevin

    2008-08-01

    Although contemporary high school and college textbooks of biology generally cover the principles and data of microevolution (genetic and populational change) and speciation rather well, coverage of what is known of the major changes in evolution (macroevolution), and how the evidence is understood is generally poor to nonexistent. It is critical to improve this because acceptance of evolution by the American public rests on the understanding of how we know what we know about the emergence of major new taxonomic groups, and about their adaptations, behaviors, and ecologies in geologic time. An efficient approach to this problem is to improve the illustrations in college textbooks to show the consilience of different lines of fossil, morphological, and molecular evidence mapped on phylogenies. Such "evograms" will markedly improve traditional illustrations of phylogenies, "menageries," and "companatomies." If "evograms" are installed at the college level, the basic principles and evidence of macroevolution will be more likely taught in K-12, thus providing an essential missing piece in biological education.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Practice makes perfect: Performance optimisation in 'arboreal' parkour athletes illuminates the evolutionary ecology of great ape anatomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halsey, Lewis G; Coward, Samuel R L; Crompton, Robin H; Thorpe, Susannah K S

    2017-02-01

    An animal's size is central to its ecology, yet remarkably little is known about the selective pressures that drive this trait. A particularly compelling example is how ancestral apes evolved large body mass in such a physically and energetically challenging environment as the forest canopy, where weight-bearing branches and lianas are flexible, irregular and discontinuous, and the majority of preferred foods are situated on the most flexible branches at the periphery of tree crowns. To date the issue has been intractable due to a lack of relevant fossil material, the limited capacity of the fossil record to reconstruct an animal's behavioural ecology and the inability to measure energy consumption in freely moving apes. We studied the oxygen consumption of parkour athletes while they traversed an arboreal-like course as an elite model ape, to test the ecomorphological and behavioural mechanisms by which a large-bodied ape could optimize its energetic performance during tree-based locomotion. Our results show that familiarity with the arboreal-like course allowed the athletes to substantially reduce their energy expenditure. Furthermore, athletes with larger arm spans and shorter legs were particularly adept at finding energetic savings. Our results flesh out the scanty fossil record to offer evidence that long, strong arms, broad chests and a strong axial system, combined with the frequent use of uniform branch-to-branch arboreal pathways, were critical to off-setting the mechanical and energetic demands of large mass in ancestral apes. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A review of gastrointestinal microbiology with special emphasis on molecular microbial ecology approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackie, R.I.; Cann, I.K.O.

    2005-01-01

    All animals, including humans, are adapted to life in a microbial world. Large populations of micro-organisms inhabit the gastrointestinal tract of all animals and form a closely integrated ecological unit with the host. This complex, mixed, microbial culture can be considered the most metabolically adaptable and rapidly renewable organ of the body, which plays a vital role in the normal nutritional, physiological, immunological and protective functions of the host animal. Bacteria have traditionally been classified mainly on the basis of phenotypic properties. Despite the vast amount of knowledge generated for ruminal and other intestinal ecosystems using traditional techniques, the basic requisites for ecological studies, namely, enumeration and identification of all community members, have limitations. The two major problems faced by microbial ecologists are bias introduced by culture-based enumeration and characterization techniques, and the lack of a phylogenetically-based classification scheme. Modem molecular ecology techniques based on sequence comparisons of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) can be used to provide molecular characterization while at the same time providing a classification scheme that predicts natural evolutionary relationships. These molecular methods provide results that are independent of growth conditions and media used. Also, using these techniques, bacteria can be classified and identified before they can be grown in pure culture. These nucleic acid-based techniques will enable gut microbiologists to answer the most difficult question in microbial ecology: namely, describing the exact role or function a specific bacterium plays in its natural environment and its quantitative contribution to the whole. However, rather than replacing the classical culture-based system, the new molecular-based techniques can be used in combination with the classical approach to improve cultivation, speciation and evaluation of diversity. The study of microbial

  11. Investigating intertemporal choice through experimental evolutionary robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paglieri, Fabio; Parisi, Domenico; Patacchiola, Massimiliano; Petrosino, Giancarlo

    2015-06-01

    In intertemporal choices, subjects face a trade-off between value and delay: achieving the most valuable outcome requires a longer time, whereas the immediately available option is objectively poorer. Intertemporal choices are ubiquitous, and comparative studies reveal commonalities and differences across species: all species devalue future rewards as a function of delay (delay aversion), yet there is a lot of inter-specific variance in how rapidly such devaluation occurs. These differences are often interpreted in terms of ecological rationality, as depending on environmental factors (e.g., feeding ecology) and the physiological and morphological constraints of different species (e.g., metabolic rate). Evolutionary hypotheses, however, are hard to verify in vivo, since it is difficult to observe precisely enough real environments, not to mention ancestral ones. In this paper, we discuss the viability of an approach based on evolutionary robotics: in Study 1, we evolve robots without a metabolism in five different ecologies; in Study 2, we evolve metabolic robots (i.e., robots that consume energy over time) in three different ecologies. The intertemporal choices of the robots are analyzed both in their ecology and under laboratory conditions. Results confirm the generality of delay aversion and the usefulness of studying intertemporal choice through experimental evolutionary robotics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Nutritional Ecology and Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-07-17

    In contrast to the spectacular advances in the first half of the twentieth century with micronutrient-related diseases, human nutrition science has failed to stem the more recent rise of obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease (OACD). This failure has triggered debate on the problems and limitations of the field and what change is needed to address these. We briefly review the two broad historical phases of human nutrition science and then provide an overview of the main problems that have been implicated in the poor progress of the field with solving OACD. We next introduce the field of nutritional ecology and show how its ecological-evolutionary foundations can enrich human nutrition science by providing the theory to help address its limitations. We end by introducing a modeling approach from nutritional ecology, termed nutritional geometry, and demonstrate how it can help to implement ecological and evolutionary theory in human nutrition to provide new direction and to better understand and manage OACD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Bandy X; Young, John L

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. [Sex differences in sexual versus emotional jealousy: evolutionary approach and recent discussions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demirtaş Madran, H Andaç

    2008-01-01

    Sex differences in jealousy have been reported widely in the social psychological, clinical psychological, psychiatric, and anthropological literature. Many of the studies conducted on jealousy have focused on the sex differences in the level of reported jealousy. Most research has reported that there is no difference between men and women regarding the level of reported jealousy, but there are some sex differences between sexual and emotional jealousy. Evolutionary psychologists divide jealousy into 2 dimensions based on their observations and empirical research findings: Sexual jealousy and emotional jealousy. Sexual jealousy is knowing or suspecting that one's partners has had sexual relationship with a third person, whereas emotional jealousy is triggered by partner's emotional involvement with and/or love for another person. The parental investment model, which extended Darwin's explanations of sexual selection, provides a useful theoretical framework for studying sexual and emotional jealousy. According to this model sexual selection is driven by differential parental investment by men and women; men should experience more sexual jealousy than women and women should experience more emotional jealousy than men. Considerable research has focused on testing this hypothesis and, with a few exceptions, the results are generally consistent with the evolutionary account. In this study, firstly, a brief definition of the sexual and emotional jealousy will be given. Then, sex differences in sexual and emotional jealousy will be explained according to the evolutionary theory. Finally, the results of empirical studies and critiques of the evolutionary model will be given.

  17. An Evolutionary Robotics Approach to the Control of Plant Growth and Motion: Modeling Plants and Crossing the Reality Gap

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wahby, Mostafa; Hofstadler, Daniel Nicolas; Heinrich, Mary Katherine

    2016-01-01

    The self-organizing bio-hybrid collaboration of robots and natural plants allows for a variety of interesting applications. As an example we investigate how robots can be used to control the growth and motion of a natural plant, using LEDs to provide stimuli. We follow an evolutionary robotics...... approach where task performance is determined by monitoring the plant's reaction. First, we do initial plant experiments with simple, predetermined controllers. Then we use image sampling data as a model of the dynamics of the plant tip xy position. Second, we use this approach to evolve robot controllers...

  18. Ecology and evolution of plant–pollinator interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Randall J.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Flanagan, Rebecca J.; Karron, Jeffrey D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Some of the most exciting advances in pollination biology have resulted from interdisciplinary research combining ecological and evolutionary perspectives. For example, these two approaches have been essential for understanding the functional ecology of floral traits, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant–pollinator interactions. However, as research in these and other areas has progressed, many pollination biologists have become more specialized in their research interests, focusing their attention on either evolutionary or ecological questions. We believe that the continuing vigour of a synthetic and interdisciplinary field like pollination biology depends on renewed connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. Scope In this Viewpoint paper we highlight the application of ecological and evolutionary approaches to two themes in pollination biology: (1) links between pollinator behaviour and plant mating systems, and (2) generalization and specialization in pollination systems. We also describe how mathematical models and synthetic analyses have broadened our understanding of pollination biology, especially in human-modified landscapes. We conclude with several suggestions that we hope will stimulate future research. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to this Special Issue on the Ecology and Evolution of Plant–Pollinator Interactions. These papers provide inspiring examples of the synergy between evolutionary and ecological approaches, and offer glimpses of great accomplishments yet to come. PMID:19482881

  19. Ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Randall J; Irwin, Rebecca E; Flanagan, Rebecca J; Karron, Jeffrey D

    2009-06-01

    Some of the most exciting advances in pollination biology have resulted from interdisciplinary research combining ecological and evolutionary perspectives. For example, these two approaches have been essential for understanding the functional ecology of floral traits, the dynamics of pollen transport, competition for pollinator services, and patterns of specialization and generalization in plant-pollinator interactions. However, as research in these and other areas has progressed, many pollination biologists have become more specialized in their research interests, focusing their attention on either evolutionary or ecological questions. We believe that the continuing vigour of a synthetic and interdisciplinary field like pollination biology depends on renewed connections between ecological and evolutionary approaches. In this Viewpoint paper we highlight the application of ecological and evolutionary approaches to two themes in pollination biology: (1) links between pollinator behaviour and plant mating systems, and (2) generalization and specialization in pollination systems. We also describe how mathematical models and synthetic analyses have broadened our understanding of pollination biology, especially in human-modified landscapes. We conclude with several suggestions that we hope will stimulate future research. This Viewpoint also serves as the introduction to this Special Issue on the Ecology and Evolution of Plant-Pollinator Interactions. These papers provide inspiring examples of the synergy between evolutionary and ecological approaches, and offer glimpses of great accomplishments yet to come.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Fincher; Marie-Louise Smith

    1994-01-01

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

  1. Avian malaria: a new lease of life for an old experimental model to study the evolutionary ecology of Plasmodium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigeault, Romain; Vézilier, Julien; Cornet, Stéphane; Zélé, Flore; Nicot, Antoine; Perret, Philippe; Gandon, Sylvain; Rivero, Ana

    2015-08-19

    Avian malaria has historically played an important role as a model in the study of human malaria, being a stimulus for the development of medical parasitology. Avian malaria has recently come back to the research scene as a unique animal model to understand the ecology and evolution of the disease, both in the field and in the laboratory. Avian malaria is highly prevalent in birds and mosquitoes around the world and is amenable to laboratory experimentation at each stage of the parasite's life cycle. Here, we take stock of 5 years of experimental laboratory research carried out using Plasmodium relictum SGS1, the most prevalent avian malaria lineage in Europe, and its natural vector, the mosquito Culex pipiens. For this purpose, we compile and analyse data obtained in our laboratory in 14 different experiments. We provide statistical relationships between different infection-related parameters, including parasitaemia, gametocytaemia, host morbidity (anaemia) and transmission rates to mosquitoes. This analysis provides a wide-ranging picture of the within-host and between-host parameters that may bear on malaria transmission and epidemiology. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  2. Predictable variation of range-sizes across an extreme environmental gradient in a lizard adaptive radiation: evolutionary and ecological inferences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Pincheira-Donoso

    Full Text Available Large-scale patterns of current species geographic range-size variation reflect historical dynamics of dispersal and provide insights into future consequences under changing environments. Evidence suggests that climate warming exerts major damage on high latitude and elevation organisms, where changes are more severe and available space to disperse tracking historical niches is more limited. Species with longer generations (slower adaptive responses, such as vertebrates, and with restricted distributions (lower genetic diversity, higher inbreeding in these environments are expected to be particularly threatened by warming crises. However, a well-known macroecological generalization (Rapoport's rule predicts that species range-sizes increase with increasing latitude-elevation, thus counterbalancing the impact of climate change. Here, I investigate geographic range-size variation across an extreme environmental gradient and as a function of body size, in the prominent Liolaemus lizard adaptive radiation. Conventional and phylogenetic analyses revealed that latitudinal (but not elevational ranges significantly decrease with increasing latitude-elevation, while body size was unrelated to range-size. Evolutionarily, these results are insightful as they suggest a link between spatial environmental gradients and range-size evolution. However, ecologically, these results suggest that Liolaemus might be increasingly threatened if, as predicted by theory, ranges retract and contract continuously under persisting climate warming, potentially increasing extinction risks at high latitudes and elevations.

  3. Outrun or Outmaneuver: Predator-Prey Interactions as a Model System for Integrating Biomechanical Studies in a Broader Ecological and Evolutionary Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Talia Y; Biewener, Andrew A

    2015-12-01

    Behavioral studies performed in natural habitats provide a context for the development of hypotheses and the design of experiments relevant both to biomechanics and to evolution. In particular, predator-prey interactions are a model system for integrative study because success or failure of predation has a direct effect on fitness and drives the evolution of specialized performance in both predator and prey. Although all predators share the goal of capturing prey, and all prey share the goal of survival, the behavior of predators and prey are diverse in nature. This article presents studies of some predator-prey interactions sharing common predation strategies that reveal general principles governing the behaviors of predator and prey, even in distantly related taxa. Studies of predator-prey interactions also reveal that maximal performance observed in a laboratory setting is not necessarily the performance that determines fitness. Thus, considering locomotion in the context of predation ecology can aid in evolutionarily relevant experimental design. Classification by strategy reveals that displaying unpredictable trajectories is a relevant anti-predator behavior in response to multiple predation strategies. A predator's perception and pursuit of prey can be affected indirectly by divergent locomotion of similar animals that share an ecosystem. Variation in speed and direction of locomotion that directly increases the unpredictability of a prey's trajectory can be increased through genetic mutation that affects locomotor patterns, musculoskeletal changes that affect maneuverability, and physical interactions between an animal and the environment. By considering the interconnectedness of ecology, physical constraints, and the evolutionary history of behavior, studies in biomechanics can be designed to inform each of these fields. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights

  4. A molecular mechanism for the origin of a key evolutionary innovation, the bird beak and palate, revealed by an integrative approach to major transitions in vertebrate history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Morris, Zachary S; Sefton, Elizabeth M; Tok, Atalay; Tokita, Masayoshi; Namkoong, Bumjin; Camacho, Jasmin; Burnham, David A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2015-07-01

    The avian beak is a key evolutionary innovation whose flexibility has permitted birds to diversify into a range of disparate ecological niches. We approached the problem of the mechanism behind this innovation using an approach bridging paleontology, comparative anatomy, and experimental developmental biology. First, we used fossil and extant data to show the beak is distinctive in consisting of fused premaxillae that are geometrically distinct from those of ancestral archosaurs. To elucidate underlying developmental mechanisms, we examined candidate gene expression domains in the embryonic face: the earlier frontonasal ectodermal zone (FEZ) and the later midfacial WNT-responsive region, in birds and several reptiles. This permitted the identification of an autapomorphic median gene expression region in Aves. To test the mechanism, we used inhibitors of both pathways to replicate in chicken the ancestral amniote expression. Altering the FEZ altered later WNT responsiveness to the ancestral pattern. Skeletal phenotypes from both types of experiments had premaxillae that clustered geometrically with ancestral fossil forms instead of beaked birds. The palatal region was also altered to a more ancestral phenotype. This is consistent with the fossil record and with the tight functional association of avian premaxillae and palate in forming a kinetic beak. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-07

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

  6. The ABCs of an evolutionary education science: The academic, behavioral, and cultural implications of an evolutionary approach to education theory and practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, Rick, Jr.

    Calls for improving research-informed policy in education are everywhere. Yet, while there is an increasing trend towards science-based practice, there remains little agreement over which of the sciences to consult and how to organize a collective effort between them. What Education lacks is a general theoretical framework through which policies can be constructed, implemented, and assessed. This dissertation submits that evolutionary theory can provide a suitable framework for coordinating educational policies and practice, and can provide the entire field of education with a clearer sense of how to better manage the learning environment. This dissertation explores two broad paths that outline the conceptual foundations for an Evolutionary Education Science: "Teaching Evolution" and "Using Evolution to Teach." Chapter 1 introduces both of these themes. After describing why evolutionary science is best suited for organizing education research and practice, Chapter 1 proceeds to "teach" an overview of the "evolutionary toolkit"---the mechanisms and principles that underlie the modern evolutionary perspective. The chapter then employs the "toolkit" in examining education from an evolutionary perspective, outlining the evolutionary precepts that can guide theorizing and research in education, describing how educators can "use evolution to teach.". Chapters 2-4 expand on this second theme. Chapters 2 and 3 describe an education program for at-risk 9th and 10th grade students, the Regents Academy, designed entirely with evolutionary principles in mind. The program was rigorously assessed in a randomized control design and has demonstrated success at improving students' academic performance (Chapter 2) and social & behavioral development (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 examines current teaching strategies that underlie effective curriculum-instruction-assessment practices and proposes a framework for organizing successful, evidence-based strategies for neural

  7. Environmental Policy and Technology Diffusion under Imperfect Competition. An Evolutionary Game Theoretical Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Vries, F.P.

    2003-05-01

    The analysis of the thesis centers around the diffusion incentives of different environmental policy instruments. Emission taxation, subsidies per unit of emission reduction, marketable emission permits and marketable emission credits will be discussed and compared to each other on how they affect the diffusion of an environmentally benign technology. The analysis is conducted within an applied evolutionary game theoretical framework. An extensive discussion of evolutionary game theory can be found in chapter 2. Chapter 3 reviews classical diffusion models: the epidemic, probit and classic game theoretical model. Then we shift our attention to general evolutionary diffusion models, followed by an outline of the use of evolutionary game theory as a tool for analyzing technology diffusion. The purpose of the chapter is to illustrate the main differences between the various models. Relevant parts of economic theory are reviewed in chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 4 contains a survey and interpretive assessment of the current literature dealing with the impact of environmental policy instruments on the adoption and diffusion of a pollution abatement technology. The chapter illustrates and criticizes the static character of the most influential models. In chapter 2 it will become apparent that an evolutionary analysis is quite appealing when markets axe characterized by perfect competition. Enhanced competitiveness forces firms to produce efficiently in order to avoid elimination. However, in imperfect competitive markets competition is limited to only a small number of firms. Since the central market structure in this thesis is that of imperfect competition, chapter 5 examines the literature on evolutionary game models applied to these type of markets. The survey reveals that the literature focuses on determining whether the evolutionary game models generate output equilibria identical to the traditional static Cournot and Bertrand models or to other output levels. Chapter 6

  8. An Evolutionary Approach to Adaptive Capacity Assessment: A Case Study of Soufriere, Saint Lucia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Ryan Hogarth

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper assesses the capacity of Soufriere, Saint Lucia to adapt to climate change. A community-based vulnerability assessment was conducted that employed semi-structured interviews with community members. The results were analysed using the Local Adaptive Capacity (LAC framework, which characterises adaptive capacity based on five elements: asset base; institutions and entitlements; knowledge and information; innovation; and flexible forward-looking decision-making and governance. Beyond providing an in-depth analysis of Soufriere’s capacity to adapt to climate change, the paper argues that the elements of the LAC framework largely correspond with an evolutionary perspective on adaptive capacity. However, other evolutionary themes—such as structure, history, path-dependency, scale, agency, conservation of diversity, and the perils of specialisation—should also be taken into account.

  9. The Meaningful Roles Intervention: An Evolutionary Approach to Reducing Bullying and Increasing Prosocial Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Bruce J; Volk, Anthony A; Gonzalez, Jose-Michael; Embry, Dennis D

    2016-12-01

    Bullying is a problem that affects adolescents worldwide. Efforts to prevent bullying have been moderately successful at best, or iatrogenic at worst. We offer an explanation for this limited success by employing an evolutionary-psychological perspective to analyze antibullying interventions. We argue that bullying is a goal-directed behavior that is sensitive to benefits as well as costs, and that interventions must address these benefits. This perspective led us to develop a novel antibullying intervention, Meaningful Roles, which offers bullies prosocial alternatives-meaningful roles and responsibilities implemented through a school jobs program and reinforced through peer-to-peer praise notes-that effectively meet the same status goals as bullying behavior. We describe this new intervention and how its theoretical evolutionary roots may be applicable to other intervention programs. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Research on Adolescence © 2015 Society for Research on Adolescence.

  10. Bottom-up and top-down triggers of diversification: A new look at the evolutionary ecology of scavenging amphipods in the deep sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havermans, Charlotte; Smetacek, Victor

    2018-05-01

    The initial, anthropocentric view of the deep ocean was that of a hostile environment inhabited by organisms rendered lethargic by constant high pressure, low temperature and sparse food supply, hence evolving slowly. This conceptual framework of a spatially and temporally homogeneous, connected, strongly bottom-up controlled habitat implied a strong constraint on, or poor incentive for, speciation. Hence, the discovery in the late 1960s of high species diversity of abyssal benthic invertebrates came as a surprise. Since then, the slow-motion view of deep-sea ecology and evolution has speeded up and diversified in the light of increasing evidence accumulating from in situ visual observations complemented by molecular and other tools. The emerging picture is that of a much livelier, highly diversified and more complex deep-sea fauna than previously assumed. In this review we examine the consequences of the incoming information for developing a broader view of evolutionary ecology in the deep sea, and for scavenging amphipods in particular. We revisit the food supply to the deep-sea floor and hypothesize that the dead bodies of animals, ranging from zooplankton to large fish are likely to be a more important source of food than their friable faeces. Camera observations of baited traps indicate that amphipod carrion-feeders arrive within hours at the bait which continues to draw new individuals for days to months later, presumably by scent trails in tidal currents. We explore the different stages of food acquisition upon which natural selection may have acted, from detection to ingestion, and discuss the possibility of a broader range of food acquisition strategies, including predation and specializations. Although currently neglected in deep-sea ecology, top-down factors are likely to play a more important role in the evolution of deep-sea organisms. Predation on amphipods at baits by bathyal and abyssal fishes, and large predatory crustaceans in the hadal zone, is

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  12. Generator Approach to Evolutionary Optimization of Catalysts and its Integration with Surrogate Modeling

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Holeňa, Martin; Linke, D.; Rodemerck, U.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 159, č. 1 (2011), s. 84-95 ISSN 0920-5861 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/08/0802 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10300504 Keywords : optimization of catalytic materials * evolutionary optimization * surrogate modeling * artificial neural networks * multilayer perceptron * regression boosting Subject RIV: IN - Informatics, Computer Science Impact factor: 3.407, year: 2011

  13. A representation-theoretic approach to the calculation of evolutionary distance in bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, Jeremy G.; Jarvis, Peter D.; Francis, Andrew R.

    2017-08-01

    In the context of bacteria and models of their evolution under genome rearrangement, we explore a novel application of group representation theory to the inference of evolutionary history. Our contribution is to show, in a very general maximum likelihood setting, how to use elementary matrix algebra to sidestep intractable combinatorial computations and convert the problem into one of eigenvalue estimation amenable to standard numerical approximation techniques.

  14. Understanding the function of bacterial and eukaryotic thiolases II by integrating evolutionary and functional approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Ana Romina; Soto, Gabriela; Mozzicafreddo, Matteo; Garcia, Araceli Nora; Cuccioloni, Massimiliano; Angeletti, Mauro; Salerno, Juan Carlos; Ayub, Nicolás Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase (EC 2.3.1.9), commonly named thiolase II, condenses two molecules of acetyl-CoA to give acetoacetyl-CoA and CoA. This enzyme acts in anabolic processes as the first step in the biosynthesis of isoprenoids and polyhydroxybutyrate in eukaryotes and bacteria, respectively. We have recently reported the evolutionary and functional equivalence of these enzymes, suggesting that thiolase II could be the rate limiting enzyme in these pathways and presented evidence indicating that this enzyme modulates the availability of reducing equivalents during abiotic stress adaptation in bacteria and plants. However, these results are not sufficient to clarify why thiolase II was evolutionary selected as a critical enzyme in the production of antioxidant compounds. Regarding this intriguing topic, we propose that thiolase II could sense changes in the acetyl-CoA/CoA ratio induced by the inhibition of the tricarboxylic acid cycle under abiotic stress. Thus, the high level of evolutionary and functional constraint of thiolase II may be due to the connection of this enzyme with an ancient and conserved metabolic route. © 2013.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Phylogenetic Paleoecology: Tree-Thinking and Ecology in Deep Time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamsdell, James C; Congreve, Curtis R; Hopkins, Melanie J; Krug, Andrew Z; Patzkowsky, Mark E

    2017-06-01

    The new and emerging field of phylogenetic paleoecology leverages the evolutionary relationships among species to explain temporal and spatial changes in species diversity, abundance, and distribution in deep time. This field is poised for rapid progress as knowledge of the evolutionary relationships among fossil species continues to expand. In particular, this approach will lend new insights to many of the longstanding questions in evolutionary biology, such as: the relationships among character change, ecology, and evolutionary rates; the processes that determine the evolutionary relationships among species within communities and along environmental gradients; and the phylogenetic signal underlying ecological selectivity in background and mass extinctions and in major evolutionary radiations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Active Inference Approach to Ecological Perception: General Information Dynamics for Natural and Artificial Embodied Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Linson

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The emerging neurocomputational vision of humans as embodied, ecologically embedded, social agents—who shape and are shaped by their environment—offers a golden opportunity to revisit and revise ideas about the physical and information-theoretic underpinnings of life, mind, and consciousness itself. In particular, the active inference framework (AIF makes it possible to bridge connections from computational neuroscience and robotics/AI to ecological psychology and phenomenology, revealing common underpinnings and overcoming key limitations. AIF opposes the mechanistic to the reductive, while staying fully grounded in a naturalistic and information-theoretic foundation, using the principle of free energy minimization. The latter provides a theoretical basis for a unified treatment of particles, organisms, and interactive machines, spanning from the inorganic to organic, non-life to life, and natural to artificial agents. We provide a brief introduction to AIF, then explore its implications for evolutionary theory, ecological psychology, embodied phenomenology, and robotics/AI research. We conclude the paper by considering implications for machine consciousness.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Kawata, Yukichika

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hummell, R.; Vedagiri, U.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Evolutionary Feature Selection for Big Data Classification: A MapReduce Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Peralta

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, many disciplines have to deal with big datasets that additionally involve a high number of features. Feature selection methods aim at eliminating noisy, redundant, or irrelevant features that may deteriorate the classification performance. However, traditional methods lack enough scalability to cope with datasets of millions of instances and extract successful results in a delimited time. This paper presents a feature selection algorithm based on evolutionary computation that uses the MapReduce paradigm to obtain subsets of features from big datasets. The algorithm decomposes the original dataset in blocks of instances to learn from them in the map phase; then, the reduce phase merges the obtained partial results into a final vector of feature weights, which allows a flexible application of the feature selection procedure using a threshold to determine the selected subset of features. The feature selection method is evaluated by using three well-known classifiers (SVM, Logistic Regression, and Naive Bayes implemented within the Spark framework to address big data problems. In the experiments, datasets up to 67 millions of instances and up to 2000 attributes have been managed, showing that this is a suitable framework to perform evolutionary feature selection, improving both the classification accuracy and its runtime when dealing with big data problems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael J. Wisdom; Jeanne C. Chambers

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bespalov, Vadim; Udina, Natalya; Samarskaya, Natalya

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boothby, Neil

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowell, Susan; Morphew, Ephimia; Shively, Jay

    2003-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piero Franzoi

    2013-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TretiakV.M.

    2016-08-01

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

  12. Co-Evolution of Opinion and Strategy in Persuasion Dynamics:. AN Evolutionary Game Theoretical Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Fei; Liu, Yun; Li, Yong

    In this paper, a new model of opinion formation within the framework of evolutionary game theory is presented. The model simulates strategic situations when people are in opinion discussion. Heterogeneous agents adjust their behaviors to the environment during discussions, and their interacting strategies evolve together with opinions. In the proposed game, we take into account payoff discount to join a discussion, and the situation that people might drop out of an unpromising game. Analytical and emulational results show that evolution of opinion and strategy always tend to converge, with utility threshold, memory length, and decision uncertainty parameters influencing the convergence time. The model displays different dynamical regimes when we set differently the rule when people are at a loss in strategy.

  13. The Impact of Evolutionary Driving Forces on Human Complex Diseases: A Population Genetics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amr T. M. Saeb

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Investigating the molecular evolution of human genome has paved the way to understand genetic adaptation of humans to the environmental changes and corresponding complex diseases. In this review, we discussed the historical origin of genetic diversity among human populations, the evolutionary driving forces that can affect genetic diversity among populations, and the effects of human movement into new environments and gene flow on population genetic diversity. Furthermore, we presented the role of natural selection on genetic diversity and complex diseases. Then we reviewed the disadvantageous consequences of historical selection events in modern time and their relation to the development of complex diseases. In addition, we discussed the effect of consanguinity on the incidence of complex diseases in human populations. Finally, we presented the latest information about the role of ancient genes acquired from interbreeding with ancient hominids in the development of complex diseases.

  14. An Evolutionary Approach to Water Innovation: Comparing the Water Innovation Systems in China and Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moro, Mariú Abritta

    The recent rise of the ‘green economy’ agenda has increased the attention to eco-innovations globally, with issues related to water stress identified as one of the major bottlenecks for sustainable economic growth. Water being a critical resource, more and more countries worldwide are recognizing...... the need for increasing their innovative capacity within the water sector. Using evolutionary economic theory, this thesis undertakes a longitudinal and comparative analysis of the water innovation dynamics in Europe and China, representing respectively a developed, green early mover economy......, and a centrally-planned economy and green late mover. The thesis aims to assess the similarities and differences in the mechanisms applied across these two regions, with a focus on outlining what drives eco-innovation development in the water sector. The thesis builds more specifically on the innovation system...

  15. Evolutionary Steps in the Emergence of Life Deduced from the Bottom-Up Approach and GADV Hypothesis (Top-Down Approach).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikehara, Kenji

    2016-01-26

    It is no doubt quite difficult to solve the riddle of the origin of life. So, firstly, I would like to point out the kinds of obstacles there are in solving this riddle and how we should tackle these difficult problems, reviewing the studies that have been conducted so far. After that, I will propose that the consecutive evolutionary steps in a timeline can be rationally deduced by using a common event as a juncture, which is obtained by two counter-directional approaches: one is the bottom-up approach through which many researchers have studied the origin of life, and the other is the top-down approach, through which I established the [GADV]-protein world hypothesis or GADV hypothesis on the origin of life starting from a study on the formation of entirely new genes in extant microorganisms. Last, I will describe the probable evolutionary process from the formation of Earth to the emergence of life, which was deduced by using a common event-the establishment of the first genetic code encoding [GADV]-amino acids-as a juncture for the results obtained from the two approaches.

  16. Evolutionary Steps in the Emergence of Life Deduced from the Bottom-Up Approach and GADV Hypothesis (Top-Down Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenji Ikehara

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available It is no doubt quite difficult to solve the riddle of the origin of life. So, firstly, I would like to point out the kinds of obstacles there are in solving this riddle and how we should tackle these difficult problems, reviewing the studies that have been conducted so far. After that, I will propose that the consecutive evolutionary steps in a timeline can be rationally deduced by using a common event as a juncture, which is obtained by two counter-directional approaches: one is the bottom-up approach through which many researchers have studied the origin of life, and the other is the top-down approach, through which I established the [GADV]-protein world hypothesis or GADV hypothesis on the origin of life starting from a study on the formation of entirely new genes in extant microorganisms. Last, I will describe the probable evolutionary process from the formation of Earth to the emergence of life, which was deduced by using a common event—the establishment of the first genetic code encoding [GADV]-amino acids—as a juncture for the results obtained from the two approaches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerr, Marilyn Noble

    2000-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Evolutionary public health: introducing the concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jonathan C K; Nesse, Randolph M; Sear, Rebecca; Johnstone, Rufus A; Stearns, Stephen C

    2017-07-29

    The emerging discipline of evolutionary medicine is breaking new ground in understanding why people become ill. However, the value of evolutionary analyses of human physiology and behaviour is only beginning to be recognised in the field of public health. Core principles come from life history theory, which analyses the allocation of finite amounts of energy between four competing functions-maintenance, growth, reproduction, and defence. A central tenet of evolutionary theory is that organisms are selected to allocate energy and time to maximise reproductive success, rather than health or longevity. Ecological interactions that influence mortality risk, nutrient availability, and pathogen burden shape energy allocation strategies throughout the life course, thereby affecting diverse health outcomes. Public health interventions could improve their own effectiveness by incorporating an evolutionary perspective. In particular, evolutionary approaches offer new opportunities to address the complex challenges of global health, in which populations are differentially exposed to the metabolic consequences of poverty, high fertility, infectious diseases, and rapid changes in nutrition and lifestyle. The effect of specific interventions is predicted to depend on broader factors shaping life expectancy. Among the important tools in this approach are mathematical models, which can explore probable benefits and limitations of interventions in silico, before their implementation in human populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A possibilistic approach to rotorcraft design through a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, Han Gil

    Most of the engineering design processes in use today in the field may be considered as a series of successive decision making steps. The decision maker uses information at hand, determines the direction of the procedure, and generates information for the next step and/or other decision makers. However, the information is often incomplete, especially in the early stages of the design process of a complex system. As the complexity of the system increases, uncertainties eventually become unmanageable using traditional tools. In such a case, the tools and analysis values need to be "softened" to account for the designer's intuition. One of the methods that deals with issues of intuition and incompleteness is possibility theory. Through the use of possibility theory coupled with fuzzy inference, the uncertainties estimated by the intuition of the designer are quantified for design problems. By involving quantified uncertainties in the tools, the solutions can represent a possible set, instead of a crisp spot, for predefined levels of certainty. From a different point of view, it is a well known fact that engineering design is a multi-objective problem or a set of such problems. The decision maker aims to find satisfactory solutions, sometimes compromising the objectives that conflict with each other. Once the candidates of possible solutions are generated, a satisfactory solution can be found by various decision-making techniques. A number of multi-objective evolutionary algorithms (MOEAs) have been developed, and can be found in the literature, which are capable of generating alternative solutions and evaluating multiple sets of solutions in one single execution of an algorithm. One of the MOEA techniques that has been proven to be very successful for this class of problems is the strength Pareto evolutionary algorithm (SPEA) which falls under the dominance-based category of methods. The Pareto dominance that is used in SPEA, however, is not enough to account for the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyohei Kuroda

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven D. Prager

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Shao

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan D Cowled

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Winning and losing: an evolutionary approach to mood disorders and their therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloman, Leon; Sturman, Edward D; Price, John S

    2011-06-01

    To advance a new evolutionary model that examines the effects of winning and losing on mood and physiological variables. Previous studies have focused on the involuntary defeat strategy in de-escalating conflict. Here, we propose that there also exists an involuntary winning strategy (IWS) that is triggered by success and characterized by euphoria and increased self-confidence. It motivates efforts to challenge, and promotes reconciliation. Previous studies are presented, including data on student athletes, demonstrating the impact of winning and losing on mood. Winning is consistently shown to be related to physiological changes such as increased testosterone and serotonin levels in primates. It reliably leads to mood changes that serve to motivate winners to continue their competitive efforts. When the IWS functions optimally, success leads to success in an adaptive cycle. Over time, the initial differences between the winners and losers of agonistic encounters become magnified in a process known as difference amplification. As a result of assortative mating, the children of people who have entered into an adaptive cycle will inherit traits from both parents that will, in turn, give them an increased competitive advantage. In this manner, difference amplification could have accelerated human evolution by natural selection. Vignettes of clinical interventions are also used to illustrate therapeutic strategies designed to disrupt maladaptive cycles and promote adaptive behaviour.

  8. Inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and cancer therapy: An evolutionary game theory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khadem, Heydar; Kebriaei, Hamed; Veisi, Zahra

    2017-06-01

    Inactivation of alleles in tumor suppressor genes (TSG) is one of the important issues resulting in evolution of cancerous cells. In this paper, the evolution of healthy, one and two missed allele cells is modeled using the concept of evolutionary game theory and replicator dynamics. The proposed model also takes into account the interaction rates of the cells as designing parameters of the system. Different combinations of the equilibrium points of the parameterized nonlinear system is studied and categorized into some cases. In each case, the interaction rates' values are suggested in a way that the equilibrium points of the replicator dynamics are located on an appropriate region of the state space. Based on the suggested interaction rates, it is proved that the system doesn't have any undesirable interior equilibrium point as well. Therefore, the system will converge to the desirable region, where there is a scanty level of cancerous cells. In addition, the proposed conditions for interaction rates guarantee that, when a trajectory of the system reaches the boundaries, then it will stay there forever which is a desirable property since the equilibrium points have been already located on the boundaries, appropriately. The simulation results show the effectiveness of the suggestions in the elimination of the cancerous cells in different scenarios. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Perceived social isolation, evolutionary fitness and health outcomes: a lifespan approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkley, Louise C; Capitanio, John P

    2015-05-26

    Sociality permeates each of the fundamental motives of human existence and plays a critical role in evolutionary fitness across the lifespan. Evidence for this thesis draws from research linking deficits in social relationship--as indexed by perceived social isolation (i.e. loneliness)--with adverse health and fitness consequences at each developmental stage of life. Outcomes include depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, unfavourable cardiovascular function, impaired immunity, altered hypothalamic pituitary-adrenocortical activity, a pro-inflammatory gene expression profile and earlier mortality. Gaps in this research are summarized with suggestions for future research. In addition, we argue that a better understanding of naturally occurring variation in loneliness, and its physiological and psychological underpinnings, in non-human species may be a valuable direction to better understand the persistence of a 'lonely' phenotype in social species, and its consequences for health and fitness. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Walking backwards into the future: the need for a holistic evolutionary approach in Pacific health research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth; Gosling, Anna L

    2018-05-01

    The Pacific region has had a complex human history. It has been subject to multiple major human dispersal and colonisation events, including some of the earliest Out-of-Africa migrations, the so-called Austronesian expansion of people out of Island Southeast Asia, and the more recent arrival of Europeans. Despite models of island isolation, evidence suggests significant levels of interconnectedness that vary in direction and frequency over time. The Pacific Ocean covers a vast area and its islands provide an array of different physical environments with variable pathogen loads and subsistence opportunities. These diverse environments likely caused Pacific peoples to adapt (both genetically and culturally) in unique ways. Differences in genetic background, in combination with adaptation, likely affect their susceptibility to non-communicable diseases. Here we provide an overview of some of the key issues in the natural and human history of the Pacific region which are likely to impact human health. We argue that understanding the evolutionary and cultural history of Pacific peoples is essential for the generation of testable hypotheses surrounding potential causes of elevated disease susceptibility among Pacific peoples.

  11. Variation in pollen limitation and floral parasitism across a mating system transition in a Pacific coastal dune plant: evolutionary causes or ecological consequences?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dart, Sara; Eckert, Christopher G

    2015-02-01

    Evolutionary transitions from outcrossing to self-fertilization are thought to occur because selfing provides reproductive assurance when pollinators or mates are scarce, but they could also occur via selection to reduce floral vulnerability to herbivores. This study investigated geographic covariation between floral morphology, fruit set, pollen limitation and florivory across the geographic range of Camissoniopsis cheiranthifolia, a Pacific coastal dune endemic that varies strikingly in flower size and mating system. Fruit set was quantified in 75 populations, and in 41 of these floral herbivory by larvae of a specialized moth (Mompha sp.) that consumes anthers in developing buds was also quantified. Experimental pollen supplementation was performed to quantify pollen limitation in three large-flowered, outcrossing and two small-flowered, selfing populations. These parameters were also compared between large- and small-flowered phenotypes within three mixed populations. Fruit set was much lower in large-flowered populations, and also much lower among large- than small-flowered plants within populations. Pollen supplementation increased per flower seed production in large-flowered but not small-flowered populations, but fruit set was not pollen limited. Hence inadequate pollination cannot account for the low fruit set of large-flowered plants. Floral herbivory was much more frequent in large-flowered populations and correlated negatively with fruit set. However, florivores did not preferentially attack large-flowered plants in three large-flowered populations or in two of three mixed populations. Selfing alleviated pollen limitation of seeds per fruit, but florivory better explains the marked variation in fruit set. Although florivory was more frequent in large-flowered populations, large-flowered individuals were not generally more vulnerable within populations. Rather than a causative selective factor, reduced florivory in small-flowered, selfing populations is

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel LAFONT

    2001-09-01

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

  13. TSO Study Project on Development of a Common Safety Approach in the EU for Large Evolutionary Pressurised Water Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-10-01

    In pursuance of the objectives of the Council Resolutions of 1975 and 1992 on the technological issues of nuclear safety, the European Commission (EC) is seeking to promote a sustained joint in-depth study on possible significant future nuclear power reactor safety cases. To that end the EC decided to support financially a study by the grouping of the European Union Technical Safety Organisations (TSOG). The general objective of the study programme was to promote, through a collaboration of European Union Technical Safety Organisations (TSOs), common views on technical safety issues related to large evolutionary PWRs in Europe, which could be ready for operation during the next decade. AVN (Belgium) (Technical project leader), AEA Technology (United Kingdom), ANPA (Italy) CIEMAT (Spain), GRS (Germany), IPSN (France), were the TSOs participating in the study which was co-ordinated by RISKAUDIT. The study focused notably on the EPR project initiated by the French and German utilities and vendors. It also considered relevant projects, even of plants of different size, developed outside the European Union in order to provide elements important for the safety characterisation and which could contribute to the credibility and confidence of EPR. It is expected that this study will constitute a significant step towards the development of a common safety approach in EU countries. The study constitutes an important step forward in the development of a common approach of the TSOs to the safety of advanced evolutionary pressurised water reactors. This goal was mainly achieved by an in-depth analysis of the key safety issues, taking into account new developments in the national technical safety objectives and in the EPR design. For this reason the Commission has decided to publish at least the present summary report containing the main outcomes of the TSO study. Confidentiality considerations unfortunately prevent the open publication of the full series of reports. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clapcott J.E.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. The crucial role of habits in energy consumption: an evolutionary approach on changing current patterns

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marechal, Kevin (Centre for Economic and Social Studies on the Environment (CESSE), Univ. Libre de Bruxelles, Univ. d' Europe (Belgium)). e-mail: kevin.marechal@ulb.ac.be

    2009-07-01

    A substantial body of literature has shown that our behaviour is often guided by habits. The existence of habits - not fully conscious forms of behaviour - is important as it contradicts rational choice theory. Their presence thus calls for the setting of new instruments as they make it unlikely that consumers be capable of exercising control over their energy consumption in reaction to given incentives. This is further increased in the evolutionary perspective where the current carbon-based Socio-Technical System constraints and shapes consumers' choices through structural forces. Habits being potentially 'counterintentional', they may explain the 'efficiency paradox' in energy as well as the continued increase of energy consumption despite the rising environmental awareness among the population. Policies aiming at reducing energy consumption should thus specifically address the performance context of habits. For instance, targeting new residents has proven to be more effective given that their preceding habits have been disturbed. The results of our empirical analysis confirm this idea by showing how a change of context makes people more receptive to a proposed measure. Our analysis of the role played by habits also suggests that individuals do not consider the need to change existing habits as an obstacle even though this is contradicted implicitly in the answers they provided to open questions. This 'unconsciousness' is one of the most delicate features of habits and it should thus be accounted for when designing measures. Given the other characteristics of habits, the joint use of feedbacks and commitment strategies appears promising.

  16. Evolutionary development of the neurocranium in Dissorophoidea (Tetrapoda: Temnospondyli), an integrative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddin, Hillary C; Reisz, Robert R; Anderson, Jason S

    2010-01-01

    Ontogenetic data can play a prominent role in addressing questions in tetrapod evolution, but such evidence from the fossil record is often incompletely considered because it is limited to initiation of ossification, or allometric changes with increasing size. In the present study, specimens of a new species of an archaic amphibian (280 Myr old), Acheloma n. sp., a member of the temnospondyl superfamily Dissorophoidea and the sister group to Amphibamidae, which is thought to include at least two of our modern amphibian clades, anurans and caudatans (Batrachia), provides us with new developmental data. We identify five ontogenetic events, enabling us to construct a partial ontogenetic trajectory (integration of developmental and transformation sequence data) related to the relative timing of completion of neurocranial structures. Comparison of the adult amphibamid morphology with this partial ontogeny identifies a heterochronic event that occurred within the neurocranium at some point in time between the two taxa, which is consistent with the predictions of miniaturization in amphibamids, providing the first insights into the influence of miniaturization on the neurocranium in a fossil tetrapod group. This study refines hypotheses of large-scale evolutionary trends within Dissorophoidea that may have facilitated the radiation of amphibamids and, projected forward, the origin of the generalized batrachian skull. Most importantly, this study highlights the importance of integrating developmental and transformation sequence data, instead of onset of ossification alone, into investigations of major events in tetrapod evolution using evidence provided by the fossil record, and highlights the value of even highly incomplete growth series comprised of relatively late-stage individuals.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    de la Torre-Castro, Maricela

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cindy J; Osborn, A Mark

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Investigating ecological speciation in non-model organisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel D. Cavanagh

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronwen Cowie

    2018-02-01

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

  5. Are hotspots of evolutionary potential adequately protected in southern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, A.G.; Bohonak, A.J.; Hathaway, S.A.; Boys, J.; Fisher, R.N.

    2008-01-01

    Reserves are often designed to protect rare habitats, or "typical" exemplars of ecoregions and geomorphic provinces. This approach focuses on current patterns of organismal and ecosystem-level biodiversity, but typically ignores the evolutionary processes that control the gain and loss of biodiversity at these and other levels (e.g., genetic, ecological). In order to include evolutionary processes in conservation planning efforts, their spatial components must first be identified and mapped. We describe a GIS-based approach for explicitly mapping patterns of genetic divergence and diversity for multiple species (a "multi-species genetic landscape"). Using this approach, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA datasets from 21 vertebrate and invertebrate species in southern California to identify areas with common phylogeographic breaks and high intrapopulation diversity. The result is an evolutionary framework for southern California within which patterns of genetic diversity can be analyzed in the context of historical processes, future evolutionary potential and current reserve design. Our multi-species genetic landscapes pinpoint six hotspots where interpopulation genetic divergence is consistently high, five evolutionary hotspots within which genetic connectivity is high, and three hotspots where intrapopulation genetic diversity is high. These 14 hotspots can be grouped into eight geographic areas, of which five largely are unprotected at this time. The multi-species genetic landscape approach may provide an avenue to readily incorporate measures of evolutionary process into GIS-based systematic conservation assessment and land-use planning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. An evolutionary approach for business process redesign : towards an intelligent system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Netjes, M.; Limam Mansar, S.; Reijers, H.A.; Aalst, van der W.M.P.; Cardoso, J.; Cordeiro, J.; Filipe, J.

    2007-01-01

    Although extensive literature on BPR is available, there is still a lack of concrete guidance on actually changing processes for the better. It is our goal to provide a redesign approach which describes and supports the steps to derive from an existing process a better performing redesign. In this

  9. Integrating Cost as an Independent Variable Analysis with Evolutionary Acquisition - A Multiattribute Design Evaluation Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-03-01

    within the Automated Cost Estimating Integrated Tools ( ACEIT ) software suite (version 5.x). With this capability, one can set cost targets or time...not allow the user to vary more than one decision variable. This limitation of the ACEIT approach thus hinders a holistic view when attempting to

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric L Meunier

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

  11. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of supercapacitors: A novel analysis approach using evolutionary programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oz, Alon; Hershkovitz, Shany; Tsur, Yoed

    2014-11-01

    In this contribution we present a novel approach to analyze impedance spectroscopy measurements of supercapacitors. Transforming the impedance data into frequency-dependent capacitance allows us to use Impedance Spectroscopy Genetic Programming (ISGP) in order to find the distribution function of relaxation times (DFRT) of the processes taking place in the tested device. Synthetic data was generated in order to demonstrate this technique and a model for supercapacitor ageing process has been obtained.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Fordyce

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Stafford

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linwood Hagan Pendleton

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suwondo; Darmadi; Yunus, M.

    2018-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  17. A Self-Adaptive Evolutionary Approach to the Evolution of Aesthetic Maps for a RTS Game

    OpenAIRE

    Lara-Cabrera, Raúl; Cotta, Carlos; Fernández-Leiva, Antonio J.

    2014-01-01

    Procedural content generation (PCG) is a research eld on the rise,with numerous papers devoted to this topic. This paper presents a PCG method based on a self-adaptive evolution strategy for the automatic generation of maps for the real-time strategy (RTS) game PlanetWars. These maps are generated in order to ful ll the aesthetic preferences of the user, as implied by her assessment of a collection of maps used as training set. A topological approach is used for the characterization of th...

  18. In Darwin's Footsteps: An On and Off-Campus Approach to Teaching Evolutionary Theory and Animal Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillie, Lynn; Bizub, Anne L.

    2012-01-01

    The study of evolutionary theory and fieldwork in animal behavior is enriched when students leave the classroom so they may test their abilities to think and act like scientists. This article describes a course on evolutionary theory and animal behavior that blended on campus learning with field experience in the United States and in Ecuador and…

  19. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  20. Improving High-Throughput Sequencing Approaches for Reconstructing the Evolutionary Dynamics of Upper Paleolithic Human Groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seguin-Orlando, Andaine

    the development and testing of innovative molecular approaches aiming at improving the amount of informative HTS data one can recover from ancient DNA extracts. We have characterized important ligation and amplification biases in the sequencing library building and enrichment steps, which can impede further...... been mainly driven by the development of High-Throughput DNA Sequencing (HTS) technologies but also by the implementation of novel molecular tools tailored to the manipulation of ultra short and damaged DNA molecules. Our ability to retrieve traces of genetic material has tremendously improved, pushing......, that impact on the overall efficacy of the method. In a second part, we implemented some of these molecular tools to the processing of five Upper Paleolithic human samples from the Kostenki and Sunghir sites in Western Eurasia, in order to reconstruct the deep genomic history of European populations...

  1. Recommendations for Nanomedicine Human Subjects Research Oversight: An Evolutionary Approach for an Emerging Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatehi, Leili; Wolf, Susan M.; McCullough, Jeffrey; Hall, Ralph; Lawrenz, Frances; Kahn, Jeffrey P.; Jones, Cortney; Campbell, Stephen A.; Dresser, Rebecca S.; Erdman, Arthur G.; Haynes, Christy L.; Hoerr, Robert A.; Hogle, Linda F.; Keane, Moira A.; Khushf, George; King, Nancy M.P.; Kokkoli, Efrosini; Marchant, Gary; Maynard, Andrew D.; Philbert, Martin; Ramachandran, Gurumurthy; Siegel, Ronald A.; Wickline, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    The nanomedicine field is fast evolving toward complex, “active,” and interactive formulations. Like many emerging technologies, nanomedicine raises questions of how human subjects research (HSR) should be conducted and the adequacy of current oversight, as well as how to integrate concerns over occupational, bystander, and environmental exposures. The history of oversight for HSR investigating emerging technologies is a patchwork quilt without systematic justification of when ordinary oversight for HSR is enough versus when added oversight is warranted. Nanomedicine HSR provides an occasion to think systematically about appropriate oversight, especially early in the evolution of a technology, when hazard and risk information may remain incomplete. This paper presents the consensus recommendations of a multidisciplinary, NIH-funded project group, to ensure a science-based and ethically informed approach to HSR issues in nanomedicine, and integrate HSR analysis with analysis of occupational, bystander, and environmental concerns. We recommend creating two bodies, an interagency Human Subjects Research in Nanomedicine (HSR/N) Working Group and a Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Nanomedicine (SAC/N). HSR/N and SAC/N should perform 3 primary functions: (1) analysis of the attributes and subsets of nanomedicine interventions that raise HSR challenges and current gaps in oversight; (2) providing advice to relevant agencies and institutional bodies on the HSR issues, as well as federal and federal-institutional coordination; and (3) gathering and analyzing information on HSR issues as they emerge in nanomedicine. HSR/N and SAC/N will create a home for HSR analysis and coordination in DHHS (the key agency for relevant HSR oversight), optimize federal and institutional approaches, and allow HSR review to evolve with greater knowledge about nanomedicine interventions and greater clarity about attributes of concern. PMID:23289677

  2. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

    In this paper, I present an analytical framework for polymorphic evolutionary games suitable for explicitly modeling evolutionary processes in diploid populations with sexual reproduction. The principal aspect of the proposed approach is adding diploid genetics cum sexual recombination to a traditional evolutionary game, and switching from phenotypes to haplotypes as the new game׳s pure strategies. Here, the relevant pure strategy׳s payoffs derived by summing the payoffs of all the phenotypes capable of producing gametes containing that particular haplotype weighted by the pertinent probabilities. The resulting game is structurally identical to the familiar Evolutionary Games with non-linear pure strategy payoffs (Hofbauer and Sigmund, 1998. Cambridge University Press), and can be analyzed in terms of an established analytical framework for such games. And these results can be translated into the terms of genotypic, and whence, phenotypic evolutionary stability pertinent to the original game. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Ole; Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten

    2004-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunqiang Liu

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leverkus, Alexandro B; Castro, Jorge

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  8. Detecting brain dynamics during resting state: a tensor based evolutionary clustering approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-sharoa, Esraa; Al-khassaweneh, Mahmood; Aviyente, Selin

    2017-08-01

    Human brain is a complex network with connections across different regions. Understanding the functional connectivity (FC) of the brain is important both during resting state and task; as disruptions in connectivity patterns are indicators of different psychopathological and neurological diseases. In this work, we study the resting state functional connectivity networks (FCNs) of the brain from fMRI BOLD signals. Recent studies have shown that FCNs are dynamic even during resting state and understanding the temporal dynamics of FCNs is important for differentiating between different conditions. Therefore, it is important to develop algorithms to track the dynamic formation and dissociation of FCNs of the brain during resting state. In this paper, we propose a two step tensor based community detection algorithm to identify and track the brain network community structure across time. First, we introduce an information-theoretic function to reduce the dynamic FCN and identify the time points that are similar topologically to combine them into a tensor. These time points will be used to identify the different FC states. Second, a tensor based spectral clustering approach is developed to identify the community structure of the constructed tensors. The proposed algorithm applies Tucker decomposition to the constructed tensors and extract the orthogonal factor matrices along the connectivity mode to determine the common subspace within each FC state. The detected community structure is summarized and described as FC states. The results illustrate the dynamic structure of resting state networks (RSNs), including the default mode network, somatomotor network, subcortical network and visual network.

  9. An Ensemble Based Evolutionary Approach to the Class Imbalance Problem with Applications in CBIR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aun Irtaza

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In order to lower the dependence on textual annotations for image searches, the content based image retrieval (CBIR has become a popular topic in computer vision. A wide range of CBIR applications consider classification techniques, such as artificial neural networks (ANN, support vector machines (SVM, etc. to understand the query image content to retrieve relevant output. However, in multi-class search environments, the retrieval results are far from optimal due to overlapping semantics amongst subjects of various classes. The classification through multiple classifiers generate better results, but as the number of negative examples increases due to highly correlated semantic classes, classification bias occurs towards the negative class, hence, the combination of the classifiers become even more unstable particularly in one-against-all classification scenarios. In order to resolve this issue, a genetic algorithm (GA based classifier comity learning (GCCL method is presented in this paper to generate stable classifiers by combining ANN with SVMs through asymmetric and symmetric bagging. The proposed approach resolves the classification disagreement amongst different classifiers and also resolves the class imbalance problem in CBIR. Once the stable classifiers are generated, the query image is presented to the trained model to understand the underlying semantic content of the query image for association with the precise semantic class. Afterwards, the feature similarity is computed within the obtained class to generate the semantic response of the system. The experiments reveal that the proposed method outperforms various state-of-the-art methods and significantly improves the image retrieval performance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glackin, Erin; Gray, Sarah A O

    2016-12-01

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

  11. Different phylogenomic approaches to resolve the evolutionary relationships among model fish species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negrisolo, Enrico; Kuhl, Heiner; Forcato, Claudio; Vitulo, Nicola; Reinhardt, Richard; Patarnello, Tomaso; Bargelloni, Luca

    2010-12-01

    Comparative genomics holds the promise to magnify the information obtained from individual genome sequencing projects, revealing common features conserved across genomes and identifying lineage-specific characteristics. To implement such a comparative approach, a robust phylogenetic framework is required to accurately reconstruct evolution at the genome level. Among vertebrate taxa, teleosts represent the second best characterized group, with high-quality draft genome sequences for five model species (Danio rerio, Gasterosteus aculeatus, Oryzias latipes, Takifugu rubripes, and Tetraodon nigroviridis), and several others are in the finishing lane. However, the relationships among the acanthomorph teleost model fishes remain an unresolved taxonomic issue. Here, a genomic region spanning over 1.2 million base pairs was sequenced in the teleost fish Dicentrarchus labrax. Together with genomic data available for the above fish models, the new sequence was used to identify unique orthologous genomic regions shared across all target taxa. Different strategies were applied to produce robust multiple gene and genomic alignments spanning from 11,802 to 186,474 amino acid/nucleotide positions. Ten data sets were analyzed according to Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and neighbor joining methods. Extensive analyses were performed to explore the influence of several factors (e.g., alignment methodology, substitution model, data set partitions, and long-branch attraction) on the tree topology. Although a general consensus was observed for a closer relationship between G. aculeatus (Gasterosteidae) and Di. labrax (Moronidae) with the atherinomorph O. latipes (Beloniformes) sister taxon of this clade, with the tetraodontiform group Ta. rubripes and Te. nigroviridis (Tetraodontiformes) representing a more distantly related taxon among acanthomorph model fish species, conflicting results were obtained between data sets and methods, especially with respect

  12. Offspring mortality was a determinant factor in the evolution of paternal investment in humans: An evolutionary game approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, Diego; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Isabel M

    2017-04-21

    Some researchers support the belief that man evolved philandering behavior because of the greater reproductive success of promiscuous males. According to this idea, deserting behavior from the man should be expected along with null paternal involvement in offspring care. Paradoxically however, the average offspring investment in the human male is far higher than that of any other male mammal, including other primates. In our work, we have addressed this conundrum by employing evolutionary game theory, using objective payoffs instead of, as are commonly used, arbitrary payoffs. Payoffs were computed as reproductive successes by a model based on trivial probabilities, implemented within the Barreto's Population Dynamics Toolbox (2014). The evolution of the parent conflict was simulated by a game with two players (the woman and the man). First, a simple game was assayed with two strategies, 'desert-unfaithful' and 'care-faithful'. Then, the game was played with a third mixed strategy, 'care-unfaithful'. The two-strategy game results were mainly determined by the offspring survival rate (s) and the non-paternity rate (z), with remaining factors playing a secondary role. Starting from two empirical estimates for both rates (s = 0.617 and z = 0.033) and decreasing the offspring mortality from near 0.4 to 0.1, the results were consistent with a win for the 'care-faithful' strategy. The 'desert-unfaithful' strategy only won at unrealistically high non-paternity rates (z>0.2). When three-strategy games were played, the mixed strategy of 'care-unfaithful' man could win the game in some less frequent cases. Regardless of the number of game strategies, 'care' fathers always won. These results strongly suggest that offspring mortality was the key factor in the evolution of paternal investment within the Homo branch. The 'care-faithful' strategy would have been the main strategy in human evolution but 'care-unfaithful' men did evolve at a lesser frequency. It can therefore be

  13. The role of duplications in the evolution of genomes highlights the need for evolutionary-based approaches in comparative genomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levasseur Anthony

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Understanding the evolutionary plasticity of the genome requires a global, comparative approach in which genetic events are considered both in a phylogenetic framework and with regard to population genetics and environmental variables. In the mechanisms that generate adaptive and non-adaptive changes in genomes, segmental duplications (duplication of individual genes or genomic regions and polyploidization (whole genome duplications are well-known driving forces. The probability of fixation and maintenance of duplicates depends on many variables, including population sizes and selection regimes experienced by the corresponding genes: a combination of stochastic and adaptive mechanisms has shaped all genomes. A survey of experimental work shows that the distinction made between fixation and maintenance of duplicates still needs to be conceptualized and mathematically modeled. Here we review the mechanisms that increase or decrease the probability of fixation or maintenance of duplicated genes, and examine the outcome of these events on the adaptation of the organisms. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Dr. Etienne Joly, Dr. Lutz Walter and Dr. W. Ford Doolittle.

  14. Port-of-entry safety via the reliability optimization of container inspection strategy through an evolutionary approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez-Marquez, Jose Emmanuel

    2008-01-01

    Up to now, of all the containers received in USA ports, roughly between 2% and 5% are scrutinized to determine if they could cause some type of danger or contain suspicious goods. Recently, concerns have been raised regarding the type of attack that could happen via container cargo leading to devastating economic, psychological and sociological effects. Overall, this paper is concerned with developing an inspection strategy that minimizes the total cost of inspection while maintaining a user-specified detection rate for 'suspicious' containers. In this respect, a general model for describing an inspection strategy is proposed. The strategy is regarded as an (n+1)-echelon decision tree where at each of these echelons, a decision has to be taken, regarding which sensor to be used, if at all. Second, based on the general decision-tree model, this paper presents a minimum cost container inspection strategy that conforms to a pre-specified user detection rate under the assumption that different sensors with different reliability and cost characteristics can be used. To generate an optimal inspection strategy, an evolutionary optimization approach known as probabilistic solution discovery algorithm has been used

  15. Evolutionary adaptations to dietary changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luca, F; Perry, G H; Di Rienzo, A

    2010-08-21

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett Milligan

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Walz

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Völker

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuperman, R.G.

    1995-12-31

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

  2. Evolutionary disarmament in interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A

    2001-12-22

    Competitive asymmetry, which is the advantage of having a larger body or stronger weaponry than a contestant, drives spectacular evolutionary arms races in intraspecific competition. Similar asymmetries are well documented in interspecific competition, yet they seldom lead to exaggerated traits. Here we demonstrate that two species with substantially different size may undergo parallel coevolution towards a smaller size under the same ecological conditions where a single species would exhibit an evolutionary arms race. We show that disarmament occurs for a wide range of parameters in an ecologically explicit model of competition for a single shared resource; disarmament also occurs in a simple Lotka-Volterra competition model. A key property of both models is the interplay between evolutionary dynamics and population density. The mechanism does not rely on very specific features of the model. Thus, evolutionary disarmament may be widespread and may help to explain the lack of interspecific arms races.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuyu Xia

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veselov, E I

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Neil; Raghavan, Raghu; Pawson, Nicole

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Zhou

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stepanović-Ilić Ivana

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinku Roy Chowdhury

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María-Jesús González-Díaz

    2016-06-01

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

  13. Conservation genetics of the genus Martes: Assessing within-species movements, units to conserve, and connectivity across ecological and evolutionary time [Chapter 17

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael K. Schwartz; Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez; Ryuchi Masuda; Cino Pertoldi

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the physical and temporal factors that structure Martes populations is essential to the conservation and management of the 8 recognized Martes species. Recently, advances in 3 distinct subdisciplines in molecular ecology have provided insights into historical and contemporary environmental factors that have created population substructure and influenced...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ieshko Evgeny Pavlovich

    2012-12-01

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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nobre, AM

    2008-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution—both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place—has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps’ book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps. PMID:26478766

  18. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness......Demography is the quantitative study of population processes, while evolution is a population process that influences all aspects of biological organisms, including their demography. Demographic traits common to all human populations are the products of biological evolution or the interaction...

  19. Evolutionary adaptations: theoretical and practical implications for visual ergonomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fostervold, Knut Inge; Watten, Reidulf G; Volden, Frode

    2014-01-01

    The literature discussing visual ergonomics often mention that human vision is adapted to light emitted by the sun. However, theoretical and practical implications of this viewpoint is seldom discussed or taken into account. The paper discusses some of the main theoretical implications of an evolutionary approach to visual ergonomics. Based on interactional theory and ideas from ecological psychology an evolutionary stress model is proposed as a theoretical framework for future research in ergonomics and human factors. The model stresses the importance of developing work environments that fits with our evolutionary adaptations. In accordance with evolutionary psychology, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) and evolutionarily-novel environments (EN) are used as key concepts. Using work with visual display units (VDU) as an example, the paper discusses how this knowledge can be utilized in an ergonomic analysis of risk factors in the work environment. The paper emphasises the importance of incorporating evolutionary theory in the field of ergonomics. Further, the paper encourages scientific practices that further our understanding of any phenomena beyond the borders of traditional proximal explanations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veljko Vuković

    2017-07-01

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

  5. Predicting evolutionary responses when genetic variance and selection covary with the environment: a large-scale Open Access Data approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramakers, J.J.C.; Culina, A.; Visser, M.E.; Gienapp, P.

    2017-01-01

    Additive genetic variance and selection are the key ingredients for evolution. In wild populations, however, predicting evolutionary trajectories is difficult, potentially by an unrecognised underlying environment dependency of both (additive) genetic variance and selection (i.e. G×E and S×E).

  6. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games. PMID:26308326

  7. The role of crossover operator in evolutionary-based approach to the problem of genetic code optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Błażej, Paweł; Wnȩtrzak, Małgorzata; Mackiewicz, Paweł

    2016-12-01

    One of theories explaining the present structure of canonical genetic code assumes that it was optimized to minimize harmful effects of amino acid replacements resulting from nucleotide substitutions and translational errors. A way to testify this concept is to find the optimal code under given criteria and compare it with the canonical genetic code. Unfortunately, the huge number of possible alternatives makes it impossible to find the optimal code using exhaustive methods in sensible time. Therefore, heuristic methods should be applied to search the space of possible solutions. Evolutionary algorithms (EA) seem to be ones of such promising approaches. This class of methods is founded both on mutation and crossover operators, which are responsible for creating and maintaining the diversity of candidate solutions. These operators possess dissimilar characteristics and consequently play different roles in the process of finding the best solutions under given criteria. Therefore, the effective searching for the potential solutions can be improved by applying both of them, especially when these operators are devised specifically for a given problem. To study this subject, we analyze the effectiveness of algorithms for various combinations of mutation and crossover probabilities under three models of the genetic code assuming different restrictions on its structure. To achieve that, we adapt the position based crossover operator for the most restricted model and develop a new type of crossover operator for the more general models. The applied fitness function describes costs of amino acid replacement regarding their polarity. Our results indicate that the usage of crossover operators can significantly improve the quality of the solutions. Moreover, the simulations with the crossover operator optimize the fitness function in the smaller number of generations than simulations without this operator. The optimal genetic codes without restrictions on their structure

  8. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W; Kendal, Jeremy

    2009-08-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, "niche construction". This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    , and invertebrates). Keystone groups were prevalent in estuarine or small/shallow systems, and in systems with reduced fishing pressure. Changes to the abundance of key functional groups might have significant implications for the functioning of ecosystems and should be avoided through management. Conclusion/significance Our results provide additional understanding of patterns of structural and functional indicators in different ecosystems. Ecosystem traits such as type, size, depth, and location need to be accounted for when setting reference levels as these affect absolute values of ecological indicators. Therefore, establishing absolute reference values for ecosystem indicators may not be suitable to the ecosystem-based, precautionary approach. Reference levels for ecosystem indicators should be developed for individual ecosystems or ecosystems with the same typologies (similar location, ecosystem type, etc.) and not benchmarked against all other ecosystems. PMID:24763610

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna Jacomina Heymans

    seagrass and macroalgae, and invertebrates. Keystone groups were prevalent in estuarine or small/shallow systems, and in systems with reduced fishing pressure. Changes to the abundance of key functional groups might have significant implications for the functioning of ecosystems and should be avoided through management. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results provide additional understanding of patterns of structural and functional indicators in different ecosystems. Ecosystem traits such as type, size, depth, and location need to be accounted for when setting reference levels as these affect absolute values of ecological indicators. Therefore, establishing absolute reference values for ecosystem indicators may not be suitable to the ecosystem-based, precautionary approach. Reference levels for ecosystem indicators should be developed for individual ecosystems or ecosystems with the same typologies (similar location, ecosystem type, etc. and not benchmarked against all other ecosystems.

  11. [Uncertainty characterization approaches for ecological risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in Taihu Lake].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guang-Hui; Wu, Feng-Chang; He, Hong-Ping; Feng, Cheng-Lian; Zhang, Rui-Qing; Li, Hui-Xian

    2012-04-01

    Probabilistic approaches, such as Monte Carlo Sampling (MCS) and Latin Hypercube Sampling (LHS), and non-probabilistic approaches, such as interval analysis, fuzzy set theory and variance propagation, were used to characterize uncertainties associated with risk assessment of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake. The results from MCS and LHS were represented by probability distributions of hazard quotients of sigma PAH8 in surface waters of Taihu Lake. The probabilistic distribution of hazard quotient were obtained from the results of MCS and LHS based on probabilistic theory, which indicated that the confidence intervals of hazard quotient at 90% confidence level were in the range of 0.000 18-0.89 and 0.000 17-0.92, with the mean of 0.37 and 0.35, respectively. In addition, the probabilities that the hazard quotients from MCS and LHS exceed the threshold of 1 were 9.71% and 9.68%, respectively. The sensitivity analysis suggested the toxicity data contributed the most to the resulting distribution of quotients. The hazard quotient of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms ranged from 0.000 17 to 0.99 using interval analysis. The confidence interval was (0.001 5, 0.016 3) at the 90% confidence level calculated using fuzzy set theory, and the confidence interval was (0.000 16, 0.88) at the 90% confidence level based on the variance propagation. These results indicated that the ecological risk of sigma PAH8 to aquatic organisms were low. Each method has its own set of advantages and limitations, which was based on different theory; therefore, the appropriate method should be selected on a case-by-case to quantify the effects of uncertainties on the ecological risk assessment. Approach based on the probabilistic theory was selected as the most appropriate method to assess the risk of sigma PAH8 in surface water of Taihu Lake, which provided an important scientific foundation of risk management and control for organic pollutants in water.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexey Voinov

    2002-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maypilama Elaine

    2011-05-01

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

  14. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    , they are correlated among people who share environments because these individuals satisfice within their cognitive bounds by using cues in order of validity, as opposed to using cues arbitrarily. Any difference in expectations thereby arise from differences in cognitive ability, because two individuals with identical...... cognitive bounds will perceive business opportunities identically. In addition, because cues provide information about latent causal structures of the environment, changes in causality must be accompanied by changes in cognitive representations if adaptation is to be maintained. The concept of evolutionary......The concept of evolutionary expectations descends from cue learning psychology, synthesizing ideas on rational expectations with ideas on bounded rationality, to provide support for these ideas simultaneously. Evolutionary expectations are rational, but within cognitive bounds. Moreover...

  15. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

    Evolutionary medicine allows new insights into long standing medical problems. Are we "really stoneagers on the fast lane"? This insight might have enormous consequences and will allow new answers that could never been provided by traditional anthropology. Only now this is made possible using data from molecular medicine and systems biology. Thereby evolutionary medicine takes a leap from a merely theoretical discipline to practical fields - reproductive, nutritional and preventive medicine, as well as microbiology, immunology and psychiatry. Evolutionary medicine is not another "just so story" but a serious candidate for the medical curriculum providing a universal understanding of health and disease based on our biological origin. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  16. Evolutionary Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Gorelik

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we advance the concept of “evolutionary awareness,” a metacognitive framework that examines human thought and emotion from a naturalistic, evolutionary perspective. We begin by discussing the evolution and current functioning of the moral foundations on which our framework rests. Next, we discuss the possible applications of such an evolutionarily-informed ethical framework to several domains of human behavior, namely: sexual maturation, mate attraction, intrasexual competition, culture, and the separation between various academic disciplines. Finally, we discuss ways in which an evolutionary awareness can inform our cross-generational activities—which we refer to as “intergenerational extended phenotypes”—by helping us to construct a better future for ourselves, for other sentient beings, and for our environment.

  17. Online Course Increases Nutrition Professionals' Knowledge, Skills, and Self-Efficacy in Using an Ecological Approach to Prevent Childhood Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Christina M.; Graham-Kiefer, Meredith L.; Devine, Carol M.; Dollahite, Jamie S.; Olson, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To assess the impact of an online continuing education course on the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of nutrition professionals to use an ecological approach to prevent childhood obesity. Design: Quasi-experimental design using intervention and delayed intervention comparison groups with pre/post-course assessments. Setting: Online…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrushenko Mykola M.

    2013-03-01

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

  19. Development of Triad approach based system for ecological risk assessment for contaminated areas of Kyrgyzstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kydralieva, Kamilia; Uzbekov, Beksultan; Khudaibergenova, Bermet; Terekhova, Vera; Jorobekova, Sharipa

    2014-05-01

    substances), 2) ecological parameters (assessing changes in microorganism's community structure and functions, bioindication); and 3) toxicological bioassays (utilizing classical endpoints such as survival and reproduction rates, genotoxicity). The output will be consisted of 3 indexes: 1) Environmental Risk Index, quantifying the level of biological damage at population-community level, 2) Biological Vulnerability Index, assessing the potential threats to biological equilibria, and 3) Genotoxicity Index, screening genotoxic effects. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) will be used to integrate a set of environmental Triad data to be obtained during the project, which will be carried out in order to estimate the potential risk from soil contamination of the highly anthropized areas of Kadzhi-Say, which have been impacted by deposition of heavy metals. The basis of the development under this research is studies with a particular focus concerning the biocenosis mapping of Kyrgyz soils (Mamytova et al., 2003, 2010), investigations on interaction of humic substances with soil contaminants (Jorobekova, Kydralieva, Khudaibergenova, 2004; Khudaibergenova, 2005, 2007), and in addition, technical approach for ecotoxicological assessment of soils (Terekhova, 2007, 2011). Soil ecotoxicological estimation has been studied with a battery of tests using test-organisms of many trophic levels. Currently, bioindication of soils with various humus states is under study (Senesi, Yakimenko 2007; Yakimenko, et al., 2008).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. On the Interplay between the Evolvability and Network Robustness in an Evolutionary Biological Network: A Systems Biology Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2011-01-01

    In the evolutionary process, the random transmission and mutation of genes provide biological diversities for natural selection. In order to preserve functional phenotypes between generations, gene networks need to evolve robustly under the influence of random perturbations. Therefore, the robustness of the phenotype, in the evolutionary process, exerts a selection force on gene networks to keep network functions. However, gene networks need to adjust, by variations in genetic content, to generate phenotypes for new challenges in the network’s evolution, ie, the evolvability. Hence, there should be some interplay between the evolvability and network robustness in evolutionary gene networks. In this study, the interplay between the evolvability and network robustness of a gene network and a biochemical network is discussed from a nonlinear stochastic system point of view. It was found that if the genetic robustness plus environmental robustness is less than the network robustness, the phenotype of the biological network is robust in evolution. The tradeoff between the genetic robustness and environmental robustness in evolution is discussed from the stochastic stability robustness and sensitivity of the nonlinear stochastic biological network, which may be relevant to the statistical tradeoff between bias and variance, the so-called bias/variance dilemma. Further, the tradeoff could be considered as an antagonistic pleiotropic action of a gene network and discussed from the systems biology perspective. PMID:22084563

  2. Early Menarche as an Alternative Reproductive Tactic in Human Females: An Evolutionary Approach to Reproductive Health Issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan T. Gillette

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The age at which a female reaches sexual maturity is critical in determining her future reproductive health and success. Thus, a worldwide decline in menarcheal age (timing of first menstrual period may have serious long-term consequences. Early menarcheal timing (first menstrual period before age 12 can have a negative effect on fecundity, as well as the quality and quantity of offspring, and may consequently influence population growth or decline. In this paper, we apply an evolutionary framework to modern human health, and assess both proximate and ultimate consequences of declining menarcheal age. Examination of human reproductive health within an evolutionary framework is innovative and essential, because it illuminates the ultimate consequences of a declining age of menarche and facilitates new ways of thinking about the long-term and intergenerational transmission of health and disease; thus, an evolutionary framework lends itself to innovative public health and policy programs. In this paper, we examine whether or not early menarche is an alternative reproductive tactic that modern human females employ in response to a stressful environment, and whether or not early menarche is ultimately beneficial.

  3. Mode and tempo in the evolution of socio-political organization: reconciling ‘Darwinian’ and ‘Spencerian’ evolutionary approaches in anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, Thomas E.; Mace, Ruth

    2011-01-01

    Traditional investigations of the evolution of human social and political institutions trace their ancestry back to nineteenth century social scientists such as Herbert Spencer, and have concentrated on the increase in socio-political complexity over time. More recent studies of cultural evolution have been explicitly informed by Darwinian evolutionary theory and focus on the transmission of cultural traits between individuals. These two approaches to investigating cultural change are often seen as incompatible. However, we argue that many of the defining features and assumptions of ‘Spencerian’ cultural evolutionary theory represent testable hypotheses that can and should be tackled within a broader ‘Darwinian’ framework. In this paper we apply phylogenetic comparative techniques to data from Austronesian-speaking societies of Island South-East Asia and the Pacific to test hypotheses about the mode and tempo of human socio-political evolution. We find support for three ideas often associated with Spencerian cultural evolutionary theory: (i) political organization has evolved through a regular sequence of forms, (ii) increases in hierarchical political complexity have been more common than decreases, and (iii) political organization has co-evolved with the wider presence of hereditary social stratification. PMID:21357233

  4. Editorial overview: Evolutionary psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gangestad, S.W.; Tybur, J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Functional approaches in psychology - which ask what behavior is good for - are almost as old as scientific psychology itself. Yet sophisticated, generative functional theories were not possible until developments in evolutionary biology in the mid-20th century. Arising in the last three decades,

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zlateva, Plamena; Stoyanov, Krasimir

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Evolutionary robotics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In evolutionary robotics, a suitable robot control system is developed automatically through evolution due to the interactions between the robot and its environment. It is a complicated task, as the robot and the environment constitute a highly dynamical system. Several methods have been tried by various investigators to ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solmon, Melinda A

    2015-01-01

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

  8. What's that smell? An ecological approach to understanding preferences for familiar odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schloss, Karen B; Goldberger, Carolyn S; Palmer, Stephen E; Levitan, Carmel A

    2015-01-01

    How do odor preferences arise? Following Palmer and Schloss's (2010, PNAS, 107, 8877-8882) ecological valence theory of color preferences, we propose that preference for an odor is determined by preferences for all objects and/or entities associated with that odor. The present results showed that preferences for familiar odors were strongly predicted by average preferences for all things associated with the odors (eg people liked the apple odor which was associated with mostly positive things, such as apples, soap, and candy, but disliked the fish odor, which was associated with mostly negative things, such as dead fish, trash, and vomit). The odor WAVEs (weighted affective valence estimates) performed significantly better than one based on preference for only the namesake object (eg predicting preference for the apple odor based on preference for apples). These results suggest that preferences for familiar odors are based on a summary statistic, coding the valence of previous odor-related experiences. We discuss how this account of odor preferences is consistent with the idea that odor preferences exist to guide organisms to approach beneficial objects and situations and avoid harmful ones.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-15

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. Putative bacterial interactions from metagenomic knowledge with an integrative systems ecology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordron, Philippe; Latorre, Mauricio; Cortés, Maria-Paz; González, Mauricio; Thiele, Sven; Siegel, Anne; Maass, Alejandro; Eveillard, Damien

    2016-02-01

    Following the trend of studies that investigate microbial ecosystems using different metagenomic techniques, we propose a new integrative systems ecology approach that aims to decipher functional roles within a consortium through the integration of genomic and metabolic knowledge at genome scale. For the sake of application, using public genomes of five bacterial strains involved in copper bioleaching: Acidiphilium cryptum, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans, we first reconstructed a global metabolic network. Next, using a parsimony assumption, we deciphered sets of genes, called Sets from Genome Segments (SGS), that (1) are close on their respective genomes, (2) take an active part in metabolic pathways and (3) whose associated metabolic reactions are also closely connected within metabolic networks. Overall, this SGS paradigm depicts genomic functional units that emphasize respective roles of bacterial strains to catalyze metabolic pathways and environmental processes. Our analysis suggested that only few functional metabolic genes are horizontally transferred within the consortium and that no single bacterial strain can accomplish by itself the whole copper bioleaching. The use of SGS pinpoints a functional compartmentalization among the investigated species and exhibits putative bacterial interactions necessary for promoting these pathways. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Host-parasite interactions and ecology of the malaria parasite-a bioinformatics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izak, Dariusz; Klim, Joanna; Kaczanowski, Szymon

    2018-04-25

    Malaria remains one of the highest mortality infectious diseases. Malaria is caused by parasites from the genus Plasmodium. Most deaths are caused by infections involving Plasmodium falciparum, which has a complex life cycle. Malaria parasites are extremely well adapted for interactions with their host and their host's immune system and are able to suppress the human immune system, erase immunological memory and rapidly alter exposed antigens. Owing to this rapid evolution, parasites develop drug resistance and express novel forms of antigenic proteins that are not recognized by the host immune system. There is an emerging need for novel interventions, including novel drugs and vaccines. Designing novel therapies requires knowledge about host-parasite interactions, which is still limited. However, significant progress has recently been achieved in this field through the application of bioinformatics analysis of parasite genome sequences. In this review, we describe the main achievements in 'malarial' bioinformatics and provide examples of successful applications of protein sequence analysis. These examples include the prediction of protein functions based on homology and the prediction of protein surface localization via domain and motif analysis. Additionally, we describe PlasmoDB, a database that stores accumulated experimental data. This tool allows data mining of the stored information and will play an important role in the development of malaria science. Finally, we illustrate the application of bioinformatics in the development of population genetics research on malaria parasites, an approach referred to as reverse ecology.

  13. Using the weight-of-evidence approach for ecological risk assessment at a DOE facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hull, R.N.; Suter, G.W.

    1994-01-01

    The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS), an uranium enrichment plant, has released various contaminants into the environment. An ecological risk assessment is underway for the site, which includes an evaluation of Little Beaver Creek, which flows along the eastern and northern sides of PORTS. For this assessment, the creek was divided into reaches which were defined in terms of contaminant sources. This creek receives contaminants from permitted outfalls, groundwater discharge, non-point sources, and accidental releases. Metal contamination is the major concern at the site. Receptors include the fish and benthic communities in the creek, and soil invertebrates and plants in the floodplain. A weight-of-evidence approach was used to evaluate risks to those receptors, based on chemical analyses, toxicity tests and field surveys. The fish and benthic communities are impacted on Little Beaver Creek in a reach near a permitted discharge, with improvements seen downstream of this location. Ambient water, sediment and soil samples were not toxic to laboratory organisms. Either these toxicity tests were not sufficiently sensitive to detect toxicity, or the observed changes in the aquatic communities did not result from toxicity. Because conditions improved downstream from the permitted discharge, it was concluded that this is the major source of toxicity in the creek

  14. An industrial ecology approach to municipal solid waste management: I. Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be viewed as a feedstock for industrial ecology inspired conversions of wastes to valuable products and energy. The industrial ecology principle of symbiotic processes using waste streams for creating value-added products is applied to MSW, with e...

  15. Risk-informed approaches to assess ecological safety of facilities with radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vashchenko, V.N.; Zlochevskij, V.V.; Skalozubov, V.I.

    2011-01-01

    Ingenious risk-informed methods to assess ecological safety of facilities with radioactive waste are proposed in the paper. Probabilistic norms on lethal outcomes and reliability of safety barriers are used as safety criteria. Based on the probability measures, it is established that ecological safety conditions are met for the standard criterion of lethal outcomes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  17. Decoupled leaf and root carbon economics is a key component in the ecological diversity and evolutionary divergence of deciduous and evergreen lineages of genus Rhododendron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Juliana S; Burns, Jean H; Nicholson, Jaynell; Rogers, Louisa; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar

    2017-06-01

    We explored trait-trait and trait-climate relationships for 27 Rhododendron species while accounting for phylogenetic relationships and within-species variation to investigate whether leaf and root traits are coordinated across environments and over evolutionary time, as part of a whole-plant economics spectrum. We examined specific leaf area (SLA) and four root traits: specific root length (SRL), specific root tip abundance (SRTA), first order diameter, and link average length, for plants growing in a cold, seasonal climate (Kirtland, Ohio) and a warmer, less seasonal climate (Federal Way, Washington) in the United States. We estimated a phylogeny and species' climate of origin, determined phylogenetic signal on mean traits and within-species variation, and used phylogenetically informed analysis to compare trait-trait and trait-climate relationships for deciduous and evergreen lineages. Mean SLA and within-species variation in SRL were more similar between close relatives than expected by chance. SLA and root traits differed according to climate of origin and across growth environments, though SLA differed within- and among-species less than roots. A negative SRL-SRTA correlation indicates investment in foraging scale vs. precision as a fundamental trade-off defining the root economic spectrum. Also, the deciduous clade exhibited a strong negative relationship between SLA and SRL, while evergreen clades showed a weaker positive or no relationship. Our work suggests that natural selection has shaped relationships between above- and belowground traits in genus Rhododendron and that leaf and root traits may evolve independently. Morphological decoupling may help explain habitat diversity among Rhododendron species, as well as the changes accompanying the divergence of deciduous and evergreen lineages. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  18. Advancing Empirical Approaches to the Concept of Resilience: A Critical Examination of Panarchy, Ecological Information, and Statistical Evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Kharrazi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite its ambiguities, the concept of resilience is of critical importance to researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers in dealing with dynamic socio-ecological systems. In this paper, we critically examine the three empirical approaches of (i panarchy; (ii ecological information-based network analysis; and (iii statistical evidence of resilience to three criteria determined for achieving a comprehensive understanding and application of this concept. These criteria are the ability: (1 to reflect a system’s adaptability to shocks; (2 to integrate social and environmental dimensions; and (3 to evaluate system-level trade-offs. Our findings show that none of the three currently applied approaches are strong in handling all three criteria. Panarchy is strong in the first two criteria but has difficulty with normative trade-offs. The ecological information-based approach is strongest in evaluating trade-offs but relies on common dimensions that lead to over-simplifications in integrating the social and environmental dimensions. Statistical evidence provides suggestions that are simplest and easiest to act upon but are generally weak in all three criteria. This analysis confirms the value of these approaches in specific instances but also the need for further research in advancing empirical approaches to the concept of resilience.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Woerman, Anders

    2003-09-01

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

  1. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. PMID:25684561

  3. Evolutionary change in continuous reaction norms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murren, Courtney J; Maclean, Heidi J; Diamond, Sarah E

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of reaction norms remains a major challenge in ecology and evolution. Investigating evolutionary divergence in reaction norm shapes between populations and closely related species is one approach to providing insights. Here we use a meta-analytic approach to compare...... divergence in reaction norms of closely related species or populations of animals and plants across types of traits and environments. We quantified mean-standardized differences in overall trait means (Offset) and reaction norm shape (including both Slope and Curvature). These analyses revealed...... contributed to the best-fitting models, especially for Offset, Curvature, and the total differences (Total) between reaction norms. Congeneric species had greater differences in reaction norms than populations, and novel environmental conditions increased the differences in reaction norms between populations...

  4. Understanding protected area resilience: a multi-scale, social-ecological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cumming, Graeme S.; Allen, Craig R.; Ban, Natalie C.; Biggs, Duan; Biggs, Harry C.; Cumming, David H.M; De Vos, Alta; Epstein, Graham; Etienne, Michel; Maciejewski, Kristine; Mathevet, Raphael; Moore, Christine; Nenadovic, Mateja; Schoon, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) remain central to the conservation of biodiversity. Classical PAs were conceived as areas that would be set aside to maintain a natural state with minimal human influence. However, global environmental change and growing cross-scale anthropogenic influences mean that PAs can no longer be thought of as ecological islands that function independently of the broader social-ecological system in which they are located. For PAs to be resilient (and to contribute to broader social-ecological resilience), they must be able to adapt to changing social and ecological conditions over time in a way that supports the long-term persistence of populations, communities, and ecosystems of conservation concern. We extend Ostrom's social-ecological systems framework to consider the long-term persistence of PAs, as a form of land use embedded in social-ecological systems, with important cross-scale feedbacks. Most notably, we highlight the cross-scale influences and feedbacks on PAs that exist from the local to the global scale, contextualizing PAs within multi-scale social-ecological functional landscapes. Such functional landscapes are integral to understand and manage individual PAs for long-term sustainability. We illustrate our conceptual contribution with three case studies that highlight cross-scale feedbacks and social-ecological interactions in the functioning of PAs and in relation to regional resilience. Our analysis suggests that while ecological, economic, and social processes are often directly relevant to PAs at finer scales, at broader scales, the dominant processes that shape and alter PA resilience are primarily social and economic.

  5. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...

  6. Historical ecology meets conservation and evolutionary genetics: a secondary contact zone between Carabus violaceus (Coleoptera, Carabidae populations inhabiting ancient and recent woodlands in north-western Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Matern

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Only very few cases have documented that an increase in connectivity after a period of fragmentation in ecological time has had an effect on the distribution, genetic structure and morphology of stenotopic species. In this study we present an example of clinal variability in a woodland ground beetle as a result of changes in the connectivity of a landscape during the last two centuries. The study area hosts both the nominate form C. violaceus s. str. and the subspecies C. v. purpurascens, which is ranked as a distinct species by some authors. We studied 12 Carabus violaceus populations from a 30 km transect of ancient and recent forests in north-western Germany. We analyzed three polymorphic enzyme loci, classified the elytron sculpture and measured the shape of the aedeagus tip of the specimens. C. violaceus showed secondary gradients both in allozyme markers and morphometric characters in our study area. A genetic differentiation of 16% between the populations is high but lies within the range of intraspecific variability in habitat specialists of the genus Carabus. Populations had no significant deficit of heterozygotes. We found many hybrid populations in terms of morphological properties. This study highlights the conservation value of ancient woodland and the consequences of landscape connectivity and defragmentation on the genetic setting of a ground beetle. Moreover, it shows that differences in the external shape of male genitalia do not prevent gene flow within the genus Carabus. Thus, the establishment of species status should not exclusively be based on this property.

  7. Studies of Malagasy Eugenia – IV: Seventeen new endemic species, a new combination, and three lectotypifications; with comments on distribution, ecological and evolutionary patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Snow

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Seventeen new endemic species of the genus Eugenia L. (Myrtaceae are proposed from Madagascar, including: E. andapae N. Snow, E. barriei N. Snow, E. bemangidiensis N. Snow, E. calciscopulorum N. Snow, E. delicatissima N. Snow, Callm. & Phillipson, E. echinulata N. Snow, E. gandhii N. Snow, E. hazonjia N. Snow, E. iantarensis N. Snow, E. malcomberi N. Snow, E. manomboensis N. Snow, E. obovatifolia N. Snow, E. ranomafana N. Snow & D. Turk, E. ravelonarivoi N. Snow & Callm., E. razakamalalae N. Snow & Callm., E. tiampoka N. Snow & Callm., and E. wilsoniana N. Snow, and one new combination, Eugenia richardii (Blume N. Snow, Callm. & Phillipson is provided. Detailed descriptions, information on distribution and ecology, distribution maps, vernacular names (where known, digital images of types, comparisons to morphologically similar species. Preliminary assessment of IUCN risk of extinction and conservation recommendations are provided, including Vulnerable (4 species, Endangered (2 species, and Critically Endangered (4 species. Lectotpyes are designated for Eugenia hovarum H. Perrier, Eugenia nompa H. Perrier, and E. scottii H. Perrier respectively.

  8. The ecological impact assessment of a proposed road development (the Slovak approach)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Igondova, Erika; Pavlickova, Katarina; Majzlan, Oto

    2016-01-01

    The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the Ec

  9. The ecological impact assessment of a proposed road development (the Slovak approach)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Igondova, Erika, E-mail: erika.igondova@gmail.com; Pavlickova, Katarina, E-mail: pavlickova60@gmail.com; Majzlan, Oto, E-mail: majzlan@fns.uniba.sk

    2016-07-15

    The construction of roads is one of the most widespread forms of natural landscape modification. Over the last 20 years, dozens of road constructions have been assessed in Slovakia, which makes it possible to talk about methodological positives and negatives. A special feature of Slovakia is that many planned or renovated roads are located in protected areas or are in contact with them (including Natura 2000 sites). Therefore, it is important to understand the scope of the roads' ecological impacts and find ways for their appropriate evaluation and incorporation into the Environmental Impact Assessment process. For this reason, the Ecological Impact Assessment methodology can be used as a basis for our research, which consists of three stages. In the first stage (scoping), a buffer circumventing the proposed road is created to determine the area for impact prediction and evaluation. Subsequently, the landscape structure and baseline landscape conditions are discussed, a map of current landscape structure is created and the current ecological status of the affected area is calculated. In the second stage (the evaluation of ecological resources), important ecological parts of the landscape are delineated. This step is based on the importance of previous information and its vulnerability, and leads to the mapping of the road ecological impact zone. In the third stage (impact assessment), important ecological parts are spatially correlated with the proposed road construction. Finally, the significance of ecological impacts of the activity is evaluated by applying specific criteria (duration, reversibility, magnitude, size and road ecological impact zone significance). A scale is proposed for each criterion to evaluate the total significance of impacts. In this way, detailed significant ecological impacts can be found which will help lead to proposed correct mitigation measures and a post-project analysis. - Highlights: • This paper proposes a methodology for the

  10. Women, behavior, and evolution: understanding the debate between feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liesen, Laurette T

    2007-03-01

    Often since the early 1990s, feminist evolutionists have criticized evolutionary psychologists, finding fault in their analyses of human male and female reproductive behavior. Feminist evolutionists have criticized various evolutionary psychologists for perpetuating gender stereotypes, using questionable methodology, and exhibiting a chill toward feminism. Though these criticisms have been raised many times, the conflict itself has not been fully analyzed. Therefore, I reconsider this conflict, both in its origins and its implications. I find that the approaches and perspectives of feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists are distinctly different, leading many of the former to work in behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology. Invitingly to feminist evolutionists, these three fields emphasize social behavior and the influences of environmental variables; in contrast, evolutionary psychology has come to rely on assumptions deemphasizing the pliability of psychological mechanisms and the flexibility of human behavior. In behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, feminist evolutionists have found old biases easy to correct and new hypotheses practical to test, offering new insights into male and female behavior, explaining the emergence and persistence of patriarchy, and potentially bringing closer a prime feminist goal, sexual equality.

  11. Adaptive evolution in ecological communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin M Turcotte

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

  12. Multi-stage thermal-economical optimization of compact heat exchangers: A new evolutionary-based design approach for real-world problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yousefi, Moslem; Darus, Amer Nordin; Yousefi, Milad; Hooshyar, Danial

    2015-01-01

    The complicated task of design optimization of compact heat exchangers (CHEs) have been effectively performed by using evolutionary algorithms (EAs) in the recent years. However, mainly due to difficulties of handling extra variables, the design approach has been based on constant rates of heat duty in the available literature. In this paper, a new design strategy is presented where variable operating conditions, which better represent real-world problems, are considered. The proposed strategy is illustrated using a case study for design of a plate-fin heat exchanger though it can be employed for all types of heat exchangers without much change. Learning automata based particle swarm optimization (LAPSO), is employed for handling nine design variables while satisfying various equality and inequality constraints. For handling the constraints, a novel feasibility based ranking strategy (FBRS) is introduced. The numerical results indicate that the design based on variable heat duties yields in more cost savings and superior thermodynamics efficiency comparing to a conventional design approach. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm has shown a superior performance in finding the near-optimum solution for this task when it is compared to the most popular evolutionary algorithms in engineering applications, i.e. genetic algorithm (GA) and particle swarm optimization (PSO). - Highlights: • Multi-stage design of heat exchangers is presented. • Feasibility based ranking strategy is employed for constraint handling. • Learning abilities added to particle swarm optimization

  13. Collaboration, interdisciplinary thinking, and communication: new approaches to K-12 ecology education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecologists often engage in global-scale research through partnerships among scientists from many disciplines. Such research projects require collaboration, interdisciplinary thinking, and strong communication skills. We advocate including these three practices as an integral part of ecology educatio...

  14. The application of new economic and ecological approaches to energetics in Czechoslovakia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Libich, V.; Kadrnozka, J.; Drahos, I.

    1986-10-01

    Orientation on local low-grade coal and nuclear sources also for heat supply, with which the construction of large heating systems and heat transport on large distances is connected, these are specific features of energy economy in Czechoslovakia. The development programme is challenging in economic respect, it causes numerous ecological problems, as well as those connected with coverage of variable loads. In case of additional construction at a later date many problems appear requiring differentiated approach that depends on concrete conditions. In the paper there are described possibilities and conditions of heat accumulation in feed water, in gravity accumulators at very quick changes of output, the accumulation systems involving steam release facilities and heat accumulation in heat conducting systems. Also the manufacture of heat generating equipment has an important role to play. There are given the outlines of construction of hot water accumulators. Specific conditions of the Czechoslovak energy economy also include the problem of efficient combustion of low-grade coal with a high sulfur content. In this connection it is especially the fluidized bed combustion that is under consideration. This combustion process can be run by clinkering of ash particles or a klinkerless process can be used. The combustion process can be either single-stage or double-stage. All these combustion methods are used in boilers made in Czechoslovakia. In the paper two types of boilers are described: the boiler with cooled fluidized bed and the fluidized bed reactor installed in front of a powdered coal fired boiler. There is briefly outlined the experience obtained from the operation of these boilers

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Bakhtari Aghdam

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  18. COMPETITIVENESS OF NIGERIAN RICE AND MAIZE PRODUCTION ECOLOGIES: A POLICY ANALYSIS APPROACH

    OpenAIRE

    Victor Olusegun Okoruwa

    2011-01-01

    The Nigerian rice and maize sectors are faced with decreasing supply and increasing demand as rice and maize have taken a strategic place of other staples leading to excessive importation and increasing government intervention. This study therefore assesses the competitiveness of Nigerian rice and maize production ecologies using the policy analysis matrix (PAM) on a sample of 122 farmers. Results of the PAM revealed that outputs from the production ecologies are taxed. This is further confir...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. An evolutionary perspective on drug discovery in the plant genus Euphorbia L. (Euphorbiaceae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ernst, Madeleine

    herbivory and physical stresses or to attract pollinators. Consequently, specializedmetabolites, as well as plants used in traditional medicine, are not randomly distributed across phylogenetictrees. Evolutionary approaches to plant-based drug discovery suggest that this informationcan be used to guide...... healthcarethreats, urge for systematic and time-efficient approaches in finding new drug candidates. Manydrugs are derived from plant specialized metabolites, chemical compounds, which are synthesizedby the plants in response to evolutionary adaptation to environmental and ecological factors, for example,to combat...... evolution and diversification. Also, Euphorbia species producean often chemically highly diverse latex exhibiting an exceptional number of biological activities withpharmaceutical interest. In this PhD project, the genus Euphorbia was chosen as a model group forstudying evolutionary approaches to plant...

  1. Editorial: Entropy in Landscape Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel A. Cushman

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics are the central organizing principles of nature, but the ideas and implications of the second law are poorly developed in landscape ecology. The purpose of this Special Issue “Entropy in Landscape Ecology” in Entropy is to bring together current research on applications of thermodynamics in landscape ecology, to consolidate current knowledge and identify key areas for future research. The special issue contains six articles, which cover a broad range of topics including relationships between entropy and evolution, connections between fractal geometry and entropy, new approaches to calculate configurational entropy of landscapes, example analyses of computing entropy of landscapes, and using entropy in the context of optimal landscape planning. Collectively these papers provide a broad range of contributions to the nascent field of ecological thermodynamics. Formalizing the connections between entropy and ecology are in a very early stage, and that this special issue contains papers that address several centrally important ideas, and provides seminal work that will be a foundation for the future development of ecological and evolutionary thermodynamics.

  2. The narrow-leaf syndrome: a functional and evolutionary approach to the form of fog-harvesting rosette plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martorell, Carlos; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2007-04-01

    Plants that use fog as an important water-source frequently have a rosette growth habit. The performance of this morphology in relation to fog interception has not been studied. Some first-principles from physics predict that narrow leaves, together with other ancillary traits (large number and high flexibility of leaves, caudices, and/or epiphytism) which constitute the "narrow-leaf syndrome" should increase fog-interception efficiency. This was tested using aluminum models of rosettes that differed in leaf length, width and number and were exposed to artificial fog. The results were validated using seven species of Tillandsia and four species of xerophytic rosettes. The total amount of fog intercepted in rosette plants increased with total leaf area, while narrow leaves maximized interception efficiency (measured as interception per unit area). The number of leaves in the rosettes is physically constrained because wide-leafed plants can only have a few blades. At the limits of this constraint, net fog interception was independent of leaf form, but interception efficiency was maximized by large numbers of narrow leaves. Atmospheric Tillandsia species show the narrow-leaf syndrome. Their fog interception efficiencies were correlated to the ones predicted from aluminum-model data. In the larger xerophytic rosette species, the interception efficiency was greatest in plants showing the narrow-leaf syndrome. The adaptation to fog-harvesting in several narrow-leaved rosettes was tested for evolutionary convergence in 30 xerophytic rosette species using a comparative method. There was a significant evolutionary tendency towards the development of the narrow-leaf syndrome the closer the species grew to areas where fog is frequently available. This study establishes convergence in a very wide group of plants encompassing genera as contrasting as Tillandsia and Agave as a result of their dependence on fog.

  3. Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-11-11

    Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator-prey (rotifer-algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chaodong Yan

    2017-07-01

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

  5. COMPETITIVENESS OF NIGERIAN RICE AND MAIZE PRODUCTION ECOLOGIES: A POLICY ANALYSIS APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Olusegun Okoruwa

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The Nigerian rice and maize sectors are faced with decreasing supply and increasing demand as rice and maize have taken a strategic place of other staples leading to excessive importation and increasing government intervention. This study therefore assesses the competitiveness of Nigerian rice and maize production ecologies using the policy analysis matrix (PAM on a sample of 122 farmers. Results of the PAM revealed that outputs from the production ecologies are taxed. This is further confirmed by the Effective protection coefficient (EPC and Subsidy ratio to producers (SRP values, however, the production ecologies are subsidized on the use of tradable inputs. The production ecologies show a strong competitiveness at the farm level (under irrigated rice, upland rice and upland maize and a strong comparative advantage. Sensitivity analysis indicated that a 50 percent increase in output and a 13.3 percent depreciation of the domestic currency will increase competitiveness and comparative advantage of rice and maize production in all ecologies. The study recommends that government should ensure a level of policy stability in the rice and maize sectors, assist farmers with irrigated water scheme to ensure constant water supply, and increase the level of output through provision of improved seed varieties.

  6. The social ecology of resolving family conflict among West African immigrants in New York: a grounded theory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Andrew; Chu, Tracy; Akinsulure-Smith, Adeyinka M; Keatley, Eva

    2013-09-01

    The current study employs a grounded theory approach to examine West African immigrants' resolution of parent-child conflict and intimate partner conflict. Data from 59 participants present an interactive social ecological framework, where a lack of resolution at one level results in attempts to resolve problems at higher levels. Four levels are identified within West African immigrants' problem solving ecology, each with specific actors in positions of authority: individual/dyadic (parents and spouses), extended family (which includes distant relatives and relatives living in home countries), community leadership (non-family elders and religious leaders), and state authorities. From participants' descriptions of family challenges emerged a picture of a social ecology in flux, with traditional, socially conservative modes of resolving family conflict transposed across migration into the more liberal and state-oriented familial context of the United States. This transposition results in a loss spiral for the traditional social ecology, differentially affecting individual actors within families. Implications for helping professionals working with new immigrant communities include identifying variability in openness to adapting structures that are not working well (e.g., patriarchal protection of abusive husbands) and supporting structures known to be associated with well being (e.g., collective monitoring of youth).

  7. Ecological correlates of multiple sexual partnerships among adolescents and young adults in urban Cape Town: a cumulative risk factor approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchiri, Evans; Odimegwu, Clifford; Banda, Pamela; Ntoimo, Lorreta; Adedini, Sunday

    2017-07-01

    Studies in South Africa have reported unsafe levels of risky sexual behvaiours among adolescents and young adults, with the country reporting the highest burden of HIV/AIDS globally, as well as a high rate of teenage pregnancy. While determinants of risky sexual behaviours have been investigated for factors occurring at the individual and household levels, not fully explored in the literature is the effect of community level factors. Furthermore, it is unclear whether risk factors occurring within the ecology of adolescents and young adults act cumulatively to influence their sexual practices. This article aims to address this knowledge gap using a case study of the Cape Area Panel Study of adolescents and young adults in urban Cape Town, South Africa. The ecological framework was adopted to guide the selection of risk factors at the individual, household, and community levels. Multivariate linear discriminant function analyses were used to select significant risk factors for multiple sexual partnerships and used to produce risk indices for the respondents. The cumulative risk approach was applied to test whether significant risk factors acted cumulatively. Findings point to the importance of ecological factors in influencing outcomes of multiple sexual partnerships among respondents and further demonstrate that ecological risk factors may act cumulatively. These findings are important for South Africa that is grappling with teenage pregnancy and disproportionate HIV epidemic among the youth.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Newton Paulo Bueno

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans-Georg Schwarz-v. Raumer

    2017-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-08-01

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

  12. Open Issues in Evolutionary Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fernando; Duarte, Miguel; Correia, Luís; Oliveira, Sancho Moura; Christensen, Anders Lyhne

    2016-01-01

    One of the long-term goals in evolutionary robotics is to be able to automatically synthesize controllers for real autonomous robots based only on a task specification. While a number of studies have shown the applicability of evolutionary robotics techniques for the synthesis of behavioral control, researchers have consistently been faced with a number of issues preventing the widespread adoption of evolutionary robotics for engineering purposes. In this article, we review and discuss the open issues in evolutionary robotics. First, we analyze the benefits and challenges of simulation-based evolution and subsequent deployment of controllers versus evolution on real robotic hardware. Second, we discuss specific evolutionary computation issues that have plagued evolutionary robotics: (1) the bootstrap problem, (2) deception, and (3) the role of genomic encoding and genotype-phenotype mapping in the evolution of controllers for complex tasks. Finally, we address the absence of standard research practices in the field. We also discuss promising avenues of research. Our underlying motivation is the reduction of the current gap between evolutionary robotics and mainstream robotics, and the establishment of evolutionary robotics as a canonical approach for the engineering of autonomous robots.

  13. Residue Geometry Networks: A Rigidity-Based Approach to the Amino Acid Network and Evolutionary Rate Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fokas, Alexander S.; Cole, Daniel J.; Ahnert, Sebastian E.; Chin, Alex W.

    2016-01-01

    Amino acid networks (AANs) abstract the protein structure by recording the amino acid contacts and can provide insight into protein function. Herein, we describe a novel AAN construction technique that employs the rigidity analysis tool, FIRST, to build the AAN, which we refer to as the residue geometry network (RGN). We show that this new construction can be combined with network theory methods to include the effects of allowed conformal motions and local chemical environments. Importantly, this is done without costly molecular dynamics simulations required by other AAN-related methods, which allows us to analyse large proteins and/or data sets. We have calculated the centrality of the residues belonging to 795 proteins. The results display a strong, negative correlation between residue centrality and the evolutionary rate. Furthermore, among residues with high closeness, those with low degree were particularly strongly conserved. Random walk simulations using the RGN were also successful in identifying allosteric residues in proteins involved in GPCR signalling. The dynamic function of these residues largely remain hidden in the traditional distance-cutoff construction technique. Despite being constructed from only the crystal structure, the results in this paper suggests that the RGN can identify residues that fulfil a dynamical function. PMID:27623708

  14. Gender differences in body composition, physical activity, eating behavior and body image among normal weight adolescents--an evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchengast, Sylvia; Marosi, Andrea

    2008-12-01

    Body composition but also physical activity patterns underlie gender typical differences throughout human life. In the present study the body composition of 354 girls and 280 boys ageing between 11 and 18 years originating from Eastern Austria were analyzed using bioelectrical impedance method. Normal weight according to body mass index categories was a strict inclusion criterion. Information regarding physical activity during school and leisure time, daily nutritional habits, subjective body satisfaction and weight control practices were collected by means of a structured and standardized questionnaire. Results of the analyses reveal that--as to be expected--adolescent boys and girls differed significantly in body composition, but also in physical activity patterns. Even normal weight girls exhibited a significantly higher amount of absolute and relative fat mass, whereas normal weight boys showed a significantly higher amount of fat free body mass. Furthermore male adolescents were significantly more physically active than their female counterparts. According to the results of multiple regression analyses physical activity patterns had beside sex an independent influence on body composition parameters during adolescence. In contrast, girls and boys showed only minor differences in nutritional habits and weight control practices. Nutritional habits, body satisfaction and weight control practices were not significantly related to body composition parameters. The observed gender differences in body composition as well as in physical activity patterns are interpreted in an evolutionary sense.

  15. Effects of behavioral response and vaccination policy on epidemic spreading--an approach based on evolutionary-game dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hai-Feng; Wu, Zhi-Xi; Tang, Ming; Lai, Ying-Cheng

    2014-07-11

    How effective are governmental incentives to achieve widespread vaccination coverage so as to prevent epidemic outbreak? The answer largely depends on the complex interplay among the type of incentive, individual behavioral responses, and the intrinsic epidemic dynamics. By incorporating evolutionary games into epidemic dynamics, we investigate the effects of two types of incentives strategies: partial-subsidy policy in which certain fraction of the cost of vaccination is offset, and free-subsidy policy in which donees are randomly selected and vaccinated at no cost. Through mean-field analysis and computations, we find that, under the partial-subsidy policy, the vaccination coverage depends monotonically on the sensitivity of individuals to payoff difference, but the dependence is non-monotonous for the free-subsidy policy. Due to the role models of the donees for relatively irrational individuals and the unchanged strategies of the donees for rational individuals, the free-subsidy policy can in general lead to higher vaccination coverage. Our findings indicate that any disease-control policy should be exercised with extreme care: its success depends on the complex interplay among the intrinsic mathematical rules of epidemic spreading, governmental policies, and behavioral responses of individuals.

  16. A quantitative genetic approach to assess the evolutionary potential of a coastal marine fish to ocean acidification

    KAUST Repository

    Malvezzi, Alex J.

    2015-02-01

    Assessing the potential of marine organisms to adapt genetically to increasing oceanic CO2 levels requires proxies such as heritability of fitness-related traits under ocean acidification (OA). We applied a quantitative genetic method to derive the first heritability estimate of survival under elevated CO2 conditions in a metazoan. Specifically, we reared offspring, selected from a wild coastal fish population (Atlantic silverside, Menidia menidia), at high CO2 conditions (~2300 μatm) from fertilization to 15 days posthatch, which significantly reduced survival compared to controls. Perished and surviving offspring were quantitatively sampled and genotyped along with their parents, using eight polymorphic microsatellite loci, to reconstruct a parent-offspring pedigree and estimate variance components. Genetically related individuals were phenotypically more similar (i.e., survived similarly long at elevated CO2 conditions) than unrelated individuals, which translated into a significantly nonzero heritability (0.20 ± 0.07). The contribution of maternal effects was surprisingly small (0.05 ± 0.04) and nonsignificant. Survival among replicates was positively correlated with genetic diversity, particularly with observed heterozygosity. We conclude that early life survival of M. menidia under high CO2 levels has a significant additive genetic component that could elicit an evolutionary response to OA, depending on the strength and direction of future selection.

  17. Lactococcus garvieae: where is it from? A first approach to explore the evolutionary history of this emerging pathogen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Ferrario

    Full Text Available The population structure and diversity of Lactococcus garvieae, an emerging pathogen of increasing clinical significance, was determined at both gene and genome level. Selected lactococcal isolates of various origins were analyzed by a multi locus sequence typing (MLST. This gene-based analysis was compared to genomic characteristics, estimated through the complete genome sequences available in database. The MLST identified two branches containing the majority of the strains and two branches bearing one strain each. One strain was particularly differentiated from the other L. garvieae strains, showing a significant genetic distance. The genomic charact