WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary ecology approach

  1. Evolutionary and ecological approaches to the study of personality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Réale, Denis; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Kazem, Anahita J. N.; Wright, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    This introduction to the themed issue on Evolutionary and ecological approaches to the study of personality provides an overview of conceptual, theoretical and methodological progress in research on animal personalities over the last decade, and places the contributions to this volume in context. The issue has three main goals. First, we aimed to bring together theoreticians to contribute to the development of models providing adaptive explanations for animal personality that could guide empiricists, and stimulate exchange of ideas between the two groups of researchers. Second, we aimed to stimulate cross-fertilization between different scientific fields that study personality, namely behavioural ecology, psychology, genomics, quantitative genetics, neuroendocrinology and developmental biology. Third, we aimed to foster the application of an evolutionary framework to the study of personality. PMID:21078646

  2. Evolutionary and ecological approaches to the study of personality

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Réale, Denis; Dingemanse, Niels J; Kazem, Anahita J N; Wright, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    ... of ideas between the two groups of researchers. Second, we aimed to stimulate cross-fertilization between different scientific fields that study personality, namely behavioural ecology, psychology, genomics, quantitative genetics, neuroendocrinology and developmental biology. Third, we aimed to foster the application of an evolutionary framework to the study of personality.

  3. 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

  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. Colour spaces in ecology and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renoult, Julien P; Kelber, Almut; Schaefer, H Martin

    2017-02-01

    compare results between models and perform behavioural experiments more routinely. Such an approach would further contribute to a better understanding of colour vision and its links to the behavioural ecology of animals. While visual ecology is essentially a transfer of knowledge from visual sciences to evolutionary ecology, we hope that the discipline will benefit both fields more evenly in the future. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  6. Predictive ecology: systems approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Matthew R; Norris, Ken J; Benton, Tim G

    2012-01-19

    The world is experiencing significant, largely anthropogenically induced, environmental change. This will impact on the biological world and we need to be able to forecast its effects. In order to produce such forecasts, ecology needs to become more predictive--to develop the ability to understand how ecological systems will behave in future, changed, conditions. Further development of process-based models is required to allow such predictions to be made. Critical to the development of such models will be achieving a balance between the brute-force approach that naively attempts to include everything, and over simplification that throws out important heterogeneities at various levels. Central to this will be the recognition that individuals are the elementary particles of all ecological systems. As such it will be necessary to understand the effect of evolution on ecological systems, particularly when exposed to environmental change. However, insights from evolutionary biology will help the development of models even when data may be sparse. Process-based models are more common, and are used for forecasting, in other disciplines, e.g. climatology and molecular systems biology. Tools and techniques developed in these endeavours can be appropriated into ecological modelling, but it will also be necessary to develop the science of ecoinformatics along with approaches specific to ecological problems. The impetus for this effort should come from the demand coming from society to understand the effects of environmental change on the world and what might be performed to mitigate or adapt to them.

  7. An evolutionary basis for pollination ecology

    OpenAIRE

    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 correlations of flowerecologically important character states with angiosperm and insect phylogeny (in the sense of Hennig, 1966), an attempt is made to derive directed evolutionary lines (transformation ...

  8. 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

  9. Moment equations in spatial evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, Sébastien

    2016-09-21

    How should we model evolution in spatially structured populations? Here, I review an evolutionary ecology approach based on the technique of spatial moment equations. I first provide a mathematical underpinning to the derivation of equations for the densities of various spatial configurations in network-based models. I then show how this spatial ecological framework can be coupled with an adaptive dynamics approach to compute the invasion fitness of a rare mutant in a resident population at equilibrium. Under the additional assumption that mutations have small phenotypic effects, I show that the selection gradient can be expressed as a function of neutral measures of genetic and demographic structure. I discuss the connections between this approach and inclusive fitness theory, as well as the applicability and limits of this technique. My main message is that spatial moment equations can be used as a means to obtain compact qualitative arguments about the evolution of life-history traits for a variety of life cycles. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The Evolutionary Ecology of Mutualism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ivens, A.B.F.

    2012-01-01

    Mutualism, cooperation between different species, is wide-spread in nature. From bees pollinating plants to bacteria aiding digestion in the human gut: mutualism is essential for life on earth. But how does mutualism evolve? And what mechanisms keep mutualisms stable over evolutionary time and

  11. 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

  12. An evolutionary ecology of individual differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

    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 'cross-fertilisation' 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 co-variation amongst behavioural specialisations. Thus, we sketch the key elements of a general framework for studying the evolutionary ecology of individual differences. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  13. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fontaine, C.; Guimaraes, P.R.; Kefi, S.; Loeuille, N.; Memmott, J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Van Veen, F.J.F.; Thebault, 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

  15. Applying evolutionary concepts to wildlife disease ecology and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Wal, Eric; Garant, Dany; Calmé, Sophie; Chapman, Colin A; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Millien, Virginie; Rioux-Paquette, Sébastien; Pelletier, Fanie

    2014-08-01

    Existing and emerging infectious diseases are among the most pressing global threats to biodiversity, food safety and human health. The complex interplay between host, pathogen and environment creates a challenge for conserving species, communities and ecosystem functions, while mediating the many known ecological and socio-economic negative effects of disease. Despite the clear ecological and evolutionary contexts of host-pathogen dynamics, approaches to managing wildlife disease remain predominantly reactionary, focusing on surveillance and some attempts at eradication. A few exceptional studies have heeded recent calls for better integration of ecological concepts in the study and management of wildlife disease; however, evolutionary concepts remain underused. Applied evolution consists of four principles: evolutionary history, genetic and phenotypic variation, selection and eco-evolutionary dynamics. In this article, we first update a classical framework for understanding wildlife disease to integrate better these principles. Within this framework, we explore the evolutionary implications of environment-disease interactions. Subsequently, we synthesize areas where applied evolution can be employed in wildlife disease management. Finally, we discuss some future directions and challenges. Here, we underscore that despite some evolutionary principles currently playing an important role in our understanding of disease in wild animals, considerable opportunities remain for fostering the practice of evolutionarily enlightened wildlife disease management.

  16. 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.

  17. The evolutionary ecology of the Lygaeidae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdfield-Steel, Emily R; Shuker, David M

    2014-01-01

    The Lygaeidae (sensu lato) are a highly successful family of true bugs found worldwide, yet many aspects of their ecology and evolution remain obscure or unknown. While a few species have attracted considerable attention as model species for the study of insect physiology, it is only relatively recently that biologists have begun to explore aspects of their behavior, life history evolution, and patterns of intra- and interspecific ecological interactions across more species. As a result though, a range of new phenotypes and opportunities for addressing current questions in evolutionary ecology has been uncovered. For example, researchers have revealed hitherto unexpectedly rich patterns of bacterial symbiosis, begun to explore the evolutionary function of the family's complex genitalia, and also found evidence of parthenogenesis. Here we review our current understanding of the biology and ecology of the group as a whole, focusing on several of the best-studied characteristics of the group, including aposematism (i.e., the evolution of warning coloration), chemical communication, sexual selection (especially, postcopulatory sexual selection), sexual conflict, and patterns of host-endosymbiont coevolution. Importantly, many of these aspects of lygaeid biology are likely to interact, offering new avenues for research, for instance into how the evolution of aposematism influences sexual selection. With the growing availability of genomic tools for previously “non-model” organisms, combined with the relative ease of keeping many of the polyphagous species in the laboratory, we argue that these bugs offer many opportunities for behavioral and evolutionary ecologists. PMID:25360267

  18. The evolutionary ecology of C4 plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Osborne, Colin P

    2014-12-01

    C4 photosynthesis is a physiological syndrome resulting from multiple anatomical and biochemical components, which function together to increase the CO2 concentration around Rubisco and reduce photorespiration. It evolved independently multiple times and C4 plants now dominate many biomes, especially in the tropics and subtropics. The C4 syndrome comes in many flavours, with numerous phenotypic realizations of C4 physiology and diverse ecological strategies. In this work, we analyse the events that happened in a C3 context and enabled C4 physiology in the descendants, those that generated the C4 physiology, and those that happened in a C4 background and opened novel ecological niches. Throughout the manuscript, we evaluate the biochemical and physiological evidence in a phylogenetic context, which demonstrates the importance of contingency in evolutionary trajectories and shows how these constrained the realized phenotype. We then discuss the physiological innovations that allowed C4 plants to escape these constraints for two important dimensions of the ecological niche--growth rates and distribution along climatic gradients. This review shows that a comprehensive understanding of C4 plant ecology can be achieved by accounting for evolutionary processes spread over millions of years, including the ancestral condition, functional convergence via independent evolutionary trajectories, and physiological diversification. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology: linking the genotype with the phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diz, Angel P; Martínez-Fernández, Mónica; Rolán-Alvarez, Emilio

    2012-03-01

    The study of the proteome (proteomics), which includes the dynamics of protein expression, regulation, interactions and its function, has played a less prominent role in evolutionary and ecological investigations in comparison with the study of the genome and transcriptome. There are, however, a number of arguments suggesting that this situation should change. First, the proteome is closer to the phenotype than the genome or the transcriptome, and as such may be more directly responsive to natural selection, and thus closely linked to adaptation. Second, there is evidence of a low correlation between protein and transcript expression levels across genes in many different organisms. Finally, there have been some recent important technological improvements in proteomics methods that make them feasible, practical and useful to address a wide range of evolutionary questions even in nonmodel organisms. The different proteomic methods, their limitations and problems when interpreting empirical data are described and discussed. In addition, the proteomic literature pertaining to evolutionary ecology is reviewed with examples, and potential applications of proteomics in a variety of evolutionary contexts are outlined. New proteomic research trends such as the study of posttranslational modifications and protein-protein interactions, as well as the combined use of the different -omics approaches, are discussed in relation to the development of a more functional and integrated perspective, needed for achieving a more comprehensive knowledge of evolutionary change. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. Linking metacommunity theory and symbiont evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihaljevic, Joseph R

    2012-06-01

    Processes that occur both within and between hosts can influence the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of symbionts, a broad term that includes parasitic and disease-causing organisms. Metacommunity theory can integrate these local- and regional-scale dynamics to explore symbiont community composition patterns across space. In this article I emphasize that symbionts should be incorporated into the metacommunity concept. I highlight the utility of metacommunity theory by discussing practical and general benefits that emerge from considering symbionts in a metacommunity framework. Specifically, investigating the local and regional drivers of symbiont community and metacommunity structure will lead to a more holistic understanding of symbiont ecology and evolution and could reveal novel insights into the roles of symbiont communities in mediating host health. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. Anxiety: an evolutionary approach.

    OpenAIRE

    Bateson, M; Brilot, B; Nettle, D.

    2011-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses, with huge attendant suffering. Current treatments are not universally effective, suggesting that a deeper understanding of the causes of anxiety is needed. To understand anxiety disorders better, it is first necessary to understand the normal anxiety response. This entails considering its evolutionary function as well as the mechanisms underlying it. We argue that the function of the human anxiety response, and homologues in other ...

  6. Ecological and evolutionary genomics of marine photosynthetic organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Susana M; Simon, Nathalie; Ahmed, Sophia; Cock, J Mark; Partensky, Frédéric

    2013-02-01

    Environmental (ecological) genomics aims to understand the genetic basis of relationships between organisms and their abiotic and biotic environments. It is a rapidly progressing field of research largely due to recent advances in the speed and volume of genomic data being produced by next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Building on information generated by NGS-based approaches, functional genomic methodologies are being applied to identify and characterize genes and gene systems of both environmental and evolutionary relevance. Marine photosynthetic organisms (MPOs) were poorly represented amongst the early genomic models, but this situation is changing rapidly. Here we provide an overview of the recent advances in the application of ecological genomic approaches to both prokaryotic and eukaryotic MPOs. We describe how these approaches are being used to explore the biology and ecology of marine cyanobacteria and algae, particularly with regard to their functions in a broad range of marine ecosystems. Specifically, we review the ecological and evolutionary insights gained from whole genome and transcriptome sequencing projects applied to MPOs and illustrate how their genomes are yielding information on the specific features of these organisms. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  7. Anxiety: an evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Melissa; Brilot, Ben; Nettle, Daniel

    2011-12-01

    Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses, with huge attendant suffering. Current treatments are not universally effective, suggesting that a deeper understanding of the causes of anxiety is needed. To understand anxiety disorders better, it is first necessary to understand the normal anxiety response. This entails considering its evolutionary function as well as the mechanisms underlying it. We argue that the function of the human anxiety response, and homologues in other species, is to prepare the individual to detect and deal with threats. We use a signal detection framework to show that the threshold for expressing the anxiety response ought to vary with the probability of threats occurring, and the individual's vulnerability to them if they do occur. These predictions are consistent with major patterns in the epidemiology of anxiety. Implications for research and treatment are discussed.

  8. Ecological and evolutionary legacy of megafauna extinctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galetti, Mauro; Moleón, Marcos; Jordano, Pedro; Pires, Mathias M; Guimarães, Paulo R; Pape, Thomas; Nichols, Elizabeth; Hansen, Dennis; Olesen, Jens M; Munk, Michael; de Mattos, Jacqueline S; Schweiger, Andreas H; Owen-Smith, Norman; Johnson, Christopher N; Marquis, Robert J; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2017-10-09

    For hundreds of millions of years, large vertebrates (megafauna) have inhabited most of the ecosystems on our planet. During the late Quaternary, notably during the Late Pleistocene and the early Holocene, Earth experienced a rapid extinction of large, terrestrial vertebrates. While much attention has been paid to understanding the causes of this massive megafauna extinction, less attention has been given to understanding the impacts of loss of megafauna on other organisms with whom they interacted. In this review, we discuss how the loss of megafauna disrupted and reshaped ecological interactions, and explore the ecological consequences of the ongoing decline of large vertebrates. Numerous late Quaternary extinct species of predators, parasites, commensals and mutualistic partners were associated with megafauna and were probably lost due to their strict dependence upon them (co-extinctions). Moreover, many extant species have megafauna-adapted traits that provided evolutionary benefits under past megafauna-rich conditions, but are now of no or limited use (anachronisms). Morphological evolution and behavioural changes allowed some of these species partially to overcome the absence of megafauna. Although the extinction of megafauna led to a number of co-extinction events, several species that likely co-evolved with megafauna established new interactions with humans and their domestic animals. Species that were highly specialized in interactions with megafauna, such as large predators, specialized parasites, and large commensalists (e.g. scavengers, dung beetles), and could not adapt to new hosts or prey were more likely to die out. Partners that were less megafauna dependent persisted because of behavioural plasticity or by shifting their dependency to humans via domestication, facilitation or pathogen spill-over, or through interactions with domestic megafauna. We argue that the ongoing extinction of the extant megafauna in the Anthropocene will catalyse another

  9. Evolutionary ecology of the prezygotic stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernasconi, G; Ashman, T-L; Birkhead, T R; Bishop, J D D; Grossniklaus, U; Kubli, E; Marshall, D L; Schmid, B; Skogsmyr, I; Snook, R R; Taylor, D; Till-Bottraud, I; Ward, P I; Zeh, D W; Hellriegel, B

    2004-02-13

    The life cycles of sexually reproducing animals and flowering plants begin with male and female gametes and their fusion to form a zygote. Selection at this earliest stage is crucial for offspring quality and raises similar evolutionary issues, yet zoology and botany use dissimilar approaches. There are striking parallels in the role of prezygotic competition for sexual selection on males, cryptic female choice, sexual conflict, and against selfish genetic elements and genetic incompatibility. In both groups, understanding the evolution of sex-specific and reproductive traits will require an appreciation of the effects of prezygotic competition on fitness.

  10. [Evolutionary basis of ecological diversity in dicotyledons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamaleĭ, Iu V

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary prerequisites of dicots current ecological diversity are studied. Structural and functional differences of the taxa generations replacing one another under the influence of the planet climate changes are described. The results of comparison of plant groups belonging to different subclasses confirm the adaptive parallelism in the structural and functional evolution, as well as the relationship between adaptogenesis and climate changes in Cenozoic. The supposition is made that the system of structural and functional traits of a taxon forms in compliance with climate specificity at the time and place of its establishment. Stability of plant species characters and their environmental requirements is corroborated by shift of species ranges in full accordance with habitat drift under climate changes influence. The similarity of evolutional and zonal series of dicots is shown. The present structural and functional diversity of taxa and ecosystems is considered to be a consequence of dissimilarity in their phylogenetic age. The conclusion is made that the current biological diversity is founded on historical diversity of habitats and plant species being phylogenetically adapted to them.

  11. Eco-evolutionary partitioning metrics: assessing the importance of ecological and evolutionary contributions to population and community change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govaert, Lynn; Pantel, Jelena H; De Meester, Luc

    2016-08-01

    Interest in eco-evolutionary dynamics is rapidly increasing thanks to ground-breaking research indicating that evolution can occur rapidly and can alter the outcome of ecological processes. A key challenge in this sub-discipline is establishing how important the contribution of evolutionary and ecological processes and their interactions are to observed shifts in population and community characteristics. Although a variety of metrics to separate and quantify the effects of evolutionary and ecological contributions to observed trait changes have been used, they often allocate fractions of observed changes to ecology and evolution in different ways. We used a mathematical and numerical comparison of two commonly used frameworks - the Price equation and reaction norms - to reveal that the Price equation cannot partition genetic from non-genetic trait change within lineages, whereas the reaction norm approach cannot partition among- from within-lineage trait change. We developed a new metric that combines the strengths of both Price-based and reaction norm metrics, extended all metrics to analyse community change and also incorporated extinction and colonisation of species in these metrics. Depending on whether our new metric is applied to populations or communities, it can correctly separate intraspecific, interspecific, evolutionary, non-evolutionary and interacting eco-evolutionary contributions to trait change. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. 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.

  13. An evolutionary developmental approach to cultural evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Claes; Törnberg, Anton; Törnberg, Petter

    2014-04-01

    Evolutionary developmental theories in biology see the processes and organization of organisms as crucial for understanding the dynamic behavior of organic evolution. Darwinian forces are seen as necessary but not sufficient for explaining observed evolutionary patterns. We here propose that the same arguments apply with even greater force to culture vis-à-vis cultural evolution. In order not to argue entirely in the abstract, we demonstrate the proposed approach by combining a set of different models into a provisional synthetic theory and by applying this theory to a number of short case studies. What emerges is a set of concepts and models that allow us to consider entirely new types of explanations for the evolution of cultures. For example, we see how feedback relations--both within societies and between societies and their ecological environment--have the power to shape evolutionary history in profound ways. The ambition here is not to produce a definitive statement on what such a theory should look like but rather to propose a starting point along with an argumentation and demonstration of its potential.

  14. Conservatism of Ecological Niches in Evolutionary Time

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    A. T. Peterson; J. Soberón; V. Sánchez-Cordero

    1999-01-01

    .... Reciprocal geographic predictions based on ecological niche models of sister taxon pairs of birds, mammals, and butterflies in southern Mexico indicate niche conservatism over several million years...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Roches, Simone; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph; Harmon, Luke J

    2013-01-01

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics of Non-Model Plants

    OpenAIRE

    Song, Bao-Hua; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Dissecting evolutionary dynamics of ecologically important traits is a long-term challenge for biologists. Attempts to understand natural variation and molecular mechanisms have motivated a move from laboratory model systems to non-model systems in diverse natural environments. Next generation sequencing methods, along with an expansion of genomic resources and tools, have fostered new links between diverse disciplines, including molecular biology, evolution, and ecology, and genomics. Great ...

  20. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks in community and ecosystem ecology: interactions between the ecological theatre and the evolutionary play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, David M.; Palkovacs, Eric P.

    2009-01-01

    Interactions between natural selection and environmental change are well recognized and sit at the core of ecology and evolutionary biology. Reciprocal interactions between ecology and evolution, eco-evolutionary feedbacks, are less well studied, even though they may be critical for understanding the evolution of biological diversity, the structure of communities and the function of ecosystems. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks require that populations alter their environment (niche construction) and that those changes in the environment feed back to influence the subsequent evolution of the population. There is strong evidence that organisms influence their environment through predation, nutrient excretion and habitat modification, and that populations evolve in response to changes in their environment at time-scales congruent with ecological change (contemporary evolution). Here, we outline how the niche construction and contemporary evolution interact to alter the direction of evolution and the structure and function of communities and ecosystems. We then present five empirical systems that highlight important characteristics of eco-evolutionary feedbacks: rotifer–algae chemostats; alewife–zooplankton interactions in lakes; guppy life-history evolution and nutrient cycling in streams; avian seed predators and plants; and tree leaf chemistry and soil processes. The alewife–zooplankton system provides the most complete evidence for eco-evolutionary feedbacks, but other systems highlight the potential for eco-evolutionary feedbacks in a wide variety of natural systems. PMID:19414476

  1. Bite forces and evolutionary adaptations to feeding ecology in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Per; Wroe, Stephen

    2007-02-01

    The Carnivora spans the largest ecological and body size diversity of any mammalian order, making it an ideal basis for studies of evolutionary ecology and functional morphology. For animals with different feeding ecologies, it may be expected that bite force represents an important evolutionary adaptation, but studies have been constrained by a lack of bite force data. In this study we present predictions of bite forces for 151 species of extant carnivores, comprising representatives from all eight families and the entire size and ecological spectrum within the order. We show that, when normalized for body size, bite forces differ significantly between the various feeding categories. At opposing extremes and independent of genealogy, consumers of tough fibrous plant material and carnivores preying on large prey both have high bite forces for their size, while bite force adjusted for body mass is low among specialized insectivores. Omnivores and carnivores preying on small prey have more moderate bite forces for their size. These findings indicate that differences in bite force represent important adaptations to and indicators of differing feeding ecologies throughout carnivoran evolution. Our results suggest that the incorporation of bite force data may assist in the construction of more robust evolutionary and palaeontological analyses of feeding ecology.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2014-01-01

    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 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. PMID:26430388

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The Use of Evolutionary Approaches to Understand Single Cell Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiwei eLuo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The vast majority of environmental bacteria and archaea remain uncultivated, yet their genome sequences are rapidly becoming available through single cell sequencing technologies. Reconstructing metabolism is one common way to make use of genome sequences of ecologically important bacteria, but molecular evolutionary analysis is another approach that, while currently underused, can reveal important insights into the function of these uncultivated microbes in nature. Because genome sequences from single cells are often incomplete, metabolic reconstruction based on genome content can be compromised. However, this problem does not necessarily impede the use of phylogenomic and population genomic approaches that are based on patterns of polymorphisms and substitutions at nucleotide and amino acid sites. These approaches explore how various evolutionary forces act to assemble genetic diversity within and between lineages. In this mini-review, I present examples illustrating the benefits of analyzing single cell genomes using evolutionary approaches.

  7. Adolescent Suicide: An Ecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyash-Abdo, Huda

    2002-01-01

    Proposes an ecological approach to enhance our understanding of how personal, interpersonal, and sociocultural factors contribute to the increased risk for suicide among adolescents. The ecological approach allows exploration of how adolescent suicide is determined by multiple factors related to the adolescent's personal history or ontogenic…

  8. Evolutionary ecology of telomeres: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Mats; Wapstra, Erik; Friesen, Christopher R

    2017-10-06

    Telomere-induced selection could take place if telomere-associated disease risk shortens reproductive life span and differently reduces relative fitness among individuals. Some of these diseases first appear before reproductive senescence and could thus influence ongoing selection. We ask whether we can estimate the components of the breeder's equation for telomeres, in which the response to selection (R, by definition "evolution") is the product of ongoing selection (S) and heritability (h2 ). However, telomere inheritance is a conundrum: in quantitative genetics, traits can usually be allocated to categories with relatively high or low heritability, depending on their association with relative fitness. Telomere traits, however, show wide variation in heritability from zero to one, across taxa, gender, ethnicity, age, and disease status. In spite of this, there is divergence in telomere length among populations, supporting past and ongoing telomere evolution. Rates of telomere attrition and elongation vary among taxa with some, but not complete, taxonomic coherence. For example, telomerase is commonly referred to as "restricted to the germ line in mammals," but inbred mice and beavers have telomerase upregulation in somatic tissue, as do many ectotherms. These observations provoke a simplistic understanding of telomere evolutionary biology-clearly much is yet to be discovered. © 2017 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The New York Academy of Sciences.

  9. The domestication and evolutionary ecology of apples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornille, Amandine; Giraud, Tatiana; Smulders, Marinus J M; Roldán-Ruiz, Isabel; Gladieux, Pierre

    2014-02-01

    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 domestication and its impact on wild apples. Genetic analyses have revealed a Central Asian origin for cultivated apple, together with an unexpectedly large secondary contribution from the European crabapple. Wild apple species display strong population structures and high levels of introgression from domesticated apple, and this may threaten their genetic integrity. Recent research has revealed a major role of hybridization in the domestication of the cultivated apple and has highlighted the value of apple as an ideal model for unraveling adaptive diversification processes in perennial fruit crops. We discuss the implications of this knowledge for apple breeding and for the conservation of wild apples. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Evolutionary Theories in Environmental and Resource Economics: Approaches and Applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.; Gowdy, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    Recent advances in evolutionary theory have important implications for environmental economics. A short overview is offered of evolutionary thinking in economics. Subsequently, major concepts and approaches in evolutionary biology and evolutionary economics are presented and compared. Attention is

  11. Evolutionary and Ecological Genomics of Non-Model Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Bao-Hua; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Dissecting evolutionary dynamics of ecologically important traits is a long-term challenge for biologists. Attempts to understand natural variation and molecular mechanisms have motivated a move from laboratory model systems to non-model systems in diverse natural environments. Next generation sequencing methods, along with an expansion of genomic resources and tools, have fostered new links between diverse disciplines, including molecular biology, evolution, and ecology, and genomics. Great progress has been made in a few non-model wild plants, such as Arabidopsis relatives, monkey flowers, and wild sunflowers. Until recently, the lack of comprehensive genomic information has limited evolutionary and ecological studies to larger QTL regions rather than single gene resolution, and has hindered recognition of general patterns of natural variation and local adaptation. Further efforts in accumulating genomic data and developing bioinformatic and biostatistical tools are now poised to move this field forward. Integrative national and international collaborations and research communities are needed to facilitate development in the field of evolutionary and ecological genomics. PMID:21394233

  12. Why evolutionary biologists should get seriously involved in ecological monitoring and applied biodiversity assessment programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodersen, Jakob; Seehausen, Ole

    2014-11-01

    While ecological monitoring and biodiversity assessment programs are widely implemented and relatively well developed to survey and monitor the structure and dynamics of populations and communities in many ecosystems, quantitative assessment and monitoring of genetic and phenotypic diversity that is important to understand evolutionary dynamics is only rarely integrated. As a consequence, monitoring programs often fail to detect changes in these key components of biodiversity until after major loss of diversity has occurred. The extensive efforts in ecological monitoring have generated large data sets of unique value to macro-scale and long-term ecological research, but the insights gained from such data sets could be multiplied by the inclusion of evolutionary biological approaches. We argue that the lack of process-based evolutionary thinking in ecological monitoring means a significant loss of opportunity for research and conservation. Assessment of genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species needs to be fully integrated to safeguard biodiversity and the ecological and evolutionary dynamics in natural ecosystems. We illustrate our case with examples from fishes and conclude with examples of ongoing monitoring programs and provide suggestions on how to improve future quantitative diversity surveys.

  13. Flammability as an ecological and evolutionary driver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, Juli G.; Keeley, Jon E.; Schwilk, Dylan W.

    2017-01-01

    We live on a flammable planet yet there is little consensus on the origin and evolution of flammability in our flora.We argue that part of the problem lies in the concept of flammability, which should not be viewed as a single quantitative trait or metric. Rather, we propose that flammability has three major dimensions that are not necessarily correlated: ignitability, heat release and fire spread rate. These major axes of variation are controlled by different plant traits and have differing ecological impacts during fire.At the individual plant scale, these traits define three flammability strategies observed in fire-prone ecosystems: the non-flammable, the fast-flammable and the hot-flammable strategy (with low ignitability, high flame spread rate and high heat release, respectively). These strategies increase the survival or reproduction under recurrent fires, and thus, plants in fire-prone ecosystems benefit from acquiring one of them; they represent different (alternative) ways to live under recurrent fires.Synthesis. This novel framework based on different flammability strategies helps us to understand variability in flammability across scales, and provides a basis for further research.

  14. 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

  15. Sticklebacks as model hosts in ecological and evolutionary parasitology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Iain

    2013-11-01

    The three-spined stickleback is a small teleost fish, native to coastal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, which has emerged as a key model organism in evolutionary biology and ecology. Sticklebacks possess a well-documented and experimentally amenable parasite fauna, and are well suited to both laboratory and field parasitological investigation. As a consequence, sticklebacks have been extensively used as model hosts in studies of host-parasite interactions, and these studies have provided considerable insight into the roles of parasites in ecology and evolutionary biology. In this review, I discuss key advances in our understanding of host-parasite interactions that have arisen from studies involving stickleback hosts, highlight areas of current research activity, and identify potentially promising areas for future research. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The microbiome beyond the horizon of ecological and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koskella, Britt; Hall, Lindsay J; Metcalf, C Jessica E

    2017-11-01

    The ecological and evolutionary study of community formation, diversity, and stability is rooted in general theory and reinforced by decades of system-specific empirical work. Deploying these ideas to study the assembly, complexity, and dynamics of microbial communities living in and on eukaryotes has proved seductive, but challenging. The success of this research endeavour depends on our capacity to observe and characterize the distributions, abundances, and functional traits of microbiota, representing an array of technical and analytical challenges. Furthermore, a number of unique characteristics of microbial species, such as horizontal gene transfer, the production of public goods, toxin and antibiotic production, rapid evolution, and feedbacks between the microbiome and its host, are not easily accommodated by current ecological and evolutionary theory. Here we highlight potential pitfalls in the application of existing theoretical tools without careful consideration of the unique complexities of the microbiome, focusing particularly on the issue of human health, and anchoring our discussion in existing empirical evidence.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2017-10-01

    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.

  19. Evolutionary ecology of E. coli metapopulations in patchy landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keymer, Juan

    2006-03-01

    Spatial ecology and metapopulation biology are essential features of natural populations. Extinction of local populations, the colonization of new suitable habitat patches (metapopulation dynamics) as well as the creation and destruction of local habitats (patch dynamics) are basic components of the evolutionary process shaping life-history strategies. As Darwin liked to put it ``the zoology of archipelagoes''. The role of spatial structure have been shown to be important for both, persistence and coexistence. However, the spatial ecology of microbial metapopulations have rarely been observed nor exploited technologically. We use nano and micro fabrication technology to build a spatially explicit (dynamic) landscape of habitat patches (the metapopulation chip) and a (UV) laser-based disturbance regime (patch dynamics). By building upon the theory of metapopulations in dynamic landscapes, we build fitness landscapes by linking patch dynamics to fluorescent patterns coming from molecular markers in the cell culture. We use landscape ecology and metapopulation biology to generate selective forces that can be used for evolutionary design of microorganisms.

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

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    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.

  1. The Evolutionary Ecology of Plant Disease: A Phylogenetic Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Gregory S; Parker, Ingrid M

    2016-08-04

    An explicit phylogenetic perspective provides useful tools for phytopathology and plant disease ecology because the traits of both plants and microbes are shaped by their evolutionary histories. We present brief primers on phylogenetic signal and the analytical tools of phylogenetic ecology. We review the literature and find abundant evidence of phylogenetic signal in pathogens and plants for most traits involved in disease interactions. Plant nonhost resistance mechanisms and pathogen housekeeping functions are conserved at deeper phylogenetic levels, whereas molecular traits associated with rapid coevolutionary dynamics are more labile at branch tips. Horizontal gene transfer disrupts the phylogenetic signal for some microbial traits. Emergent traits, such as host range and disease severity, show clear phylogenetic signals. Therefore pathogen spread and disease impact are influenced by the phylogenetic structure of host assemblages. Phylogenetically rare species escape disease pressure. Phylogenetic tools could be used to develop predictive tools for phytosanitary risk analysis and reduce disease pressure in multispecies cropping systems.

  2. 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.

  3. Multidisciplinary Approaches in Evolutionary Linguistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Tao; Shuai, Lan; Wu, Yicheng

    2013-01-01

    Studying language evolution has become resurgent in modern scientific research. In this revival field, approaches from a number of disciplines other than linguistics, including (paleo)anthropology and archaeology, animal behaviors, genetics, neuroscience, computer simulation, and psychological experimentation, have been adopted, and a wide scope…

  4. 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-pa...

  5. Decentralized control of ecological and biological networks through Evolutionary Network Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Ferrarini

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary Network Control (ENC has been recently introduced to allow the control of any kind of ecological and biological networks, with an arbitrary number of nodes and links, acting from inside and/or outside. To date, ENC has been applied using a centralized approach where an arbitrary number of network nodes and links could be tamed. This approach has shown to be effective in the control of ecological and biological networks. However a decentralized control, where only one node and the correspondent input/output links are controlled, could be more economic from a computational viewpoint, in particular when the network is very large (i.e. big data. In this view, ENC is upgraded here to realize the decentralized control of ecological and biological nets.

  6. An evolutionary approach to military history

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xabier Rubio Campillo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a new way of analysing the concept of change within the field of military history. The proposal is based on the use of complex adaptive systems and evolutionary theory. We introduce the concepts of selection, adaptation and coevolution to explain how war is managed in different societies, and game theory to explore decision-making processes of commanders. We emphasize the value of integrating formal modeling and computational simulations in order to apply the approach to real case studies. Our conclusions outline the advantages of an evolutionary military history in the difficult task of understanding the causes of transformation in past battlefields and armies.

  7. 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.

  8. Disease ecology. Ecological and evolutionary effects of fragmentation on infectious disease dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jousimo, Jussi; Tack, Ayco J M; Ovaskainen, Otso; Mononen, Tommi; Susi, Hanna; Tollenaere, Charlotte; Laine, Anna-Liisa

    2014-06-13

    Ecological theory predicts that disease incidence increases with increasing density of host networks, yet evolutionary theory suggests that host resistance increases accordingly. To test the combined effects of ecological and evolutionary forces on host-pathogen systems, we analyzed the spatiotemporal dynamics of a plant (Plantago lanceolata)-fungal pathogen (Podosphaera plantaginis)relationship for 12 years in over 4000 host populations. Disease prevalence at the metapopulation level was low, with high annual pathogen extinction rates balanced by frequent (re-)colonizations. Highly connected host populations experienced less pathogen colonization and higher pathogen extinction rates than expected; a laboratory assay confirmed that this phenomenon was caused by higher levels of disease resistance in highly connected host populations. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Insights in the ecology and evolutionary history of the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotic Group lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillol, Mireia; Auguet, Jean-Christophe; Casamayor, Emilio O; Borrego, Carles M

    2016-03-01

    Members of the archaeal Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotic Group (MCG) are among the most successful microorganisms on the planet. During its evolutionary diversification, this very diverse group has managed to cross the saline-freshwater boundary, one of the most important evolutionary barriers structuring microbial communities. However, the current understanding on the ecological significance of MCG in freshwater habitats is scarce and the evolutionary relationships between freshwater and saline MCG remains poorly known. Here, we carried out molecular phylogenies using publicly available 16S rRNA gene sequences from various geographic locations to investigate the distribution of MCG in freshwater and saline sediments and to evaluate the implications of saline-freshwater transitions during the diversification events. Our approach provided a robust ecological framework in which MCG archaea appeared as a core generalist group in the sediment realm. However, the analysis of the complex intragroup phylogeny of the 21 subgroups currently forming the MCG lineage revealed that distinct evolutionary MCG subgroups have arisen in marine and freshwater sediments suggesting the occurrence of adaptive evolution specific to each habitat. The ancestral state reconstruction analysis indicated that this segregation was mainly due to the occurrence of a few saline-freshwater transition events during the MCG diversification. In addition, a network analysis showed that both saline and freshwater MCG recurrently co-occur with archaea of the class Thermoplasmata in sediment ecosystems, suggesting a potentially relevant trophic connection between the two clades.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary approaches to cultural and linguistic diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Steele, James; Jordan, Peter; Cochrane, Ethan

    2010-01-01

    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 so...

  12. Toward a synthesis of developmental biology with evolutionary theory and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Ralf J; Mayer, Melanie G

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary conservation of developmental mechanisms is a truism in biology, but few attempts have been made to integrate development with evolutionary theory and ecology. To work toward such a synthesis, we summarize studies in the nematode model Pristionchus pacificus, focusing on the development of the dauer, a stress-resistant, alternative larval stage. Integrative approaches combining molecular and genetic principles of development with natural variation and ecological studies in wild populations have identified a key role for a developmental switch mechanism in dauer development and evolution, one that involves the nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12. DAF-12 is a crucial regulator and convergence point for different signaling inputs, and its function is conserved among free-living and parasitic nematodes. Furthermore, DAF-12 is the target of regulatory loops that rely on novel or fast-evolving components to control the intraspecific competition of dauer larvae. We propose developmental switches as paradigms for understanding the integration of development, evolution, and ecology at the molecular level.

  13. 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.

  14. Helminth infection during pregnancy: insights from evolutionary ecology

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    Blackwell AD

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Aaron D Blackwell Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA Abstract: Helminths are parasitic nematodes and trematodes, grouped together because of morphological similarities and commonalities in the effects infections have on hosts. These include complications such as anemia and biasing of immune responses, which can alter susceptibility for other diseases. For pregnant women, these complications might have implications for pregnancy outcomes or neonatal health. Here, I review studies of helminth infections during pregnancy, and ask the following questions: Do helminths affect maternal health or pregnancy outcomes? Are there consequences of maternal infection for infants? What are the effects of antihelminth treatment during pregnancy? The evidence suggests that the answers to these questions depend on the particular helminth species in question, maternal nutritional status, and the presence or absence of comorbid infection with other species, such as malaria. Moreover, there may also be unexpected consequences of treatment, as maternal infections can affect the priming of infant immune systems, with potential effects on infants later in life. These complex interactions suggest that a consideration of the evolutionary history of human–helminth interactions, as well as the ecological context of infections, can help to clarify an understanding of these host–parasite interactions and provide direction for future investigations. Keywords: review, helminths, pregnancy, filariasis, schistosomiasis

  15. Helminth infection during pregnancy: insights from evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwell, Aaron D

    2016-01-01

    Helminths are parasitic nematodes and trematodes, grouped together because of morphological similarities and commonalities in the effects infections have on hosts. These include complications such as anemia and biasing of immune responses, which can alter susceptibility for other diseases. For pregnant women, these complications might have implications for pregnancy outcomes or neonatal health. Here, I review studies of helminth infections during pregnancy, and ask the following questions: Do helminths affect maternal health or pregnancy outcomes? Are there consequences of maternal infection for infants? What are the effects of antihelminth treatment during pregnancy? The evidence suggests that the answers to these questions depend on the particular helminth species in question, maternal nutritional status, and the presence or absence of comorbid infection with other species, such as malaria. Moreover, there may also be unexpected consequences of treatment, as maternal infections can affect the priming of infant immune systems, with potential effects on infants later in life. These complex interactions suggest that a consideration of the evolutionary history of human-helminth interactions, as well as the ecological context of infections, can help to clarify an understanding of these host-parasite interactions and provide direction for future investigations.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. An evolutionary perspective on health psychology: New approaches and applications

    OpenAIRE

    Tybur, Joshua M; Bryan, Angela D.; Caldwell Hooper, Ann E.

    2012-01-01

    Although health psychologists' efforts to understand and promote health are most effective when guided by theory, health psychology has not taken full advantage of theoretical insights provided by evolutionary psychology. Here, we argue that evolutionary perspectives can fruitfully inform strategies for addressing some of the challenges facing health psychologists. Evolutionary psychology's emphasis on modular, functionally specialized psychological systems can inform approaches to understand...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. An overview of ecological and evolutionary research on disease in natural systems: an annotated reference list

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen M. Alexander

    2012-01-01

    The Fourth International Workshop on the Genetics of Host-Parasite Interactions in Forestry (July 31-August 5, 2011) included a session on “Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Resistance and Tolerance, Natural Systems.” Within this session, I gave a talk entitled “An overview of ecological and evolutionary research on disease in ‘natural’ systems” that reviewed...

  2. Evolutionary approaches to cultural and linguistic diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, James; Jordan, Peter; Cochrane, Ethan

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:21041203

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. An evolutionary perspective on health psychology: new approaches and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tybur, Joshua M; Bryan, Angela D; Hooper, Ann E Caldwell

    2012-12-20

    Although health psychologists' efforts to understand and promote health are most effective when guided by theory, health psychology has not taken full advantage of theoretical insights provided by evolutionary psychology. Here, we argue that evolutionary perspectives can fruitfully inform strategies for addressing some of the challenges facing health psychologists. Evolutionary psychology's emphasis on modular, functionally specialized psychological systems can inform approaches to understanding the myriad behaviors grouped under the umbrella of "health," as can theoretical perspectives used by evolutionary anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists (e.g., Life History Theory). We detail some early investigations into evolutionary health psychology, and we provide suggestions for directions for future research.

  6. An Evolutionary Perspective on Health Psychology: New Approaches and Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M. Tybur

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Although health psychologists' efforts to understand and promote health are most effective when guided by theory, health psychology has not taken full advantage of theoretical insights provided by evolutionary psychology. Here, we argue that evolutionary perspectives can fruitfully inform strategies for addressing some of the challenges facing health psychologists. Evolutionary psychology's emphasis on modular, functionally specialized psychological systems can inform approaches to understanding the myriad behaviors grouped under the umbrella of “health,” as can theoretical perspectives used by evolutionary anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists (e.g., Life History Theory. We detail some early investigations into evolutionary health psychology, and we provide suggestions for directions for future research.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Organisations’ evolutionary dynamics: a group dynamics approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germán Eduardo Vargas

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Colombian entrepreneurs’ straggling, reactionary and inertial orientation has been inconsistently lustified by the availability of internal and leveraged resources, a concept intensifying deficient technological capacity. Company activity (seen as being a socioeconomic unit has been integrally orientated within an evolutionary framework by company identity and cohesion as well as adaptation and evolutionary mechanisms. The present document uses a group dynamics’ model to illustrate how knowledge-based strategic orientation and integration for innovation have become an imperative for development, from slight leverage, distinguishing between two evolutionary company forms: traditional economic (inertial, as they introduce sporadic incremental improvements and modern companies (dynamic and radical innovators. Revealing conclusions obtained from such model may be used for intervening in and modernising company activity.

  11. Adaptive radiations, ecological specialization, and the evolutionary integration of complex morphological structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Leandro R; Nogueira, Marcelo R

    2010-03-01

    The evolutionary integration of complex morphological structures is a macroevolutionary pattern in which morphogenetic components evolve in a coordinated fashion, which can result from the interplay among processes of developmental, genetic integration, and different types of selection. We tested hypotheses of ecological versus developmental factors underlying patterns of within-species and evolutionary integration in the mandible of phyllostomid bats, during the most impressive ecological and morphological radiation among mammals. Shape variation of mandibular morphogenetic components was associated with diet, and the transition of integration patterns from developmental to within-species to evolutionary was examined. Within-species (as a proxy to genetic) integration in different lineages resembled developmental integration regardless of diet specialization, however, evolutionary integration patterns reflected selection in different mandibular components. For dietary specializations requiring extensive functional changes in mastication patterns or biting, such as frugivores and sanguivores, the evolutionary integration pattern was not associated with expected within-species or developmental integration. On the other hand, specializations with lower mastication demands or without major functional reorganization (such as nectarivores and carnivores), presented evolutionary integration patterns similar to the expected developmental pattern. These results show that evolutionary integration patterns are largely a result of independent selection on specific components regardless of developmental modules.

  12. The evolutionary and ecological benefits of asteroid and comet impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Bland, Philip A

    2005-04-01

    Commonly viewed solely as agents of destruction, asteroid and comet impact events can also have a beneficial influence on processes from the molecular to the evolutionary scale. On the heavily bombarded early Earth, impacts might have delivered and caused the synthesis of prebiotic compounds that eventually led to life. At the organismal and ecosystem level, impact events can provide new habitats through the shock processing of target materials and by enhancing water availability, such as within intracrater lakes. At the evolutionary level, by destroying entire groups of organisms, impacts might have been instrumental in enabling the rise of new groups, such as the dinosaurs and mammals. Here, we synthesize the emerging literature on the beneficial effects of impacts to provide a novel perspective on these extraterrestrial agents of biological change.

  13. An evolutionary economics approach to ecosystem dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blijleven, V.B; Angeren, van J.; Brinkkemper, S.

    2013-01-01

    Biology and evolution lie at the heart of the ecosystem metaphor that is recurrently applied in the digital era. Although the evolution and analogy with evolutionary biology is acknowledged within the research domains of business ecosystems and digital ecosystems, several key definitions and

  14. 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

    2013-07-01

    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 refugees 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 refugees 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 refugees. 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

  15. The evolutionary ecology of complex lifecycle parasites: linking phenomena with mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auld, S K J R; Tinsley, M C

    2015-02-01

    Many parasitic infections, including those of humans, are caused by complex lifecycle parasites (CLPs): parasites that sequentially infect different hosts over the course of their lifecycle. CLPs come from a wide range of taxonomic groups-from single-celled bacteria to multicellular flatworms-yet share many common features in their life histories. Theory tells us when CLPs should be favoured by selection, but more empirical studies are required in order to quantify the costs and benefits of having a complex lifecycle, especially in parasites that facultatively vary their lifecycle complexity. In this article, we identify ecological conditions that favour CLPs over their simple lifecycle counterparts and highlight how a complex lifecycle can alter transmission rate and trade-offs between growth and reproduction. We show that CLPs participate in dynamic host-parasite coevolution, as more mobile hosts can fuel CLP adaptation to less mobile hosts. Then, we argue that a more general understanding of the evolutionary ecology of CLPs is essential for the development of effective frameworks to manage the many diseases they cause. More research is needed identifying the genetics of infection mechanisms used by CLPs, particularly into the role of gene duplication and neofunctionalisation in lifecycle evolution. We propose that testing for signatures of selection in infection genes will reveal much about how and when complex lifecycles evolved, and will help quantify complex patterns of coevolution between CLPs and their various hosts. Finally, we emphasise four key areas where new research approaches will provide fertile opportunities to advance this field.

  16. Evolutionary ecology in silico: Does mathematical modelling help in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Moreover, because of the availability of sufficiently fast computers, it has become possible to carry out detailed computer simulations of these models. For the sake of completeness and to put these recent developments in perspective, we begin with a brief summary of some older models of ecological phenomena and ...

  17. Parasites and marine invasions: Ecological and evolutionary perspectives

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Feis, M.E.; Wegner, K.M.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; Buschbaum, C.; Camphuysen, C.J.; Van der Meer, J.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, marine and coastal ecosystems are heavily invaded by introduced species and the potential role of parasites in the success and impact of marine invasions has been increasingly recognized. In this review, we link recent theoretical developments in invasion ecology with empirical studies

  18. On the evolutionary ecology of symbioses between chemosynthetic bacteria and bivalves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roeselers, G.; Newton, I.L.G.

    2012-01-01

    Mutualistic associations between bacteria and eukaryotes occur ubiquitously in nature, forming the basis for key ecological and evolutionary innovations. Some of the most prominent examples of these symbioses are chemosynthetic bacteria and marine invertebrates living in the absence of sunlight at

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Pheromone-mediated aggregation in nonsocial arthropods : An evolutionary ecological perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B; van Baalen, EJA; Dicke, M; Vet, LEM

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wertheim, B.; Baalen, van 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

  3. Phylogenetic position of Guihaiothamnus (Rubiaceae): its evolutionary and ecological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Peiwu; Tu, Tieyao; Razafimandimbison, Sylvain G; Zhu, Chengjie; Zhang, Dianxiang

    2014-09-01

    Guihaiothamnus (Rubiaceae) is an enigmatic, monotypic genus endemic to southwestern China. Its generic status has never been doubted because it is morphologically unique by having rosette habit, showy, long-corolla-tubed flowers, and multi-seeded indehiscent berry-like fruits. The genus has been postulated to be a relict in the broad-leaved forests of China, and to be related to the genus Wendlandia, which was placed in the subfamily Cinchonoideae and recently classified in the tribe Augusteae of the subfamily Dialypetalanthoideae. Using combined evidence from palynology, cytology, and DNA sequences of nuclear ITS and four plastid markers (rps16, trnT-F, ndhF, rbcL), we assessed the phylogenetic position of Guihaiothamnus in Rubiaceae. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses placed the genus deeply nested within Wendlandia. This relationship is corroborated by evidence from palynology and cytology. Using a relaxed molecular clock method based on five fossil records, we dated the stem age of Wendlandia to be 17.46 my and, the split between G. acaulis and related Wendlandia species in southwestern China to be 2.11mya. This young age, coupled with the derived position in Wendlandia, suggests an evolutionary derivation rather than an evolutionary relict of G. acaulis. Its rosette habit and large showy flowers, which are very distinctive from other Wendlandias, are interpreted as a result of recent rapid adaptation to rock and cliff habitats. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Improving the reviewing process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Grossman, G. D.

    2014-01-01

    Mejora del proceso de revisión de artículos en ecología y biología evolutiva Se debaten los problemas actuales de la revisión y las prácticas editoriales en los campos de la ecología y la biología evolutiva, y se sugieren posibles soluciones para los mismos. La crisis por la que está pasando la revisión no cambiará a menos que las revistas tomen medidas para aumentar la inclusividad de los revisores y los incentivos a los mismos. Asimismo, tanto las revistas como las instituciones debería...

  6. Structural Equation Modeling: Applications in ecological and evolutionary biology research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugesek, Bruce H.; von Eye, Alexander; Tomer, Adrian

    2003-01-01

    This book presents an introduction to the methodology of structural equation modeling, illustrates its use, and goes on to argue that it has revolutionary implications for the study of natural systems. A major theme of this book is that we have, up to this point, attempted to study systems primarily using methods (such as the univariate model) that were designed only for considering individual processes. Understanding systems requires the capacity to examine simultaneous influences and responses. Structural equation modeling (SEM) has such capabilities. It also possesses many other traits that add strength to its utility as a means of making scientific progress. In light of the capabilities of SEM, it can be argued that much of ecological theory is currently locked in an immature state that impairs its relevance. It is further argued that the principles of SEM are capable of leading to the development and evaluation of multivariate theories of the sort vitally needed for the conservation of natural systems. Supplementary information can be found at the authors website, http://www.jamesbgrace.com/. • Details why multivariate analyses should be used to study ecological systems • Exposes unappreciated weakness in many current popular analyses • Emphasizes the future methodological developments needed to advance our understanding of ecological systems.

  7. What can ecosystems learn? Expanding evolutionary ecology with learning theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Daniel A; Watson, Richard A; Szathmáry, Eörs; Mills, Rob; Powers, Simon T; Doncaster, C Patrick; Czapp, Błażej

    2015-12-08

    The structure and organisation of ecological interactions within an ecosystem is modified by the evolution and coevolution of the individual species it contains. Understanding how historical conditions have shaped this architecture is vital for understanding system responses to change at scales from the microbial upwards. However, in the absence of a group selection process, the collective behaviours and ecosystem functions exhibited by the whole community cannot be organised or adapted in a Darwinian sense. A long-standing open question thus persists: Are there alternative organising principles that enable us to understand and predict how the coevolution of the component species creates and maintains complex collective behaviours exhibited by the ecosystem as a whole? Here we answer this question by incorporating principles from connectionist learning, a previously unrelated discipline already using well-developed theories on how emergent behaviours arise in simple networks. Specifically, we show conditions where natural selection on ecological interactions is functionally equivalent to a simple type of connectionist learning, 'unsupervised learning', well-known in neural-network models of cognitive systems to produce many non-trivial collective behaviours. Accordingly, we find that a community can self-organise in a well-defined and non-trivial sense without selection at the community level; its organisation can be conditioned by past experience in the same sense as connectionist learning models habituate to stimuli. This conditioning drives the community to form a distributed ecological memory of multiple past states, causing the community to: a) converge to these states from any random initial composition; b) accurately restore historical compositions from small fragments; c) recover a state composition following disturbance; and d) to correctly classify ambiguous initial compositions according to their similarity to learned compositions. We examine how the

  8. Climate change, phenological shifts, eco-evolutionary responses and population viability: toward a unifying predictive approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenouvrier, Stéphanie; Visser, Marcel E

    2011-11-01

    The debate on emission targets of greenhouse gasses designed to limit global climate change has to take into account the ecological consequences. One of the clearest ecological consequences is shifts in phenology. Linking these shifts to changes in population viability under various greenhouse gasses emission scenarios requires a unifying framework. We propose a box-in-a-box modeling approach that couples population models to phenological change. This approach unifies population modeling with both ecological responses to climate change as well as evolutionary processes. We advocate a mechanistic embedded correlative approach, where the link from genes to population is established using a periodic matrix population model. This periodic model has several major advantages: (1) it can include complex seasonal behaviors allowing an easy link with phenological shifts; (2) it provides the structure of the population at each phase, including the distribution of genotypes and phenotypes, allowing a link with evolutionary processes; and (3) it can incorporate the effect of climate at different time periods. We believe that the way climatologists have approached the problem, using atmosphere-ocean coupled circulation models in which components are gradually included and linked to each other, can provide a valuable example to ecologists. We hope that ecologists will take up this challenge and that our preliminary modeling framework will stimulate research toward a unifying predictive model of the ecological consequences of climate change.

  9. A survey of publication bias within evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassey, Phillip; Ewen, John G; Blackburn, Tim M; Møller, Anders P

    2004-12-07

    Publication bias has been recognized as a problem in ecology and evolution that can undermine reviews of research results. Unfortunately, direct tests of publication bias are extremely rare. Here, we quantify a well-discussed but, to our knowledge, previously untested form of publication bias: the publication of results with and without estimates of effect size. We find that results published without effect sizes are a biased sample of those that are published. This further complicates the already difficult task of compiling quantitative literature reviews and meta-analytic studies.

  10. Integrated reclamation: Approaching ecological function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ann L. Hild; Nancy L. Shaw; Ginger B. Paige; Mary I. Williams

    2009-01-01

    Attempts to reclaim arid and semiarid lands have traditionally targeted plant species composition. Much research attention has been directed to seeding rates, species mixes and timing of seeding. However, in order to attain functioning systems, attention to structure and process must compliment existing efforts. We ask how to use a systems approach to enhance...

  11. Parasitism and the evolutionary ecology of animal personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Iain; Dingemanse, Niels J

    2010-12-27

    The ecological factors responsible for the evolution of individual differences in animal personality (consistent individual differences in the same behaviour across time and contexts) are currently the subject of intense debate. A limited number of ecological factors have been investigated to date, with most attention focusing on the roles of resource competition and predation. We suggest here that parasitism may play a potentially important, but largely overlooked, role in the evolution of animal personalities. We identify two major routes by which parasites might influence the evolution of animal personality. First, because the risk of acquiring parasites can be influenced by an individual's behavioural type, local parasite regimes may impose selection on personality traits and behavioural syndromes (correlations between personality traits). Second, because parasite infections have consequences for aspects of host 'state', parasites might induce the evolution of individual differences in certain types of host behaviour in populations with endemic infections. Also, because infection often leads to specific changes in axes of personality, parasite infections have the potential to decouple behavioural syndromes. Host-parasite systems therefore provide researchers with valuable tools to study personality variation and behavioural syndromes from a proximate and ultimate perspective.

  12. Ecological and Evolutionary Insights into Xanthomonas citri Pathovar Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansal, Kanika; Midha, Samriti; Kumar, Sanjeet; Patil, Prabhu B

    2017-05-01

    Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri pv. citri, is a serious disease of citrus plants worldwide. Earlier phylogenetic studies using housekeeping genes revealed that X. citri pv. citri is related to many other pathovars, which can be collectively referred as Xanthomonas citri pathovars (XCPs). From the present study, we report the genome sequences of 18 XCPs and compared them with four XCPs available in the public domain. In a tree based on phylogenomic marker genes, all the XCPs form a monophyletic cluster, suggesting their origin from a common ancestor. Phylogenomic analysis using the type strain further established that all the XCPs belong to one species. Clonal analysis of the core genome revealed the presence of two major lineages within this monophyletic cluster consisting of some clonal variants. Incidentally, the majority of these XCPs were first noticed in India, corroborating their clonal relationship and their common origin. Comparative analysis revealed an open pan-genome and the role of interstrain genomic flux of these XCPs since their diversification from a common ancestor. Even though there are wide variations in type III gene effectomes, we identified three core effectors which can be valuable in resistance-breeding programs. Overall, genomic examination of ecological relatives allowed us to dissect the tremendous genomic potential of X. citri species to rapidly evolve into specialized strains infecting diverse crop plants.IMPORTANCE Host specialization is one of the characteristic features of highly evolved pathogens such as the Xanthomonas group of phytopathogenic bacteria. Since the hosts involve staple crops and economically important fruits such as citrus, detailed understanding of the diversity and evolution of such strains infecting diverse plants is important for quarantine purposes. In the present study, we carried out genomic investigation of members of a phylogenetically and ecologically defined group of Xanthomonas strains

  13. The Ambrosia Symbiosis: From Evolutionary Ecology to Practical Management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulcr, Jiri; Stelinski, Lukasz L

    2017-01-31

    The ambrosia beetle-fungus farming symbiosis is more heterogeneous than previously thought. There is not one but many ambrosia symbioses. Beetle-fungus specificity is clade dependent and ranges from strict to promiscuous. Each new origin has evolved a new mycangium. The most common relationship with host trees is colonization of freshly dead tissues, but there are also parasites of living trees, vectors of pathogenic fungi, and beetles living in rotten trees with a wood-decay symbiont. Most of these strategies are driven by fungal metabolism whereas beetle ecology is evolutionarily more flexible. The ambrosia lifestyle facilitated a radiation of social strategies, from fungus thieves to eusocial species to communities assembled by attraction to fungal scent. Although over 95% of the symbiotic pairs are economically harmless, there are also three types of pest damage: tree pathogen inoculation, mass accumulation on susceptible hosts, and structural damage. Beetles able to colonize live tree tissues are most likely to become invasive pests.

  14. 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

  15. An Evolutionary Approach for Robust Layout Synthesis of MEMS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fan, Zhun; Wang, Jiachuan; Goodman, Erik

    2005-01-01

    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...

  16. Adolescent Suicide and Families: An Ecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Carolyn S.; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Reviews previous theoretical approaches to understanding adolescent suicide (Durkheim's sociological theory of suicide, social learning theory, psychological theory, and family systems theory), and proposes utilization of human ecological theory. Examines factors associated with adolescent suicide at organism (individual), microsystem, mesosystem,…

  17. Ecology Approach in Education and Health Care

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogdanova, Ruta; Šilina, Maruta; Renigere, Ruta

    2017-01-01

    In the 21st century, numerous complex challenges in education and health care have come to the fore, among them: 1) how to implement the ecological approach in the education process and health care practice; 2) how to implement study programmes in line with the education trends for "sustainable development" and the process of formation…

  18. Using evolutionary demography to link life history theory, quantitative genetics and population ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulson, Tim; Tuljapurkar, Shripad; Childs, Dylan Z

    2010-11-01

    1. There is a growing number of empirical reports of environmental change simultaneously influencing population dynamics, life history and quantitative characters. We do not have a well-developed understanding of links between the dynamics of these quantities. 2. Insight into the joint dynamics of populations, quantitative characters and life history can be gained by deriving a model that allows the calculation of fundamental quantities that underpin population ecology, evolutionary biology and life history. The parameterization and analysis of such a model for a specific system can be used to predict how a population will respond to environmental change. 3. Age-stage-structured models can be constructed from character-demography associations that describe age-specific relationships between the character and: (i) survival; (ii) fertility; (iii) ontogenetic development of the character among survivors; and (iv) the distribution of reproductive allocation. 4. These models can be used to calculate a wide range of useful biological quantities including population growth and structure; terms in the Price equation including selection differentials; estimates of biometric heritabilities; and life history descriptors including generation time. We showcase the method through parameterization of a model using data from a well-studied population of Soay sheep Ovis aries. 5. Perturbation analysis is used to investigate how the quantities listed in summary point 4 change as each parameter in each character-demography function is altered. 6. A wide range of joint dynamics of life history, quantitative characters and population growth can be generated in response to changes in different character-demography associations; we argue this explains the diversity of observations on the consequences of environmental change from studies of free-living populations. 7. The approach we describe has the potential to explain within and between species patterns in quantitative characters, life

  19. Advances in genome editing technology and its promising application in evolutionary and ecological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lei; Tang, Linyi; Xiang, Hui; Jin, Lijun; Li, Qiye; Dong, Yang; Wang, Wen; Zhang, Guojie

    2014-01-01

    Genetic modification has long provided an approach for "reverse genetics", analyzing gene function and linking DNA sequence to phenotype. However, traditional genome editing technologies have not kept pace with the soaring progress of the genome sequencing era, as a result of their inefficiency, time-consuming and labor-intensive methods. Recently, invented genome modification technologies, such as ZFN (Zinc Finger Nuclease), TALEN (Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nuclease), and CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/Cas9 nuclease) can initiate genome editing easily, precisely and with no limitations by organism. These new tools have also offered intriguing possibilities for conducting functional large-scale experiments. In this review, we begin with a brief introduction of ZFN, TALEN, and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies, then generate an extensive prediction of effective TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 target sites in the genomes of a broad range of taxonomic species. Based on the evidence, we highlight the potential and practicalities of TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 editing in non-model organisms, and also compare the technologies and test interesting issues such as the functions of candidate domesticated, as well as candidate genes in life-environment interactions. When accompanied with a high-throughput sequencing platform, we forecast their potential revolutionary impacts on evolutionary and ecological research, which may offer an exciting prospect for connecting the gap between DNA sequence and phenotype in the near future.

  20. 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.

  1. Cooperators trade off ecological resilience and evolutionary stability in public goods games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauch, Joseph; Kondev, Jane; Sanchez, Alvaro

    2017-02-01

    Microbial populations often rely on the cooperative production of extracellular 'public goods' molecules. The cooperative nature of public good production may lead to minimum viable population sizes, below which populations collapse. In addition, 'cooperator' public goods producing individuals face evolutionary competition from non-producing mutants, or 'freeloaders'. Thus, public goods cooperators should be resilient not only to the invasion of freeloaders, but also to ecological perturbations that may push their populations below a sustainable threshold. Through a mathematical analysis of the Ecological Public Goods Game, we show that game parameters that improve the cooperating population's stability to freeloader invasion also lead to a low ecological resilience. Complex regulatory strategies mimicking those used by microbes in nature may allow cooperators to beat this trade-off and become evolutionarily stable to invading freeloaders while at the same time maximizing their ecological resilience. Our results thus identify the coupling between resilience to evolutionary and ecological challenges as a key factor for the long-term viability of public goods cooperators. © 2017 The Author(s).

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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’. PMID:28483865

  4. Why evolutionary biologists should get seriously involved in ecological monitoring and applied biodiversity assessment programs

    OpenAIRE

    Brodersen, Jakob; Seehausen, Ole

    2014-01-01

    While ecological monitoring and biodiversity assessment programs are widely implemented and relatively well developed to survey and monitor the structure and dynamics of populations and communities in many ecosystems, quantitative assessment and monitoring of genetic and phenotypic diversity that is important to understand evolutionary dynamics is only rarely integrated. As a consequence, monitoring programs often fail to detect changes in these key components of biodiversity until after majo...

  5. The Ecological Approach to Development: An Alternative to Cognitivism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Stephen; Katz, Stuart

    1981-01-01

    Two approaches to development are identified--ecological and cognitive. A comparison of the two approaches is made, and decisions are made favoring the ecological approach. A detailed description of the advantages of the ecological approach is provided by means of a systems theory model. (Author/DB)

  6. The Many Faces of Leadership: An Evolutionary-Psychology Approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Vugt, M.; Grabo, A.E.

    2015-01-01

    Many psychological studies have shown that facial appearance matters in the people we select as leaders. An evolutionary-psychology approach suggests that facial cues serve as inputs into an adaptive, context-sensitive followership psychology. That is, leadership suitability may be contingent upon

  7. Combined electronic structure and evolutionary search approach to materials design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johannesson, Gisli Holmar; Bligaard, Thomas; Ruban, Andrei

    2002-01-01

    We show that density functional theory calculations have reached an accuracy and speed making it possible to use them in conjunction with an evolutionary algorithm to search for materials with specific properties. The approach is illustrated by finding the most stable four component alloys out of...

  8. From individuals to ecosystem function: toward an integration of evolutionary and ecosystem ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Peckarsky, Barbara L; Preisser, Evan L; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Vonesh, James R

    2008-09-01

    An important goal in ecology is developing general theory on how the species composition of ecosystems is related to ecosystem properties and functions. Progress on this front is limited partly because of the need to identify mechanisms controlling functions that are common to a wide range of ecosystem types. We propose that one general mechanism, rooted in the evolutionary ecology of all species, is adaptive foraging behavior in response to predation risk. To support our claim, we present two kinds of empirical evidence from plant-based and detritus-based food chains of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The first kind comes from experiments that explicitly trace how adaptive foraging influences ecosystem properties and functions. The second kind comes from a synthesis of studies that individually examine complementary components of particular ecosystems that together provide an integrated perspective on the link between adaptive foraging and ecosystem function. We show that the indirect effects of predators on plant diversity, plant productivity, nutrient cycling, trophic transfer efficiencies, and energy flux caused by consumer foraging shifts in response to risk are qualitatively different from effects caused by reductions in prey density due to direct predation. We argue that a perspective of ecosystem function that considers effects of consumer behavior in response to predation risk will broaden our capacity to explain the range of outcomes and contingencies in trophic control of ecosystems. This perspective also provides an operational way to integrate evolutionary and ecosystem ecology, which is an important challenge in ecology.

  9. Evolutionary innovations in the fossil record: the intersection of ecology, development, and macroevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jablonski, David

    2005-11-15

    The origins of evolutionary innovations have been intensively studied, but relatively little is known about their large-scale ecological patterns. For post-Paleozoic benthic marine invertebrates, which have the richest and most densely sampled fossil record, order-level taxa tend to appear first in onshore, disturbed habitats, even in groups that are now exclusively deep-water (so that present-day distributions are not reliable indicators of original environments). New results presented here show that the onshore-origination pattern is robust to shifts in taxonomic methods and to new paleontological discoveries, and the few available studies suggest that this pattern can also be seen in terms of excursions in morphospace or the acquisition of derived character states, without reference to taxonomic categories. The environmental pattern at high levels contrasts significantly with the origin of low-level novelties (such as defined genera and families) in crinoids, echinoids, and bryozoans, where first appearances tend to conform to their clade-specific bathymetric diversity gradients. This discordance seems to eliminate potential driving mechanisms that simply scale up within-population genetic or ecological processes. Little is known about the factors that promote the onshore-offshore expansion of orders across the continental shelf, or that drive some clades to abandon ancestral habitats for an exclusively deep-water distribution. The origin of evolutionary innovation must ultimately reside in developmental changes, but the onshore-origination bias could emerge from two different dynamics: the pattern could be primarily genetic and developmental, i.e., innovations truly arise onshore; or primarily ecological, i.e., innovations arise randomly but preferentially survive onshore. Whatever the ultimate driving mechanisms, these macroevolutionary patterns show that theories of large-scale evolutionary novelty must include an ecological dimension. Copyright 2005 Wiley

  10. The ecology of a continental evolutionary radiation: Is the radiation of sigmodontine rodents adaptive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestri, Renan; Monteiro, Leandro Rabello; Fornel, Rodrigo; Upham, Nathan S; Patterson, Bruce D; de Freitas, Thales Renato Ochotorena

    2017-03-01

    Evolutionary radiations on continents are less well-understood and appreciated than those occurring on islands. The extent of ecological influence on species divergence can be evaluated to determine whether a radiation was ultimately the outcome of divergent natural selection or else arose mainly by nonecological divergence. Here, we used phylogenetic comparative methods to test distinct hypotheses corresponding to adaptive and nonadaptive evolutionary scenarios for the morphological evolution of sigmodontine rodents. Results showed that ecological variables (diet and life-mode) explain little of the shape and size variation of sigmodontine skulls and mandibles. A Brownian model with varying rates for insectivory versus all other diets was the most likely evolutionary model. The insectivorous sigmodontines have a faster rate of morphological evolution than mice feeding on other diets, possibly due to stronger selection for features that aid insectivory. We also demonstrate that rapid early-lineage diversification is not accompanied by high morphological divergence among subclades, contrasting with island results. The geographic size of continents permits spatial segregation to a greater extent than on islands, allowing for allopatric distributions and escape from interspecific competition. We suggest that continental radiations of rodents are likely to produce a pattern of high species diversification coupled with a low degree of phenotypic specialization. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. Fragaria: a genus with deep historical roots and ripe for evolutionary and ecological insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liston, Aaron; Cronn, Richard; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2014-10-01

    The cultivated strawberry, Fragaria ×ananassa, is one of the youngest domesticated plants. Its 18th century origin via hybridization in Europe between the North American F. virginiana and the South American F. chiloensis was documented by the botanist Antoine Nicolas Duchesne. His 1766 "Natural History of Strawberries" is an extraordinary work that integrates fundamental discoveries on the biology, ecology, and phylogeny of Fragaria with applied information on cultivation and ethnobotanical uses, serving as an inspiration for current research in the genus. Fragaria species exhibit the full range of sexual systems in the gynodioecy pathway from hermaphroditism to dioecy (and back again), as well as variation in self-compatibility, and evidence of sex chromosomes with female heterogamety. The genus is also characterized by interspecific hybridization and polyploidy, with a natural range of ploidy levels from diploids to decaploids. This biological diversity, combined with the availability of genomic resources and the ease of growing and experimenting with the plants, makes Fragaria a very attractive system for ecological and evolutionary genomics. The goal of this review is to introduce Fragaria as a model genus and to provide a roadmap for future integrative research. These research directions will deepen our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary context that shaped the ancestors of the cultivated strawberry, not only providing information that can be applied to efforts to shape the future of this important fruit crop but also our understanding of key transitions in plant evolution. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  12. 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,…

  13. Sustainable ecological systems: Implementing an ecological approach to land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Wallace Covington; Leonard F. DeBano

    1994-01-01

    This conference brought together scientiests and managers from federal, state, and local agencies, along with private-sector interests, to examine key concepts involving sustainable ecological systems, and ways in which to apply these concepts to ecosystem management. Session topics were: ecological consequenses of land and water use changes, biology of rare and...

  14. An evolutionary morphological approach for software development cost estimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Ricardo de A; Oliveira, Adriano L I; Soares, Sergio; Meira, Silvio

    2012-08-01

    In this work we present an evolutionary morphological approach to solve the software development cost estimation (SDCE) problem. The proposed approach consists of a hybrid artificial neuron based on framework of mathematical morphology (MM) with algebraic foundations in the complete lattice theory (CLT), referred to as dilation-erosion perceptron (DEP). Also, we present an evolutionary learning process, called DEP(MGA), using a modified genetic algorithm (MGA) to design the DEP model, because a drawback arises from the gradient estimation of morphological operators in the classical learning process of the DEP, since they are not differentiable in the usual way. Furthermore, an experimental analysis is conducted with the proposed model using five complex SDCE problems and three well-known performance metrics, demonstrating good performance of the DEP model to solve SDCE problems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Evolutionary Trends of Developer Coordination: A Network Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Joblin, Mitchell; Apel, Sven; Mauerer, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Software evolution is a fundamental process that transcends the realm of technical artifacts and permeates the entire organizational structure of a software project. By means of a longitudinal empirical study of 18 large open-source projects, we examine and discuss the evolutionary principles that govern the coordination of developers. By applying a network-analytic approach, we found that the implicit and self-organizing structure of developer coordination is ubiquitously described by non-ra...

  16. The ecological and evolutionary energetics of hunter-gatherer residential mobility

    CERN Document Server

    Hamilton, Marcus J; Rupley, Eric; Youn, Hyejin; West, Geoffrey B

    2016-01-01

    Residential mobility is deeply entangled with all aspects of hunter-gatherer life ways, and is therefore an issue of central importance in hunter-gatherer studies. Hunter-gatherers vary widely in annual rates of residential mobility, and understanding the sources of this variation has long been of interest to anthropologists and archaeologists. Since mobility is, to a large extent, driven by the need for a continuous supply of food, a natural framework for addressing this question is provided by the metabolic theory of ecology. This provides a powerful framework for formulating formal testable hypotheses concerning evolutionary and ecological constraints on the scale and variation of hunter-gatherer residential mobility. We evaluate these predictions using extant data and show strong support for the hypotheses. We show that the overall scale of hunter-gatherer residential mobility is predicted by average human body size, and the limited capacity of mobile hunter-gatherers to store energy internally. We then s...

  17. The Chemical and Evolutionary Ecology of Tetrodotoxin (TTX) Toxicity in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanifin, Charles T.

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleuning, Matthias; Ingmann, Lili; Strauss, Rouven; Fritz, Susanne A; Dalsgaard, Bo; Matthias Dehling, D; Plein, Michaela; Saavedra, Francisco; Sandel, Brody; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Dormann, Carsten F

    2014-04-01

    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 demonstrates the dominating impact of ecological factors on the structure of seed-dispersal networks, but also underscores the relevance of evolutionary history in shaping species roles in ecological communities. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. Studying the evolutionary ecology of cognition in the wild: a review of practical and conceptual challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morand-Ferron, Julie; Cole, Ella F; Quinn, John L

    2016-05-01

    Cognition is defined as the processes by which animals collect, retain and use information from their environment to guide their behaviour. Thus cognition is essential in a wide range of behaviours, including foraging, avoiding predators and mating. Despite this pivotal role, the evolutionary processes shaping variation in cognitive performance among individuals in wild populations remain very poorly understood. Selection experiments in captivity suggest that cognitive traits can have substantial heritability and can undergo rapid evolution. However only a handful of studies have attempted to explore how cognition influences life-history variation and fitness in the wild, and direct evidence for the action of natural or sexual selection on cognition is still lacking, reasons for which are diverse. Here we review the current literature with a view to: (i) highlighting the key practical and conceptual challenges faced by the field; (ii) describing how to define and measure cognitive traits in natural populations, and suggesting which species, populations and cognitive traits might be examined to greatest effect; emphasis is placed on selecting traits that are linked to functional behaviour; (iii) discussing how to deal with confounding factors such as personality and motivation in field as well as captive studies; (iv) describing how to measure and interpret relationships between cognitive performance, functional behaviour and fitness, offering some suggestions as to when and what kind of selection might be predicted; and (v) showing how an evolutionary ecological framework, more generally, along with innovative technologies has the potential to revolutionise the study of cognition in the wild. We conclude that the evolutionary ecology of cognition in wild populations is a rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field providing many opportunities for advancing the understanding of how cognitive abilities have evolved. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  20. 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.

  1. Holistic and Ecological Approaches in Talent Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Kristoffer

    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...... development environments. In terms of applied sport psychology, the HEA will stimulate practitioners to look beyond individual athletes and aim to include and optimize athletes’ environment to support their development. In the present symposium, we will include a research and an applied focus. The first oral...... will introduce the HEA and give examples of research findings and applied cases. The second oral will present a specific successful environment in badminton. The third oral will introduce a dual career environment (golf and study) in Sweden. The fourth oral discusses the role of practice environments...

  2. Evolutionary history biases inferences of ecology and environment from δ13C but not δ18O values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgar, Kirsty M; Hull, Pincelli M; Ezard, Thomas H G

    2017-10-24

    Closely related taxa are, on average, more similar in terms of their physiology, morphology and ecology than distantly related ones. How this biological similarity affects geochemical signals, and their interpretations, has yet to be tested in an explicitly evolutionary framework. Here we compile and analyze planktonic foraminiferal size-specific stable carbon and oxygen isotope values (δ13C and δ18O, respectively) spanning the last 107 million years. After controlling for dominant drivers of size-δ13C and size-δ18O trends, such as geological preservation, presence of algal photosymbionts, and global environmental changes, we identify that shared evolutionary history has shaped the evolution of species-specific vital effects in δ13C, but not in δ18O. Our results lay the groundwork for using a phylogenetic approach to correct species δ13C vital effects through time, thereby reducing systematic biases in interpretations of long-term δ13C records-a key measure of holistic organismal biology and of the global carbon cycle.

  3. Evolutionary fields can explain patterns of high-dimensional complexity in ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsenach, James; Landi, Pietro; Hui, Cang

    2017-04-01

    One of the properties that make ecological systems so unique is the range of complex behavioral patterns that can be exhibited by even the simplest communities with only a few species. Much of this complexity is commonly attributed to stochastic factors that have very high-degrees of freedom. Orthodox study of the evolution of these simple networks has generally been limited in its ability to explain complexity, since it restricts evolutionary adaptation to an inertia-free process with few degrees of freedom in which only gradual, moderately complex behaviors are possible. We propose a model inspired by particle-mediated field phenomena in classical physics in combination with fundamental concepts in adaptation, which suggests that small but high-dimensional chaotic dynamics near to the adaptive trait optimum could help explain complex properties shared by most ecological datasets, such as aperiodicity and pink, fractal noise spectra. By examining a simple predator-prey model and appealing to real ecological data, we show that this type of complexity could be easily confused for or confounded by stochasticity, especially when spurred on or amplified by stochastic factors that share variational and spectral properties with the underlying dynamics.

  4. Evolutionary fields can explain patterns of high-dimensional complexity in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsenach, James; Landi, Pietro; Hui, Cang

    2017-04-01

    One of the properties that make ecological systems so unique is the range of complex behavioral patterns that can be exhibited by even the simplest communities with only a few species. Much of this complexity is commonly attributed to stochastic factors that have very high-degrees of freedom. Orthodox study of the evolution of these simple networks has generally been limited in its ability to explain complexity, since it restricts evolutionary adaptation to an inertia-free process with few degrees of freedom in which only gradual, moderately complex behaviors are possible. We propose a model inspired by particle-mediated field phenomena in classical physics in combination with fundamental concepts in adaptation, which suggests that small but high-dimensional chaotic dynamics near to the adaptive trait optimum could help explain complex properties shared by most ecological datasets, such as aperiodicity and pink, fractal noise spectra. By examining a simple predator-prey model and appealing to real ecological data, we show that this type of complexity could be easily confused for or confounded by stochasticity, especially when spurred on or amplified by stochastic factors that share variational and spectral properties with the underlying dynamics.

  5. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24174109

  6. An Evolutionary Ontology Approach for Community-Based Competency Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Baer, Peter; Meersman, Robert; Zhao, Gang

    In this article we describe an evolutionary ontology approach that distinguishes between major ontology changes and minor ontology changes. We divide the community in three (possibly overlapping) groups, i.e. facilitators, contributors, and users. Facilitators are a selected group of domain experts who represent the intended community. These facilitators define the intended goals of the ontology and will be responsible for major ontology and ontology platform changes. A larger group of contributors consists of all participating domain experts. The contributors will carry out minor ontology changes, like instantiation of concepts and description of concept instances. Users of the ontology may explore the ontology content via the ontology platform and/or make use of the published ontology content in XML or HTML format. The approach makes use of goal and group specific user interfaces to guide the ontology evolution process. For the minor ontology changes, the approach relies on the wisdom of crowds.

  7. Evolution of growth habit, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type in Rubiaceae: its ecological and evolutionary implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvain G Razafimandimbison

    Full Text Available During angiosperm evolution, innovations in vegetative and reproductive organs have resulted in tremendous morphological diversity, which has played a crucial role in the ecological success of flowering plants. Morindeae (Rubiaceae display considerable diversity in growth form, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, small flower, and multiple fruit are the predominant states, but arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, large flower, and simple fruit states occur in various genera. This makes Morindeae an ideal model for exploring the evolutionary appearances and transitions between the states of these characters. We reconstructed ancestral states for these four traits using a bayesian approach and combined nuclear/chloroplast data for 61 Morindeae species. The aim was to test three hypotheses: 1 self-supporting habit is generally ancestral in clades comprising both lianescent and arborescent species; 2 changes from lianescent to arborescent habit are uncommon due to "a high degree of specialization and developmental burden"; 3 head inflorescences and multiple fruits in Morindeae evolved from non-headed inflorescences and simple fruits, respectively. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, large flower, and multiple fruit are inferred for Morindeae, making arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, small flower, and simple fruit derived within the tribe. The rate of change from lianescent to arborescent habit is much higher than the reverse change. Therefore, evolutionary changes between lianescent and arborescent forms can be reversible, and their frequency and trends vary between groups. Moreover, these changes are partly attributed to a scarcity of host trees for climbing plants in more open habitats. Changes from large to small flowers might have been driven by shifts to pollinators with progressively shorter proboscis, which are associated with shifts in breeding systems towards

  8. Evolution of growth habit, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type in Rubiaceae: its ecological and evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razafimandimbison, Sylvain G; Ekman, Stefan; McDowell, Timothy D; Bremer, Birgitta

    2012-01-01

    During angiosperm evolution, innovations in vegetative and reproductive organs have resulted in tremendous morphological diversity, which has played a crucial role in the ecological success of flowering plants. Morindeae (Rubiaceae) display considerable diversity in growth form, inflorescence architecture, flower size, and fruit type. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, small flower, and multiple fruit are the predominant states, but arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, large flower, and simple fruit states occur in various genera. This makes Morindeae an ideal model for exploring the evolutionary appearances and transitions between the states of these characters. We reconstructed ancestral states for these four traits using a bayesian approach and combined nuclear/chloroplast data for 61 Morindeae species. The aim was to test three hypotheses: 1) self-supporting habit is generally ancestral in clades comprising both lianescent and arborescent species; 2) changes from lianescent to arborescent habit are uncommon due to "a high degree of specialization and developmental burden"; 3) head inflorescences and multiple fruits in Morindeae evolved from non-headed inflorescences and simple fruits, respectively. Lianescent habit, head inflorescence, large flower, and multiple fruit are inferred for Morindeae, making arborescent habit, non-headed inflorescence, small flower, and simple fruit derived within the tribe. The rate of change from lianescent to arborescent habit is much higher than the reverse change. Therefore, evolutionary changes between lianescent and arborescent forms can be reversible, and their frequency and trends vary between groups. Moreover, these changes are partly attributed to a scarcity of host trees for climbing plants in more open habitats. Changes from large to small flowers might have been driven by shifts to pollinators with progressively shorter proboscis, which are associated with shifts in breeding systems towards dioecy. A single

  9. Individuals and populations: the role of long-term, individual-based studies of animals in ecology and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clutton-Brock, Tim; Sheldon, Ben C

    2010-10-01

    Many important questions in ecology and evolutionary biology can only be answered with data that extend over several decades and answering a substantial proportion of questions requires records of the life histories of recognisable individuals. We identify six advantages that long-term, individual based studies afford in ecology and evolution: (i) analysis of age structure; (ii) linkage between life history stages; (iii) quantification of social structure; (iv) derivation of lifetime fitness measures; (v) replication of estimates of selection; (vi) linkage between generations, and we review their impact on studies in six key areas of evolution and ecology. Our review emphasises the unusual opportunities and productivity of long-term, individual-based studies and documents the important role that they play in research on ecology and evolutionary biology as well as the difficulties they face. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. What's the 'buzz' about? The ecology and evolutionary significance of buzz-pollination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Paul A; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2013-08-01

    Many plant species have evolved floral characteristics that restrict pollen access. Some of these species are visited by insects, principally bees, which make use of vibrations to extract pollen from anthers. Buzz-pollination, as this phenomenon is generally known, is a widespread method of fertilization for thousands of species in both natural and agricultural systems. Despite its prevalence in pollination systems, the ecological and evolutionary conditions that favour the evolution of buzz-pollination are poorly known. We briefly summarize the biology of buzz-pollination and review recent studies on plant and pollinator characteristics that affect pollen removal. We suggest that buzz-pollination evolves as the result of an escalation in the competition between plants and pollen-consuming floral visitors (including pollen thieves and true pollinators) to control the rate of pollen removal from flowers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Design of an Evolutionary Approach for Intrusion Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    A novel evolutionary approach is proposed for effective intrusion detection based on benchmark datasets. The proposed approach can generate a pool of noninferior individual solutions and ensemble solutions thereof. The generated ensembles can be used to detect the intrusions accurately. For intrusion detection problem, the proposed approach could consider conflicting objectives simultaneously like detection rate of each attack class, error rate, accuracy, diversity, and so forth. The proposed approach can generate a pool of noninferior solutions and ensembles thereof having optimized trade-offs values of multiple conflicting objectives. In this paper, a three-phase, approach is proposed to generate solutions to a simple chromosome design in the first phase. In the first phase, a Pareto front of noninferior individual solutions is approximated. In the second phase of the proposed approach, the entire solution set is further refined to determine effective ensemble solutions considering solution interaction. In this phase, another improved Pareto front of ensemble solutions over that of individual solutions is approximated. The ensemble solutions in improved Pareto front reported improved detection results based on benchmark datasets for intrusion detection. In the third phase, a combination method like majority voting method is used to fuse the predictions of individual solutions for determining prediction of ensemble solution. Benchmark datasets, namely, KDD cup 1999 and ISCX 2012 dataset, are used to demonstrate and validate the performance of the proposed approach for intrusion detection. The proposed approach can discover individual solutions and ensemble solutions thereof with a good support and a detection rate from benchmark datasets (in comparison with well-known 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

  16. Design of an evolutionary approach for intrusion detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Gulshan; Kumar, Krishan

    2013-01-01

    A novel evolutionary approach is proposed for effective intrusion detection based on benchmark datasets. The proposed approach can generate a pool of noninferior individual solutions and ensemble solutions thereof. The generated ensembles can be used to detect the intrusions accurately. For intrusion detection problem, the proposed approach could consider conflicting objectives simultaneously like detection rate of each attack class, error rate, accuracy, diversity, and so forth. The proposed approach can generate a pool of noninferior solutions and ensembles thereof having optimized trade-offs values of multiple conflicting objectives. In this paper, a three-phase, approach is proposed to generate solutions to a simple chromosome design in the first phase. In the first phase, a Pareto front of noninferior individual solutions is approximated. In the second phase of the proposed approach, the entire solution set is further refined to determine effective ensemble solutions considering solution interaction. In this phase, another improved Pareto front of ensemble solutions over that of individual solutions is approximated. The ensemble solutions in improved Pareto front reported improved detection results based on benchmark datasets for intrusion detection. In the third phase, a combination method like majority voting method is used to fuse the predictions of individual solutions for determining prediction of ensemble solution. Benchmark datasets, namely, KDD cup 1999 and ISCX 2012 dataset, are used to demonstrate and validate the performance of the proposed approach for intrusion detection. The proposed approach can discover individual solutions and ensemble solutions thereof with a good support and a detection rate from benchmark datasets (in comparison with well-known 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

  17. Speeding up ecological and evolutionary computations in R; essentials of high performance computing for biologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Marco D; McMahon, Sean M; Merow, Cory; Dixon, Philip M; Record, Sydne; Jongejans, Eelke

    2015-03-01

    Computation has become a critical component of research in biology. A risk has emerged that computational and programming challenges may limit research scope, depth, and quality. We review various solutions to common computational efficiency problems in ecological and evolutionary research. Our review pulls together material that is currently scattered across many sources and emphasizes those techniques that are especially effective for typical ecological and environmental problems. We demonstrate how straightforward it can be to write efficient code and implement techniques such as profiling or parallel computing. We supply a newly developed R package (aprof) that helps to identify computational bottlenecks in R code and determine whether optimization can be effective. Our review is complemented by a practical set of examples and detailed Supporting Information material (S1-S3 Texts) that demonstrate large improvements in computational speed (ranging from 10.5 times to 14,000 times faster). By improving computational efficiency, biologists can feasibly solve more complex tasks, ask more ambitious questions, and include more sophisticated analyses in their research.

  18. Speeding up ecological and evolutionary computations in R; essentials of high performance computing for biologists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco D Visser

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Computation has become a critical component of research in biology. A risk has emerged that computational and programming challenges may limit research scope, depth, and quality. We review various solutions to common computational efficiency problems in ecological and evolutionary research. Our review pulls together material that is currently scattered across many sources and emphasizes those techniques that are especially effective for typical ecological and environmental problems. We demonstrate how straightforward it can be to write efficient code and implement techniques such as profiling or parallel computing. We supply a newly developed R package (aprof that helps to identify computational bottlenecks in R code and determine whether optimization can be effective. Our review is complemented by a practical set of examples and detailed Supporting Information material (S1-S3 Texts that demonstrate large improvements in computational speed (ranging from 10.5 times to 14,000 times faster. By improving computational efficiency, biologists can feasibly solve more complex tasks, ask more ambitious questions, and include more sophisticated analyses in their research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernando, Chrisantha; Szathmáry, Eörs; Husbands, Phil

    2012-01-01

    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 for search in a sparsely occupied search space. Examples are given of cases where parallel competitive search with information transfer among the units is more efficient than search without information transfer between units. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Direct and Evolutionary Approaches for Optimal Receiver Function Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugda, Mulugeta Tuji

    Receiver functions are time series obtained by deconvolving vertical component seismograms from radial component seismograms. Receiver functions represent the impulse response of the earth structure beneath a seismic station. Generally, receiver functions consist of a number of seismic phases related to discontinuities in the crust and upper mantle. The relative arrival times of these phases are correlated with the locations of discontinuities as well as the media of seismic wave propagation. The Moho (Mohorovicic discontinuity) is a major interface or discontinuity that separates the crust and the mantle. In this research, automatic techniques to determine the depth of the Moho from the earth's surface (the crustal thickness H) and the ratio of crustal seismic P-wave velocity (Vp) to S-wave velocity (Vs) (kappa= Vp/Vs) were developed. In this dissertation, an optimization problem of inverting receiver functions has been developed to determine crustal parameters and the three associated weights using evolutionary and direct optimization techniques. The first technique developed makes use of the evolutionary Genetic Algorithms (GA) optimization technique. The second technique developed combines the direct Generalized Pattern Search (GPS) and evolutionary Fitness Proportionate Niching (FPN) techniques by employing their strengths. In a previous study, Monte Carlo technique has been utilized for determining variable weights in the H-kappa stacking of receiver functions. Compared to that previously introduced variable weights approach, the current GA and GPS-FPN techniques have tremendous advantages of saving time and these new techniques are suitable for automatic and simultaneous determination of crustal parameters and appropriate weights. The GA implementation provides optimal or near optimal weights necessary in stacking receiver functions as well as optimal H and kappa values simultaneously. Generally, the objective function of the H-kappa stacking problem

  2. The evolutionary origins and ecological context of tool use in New Caledonian crows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutz, Christian; St Clair, James J H

    2012-02-01

    which prolonged juvenile development enables acquisition of complex behaviours. Intriguingly, humans may well have influenced the evolution of at least some of the species' tool-oriented behaviours, via their possible introduction of candlenut trees together with the beetle larvae that infest them. Research on NC crows' tool-use behaviour in its full ecological context is still in its infancy, and we expect that, as more evidence accumulates, some of our assumptions and predictions will be proved wrong. However, it is clear from our analysis of existing work, and the development of some original ideas, that the unusual evolutionary trajectory of NC crows is probably the consequence of an intricate constellation of interplaying factors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

    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...... 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...

  7. 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.

  8. Explaining Andean megadiversity: the evolutionary and ecological causes of glassfrog elevational richness patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutter, Carl R; Guayasamin, Juan M; Wiens, John J

    2013-09-01

    The Tropical Andes are an important global biodiversity hotspot, harbouring extraordinarily high richness and endemism. Although elevational richness and speciation have been studied independently in some Andean groups, the evolutionary and ecological processes that explain elevational richness patterns in the Andes have not been analysed together. Herein, we elucidate the processes underlying Andean richness patterns using glassfrogs (Centrolenidae) as a model system. Glassfrogs show the widespread mid-elevation diversity peak for both local and regional richness. Remarkably, these patterns are explained by greater time (montane museum) rather than faster speciation at mid-elevations (montane species pump), despite the recency of the major Andean uplift. We also show for the first time that rates of climatic-niche evolution and elevational change are related, supporting the hypothesis that climatic-niche conservatism decelerates species' shifts in elevational distributions and underlies the mid-elevation richness peak. These results may be relevant to other Andean clades and montane systems globally. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Evolutionary ecology of plant-microbe interactions: soil microbial structure alters selection on plant traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Jennifer A; Lennon, Jay T

    2011-10-01

    • Below-ground microbial communities influence plant diversity, plant productivity, and plant community composition. Given these strong ecological effects, are interactions with below-ground microbes also important for understanding natural selection on plant traits? • Here, we manipulated below-ground microbial communities and the soil moisture environment on replicated populations of Brassica rapa to examine how microbial community structure influences selection on plant traits and mediates plant responses to abiotic environmental stress. • In soils with experimentally simplified microbial communities, plants were smaller, had reduced chlorophyll content, produced fewer flowers, and were less fecund when compared with plant populations grown in association with more complex soil microbial communities. Selection on plant growth and phenological traits also was stronger when plants were grown in simplified, less diverse soil microbial communities, and these effects typically were consistent across soil moisture treatments. • Our results suggest that microbial community structure affects patterns of natural selection on plant traits. Thus, the below-ground microbial community can influence evolutionary processes, just as recent studies have demonstrated that microbial diversity can influence plant community and ecosystem processes. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. 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.

  11. Genomic Insights into the Evolutionary Origin of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri and Its Ecological Relatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Midha, Samriti

    2014-01-01

    Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri (Xac) is the causal agent of citrus bacterial canker (CBC) and is a serious problem worldwide. Like CBC, several important diseases in other fruits, such as mango, pomegranate, and grape, are also caused by Xanthomonas pathovars that display remarkable specificity toward their hosts. While citrus and mango diseases were documented more than 100 years ago, the pomegranate and grape diseases have been known only since the 1950s and 1970s, respectively. Interestingly, diseases caused by all these pathovars were noted first in India. Our genome-based phylogenetic studies suggest that these diverse pathogens belong to a single species and these pathovars may be just a group of rapidly evolving strains. Furthermore, the recently reported pathovars, such as those infecting grape and pomegranate, form independent clonal lineages, while the citrus and mango pathovars that have been known for a long time form one clonal lineage. Such an understanding of their phylogenomic relationship has further allowed us to understand major and unique variations in the lineages that give rise to these pathovars. Whole-genome sequencing studies including ecological relatives from their putative country of origin has allowed us to understand the evolutionary history of Xac and other pathovars that infect fruits. PMID:25085494

  12. A Modeling Approach to Teaching Evolutionary Biology in High Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, Jim

    2002-01-01

    Describes the commitments and research that went into the design of a 9-week high school course in evolutionary biology designed to bring students to an understanding of the practice of evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using one of the discipline's most important explanatory models. (Contains 39 references.)…

  13. 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.

  14. Evolutionary ecology of human papillomavirus: trade-offs, coexistence, and origins of high-risk and low-risk types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Paul A; Gatenby, Robert A; Giuliano, Anna R; Brown, Joel S

    2012-01-15

    We address the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of human papillomavirus (HPV) that lead to the dichotomy between high-risk (HR) and low-risk (LR) types. We hypothesize that HPV faces an evolutionary tradeoff between persistence and per-contact transmission probability. High virion production enhances transmissibility but also provokes an immune response leading to clearance and limited persistence. Alternatively, low virion production increases persistence at the cost of diminished transmission probability per sexual contact. We propose that LR HPV types use the former strategy and that HR types use the latter. Sexual behaviors in a host population determine the success of each strategy. We develop an evolutionary model of HPV epidemiology, which includes host sexual behavior, and we find evolutionarily stable strategies of HPV. A slow turnover of sexual partners favors HR HPV, whereas high frequency of partner turnover selects for LR. When both sexual behaviors exist as subcultures in a population, disruptive selection can result in the coevolution and ecological coexistence of both HR and LR HPV types. Our results indicate that the elimination of HR HPV through vaccines may alter the evolutionary trajectory of the remaining types and promote evolution of new HR HPV types.

  15. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A; Hillary, Frank G

    2016-01-01

    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 the strength

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Ecological, evolutionary and social constraints on reproductive effort: are hoary marmots really biennial breeders?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Vijay P; Karels, Timothy J; Hik, David S

    2015-01-01

    Biennial breeding is a rare life-history trait observed in animal species living in harsh, unproductive environments. This reproductive pattern is thought to occur in 10 of 14 species in the genus Marmota, making marmots useful model organisms for studying its ecological and evolutionary implications. Biennial breeding in marmots has been described as an obligate pattern which evolved as a mechanism to mitigate the energetic costs of reproduction (Evolved Constraint hypothesis). However, recent anecdotal evidence suggests that it is a facultative pattern controlled by annual variation in climate and food availability (Environmental Constraint hypothesis). Finally, in social animals like marmots, biennial breeding could result from reproductive competition between females within social groups (Social Constraint hypothesis). We evaluated these three hypotheses using mark-recapture data from an 8-year study of hoary marmot (Marmota caligata) population dynamics in the Yukon. Annual variation in breeding probability was modeled using multi-state mark-recapture models, while other reproductive life-history traits were modeled with generalized linear mixed models. Hoary marmots were neither obligate nor facultative biennial breeders, and breeding probability was insensitive to evolved, environmental, or social factors. However, newly mature females were significantly less likely to breed than older individuals. Annual breeding did not result in increased mortality. Female survival and, to a lesser extent, average fecundity were correlated with winter climate, as indexed by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Hoary marmots are less conservative breeders than previously believed, and the evidence for biennial breeding throughout Marmota, and in other arctic/alpine/antarctic animals, should be re-examined. Prediction of future population dynamics requires an accurate understanding of life history strategies, and of how life history traits allow animals to cope with changes in

  19. Ecological, evolutionary and social constraints on reproductive effort: are hoary marmots really biennial breeders?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijay P Patil

    Full Text Available Biennial breeding is a rare life-history trait observed in animal species living in harsh, unproductive environments. This reproductive pattern is thought to occur in 10 of 14 species in the genus Marmota, making marmots useful model organisms for studying its ecological and evolutionary implications. Biennial breeding in marmots has been described as an obligate pattern which evolved as a mechanism to mitigate the energetic costs of reproduction (Evolved Constraint hypothesis. However, recent anecdotal evidence suggests that it is a facultative pattern controlled by annual variation in climate and food availability (Environmental Constraint hypothesis. Finally, in social animals like marmots, biennial breeding could result from reproductive competition between females within social groups (Social Constraint hypothesis. We evaluated these three hypotheses using mark-recapture data from an 8-year study of hoary marmot (Marmota caligata population dynamics in the Yukon. Annual variation in breeding probability was modeled using multi-state mark-recapture models, while other reproductive life-history traits were modeled with generalized linear mixed models. Hoary marmots were neither obligate nor facultative biennial breeders, and breeding probability was insensitive to evolved, environmental, or social factors. However, newly mature females were significantly less likely to breed than older individuals. Annual breeding did not result in increased mortality. Female survival and, to a lesser extent, average fecundity were correlated with winter climate, as indexed by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Hoary marmots are less conservative breeders than previously believed, and the evidence for biennial breeding throughout Marmota, and in other arctic/alpine/antarctic animals, should be re-examined. Prediction of future population dynamics requires an accurate understanding of life history strategies, and of how life history traits allow animals to cope

  20. 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

  1. Tackling extremes: challenges for ecological and evolutionary research on extreme climatic events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Liam D; van de Pol, Martijn

    2016-01-01

    Extreme climatic events (ECEs) are predicted to become more frequent as the climate changes. A rapidly increasing number of studies - though few on animals - suggest that the biological consequences of ECEs can be severe. However, ecological research on the impacts of ECEs has been limited by a lack of cohesiveness and structure. ECEs are often poorly defined and have often been confusingly equated with climatic variability, making comparison between studies difficult. In addition, a focus on short-term studies has provided us with little information on the long-term implications of ECEs, and the descriptive and anecdotal nature of many studies has meant it is still unclear what the key research questions are. Synthesizing the current state of work is essential to identify ways to make progress. We conduct a synthesis of the literature and discuss conceptual and practical challenges faced by research on ECEs. We consider three steps to advance research. First, we discuss the importance of choosing an ECE definition and identify the pros and cons of 'climatological' and 'biological' definitions of ECEs. Secondly, we advocate research beyond short-term descriptive studies to address questions concerning the long-term implications of ECEs, focussing on selective pressures and phenotypically plastic responses and how they might differ from responses to a changing climatic mean. Finally, we encourage a greater focus on multi-event studies that help us understand the implications of changing patterns of ECEs, through the combined use of modelling, experimental and observational field studies. This study aims to open a discussion on the definitions, questions and methods currently used to study ECEs, which will lead to a more cohesive approach to future ECE research. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  2. Evaluating Two Approaches to Helping College Students Understand Evolutionary Trees through Diagramming Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Judy; Meir, Eli; Herron, Jon C.; Maruca, Susan; Stal, Derek

    2008-01-01

    To understand evolutionary theory, students must be able to understand and use evolutionary trees and their underlying concepts. Active, hands-on curricula relevant to macroevolution can be challenging to implement across large college-level classes where textbook learning is the norm. We evaluated two approaches to helping students learn…

  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. Location choice by households and polluting firms : An evolutionary approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkstra, BR; de Vries, FP

    This paper examines several policy regimes to deal with the problem of households suffering from environmental damage by firms in the same region. We employ an evolutionary framework to analyze migration movements in the course of time, since firms and households will not relocate immediately in

  5. The Comparative Organismal Approach in Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Insights from Ascidians and Cavefish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffery, William R

    2016-01-01

    Important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology have been made using the comparative organismal approach. As examples, I describe insights obtained from studies of Molgula ascidians and Astyanax cavefish. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Robust design of biological circuits: evolutionary systems biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Hsu, Chih-Yuan; Liou, Jing-Jia

    2011-01-01

    Artificial gene circuits have been proposed to be embedded into microbial cells that function as switches, timers, oscillators, and the Boolean logic gates. Building more complex systems from these basic gene circuit components is one key advance for biologic circuit design and synthetic biology. However, the behavior of bioengineered gene circuits remains unstable and uncertain. In this study, a nonlinear stochastic system is proposed to model the biological systems with intrinsic parameter fluctuations and environmental molecular noise from the cellular context in the host cell. Based on evolutionary systems biology algorithm, the design parameters of target gene circuits can evolve to specific values in order to robustly track a desired biologic function in spite of intrinsic and environmental noise. The fitness function is selected to be inversely proportional to the tracking error so that the evolutionary biological circuit can achieve the optimal tracking mimicking the evolutionary process of a gene circuit. Finally, several design examples are given in silico with the Monte Carlo simulation to illustrate the design procedure and to confirm the robust performance of the proposed design method. The result shows that the designed gene circuits can robustly track desired behaviors with minimal errors even with nontrivial intrinsic and external noise.

  11. An Evolutionary Computational Approach to Humanoid Motion Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhammika Suresh Hettiarachchi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The theme of our work is centred on humanoid motion planning and balancing using evolutionary computational techniques. Evolutionary techniques, inspired by the Darwinian evolution of biological systems, make use of the concept of the iterative progress of a population of solutions with the aim of finding an optimally fit solution to a given problem. The problem we address here is that of asymmetric motion generation for humanoids, with the aim of automatically developing a series of motions to resemble certain predefined postures. An acceptable trajectory and stability is of the utmost concern in our work. In developing these motions, we are utilizing genetic algorithms coupled with heuristic knowledge of the problem domain. Unlike other types of robots, humanoids are complex in both construction and operation due to their myriad degrees of freedom and the difficulty of balancing on one or more limbs. The work presented in this paper includes the adopted methodology, experimental setup, results and an analysis of the outcome of a series of evolutionary experiments conducted for generating the said asymmetric motions.

  12. Industrial Ecology Approach to MSW Methodology Data Set

    Science.gov (United States)

    U.S. municipal solid waste data for the year 2012. This dataset is associated with the following publication:Smith , R., D. Sengupta, S. Takkellapati , and C. Lee. An industrial ecology approach to municipal solid wastemanagement: I. Methodology. Resources, Conservation and Recycling. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS, 104: 311-316, (2015).

  13. 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.

  14. Evolutionary and anthropological approaches towards understanding human need for psychotropic and mood altering substances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saniotis, Arthur

    2010-12-01

    Human addiction to psychotropic and mood altering substances is an ongoing international problem. While the phenomenon of psychoactive drug use has received considerable theoretical attention there need to be more comparative approaches into this area. Evolutionary and anthropological approaches for understanding human need for psychotropic and mood altering substances offer the reader various insightful angles for analyzing this phenomenon. While evolutionary approaches investigate the evolutionary behaviors and mechanisms of human ancestral psychotropic use, anthropological approaches emphasize the social and religious meanings of individual drug use. While each approach proffers different ideas, a comparative approach, which is utilized in this study, may provide a novel and invaluable insight for understanding human need for psychotropic and mood-altering substances.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...... using computer simulations. The primary findings are, firstly, that the model generates predictions suited for empirical research on how economic selection influences cooperative behaviour of innovative factors. Secondly, we demonstrate how a region's entrepreneurial activity and growth can...... be controlled in a decentralised way by regions....

  17. 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

    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...... experiments coupled with genome sequencing offer great potential to test for the occurrence (or lack) of an evolutionary response.......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...

  18. Multiple von Neumann computers: an evolutionary approach to functional emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, H

    1997-01-01

    A novel system composed of multiple von Neumann computers and an appropriate problem environment is proposed and simulated. Each computer has a memory to store the machine instruction program, and when a program is executed, a series of machine codes in the memory is sequentially decoded, leading to register operations in the central processing unit (CPU). By means of these operations, the computer not only can handle its generally used registers but also can read and write the environmental database. Simulation is driven by genetic algorithms (GAs) performed on the population of program memories. Mutation and crossover create program diversity in the memory, and selection facilitates the reproduction of appropriate programs. Through these evolutionary operations, advantageous combinations of machine codes are created and fixed in the population one by one, and the higher function, which enables the computer to calculate an appropriate number from the environment, finally emerges in the program memory. In the latter half of the article, the performance of GAs on this system is studied. Under different sets of parameters, the evolutionary speed, which is determined by the time until the domination of the final program, is examined and the conditions for faster evolution are clarified. At an intermediate mutation rate and at an intermediate population size, crossover helps create novel advantageous sets of machine codes and evidently accelerates optimization by GAs.

  19. Trust Dynamics in WSNs: An Evolutionary Game-Theoretic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigen Shen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A sensor node (SN in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs can decide whether to collaborate with others based on a trust management system (TMS by making a trust decision. In this paper, we study the trust decision and its dynamics that play a key role to stabilize the whole network using evolutionary game theory. When SNs are making their decisions to select action Trust or Mistrust, a WSNs trust game is created to reflect their utilities. An incentive mechanism bound with one SN’s trust degree is incorporated into this trust game and effectively promotes SNs to select action Trust. The replicator dynamics of SNs’ trust evolution, illustrating the evolutionary process of SNs selecting their actions, are given. We then propose and prove the theorems indicating that evolutionarily stable strategies can be attained under different parameter values, which supply theoretical foundations to devise a TMS for WSNs. Moreover, we can find out the conditions that will lead SNs to choose action Trust as their final behavior. In this manner, we can assure WSNs’ security and stability by introducing a trust mechanism to satisfy these conditions. Experimental results have confirmed the proposed theorems and the effects of the incentive mechanism.

  20. 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.

  1. Early organisms in the fossil record: paleontological aspects, evolutionary and ecological impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabbatini, Anna; Negri, Alessandra; Morigi, Caterina; Bartolini, Annachiara; Lipps, Jere

    2017-04-01

    With this abstract we introduce our session whose aim is twofold: 1) to gather information on the earliest foraminifera (single- organic and agglutinated taxa) which so far are sparse and uncoordinated in order to understand their evolution and their relationship with modern single-chambered taxa, contextualizing scientific current results in the geo-biological field. 2) to explore also every other early organism trace fossils or so far overlooked organisms coated with fine sediment (i.e., bacteria, testate amoebae) to understand how and if this coating might help these creatures to fossilize. For this reason, this session will integrate many disciplines, from genomics to palaeo-environmental modelling to palaeontology and geochemistry. Our experience starts from Foraminifera which are an ecologically important group of modern heterotrophic amoeboid eukaryotes whose naked and testate ancestors are thought to have evolved 1 Ga ago. However, the single-chambered agglutinated test of these protists is hypothesized to appear in the fossil record in the Neoproterozoic, before the rise of complex animals. In addition, the difficulty of recognizing unambiguously ancestral monothalamous foraminifera in the fossil record represents the main challenge and might be related to a combination of factors, such as preservation in the sediments, adverse palaeo-environmental conditions and the absence of clear morphological characters distinguishing them from other morphologically simple testate organisms. However, recent publications have evidenced the finding of such organisms in several sedimentary successions tracing back to the Neoproterozoic. An integrate approach will result in profound insights about life—past, present, future— representing a new frontier in the palaeobiological studies. Therefore, aim of this session is to bring together specialists across all these disciplines to provide a uniquely rich and fertile intellectual environment for the pursuit of this

  2. An evolutionary approach to regional systems of innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Jan Sture Gunnar; Wallin, Torsten

    2011-01-01

    and production of intermediate goods. In particular we are concerned with how cooperative behaviour of technology producers is affected by the need to protect technological secrecies and of being financially constrained by firms demanding innovative input. Based on the theoretical model, we provide an analysis...... using computer simulations. The primary findings are, firstly, that the model generates predictions suited for empirical research on how economic selection influences cooperative behaviour of innovative actors. Secondly, we demonstrate how a region's entrepreneurial activity and growth can be controlled......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...

  3. Wiener-Hammerstein system identification - an evolutionary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naitali, Abdessamad; Giri, Fouad

    2016-01-01

    The problem of identifying parametric Wiener-Hammerstein (WH) systems is addressed within the evolutionary optimisation context. Specifically, a hybrid culture identification method is developed that involves model structure adaptation using genetic recombination and model parameter learning using particle swarm optimisation. The method enjoys three interesting features: (1) the risk of premature convergence of model parameter estimates to local optima is significantly reduced, due to the constantly maintained diversity of model candidates; (2) no prior knowledge is needed except for upper bounds on the system structure indices; (3) the method is fully autonomous as no interaction is needed with the user during the optimum search process. The performances of the proposed method will be illustrated and compared to alternative methods using a well-established WH benchmark.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verdiell, Nuria Calduch

    in life-history traits of exploited fish stocks. The main purpose of the present PhD thesis is to gain an understanding of the role of the larger fish in a population , from three different areas of science specifically, ecology, economics and evolution. An extended classical single species age...... however be important to account properly for maternal effects for collapsing populations. The third chapter develops an ecological-economic evaluation tool to explore the impact of the choice of a recovery scenario on the time needed to recover the stock and on the net benefit generated by the fishery...... not matter much neither from an economic nor from an ecological perspective. Only if there is a high fishing pressure during the recovery period can a preservation of the larger individuals reduce recovery time significantly. The fourth and last chapter is focused on fisheries induced evolution...

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. On the evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions: addressing the question with regard to bumblebees and their parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2001-05-01

    Over the last decade, there has been a major shift in the study of adaptive patterns and processes towards including the role of host-parasite interactions, informed by concepts from evolutionary ecology. As a consequence, a number of major questions have emerged. For example, how genetics affects host-parasite interactions, whether parasitism selects for offspring diversification, whether parasite virulence is an adaptive trait, and what constrains the use of the host's immune defences. Using bumblebees, Bombus spp, and their parasites as a model system, answers to some of these questions have been found, while at the same time the complexity of the interaction has led expectations away from simple theoretical models. In addition, the results have also led to the unexpected discovery of novel phenomena concerning, for instance, female mating strategies.

  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. Gene function beyond the single trait: natural variation, gene effects, and evolutionary ecology in Arabidopsis thaliana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tonsor, S.J.; Alonso-Blanco, C.; Koornneef, M.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of plant functional genomics is to describe the patterns of gene expression and internal plant function underlying the ecological functions that sustain plant growth and reproduction. Plants function as integrated systems in which metabolic and developmental pathways draw on common

  13. Tackling extremes: Challenges for ecological and evolutionary research on extreme climatic events.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bailey, Liam; Van de Pol, M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Extreme climatic events (ECEs) are predicted to become more frequent as the climate changes. A rapidly increasing number of studies – though few on animals – suggest that the biological consequences of ECEs can be severe. However, ecological research on the impacts of ECEs has been limited

  14. 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

  15. An approach to grouping species for ecological risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hampton, N.L.; VanHorn, R.L. [EG and G Idaho, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Morris, R. [Environmental Science and Research Foundation, Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Brewer, R. [Ecology and Environment, Inc., Seattle, WA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    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.

  16. The triad approach to ecological assessment of urban soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terekhova, V. A.; Pukalchik, M. A.; Yakovlev, A. S.

    2014-09-01

    The "triad" approach was suggested by Chapman [22] for assessing the risk of contamination of bottom deposits. We applied this approach for the analysis of urban soils under different loads from motor transport. On its basis, the results of chemical analysis (heavy metals, biogenic elements, and pH), bioindication parameters of the communities of microorganisms, and the results of toxicological investigations with the use of test-organisms were generalized to obtain an integral index of the soil status (IS). A comparison of IS values for test plots at different distances from a highway in the city of Kirov (58.3729-58.624722 N, 49.3743-49.628611 E) showed that the ecological status of the soils could be qualified as disturbed on the plots adjacent to the highway and as slightly disturbed at distances of 30-200 m from the highway. The IS calculated on the basis of data of three disciplines (chemistry, ecology, and toxicology) seems to be a more comprehensive characteristic for assessing the ecological status of urbanozems as compared to Zc indices of the chemical contamination of soils (suggested by Saet) or indices of the integral biological characteristics of soil quality.

  17. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2016-01-01

    ... 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Exploring the Factors Related to Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory among Turkish Preservice Biology Teachers: Toward a More Informative Conceptual Ecology for Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deniz, Hasan; Donnelly, Lisa A.; Yilmaz, Irfan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary…

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy in South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural…

  5. Using a Contextual Approach in Teaching Evolutionary Theory and Its Attendant Controversy to Undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheppard, Carol A.; Prischmann, Deirdre A.

    2003-01-01

    Develops activities based on pedagogical research that indicate that student engagement and comprehension are enhanced by methodologies that promote active participation, critical thinking, and an interdisciplinary, contextualist approach to teach evolutionary theory to students in an upper-division, capstone course. Provides critical thinking…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The ecological and evolutionary energetics of hunter-gatherer residential mobility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Marcus J; Lobo, José; Rupley, Eric; Youn, Hyejin; West, Geoffrey B

    2016-05-06

    Residential mobility is a key aspect of hunter-gatherer foraging economies and therefore is an issue of central importance in hunter-gatherer studies. Hunter-gatherers vary widely in annual rates of residential mobility. Understanding the sources of this variation has long been of interest to anthropologists and archeologists. The vast majority of hunter-gatherers who are dependent on terrestrial plants and animals move camp multiple times a year because local foraging patches become depleted and food, material, and social resources are heterogeneously distributed through time and space. In some environments, particularly along coasts, where resources are abundant and predictable, hunter-gatherers often become effectively sedentary. But even in these special cases, a central question is how these societies have maintained viable foraging economies while reducing residential mobility to near zero. © 2016 The Authors Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. An ecological and evolutionary perspective on the parallel invasion of two cross-compatible trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besnard, Guillaume; Cuneo, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Invasive trees are generally seen as ecosystem-transforming plants that can have significant impacts on native vegetation, and often require management and control. Understanding their history and biology is essential to guide actions of land managers. Here, we present a summary of recent research into the ecology, phylogeography and management of invasive olives, which are now established outside of their native range as high ecological impact invasive trees. The parallel invasion of European and African olive in different climatic zones of Australia provides an interesting case study of invasion, characterized by early genetic admixture between domesticated and wild taxa. Today, the impact of the invasive olives on native vegetation and ecosystem function is of conservation concern, with European olive a declared weed in areas of South Australia, and African olive a declared weed in New South Wales and Pacific islands. Population genetics was used to trace the origins and invasion of both subspecies in Australia, indicating that both olive subspecies have hybridized early after introduction. Research also indicates that African olive populations can establish from a low number of founder individuals even after successive bottlenecks. Modelling based on distributional data from the native and invasive range identified a shift of the realized ecological niche in the Australian invasive range for both olive subspecies, which was particularly marked for African olive. As highly successful and long-lived invaders, olives offer further opportunities to understand the genetic basis of invasion, and we propose that future research examines the history of introduction and admixture, the genetic basis of adaptability and the role of biotic interactions during invasion. Advances on these questions will ultimately improve predictions on the future olive expansion and provide a solid basis for better management of invasive populations. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford

  10. An evolutionary computational approach for the dynamic Stackelberg competition problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Arboleda-Castro

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Stackelberg competition models are an important family of economical decision problems from game theory, in which the main goal is to find optimal strategies between two competitors taking into account their hierarchy relationship. Although these models have been widely studied in the past, it is important to note that very few works deal with uncertainty scenarios, especially those that vary over time. In this regard, the present research studies this topic and proposes a computational method for solving efficiently dynamic Stackelberg competition models. The computational experiments suggest that the proposed approach is effective for problems of this nature.

  11. Eco-Evolutionary Trophic Dynamics: Loss of Top Predators Drives Trophic Evolution and Ecology of Prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palkovacs, Eric P.; Wasserman, Ben A.; Kinnison, Michael T.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems are being altered on a global scale by the extirpation of top predators. The ecological effects of predator removal have been investigated widely; however, predator removal can also change natural selection acting on prey, resulting in contemporary evolution. Here we tested the role of predator removal on the contemporary evolution of trophic traits in prey. We utilized a historical introduction experiment where Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) were relocated from a site with predatory fishes to a site lacking predators. To assess the trophic consequences of predator release, we linked individual morphology (cranial, jaw, and body) to foraging performance. Our results show that predator release caused an increase in guppy density and a “sharpening” of guppy trophic traits, which enhanced food consumption rates. Predator release appears to have shifted natural selection away from predator escape ability and towards resource acquisition ability. Related diet and mesocosm studies suggest that this shift enhances the impact of guppies on lower trophic levels in a fashion nuanced by the omnivorous feeding ecology of the species. We conclude that extirpation of top predators may commonly select for enhanced feeding performance in prey, with important cascading consequences for communities and ecosystems. PMID:21526156

  12. Eco-evolutionary trophic dynamics: loss of top predators drives trophic evolution and ecology of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palkovacs, Eric P; Wasserman, Ben A; Kinnison, Michael T

    2011-04-19

    Ecosystems are being altered on a global scale by the extirpation of top predators. The ecological effects of predator removal have been investigated widely; however, predator removal can also change natural selection acting on prey, resulting in contemporary evolution. Here we tested the role of predator removal on the contemporary evolution of trophic traits in prey. We utilized a historical introduction experiment where Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) were relocated from a site with predatory fishes to a site lacking predators. To assess the trophic consequences of predator release, we linked individual morphology (cranial, jaw, and body) to foraging performance. Our results show that predator release caused an increase in guppy density and a "sharpening" of guppy trophic traits, which enhanced food consumption rates. Predator release appears to have shifted natural selection away from predator escape ability and towards resource acquisition ability. Related diet and mesocosm studies suggest that this shift enhances the impact of guppies on lower trophic levels in a fashion nuanced by the omnivorous feeding ecology of the species. We conclude that extirpation of top predators may commonly select for enhanced feeding performance in prey, with important cascading consequences for communities and ecosystems.

  13. Eco-evolutionary trophic dynamics: loss of top predators drives trophic evolution and ecology of prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric P Palkovacs

    Full Text Available Ecosystems are being altered on a global scale by the extirpation of top predators. The ecological effects of predator removal have been investigated widely; however, predator removal can also change natural selection acting on prey, resulting in contemporary evolution. Here we tested the role of predator removal on the contemporary evolution of trophic traits in prey. We utilized a historical introduction experiment where Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata were relocated from a site with predatory fishes to a site lacking predators. To assess the trophic consequences of predator release, we linked individual morphology (cranial, jaw, and body to foraging performance. Our results show that predator release caused an increase in guppy density and a "sharpening" of guppy trophic traits, which enhanced food consumption rates. Predator release appears to have shifted natural selection away from predator escape ability and towards resource acquisition ability. Related diet and mesocosm studies suggest that this shift enhances the impact of guppies on lower trophic levels in a fashion nuanced by the omnivorous feeding ecology of the species. We conclude that extirpation of top predators may commonly select for enhanced feeding performance in prey, with important cascading consequences for communities and ecosystems.

  14. Evolutionary Approach Based on Active Edges Detection for Images Segmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slatnia Sihem

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available There are many methods for segmentation which vary strongly in their approach to the problem of image segmentation. In this paper, We specified the study in a particular segmentation method of radiological images based on the active edges detection. The optimize solutions was chosen as the genetic algorithm optimization method, and to compare this formalism with other existing methods, we chose a greedy algorithm is criterion for its timeliness. we propose a method of genetic active edge detection in images gray level. In fact, for the convergence of the edge to the object edges, we use the classic and the greedy method. Indeed, the proposed method is based on the active edges optimization using the genetic algorithms process to minimize a sum various energies, in order to evolve a population of snakes to an individual who has the minimum energy.

  15. Ligament tissue engineering: an evolutionary materials science approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurencin, Cato T; Freeman, Joseph W

    2005-12-01

    The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is important for knee stabilization. Unfortunately, it is also the most commonly injured intra-articular ligament. Due to poor vascularization, the ACL has inferior healing capability and is usually replaced after significant damage has occurred. Currently available replacements have a host of limitations, this has prompted the search for tissue-engineered solutions for ACL repair. Presently investigated scaffolds range from twisted fiber architectures composed of silk fibers to complex three-dimensional braided structures composed of poly (L-lactic acid) fibers. The purpose of these tissue-engineered constructs is to apply approaches such as the use of porous scaffolds, use of cells, and the application of growth factors to promote ligament tissue regeneration while providing mechanical properties similar to natural ligament.

  16. 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...

  17. Meeting Report on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology Using Yeast and Other Model Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarosz, Daniel; Dudley, Aimée M

    2017-08-16

    The fourth EMBO-sponsored conference on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology Using Yeast and Other Model Systems (https://www.embl.de/training/events/2016/EAE16-01/), was held at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, October 19-23, 2016. The conference was organized by Judith Berman (Tel Aviv University), Maitreya Dunham (University of Washington), Jun-Yi Leu (Academia Sinica), and Lars Steinmetz (EMBL Heidelberg and Stanford University). The meeting attracted ~120 researchers from 28 countries and covered a wide range of topics in the fields of genetics, evolutionary biology, and ecology with a unifying focus on yeast as a model system. Attendees enjoyed the Keith Haring inspired yeast florescence microscopy artwork (Figure 1), a unique feature of the meeting since its inception, and the one-minute flash talks that catalyzed discussions at two vibrant poster sessions. The meeting coincided with the 20th anniversary of the publication describing the sequence of the first eukaryotic genome, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Goffeau et al. 1996). Many of the conference talks focused on important questions about what is contained in the genome, how genomes evolve, and the architecture and behavior of communities of phenotypically and genotypically diverse microorganisms. Here, we summarize highlights of the research talks around these themes. Nearly all presentations focused on novel findings, and we refer the reader to relevant manuscripts that have subsequently been published. Copyright © 2017, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.

  18. Meeting Report on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology Using Yeast and Other Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel F. Jarosz

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The fourth EMBO-sponsored conference on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology Using Yeast and Other Model Systems (https://www.embl.de/training/events/2016/EAE16-01/, was held at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, October 19–23, 2016. The conference was organized by Judith Berman (Tel Aviv University, Maitreya Dunham (University of Washington, Jun-Yi Leu (Academia Sinica, and Lars Steinmetz (EMBL Heidelberg and Stanford University. The meeting attracted ∼120 researchers from 28 countries and covered a wide range of topics in the fields of genetics, evolutionary biology, and ecology, with a unifying focus on yeast as a model system. Attendees enjoyed the Keith Haring-inspired yeast florescence microscopy artwork (Figure 1, a unique feature of the meeting since its inception, and the 1 min flash talks that catalyzed discussions at two vibrant poster sessions. The meeting coincided with the 20th anniversary of the publication describing the sequence of the first eukaryotic genome, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Many of the conference talks focused on important questions about what is contained in the genome, how genomes evolve, and the architecture and behavior of communities of phenotypically and genotypically diverse microorganisms. Here, we summarize highlights of the research talks around these themes. Nearly all presentations focused on novel findings, and we refer the reader to relevant manuscripts that have subsequently been published.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

  4. Nonindependence and sensitivity analyses in ecological and evolutionary meta-analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Daniel W A; Lagisz, Malgorzata; O'dea, Rose E; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2017-05-01

    Meta-analysis is an important tool for synthesizing research on a variety of topics in ecology and evolution, including molecular ecology, but can be susceptible to nonindependence. Nonindependence can affect two major interrelated components of a meta-analysis: (i) the calculation of effect size statistics and (ii) the estimation of overall meta-analytic estimates and their uncertainty. While some solutions to nonindependence exist at the statistical analysis stages, there is little advice on what to do when complex analyses are not possible, or when studies with nonindependent experimental designs exist in the data. Here we argue that exploring the effects of procedural decisions in a meta-analysis (e.g. inclusion of different quality data, choice of effect size) and statistical assumptions (e.g. assuming no phylogenetic covariance) using sensitivity analyses are extremely important in assessing the impact of nonindependence. Sensitivity analyses can provide greater confidence in results and highlight important limitations of empirical work (e.g. impact of study design on overall effects). Despite their importance, sensitivity analyses are seldom applied to problems of nonindependence. To encourage better practice for dealing with nonindependence in meta-analytic studies, we present accessible examples demonstrating the impact that ignoring nonindependence can have on meta-analytic estimates. We also provide pragmatic solutions for dealing with nonindependent study designs, and for analysing dependent effect sizes. Additionally, we offer reporting guidelines that will facilitate disclosure of the sources of nonindependence in meta-analyses, leading to greater transparency and more robust conclusions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Genome assembly and annotation of Arabidopsis halleri, a model for heavy metal hyperaccumulation and evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briskine, Roman V; Paape, Timothy; Shimizu-Inatsugi, Rie; Nishiyama, Tomoaki; Akama, Satoru; Sese, Jun; Shimizu, Kentaro K

    2017-09-01

    The self-incompatible species Arabidopsis halleri is a close relative of the self-compatible model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The broad European and Asian distribution and heavy metal hyperaccumulation ability make A. halleri a useful model for ecological genomics studies. We used long-insert mate-pair libraries to improve the genome assembly of the A. halleri ssp. gemmifera Tada mine genotype (W302) collected from a site with high contamination by heavy metals in Japan. After five rounds of forced selfing, heterozygosity was reduced to 0.04%, which facilitated subsequent genome assembly. Our assembly now covers 196 Mb or 78% of the estimated genome size and achieved scaffold N50 length of 712 kb. To validate assembly and annotation, we used synteny of A. halleri Tada mine with a previously published high-quality reference assembly of a closely related species, Arabidopsis lyrata. Further validation of the assembly quality comes from synteny and phylogenetic analysis of the HEAVY METAL ATPASE4 (HMA4) and METAL TOLERANCE PROTEIN1 (MTP1) regions using published sequences from European A. halleri for comparison. Three tandemly duplicated copies of HMA4, key gene involved in cadmium and zinc hyperaccumulation, were assembled on a single scaffold. The assembly will enhance the genomewide studies of A. halleri as well as the allopolyploid Arabidopsis kamchatica derived from A. lyrata and A. halleri. © 2016 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. An analytical review of Halffter's Mexican transition zone, and its relevance for evolutionary biogeography, ecology and biogeographical regionalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halffter, Gonzalo; Morrone, Juan J

    2017-01-25

    The Mexican transition zone (MTZ) is the complex area where the Neotropical and Nearctic biotas overlap, including south-western United States, Mexico and a large part of Central America extending to the Nicaraguan lowlands. In a strict sense, it corresponds to the mountain highlands of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. We review Halffter's theory explaining the biotic evolution of the MTZ, including the description and discussion of the distributional patterns and cenocrons recognized within it. Distributional patterns are generalizations that help analyse and compare distributions of different taxa. Cenocrons correspond to sets of taxa that share the same biogeographic history, constituting identifiable subsets within the transitional biota by their common biotic origin and evolutionary history. The heuristic value of distributional patterns and cenocrons lies in their application to formulate hypotheses on biotic assembly in the geographical-ecological space, to analyse the ecological response to anthropic impact, to analyse altitudinal patterns and to undertake time-slicing in cladistic biogeography. Three case studies are analysed with some detail: the Neotropical genus Canthon and the tribe Phanaeini and the Holarctic/Nearctic subfamily Geotrupinae. The Paleoamerican and Mexican Plateau cenocrons define the approximate boundaries of the MTZ, whereas the Mountain Mesoamerican, Nearctic and Typical Neotropical cenocrons correspond to the more conventional boundaries of the Nearctic and Neotropical regions. The biotic assembly of the MTZ is summarized into five stages: in the Jurassic-Cretaceous, the Paleoamerican cenocron (later diversified into five varieties) extended in Mexico; in the Late Cretaceous-Palaeocene, the Mexican Plateau cenocron dispersed from South America; in the Oligocene-Miocene, the Mountain Mesoamerican cenocron dispersed from the Central American Nucleus; in the Miocene-Pliocene, the Nearctic cenocron dispersed from

  8. Insights into the ecology and evolutionary success of crocodilians revealed through bite-force and tooth-pressure experimentation.

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    Gregory M Erickson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Crocodilians have dominated predatory niches at the water-land interface for over 85 million years. Like their ancestors, living species show substantial variation in their jaw proportions, dental form and body size. These differences are often assumed to reflect anatomical specialization related to feeding and niche occupation, but quantified data are scant. How these factors relate to biomechanical performance during feeding and their relevance to crocodilian evolutionary success are not known. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured adult bite forces and tooth pressures in all 23 extant crocodilian species and analyzed the results in ecological and phylogenetic contexts. We demonstrate that these reptiles generate the highest bite forces and tooth pressures known for any living animals. Bite forces strongly correlate with body size, and size changes are a major mechanism of feeding evolution in this group. Jaw shape demonstrates surprisingly little correlation to bite force and pressures. Bite forces can now be predicted in fossil crocodilians using the regression equations generated in this research. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Critical to crocodilian long-term success was the evolution of a high bite-force generating musculo-skeletal architecture. Once achieved, the relative force capacities of this system went essentially unmodified throughout subsequent diversification. Rampant changes in body size and concurrent changes in bite force served as a mechanism to allow access to differing prey types and sizes. Further access to the diversity of near-shore prey was gained primarily through changes in tooth pressure via the evolution of dental form and distributions of the teeth within the jaws. Rostral proportions changed substantially throughout crocodilian evolution, but not in correspondence with bite forces. The biomechanical and ecological ramifications of such changes need further examination.

  9. Music as Environment: An Ecological and Biosemiotic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Reybrouck

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides an attempt to conceive of music in terms of a sounding environment. Starting from a definition of music as a collection of vibrational events, it introduces the distinction between discrete-symbolic representations as against analog-continuous representations of the sounds. The former makes it possible to conceive of music in terms of a Humboldt system, the latter in terms of an experiential approach. Both approaches, further, are not opposed to each other, but are complementary to some extent. There is, however, a distinction to be drawn between the bottom-up approach to auditory processing of environmental sounds and music, which is continuous and proceeding in real time, as against the top-down approach, which is proceeding at a level of mental representation by applying discrete symbolic labels to vibrational events. The distinction is discussed against the background of phylogenetic and ontogenetic claims, with a major focus on the innate auditory capabilities of the fetus and neonate and the gradual evolution from mere sensory perception of sound to sense-making and musical meaning. The latter, finally, is elaborated on the basis of the operational concepts of affordance and functional tone, thus bringing together some older contributions from ecology and biosemiotics.

  10. Music as environment: an ecological and biosemiotic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reybrouck, Mark

    2014-12-23

    This paper provides an attempt to conceive of music in terms of a sounding environment. Starting from a definition of music as a collection of vibrational events, it introduces the distinction between discrete-symbolic representations as against analog-continuous representations of the sounds. The former makes it possible to conceive of music in terms of a Humboldt system, the latter in terms of an experiential approach. Both approaches, further, are not opposed to each other, but are complementary to some extent. There is, however, a distinction to be drawn between the bottom-up approach to auditory processing of environmental sounds and music, which is continuous and proceeding in real time, as against the top-down approach, which is proceeding at a level of mental representation by applying discrete symbolic labels to vibrational events. The distinction is discussed against the background of phylogenetic and ontogenetic claims, with a major focus on the innate auditory capabilities of the fetus and neonate and the gradual evolution from mere sensory perception of sound to sense-making and musical meaning. The latter, finally, is elaborated on the basis of the operational concepts of affordance and functional tone, thus bringing together some older contributions from ecology and biosemiotics.

  11. 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.

  12. Evolutionary and ecological consequences of multiscale variation in pollen receipt for seed production.

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    Schreiber, Sebastian J; Rosenheim, Jay A; Williams, Neal W; Harder, Lawrence D

    2015-01-01

    Variation in resource availability can select for traits that reduce the negative impacts of this variability on mean fitness. Such selection may be particularly potent for seed production in flowering plants, as they often experience variation in pollen receipt among individuals and among flowers within individuals. Using analytically tractable models, we examine the optimal allocations for producing ovules, attracting pollen, and maturing seeds in deterministic and stochastic pollen environments. In deterministic environments, the optimal strategy attracts sufficient pollen to fertilize every ovule and mature every zygote into a seed. Stochastic environments select for allocations proportional to the risk of seed production being limited by zygotes or seed maturation. When producing an ovule is cheap and maturing a seed is expensive, among-plant variation selects for attracting more pollen at the expense of producing fewer ovules and having fewer resources for seed maturation. Despite this increased allocation, such populations are likely to be pollen limited. In contrast, within-plant variation generally selects for an overproduction of ovules and, to a lesser extent, pollen attraction. Such populations are likely to be resource limited and exhibit low seed-to-ovule ratios. These results highlight the importance of multiscale variation in the evolution and ecology of resource allocations.

  13. 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.

  14. Ecological and Evolutionary Determinants of Bark Beetle —Fungus Symbioses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Six, Diana L.

    2012-01-01

    Ectosymbioses among bark beetles (Curculionidae, Scolytinae) and fungi (primarily ophiostomatoid Ascomycetes) are widespread and diverse. Associations range from mutualistic to commensal, and from facultative to obligate. Some fungi are highly specific and associated only with a single beetle species, while others can be associated with many. In addition, most of these symbioses are multipartite, with the host beetle associated with two or more consistent partners. Mycangia, structures of the beetle integument that function in fungal transport, have evolved numerous times in the Scolytinae. The evolution of such complex, specialized structures indicates a high degree of mutual dependence among the beetles and their fungal partners. Unfortunately, the processes that shaped current day beetle-fungus symbioses remain poorly understood. Phylogeny, the degree and type of dependence on partners, mode of transmission of symbionts (vertical vs. horizontal), effects of the abiotic environment, and interactions among symbionts themselves or with other members of the biotic community, all play important roles in determining the composition, fidelity, and longevity of associations between beetles and their fungal associates. In this review, I provide an overview of these associations and discuss how evolution and ecological processes acted in concert to shape these fascinating, complex symbioses. PMID:26467964

  15. Ecological and Evolutionary Determinants of Bark Beetle —Fungus Symbioses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana L. Six

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Ectosymbioses among bark beetles (Curculionidae, Scolytinae and fungi (primarily ophiostomatoid Ascomycetes are widespread and diverse. Associations range from mutualistic to commensal, and from facultative to obligate. Some fungi are highly specific and associated only with a single beetle species, while others can be associated with many. In addition, most of these symbioses are multipartite, with the host beetle associated with two or more consistent partners. Mycangia, structures of the beetle integument that function in fungal transport, have evolved numerous times in the Scolytinae. The evolution of such complex, specialized structures indicates a high degree of mutual dependence among the beetles and their fungal partners. Unfortunately, the processes that shaped current day beetle-fungus symbioses remain poorly understood. Phylogeny, the degree and type of dependence on partners, mode of transmission of symbionts (vertical vs. horizontal, effects of the abiotic environment, and interactions among symbionts themselves or with other members of the biotic community, all play important roles in determining the composition, fidelity, and longevity of associations between beetles and their fungal associates. In this review, I provide an overview of these associations and discuss how evolution and ecological processes acted in concert to shape these fascinating, complex symbioses.

  16. Cooperation, collapse and resilience: ecological and evolutionary consequences of heterogeneous metapopulation structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limdi, Anurag; Perez-Escudero, Alfonso; Li, Aming; Gore, Jeff

    While negative frequency and density dependent selection and population structure are used to explain the evolution of cooperation separately, their combined effect remains unexplored. Here, we consider the effect of heterogeneity of metapopulations linked by migration in a yeast cooperator-defector system. We discover that asymmetric migration on star networks, coupled with density dependent selection, can double the cooperator fraction compared to isolated nodes and fully connected networks. Migration reduces population density on the side nodes which makes star networks more prone to collapse in challenging environments than isolated populations. Unexpectedly, we find that star networks have greater resilience to a temporary salt shock than isolated nodes. This can be reconciled by noting that the level of permanent stress that the network can withstand is influenced by side nodes which are the most vulnerable parts of the network. In contrast, the ability to recover from temporary shocks is defined by the central node (which has a higher density and cooperator fraction than isolated nodes), because it can reseed the side nodes and rescue the whole network. Our findings highlight that ecological communities respond differently to constantly and transiently harsh environments.

  17. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of desiccation tolerance in tropical fern gametophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, James E; Mack, Michelle C; Sinclair, Thomas R; Mulkey, Stephen S

    2007-01-01

    Ferns have radiated into the same diverse environments as spermatophytes, and have done so with an independent gametophyte that is not protected by the parent plant. The degree and extent of desiccation tolerance (DT) in the gametophytes of tropical fern species was assessed to understand mechanisms that have allowed ferns to radiate into a diversity of habitats. Species from several functional groups were subjected to a series of desiccation events, including varying degrees of intensity and multiple desiccation cycles. Measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence were used to assess recovery ability and compared with species ecology and gametophyte morphology. It is shown that vegetative DT (rare in vascular plants) is widely exhibited in fern gametophytes and the degree of tolerance is linked to species habitat preference. It is proposed that gametophyte morphology influences water-holding capacity, a novel mechanism that may help to explain how ferns have radiated into drought-prone habitats. Fern gametophytes have often been portrayed as extreme mesophytes with little tolerance for desiccation. The discovery of DT in gametophytes holds potential for improving our understanding of both the controls on fern species distribution and their evolution. It also advances a new system with which to study the evolution of DT in vascular plants.

  18. A.B. Frank and mycorrhizae: the challenge to evolutionary and ecologic theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trappe, James M

    2005-06-01

    A. B. Frank's observations and hypotheses about mycorrhizae in 1885 flew in the face of conventional thinking of the time. He reported that what we now term ectomycorrhizae were widespread on root systems of many woody plant species in a great diversity of habitats and soils. He hypothesized that mycorrhizae represent a pervasive mutualistic symbiosis in which fungus and host nutritionally rely on each other; that the fungus extracts nutrients from both mineral soil and humus and translocates them to the tree host; and that the tree, in turn, nourishes the fungus. Initially opposed by much of the scientific community, nearly all of Frank's major hypotheses have since been unequivocally demonstrated, although many decades were required to achieve conclusive evidence. Nonetheless, the revolution in thinking about plant and fungal evolution, ecology and physiology generated by Frank is still in the process of acceptance by much of the scientific community, 120 years and tens of thousands of scientific papers since he coined the term "mycorrhiza". The reasons for this extraordinary lag time in themselves present an intriguing research subject.

  19. Quantitative, qualitative, and collaborative methods: approaching indigenous ecological knowledge heterogeneity

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    Jeremy Spoon

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available I discuss the use of quantitative, qualitative, and collaborative methods to document and operationalize Indigenous ecological knowledge, using case studies from the Nepalese Himalaya and Great Basin. Both case studies applied results to natural and cultural resource management and interpretation for the public. These approaches attempt to reposition the interview subjects to serve as active contributors to the research and its outcomes. I argue that the study of any body of Indigenous knowledge requires a context-specific methodology and mutually agreed upon processes and outcomes. In the Nepalese Himalaya, I utilized linked quantitative and qualitative methods to understand how tourism influenced Sherpa place-based spiritual concepts, species, and landscape knowledge inside Sagarmatha (Mount Everest National Park and Buffer Zone. In this method, Sherpa collaborated in the development of the research questions, the design, and in the review of results. The research in the Great Basin employed collaborative qualitative methods to document Numic (Southern Paiute and Western Shoshone ecological knowledge of federal lands within their ancestral territory and attempted to piece together fragmented and contested histories of place. In this method, Numic peoples collaborated on the development of research questions and design; however they also conducted most of the interviews. In both cases, I selected particular suites of methods depending on the context and created forums for the translation of this information to applied outcomes. The methods were also improved and innovated through praxis.

  20. ECOLOGICAL URBANIZATION AND THE INVESTIGATION OF THE ECOLOGICAL PLANNING INVESTIGATION OF THE ECOLOGICAL PLANNING APPROACH IN PUBLIC HOUSING: THE CASE OF ISTANBUL-BASAKSEHIR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yıldız AKSOY

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Cities’ abilities to meet not only the needs of today but also the needs of future generations depend on sustainable urban functions. The planning of dwellings, the basic living units of the society, should also be done by using an ecological approach and in this way their sustainability should be maintained. Public housing areas, which have emerged as a solution to the increasing need for housing in today’s cities, should be planned with a sustainable and ecological approach in order to create eco-friendly urban areas within the city. In this paper, the ecological planning approach was examined and the reflections of this approach on the concept of housing were discussed. The necessary criteria for sustainable ecological planning of public housing areas, based on the analyzed successful international ecological planning and ecological public housing practices, were determined. Within the framework of the determined criteria - the predefined ecological planning criteria, Istanbul Basaksehir Public Housing Area was analyzed and evaluated.

  1. 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...

  2. 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).

  3. 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; Amador-Vargas, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27226469

  4. Evolutionary and ecological forces influencing population diversification in Bornean montane passerines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Vivien L; Smith, Brian Tilston; Burner, Ryan C; Rahman, Mustafa Abdul; Lakim, Maklarin; Prawiradilaga, Dewi M; Moyle, Robert G; Sheldon, Frederick H

    2017-08-01

    The mountains of Borneo are well known for their high endemicity and historical role in preserving Southeast Asian rainforest biodiversity, but the diversification of populations inhabiting these mountains is poorly studied. Here we examine the genetic structure of 12 Bornean montane passerines by comparing complete mtDNA ND2 gene sequences of populations spanning the island. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic trees and haplotype networks are examined for common patterns that might signal important historical events or boundaries to dispersal. Morphological and ecological characteristics of each species are also examined using phylogenetic generalized least-squares (PGLS) for correlation with population structure. Populations in only four of the 12 species are subdivided into distinct clades or haplotype groups. Although this subdivision occurred at about the same time in each species (ca. 0.6-0.7Ma), the spatial positioning of the genetic break differs among the species. In two species, northeastern populations are genetically divergent from populations elsewhere on the island. In the other two species, populations in the main Bornean mountain chain, including the northeast, are distinct from those on two isolated peaks in northwestern Borneo. We suggest different historical forces played a role in shaping these two distributions, despite commonality in timing. PGLS analysis showed that only a single characteristic-hand-wing index-is correlated with population structure. Birds with longer wings, and hence potentially more dispersal power, have less population structure. To understand historical forces influencing montane population structure on Borneo, future studies must compare populations across the entirety of Sundaland. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Timbral Environments: An Ecological Approach to the Cognition of Timbre

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Ferrer

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This study formulates an ecological framework that links the environment and human systems, to support further arguments on the influence of timbre in the music appreciation schemata. At the core of the framework is the notion of timbral environments, which is introduced as an epistemological foundation to characterize perceptual cues of internalized representations of music, and to explore how these are expressed in the dynamics of diverse external environments. The proposed notion merges the concepts of macrotimbre (Sandell, 1998 and soundscape (Schafer, 1977 to distinguish between the formulated framework and traditional approaches to timbre, which are mainly concerned with short-term temporal auditory events. The notion of timbral environments enables the focus of timbre research to be shifted from isolated events to socially relevant sounding objects, hence facilitating the identification of connections between semantic descriptors and the physical properties of sounds.

  7. Archipelago colonization by ecologically dissimilar amphibians: evaluating the expectation of common evolutionary history of geographical diffusion in co-distributed rainforest tree frogs in islands of Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Paulette; Su, Yong-Chao; Siler, Cameron D; Barley, Anthony J; Sanguila, Marites B; Diesmos, Arvin C; Brown, Rafe M

    2014-03-01

    Widespread, co-distributed species with limited relative dispersal abilities represent compelling focal taxa for comparative phylogeography. Forest vertebrates in island archipelagos often exhibit pronounced population structure resulting from limited dispersal abilities or capacity to overcome marine barriers to dispersal. The exceptionally diverse Old World tree frogs of the family Rhacophoridae have colonized the forested island archipelagos of Southeast Asia on multiple occasions, entering the islands of Indonesia and the Philippines via a "stepping stone" mode of dispersal along elongate island chains, separated by a series of marine channels. Here we evaluate the prediction that two tightly co-distributed Philippine rhacophorids colonized the archipelago during concomitant timescales and in the same, linear, "island-hopping" progression. We use a new multilocus dataset, utilize dense genetic sampling from the eastern arc of the Philippines, and we take a model-based phylogeographic approach to examining the two species for similar topological patterns of diversification, genetic structure, and timescales of diversification. Our results support some common mechanistic predictions (a general south-to-north polarity of colonization) but not others (timescale for colonization and manner and degree of lineage diversification), suggesting differing biogeographic scenarios of geographical diffusion through the archipelago and unique and idiosyncratic ecological capacities and evolutionary histories of each species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. An introduction to comparative evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jennifer; Shackelford, Todd K

    2013-07-18

    Previously we (Vonk and Shackelford, 2012, in press) proposed an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology into a new field of "comparative evolutionary psychology." This integrative discipline incorporates principles from ethology, ecology, biology, anthropology, and psychology, broadly defined. We present in this special issue a collection of original empirical and theoretical review articles in which leading researchers propose ways to successfully integrate comparative and evolutionary approaches within their particular areas of study. We showcase the key contributions of these articles and highlight several empirical and theoretical challenges, as well as key future directions, for comparative evolutionary psychology.

  10. Landscape changes, traditional ecological knowledge and future scenarios in the Alps: A holistic ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattoni, Clara; Ianni, Elena; Geneletti, Davide; Zatelli, Paolo; Ciolli, Marco

    2017-02-01

    In recent decades, a dramatic landscape change has occurred in the European alpine region: open areas have been naturally recolonized by forests as traditional agricultural and forest activities were reduced and reorganized. Land use changes (LUC) are generally measured through GIS and photo interpretation techniques, but despite many studies focused on this phenomenon and its effects on biodiversity and on the environment in general, there is a lack of information about the transformation of the human-environment connection. The study of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), such as the ability to recognize wild plants used as medicine or food, can suggest how this connection evolved through time and generations. This work investigates the relationship between the natural forest cover expansion that influences the loss of open areas and the loss of TEK. Different data sources and approaches were used to address the topic in all its complexity: a mix of questionnaire investigations, historical maps, GIS techniques and modelling were used to analyse past land use changes and predict future scenarios. The study area, Trentino, Italy, is paradigmatic of the alpine situation, and the land use change in the region is well documented by different studies, which were reviewed and compared in this paper. Our findings suggest that open area loss can be used as a good proxy to highlight the present state and to produce future scenarios of Traditional Ecological Knowledge. This could increase awareness of the loss of TEK in other Alpine regions, where data on TEK are lacking, but where environmental trends are comparable. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Bartoli

    2017-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. An evolutionary approach for solving the job shop scheduling problem in a service industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milad Yousefi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, an evolutionary-based approach based on the discrete particle swarm optimization (DPSO algorithm is developed for finding the optimum schedule of a registration problem in a university. Minimizing the makespan, which is the total length of the schedule, in a real-world case study is considered as the target function. Since the selected case study has the characteristics of job shop scheduling problem (JSSP, it is categorized as a NP-hard problem which makes it difficult to be solved by conventional mathematical approaches in relatively short computation time.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of alternative sex-change pathways in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benvenuto, C; Coscia, I; Chopelet, J; Sala-Bozano, M; Mariani, S

    2017-08-22

    Sequentially hermaphroditic fish change sex from male to female (protandry) or vice versa (protogyny), increasing their fitness by becoming highly fecund females or large dominant males, respectively. These life-history strategies present different social organizations and reproductive modes, from near-random mating in protandry, to aggregate- and harem-spawning in protogyny. Using a combination of theoretical and molecular approaches, we compared variance in reproductive success (V k*) and effective population sizes (N e) in several species of sex-changing fish. We observed that, regardless of the direction of sex change, individuals conform to the same overall strategy, producing more offspring and exhibiting greater V k* in the second sex. However, protogynous species show greater V k*, especially pronounced in haremic species, resulting in an overall reduction of N e compared to protandrous species. Collectively and independently, our results demonstrate that the direction of sex change is a pivotal variable in predicting demographic changes and resilience in sex-changing fish, many of which sustain highly valued and vulnerable fisheries worldwide.

  17. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Primate phylogenomics: developing numerous nuclear non-coding, non-repetitive markers for ecological and phylogenetic applications and analysis of evolutionary rate variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Soojin V

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic analyses are often limited by the availability of appropriate molecular markers. Markers from neutrally evolving genomic regions may be particularly useful for inferring evolutionary histories because they escape the constraints of natural selection. For the majority of taxa however, obtaining such markers is challenging. Advances in genomics have the potential to alleviate the shortage of neutral markers. Here we present a method to develop numerous markers from putatively neutral regions of primate genomes. Results We began with the available whole genome sequences of human, chimpanzee and macaque. Using computational methods, we identified a total of 280 potential amplicons from putatively neutral, non-coding, non-repetitive regions of these genomes. Subsequently we amplified, using experimental methods, many of these amplicons from diverse primate taxa, including a ring-tailed lemur, which is distantly related to the genomic resources. Using a subset of 10 markers, we demonstrate the utility of the developed markers in phylogenetic and evolutionary rate analyses. Particularly, we uncovered substantial evolutionary rate variation among lineages, some of which are previously not reported. Conclusion We successfully developed numerous markers from putatively neutral regions of primate genomes using a strategy combining computational and experimental methods. Applying these markers to phylogenetic and evolutionary rate variation analyses exemplifies the utility of these markers. Diverse ecological and evolutionary analyses will benefit from these markers. Importantly, methods similar to those presented here can be applied to other taxa in the near future.

  19. ECOLOGICAL URBANIZATION AND THE INVESTIGATION OF THE ECOLOGICAL PLANNING APPROACH IN PUBLIC HOUSING: THE CASE OF ISTANBUL-BASAKSEHIR

    OpenAIRE

    Yıldız AKSOY; Semih ADİL

    2013-01-01

    Cities’ abilities to meet not only the needs of today but also the needs of future generations depend on sustainable urban functions. The planning of dwellings, the basic living units of the society, should also be done by using an ecological approach and in this way their sustainability should be maintained. Public housing areas, which have emerged as a solution to the increasing need for housing in today’s cities, should be planned with a sustainable and ecological approach in order to crea...

  20. Transmission Expansion Planning – A Multiyear Dynamic Approach Using a Discrete Evolutionary Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saraiva J. T.

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The basic objective of Transmission Expansion Planning (TEP is to schedule a number of transmission projects along an extended planning horizon minimizing the network construction and operational costs while satisfying the requirement of delivering power safely and reliably to load centres along the horizon. This principle is quite simple, but the complexity of the problem and the impact on society transforms TEP on a challenging issue. This paper describes a new approach to solve the dynamic TEP problem, based on an improved discrete integer version of the Evolutionary Particle Swarm Optimization (EPSO meta-heuristic algorithm. The paper includes sections describing in detail the EPSO enhanced approach, the mathematical formulation of the TEP problem, including the objective function and the constraints, and a section devoted to the application of the developed approach to this problem. Finally, the use of the developed approach is illustrated using a case study based on the IEEE 24 bus 38 branch test system.

  1. Specializations of birds that attend army ant raids: an ecological approach to cognitive and behavioral studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Logan, Corina J; Clayton, Nicola S

    2012-11-01

    Tropical birds forage at army ant raids on several continents. Obligate foraging at army ant raids evolved several times in the Neotropical true antbird family (Thamnophilidae), and recent evidence suggests a diversity of bird species from other families specialize to varying degrees on army ant exploitation. Army ant raids offer access to high prey densities, but the ant colonies are mobile and widely spaced. Successful army ant exploitation requires solving a complex foraging problem because army ant raids are unpredictable in space and time. Birds can counteract the challenges posed by the ants by using strategies that raise their chances of detecting army ant raids, and birds can use additional strategies to track army ant colonies they have located. Some features of army ant biology, such as their conspicuous swarms and columns, above-ground activity, and regular cycles of behavior, provide opportunities for birds to increase their effectiveness at exploiting raids. Changes in sensory, cognitive and behavioral systems may all contribute to specialized army ant exploitation in a bird population. The combination of specializations that are employed may vary independently among bird species and populations. The degree of army ant exploitation by birds varies geographically with latitude and elevation, and with historical patterns such as centers of distribution of obligate thamnophilid antbirds. We predict the set of specializations a given bird population exhibits will depend on local ecology, as well as phylogenetic history. Comparative approaches that focus on these patterns may indicate ecological and evolutionary factors that have shaped the costs and benefits of this foraging strategy. The development of army ant exploitation in individual birds is poorly understood, and individual expression of these specializations may depend on a combination of genetic adaptation with cognitive plasticity, possibly including social and experiential learning. Future

  2. Reconstructing Networks from Profit Sequences in Evolutionary Games via a Multiobjective Optimization Approach with Lasso Initialization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kai; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shuai

    2016-11-01

    Evolutionary games (EG) model a common type of interactions in various complex, networked, natural and social systems. Given such a system with only profit sequences being available, reconstructing the interacting structure of EG networks is fundamental to understand and control its collective dynamics. Existing approaches used to handle this problem, such as the lasso, a convex optimization method, need a user-defined constant to control the tradeoff between the natural sparsity of networks and measurement error (the difference between observed data and simulated data). However, a shortcoming of these approaches is that it is not easy to determine these key parameters which can maximize the performance. In contrast to these approaches, we first model the EG network reconstruction problem as a multiobjective optimization problem (MOP), and then develop a framework which involves multiobjective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA), followed by solution selection based on knee regions, termed as MOEANet, to solve this MOP. We also design an effective initialization operator based on the lasso for MOEA. We apply the proposed method to reconstruct various types of synthetic and real-world networks, and the results show that our approach is effective to avoid the above parameter selecting problem and can reconstruct EG networks with high accuracy.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. ECOLOGICAL URBANIZATION AND THE INVESTIGATION OF THE ECOLOGICAL PLANNING INVESTIGATION OF THE ECOLOGICAL PLANNING APPROACH IN PUBLIC HOUSING: THE CASE OF ISTANBUL-BASAKSEHIR

    OpenAIRE

    Yıldız AKSOY; Semih ADİL

    2014-01-01

    Cities’ abilities to meet not only the needs of today but also the needs of future generations depend on sustainable urban functions. The planning of dwellings, the basic living units of the society, should also be done by using an ecological approach and in this way their sustainability should be maintained. Public housing areas, which have emerged as a solution to the increasing need for housing in today’s cities, should be planned with a sustainable and ecological approach in order to crea...

  6. Evolutionary approach for spatial architecture layout design enhanced by an agent-based topology finding system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zifeng Guo

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a method for the automatic generation of a spatial architectural layout from a user-specified architectural program. The proposed approach binds a multi-agent topology finding system and an evolutionary optimization process. The former generates topology satisfied layouts for further optimization, while the latter focuses on refining the layouts to achieve predefined architectural criteria. The topology finding process narrows the search space and increases the performance in subsequent optimization. Results imply that the spatial layout modeling and the multi-floor topology are handled.

  7. Toward an integrative approach of cognitive neuroscientific and evolutionary psychological studies of art.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Smedt, Johan; De Cruz, Helen

    2010-11-28

    This paper examines explanations for human artistic behavior in two reductionist research programs, cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology. Despite their different methodological outlooks, both approaches converge on an explanation of art production and appreciation as byproducts of normal perceptual and motivational cognitive skills that evolved in response to problems originally not related to art, such as the discrimination of salient visual stimuli and speech sounds. The explanatory power of this reductionist framework does not obviate the need for higher-level accounts of art from the humanities, such as aesthetics, art history or anthropology of art.

  8. Introduction: Evolutionary processes in language and culture group

    OpenAIRE

    Jordan, F.; Huber, B.

    2013-01-01

    This special issue “Evolutionary Approaches to Cross-Cultural Anthropology” brings together scholars from the fields of behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, and cultural evolution whose cross-cultural work draws on evolutionary theory and methods. The papers here are a subset of those presented at a symposium we organized for the 2011 meeting of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research held in Charleston, South Carolina. Collectively, our authors show how an engagement with cultural va...

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. The basis function approach for modeling autocorrelation in ecological data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hefley, Trevor J; Broms, Kristin M; Brost, Brian M; Buderman, Frances E; Kay, Shannon L; Scharf, Henry R; Tipton, John R; Williams, Perry J; Hooten, Mevin B

    2017-03-01

    Analyzing ecological data often requires modeling the autocorrelation created by spatial and temporal processes. Many seemingly disparate statistical methods used to account for autocorrelation can be expressed as regression models that include basis functions. Basis functions also enable ecologists to modify a wide range of existing ecological models in order to account for autocorrelation, which can improve inference and predictive accuracy. Furthermore, understanding the properties of basis functions is essential for evaluating the fit of spatial or time-series models, detecting a hidden form of collinearity, and analyzing large data sets. We present important concepts and properties related to basis functions and illustrate several tools and techniques ecologists can use when modeling autocorrelation in ecological data. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Amitabh Joshi studies and teaches evolutionary ' genetics and population ecology at the Jawaharlal. Nehru Centre for Advanced. Scientific Research,. Bangalore. His current research interests are in life- history, evolution, the evolutionary genetics of biological clocks, the evolution of ecological specialization dynamics. He.

  13. Hybrid Evolutionary Approaches to Maximum Lifetime Routing and Energy Efficiency in Sensor Mesh Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahat, Alma A M; Everson, Richard M; Fieldsend, Jonathan E

    2015-01-01

    Mesh network topologies are becoming increasingly popular in battery-powered wireless sensor networks, primarily because of the extension of network range. However, multihop mesh networks suffer from higher energy costs, and the routing strategy employed directly affects the lifetime of nodes with limited energy resources. Hence when planning routes there are trade-offs to be considered between individual and system-wide battery lifetimes. We present a multiobjective routing optimisation approach using hybrid evolutionary algorithms to approximate the optimal trade-off between the minimum lifetime and the average lifetime of nodes in the network. In order to accomplish this combinatorial optimisation rapidly, our approach prunes the search space using k-shortest path pruning and a graph reduction method that finds candidate routes promoting long minimum lifetimes. When arbitrarily many routes from a node to the base station are permitted, optimal routes may be found as the solution to a well-known linear program. We present an evolutionary algorithm that finds good routes when each node is allowed only a small number of paths to the base station. On a real network deployed in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, these solutions, using only three paths per node, are able to achieve minimum lifetimes of over 99% of the optimum linear program solution's time to first sensor battery failure.

  14. A Consensus Tree Approach for Reconstructing Human Evolutionary History and Detecting Population Substructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Ming-Chi; Blelloch, Guy; Ravi, R.; Schwartz, Russell

    The random accumulation of variations in the human genome over time implicitly encodes a history of how human populations have arisen, dispersed, and intermixed since we emerged as a species. Reconstructing that history is a challenging computational and statistical problem but has important applications both to basic research and to the discovery of genotype-phenotype correlations. In this study, we present a novel approach to inferring human evolutionary history from genetic variation data. Our approach uses the idea of consensus trees, a technique generally used to reconcile species trees from divergent gene trees, adapting it to the problem of finding the robust relationships within a set of intraspecies phylogenies derived from local regions of the genome. We assess the quality of the method on two large-scale genetic variation data sets: the HapMap Phase II and the Human Genome Diversity Project. Qualitative comparison to a consensus model of the evolution of modern human population groups shows that our inferences closely match our best current understanding of human evolutionary history. A further comparison with results of a leading method for the simpler problem of population substructure assignment verifies that our method provides comparable accuracy in identifying meaningful population subgroups in addition to inferring the relationships among them.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Action-dependent perceptual invariants: from ecological to sensorimotor approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossio, Matteo; Taraborelli, Dario

    2008-12-01

    Ecological and sensorimotor theories of perception build on the notion of action-dependent invariants as the basic structures underlying perceptual capacities. In this paper we contrast the assumptions these theories make on the nature of perceptual information modulated by action. By focusing on the question, how movement specifies perceptual information, we show that ecological and sensorimotor theories endorse substantially different views about the role of action in perception. In particular we argue that ecological invariants are characterized with reference to transformations produced in the sensory array by movement: such invariants are transformation-specific but do not imply motor-specificity. In contrast, sensorimotor theories assume that perceptual invariants are intrinsically tied to specific movements. We show that this difference leads to different empirical predictions and we submit that the distinction between motor equivalence and motor-specificity needs further clarification in order to provide a more constrained account of action/perception relations.

  19. Yeast evolution and ecology meet genomics

    OpenAIRE

    Dunham, Maitreya J.; Louis, Edward J.

    2010-01-01

    The EMBO Conference on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology in Yeast covered a broad range of interests. The applications of genomic methods to ecological and evolutionary questions emphasize that the yeasts are poised to make significant contributions to these fields.

  20. METHODICAL APPROACHES TO ECOLOGICAL MAPPING OF CITY TERRITORY (ON THE EXAMPLE OFKHABAROVSK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. P. Mayorova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In article methodical approaches in ecological mapping and offers on structure of layers of a card of an ecological condition of Khabarovsk are considered. Examples of layers of ‘Dump’ and ‘Landfill and waste Processors’ in QGIS are resulted.

  1. Advantages and challenges associated with implementing an ecosystem services approach to ecological risk assessment for chemicals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maltby, Lorraine; Brink, van den Paul J.; Faber, Jack H.; Marshall, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    The ecosystem services (ES) approach is gaining broad interest in regulatory and policy arenas for use in landscape management and ecological risk assessment. It has the potential to bring greater ecological relevance to the setting of environmental protection goals and to the assessment of the

  2. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Sigmund, Karl

    2004-02-01

    Darwinian dynamics based on mutation and selection form the core of mathematical models for adaptation and coevolution of biological populations. The evolutionary outcome is often not a fitness-maximizing equilibrium but can include oscillations and chaos. For studying frequency-dependent selection, game-theoretic arguments are more appropriate than optimization algorithms. Replicator and adaptive dynamics describe short- and long-term evolution in phenotype space and have found applications ranging from animal behavior and ecology to speciation, macroevolution, and human language. Evolutionary game theory is an essential component of a mathematical and computational approach to biology.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21801435

  8. The Ecology of Language Evolution. Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mufwene, Salikoko S.

    This book explores the development of creoles and other new languages, highlighting conceptual and methodological issues for genetic linguistics and discussing the significance of ecologies that influence language evolution. It presents examples of changes in the structure, function, and vitality of languages, suggesting that similar ecologies…

  9. An Ecological System Approach to Adolescent Smoking Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiium, Nora; Wold, Bente

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to simultaneously examine the effect of factors related to school, leisure, family and the individual on adolescent smoking. These determining factors occupy the micro- and mesosystems of Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Theory. Data were collected using questionnaires from a nationally representative sample of…

  10. Ecological and evolutionary conditions for fruit abortion to regulate pollinating seed-eaters and increase plant production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J. Nathaniel; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2002-01-01

    Coevolved mutualisms, such as those between senita cacti, yuccas, and their respective obligate pollinators, benefit both species involved in the interaction. However, in these pollination mutualisms the pollinator's larvae impose a cost on plants through consumption of developing seeds and fruit. The effects of pollinators on benefits and costs are expected to vary with the abundance of pollinators, because large population sizes result in more eggs and larval seed-eaters. Here, we develop the hypothesis that fruit abortion, which is common in yucca, senita, and plants in general, could in some cases have the function of limiting pollinator abundance and, thereby, increasing fruit production. Using a general steady-state model of fruit production and pollinator dynamics, we demonstrate that plants involved in pollinating seed-eater mutualisms can increase their fecundity by randomly aborting fruit. We show that the ecological conditions under which fruit abortion can improve plants fecundity are not unusual. They are best met when the plant is long-lived, the population dynamics of the pollinator are much faster than those of the plant, the loss of one fruit via abortion kills a larva that would have the expectation of destroying more than one fruit through its future egg laying as an adult moth, and the effects of fruit abortion on pollinator abundance are spatially localized. We then use the approach of adaptive dynamics to find conditions under which a fruit abortion strategy based on regulating the pollinator population could feasibly evolve in this type of plant–pollinator interaction.

  11. Characteristics associated with the application of an ecological approach to preventing childhood obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stark, Christina M; Devine, Carol M; Dollahite, Jamie S

    2017-01-01

    Applying an ecological approach to childhood obesity prevention requires a new way of thinking and working for many community-based practitioners who are used to focusing on individual behaviour change. The present study investigated individual and organizational characteristics associated with the application of an ecological approach by practitioners 6 months post-training. Individual and organizational characteristics and outcomes of a 6-week online training course were assessed at pre-course, post-course and 6-month follow-up. The application of an ecological approach was measured by three outcomes (application of course content, implementation of an action plan and trying a different approach) and analysed using a generalized estimating equation model with a binomial distribution and logit link and linear mixed models. An online course for participants in the USA and abroad. Public health nutrition and youth development educators and their community partners, and other community practitioners, who completed the course and all three surveys (n 240). One individual characteristic (networking utility) and three organizational characteristics (ecological approach within job scope, funding, course content applied to work) were positively and significantly associated with the application of an ecological approach (Pwork experience (P<0·05). Training of community practitioners and the scope and funding of their positions should explicitly emphasize the usefulness or utility of networking and the use of an ecological approach for preventing childhood obesity.

  12. Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  13. Managing ecological drought and flood within a nature-based approach. Reality or illusion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halbac-Cotoara-Zamfir, Rares; Finger, David; Stolte, Jannes

    2017-04-01

    Water hazards events, emphasized by an improperly implemented water management, may lead to ecological degradation of ecosystems. Traditional water management has generally sought to dampen the natural variability of water flows in different types of ecosystems to attain steady and dependable water supplies for domestic and industrial uses, irrigation, navigation, and hydropower, and to moderate extreme water conditions such as floods and droughts. Ecological drought can be defined as a prolonged and widespread deficit in available water supplies — including changes in natural and managed hydrology — that create multiple stresses across ecosystems, becomes a critical concern among researchers being a phenomenon much more complex than the other types of drought and requesting a specific approach. The impact of drought on ecosystem services lead to the necessity of identifying and implementing eco-reclamation measures which can generate better ecological answers to droughts. Ecological flood is the type of flood analyzed in full consideration with ecological issues, in the analyze process being approached 4 key aspects: connectivity of water system, landscapes of river and lakes, mobility of water bodies, and safety of flood control. As a consequence, both ecological drought and ecological flood represents high challenges for ecological sustainable water management in the process of identifying structural and non-structural measures for covering human demands without causing affected ecosystems to degrade or simplify. An ecological flood and drought control system will combine both the needs of the ecosystems as well as and flood and drought control measures. The components ecosystems' natural flow regime defined by magnitude, frequency, duration and peak timing (high or low flows) interact to maintain the ecosystem productivity. This productivity can be impaired by altered flow regimes generally due to structural measures designed to control flooding. However

  14. Introducing Flexibility to Complex, Resilient Socio-Ecological Systems: A Comparative Analysis of Economics, Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Evolutionary Biology, and Supply Chain Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivek Anand Asokan

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a framework incorporating flexibility as a characteristic is proposed for designing complex, resilient socio-ecological systems. In an interconnected complex system, flexibility allows prompt deployment of resources where they are needed and is crucial for both innovation and robustness. A comparative analysis of flexible manufacturing systems, economics, evolutionary biology, and supply chain management is conducted to identify the most important characteristics of flexibility. Evolutionary biology emphasises overlapping functions and multi-functionality, which allow a system with structurally different elements to perform the same function, enhancing resilience. In economics, marginal cost and marginal expected profit are factors that are considered to be important in incorporating flexibility while making changes to the system. In flexible manufacturing systems, the size of choice sets is important in creating flexibility, as initial actions preserve more options for future actions that will enhance resilience. Given the dynamic nature of flexibility, identifying the characteristics that can lead to flexibility will introduce a crucial dimension to designing resilient and sustainable socio-ecological systems with a long-term perspective in mind.

  15. 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.

  16. Evolutionary Game Analysis of Competitive Information Dissemination on Social Networks: An Agent-Based Computational Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Sun

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Social networks are formed by individuals, in which personalities, utility functions, and interaction rules are made as close to reality as possible. Taking the competitive product-related information as a case, we proposed a game-theoretic model for competitive information dissemination in social networks. The model is presented to explain how human factors impact competitive information dissemination which is described as the dynamic of a coordination game and players’ payoff is defined by a utility function. Then we design a computational system that integrates the agent, the evolutionary game, and the social network. The approach can help to visualize the evolution of % of competitive information adoption and diffusion, grasp the dynamic evolution features in information adoption game over time, and explore microlevel interactions among users in different network structure under various scenarios. We discuss several scenarios to analyze the influence of several factors on the dissemination of competitive information, ranging from personality of individuals to structure of networks.

  17. Machine learning approach to predict protein phosphorylation sites by incorporating evolutionary information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sikder Abdur

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most of the existing in silico phosphorylation site prediction systems use machine learning approach that requires preparing a good set of classification data in order to build the classification knowledge. Furthermore, phosphorylation is catalyzed by kinase enzymes and hence the kinase information of the phosphorylated sites has been used as major classification data in most of the existing systems. Since the number of kinase annotations in protein sequences is far less than that of the proteins being sequenced to date, the prediction systems that use the information found from the small clique of kinase annotated proteins can not be considered as completely perfect for predicting outside the clique. Hence the systems are certainly not generalized. In this paper, a novel generalized prediction system, PPRED (Phosphorylation PREDictor is proposed that ignores the kinase information and only uses the evolutionary information of proteins for classifying phosphorylation sites. Results Experimental results based on cross validations and an independent benchmark reveal the significance of using the evolutionary information alone to classify phosphorylation sites from protein sequences. The prediction performance of the proposed system is better than those of the existing prediction systems that also do not incorporate kinase information. The system is also comparable to systems that incorporate kinase information in predicting such sites. Conclusions The approach presented in this paper provides an efficient way to identify phosphorylation sites in a given protein primary sequence that would be a valuable information for the molecular biologists working on protein phosphorylation sites and for bioinformaticians developing generalized prediction systems for the post translational modifications like phosphorylation or glycosylation. PPRED is publicly available at the URL http://www.cse.univdhaka.edu/~ashis/ppred/index.php.

  18. Incorporating evolutionary processes into population viability models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierson, J.C.; Beissinger, S.R.; Bragg, J.G.; Coates, D.J.; Oostermeijer, J.G.B.; Sunnucks, P.; Schumaker, N.H.; Trotter, M.V.; Young, A.G.

    2015-01-01

    We examined how ecological and evolutionary (eco-evo) processes in population dynamics could be better integrated into population viability analysis (PVA). Complementary advances in computation and population genomics can be combined into an eco-evo PVA to offer powerful new approaches to understand

  19. Building Interdisciplinary Research Capacity: a Key Challenge for Ecological Approaches in Public Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay P. Galway

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The shortcomings of public health research informed by reductionist and fragmented biomedical approaches and the emergence of wicked problems are fueling a renewed interest in ecological approaches in public health. Despite the central role of interdisciplinarity in the context of ecological approaches in public health research, inadequate attention has been given to the specific challenge of doing interdisciplinary research in practice. As a result, important knowledge gaps exist with regards to the practice of interdisciplinary research. We argue that explicit attention towards the challenge of doing interdisciplinary research is critical in order to effectively apply ecological approaches to public health issues. This paper draws on our experiences developing and conducting an interdisciplinary research project exploring the links among climate change, water, and health to highlight five specific insights which we see as relevant to building capacity for interdisciplinary research specifically, and which have particular relevance to addressing the integrative challenges demanded by ecological approaches to address public health issues. These lessons include: (i the need for frameworks that facilitate integration; (ii emphasize learning-by-doing; (iii the benefits of examining issues at multiple scales; (iv make the implicit, explicit; and (v the need for reflective practice. By synthesizing and sharing experiences gained by engaging in interdisciplinary inquiries using an ecological approach, this paper responds to a growing need to build interdisciplinary research capacity as a means for advancing the ecological public health agenda more broadly.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Quantitative genetics approaches to study evolutionary processes in ecotoxicology; a perspective from research on the evolution of resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klerks, Paul L; Xie, Lingtian; Levinton, Jeffrey S

    2011-05-01

    Quantitative genetic approaches are often used to study evolutionary processes in ecotoxicology. This paper focuses on the evolution of resistance to environmental contaminants-an important evolutionary process in ecotoxicology. Three approaches are commonly employed to study the evolution of resistance: (1) Assessing whether a contaminant-exposed population has an increased resistance relative to a control population, using either spatial or temporal comparisons. (2) Estimating a population's heritability of resistance. (3) Investigating responses in a laboratory selection experiment. All three approaches provide valuable information on the potential for contaminants to affect a population's evolutionary trajectory via natural selection. However, all three approaches have inherent limitations, including difficulty in separating the various genetic and environmental variance components, responses being dependent on specific population and testing conditions, and inability to fully capture natural conditions in the laboratory. In order to maximize insights into the long-term consequences of adaptation, it is important to not just look at resistance itself, but also at the fitness consequences and at correlated responses in characteristics other than resistance. The rapid development of molecular genetics has yielded alternatives to the "black box" approach of quantitative genetics, but the presence of different limitations and strengths in the two fields means that they should be viewed as complementary rather than exchangeable. Quantitative genetics is benefiting from the incorporation of molecular tools and remains an important field for studying evolutionary toxicology. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

  3. Evolutionary macroecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Macroecology focuses on ecological questions at broad spatial and temporal scales, providing a statistical description of patterns in species abundance, distribution and diversity. More recently, historical components of these patterns have begun to be investigated more deeply. We tentatively refer to the practice of explicitly taking species history into account, both analytically and conceptually, as ‘evolutionary macroecology’. We discuss how the evolutionary dimension can be incorporated into macroecology through two orthogonal and complementary data types: fossils and phylogenies. Research traditions dealing with these data have developed more‐or‐less independently over the last 20–30 years, but merging them will help elucidate the historical components of diversity gradients and the evolutionary dynamics of species’ traits. Here we highlight conceptual and methodological advances in merging these two research traditions and review the viewpoints and toolboxes that can, in combination, help address patterns and unveil processes at temporal and spatial macro‐scales.

  4. Incorporating Spatial Structures in Ecological Inference: An Information Theory Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa Bernardini Papalia

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduces an Information Theory-based method for modeling economic aggregates and estimating their sub-group (sub-area decomposition when no individual or sub-group data are available. This method offers a flexible framework for modeling the underlying variation in sub-group indicators, by addressing the spatial dependency problem. A basic ecological inference problem, which allows for spatial heterogeneity and dependence, is presented with the aim of first estimating the model at the aggregate level, and then of employing the estimated coefficients to obtain the sub-group level indicators.

  5. Capturing chloroplast variation for molecular ecology studies: a simple next generation sequencing approach applied to a rainforest tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, Hannah; van der Merwe, Marlien; Delaney, Sven K; Edwards, Mark A; Henry, Robert J; McIntosh, Emma; Rymer, Paul D; Milner, Melita L; Siow, Juelian; Rossetto, Maurizio

    2013-03-14

    With high quantity and quality data production and low cost, next generation sequencing has the potential to provide new opportunities for plant phylogeographic studies on single and multiple species. Here we present an approach for in silicio chloroplast DNA assembly and single nucleotide polymorphism detection from short-read shotgun sequencing. The approach is simple and effective and can be implemented using standard bioinformatic tools. The chloroplast genome of Toona ciliata (Meliaceae), 159,514 base pairs long, was assembled from shotgun sequencing on the Illumina platform using de novo assembly of contigs. To evaluate its practicality, value and quality, we compared the short read assembly with an assembly completed using 454 data obtained after chloroplast DNA isolation. Sanger sequence verifications indicated that the Illumina dataset outperformed the longer read 454 data. Pooling of several individuals during preparation of the shotgun library enabled detection of informative chloroplast SNP markers. Following validation, we used the identified SNPs for a preliminary phylogeographic study of T. ciliata in Australia and to confirm low diversity across the distribution. Our approach provides a simple method for construction of whole chloroplast genomes from shotgun sequencing of whole genomic DNA using short-read data and no available closely related reference genome (e.g. from the same species or genus). The high coverage of Illumina sequence data also renders this method appropriate for multiplexing and SNP discovery and therefore a useful approach for landscape level studies of evolutionary ecology.

  6. 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.

  7. Resilience amongst Older Colombians Living in Poverty: an Ecological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Kate M; Reyes-Rodriguez, Maria F; Altamar, Paula; Soulsby, Laura K

    2016-12-01

    Older Colombians face significant adversities: poverty, violence and displacement. However, there is evidence that Latinos are often resilient. We examine resilience in older Colombians living in poverty using an ecological framework that identifies three levels: individual; community; and societal. In this paper we examine data from 16 semi-structured interviews with older Colombians that explore resilience within the context of poverty. We analyze our data using three stages: (1) modified grounded theory; (2) assignment of resilience status; (3) identification of components of the ecological framework which contribute to resilience in these participants. The most striking feature is that some participants are able to adapt to their situation, demonstrating resilience, whilst others are not. Individual characteristics such as psychological and material resources contribute to resilience. At the community level, family, social support, participation and cohesion promote resilience. Finally, at the societal level, social and welfare services, finance, religion and social policy, are important factors. These different levels of resilience are co-dependent, and we illustrate how this is so. We suggest that older Colombians living in poverty often demonstrate resilience, but that more can be done to enhance their lives. This includes interventions at the individual and community levels alongside changes in social policy.

  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. 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.

  10. An ecological approach to physical activity in African American women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walcott-McQuigg, J A; Zerwic, J J; Dan, A; Kelley, M A

    2001-12-01

    Physical activity in women has assumed increasing significance as a policy issue as a result of the release of the 1996 Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. This report revealed that women in the United States were less likely than men to adhere to the recommended guidelines for physical activity. African American women are less likely than white women to participate in leisure time physical activity across age, occupational, and income groups. The purpose of this study was to use the Ecological Model of Health Promotion to explore policy, environmental, and individual factors influencing physical activity of middle- to older-aged African American women in a mixed income community in a large midwestern city. Focus group discussions were held with 3 groups of women -- administrators/community leaders, exercisers, and nonexercisers. Thirty-three women between the ages of 40 and 78 participated in the study. The women identified 6 themes influencing physical activity: perceptions of physical activity and exercise; perceived barriers to exercise; perceived benefits of and motivators to exercise; past and present opportunities for exercise; factors that enhance the successful delivery of an exercise program; and coalition building to deliver an exercise program to women in the community. The results of this study reveal that to successfully increase physical activity in an ethnic urban community, researchers and other concerned individuals need to collaborate at multiple ecological levels, with an initial emphasis on establishing coalitions between institutions, community groups, policy makers, and individuals.

  11. 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.

  12. Mitogenome sequencing reveals shallow evolutionary histories and recent divergence time between morphologically and ecologically distinct European whitefish (Coregonus spp.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Magnus W.; Hansen, Michael Møller; Orlando, Ludovic

    2012-01-01

    an alternate use of such data to recover relationships and population history of closely related lineages with a shallow evolutionary history. Using a GS-FLX platform, we sequenced 106 mitogenomes from the Coregonus lavaretus (Europe) and Coregonus clupeaformis (North America) species complexes to investigate...... the evolutionary history of the endangered Danish North Sea houting (NSH) and other closely related Danish and Baltic European lake whitefish (ELW). Two well-supported clades were found within both ELW and NSH, probably reflecting historical introgression via Baltic migrants. Although ELW and NSH......-dependency effects. The estimate of c. 2700 bp was remarkably similar to results obtained using microsatellite markers. Within North American C. clupeaformis, the divergence time between the two lineages (Atlantic and Acadian) was estimated as between 20 000 and 60 000 bp. Under the assumption that NSH and ELW...

  13. 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...

  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

    2014-05-01

    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.

  15. Institutional and evolutionary approach to the assessment of the socio-economic development of indigenous peoples of the North

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. G. Loginov

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available This article, prepared under a grant RHF and integration project with UB RAS Siberian Branch, discusses institutional changes in the environment of indigenous peoples in the period of economic transformation in Russia. The development of institutional economics allowed to combine the tools of evolutionary analysis of the dynamics of development of the formalism of transformation of economic institutions. For complex characteristics of the object of research in the study of the problems of socio-economic development of the northern territories combined institutional and evolutionary approach, economic, sociological and geographic methods.

  16. Rationale for an ecological risk approach for South African water ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    drinie

    2001-07-03

    Jul 3, 2001 ... use of a Bayesian statistical approach rather than a strict frequentist approach may be indicated (Frey, 1993). Spatial heterogeneity and stochasticity also impact on many processes in the aquatic environment, such as rainfall and sediment- solute-water interaction, which underlies the variability in the.

  17. Trait-based approaches in plant ecology - towards a theory of form and function

    OpenAIRE

    Falster, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Talk presented at the workshop "Trait-based approaches to Ocean Life", held in Copenhagen (Denmark) from 26-28 August 2013 at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters (H.C. Andersens Boulevard 35, Copenhagen, Denmark). The workshop was organised by the Centre for Ocean Life. I was invited to give an overview of trait based approaches in plant ecology.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Factors Influencing Sedentary Behaviour in Older Adults: An Ecological Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Weir

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Sedentary behaviour is negatively associated with several health outcomes and is particularly problematic among older adults. Knowledge translation tools and public health promotion strategies are needed; however, little evidence is available to inform framing of such tools or development of intervention programs. The aim of the present study was to use data on the perceptions of sedentary time and the programs or supports older adults identify as important for reducing their sedentary time, to inform knowledge translation strategies targeting this population. Focus groups were conducted with four groups of older adults (n = 26 at local seniors' centres (Ontario, Canada. Participants were 74 ± 8.5 years old and were engaging in both sedentary and physical activities in a social environment. Using the Ecological Model for sedentary time in adults, we categorized data into leisure time, household, transport and occupation domains. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors that worked to either discourage or promote sedentary behaviour were identified. Drawing on both groupings of data, results were synthesized to inform public health strategies on appropriate messaging and better uptake of programming and guidelines. For example, successful programs developed on the topic will need to include a social component and a mentally stimulating component, as these were identified as critical for enjoyment and motivation. It was clear from this analysis that sedentary time reduction strategies will need to consider the different domains in which older adults accumulate sedentary time.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. An Evolutionary Approach to the Soft Error Mitigation Technique for Cell-Based Design

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PARK, J. K.

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present a soft error mitigation algorithm that searches for the proper gate sizes within constrained gate-level designs. The individual gate sizing has an impact on the former optimization results and degrades the quality of the solution. In order to address this inefficiency, we utilize a modified topological sort that preserves the preceding local optima. Using a new local searcher, a hybrid genetic optimization technique for soft error mitigation is proposed. This evolutionary search algorithm has general genetic operators: the initialization of the population, crossover, mutation and selection operators. The local searcher consists of two subsequent heuristics. These search algorithms make the individual chromosome move to better search regions in a short time and then, the population acquires various candidates for the global optimum with the help of other genetic operators. The experiments show that the proposed genetic algorithm achieves an approximately 90% reduction in the number of soft errors when compared to the conventional greedy approach with at most 30% overhead for the area and critical path delay.

  4. An evolutionary metabolic engineering approach for enhancing lipogenesis in Yarrowia lipolytica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Leqian; Pan, Anny; Spofford, Caitlin; Zhou, Nijia; Alper, Hal S

    2015-05-01

    Lipogenic organisms provide an ideal platform for biodiesel and oleochemical production. Through our previous rational metabolic engineering efforts, lipogenesis titers in Yarrowia lipolytica were significantly enhanced. However, the resulting strain still suffered from decreased biomass generation rates. Here, we employ a rapid evolutionary metabolic engineering approach linked with a floating cell enrichment process to improve lipogenesis rates, titers, and yields. Through this iterative process, we were able to ultimately improve yields from our prior strain by 55% to achieve production titers of 39.1g/L with upwards of 76% of the theoretical maximum yield of conversation. Isolated cells were saturated with up to 87% lipid content. An average specific productivity of 0.56g/L/h was achieved with a maximum instantaneous specific productivity of 0.89g/L/h during the lipid production phase in fermentation. Genomic sequencing of the evolved strains revealed a link between a decrease/loss of function mutation of succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase, uga2, suggesting the importance of gamma-aminobutyric acid assimilation in lipogenesis. This linkage was validated through gene deletion experiments. This work presents an improved host strain that can serve as a platform for efficient oleochemical production. Copyright © 2015 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of chronic stress on the auditory system and fear learning: an evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino-Subiabre, Alexies

    2013-01-01

    Stress is a complex biological reaction common to all living organisms that allows them to adapt to their environments. Chronic stress alters the dendritic architecture and function of the limbic brain areas that affect memory, learning, and emotional processing. This review summarizes our research about chronic stress effects on the auditory system, providing the details of how we developed the main hypotheses that currently guide our research. The aims of our studies are to (1) determine how chronic stress impairs the dendritic morphology of the main nuclei of the rat auditory system, the inferior colliculus (auditory mesencephalon), the medial geniculate nucleus (auditory thalamus), and the primary auditory cortex; (2) correlate the anatomic alterations with the impairments of auditory fear learning; and (3) investigate how the stress-induced alterations in the rat limbic system may spread to nonlimbic areas, affecting specific sensory system, such as the auditory and olfactory systems, and complex cognitive functions, such as auditory attention. Finally, this article gives a new evolutionary approach to understanding the neurobiology of stress and the stress-related disorders.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Evolutionary genomics of environmental pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Chemical toxins have been a persistent source of evolutionary challenges throughout the history of life, and deep within the genomic storehouse of evolutionary history lay ancient adaptations to diverse chemical poisons. However, the rate of change of contemporary environments mediated by human-introduced pollutants is rapidly screening this storehouse and severely testing the adaptive potential of many species. In this chapter, we briefly review the deep history of evolutionary adaptation to environmental toxins, and then proceed to describe the attributes of stressors and populations that may facilitate contemporary adaptation to pollutants introduced by humans. We highlight that phenotypes derived to enable persistence in polluted habitats may be multi-dimensional, requiring global genome-scale tools and approaches to uncover their mechanistic basis, and include examples of recent progress in the field. The modern tools of genomics offer promise for discovering how pollutants interact with genomes on physiological timescales, and also for discovering what genomic attributes of populations may enable resistance to pollutants over evolutionary timescales. Through integration of these sophisticated genomics tools and approaches with an understanding of the deep historical forces that shaped current populations, a more mature understanding of the mechanistic basis of contemporary ecological-evolutionary dynamics should emerge.

  10. A possibilistic approach to diverse-stressor aquatic ecological risk ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A possibilistic approach to assess the risk of co-occurring stressors in an aquatic ecosystem based on the use of fuzzy sets is illustrated at the hand of a hypothetical case study. There are two aspects of importance: a fuzzy stressor response relationship where the response may have reference to a lower level end-point, ...

  11. Bullying: An Ecological Approach to Intervention in Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornby, Garry

    2016-01-01

    Bullying is a major concern in education worldwide, particularly in countries such as New Zealand that are reported to have high rates of bullying in schools. In this article it is proposed that, in order to effectively prevent or substantially reduce bullying in schools, a systemic approach needs to be adopted, with interventions organized at…

  12. Multi-shaped-beam (MSB): an evolutionary approach for high throughput e-beam lithography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slodowski, Matthias; Döring, Hans-Joachim; Stolberg, Ines A.; Dorl, Wolfgang

    2010-09-01

    The development of next-generation lithography (NGL) such as EUV, NIL and maskless lithography (ML2) are driven by the half pitch reduction and increasing integration density of integrated circuits down to the 22nm node and beyond. For electron beam direct write (EBDW) several revolutionary pixel based concepts have been under development since several years. By contrast an evolutionary and full package high throughput multi electron-beam approach called Multi Shaped Beam (MSB), which is based on proven Variable Shaped Beam (VSB) technology, will be presented in this paper. In the recent decade VSB has already been applied in EBDW for device learning, early prototyping and low volume fabrication in production environments for both silicon and compound semiconductor applications. Above all the high resolution and the high flexibility due to the avoidance of expensive masks for critical layers made it an attractive solution for advanced technology nodes down to 32nm half pitch. The limitation in throughput of VSB has been mitigated in a major extension of VSB by the qualification of the cell projection (CP) technology concurrently used with VSB. With CP more pixels in complex shapes can be projected in one shot, enabling a remarkable shot count reduction for repetitive pattern. The most advanced step to extend the mature VSB technology for higher throughput is its parallelization in one column applying MEMS based multi deflection arrays. With this Vistec MSB technology, multiple shaped beamlets are generated simultaneously, each controllable individually in shape size and beam on time. Compared to pixel based ML2 approaches the MSB technology enables the maskless, variable and parallel projection of a large number of pixels per beamlet times the number of beamlets. Basic concepts, exposure examples and performance results of each of the described throughput enhancement steps will be presented.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Yeast evolution and ecology meet genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, Maitreya J; Louis, Edward J

    2011-01-01

    The first EMBO Conference on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology in Yeast was held in Heidelberg, Germany, at the end of September 2010. What might sound like a rather narrow topic actually covered a broad range of interests, approaches, and systems and generated a great deal of excitement among participants. The applications of genomic methods to ecological and evolutionary questions emphasize that the yeasts are poised to make significant contributions to these fields.

  18. 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.

  19. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-19

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause 'evolutionary suicide'. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called 'evolutionary trapping'. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps.

  20. THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR ADULTS OF EJA: ONE ECOLOGICAL APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda de Brito Kulmann Conzatti

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to understand the meaning that mature adult students ascribed to their return to formal education at the Youth and Adult Education (EJA and their perception of the changes arising from this educational path. The method selected was the collective case study and the subjects were four male individuals over 45 years old. Semi-structured interviews were carried out along with the creation of a timeline of educational history of each student, classroom observations and analysis of the school’s Political Pedagogical Project for EJA. The information collected was submitted to Textual Analysis of Discourse, articulating studies of Urie Bronfenbrenner and Peter Jarvis. The results indicated the emergence of two categories that revealed the meanings attributed to the respondents’ educational experiences at EJA, reflecting cognitive, behavioral, psychosocial and living habits changes. This production of meanings was mediated by constant intercom among micro, meso, exo, and macrosystems represented by reciprocal relationships and the social and affective support in the return to formal education. The theoretical perspective taken intended to present a new approach to EJA adult students, through a systematic approach for the development, emphasizing the individual and collective empowerment by means of the educational relationships as well as the potential of the educational act for mature adults.

  1. 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

  2. Evolutionary-based approaches for determining the deviatoric stress of calcareous sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahnazari, Habib; Tutunchian, Mohammad A.; Rezvani, Reza; Valizadeh, Fatemeh

    2013-01-01

    Many hydrocarbon reservoirs are located near oceans which are covered by calcareous deposits. These sediments consist mainly of the remains of marine plants or animals, so calcareous soils can have a wide variety of engineering properties. Due to their local expansion and considerable differences from terrigenous soils, the evaluation of engineering behaviors of calcareous sediments has been a major concern for geotechnical engineers in recent years. Deviatoric stress is one of the most important parameters directly affecting important shearing characteristics of soils. In this study, a dataset of experimental triaxial tests was gathered from two sources. First, the data of previous experimental studies from the literature were gathered. Then, a series of triaxial tests was performed on calcareous sands of the Persian Gulf to develop the dataset. This work resulted in a large database of experimental results on the maximum deviatoric stress of different calcareous sands. To demonstrate the capabilities of evolutionary-based approaches in modeling the deviatoric stress of calcareous sands, two promising variants of genetic programming (GP), multigene genetic programming (MGP) and gene expression programming (GEP), were applied to propose new predictive models. The models' input parameters were the physical and in-situ condition properties of soil and the output was the maximum deviatoric stress (i.e., the axial-deviator stress). The results of statistical analyses indicated the robustness of these models, and a parametric study was also conducted for further verification of the models, in which the resulting trends were consistent with the results of the experimental study. Finally, the proposed models were further simplified by applying a practical geotechnical correlation.

  3. Review of ecological-based risk management approaches used at five Army Superfund sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poucher, Sherri L; Tracey, Gregory A; Johnson, Mark S; Haines, Laurie B

    2012-04-01

    Factors used in environmental remedial decision making concerning ecological risk are not well understood or necessarily consistent. Recent Records of Decision (RODs) for Army CERCLA sites were reviewed to select case studies where remedial management occurred in response to ecological risks. Thirty-four Army RODs were evaluated representing decisions promulgated between 1996 and 2004. Five were selected based on assessments that remedial actions were clearly linked to concern for ecological receptors. The Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) approach and the subsequent risk management process were reviewed for each site. The case studies demonstrated that the ERA findings, as well as critical management decisions regarding interpretation of identified ecological risks, were determinants of remedial action objectives. Decisions regarding the selection of remedial alternatives were based on a set of criteria prescribed by Superfund requirements and guidance. Remedial alternative evaluations require protection of human health and the environment, but protective conditions were determined using different methods at each site. Examining the remedial management process for the 5 case study sites revealed that uncertainty in the risk assessment and decisions regarding appropriate spatial scales for both risk assessment and remediation were important factors influencing remedial action decisions. The case reviews also revealed that levels of documentation were variable from site to site. In the future, more detailed documentation of decision criteria and the development of criteria that consider the resilience of the site will result in more technically defensible ecological risk management. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  4. Evolutionary and Ecological Dynamics of Transboundary Disease Caused by H5N1 Virus in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, K; Lin, Y; Xie, D

    2015-06-01

    Southeast Asia has been the breeding ground for many emerging diseases in the past decade, and it is in this region that new genetic variants of HPAI H5N1 viruses have been emerging. Cross-border movement of animals accelerates the spread of H5N1, and the changing environmental conditions also exert strong selective pressure on the viruses. The transboundary zoonotic diseases caused by H5N1 pose a serious and continual threat to global economy and public health. Here, we divided the H5N1 viruses isolated in Southeast Asia during 2003-2009 into four groups according to their phylogenetic relationships among HA gene sequences. Molecular evolution analysis suggests populations in expansion rather than a positive selection for group 2 and group 3, yet group 4 is under strong positive selection. Site 193 was found to be a potential glycosylation site and located in receptor-binding domain. Note that site 193 tends to appear in avian isolates instead of human strains. Population dynamics analysis reveals that the effective population size of infections in Southeast Asia has undergone three obvious increases, and the results are consistent with the epidemiological analysis. Ecological and phylogeographical analyses show that agro-ecological environments, migratory birds, domestic waterfowl, especially free-ranging ducks, are crucial in the occurrence, maintenance and spread of H5N1 virus. The epidemiological links between Indonesia and Suphanburi observed suggest that viruses in Indonesia were originated from multiple introductions. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  5. Paradoxical persistence through mixed-system dynamics: towards a unified perspective of reversal behaviours in evolutionary ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Paul David; Hastings, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Counterintuitive dynamics of various biological phenomena occur when composite system dynamics differ qualitatively from that of their component systems. Such composite systems typically arise when modelling situations with time-varying biotic or abiotic conditions, and examples range from metapopulation dynamics to population genetic models. These biological, and related physical, phenomena can often be modelled as simple financial games, wherein capital is gained and lost through gambling. Such games have been developed and used as heuristic devices to elucidate the processes at work in generating seemingly paradoxical outcomes across a spectrum of disciplines, albeit in a field-specific, ad hoc fashion. Here, we propose that studying these simple games can provide a much deeper understanding of the fundamental principles governing paradoxical behaviours in models from a diversity of topics in evolution and ecology in which fluctuating environmental effects, whether deterministic or stochastic, are an essential aspect of the phenomenon of interest. Of particular note, we find that, for a broad class of models, the ecological concept of equilibrium reactivity provides an intuitive necessary condition that must be satisfied in order for environmental variability to promote population persistence. We contend that further investigations along these lines promise to unify aspects of the study of a range of topics, bringing questions from genetics, species persistence and coexistence and the evolution of bet-hedging strategies, under a common theoretical purview. PMID:21270032

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. Social, ecological and economic development strategies of urban areas: problems and approaches to elaboration

    OpenAIRE

    Tsihanenko, Elena

    2015-01-01

    The article discusses the approaches to elaboration of strategic plans of urban areas. Suggested the elaboration methodology of social, ecological and economic development strategies of urban areas on the basis of quality estimation of the urban surroundings that allows you to involve the environmental dimension

  9. 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.

  10. The Nuremberg Music-Ecological Approach: Why Are Some Musicians Internationally Successful and Others Not?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Albert; Straßer, Sabrina; Pfeiffer, Wolfgang; Wormald, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Success in music depends on a number of crucial factors with musical talent figuring prominently in gifted research. However, in the Nuremberg Music-Ecological Approach presented in this paper a different view is taken. Instead of talents and factors, the concept of available resources in an individual's actiotope (Ziegler, 2005) is put in the…

  11. 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…

  12. An integrative approach to assess ecological risks of surface water contamination for fish populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Raphael; Joyeux, Aude; Besnard, Aurélien; Blanchard, Christophe; Halkett, Cédric; Bony, Sylvie; Sanchez, Wilfried; Devaux, Alain

    2017-01-01

    Contamination of aquatic ecosystems is considered as one of the main threats to global freshwater biodiversity. Within the European Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD) a particular attention is dedicated to assess ecological risks of surface water contamination and mitigation of chemical pressures on aquatic ecosystems. In this work, we evaluated ecological risks of surface water contamination for fish populations in four EU-WFD rivers through an integrative approach investigating three Lines of Evidence (chemical contamination, biomarker responses as early warning signals of contamination impacting individuals and ecological analyses as an indicator of fish community disturbances). This work illustrates through 4 case studies the complementary role of biomarkers, chemical and ecological analyses which, used in combination, provide fundamental information to understand impacts of chemical pressures that can affect fish population dynamics. We discuss the limitations of this approach and future improvements needed within the EU-WFD to assess ecological risk of river contamination for fish populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Advantages and challenges associated with implementing an ecosystem services approach to ecological risk assessment for chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltby, Lorraine; van den Brink, Paul J; Faber, Jack H; Marshall, Stuart

    2017-10-17

    The ecosystem services (ES) approach is gaining broad interest in regulatory and policy arenas for use in landscape management and ecological risk assessment. It has the potential to bring greater ecological relevance to the setting of environmental protection goals and to the assessment of the ecological risk posed by chemicals. A workshop, organised under the auspices of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Europe, brought together scientific experts from European regulatory authorities, the chemical industry and academia to discuss and evaluate the challenges associated with implementing an ES approach to chemical ecological risk assessment (ERA). Clear advantages of using an ES approach in prospective and retrospective ERA were identified, including: making ERA spatially explicit and of relevance to management decisions (i.e. indicating what ES to protect and where); improving transparency in communicating risks and trade-offs; integrating across multiple stressors, scales, habitats and policies. A number of challenges were also identified including: the potential for increased complexity in assessments; greater data requirements; limitations in linking endpoints derived from current ecotoxicity tests to impacts on ES. In principle, the approach was applicable to all chemical sectors, but the scale of the challenge of applying an ES approach to general chemicals with widespread and dispersive uses leading to broad environmental exposure, was highlighted. There was agreement that ES-based risk assessment should be based on the magnitude of impact rather than on toxicity thresholds. The need for more bioassays/tests with functional endpoints was recognized, as was the role of modelling and the need for ecological production functions to link measurement endpoints to assessment endpoints. Finally, the value of developing environmental scenarios that can be combined with spatial information on exposure, ES delivery and service provider

  16. The evolutionary ecology of generalization: among-year variation in host plant use and offspring survival in a butterfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiklund, Christer; Friberg, Magne

    2009-12-01

    The majority of phytophagous insects are relatively specialized in their food habits, and specialization in resource use is expected to be favored by selection in most scenarios. Ecological generalization is less common and less well understood, but it should be selected for by (1) rarity of resources, (2) resource inconstancy, or (3) unreliability of resource quality. Here, we test these predictions by studying egg distribution and offspring survival in the orange tip butterfly, Anthocharis cardamines, on different host plants in Sweden over a five-year period. A total of 3800 eggs were laid on 16 of the 18 crucifers available at the field site during the five years. Three main factors explained host plant generalization: (1) a rarity of food resources in which the female encounter rate of individual crucifer plants was low and within-year phenological succession of flowering periods of the different crucifers meant that individual species were suitable for oviposition only within a short time window, which translates to a low effective abundance of individual crucifer species as experienced by females searching for host plants, making specialization on a single crucifer species unprofitable; (2) variation in food resources in which among-year variation in availability of any one host plant species was high; and (3) larval survivorship varied unpredictably among years on all host plants, thereby necessitating a bet-hedging strategy and use of several different host plants. Unpredictable larval survival was caused by variation in plant stand habitat characteristics, which meant that drowning and death from starvation affected different crucifers differently, and by parasitism, which varied by host plant and year. Hence, our findings are in agreement with the theoretical explanation of ecological generalization above, helping to explain why A. cardamines is a generalist throughout its range with respect to genera within the Cruciferae.

  17. 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.

  18. [The history of development of evolutionary methods in St. Petersburg school of computer simulation in biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menshutkin, V V; Kazanskiĭ, A B; Levchenko, V F

    2010-01-01

    The history of rise and development of evolutionary methods in Saint Petersburg school of biological modelling is traced and analyzed. Some pioneering works in simulation of ecological and evolutionary processes, performed in St.-Petersburg school became an exemplary ones for many followers in Russia and abroad. The individual-based approach became the crucial point in the history of the school as an adequate instrument for construction of models of biological evolution. This approach is natural for simulation of the evolution of life-history parameters and adaptive processes in populations and communities. In some cases simulated evolutionary process was used for solving a reverse problem, i. e., for estimation of uncertain life-history parameters of population. Evolutionary computations is one more aspect of this approach application in great many fields. The problems and vistas of ecological and evolutionary modelling in general are discussed.

  19. Comparative Performance Analysis of a Hyper-Temporal Ndvi Analysis Approach and a Landscape-Ecological Mapping Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, A.; de Bie, C. A. J. M.; Scarrott, R. G.; Ha, N. T. T.; Skidmore, A. K.

    2012-07-01

    Both agricultural area expansion and intensification are necessary to cope with the growing demand for food, and the growing threat of food insecurity which is rapidly engulfing poor and under-privileged sections of the global population. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to have the ability to accurately estimate crop area and spatial distribution. Remote sensing has become a valuable tool for estimating and mapping cropland areas, useful in food security monitoring. This work contributes to addressing this broad issue, focusing on the comparative performance analysis of two mapping approaches (i) a hyper-temporal Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) analysis approach and (ii) a Landscape-ecological approach. The hyper-temporal NDVI analysis approach utilized SPOT 10-day NDVI imagery from April 1998-December 2008, whilst the Landscape-ecological approach used multitemporal Landsat-7 ETM+ imagery acquired intermittently between 1992 and 2002. Pixels in the time-series NDVI dataset were clustered using an ISODATA clustering algorithm adapted to determine the optimal number of pixel clusters to successfully generalize hyper-temporal datasets. Clusters were then characterized with crop cycle information, and flooding information to produce an NDVI unit map of rice classes with flood regime and NDVI profile information. A Landscape-ecological map was generated using a combination of digitized homogenous map units in the Landsat-7 ETM+ imagery, a Land use map 2005 of the Mekong delta, and supplementary datasets on the regions terrain, geo-morphology and flooding depths. The output maps were validated using reported crop statistics, and regression analyses were used to ascertain the relationship between land use area estimated from maps, and those reported in district crop statistics. The regression analysis showed that the hyper-temporal NDVI analysis approach explained 74% and 76% of the variability in reported crop statistics in two rice crop and three

  20. COMPARATIVE PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF A HYPER-TEMPORAL NDVI ANALYSIS APPROACH AND A LANDSCAPE-ECOLOGICAL MAPPING APPROACH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ali

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Both agricultural area expansion and intensification are necessary to cope with the growing demand for food, and the growing threat of food insecurity which is rapidly engulfing poor and under-privileged sections of the global population. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to have the ability to accurately estimate crop area and spatial distribution. Remote sensing has become a valuable tool for estimating and mapping cropland areas, useful in food security monitoring. This work contributes to addressing this broad issue, focusing on the comparative performance analysis of two mapping approaches (i a hyper-temporal Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI analysis approach and (ii a Landscape-ecological approach. The hyper-temporal NDVI analysis approach utilized SPOT 10-day NDVI imagery from April 1998–December 2008, whilst the Landscape-ecological approach used multitemporal Landsat-7 ETM+ imagery acquired intermittently between 1992 and 2002. Pixels in the time-series NDVI dataset were clustered using an ISODATA clustering algorithm adapted to determine the optimal number of pixel clusters to successfully generalize hyper-temporal datasets. Clusters were then characterized with crop cycle information, and flooding information to produce an NDVI unit map of rice classes with flood regime and NDVI profile information. A Landscape-ecological map was generated using a combination of digitized homogenous map units in the Landsat-7 ETM+ imagery, a Land use map 2005 of the Mekong delta, and supplementary datasets on the regions terrain, geo-morphology and flooding depths. The output maps were validated using reported crop statistics, and regression analyses were used to ascertain the relationship between land use area estimated from maps, and those reported in district crop statistics. The regression analysis showed that the hyper-temporal NDVI analysis approach explained 74% and 76% of the variability in reported crop statistics in two

  1. Trends in the evolution of ecology: “Spain is different”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Cordero Rivera

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available During the last fifty years ecology has matured as a scientific discipline. In this paper I analyse the temporal development of the paradigm based on physical systems (the ecosystem paradigm, and the evolutionary ecology paradigm. I first analyse the contents of 61 textbooks to calculate the relative importance of ecosystem and evolutionary ecology in the training of new generations of ecologists. Results indicate that the evolutionary approach is becoming more important since 1980, and now most textbooks dedicate 10–20% of their pages to evolutionary concepts. In a second analysis I searched the names of ecology departments in universities around the world, and found out conspicuous differences between USA, where 43% of addresses associate ecology and evolution or behaviour on the same department, and Europe, where only 10% of ecology departments also include a reference to evolution or behaviour in their name. In both analyses Spain seems to follow only the ecosystem paradigm, because Spanish textbooks dedicate almost no pages to evolutionary concepts, and there is not a single university department that includes ecology and evolution. A further bibliometric study confirmed that Spanish ecologists prefer to publish their research in general ecology journals, and are under-represented in evolutionary ecology journals. I discuss the importance of historical factors on the development of paradigms of ecology, and the special case of Spain, likely due to the influence of pioneers working in oceanography, limnology and geography.

  2. Evolutionary Information Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Burgin

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary information theory is a constructive approach that studies information in the context of evolutionary processes, which are ubiquitous in nature and society. In this paper, we develop foundations of evolutionary information theory, building several measures of evolutionary information and obtaining their properties. These measures are based on mathematical models of evolutionary computations, machines and automata. To measure evolutionary information in an invariant form, we construct and study universal evolutionary machines and automata, which form the base for evolutionary information theory. The first class of measures introduced and studied in this paper is evolutionary information size of symbolic objects relative to classes of automata or machines. In particular, it is proved that there is an invariant and optimal evolutionary information size relative to different classes of evolutionary machines. As a rule, different classes of algorithms or automata determine different information size for the same object. The more powerful classes of algorithms or automata decrease the information size of an object in comparison with the information size of an object relative to weaker4 classes of algorithms or machines. The second class of measures for evolutionary information in symbolic objects is studied by introduction of the quantity of evolutionary information about symbolic objects relative to a class of automata or machines. To give an example of applications, we briefly describe a possibility of modeling physical evolution with evolutionary machines to demonstrate applicability of evolutionary information theory to all material processes. At the end of the paper, directions for future research are suggested.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ap......, for a model of the plant stem dynamics. Future work will extend to two-axes image sampling for a 3-d approach.......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...

  7. 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

  8. How to explain gender differences in fear of crime : Towards an evolutionary approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fetchenhauer, D.; Buunk, Abraham (Bram)

    2005-01-01

    Employing data from a sample of 610 Dutch high school students and their parents, this article argues in favour of an evolutionary explanation for the fact that women are more fearful of crime than men while they are less often victimized. With respect to a variety of events that involved physical

  9. Equilibrium selection in alternating-offers bargaining models: the evolutionary computing approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.D.B. van Bragt; E.H. Gerding (Enrico); J.A. La Poutré (Han)

    2000-01-01

    textabstractA systematic validation of evolutionary techniques in the field of bargaining is presented. For this purpose, the dynamic and equilibrium-selecting behavior of a multi-agent system consisting of adaptive bargaining agents is investigated. The agents' bargaining strategies are updated by

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary ecology of human birth sex ratio under the compound influence of climate change, famine, economic crises and wars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helle, Samuli; Helama, Samuli; Lertola, Kalle

    2009-11-01

    1. Human sex ratio at birth at the population level has been suggested to vary according to exogenous stressors such as wars, ambient temperature, ecological disasters and economic crises, but their relative effects on birth sex ratio have not been investigated. It also remains unclear whether such associations represent environmental forcing or adaptive parental response, as parents may produce the sex that has better survival prospects and fitness in a given environmental challenge. 2. We examined the simultaneous role of wars, famine, ambient temperature, economic development and total mortality rate on the annual variation of offspring birth sex ratio and whether this variation, in turn, was related to sex-specific infant mortality rate in Finland during 1865-2003. 3. Our findings show an increased excess of male births during the World War II and during warm years. Instead, economic development, famine, short-lasting Finnish civil war and total mortality rate were not related to birth sex ratio. Moreover, we found no association between annual birth sex ratio and sex-biased infant mortality rate among the concurrent cohort. 4. Our results propose that some exogenous challenges like ambient temperature and war can skew human birth sex ratio and that these deviations likely represent environmental forcing rather than adaptive parental response to such challenges.

  12. Geographic variation in the acoustic traits of greater horseshoe bats: testing the importance of drift and ecological selection in evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Keping; Luo, Li; Kimball, Rebecca T; Wei, Xuewen; Jin, Longru; Jiang, Tinglei; Li, Guohong; Feng, Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Patterns of intraspecific geographic variation of signaling systems provide insight into the microevolutionary processes driving phenotypic divergence. The acoustic calls of bats are sensitive to diverse evolutionary forces, but processes that shape call variation are largely unexplored. In China, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum displays a diverse call frequency and inhabits a heterogeneous landscape, presenting an excellent opportunity for this kind of research. We quantified geographic variation in resting frequency (RF) of echolocation calls, estimated genetic structure and phylogeny of R. ferrumequinum populations, and combined this with climatic factors to test three hypotheses to explain acoustic variation: genetic drift, cultural drift, and local adaptation. Our results demonstrated significant regional divergence in frequency and phylogeny among the bat populations in China's northeast (NE), central-east (CE) and southwest (SW) regions. The CE region had higher frequencies than the NE and SW regions. Drivers of RF divergence were estimated in the entire range and just the CE/NE region (since these two regions form a clade). In both cases, RF divergence was not correlated with mtDNA or nDNA genetic distance, but was significantly correlated with geographic distance and mean annual temperature, indicating cultural drift and ecological selection pressures are likely important in shaping RF divergence among different regions in China.

  13. Geographic variation in the acoustic traits of greater horseshoe bats: testing the importance of drift and ecological selection in evolutionary processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keping Sun

    Full Text Available Patterns of intraspecific geographic variation of signaling systems provide insight into the microevolutionary processes driving phenotypic divergence. The acoustic calls of bats are sensitive to diverse evolutionary forces, but processes that shape call variation are largely unexplored. In China, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum displays a diverse call frequency and inhabits a heterogeneous landscape, presenting an excellent opportunity for this kind of research. We quantified geographic variation in resting frequency (RF of echolocation calls, estimated genetic structure and phylogeny of R. ferrumequinum populations, and combined this with climatic factors to test three hypotheses to explain acoustic variation: genetic drift, cultural drift, and local adaptation. Our results demonstrated significant regional divergence in frequency and phylogeny among the bat populations in China's northeast (NE, central-east (CE and southwest (SW regions. The CE region had higher frequencies than the NE and SW regions. Drivers of RF divergence were estimated in the entire range and just the CE/NE region (since these two regions form a clade. In both cases, RF divergence was not correlated with mtDNA or nDNA genetic distance, but was significantly correlated with geographic distance and mean annual temperature, indicating cultural drift and ecological selection pressures are likely important in shaping RF divergence among different regions in China.

  14. Ecological and evolutionary response of Tethyan planktonic foraminifera to the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (Alano di Piave section, NE Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luciani, V.; Agnini, C.; Fornaciari, E.; Giusberti, L.; Rio, D.; Spofforth, D. J. A.; Pälike, H.

    2009-04-01

    environmental variations related to the MECO thus induced a pronounced shift from oligotrophic to eutrophic, opportunist, low-oxygen tolerant planktonic foraminiferal assemblages suggesting increased nutrient input and surface ocean productivity. These results are supported by the increase of calcareous nannofossil eutrophic indicators and by the occurrence of radiolarians as well. These observed changes show certain analogies with the PETM event recorded in the same area (Agnini et al., 2007b; Luciani et al., 2007). Our data indicate that the definitive decline in abundance of the large acarininids occurs within the MECO just following the major ^18O negative excursion. These warm-indices muricate forms dominated the Eocene greenhouse planktonic foraminiferal assemblages and became extinct near the middle/late Eocene boundary. Remarkably, our data highlight that the evolutionary appearances of two species belonging to the Turborotalia cerroazulensis lineage (T . cerroazulensis and T . cocoaensis) occur in correspondence to the MECO event. Furthermore, the total range of the marker Orbulinoides beckmanni at Alano is almost perfectly coincident with the major oxygen isotope excursion corroborating the hypothesis that this peculiar species might represent for the MECO an equivalent of the PETM excursion taxa (see also Edgar et al., 2007). References Agnini, C., D. J. A. Spofforth, E. Fornaciari, L. Giusberti, L. Lanci, V. Luciani, G. Muttoni, P, and D. Rio, 2007a. Is the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO) recorded in the central-western Tethys? Eos Trans. AGU, 88(52) Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS11A-0188. Agnini,C., Fornaciari, E., Rio, D., Tateo, F., Backman, J., Giusberti, L., 2007b. Responses of calcareous nannofossil assemblages, mineralogy and geochemistry to the environmental perturbations across the Paleocene/Eocene boundary in the Venetian Pre-Alps. Marine Micropaleontology 63, 19-38. Bohaty, S. M., and J. C. Zachos, 2003. Significant Southern Ocean warming event in

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2011-04-12

    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.

  1. A Cybersemiotic Approach to Agent Based Simulation of Evolutionary Processes within Digital Business Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasile Georgescu

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The global evolutionary business environment is increasingly populated by a large number of networked organizations interacting with each other and with a variety of environmental conditions to adapt, evolve and maintain them under conditions of good control. This paper proposes cybersemiotics as a conceptual framework for agent based simulation of decision making processes within Digital Business Ecosystems, which are complex, evolutionary, self-organizing, autopoietic, and knowledge-centric business environments. We argue that semiotic agents are equipped with most appropriate characteristics to accomplish such a task. They are deliberative, dynamically uncoupled to their environments, engage processes of perception, interpretation, decision and action with their environments, possess internally stored representations of measured states of affairs, goal states and possible actions, have means to describe and handle their own preferences and beliefs, can coordinate actions and learn about their environment through communication.

  2. Investigating ecological speciation in non-model organisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David

    2012-01-01

    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...... and comparative studies among multiple taxon pairs. We need new genomic approaches that identify genes under selection and then link alleles to phenotypic differences and reproductive isolation....

  3. 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.

  4. Understanding missense mutations in the BRCA1 gene: An evolutionary approach

    OpenAIRE

    Fleming, Melissa A.; Potter, John D.; Ramirez, Christina J.; Ostrander, Gary K.; Ostrander, Elaine A.

    2003-01-01

    The role of missense changes in BRCA1 in breast cancer susceptibility has been difficult to establish. We used comparative evolutionary methods to identify potential functionally important amino acid sites in exon 11 and missense changes likely to disrupt gene function, aligning sequences from 57 eutherian mammals and categorizing amino acid sites by degree of conservation. We used Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to determine relationships among orthologs and identify codons evolving under pos...

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. Discovering your inner Gibson: reconciling action-specific and ecological approaches to perception-action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Jessica K; Riley, Michael A

    2014-12-01

    Both the action-specific perception account and the ecological approach to perception-action emphasize the role of action in perception. However, the action-specific perception account demonstrates that different percepts are possible depending on the perceiver's ability to act, even when the same optical information is available. These findings challenge one of the fundamental claims of the ecological approach--that perception is direct--by suggesting that perception is mediated by internal processes. Here, we sought to resolve this apparent discrepancy. We contend that perception is based on the controlled detection of the information available in a global array that includes higher-order patterns defined across interoceptive and exteroceptive stimulus arrays. These higher-order patterns specify the environment in relation to the perceiver, so direct sensitivity to them would be consistent with the ecological claims that perception of the environment is direct and animal-specific. In addition, the action-specific approach provides further evidence for the theory of affordances, by demonstrating that even seemingly abstract properties of the environment, such as distance and size, are ultimately perceived in terms of an agent's action capabilities.

  9. 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.

  10. A new map of global ecological land units—An ecophysiographic stratification approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayre, Roger; Dangermond, Jack; Frye, Charlie; Vaughan, Randy; Aniello, Peter; Breyer, Sean; Cribbs, Douglas; Hopkins, Dabney; Nauman, Richard; Derrenbacher, William; Wright, Dawn; Brown, Clint; Convis, Charles; Smith, Jonathan H.; Benson, Laurence; Van Sistine, Darren; Warner, Harumi; Cress, Jill Janene; Danielson, Jeffrey J.; Hamann, Sharon L.; Cecere, Thomas; Reddy, Ashwan D.; Burton, Devon; Grosse, Andrea; True, Diane; Metzger, Marc; Hartmann, Jens; Moosdorf, Nils; Durr, Hans; Paganini, Marc; Defourny, Pierre; Arino, Olivier; Maynard, Simone; Anderson, Mark; Comer, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    In response to the need and an intergovernmental commission for a high resolution and data-derived global ecosystem map, land surface elements of global ecological pattern were characterized in an ecophysiographic stratification of the planet. The stratification produced 3,923 terrestrial ecological land units (ELUs) at a base resolution of 250 meters. The ELUs were derived from data on land surface features in a three step approach. The first step involved acquiring or developing four global raster datalayers representing the primary components of ecosystem structure: bioclimate, landform, lithology, and land cover. These datasets generally represent the most accurate, current, globally comprehensive, and finest spatial and thematic resolution data available for each of the four inputs. The second step involved a spatial combination of the four inputs into a single, new integrated raster dataset where every cell represents a combination of values from the bioclimate, landforms, lithology, and land cover datalayers. This foundational global raster datalayer, called ecological facets (EFs), contains 47,650 unique combinations of the four inputs. The third step involved an aggregation of the EFs into the 3,923 ELUs. This subdivision of the Earth’s surface into relatively fine, ecological land areas is designed to be useful for various types of ecosystem research and management applications, including assessments of climate change impacts to ecosystems, economic and non-economic valuation of ecosystem services, and conservation planning.

  11. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buchholz, Thomas S.; Volk, Timothy A.; Luzadis, Valerie A. [State University of New York, Syracuse, NY (United States). College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry, Department of Forest and Natural Resource Management

    2007-12-15

    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. (author)

  13. An ecological approach to assessing the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance in animal and human populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, Alison E.; Matthews, Louise; Mellor, Dominic J.; Reeve, Richard; Denwood, Matthew J.; Boerlin, Patrick; Reid-Smith, Richard J.; Brown, Derek J.; Coia, John E.; Browning, Lynda M.; Haydon, Daniel T.; Reid, Stuart W. J.

    2012-01-01

    We examined long-term surveillance data on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 (DT104) isolates from concurrently sampled and sympatric human and animal populations in Scotland. Using novel ecological and epidemiological approaches to examine diversity, and phenotypic and temporal relatedness of the resistance profiles, we assessed the more probable source of resistance of these two populations. The ecological diversity of AMR phenotypes was significantly greater in human isolates than in animal isolates, at the resolution of both sample and population. Of 5200 isolates, there were 65 resistance phenotypes, 13 unique to animals, 30 unique to humans and 22 were common to both. Of these 22, 11 were identified first in the human isolates, whereas only five were identified first in the animal isolates. We conclude that, while ecologically connected, animals and humans have distinguishable DT104 communities, differing in prevalence, linkage and diversity. Furthermore, we infer that the sympatric animal population is unlikely to be the major source of resistance diversity for humans. This suggests that current policy emphasis on restricting antimicrobial use in domestic animals may be overly simplistic. While these conclusions pertain to DT104 in Scotland, this approach could be applied to AMR in other bacteria–host ecosystems. PMID:22090389

  14. 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.

  15. Genotype × herbivore effect on leaf litter decomposition in Betula Pendula saplings: ecological and evolutionary consequences and the role of secondary metabolites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarja Silfver

    Full Text Available Plant genetic variation and herbivores can both influence ecosystem functioning by affecting the quantity and quality of leaf litter. Few studies have, however, investigated the effects of herbivore load on litter decomposition at plant genotype level. We reduced insect herbivory using an insecticide on one half of field-grown Betula Pendula saplings of 17 genotypes, representing random intrapopulation genetic variation, and allowed insects to naturally colonize the other half. We hypothesized that due to induced herbivore defence, saplings under natural herbivory produce litter of higher concentrations of secondary metabolites (terpenes and soluble phenolics and have slower litter decomposition rate than saplings under reduced herbivory. We found that leaf damage was 89 and 53% lower in the insecticide treated saplings in the summer and autumn surveys, respectively, which led to 73% higher litter production. Litter decomposition rate was also affected by herbivore load, but the effect varied from positive to negative among genotypes and added up to an insignificant net effect at the population level. In contrast to our hypothesis, concentrations of terpenes and soluble phenolics were higher under reduced than natural herbivory. Those genotypes, whose leaves were most injured by herbivores, produced litter of lowest mass loss, but unlike we expected, the concentrations of terpenes and soluble phenolics were not linked to either leaf damage or litter decomposition. Our results show that (1 the genetic and herbivore effects on B. pendula litter decomposition are not mediated through variation in terpene or soluble phenolic concentrations and suggest that (2 the presumably higher insect herbivore pressure in the future warmer climate will not, at the ecological time scale, affect the mean decomposition rate in genetically diverse B. pendula populations. However, (3 due to the significant genetic variation in the response of decomposition to

  16. The roles of ecological first principles and evolutionary contingency in unraveling ecosystem response and reconstruction during the Permian-Triassic transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roopnarine, P. D.; Weik, A.; Dineen, A.; Angielczyk, K.

    2016-12-01

    The Permian-Triassic mass extinction (PTME) is the most severe mass extinction recorded in Earth's history. Effects on the biosphere were complicated and often contradictory, e.g. selective species extinctions and exceptional species survival; prolonged miniaturization of some Early Triassic clades but rapid increases of size in others; and both simplified and complex trophic structures in various E. Triassic ecosystems. Here we present the results of a new generalized model of paleocommunity global stability (number of species capable of persistent coexistence in the absence of external perturbation), suggesting that community dynamics in response to species extinction, and the addition of new species in the aftermath of the PTME, is best understood as a complex outcome of predictable community dynamics and contingent, unpredictable evolutionary pathways. We applied the model to the best known PTME transitional terrestrial ecosystem, the Karoo Basin of South Africa. The model verifies previous claims that global stability scales negatively with increasing species richness and the strength of interspecific interactions. We also show that global stability scales negatively with intrinsic population growth rates. Taxon-rich Permian communities could therefore have persisted only under a restricted range of those parameters. Communities during three phases of the PTME, however, exhibited greater global stability than would be predicted from the pre-PTME communities. Those communities could therefore have maintained relative stabilities under a broader range of parameters, implying that species could have adapted by modifying life history and ecological traits with lesser negative consequences to community stability. The earliest post-PTME community with increased species richness, however, was less stable than would be predicted from pre-PTME communities. In both the extinction and aftermath communities, nonlinear deviations from the general scaling of stability

  17. 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.

  18. Forecasting financial time series using a low complexity recurrent neural network and evolutionary learning approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajit Kumar Rout

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents a low complexity recurrent Functional Link Artificial Neural Network for predicting the financial time series data like the stock market indices over a time frame varying from 1 day ahead to 1 month ahead. Although different types of basis functions have been used for low complexity neural networks earlier for stock market prediction, a comparative study is needed to choose the optimal combinations of these for a reasonably accurate forecast. Further several evolutionary learning methods like the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO and modified version of its new variant (HMRPSO, and the Differential Evolution (DE are adopted here to find the optimal weights for the recurrent computationally efficient functional link neural network (RCEFLANN using a combination of linear and hyperbolic tangent basis functions. The performance of the recurrent computationally efficient FLANN model is compared with that of low complexity neural networks using the Trigonometric, Chebyshev, Laguerre, Legendre, and tangent hyperbolic basis functions in predicting stock prices of Bombay Stock Exchange data and Standard & Poor’s 500 data sets using different evolutionary methods and has been presented in this paper and the results clearly reveal that the recurrent FLANN model trained with the DE outperforms all other FLANN models similarly trained.

  19. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26821048

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of additional warning sounds on pedestrians' detection of electric vehicles: An ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleury, Sylvain; Jamet, Éric; Roussarie, Vincent; Bosc, Laure; Chamard, Jean-Christophe

    2016-12-01

    Virtually silent electric vehicles (EVs) may pose a risk for pedestrians. This paper describes two studies that were conducted to assess the influence of different types of external sounds on EV detectability. In the first study, blindfolded participants had to detect an approaching EV with either no warning sounds at all or one of three types of sound we tested. In the second study, designed to replicate the results of the first one in an ecological setting, the EV was driven along a road and the experimenters counted the number of people who turned their heads in its direction. Results of the first study showed that adding external sounds improve EV detection, and modulating the frequency and increasing the pitch of these sounds makes them more effective. This improvement was confirmed in the ecological context. Consequently, pitch variation and frequency modulation should both be taken into account in future AVAS design. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Stafford

    2011-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. PharmEcology: A pharmacological approach to understanding plant-herbivore interactions: an introduction to the symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forbey, Jennifer S; Foley, William J

    2009-09-01

    A central goal in understanding the ecology and evolution of animals is to identify factors that constrain or expand breadth of diet. Selection of diet in many animals is often constrained by chemical deterrents (i.e., secondary metabolites) in available food items. The integration of chemistry and ecology has led to a significant understanding of the chemical complexity of prey (e.g., animals, plants, and algae) and the resultant foraging behavior of consumers. However, most of the literature on chemical defenses of marine and terrestrial prey lacks a mechanistic understanding of how consumers tolerate, or avoid, chemically-defended foods. In order to understand ecological patterns of foraging and co-evolutionary relationships between prey and consumers, we must advance our understanding of the physiological mechanisms responsible for chemical interactions. Such mechanistic studies require the integration of the discipline of pharmacology with ecology, which we call "PharmEcology." Pharmacology provides the tools and insight to investigate the fate (what the body does to a chemical) and action (what a chemical does to the body) of chemicals in living organisms, whereas ecology provides the insight into the interactions between organisms (e.g., herbivores) and their environment (e.g., plants). Although, the general concepts of pharmacology were introduced to ecologists studying plant-herbivore interactions over 30 years ago, the empirical use of pharmacology to understand mechanisms of chemical interactions has remained limited. Moreover, many of the recent biochemical, molecular and technical advances in pharmacology have yet to be utilized by ecologists. The PharmEcology symposium held at a meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology in January of 2009 was developed to define novel research directions at the interface of pharmacology and ecology.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Ecological Forecasting in Chesapeake Bay: Using a Mechanistic-Empirical Modelling Approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, C. W.; Hood, Raleigh R.; Long, Wen; Jacobs, John M.; Ramers, D. L.; Wazniak, C.; Wiggert, J. D.; Wood, R.; Xu, J.

    2013-09-01

    The Chesapeake Bay Ecological Prediction System (CBEPS) automatically generates daily nowcasts and three-day forecasts of several environmental variables, such as sea-surface temperature and salinity, the concentrations of chlorophyll, nitrate, and dissolved oxygen, and the likelihood of encountering several noxious species, including harmful algal blooms and water-borne pathogens, for the purpose of monitoring the Bay's ecosystem. While the physical and biogeochemical variables are forecast mechanistically using the Regional Ocean Modeling System configured for the Chesapeake Bay, the species predictions are generated using a novel mechanistic empirical approach, whereby real-time output from the coupled physical biogeochemical model drives multivariate empirical habitat models of the target species. The predictions, in the form of digital images, are available via the World Wide Web to interested groups to guide recreational, management, and research activities. Though full validation of the integrated forecasts for all species is still a work in progress, we argue that the mechanistic–empirical approach can be used to generate a wide variety of short-term ecological forecasts, and that it can be applied in any marine system where sufficient data exist to develop empirical habitat models. This paper provides an overview of this system, its predictions, and the approach taken.

  11. [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.

  12. Defining structural and evolutionary modules in proteins: a community detection approach to explore sub-domain architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hleap, Jose Sergio; Susko, Edward; Blouin, Christian

    2013-10-16

    Assessing protein modularity is important to understand protein evolution. Still the question of the existence of a sub-domain modular architecture remains. We propose a graph-theory approach with significance and power testing to identify modules in protein structures. In the first step, clusters are determined by optimizing the partition that maximizes the modularity score. Second, each cluster is tested for significance. Significant clusters are referred to as modules. Evolutionary modules are identified by analyzing homologous structures. Dynamic modules are inferred from sets of snapshots of molecular simulations. We present here a methodology to identify sub-domain architecture robustly, biologically meaningful, and statistically supported. The robustness of this new method is tested using simulated data with known modularity. Modules are correctly identified even when there is a low correlation between landmarks within a module. We also analyzed the evolutionary modularity of a data set of α-amylase catalytic domain homologs, and the dynamic modularity of the Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) protein N-terminal domain.The α-amylase contains an (α/β)8 barrel (TIM barrel) with the polysaccharides cleavage site and a calcium-binding domain. In this data set we identified four robust evolutionary modules, one of which forms the minimal functional TIM barrel topology.The NPC1 protein is involved in the intracellular lipid metabolism coordinating sterol trafficking. NPC1 N-terminus is the first luminal domain which binds to cholesterol and its oxygenated derivatives. Our inferred dynamic modules in the protein NPC1 are also shown to match functional components of the protein related to the NPC1 disease. A domain compartmentalization can be found and described in correlation space. To our knowledge, there is no other method attempting to identify sub-domain architecture from the correlation among residues. Most attempts made focus on sequence motifs of protein

  13. The coexistence of hosts with different abilities to discriminate against cheater partners: an evolutionary game-theory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steidinger, Brian S; Bever, James D

    2014-06-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that mutualisms based on the reciprocal exchange of costly services should be susceptible to exploitation by cheaters. Consistent with theory, both cheating and discrimination against cheaters are ubiquitous features of mutualisms. Several recent studies have confirmed that host species differ in the extent that they are able to discriminate against cheaters, suggesting that cheating may be stabilized by the existence of susceptible hosts (dubbed "givers"). We use an evolutionary game-theoretical approach to demonstrate how discriminating and giver hosts associating with mutualist and cheater partners can coexist. Discriminators drive the proportion of cheaters below a critical threshold, at which point there is no benefit to investing resources into discrimination. This promotes givers, who benefit from mutualists but allow cheater populations to rebound. We then apply this model to the plant-mycorrhizal mutualism and demonstrate it is one mechanism for generating host-specific responses to mycorrhizal fungal species necessary to generate negative plant-soil feedbacks. Our model makes several falsifiable, qualitative predictions for plant-mycorrhizal population dynamics across gradients of soil phosphorus availability and interhost differences in ability to discriminate. Finally, we suggest applications and limitations of the model with regard to coexistence in specific biological systems.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Physiological ecology meets climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Pörtner, Hans-Otto

    2015-03-01

    In this article, we pointed out that understanding the physiology of differential climate change effects on organisms is one of the many urgent challenges faced in ecology and evolutionary biology. We explore how physiological ecology can contribute to a holistic view of climate change impacts on organisms and ecosystems and their evolutionary responses. We suggest that theoretical and experimental efforts not only need to improve our understanding of thermal limits to organisms, but also to consider multiple stressors both on land and in the oceans. As an example, we discuss recent efforts to understand the effects of various global change drivers on aquatic ectotherms in the field that led to the development of the concept of oxygen and capacity limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) as a framework integrating various drivers and linking organisational levels from ecosystem to organism, tissue, cell, and molecules. We suggest seven core objectives of a comprehensive research program comprising the interplay among physiological, ecological, and evolutionary approaches for both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. While studies of individual aspects are already underway in many laboratories worldwide, integration of these findings into conceptual frameworks is needed not only within one organism group such as animals but also across organism domains such as Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Indeed, development of unifying concepts is relevant for interpreting existing and future findings in a coherent way and for projecting the future ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change on functional biodiversity. We also suggest that OCLTT may in the end and from an evolutionary point of view, be able to explain the limited thermal tolerance of metazoans when compared to other organisms.

  17. A Bayesian Approach to Integrated Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment for the South River, Virginia Mercury-Contaminated Site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Meagan J; Stinson, Jonah; Landis, Wayne G

    2017-07-01

    We conducted a regional-scale integrated ecological and human health risk assessment by applying the relative risk model with Bayesian networks (BN-RRM) to a case study of the South River, Virginia mercury-contaminated site. Risk to four ecological services of the South River (human health, water quality, recreation, and the recreational fishery) was evaluated using a multiple stressor-multiple endpoint approach. These four ecological services were selected as endpoints based on stakeholder feedback and prioritized management goals for the river. The BN-RRM approach allowed for the calculation of relative risk to 14 biotic, human health, recreation, and water quality endpoints from chemical and ecological stressors in five risk regions of the South River. Results indicated that water quality and the recreational fishery were the ecological services at highest risk in the South River. Human health risk for users of the South River was low relative to the risk to other endpoints. Risk to recreation in the South River was moderate with little spatial variability among the five risk regions. Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis identified stressors and other parameters that influence risk for each endpoint in each risk region. This research demonstrates a probabilistic approach to integrated ecological and human health risk assessment that considers the effects of chemical and ecological stressors across the landscape. © 2017 Society for Risk Analysis.

  18. Array Comparative Genomic Hybridizations: Assessing the ability to recapture evolutionary relationships using an in silico approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kasuga Takao

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH with DNA microarrays has many biological applications including surveys of copy number changes in tumorogenesis, species detection and identification, and functional genomics studies among related organisms. Array CGH has also been used to infer phylogenetic relatedness among species or strains. Although the use of the entire genome can be seen as a considerable advantage for use in phylogenetic analysis, few such studies have questioned the reliability of array CGH to correctly determine evolutionary relationships. A potential flaw in this application lies in the fact that all comparisons are made to a single reference species. This situation differs from traditional DNA sequence, distance-based phylogenetic analyses where all possible pairwise comparisons are made for the isolates in question. By simulating array data based on the Neurospora crassa genome, we address this potential flaw and other questions regarding array CGH phylogeny. Results Our simulation data indicates that having a single reference can, in some cases, be a serious limitation when using this technique. Additionally, the tree building process with a single reference is sensitive to many factors including tree topology, choice of tree reconstruction method, and the distance metric used. Conclusions Without prior knowledge of the topology and placement of the reference taxon in the topology, the outcome is likely to be wrong and the error undetected. Given these limitations, using CGH to reveal phylogeny based on sequence divergence does not offer a robust alternative to traditional phylogenetic analysis.

  19. Array Comparative Genomic Hybridizations: assessing the ability to recapture evolutionary relationships using an in silico approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Luz B; Chae, Lee; Kasuga, Takao; Taylor, John W

    2011-09-21

    Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) with DNA microarrays has many biological applications including surveys of copy number changes in tumorogenesis, species detection and identification, and functional genomics studies among related organisms. Array CGH has also been used to infer phylogenetic relatedness among species or strains. Although the use of the entire genome can be seen as a considerable advantage for use in phylogenetic analysis, few such studies have questioned the reliability of array CGH to correctly determine evolutionary relationships. A potential flaw in this application lies in the fact that all comparisons are made to a single reference species. This situation differs from traditional DNA sequence, distance-based phylogenetic analyses where all possible pairwise comparisons are made for the isolates in question. By simulating array data based on the Neurospora crassa genome, we address this potential flaw and other questions regarding array CGH phylogeny. Our simulation data indicates that having a single reference can, in some cases, be a serious limitation when using this technique. Additionally, the tree building process with a single reference is sensitive to many factors including tree topology, choice of tree reconstruction method, and the distance metric used. Without prior knowledge of the topology and placement of the reference taxon in the topology, the outcome is likely to be wrong and the error undetected. Given these limitations, using CGH to reveal phylogeny based on sequence divergence does not offer a robust alternative to traditional phylogenetic analysis.

  20. An adaptive evolutionary multi-objective approach based on simulated annealing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H; Landa-Silva, D

    2011-01-01

    A multi-objective optimization problem can be solved by decomposing it into one or more single objective subproblems in some multi-objective metaheuristic algorithms. Each subproblem corresponds to one weighted aggregation function. For example, MOEA/D is an evolutionary multi-objective optimization (EMO) algorithm that attempts to optimize multiple subproblems simultaneously by evolving a population of solutions. However, the performance of MOEA/D highly depends on the initial setting and diversity of the weight vectors. In this paper, we present an improved version of MOEA/D, called EMOSA, which incorporates an advanced local search technique (simulated annealing) and adapts the search directions (weight vectors) corresponding to various subproblems. In EMOSA, the weight vector of each subproblem is adaptively modified at the lowest temperature in order to diversify the search toward the unexplored parts of the Pareto-optimal front. Our computational results show that EMOSA outperforms six other well established multi-objective metaheuristic algorithms on both the (constrained) multi-objective knapsack problem and the (unconstrained) multi-objective traveling salesman problem. Moreover, the effects of the main algorithmic components and parameter sensitivities on the search performance of EMOSA are experimentally investigated.

  1. The intersubjective and cooperative origins of consciousness: an evolutionary-developmental approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortina, Mauricio; Liotti, Giovanni

    2010-01-01

    We discuss consciousness from evolutionary and developmental perspectives. The expansion of communicative abilities was a necessary step for the emergence of a new type of cooperation based on equality that probably appeared for the first time among nomadic hunter gatherers during the upper Paleolithic era. In turn, this new level of cooperation gave raise to an expanded form of consciousness. From a developmental perspective an expansion of intersubjective abilities and consciousness go together. Three basic levels of intersubjectivity are present in humans. A primary form of intersubjective communication is accompanied by a primary form of consciousness that is not easily accessible for conscious scrutiny. During the second year of human life secondary forms of intersubjectivity expand consciousness from the immediacy of one-to-one interactions, to include a shared understanding of intentions and goals with caregivers. Secondary forms of intersubjectivity give raise to the type of consciousness characterized by preverbal symbols and images--a primordial form of conceptual knowledge. A further step in intersubjective communication uses the meanings and concepts that have emerged earlier in development and transforms them into words. The leap into language allows our species to conceive past, present, and future simultaneously. The cultural transmission of knowledge and social mores depends on these abilities. This further expands the scope of consciousness and creates conditions for self reflection, a type of consciousness that is uniquely human.

  2. Subject-specific planning of femoroplasty: a combined evolutionary optimization and particle diffusion model approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basafa, Ehsan; Armand, Mehran

    2014-07-18

    A potential effective treatment for prevention of osteoporotic hip fractures is augmentation of the mechanical properties of the femur by injecting it with agents such as (PMMA) bone cement - femoroplasty. The operation, however, is only in research stage and can benefit substantially from computer planning and optimization. We report the results of computational planning and optimization of the procedure for biomechanical evaluation. An evolutionary optimization method was used to optimally place the cement in finite element (FE) models of seven osteoporotic bone specimens. The optimization, with some inter-specimen variations, suggested that areas close to the cortex in the superior and inferior of the neck and supero-lateral aspect of the greater trochanter will benefit from augmentation. We then used a particle-based model for bone cement diffusion simulation to match the optimized pattern, taking into account the limitations of the actual surgery, including limited volume of injection to prevent thermal necrosis. Simulations showed that the yield load can be significantly increased by more than 30%, using only 9 ml of bone cement. This increase is comparable to previous literature reports where gross filling of the bone was employed instead, using more than 40 ml of cement. These findings, along with the differences in the optimized plans between specimens, emphasize the need for subject-specific models for effective planning of femoral augmentation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The effect of network structure on innovation initiation process: an evolutionary dynamics approach

    CERN Document Server

    Jafari, Afshin; Zolfagharzadeh, Mohammad Mahdi; Mohammadi, Mehdi

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we have proposed a basic agent-based model based on evolutionary dynamics for investigating innovation initiation process. In our model we suppose each agent will represent a firm which is interacting with other firms through a given network structure. We consider a two-hit process for presenting a potentially successful innovation in this model and therefore at each time step each firm can be in on of three different stages which are respectively, Ordinary, Innovative, and Successful. We design different experiments in order to investigate how different interaction networks may affect the process of presenting a successful innovation to the market. In this experiments, we use five different network structures, i.e. Erd\\H{o}s and R\\'enyi, Ring Lattice, Small World, Scale-Free and Distance-Based networks. According to the results of the simulations, for less frequent innovations like radical innovation, local structures are showing a better performance comparing to Scale-Free and Erd\\H{o}s and R\\...

  6. 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

  7. Artificial Neural Networks, and Evolutionary Algorithms as a systems biology approach to a data-base on fetal growth restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Maria E; Buscema, Massimo; Smerieri, Arianna; Montanini, Luisa; Grossi, Enzo

    2013-12-01

    One of the specific aims of systems biology is to model and discover properties of cells, tissues and organisms functioning. A systems biology approach was undertaken to investigate possibly the entire system of intra-uterine growth we had available, to assess the variables of interest, discriminate those which were effectively related with appropriate or restricted intrauterine growth, and achieve an understanding of the systems in these two conditions. The Artificial Adaptive Systems, which include Artificial Neural Networks and Evolutionary Algorithms lead us to the first analyses. These analyses identified the importance of the biochemical variables IL-6, IGF-II and IGFBP-2 protein concentrations in placental lysates, and offered a new insight into placental markers of fetal growth within the IGF and cytokine systems, confirmed they had relationships and offered a critical assessment of studies previously performed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Risk Factors for Overweight/Obesity in Preschool Children: An Ecological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBride, Brent A.; Fiese, Barbara H.; Jones, Blake L.; Cho, Hyunkeun

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background Identification of risk factors is critical to preventing the childhood obesity epidemic. Risk factors that contribute to obesity are multifactorial. However, limited research has focused on identifying obesity risk factors using an ecological approach. Methods Baseline self-report survey data from the STRONG Kids program were used. The sample consisted of 329 parent-child dyads recruited from childcare programs in east-central Illinois. Child height and weight were measured and converted to age- and sex-specific z-scores using standard growth charts. An ecological model provided the theoretical framework for the selection of 22 previously reported childhood obesity risk factors. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors. Results Of 22 potential risk factors, three were found to be significantly associated with child overweight/obesity. These included child nighttime sleep duration (χ2=8.56; p=0.003), parent BMI (χ2=5.62; p=0.01), and parental restrictive feeding for weight control (χ2=4.77; p=0.02). Children who slept for 8 hours and less were 2.2 times more likely to be overweight/obese [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3–3.7), whereas children with an overweight/obese parent were 1.9 times more likely to be overweight/obese (95% CI: 1.12–3.2). Finally, children whose parents used restrictive feeding practices were 1.75 times more likely to be overweight/obese (95% CI: 1.06–2.9). Conclusions Using an ecological approach, we conclude that childhood obesity prevention efforts may benefit from targeting the key risk factors of child sleep duration, parent BMI, and parental restrictive feeding practices as focus areas for obesity prevention. PMID:24020790

  9. Risk factors for overweight/obesity in preschool children: an ecological approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Dipti A; McBride, Brent A; Fiese, Barbara H; Jones, Blake L; Cho, Hyunkeun

    2013-10-01

    Identification of risk factors is critical to preventing the childhood obesity epidemic. Risk factors that contribute to obesity are multifactorial. However, limited research has focused on identifying obesity risk factors using an ecological approach. Baseline self-report survey data from the STRONG Kids program were used. The sample consisted of 329 parent-child dyads recruited from childcare programs in east-central Illinois. Child height and weight were measured and converted to age- and sex-specific z-scores using standard growth charts. An ecological model provided the theoretical framework for the selection of 22 previously reported childhood obesity risk factors. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors. Of 22 potential risk factors, three were found to be significantly associated with child overweight/obesity. These included child nighttime sleep duration (χ(2)=8.56; p=0.003), parent BMI (χ(2)=5.62; p=0.01), and parental restrictive feeding for weight control (χ(2)=4.77; p=0.02). Children who slept for 8 hours and less were 2.2 times more likely to be overweight/obese [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3-3.7), whereas children with an overweight/obese parent were 1.9 times more likely to be overweight/obese (95% CI: 1.12-3.2). Finally, children whose parents used restrictive feeding practices were 1.75 times more likely to be overweight/obese (95% CI: 1.06-2.9). Using an ecological approach, we conclude that childhood obesity prevention efforts may benefit from targeting the key risk factors of child sleep duration, parent BMI, and parental restrictive feeding practices as focus areas for obesity prevention.

  10. 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

  11. The use of traits-based approaches and eco(toxico)logical models to advance the ecological risk assessment framework for chemicals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brink, van den P.J.; Baird, D.J.; Baveco, J.M.; Focks, A.

    2013-01-01

    This article presents a framework to diagnose and predict the effects of chemicals, integrating 2 promising tools to incorporate more ecology into ecological risk assessment, namely traits-based approaches and ecological modeling. Traits-based approaches are used increasingly to derive correlations

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Jesper H; Aroviita, Jukka; Carstensen, Jacob; Friberg, Nikolai; Johnson, Richard K; Kauppila, Pirkko; Lindegarth, Mats; Murray, Ciarán; Norling, Karl

    2016-10-01

    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 combining indicators within biological quality elements (BQEs) and combining BQEs into a final-integrated assessment are discussed. Specific focus has been put on combining different types of information into indices, since several methods are currently employed. As a consequence of the variety of methods used, comparisons across both BQEs and water categories (river, lakes and coastal waters) can be difficult. Based on our analyses, we conclude that some principles and methods for integration can be critical and that a harmonised approach should be developed. Further, we conclude that the integration 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.

  13. 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 combining indicators within biological quality elements (BQEs) and combining BQEs into a final-integrated assessment are discussed. Specific focus has been put on combining different types of information into indices, since several methods are currently employed. As a consequence of the variety of methods...... used, comparisons across both BQEs and water categories (river, lakes and coastal waters) can be difficult. Based on our analyses, we conclude that some principles and methods for integration can be critical and that a harmonised approach should be developed. Further, we conclude that the integration...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Ecological status classification of the Taizi River Basin, China: a comparison of integrated risk assessment approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Juntao; Semenzin, Elena; Meng, Wei; Giubilato, Elisa; Zhang, Yuan; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Zhou, Yun; Ding, Sen; Wan, Jun; He, Mengchang; Lin, Chunye

    2015-10-01

    Integrated risk assessment approaches allow to achieve a sound evaluation of ecological status of river basins and to gain knowledge about the likely causes of impairment, useful for informing and supporting the decision-making process. In this paper, the integrated risk assessment (IRA) methodology developed in the EU MODELKEY project (and implemented in the MODELKEY Decision Support System) is applied to the Taizi River (China), in order to assess its Ecological and Chemical Status according to EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements. The available dataset is derived by an extensive survey carried out in 2009 and 2010 across the Taizi River catchment, including the monitoring of physico-chemical (i.e. DO, EC, NH3-_N, chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand in 5 days (BOD5) and TP), chemical (i.e. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals), biological (i.e. macroinvertebrates, fish, and algae), and hydromorphological parameters (i.e. water quantity, channel change and morphology diversity). The results show a negative trend in the ecological status from the highland to the lowland of the Taizi River Basin. Organic pollution from agriculture and domestic sources (i.e. COD and BOD5), unstable hydrological regime (i.e. water quantity shortage) and chemical pollutants from industry (i.e. PAHs and metals) are found to be the main stressors impacting the ecological status of the Taizi River Basin. The comparison between the results of the IRA methodology and those of a previous study (Leigh et al. 2012) indicates that the selection of indicators and integrating methodologies can have a relevant impact on the classification of the ecological status. The IRA methodology, which integrates information from five lines of evidence (i.e., biology, physico-chemistry, chemistry, ecotoxicology and hydromorphology) required by WFD, allows to better identify the biological communities that are potentially at risk and the stressors that are most

  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...... to different or mixed physical domains, such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, thermal systems and/or a mixture of them. Two important tools are used in this approach, namely, bond graphs and genetic programming. Bond graphs are useful because they are domain independent, amenable to free...

  18. 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.

  19. New directions in ecological physiology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Feder, M.E; Bennett, A.F; Burggren, W.W; Huey, R.B

    1987-01-01

    .... Twenty leading ecological physiologists and evolutionary biologists have contributed critical evaluations of developments in their respective areas, highlighting major conceptual advances as well...

  20. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

    Describes evolutionary developmental psychology as the study of the genetic and ecological mechanisms that govern the development of social and cognitive competencies common to all human beings and the epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. Outlines basic assumptions and domains of…

  1. 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.

  2. [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.

  3. A Bayesian approach for temporally scaling climate for modeling ecological systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post van der Burg, Max; Anteau, Michael J.; McCauley, Lisa A.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2016-01-01

    With climate change becoming more of concern, many ecologists are including climate variables in their system and statistical models. The Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) is a drought index that has potential advantages in modeling ecological response variables, including a flexible computation of the index over different timescales. However, little development has been made in terms of the choice of timescale for SPEI. We developed a Bayesian modeling approach for estimating the timescale for SPEI and demonstrated its use in modeling wetland hydrologic dynamics in two different eras (i.e., historical [pre-1970] and contemporary [post-2003]). Our goal was to determine whether differences in climate between the two eras could explain changes in the amount of water in wetlands. Our results showed that wetland water surface areas tended to be larger in wetter conditions, but also changed less in response to climate fluctuations in the contemporary era. We also found that the average timescale parameter was greater in the historical period, compared with the contemporary period. We were not able to determine whether this shift in timescale was due to a change in the timing of wet–dry periods or whether it was due to changes in the way wetlands responded to climate. Our results suggest that perhaps some interaction between climate and hydrologic response may be at work, and further analysis is needed to determine which has a stronger influence. Despite this, we suggest that our modeling approach enabled us to estimate the relevant timescale for SPEI and make inferences from those estimates. Likewise, our approach provides a mechanism for using prior information with future data to assess whether these patterns may continue over time. We suggest that ecologists consider using temporally scalable climate indices in conjunction with Bayesian analysis for assessing the role of climate in ecological systems.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Solving Constrained Global Optimization Problems by Using Hybrid Evolutionary Computing and Artificial Life Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jui-Yu Wu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a hybrid real-coded genetic algorithm with a particle swarm optimization (RGA-PSO algorithm and a hybrid artificial immune algorithm with a PSO (AIA-PSO algorithm for solving 13 constrained global optimization (CGO problems, including six nonlinear programming and seven generalized polynomial programming optimization problems. External RGA and AIA approaches are used to optimize the constriction coefficient, cognitive parameter, social parameter, penalty parameter, and mutation probability of an internal PSO algorithm. CGO problems are then solved using the internal PSO algorithm. The performances of the proposed RGA-PSO and AIA-PSO algorithms are evaluated using 13 CGO problems. Moreover, numerical results obtained using the proposed RGA-PSO and AIA-PSO algorithms are compared with those obtained using published individual GA and AIA approaches. Experimental results indicate that the proposed RGA-PSO and AIA-PSO algorithms converge to a global optimum solution to a CGO problem. Furthermore, the optimum parameter settings of the internal PSO algorithm can be obtained using the external RGA and AIA approaches. Also, the proposed RGA-PSO and AIA-PSO algorithms outperform some published individual GA and AIA approaches. Therefore, the proposed RGA-PSO and AIA-PSO algorithms are highly promising stochastic global optimization methods for solving CGO problems.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ecological Engineering Approaches to Improve Hydraulic Properties of Infiltration Basins Designed for Groundwater Recharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gette-Bouvarot, Morgane; Volatier, Laurence; Lassabatere, Laurent; Lemoine, Damien; Simon, Laurent; Delolme, Cécile; Mermillod-Blondin, Florian

    2015-08-18

    Infiltration systems are increasingly used in urban areas for groundwater recharge. The reduction of sediment permeability by physical and/or biological processes is a major problem in management of infiltration systems often requiring expensive engineering operations for hydraulic performance maintenance. To reduce these costs and for the sake of sustainable development, we proposed to evaluate the ability of ecological engineering approaches to reduce the biological clogging of infiltration basins. A 36-day field-scale experiment using enclosures was performed to test the influences of abiotic (light reduction by shading) and biotic (introduction of the macrophyte Vallisneria spiralis (L.) or the gastropod Viviparus viviparus (Linnaeus, 1758)) treatments to limit benthic biofilm biomass and to maintain or even increase hydraulic performances. We coupled biological characterization of sediment (algal biomass, bacterial abundance, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, microbial enzymatic activity, photosynthetic activity, and photosystem II efficiency) with hydraulic conductivity measurements to assess the effects of treatments on sediment permeability. The grazer Viviparus viviparus significantly reduced benthic biofilm biomass and enhanced hydraulic conductivity. The other treatments did not produce significant changes in hydraulic conductivity although Vallisneria spiralis affected photosynthetic activity of biofilm. Finally, our results obtained with Viviparus viviparus are promising for the development of ecological engineering solutions to prevent biological fouling in infiltration systems.

  10. Are theories of perception necessary? A review of Gibson's The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costall, A P

    1984-01-01

    Representational theories of perception postulate an isolated and autonomous "subject" set apart from its real environment, and then go on to invoke processes of mental representation, construction, or hypothesizing to explain how perception can nevertheless take place. Although James Gibson's most conspicuous contribution has been to challenge representational theory, his ultimate concern was the cognitivism which now prevails in psychology. He was convinced that the so-called cognitive revolution merely perpetuates, and even promotes, many of psychology's oldest mistakes. This review article considers Gibson's final statement of his "ecological" alternative to cognitivism (Gibson, 1979). It is intended not as a complete account of Gibson's alternative, however, but primarily as an appreciation of his critical contribution. Gibson's sustained attempt to counter representational theory served not only to reveal the variety of arguments used in support of this theory, but also to expose the questionable metaphysical assumptions upon which they rest. In concentrating upon Gibson's criticisms of representational theory, therefore, this paper aims to emphasize the point of his alternative scheme and to explain some of the important concerns shared by Gibson's ecological approach and operant psychology.

  11. Wars and Conflicts are Only Randomly Connected with Religion and Religious Beliefs. An Outline of Historical, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szocik Konrad

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Many scholars that study of religion and religious beliefs find that they affect behavioral patterns. Some of them suggest that this impact is morally wrong because religion and religious beliefs can cause aggression, conflicts, and wars. However, it seems that this topic is more complicated and complex. Here I show that religion and religious beliefs can affect mentioned above morally wrong patterns only in some particular cases. Usually they do not do it. Here I show an outline of philosophical historical approach that was critically oriented against religion and that accused it about conflicts and wars. Then I briefly discuss two current scientific research approaches to the study of religion, cognitive and evolutionary. They falsify these critically oriented philosophers because they treat connection between religious beliefs and conflicts as random and necessary. The core idea of this paper assumes that religious beliefs do not affect aggression and wars directly. They can sometimes strengthen or weaken some biological mechanisms that then can be used to compete by conflicts or by not-violent inter-group competition.

  12. Optimizing the Structure of Distribution Smart Grids with Renewable Generation against Abnormal Conditions: A Complex Networks Approach with Evolutionary Algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucas Cuadra

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we describe an approach that allows for optimizing the structure of a smart grid (SG with renewable energy (RE generation against abnormal conditions (imbalances between generation and consumption, overloads or failures arising from the inherent SG complexity by combining the complex network (CN and evolutionary algorithm (EA concepts. We propose a novel objective function (to be minimized that combines cost elements, related to the number of electric cables, and several metrics that quantify properties that are beneficial for SGs (energy exchange at the local scale and high robustness and resilience. The optimized SG structure is obtained by applying an EA in which the chromosome that encodes each potential network (or individual is the upper triangular matrix of its adjacency matrix. This allows for fully tailoring the crossover and mutation operators. We also propose a domain-specific initial population that includes both small-world and random networks, helping the EA converge quickly. The experimental work points out that the proposed method works well and generates the optimum, synthetic, small-world structure that leads to beneficial properties such as improving both the local energy exchange and the robustness. The optimum structure fulfills a balance between moderate cost and robustness against abnormal conditions. Our approach should be considered as an analysis, planning and decision-making tool to gain insight into smart grid structures so that the low level detailed design is carried out by using electrical engineering techniques.

  13. Industrial estate planning and management in India--an integrated approach towards industrial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singhal, Shaleen; Kapur, Amit

    2002-09-01

    Industrial estates (IE) are today perceived as an integral part of development strategies of many countries worldwide. The environmental impacts from a concentration of large number of industries in a small area or unplanned IE, can pose a serious threat to both local and global sustainable development initiatives. The formation of ecologically balanced industrial systems can result in numerous environmental and economic benefits. This paper examines the relevance of industrial symbiosis and carrying capacity concepts and proposes an integrated approach towards IE planning in India based on grouping combinations of industries based on carrying capacity, formation of green industrial townships, development of environmental impact assessment guidelines for IE and implementation of environmental management systems.

  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. Applying an ecological restoration approach to study patient safety culture in an intensive care unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenes, Fernanda Raphael Escobar; Torrieri, Mayara Carvalho Godinho Rigobello; Gabriel, Carmen Silvia; Rocha, Fernanda Ludmilla Rossi; Silva, Ana Elisa Bauer de Camargo; Shasanmi, Rebecca O; Cassiani, Silvia Helena De Bortoli

    2016-04-01

    To gain an understanding of medication safety culture and other quality issues in a Brazilian intensive care unit using a restorative approach. Patient safety should be considered one of the pillars of quality in health care. Thus, patient safety culture is increasingly being explored as a guide for quality improvement efforts. A qualitative approach. Participatory photographic research methods from the field of ecological restoration were adapted in this study. This study used focus groups, then subsequent nurse-led photo-narrated walkabouts, and photo elicitation with 23 nurses and one physician in interactive phases of data collection and analysis over an eight-month timeframe. The core themes identified were: the 'medication system shapes patient safety' and the 'feeling of helplessness in the face of the prevailing organization culture'. Participants discussed supports exiting in the intensive care unit that shape medication safety, the barriers that impede safe medication management, the solutions to improve medication safety and the creation of a better medication safety culture. The methods used allowed participants to visualise sound practices as well as key safety issues, reflect on their day-to-day work, re-think potential improvements, and enact changes to improve medication safety and medication safety culture. However, the patient safety culture is also marked by administrative pressure. The hospital needs to adopt participatory management, where the health professionals can act together with the organisational leaders to promote a just culture. The participatory photographic research methods from the field of ecological restoration provided participants with a tool to promote patient safety culture and engage policy change dialogue. However, it will be important in future restorative research to track-specific safety outcomes over time to assess the cost-benefit of the adoption of participatory management models. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. [Clinico-electrophysiologic research on narcolepsy (an evolutionary-dissolution approach)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iakhno, N N; Veĭn, A M; Karmanova, I G; Razumov, V M

    1988-01-01

    The results of clinical and polygraphic investigation of sleep and wakefulness using spectral analysis and fast Fourier transform of EEG are presented with the data on somatosensory evoked potentials in different brain states of multiply symptomatic narcoleptic patients. Functional insufficiency of thalamocortical unspecific system was revealed. The brainstem-hypothalamic systems of sleep-wakefulness cycle regulation were activated. Evolutional approach was applied to the issues of sleep-wakefulness cycle pathology. The possibility of reflection of evolutional regularities of sleep-wakefulness cycle in multiply symptomatic narcolepsy is discussed.

  19. Multidimensional approaches for studying plant defence against insects: from ecology to omics and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barah, Pankaj; Bones, Atle M

    2015-02-01

    The biggest challenge for modern biology is to integrate multidisciplinary approaches towards understanding the organizational and functional complexity of biological systems at different hierarchies, starting from the subcellular molecular mechanisms (microscopic) to the functional interactions of ecological communities (macroscopic). The plant-insect interaction is a good model for this purpose with the availability of an enormous amount of information at the molecular and the ecosystem levels. Changing global climatic conditions are abruptly resetting plant-insect interactions. Integration of discretely located heterogeneous information from the ecosystem to genes and pathways will be an advantage to understand the complexity of plant-insect interactions. This review will present the recent developments in omics-based high-throughput experimental approaches, with particular emphasis on studying plant defence responses against insect attack. The review highlights the importance of using integrative systems approaches to study plant-insect interactions from the macroscopic to the microscopic level. We analyse the current efforts in generating, integrating and modelling multiomics data to understand plant-insect interaction at a systems level. As a future prospect, we highlight the growing interest in utilizing the synthetic biology platform for engineering insect-resistant plants. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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. Genetic, morphological, geographical and ecological approaches reveal phylogenetic relationships in complex groups, an example of recently diverged pinyon pine species (Subsection Cembroides).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Rentería, Lluvia; Wegier, Ana; Ortega Del Vecchyo, Diego; Ortíz-Medrano, Alejandra; Piñero, Daniel; Whipple, Amy V; Molina-Freaner, Francisco; Domínguez, César A

    2013-12-01

    Elucidating phylogenetic relationships and species boundaries within complex taxonomic groups is challenging for intrinsic and extrinsic (i.e., technical) reasons. Mexican pinyon pines are a complex group whose phylogenetic relationships and species boundaries have been widely studied but poorly resolved, partly due to intrinsic ecological and evolutionary features such as low morphological and genetic differentiation caused by recent divergence, hybridization and introgression. Extrinsic factors such as limited sampling and difficulty in selecting informative molecular markers have also impeded progress. Some of the Mexican pinyon pines are of conservation concern but others may remain unprotected because the species boundaries have not been established. In this study we combined approaches to resolve the phylogenetic relationships in this complex group and to establish species boundaries in four recently diverged taxa: P. discolor, P. johannis, P. culminicola and P. cembroides. We performed phylogenetic analyses using the chloroplast markers matK and psbA-trnH as well as complete and partial chloroplast genomes of species of Subsection Cembroides. Additionally, we performed a phylogeographic analysis combining genetic data (18 chloroplast markers), morphological data and geographical data to define species boundaries in four recently diverged taxa. Ecological divergence was supported by differences in climate among localities for distinct genetic lineages. Whereas the phylogenetic analysis inferred with matK and psbA-trnH was unable to resolve the relationships in this complex group, we obtained a resolved phylogeny with the use of the chloroplast genomes. The resolved phylogeny was concordant with a haplotype network obtained using chloroplast markers. In species with potential for recent divergence, hybridization or introgression, nonhierarchical network-based approaches are probably more appropriate to protect against misclassification due to incomplete

  2. 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…

  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. The importance of an evolutionary perspective in conservation policy planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Craig C; Potter, Sally

    2013-12-01

    Prioritization of taxa for conservation must rest on a foundation of correctly identified species boundaries, enhanced by an understanding of evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships. Therefore, we can incorporate both evolutionary and ecological processes into efforts to sustain biodiversity. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Malaney & Cook (2013) highlight the critical value of an evolutionary biogeographical approach, combining multilocus phylogeography with climatic niche modelling to infer phylogenetically weighted conservation priorities for evolutionary lineages of jumping mice across North America. Remarkably, they find that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei), long debated as a threatened taxon, in fact represents the southern terminus of a relatively uniform lineage that expanded well into Alaska during the Holocene. By contrast, some other relictual and phylogenetically divergent taxa of jumping mice likely warrant greater conservation priority. This study highlights the value of integrative approaches that place current taxonomy in a broader evolutionary context to identify taxa for conservation assessment, but also highlights the challenges in maintaining potential for adaptive responses to environmental change. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. 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.

  6. When development matters: From evolutionary psychology to evolutionary developmental psychology

    OpenAIRE

    Hernández Blasi, Carlos; Gardiner, Amy K.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2008-01-01

    This article presents evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP) as an emerging field of evolutionary psychology (EP). In describing the core tenets of both approaches and the differences between them, we emphasize the important roles that evolution and development have in understanding human behaviour. We suggest that developmental psychologists should pay more attention to evolutionary issues and, conversely, evolutionary psychologists should take development seriously. Key words: evol...

  7. Barriers to adaptive reasoning in community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLachlan, Athol J; Ladle, Richard J

    2011-08-01

    Recent high-profile calls for a more trait-focused approach to community ecology have the potential to open up novel research areas, generate new insights and to transform community ecology into a more predictive science. However, a renewed emphasis on function and phenotype also requires a fundamental shift in approach and research philosophy within community ecology to more fully embrace evolutionary reasoning. Such a subject-wise transformation will be difficult due to at least four factors: (1) the historical development of the academic discipline of ecology and its roots as a descriptive science; (2) the dominating role of the ecosystem concept in the driving of contemporary ecological thought; (3) the practical difficulties associated with defining and identifying (phenotypic) adaptations, and; (4) scaling effects in ecology; the difficulty of teasing apart the overlapping and shifting hierarchical processes that generate the observed environment-trait correlations in nature. We argue that the ability to predict future ecological conditions through a sufficient understanding of ecological processes will not be achieved without the placement of the concept of adaptation at the centre of ecology, with influence radiating outwards through all the related (and rapidly specializing) sub-disciplines. © 2010 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2010 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  12. Community metabolic modeling approaches to understanding the gut microbiome: Bridging biochemistry and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendes-Soares, Helena; Chia, Nicholas

    2017-04-01

    Interest in the human microbiome is at an all time high. The number of human microbiome studies is growing exponentially, as are reported associations between microbial communities and disease. However, we have not been able to translate the ever-growing amount of microbiome sequence data into better health. To do this, we need a practical means of transforming a disease-associated microbiome into a health-associated microbiome. This will require a framework that can be used to generate predictions about community dynamics within the microbiome under different conditions, predictions that can be tested and validated. In this review, using the gut microbiome to illustrate, we describe two classes of model that are currently being used to generate predictions about microbial community dynamics: ecological models and metabolic models. We outline the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and discuss the insights into the gut microbiome that have emerged from modeling thus far. We then argue that the two approaches can be combined to yield a community metabolic model, which will supply the framework needed to move from high-throughput omics data to testable predictions about how prebiotic, probiotic, and nutritional interventions affect the microbiome. We are confident that with a suitable model, researchers and clinicians will be able to harness the stream of sequence data and begin designing strategies to make targeted alterations to the microbiome and improve health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. A multi-criteria weight of evidence approach for deriving ecological benchmarks for radioactive substances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garnier-Laplace, J [Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire DEI/SECRE, CEN Cadarache-Batiment 159, BP 3, 13115 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (France); Della-Vedova, C [Magelis, 6 rue Frederic Mistral, 84160 Cadenet (France); Andersson, P [Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, 17116 Stockholm (Sweden); Copplestone, D; Cailes, C; Whitehouse, P [Environment Agency, PO Box 12, Richard Fairclough House, Knutsford Road, Warrington WA4 1HG (United Kingdom); Beresford, N A; Howard, B J; Howe, P, E-mail: jacqueline.garnier-laplace@irsn.f [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP (United Kingdom)

    2010-06-15

    Dose rate benchmarks are required in the tiered approaches used to screen out benign exposure scenarios in radiological ecological risk assessment. Such screening benchmarks, namely the predicted no-effect dose rates (PNEDR), have been derived by applying, as far as possible, the European guidance developed for chemicals. To derive the ecosystem level (or generic) PNEDR, radiotoxicity EDR{sub 10} data (dose rates giving a 10% effect in comparison with the control) were used to fit a species sensitivity distribution (SSD) and estimate the HDR{sub 5} (the hazardous dose rate affecting 5% of species with a 10% effect). Then, a multi-criteria approach was developed to justify using an assessment factor (AF) to apply to the HDR{sub 5} for estimating a PNEDR value. Several different statistical data treatments were considered which all gave reasonably similar results. The suggested generic screening value of 10 {mu}Gy h{sup -1} (incremental dose rate) was derived using the lowest available EDR{sub 10} value per species, an unweighted SSD, and an AF of 2 applied to the estimated HDR{sub 5}. Consideration was also given to deriving screening benchmark values for organism groups but this was not thought to be currently appropriate due to few relevant data being currently available.

  14. An Ecological Approach to Reducing Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use: Canadian Deprescribing Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tannenbaum, Cara; Farrell, Barbara; Shaw, James; Morgan, Steve; Trimble, Johanna; Currie, Jane; Turner, Justin; Rochon, Paula; Silvius, James

    2017-03-01

    Polypharmacy is growing in Canada, along with adverse drug events and drug-related costs. Part of the solution may be deprescribing, the planned and supervised process of dose reduction or stopping of medications that may be causing harm or are no longer providing benefit. Deprescribing can be a complex process, involving the intersection of patients, health care providers, and organizational and policy factors serving as enablers or barriers. This article describes the justification, theoretical foundation, and process for developing a Canadian Deprescribing Network (CaDeN), a network of individuals, organizations, and decision-makers committed to promoting the appropriate use of medications and non-pharmacological approaches to care, especially among older people in Canada. CaDeN will deploy multiple levels of action across multiple stakeholder groups simultaneously in an ecological approach to health system change. CaDeN proposes a unique model that might be applied both in national settings and for different transformational challenges in health care.

  15. 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

  16. Making sense of human ecology mapping: an overview of approaches to integrating socio-spatial data into environmental planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca McLain; Melissa R. Poe; Kelly Biedenweg; Lee K. Cerveny; Diane Besser; Dale J. Blahna

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem-based planning and management have stimulated the need to gather sociocultural values and human uses of land in formats accessible to diverse planners and researchers. Human Ecology Mapping (HEM) approaches offer promising spatial data gathering and analytical tools, while also addressing important questions about human-landscape connections. This article...

  17. Making the ecosystem approach operational-Can regime shifts in ecological- and governance systems facilitate the transition?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Österblom, H.; Gårdmark, A.; Bergström, L.

    2010-01-01

    Effectively reducing cumulative impacts on marine ecosystems requires co-evolution between science, policy and practice. Here, long-term social–ecological changes in the Baltic Sea are described, illustrating how the process of making the ecosystem approach operational in a large marine ecosystem...

  18. 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…

  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. Mental health and support among young key populations: an ecological approach to understanding and intervention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mutumba, Massy; Harper, Gary W

    2015-01-01

    .... This paper utilizes Bronfenbrenner's Bioecological Systems Theory and the Social Stress Model to explore the risk and protective factors for MHDs across YKPs'