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Sample records for granivorous zonotrichia capensis

  1. Osmoregulatory responses to dietary protein and water intake in the granivorous Zonotrichia capensis (Passerine, Emberizidae Respuestas osmorregulatorias a la proteína dietaria y al consumo de agua en el granívoro Zonotrichia capensis (Paseriformes, Emberizidae

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    PATRICIA ALDEA

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the osmoregulatory responses of the granivore Zonotrichia capensis, acclimated to high- and low-protein diets as well as two levels of water intake. We tested whether Z. capensis has the ability to modify the proportion of nitrogenous waste in the excreta when protein intake and water intake varies. After 21 days of acclimation, plasma osmolality was not significantly affected by dietary treatment; however, excreta osmolality was higher in the high-protein group compared to the low-protein group. Nitrogenous wastes in Z. capensis are excreted mainly in the form of uric acid. The proportion of kidney devoted to medullary tissue was 40 % higher in dehydrated birds than in hydrated birds. Excreta osmolality was higher in dehydrated birds, and in all cases higher than plasma concentration by more than 300 mOsm kg"¹. Our data do not support the hypothesis that Z. capensis can switch nitrogen excretion pathways. We hypothesize that the low water content of the seed-base diet, the comparatively low water intake, and the large difference between urine and plasma concentrations may minimize the retrograde flux of urine to the lower intestinal tract, thereby reducing the potential for post-renal urine modificationEstudiamos la respuesta osmorregulatoria del granívoro Zonotrichia capensis, aclimatado a dietas con alta y baja proteína como también a dos niveles de ingestión de agua. Evaluamos si Z. capensis tiene la capacidad de modificar la proporción de los desechos nitrogenados en la excreta cuando la ingestión de proteína y agua varía. Después de 21 días de aclimatación, la osmolalidad del plasma no fue afectada significativamente por el tratamiento dietario. Sin embargo, la osmolalidad de la excreta fue mayor en el grupo alta-proteína comparado con el grupo baja-proteína. Los desechos nitrogenados en Z. capensis son excretados mayoritariamente en forma de ácido úrico. La proporción del riñon ocupado por tejido medular fue

  2. External and gastrointestinal parasites of the rufous-collared sparrow Zonotrichia capensis (Passeriformes, Emberizidae in Chile

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    Sebastián Llanos-Soto

    Full Text Available Abstract A total of 277 rufous-collared sparrows, Zonotrichia capensis Müller, 1776 (Emberizidae, were examined for external parasites. The birds were captured using mist nets in seven locations in northern and central Chile. Additionally, seven carcasses from central Chile (the Biobío region were necropsied to evaluate the presence of endoparasite infection. Ectoparasites were found on 35.8% (99/277 of the examined birds and they were represented by the following arthropods: feather mites Amerodectes zonotrichiae Mironov and González-Acuña, 2014 (Analgoidea: Proctophyllodidae, Proctophyllodes polyxenus Atyeo and Braasch, 1966 (Analgoidea: Proctophyllodidae, and Trouessartia capensis Berla, 1959 (Analgoidea: Trouessartiidae; a louse Philopterus sp. (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera; and ticks Amblyomma tigrinum Koch, 1844 (Acari: Ixodidae and Ixodes auritulus Neumann, 1904 (Acari: Ixodidae. Two of the seven necropsied carcasses were infected with the acanthocephalan Mediorhynchus papillosus Van Cleave, 1916 (Gigantorhynchida: Gigantorhynchidae. To our knowledge, this study reports P. polyxenus, Philopterus sp., A. tigrinum, and M. papillosus for the first time for Z. capensis and expands the distributional range for T. capensis to Chile.

  3. The behavioral ecology and breeding biology of the andean sparrow, Zonotrichia Capensis The behavioral ecology and breeding biology of the andean sparrow, Zonotrichia Capensis

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    Miller Alden H.

    1968-09-01

    Full Text Available La ecología de comportamiento y la biología de la reproducción de los Gorriones Andinos "copetones" (Zonotrichia capensis fueron estudiadas a lo largo de un año en una población ubicada a 2.000 metros de altura en la Cordillera Occidental de Colombia. Se capturaron cerca de 170 individuos, y para hacer posible su identificación en el campo se marcaron convenientemente. En varias ocasiones se Iogró la recaptura de muchos de éstos con el objeto de estudiar los cambios de plumaje y ciclos reproductivos a lo largo del año. La condición reproductiva de muchos individuos fue evaluada gracias a repetidas laparotomías. Se describen nueve tipos diferentes de vocalizaciones y se discute sus funciones.  Se establece la existencia de comunicación entre estas aves por medio de variación del plumaje, posturas y movimientos.  Sólo las hembras construyen nidos, los cuales se colocan ya sea en el suelo o sobre arbustos, pero en ningún caso a más de un metro de altura sobre el suelo. La puesta usual es de dos huevos en dos días consecutivos y en las primeras horas de la mañana. La hembra efectúa la incubación que dura de once a doce días. Los polluelos están listos a abandonar el nido en 10 0 12 días más. Los machos y hembras jóvenes alcanzan madurez reproductiva entre los 12 y 11 meses de edad. Muchas hembras vuelven a anidar si han perdido el nido con huevos o los polluelos tiernos.  Algunas hembras anidan por segunda vez inmediatamente después de haber criado polluelos.  Los machos se establecen en territorios claramente definidos y los mantienen a través de nidadas sucesivas. Los lazos de union entre los miembros de una pareja duran de una nidada a la siguiente, aun a través de períodos sin reproducción. Los territorios observados tenían típicamente cerca de 30 x 20 metros. La mayor parte de la alimentación parecía provenir del área definida, aunque ocasionalmente pueden abandonarla.  Alguna vez una pareja fue vista a

  4. Integrating evolutionary and functional tests of adaptive hypotheses: a case study of altitudinal differentiation in hemoglobin function in an Andean Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis.

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    Cheviron, Zachary A; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Projecto-Garcia, Joana; Eddy, Douglas K; Jones, Jennifer; Carling, Matthew D; Witt, Christopher C; Moriyama, Hideaki; Weber, Roy E; Fago, Angela; Storz, Jay F

    2014-11-01

    In air-breathing vertebrates, the physiologically optimal blood-O2 affinity is jointly determined by the prevailing partial pressure of atmospheric O2, the efficacy of pulmonary O2 transfer, and internal metabolic demands. Consequently, genetic variation in the oxygenation properties of hemoglobin (Hb) may be subject to spatially varying selection in species with broad elevational distributions. Here we report the results of a combined functional and evolutionary analysis of Hb polymorphism in the rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), a species that is continuously distributed across a steep elevational gradient on the Pacific slope of the Peruvian Andes. We integrated a population genomic analysis that included all postnatally expressed Hb genes with functional studies of naturally occurring Hb variants, as well as recombinant Hb (rHb) mutants that were engineered through site-directed mutagenesis. We identified three clinally varying amino acid polymorphisms: Two in the α(A)-globin gene, which encodes the α-chain subunits of the major HbA isoform, and one in the α(D)-globin gene, which encodes the α-chain subunits of the minor HbD isoform. We then constructed and experimentally tested single- and double-mutant rHbs representing each of the alternative α(A)-globin genotypes that predominate at different elevations. Although the locus-specific patterns of altitudinal differentiation suggested a history of spatially varying selection acting on Hb polymorphism, the experimental tests demonstrated that the observed amino acid mutations have no discernible effect on respiratory properties of the HbA or HbD isoforms. These results highlight the importance of experimentally validating the hypothesized effects of genetic changes in protein function to avoid the pitfalls of adaptive storytelling. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please

  5. Contrasting seasonal and aseasonal environments across stages of the annual cycle in the Rufous-collared Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis: differences in endocrine function, proteome, and body condition.

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    González-Gómez, Paulina L; Echeverria, Valentina; Estades, Cristian F; Perez, Jonathan H; Krause, Jesse S; Sabat, Pablo; Li, Jonathon; Kültz, Dietmar; Wingfield, John C

    2018-05-09

    1.The timing and duration of life history stages (LHS) within the annual cycle can be affected by local environmental cues which are integrated through endocrine signaling mechanisms and changes in protein function. Most animals express a single LHS within a given period of the year because synchronous expression of LHSs is thought to be too costly energetically. However, in very rare and extremely stable conditions, breeding and molt have been observed to overlap extensively in Rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) living in valleys of the Atacama Desert - one of the most stable and aseasonal environments on Earth. 2.To examine how LHS traits at different levels of organization are affected by environmental variability we compared the temporal organization and duration of LHSs in populations in the Atacama Desert with those in the semiarid Fray Jorge National Park in the north of Chile - an extremely seasonal climate but with unpredictable droughts and heavy rainy seasons. 3.We studied the effects of environmental variability on morphological variables related to body condition, endocrine traits, and proteome. Birds living in the seasonal environment had a strict temporal division LHSs while birds living in the aseasonal environment failed to maintain a temporal division of LHSs resulting in direct overlap of breeding and molt. Further, higher circulating glucocorticoids and androgen concentrations were found in birds from seasonal compared to aseasonal populations. Despite these differences, body condition variables and protein expression were not related to the degree of seasonality but rather showed a strong relationship with hormone levels. 4.These results suggest that animals adjust to their environment through changes in behavioral and endocrine traits and may be limited by less labile traits such as morphological variables or expression of specific proteins under certain circumstances. These data on free-living birds shed light on how different

  6. Variation in the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone-1 and the song control system in the tropical breeding rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) is dependent on sex and reproductive state.

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    Stevenson, Tyler J; Small, Thomas W; Ball, Gregory F; Moore, Ignacio T

    2012-08-01

    Seasonal breeding in temperate zone vertebrates is characterised by pronounced variation in both central and peripheral reproductive physiology as well as behaviour. In contrast, many tropical species have a comparatively longer and less of a seasonal pattern of breeding than their temperate zone counterparts. These extended, more "flexible" reproductive periods may be associate with a lesser degree of annual variation in reproductive physiology. Here we investigated variation in the neuroendocrine control of reproduction in relation to the changes in the neural song control system in a tropical breeding songbird the rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis). Using in situ hybridization, we show that the optical density of GnRH1 mRNA expression is relatively constant across pre-breeding and breeding states. However, males were found to have significantly greater expression compared to females regardless of breeding state. Both males and females showed marked variation in measures of peripheral reproductive physiology with greater gonadal volumes and concentrations of sex steroids in the blood (i.e. testosterone in males; estrogen in females) during the breeding season as compared to the pre-breeding season. These findings suggest that the environmental cues regulating breeding in a tropical breeding bird ultimately exert their effects on physiology at the level of the median eminence and regulate the release of GnRH1. In addition, histological analysis of the song control system HVC, RA and Area X revealed that breeding males had significantly larger volumes of these brain nuclei as compared to non-breeding males, breeding females, and non-breeding females. Females did not exhibit a significant difference in the size of song control regions across breeding states. Together, these data show a marked sex difference in the extent to which there is breeding-associated variation in reproductive physiology and brain plasticity that is dependent on the reproductive

  7. Granivorous birds and sorghum crop in the province of Villa Clara,Cuba

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    Orlando Miguel Saucedo Castillo

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to reduce the damages granivorous birds cause to sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench in the province of Villa Clara, Cuba, research based on the determination of the major endemic, migratory birds and their relationship with the distribution were made space of historical meteorological variables in the province in the seasonal behavior of birds in different climatic regions. Population to sorghum producers grouped in different forms surveys were conducted, which yielded a large database, such as the determination of the main grain-eating birds percentage damage incurred, varieties, grain color, growth stage and other indicators. Nine main species affecting sorghum grain-eating birds in our province were recorded; Passer domesticus, Lonchura malacca, Lonchura punctulata, Dives atroviolaceus, Passerina cyanea, Zonotrichia leucophrys, Columbina passerine, Zenaida macroura y Zenaida asiatica. The spatial distribution of meteorological variables and their relation to the seasonal behavior of birds in different climatic regions of the province was determined, based on record four preferential habitat areas. The results allowed us to provide companies and different forms of production in Villa Clara, the possibility of a varietal structure planting of sorghum on the basis of different preferential areas granivorous birds, together with the morphological and physiological characteristics of different genotypes introduced in agricultural production of the province and nationally.

  8. and labeo capensis

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    J t is known that the yellowfish (Barb us holubi), barhel (Clarias goriepinus) and mudfish (Lobeo capensis and Lobeo umbratus) all contain multiple haemoglobins (Hattingh &. Du Toit 1973; Du Toit et a/1973) but nothing is known about the structure of haemoglobin in these fish. In this paper the oxygen and carbon dioxide ...

  9. Reaction of mutualistic and granivorous ants to ulex elaiosome chemicals.

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    Gammans, Nicola; Bullock, James M; Gibbons, Hannah; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2006-09-01

    It has been proposed that chemicals on plant elaiosomes aid seed detection by seed-dispersing ants. We hypothesized that the chemical interaction between ants and elaiosomes is more intimate than a generic attraction, and that elaiosome chemicals will attract mutualistic but not granivorous ant species. We investigated this by using two gorse species, Ulex minor and U. europaeus, and two associated ant species from European heathlands, the mutualist Myrmica ruginodis and the granivore Tetramorium caespitum. Behavioral studies were conducted with laboratory nests and foraging arenas. Both ants will take Ulex seeds, but while M. ruginodis showed increased antennation toward ether extracts of elaiosome surface chemicals compared with controls, T. caespitum showed no response. Elaiosome extracts were separated into seven lipid fractions. M. ruginodis showed increased antennation only toward the diglyceride fractions of both Ulex species, whereas T. caespitum showed no consistent reaction. This indicates that M. ruginodis can detect the elaiosome by responding to its surface chemicals, but T. caespitum is unresponsive to these chemicals. Responses to surface chemicals could increase the rate of seed detection in the field, and so these results suggest that Ulex elaiosomes produce chemicals that facilitate attraction of mutualistic rather than granivorous ant species. This could reduce seed predation and increase Ulex fitness.

  10. DRIFT PATTERNS OF ANCHOVY ENGRAULIS CAPENSIS ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the southern Benguela, successful recruitment of Cape anchovy Engraulis capensis is highly variable ... The model was able to explain 95% of the observed variability in recruitment for the period 1987–1993 ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  11. Does the endangered Knysna seahorse, Hippocampus capensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. The Knysna seahorse, Hippocampus capensis, is an endangered teleost confined to three South African estuaries. Its abundance within these systems is low and distributions are patchy. Consequently, monitoring population sizes is labour- intensive. The aim of this study was to establish if Knynsa seahorses are ...

  12. The role of granivorous rodents in beech forest regeneration in the Beskydy Mts. (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Heroldová, Marta; Suchomel, J.; Purchart, L.; Homolka, Miloslav

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 2 (2008), s. 131-134 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MZe QH72075 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : beech mast biomass * granivorous rodents * daily consumption rate * mountain beech forest * regeneration Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  13. Reproduction in the Cape horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus capensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    the largest preovulatory Graafian follicle wilh a diamecer of. 448, I )lm. The preovulatory Graafian follicle is characterized by a cumulus oophorus of about four cell layers and division of the theca folliculi intO a cellular theca intema and fibrous theca extema. The corpus luteum of R. capensi.s comprises a single type of.

  14. Selection on spur shape in Impatiens capensis.

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    Young, Helen J

    2008-06-01

    Rapid speciation within some plant families has been attributed to the evolution of floral spurs and to the effect of spur length on plant reproductive success. The flowers of Impatiens capensis (jewelweed) possess a long, curved spur in which nectar is produced and stored. Spur length and curvature varies among plants within one population. Here I document that spur shape is variable in natural populations, variation within plants is less than variation among plants, and spur shape is correlated with components of female and male reproductive success. The apparent natural selection is weakly directional in 1 of 2 years, with greatest seed production and pollen removal occurring in flowers with the greatest spur curvature. Bee pollinator visit length is longest at flowers with highly curved spurs, and they leave less nectar in these spurs than in flowers with straighter spurs. Spur angle evolution may be limited, at least in part, by opposing selection by nectar-robbers who prefer to visit flowers with greater spur curvature. Other factors that might contribute to the maintenance of spur angle variation are temporal variation in the strength of selection and potential genetic correlations of spur shape with other traits under selection.

  15. Reproductive biology of the cape serotine bat, Eptesicus capensis in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The reproductive biology of the Cape serotine bat, Eptesicus capensis, was investigated histologically. The study was based on 67 specimens collected over a six-year period. This species is seasonally monoestrous, normally giving birth to twins during November. Spermatogenesis peaks during autumn (March-May) when ...

  16. Cape anchovy Engraulis capensis spawn mainly east of Cape Point ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    In the southern Benguela, successful recruitment of Cape anchovy Engraulis capensis is ... Based on the total area of 16–19°C water on the western Agulhas. Bank, Richardson et al. .... in the zone, φ the new value, and β is a relaxation pa-.

  17. Contributions to the biology of the Cape gurnard, Trigla capensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Study of otoliths of the Cape gurnard,Trigla capensis, has established that the rings are annular. An opaque zone is formed from February to Jury and a hyaline zone during the spawning season from August to March. Females grow faster than males. The Von Bertalanffy growth equation of the females was found to be.

  18. Parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, evade policing

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    Martin, Stephen J.; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2002-01-01

    Relocation of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, by bee-keepers from southern to northern South Africa in 1990 has caused widespread death of managed African honeybee, A. m. scutellata, colonies. Apis mellifera capensis worker bees are able to lay diploid, female eggs without mating by means of automictic thelytoky (meiosis followed by fusion of two meiotic products to restore egg diploidy), whereas workers of other honeybee subspecies are able to lay only haploid, male eggs. The A. m. capensis workers, which are parasitizing and killing A. m. scutellata colonies in northern South Africa, are the asexual offspring of a single, original worker in which the small amount of genetic variation observed is due to crossing over during meiosis (P. Kryger, personal communication). Here we elucidate two principal mechanisms underlying this parasitism. Parasitic A. m. capensis workers activate their ovaries in host colonies that have a queen present (queenright colonies), and they lay eggs that evade being killed by other workers (worker policing)-the normal fate of worker-laid eggs in colonies with a queen. This unique parasitism by workers is an instance in which a society is unable to control the selfish actions of its members.

  19. Basking behaviour in the rock hyrax ( Procavia capensis ) during ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Basking is a behaviour frequently observed in the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) during winter that supposedly plays a significant role in rewarming from nocturnal hypothermia. This behaviour, together with changes in body temperature and changes in black bulb temperatures (Tbb) were investigated in the natural ...

  20. Reproductive biology of horse mackerel Trachurus capensis and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Harvest control measures for Namibia and Angola are defined using reference points for spawning biomass, which requires knowledge of spawning potential and dynamics of fishery stocks. The reproductive biology of two species of horse mackerel, Trachurus capensis and Trachurus trecae, in these waters was ...

  1. Trophic relationships of hake ( Merluccius capensis and M ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The trophic relationships of two hake species (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus) and three shark species (Centrophorus squamosus, Deania calcea and D. profundorum) were investigated using nitrogen and carbon stable isotope signatures (δ15N and δ13C) of their muscle tissues. The sharks were more enriched in ...

  2. Beech-mast crop evaluation in Kněhyně forest complex (Beskydy Mts. Czech Republic) as a food supply for granivorous rodents

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Heroldová, Marta; Suchomel, J.; Purchart, L.; Čepelka, L.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 1 (2013), s. 27-32 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MZe QH72075 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : beech mountain forests * biomass of beechnuts harvest * diet supply for granivorous species Subject RIV: GF - Plant Pathology, Vermin, Weed, Plant Protection

  3. Winter density and habitat preferences of three declining granivorous farmland birds: The importance of the keeping of poultry and dairy farms

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Havlíček, J.; Riegert, J.; Nešpor, M.; Fuchs, R.; Kipson, M.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 1 (2015), s. 10-16 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Central Europe * Dairy farms * Granivorous birds * Habitat preferences * Poultry keeping * Winter period Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.220, year: 2015

  4. Genetic variation in natural honeybee populations, Apis mellifera capensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepburn, Randall; Neumann, Peter; Radloff, Sarah E.

    2004-09-01

    Genetic variation in honeybee, Apis mellifera, populations can be considerably influenced by breeding and commercial introductions, especially in areas with abundant beekeeping. However, in southern Africa apiculture is based on the capture of wild swarms, and queen rearing is virtually absent. Moreover, the introduction of European subspecies constantly failed in the Cape region. We therefore hypothesize a low human impact on genetic variation in populations of Cape honeybees, Apis mellifera capensis. A novel solution to studying genetic variation in honeybee populations based on thelytokous worker reproduction is applied to test this hypothesis. Environmental effects on metrical morphological characters of the phenotype are separated to obtain a genetic residual component. The genetic residuals are then re-calculated as coefficients of genetic variation. Characters measured included hair length on the abdomen, width and length of wax plate, and three wing angles. The data show for the first time that genetic variation in Cape honeybee populations is independent of beekeeping density and probably reflects naturally occurring processes such as gene flow due to topographic and climatic variation on a microscale.

  5. Aspects of pollination and floral development in Ficus capensis Thunb. (Moraceae

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    H. Baijnath

    1983-11-01

    Full Text Available A unique obligatory symbiosis exists between Ficus capensis Thunb., and its pollinator, Ceratosolen capensis Grandi. Flowers from both aerial and geocarpic syconia may be pollinated and produce seeds. Females of C. capensis possess specialized mesothoracic pockets in which pollen is transferred from ripening syconia to receptive ones. A second primary sycophile, Sycophaga cyclostigma Waterston, appears to be ineffective in pollination.Several secondary sycophiles oviposit through the syconial wall. Strong sexual dimorphism exists in most sycophilous wasps. All female flowers have the potential to produce either seeds or galls and variation is merely one of gross morphology. Flowering is distinctly asynchronous. Seeds are dispersed by various fruit predators and germinate very easily under warm humid conditions.

  6. Short-sighted evolution of virulence in parasitic honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Hepburn, H. Randall; Neumann, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The short-sighted selection hypothesis for parasite virulence predicts that winners of within-host competition are poorer at transmission to new hosts. Social parasitism by self-replicating, female-producing workers occurs in the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis, and colonies of other honeybee subspecies are susceptible hosts. We found high within-host virulence but low transmission rates in a clone of social parasitic A. m. capensis workers invading the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In contrast, parasitic workers from the endemic range of A. m. capensis showed low within-host virulence but high transmission rates. This suggests a short-sighted selection scenario for the host-parasite co-evolution in the invasive range of the Cape honeybee, probably facilitated by beekeeping-assisted parasite transmission in apiaries.

  7. Polytocy in the Cape serotine bat Eptesicus capensis (A. Smith 1829 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Polytocy is described in the Cape serotine bat, Eptesicus capensis,and discussed in relation to the occurrence of multiple births in other microchiropteran bat species in the southern African subregion. Although twins appear to be characteristic of the Cape serotine bat, triplets and even the occasional quadruplets occur.

  8. Morphological correlates of echolocation frequency in the endemic Cape horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus capensis (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odendaal, Lizelle J; Jacobs, David S

    2011-05-01

    We investigated intraspecific variation in echolocation calls of the Cape horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus capensis, by comparing echolocation and associated morphological parameters among individuals from three populations of this species. The populations were situated in the center and at the western and eastern limits of the distribution of R. capensis. The latter two populations were situated in ecotones between vegetation biomes. Ecotone populations deviated slightly from the allometric relationship between body size and peak frequency for the genus, and there was no relationship between these variables within R. capensis. Nasal chamber length was the best predictor of peak frequency but not correlated with body size. The evolution of echolocation thus appears to have been uncoupled from body size in R. capensis. Furthermore, females used higher frequencies than males, which imply a potential social role for peak frequency. The differences in peak frequency may have originated from random founder effects and then compounded by genetic drift and/or natural selection. The latter may have acted directly on peak frequency altering skull parameters involved in echolocation independently of body size, resulting in the evolution of local acoustic signatures.

  9. Reintroduction of captive-bred African Grass-Owls Tyto capensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study represents the first attempt to determine post-release survival of a captive-bred owl in Africa. We released six captive-bred African Grass-Owls Tyto capensis into suitable habitat and, using radio telemetry, determined their daytime roost sites. One bird left the study area soon after release and did not yield data.

  10. Interspecific competition alters natural selection on shade avoidance phenotypes in Impatiens capensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGoey, Brechann V; Stinchcombe, John R

    2009-08-01

    Shade avoidance syndrome is a known adaptive response for Impatiens capensis growing in dense intraspecific competition. However, I. capensis also grow with dominant interspecific competitors in marshes. Here, we compare the I. capensis shade-avoidance phenotypes produced in the absence and presence of heterospecific competitors, as well as selection on those traits. Two treatments were established in a marsh; in one treatment all heterospecifics were removed, while in the other, all competitors remained. We compared morphological traits, light parameters, seed output and, using phenotypic selection analysis, examined directional and nonlinear selection operating in the different competitive treatments. Average phenotypes, light parameters and seed production all varied depending on competitive treatment. Phenotypic selection analyses revealed different directional, disruptive, stabilizing and correlational selection. The disparities seen in both phenotypes and selection between the treatments related to the important differences in elongation timing depending on the presence of heterospecifics, although environmental covariances between traits and fitness could also contribute. Phenotypes produced by I. capensis depend on their competitive environment, and differing selection on shade-avoidance traits between competitive environments could indirectly select for increased plasticity given gene flow between populations in different competitive contexts.

  11. Studies in the genus Riccia (Marchantiales from southern Africa. 9. R. nigrella and the status of R. capensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. M. Perold

    1988-10-01

    Full Text Available R. nigrella DC. (Lamarck & De Candolle 1815, with which R. capensis auct. non Steph.: S. Amell (1952, 1963, is conspecific, is now also recognized from southern Africa. The thallus is brown marginally and dorsally and has shiny black scales with smooth margins at which coloured and hyaline cells alternate irregularly. Arnell's (1961 records of R. capensis Steph. from the Canary Islands are to be regarded as erroneous. R. capensis Steph. (Stephani in Brunnthaler 1913 is now placed in synonymy under R. limbata Bisch.

  12. Propagation of Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera capensis in an in vitro Culture System

    OpenAIRE

    Ileana MICLEA; Marius ZĂHAN

    2017-01-01

    Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera capensis (Droseraceae) are carnivorous plants grown as ornamentals and sources for homeopathic medicine. The aim of this study was to optimize nutrient and growth regulator concentrations for the in vitro propagation of these species. Half strength MS medium (1/2MS) was supplemented with kinetin (0.5, 2, 5 mg/l) or 6-benzyladenine (3, 5 mg/l) and plantlets were transferred to 1/2MS with or without cytokinins. After 8 weeks rosette diameter, plant height, numbe...

  13. Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities of Pleurostylia capensis Turcz (Loes) (celastraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razwinani, Mapula; Tshikalange, Thilivhali Emmanuel; Motaung, Shirley C K M

    2014-01-01

    Pleurostylia capensis is a large tree that can reach the maximum height of 20 m long, and it have been traditionally used as cosmetic, for steam bath, ritual body wash, and as a purgative to treat symptoms of witchcraft. Using ethanol, chloroform, dichloromethane (DCM), ethyl acetate (EA), and water extracts, leaves, bark and roots of Pleurostylia capensis were investigated scientifically for their effectiveness in antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities using standard methods. The extracts were evaluated for antimicrobial activity against Gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Mycobacterium smegmatis), Gram negative (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Klebsiella oxytoca, Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella typhimurium), and Candida albicans. The antioxidant activity was investigated using 2, 2-diphenlyl-1-picrylhadrazyl (DPPH), free radical scavenging assay. The anti-inflammatory activity of P. capensis extracts was evaluated against both cyclooxygenase enzymes (COX 1 and 2). The ethyl acetate extracts of P. capensis showed a strong antimicrobial activity against B. cereus, K. pneumonia, S. pyogenes, and M. smegmatis with MIC value of 0.39 and 0.78 mg/ml. While the ethanol bark extract was most active against M. smegmatis with MIC value of 0.78 mg/ml; the least potent activity was observed with dichloromethane, chloroform and water extracts, with an MIC value ranging from 1.56 mg/ml to 50.0 mg/ml. The plant extracts proved to be good antioxidant agent, whereas extracts of ethanol were the most active, with IC50 ranging from 1.00 to 1.74 µg/ml, which is lower, and in close range to Vitamin C (1.40 µg/ml). Its moderation to potent inhibitory activity was observed in all extracts. Ethanol and dichloromethane extracts were among the most potent when compared to water and petroleum ether extracts. The water extracts showed to be nontoxic on the Hek cell line with an IC50 value of 204.0, and 207

  14. Propagation of Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera capensis in an in vitro Culture System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ileana MICLEA

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera capensis (Droseraceae are carnivorous plants grown as ornamentals and sources for homeopathic medicine. The aim of this study was to optimize nutrient and growth regulator concentrations for the in vitro propagation of these species. Half strength MS medium (1/2MS was supplemented with kinetin (0.5, 2, 5 mg/l or 6-benzyladenine (3, 5 mg/l and plantlets were transferred to 1/2MS with or without cytokinins. After 8 weeks rosette diameter, plant height, number of roots, root length were recorded and plants were cultured in full strength MS, 1/2MS or 1/2MS with 0.5 mg/l α-naphthaleneacetic acid for the same period of time. Afterwards, plant characteristics (number of roots, root length, number of shoots, number of flower stalks were assessed. For D. rotundifolia, shoot development and rosette diameter increased significantly in the medium with 0.5 mg/l kinetin and 3 mg/l 6-benzyladenine, while root development decreased. Plant growth regulator free medium was more suitable for root development than medium with α-naphthaleneacetic acid and thus supported the formation of significantly more flower stalks. For D. capensis, kinetin was detrimental for shoot development, the optimum medium for both shoot and root formation being MS without plant growth regulators.

  15. The transcriptomic changes associated with the development of social parasitism in the honeybee Apis mellifera capensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aumer, Denise; Mumoki, Fiona N.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2018-04-01

    Social insects are characterized by the division of labor. Queens usually dominate reproduction, whereas workers fulfill non-reproductive age-dependent tasks to maintain the colony. Although workers are typically sterile, they can activate their ovaries to produce their own offspring. In the extreme, worker reproduction can turn into social parasitism as in Apis mellifera capensis. These intraspecific parasites occupy a host colony, kill the resident queen, and take over the reproductive monopoly. Because they exhibit a queenlike behavior and are also treated like queens by the fellow workers, they are so-called pseudoqueens. Here, we compare the development of parasitic pseudoqueens and social workers at different time points using fat body transcriptome data. Two complementary analysis methods—a principal component analysis and a time course analysis—led to the identification of a core set of genes involved in the transition from a social worker into a highly fecund parasitic pseudoqueen. Comparing our results on pseudoqueens with gene expression data of honeybee queens revealed many similarities. In addition, there was a set of specific transcriptomic changes in the parasitic pseudoqueens that differed from both, queens and social workers, which may be typical for the development of the social parasitism in A. m. capensis.

  16. Identification of the female-produced sex pheromone of the leafminer Holocacista capensis infesting grapevine in South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, H.-L.; Geertsema, H.; Nieukerken, van E.J.; Löfstedt, C.

    2015-01-01

    We report the first identification of a sex pheromone in a heliozelid moth, Holocacista capensis van Nieukerken & Geertsema. This leafminer recently infested grapevine in South Africa. Compared to solvent extraction of pheromone glands, solid phase microextraction (SPME) proved to be highly

  17. Seasonal change in body fat of the Hyrax Procavia capensis (Pallas, 1766 using a body fat ranking index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.J. Fourie

    1985-11-01

    Full Text Available Changes in the body fat content of the hyrax Procavia capensis were used as an indicator of physiological condition. Body fat rankings for the different sexes showed seasonal variations related to physiologically stressful periods (rutting, gestation and lactation. The subjective body fat rankings were correlated significantly with total body fat.

  18. Echolocation in the bat, Rhinolophus capensis: the influence of clutter, conspecifics and prey on call design and intensity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kayleigh Fawcett

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Echolocating bats are exposed not only to the echoes of their own calls, but often the signals of conspecifics and other bats. For species emitting short, frequency modulated signals e.g. vespertilionoids, adjustments in both the frequency and time domain have been observed in such situations. However, bats using long duration, constant frequency calls may confront special challenges, since these bats should be less able to avoid temporal and frequency overlap. Here we investigated echolocation call design in the highduty cycle bat, Rhinolophus capensis, as bats flew with either a conspecific or heterospecific in a large outdoor flight-room. We compared these recordings to those made of bats flying alone in the same flight-room, and in a smaller flight room, alone, and hunting tethered moths. We found no differences in duty cycle or peak frequency of the calls of R. capensis across conditions. However, in the presence of a conspecific or the vespertilionoid, Miniopterus natalensis, R. capensis produced longer frequency-modulated downward sweeps at the terminus of their calls with lower minimum frequencies than when flying alone. In the presence of the larger high-duty cycle bat, R. clivosus, R. capensis produced shorter calls than when flying alone or with a conspecific. These changes are similar to those of vespertilionoids when flying from open to more cluttered environments. They are not similar to those differences observed in vespertilionoids when flying with other bats. Also unlike vespertilinoids, R. capensis used calls 15 dB less intense in conspecific pairs than when alone.

  19. Life on the rocks: Multilocus phylogeography of rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) from southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maswanganye, K Amanda; Cunningham, Michael J; Bennett, Nigel C; Chimimba, Christian T; Bloomer, Paulette

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the role of geography and climatic cycles in determining patterns of biodiversity is important in comparative and evolutionary biology and conservation. We studied the phylogeographic pattern and historical demography of a rock-dwelling small mammal species from southern Africa, the rock hyrax Procavia capensis capensis. Using a multilocus coalescent approach, we assessed the influence of strong habitat dependence and fluctuating regional climates on genetic diversity. We sequenced a mitochondrial gene (cytochrome b) and two nuclear introns (AP5, PRKC1) supplemented with microsatellite genotyping, in order to assess evolutionary processes over multiple temporal scales. In addition, distribution modelling was used to investigate the current and predicted distribution of the species under different climatic scenarios. Collectively, the data reveal a complex history of isolation followed by secondary contact shaping the current intraspecific diversity. The cyt b sequences confirmed the presence of two previously proposed geographically and genetically distinct lineages distributed across the southern African Great Escarpment and north-western mountain ranges. Molecular dating suggests Miocene divergence of the lineages, yet there are no discernible extrinsic barriers to gene flow. The nuclear markers reveal incomplete lineage sorting or ongoing mixing of the two lineages. Although the microsatellite data lend some support to the presence of two subpopulations, there is weak structuring within and between lineages. These data indicate the presence of gene flow from the northern into the southern parts of the southern African sub-region likely following the secondary contact. The distribution modelling predictably reveal the species' preference for rocky areas, with stable refugia through time in the northern mountain ranges, the Great Escarpment, as well as restricted areas of the Northern Cape Province and the Cape Fold Mountains of South Africa

  20. The jaw is a second-class lever in Pedetes capensis (Rodentia: Pedetidae

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    Philip G. Cox

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The mammalian jaw is often modelled as a third-class lever for the purposes of biomechanical analyses, owing to the position of the resultant muscle force between the jaw joint and the teeth. However, it has been proposed that in some rodents the jaws operate as a second-class lever during distal molar bites, owing to the rostral position of the masticatory musculature. In particular, the infraorbital portion of the zygomatico-mandibularis (IOZM has been suggested to be of major importance in converting the masticatory system from a third-class to a second-class lever. The presence of the IOZM is diagnostic of the hystricomorph rodents, and is particularly well-developed in Pedetes capensis, the South African springhare. In this study, finite element analysis (FEA was used to assess the lever mechanics of the springhare masticatory system, and to determine the function of the IOZM. An FE model of the skull of P. capensis was constructed and loaded with all masticatory muscles, and then solved for biting at each tooth in turn. Further load cases were created in which each masticatory muscle was removed in turn. The analyses showed that the mechanical advantage of the springhare jaws was above one at all molar bites and very close to one during the premolar bite. Removing the IOZM or masseter caused a drop in mechanical advantage at all bites, but affected strain patterns and cranial deformation very little. Removing the ZM had only a small effect on mechanical advantage, but produced a substantial reduction in strain and deformation across the skull. It was concluded that the masticatory system of P. capensis acts as a second class lever during bites along almost the entire cheek tooth row. The IOZM is clearly a major contributor to this effect, but the masseter also has a part to play. The benefit of the IOZM is that it adds force without substantially contributing to strain or deformation of the skull. This may help explain why the

  1. Acetyl Groups in Typha capensis: Fate of Acetates during Organosolv and Ionosolv Pulping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idi Guga Audu

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available During biomass fractionation, any native acetylation of lignin and heteropolysaccharide may affect the process and the resulting lignin structure. In this study, Typha capensis (TC and its lignin isolated by milling (MWL, ionosolv (ILL and organosolv (EOL methods were investigated for acetyl group content using FT-Raman, 1H NMR, 2D-NMR, back-titration, and Zemplén transesterification analytical methods. The study revealed that TC is a highly acetylated grass; extractive free TC (TCextr and TC MWL exhibited similar values of acetyl content: 6 wt % and 8 wt % by Zemplén transesterification, respectively, and 11 wt % by back-titration. In contrast, lignin extracted from organosolv and [EMIm][OAc] pulping lost 80% of the original acetyl groups. With a high acetyl content in the natural state, TC could be an interesting raw material in biorefinery in which acetic acid could become an important by-product.

  2. (Aonyx capensis)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    medulla are 2.4 and 6.4 mm. respectively. These measurements and the overall structure of the kidney of the. Cape clawless otter are intermediate between those of freshwater and marine mammals. Otters occur in both freshwater and marine environments, but on Iy one species occurs in both. The Cape clawless oner.

  3. Procavia capensis

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Growth and age determination were studied in known age captive hyrax by measuring ... prehensive investigation of the population dynamics of the hyrax and its ... provided and they were fed a ration of commercial rabbit pellets (16% protein ...

  4. Procavia capensis

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    body measurements and five skull measurements were used as ageing criteria using multiple regression and a predictive equation. Age (months) = 0,0593 Length + 0,0444 Girth +. 0,01117 ... The biology of the hyrax intrigues zoologists for a number of reasons .... mination and it was omitted from the regression analysis.

  5. Apparent dissociation of photoperiodic time measurement between vernal migration and breeding under dim green light conditions in Gambel's white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii

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    Gang WANG, Marilyn RAMENOFSKY, John C. WINGFIELD

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In seasonally breeding birds, the annual cycle of photoperiod is a principal environmental cue for temporal arrangement of different life-history stages, such as migration and breeding. In the past, most research has focused on the mechanisms of photoperiodic control of breeding with less attention paid to migration. In Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii (GWCS, photoreceptors for induction of breeding are known to reside in the basal hypothalamus. However, it is unknown whether the sites of photoperiodic reception for vernal migration are the same as those for breeding. Therefore, we hypothesized that they may be controlled separately. In this study, we exposed photosensitive GWCSs to low-penetration green light (wavelength at 510 nm under a regime of 1 lux during the day and <0.1 lux at night, and switched the photoperiodic conditions from short day (10 h daytime to long day (18 h daytime. The results showed that the experimental birds developed traits associated with vernal migration including mass increase, fat deposition and migratory restlessness behavior when transferred from short day to long day green light cycles, while control birds maintained continuously on short day green light conditions did not express any migration related characteristics. Neither experimental nor control groups showed gonadal recrudescence under either green light cycles. In support of our hypothesis, we were able to apparently dissociate the photoperiodic responses regulating vernal migration and breeding, which suggests separate mechanisms of photoperiodic time measurement. Such distinct photoperiodic mechanisms may drive the fine-tuned temporal arrangement of the two life history stages [Current Zoology 59 (3: 349–359, 2013].

  6. Sociality Affects REM Sleep Episode Duration Under Controlled Laboratory Conditions in the Rock Hyrax, Procavia capensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine Gravett

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The rock hyrax, Procavia capensis, is a highly social, diurnal mammal. In the current study several physiologically measurable parameters of sleep, as well as the accompanying behavior, were recorded continuously from five rock hyraxes, for 72 h under solitary (experimental animal alone in the recording chamber, and social conditions (experimental animal with 1 or 2 additional, non-implanted animals in the recording chamber. The results revealed no significant differences between solitary and social conditions for total sleep times, number of episodes, episode duration or slow wave activity (SWA for all states examined. The only significant difference observed between social and solitary conditions was the average duration of rapid eye movement (REM sleep episodes. REM sleep episode duration was on average 20 s and 40 s longer under social conditions daily and during the dark period, respectively. It is hypothesized that the increase in REM sleep episode duration under social conditions could possibly be attributed to improved thermoregulation strategies, however considering the limited sample size and design of the current study further investigations are needed to confirm this finding. Whether the conclusions and the observations made in this study can be generalized to all naturally socially sleeping mammals remains an open question.

  7. Toxoplasmosis in the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Macropus giganteus and the Cape Hyrax, Procavis capensis in Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Mohamed El-Dakhly1,4, Nagwan El-Habashi2, El-Shaymaa El-Nahass3,4, Hiroki Sakai4 and Tokuma Yanai4,*

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis was investigated in an eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, and four cape hyraxes, Procavia capensis, in a Japanese zoo. Clinically, the kangaroo showed neurological signs, emaciation, diarrhea, elevated AST and CK, and subjected to coma before death. One young cape hyrax had severe anorexia, while the other three died without exhibiting clinical signs. Grossly, lungs of the kangaroo were dark red in color, while hyraxes, besides, showed hepatic multifocal white foci, and intestinal multifocal hemorrhages. Histologically, the kangaroo had frequent Toxoplasma gondii pseudocysts in brain, heart and skeletal muscles. All hyraxes had multifocal necrosis with cysts containing numerous bradyzoites in liver and spleen, along with necrotic gastroenteritis and intestinal hemorrhages. Immunohistochemically, cysts showed positive reaction to anti-T. gondii antibodies. These findings indicate possible outbreaks of toxoplasmosis in eastern grey kangaroos and cape hyraxes, zoo habitants; therefore, they could be susceptible intermediate hosts for T. gondii in terms of zoonosis. This is the first report of toxoplasmosis in eastern grey kangaroos and cape hyraxes in Japanese zoos.

  8. Synchrotron scanning reveals the palaeoneurology of the head-butting Moschops capensis (Therapsida, Dinocephalia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Benoit

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Dinocephalian therapsids are renowned for their massive, pachyostotic and ornamented skulls adapted for head-to-head fighting during intraspecific combat. Synchrotron scanning of the tapinocephalid Moschops capensis reveals, for the first time, numerous anatomical adaptations of the central nervous system related to this combative behaviour. Many neural structures (such as the brain, inner ear and ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve were completely enclosed and protected by bones, which is unusual for non-mammaliaform therapsids. The nearly complete ossification of the braincase enables precise determination of the brain cavity volume and encephalization quotient, which appears greater than expected for such a large and early herbivore. The practice of head butting is often associated with complex social behaviours and gregariousness in extant species, which are known to influence brain size evolution. Additionally, the plane of the lateral (horizontal semicircular canal of the bony labyrinth is oriented nearly vertically if the skull is held horizontally, which suggests that the natural position of the head was inclined about 60–65°to the horizontal. This is consistent with the fighting position inferred from osteology, as well as ground-level browsing. Finally, the unusually large parietal tube may have been filled with thick conjunctive tissue to protect the delicate pineal eye from injury sustained during head butting.

  9. The mechanics of explosive seed dispersal in orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Marika; Feilich, Kara L; Ellerby, David J

    2009-01-01

    Explosive dehiscence ballistically disperses seeds in a number of plant species. During dehiscence, mechanical energy stored in specialized tissues is transferred to the seeds to increase their kinetic and potential energies. The resulting seed dispersal patterns have been investigated in some ballistic dispersers, but the mechanical performance of a launch mechanism of this type has not been measured. The properties of the energy storage tissue and the energy transfer efficiency of the launch mechanism were quantified in Impatiens capensis. In this species the valves forming the seed pod wall store mechanical energy. Their mass specific energy storage capacity (124 J kg(-1)) was comparable with that of elastin and spring steel. The energy storage capacity of the pod tissues was determined by their level of hydration, suggesting a role for turgor pressure in the energy storage mechanism. During dehiscence the valves coiled inwards, collapsing the pod and ejecting the seeds. Dehiscence took 4.2+/-0.4 ms (mean +/-SEM, n=13). The estimated efficiency with which energy was transferred to the seeds was low (0.51+/-0.26%, mean +/-SEM, n=13). The mean seed launch angle (17.4+/-5.2, mean +/-SEM, n=45) fell within the range predicted by a ballistic model to maximize dispersal distance. Low ballistic dispersal efficiency or effectiveness may be characteristic of species that also utilize secondary seed dispersal mechanisms.

  10. Cranial architecture of tube-snouted gasterosteiformes (Syngnathus rostellatus and Hippocampus capensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leysen, Heleen; Jouk, Philippe; Brunain, Marleen; Christiaens, Joachim; Adriaens, Dominique

    2010-03-01

    The long snout of pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae, Gasterosteiformes) is formed as an elongation of the ethmoid region. This is in contrast to many other teleosts with elongate snouts (e.g., butterflyfishes) in which the snout is formed as an extension of the jaws. Syngnathid fishes perform very fast suction feeding, accomplished by powerful neurocranial elevation and hyoid retraction. Clearly, suction through a long and narrow tube and its hydrodynamic implications can be expected to require certain adaptations in the cranium, especially in musculoskeletal elements of the feeding apparatus. Not much is known about which skeletal elements actually support the snout and what the effect of elongation is on related structures. Here, we give a detailed morphological description of the cartilaginous and bony feeding apparatus in both juvenile and adult Syngnathus rostellatus and Hippocampus capensis. Our results are compared with previous morphological studies of a generalized teleost, Gasterosteus aculeatus. We found that the ethmoid region is elongated early during development, with the ethmoid plate, the hyosymplectic, and the basihyal cartilage being extended in the chondrocranium. In the juveniles of both species almost all bones are forming, although only as a very thin layer. The elongation of the vomeral, mesethmoid, quadrate, metapterygoid, symplectic, and preopercular bones is already present. Probably, because of the long and specialized parental care which releases advanced developmental stages from the brooding pouch, morphology of the feeding apparatus of juveniles is already very similar to that of the adults. We describe morphological features related to snout elongation that may be considered adaptations for suction feeding; e.g. the peculiar shape of the interhyal bone and its saddle-shaped articulation with the posterior ceratohyal bone might aid in explosive hyoid retraction by reducing the risk of hyoid dislocation.

  11. Improved detection of coastal acid sulfate soil hotspots through biomonitoring of metal(loid) accumulation in water lilies (Nymphaea capensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, Jacqueline L; Collins, Richard N

    2014-07-15

    Anthropogenically disturbed coastal acid sulfate soils along the east coast of Australia, and worldwide, periodically result in the discharge of acid waters containing high concentrations of metals. Identifying priority sites (hotspots) within a catchment for acid sulfate soil remediation activities typically involves long-term monitoring of drainwater chemistry, including the capture of data on unpredictable rain-induced groundwater discharge events. To improve upon this monitoring approach, this study investigated using the water lily (Nymphaea capensis) as a biomonitor of drainage waters to identify hotspots in three acid sulfate soil impacted catchments (83 km(2)) in north-eastern New South Wales, Australia. In one catchment where the location of hotspots was known, water lily lamina concentrations of a suite of metal(loid)s were significantly (photspots revealed within catchment variation of plant metal concentrations up to 70-fold. High resolution maps produced from these results, therefore, provided strong evidence for the location of potential hotspots which were confirmed with measurements of drainwater chemistry during rain-induced groundwater discharge events. Median catchment lily accumulation was ca. 160 mg Al kg(-1) and 1,300 mg Fe kg(-1), with hotspots containing up to 6- and 10-fold higher Al and Fe concentrations. These findings suggest that biomonitoring with N. capensis can be an important tool to rapidly identify priority sites for remediation in acid sulfate soil impacted landscapes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Development and characterization of 10 microsatellite markers in the Cape horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus capensis (Chiroptera, Rhinolophidae) and cross-amplification in southern African Rhinolophus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesi, Nicolas; Jacobs, David S; Feldheim, Kevin; Bishop, Jacqueline M

    2015-09-26

    The Cape horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus capensis, is endemic to the Cape region of South Africa. Coalescent analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data suggests extensive historical gene flow between populations despite strong geographic variation of their echolocation call phenotype. Nevertheless the fine-scale genetic structure and evolutionary ecology of R. capensis remains poorly understood. Here we describe the development of 10 novel polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate of the dispersal ecology of R. capensis and to facilitate taxonomic studies of Rhinolophus species in southern Africa. We report 10 microsatellite primer pairs that consistently amplify scorable and polymorphic loci across 12 African rhinolophid species. Initial analysis of two populations of R. capensis from South Africa revealed moderate to high levels of allelic variation with 4-14 alleles per locus and observed heterozygosities of 0.450-0.900. No evidence of linkage disequilibrium was observed and eight of the loci showed no departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Cross-species utility of these markers revealed consistently amplifiable polymorphic loci in eleven additional rhinolophid species. The cross-amplification success of the microsatellites developed here provides a cost-effective set of population genetic marker for the study of rhinolophid evolutionary ecology and conservation in southern Africa.

  13. Impact of elephant on two woody trees, Boscia oleoides and Pappea capensis, in an arid thicket-Nama Karoo mosaic, Greater Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marietjie Landman

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Despite extensive evidence of the influences of elephant on woody trees in savannah habitats, effects on trees in the succulent thickets of the Eastern Cape are relatively poorly described. Our study investigates the role and intensity of elephant impacts on Pappea capensis and the relatively rare Boscia oleoides in an arid thicket-Nama Karoo mosaic habitat of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. We show that roughly 19% of the B. oleoides and nearly half of the P. capensis individuals recorded showed signs of elephant impact. Elephant often toppled our study trees, and where these individuals were uprooted, mortalities occurred: B. oleoides ~ 44% of the impacted trees (4 individuals; P. capensis ~ 22% of the impacted trees (29 individuals. Conservation implications: Whilst this study is restricted by limited spatial and temporal replication, P. capensis mortalities caused by elephant occurred at a rate exceeding that of other processes. Our results provide insight into the severity of the measured changes and the need to reduce the impacts. However, it would be critically important to establish the specific driver of elephant–tree interactions before any management intervention is implemented.

  14. Migration, distribution and population (stock) structure of shallow-water hake (Merluccius capensis) in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem inferred using a geostatistical population model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansen, Teunis; Kristensen, Kasper; Kainge, Paulus Inekela

    2016-01-01

    Shallow-water hake (Merluccius capensis) is of considerable ecological and economic importance in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem in South Africa and Namibia. Optimal management of the resource is currently constrained by the limited understanding of migration patterns and population...

  15. A badger in Bannerghatta: an opportunistic record of the Ratel Mellivora capensis (Schreber, 1776 (Mammalia: Carnivora: Mustelidae from Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avinash Krishnan

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available A single observation of a Ratel Mellivora capensis has been photo-documented in Bannerghatta National Park on 2 November 2015. This record being the first contemporary evidence of badgers in this region of Karnataka, India, the paper also presents a case study of badgers being close to a highly human-dominated landscape which could be due to some ecological factors that may be conducive as a habitat within the Park. Though a resident population and distribution within the BNP could not be ascertained, it can be proposed that the region may be an extension of range of its most recently documented distribution in the Eastern Ghats landscape. 

  16. Efficacy of the saponin component of Impatiens capensis Meerb.in preventing urushiol-induced contact dermatitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motz, Vicki A; Bowers, Christopher P; Kneubehl, Alexander R; Lendrum, Elizabeth C; Young, Linda M; Kinder, David H

    2015-03-13

    Many different tribes of American Indians used jewelweed, Impatiens capensis Meerb, as a plant mash to reduce development of poison ivy dermatitis. Saponins are a natural soapy constituent found within plants. A 2012 study suggested that saponins may be present in jewelweed which could be responsible for its efficacy in preventing rash development following contact with Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze (poison ivy). This study validated this hypothesis and demonstrated additional biological activity of the jewelweed saponin containing extract. Fresh I. capensis leaves were extracted with methanol and further partitioned between ethyl acetate and water, with a final separation between water and n-butanol, to obtain a saponin containing extract. The presence of saponins in the extract was demonstrated by the observation of foaming and using a vanillin colorimetric assay for total saponins. Efficacy of the saponin containing extracts in rash reduction was tested by brushing poison ivy (PI) onto the forearms of volunteers (N=23) in six locations and treating these PI exposed areas with distilled water (control), saponin containing extracts, fresh plant mashes, and soaps made with and without plant extracts. Saponin containing extracts were further tested for biological activity against both gram negative and gram positive bacteria and against cancer cell lines A-375, HT-29, and MCF-7. Additionally, because saponins have been shown to have a stimulatory effect in cardiac muscle 2 µl saponin extract was applied superficially to black worms, Lumbriculus variegatus (N=5). Both saponin containing extracts and all soaps tested were effective in reducing poison ivy dermatitis; thus, saponin content correlates with PI rash prevention. No apparent antibiosis was observed against any bacteria tested; however, dose response cytotoxicity was documented against MCF-7 breast cancer cells and cytostatic activity was seen against the HT-29 colon cancer cell lines. Lumbriculus

  17. Curatorial implications of Ophyra capensis (Order Diptera, Family Muscidae) puparia recovered from the body of the Blessed Antonio Patrizi, Monticiano, Italy (Middle Ages).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Johnica J; Baldwin, Diesel A; Higley, Leon; Piombino-Mascali, Dario; Reinhard, Karl J

    2015-11-01

    The discovery of dipteran remains on mummified individuals can lead to either cause for curatorial concern or to a better understanding of the individual's post-mortem environment. The present study analyzed insect remains associated with the body of a unique medieval mummy of religious significance, that of the Blessed Antonio Patrizi da Monticiano. A total of 79 puparia were examined and all were identified as Ophyra capensis (Diptera: Muscidae). Additionally, a desiccated moth (Lepidoptera: Tineidae) was encountered. Puparia of O. capensis would be associated with normal decomposition shortly after the death of the mummified individual, and not an infestation beginning during more recent years. Similarly, the tineid moth found would likely be related with decomposition of cloth associated with the remains. These findings illustrate how collection and identification of insects associated with human remains can distinguish between historical decomposition versus issues of modern curatorial concern. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  18. The use of feathers in monitoring bioaccumulation of metals and metalloids in the South African endangered African grass-owl (Tyto capensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansara-Ross, T M; Ross, M J; Wepener, V

    2013-08-01

    Few studies have quantified metals in South African species and no published data on residues specifically in South African owl feathers exist. Tyto capensis is listed as vulnerable within South Africa, making it preferable to use a non-invasive technique to determine metal bioaccumulation for this species. Comparisons are made with the cosmopolitan T. alba to determine whether this species could be used as a surrogate. Concentrations of various metals were thus determined in feathers of the two species and compared with liver and muscle samples. Samples were taken from 119 owls collected as road kill along a national road. A comparison of concentrations in feathers revealed similarly higher concentrations of aluminium, antimony, lead, nickel, and strontium, whereas concentrations of chromium, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, titanium and zinc were similarly higher in internal tissues for both species. Metal concentrations of owls were comparable to those reported in literature and below toxic levels, suggesting that these metals were not likely to impact the owls. Further regressions between feathers and corresponding livers were examined to determine if feathers were indicative of internal metal burdens. Significant positive relationships were found for aluminium, copper, lead, nickel and vanadium in T. alba and nickel, manganese and vanadium in T. capensis. Preliminary results support the feasibility of using feathers as non-destructive indicators of environmental contamination in T. capensis although caution needs to be taken when interpreting the results.

  19. Prey-induced changes in the accumulation of amino acids and phenolic metabolites in the leaves of Drosera capensis L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kováčik, Jozef; Klejdus, Bořivoj; Stork, František; Hedbavny, Josef

    2012-04-01

    Effect of prey feeding (ants Formica fusca) on the quantitative changes in the accumulation of free amino acids, soluble proteins, phenolic metabolites and mineral nutrients in the leaves of carnivorous plant Drosera capensis was studied. Arginine was the most abundant compound in Drosera leaves, while proline was abundant in ants. The amount of the majority of amino acids and their sum were elevated in the fed leaves after 3 and 21 days, and the same, but with further enhancement after 21 days, was observed in ants. Accumulation of amino acids also increased in young non-fed leaves of fed plants. Soluble proteins decreased in ants, but were not enhanced in fed leaves. This confirms the effectiveness of sundew's enzymatic machinery in digestion of prey and suggests that amino acids are not in situ deposited, but rather are allocated within the plant. The content of total soluble phenols, flavonoids and two selected flavonols (quercetin and kaempferol) was not affected by feeding in Drosera leaves, indicating that their high basal level was sufficient for the plant's metabolism and prey-induced changes were mainly N based. The prey also showed to be an important source of other nutrients besides N, and a stimulation of root uptake of some mineral nutrients is assumed (Mg, Cu, Zn). Accumulation of Ca and Na was not affected by feeding.

  20. The new French 2010 Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus causes an RHD-like disease in the Sardinian Cape hare (Lepus capensis mediterraneus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puggioni, Giantonella; Cavadini, Patrizia; Maestrale, Caterina; Scivoli, Rosario; Botti, Giuliana; Ligios, Ciriaco; Le Gall-Reculé, Ghislaine; Lavazza, Antonio; Capucci, Lorenzo

    2013-10-07

    Lagovirus is an emerging genus of Caliciviridae, which includes the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) of rabbits and the European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) of hares that cause lethal hepatitis. In 2010, a new RHDV related virus (RHDV2) with a unique genetic and antigenic profile and lower virulence was identified in France in rabbits. Here we report the identification of RHDV2 as the cause in Sardinia of several outbreaks of acute hepatitis in rabbits and Cape hare (Lepus capensis mediterraneus). This is the first account of a lagovirus that causes fatal hepatitis in both rabbits and hares.

  1. The surface topography of Callorhynchocotyle callorhynchi (Manter, 1955) (Monogenea: Hexabothriidae), a parasite of the holocephalan fish Callorhinchus capensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poddubnaya, Larisa G; Reed, Cecile; Gibson, David I

    2015-09-01

    A scanning electron microscopical study, incorporating some transmission electron microscopical observations, was undertaken on the surface topography of the gill parasite Callorhynchocotyle callorhynchi (Manter, 1955) (Monogenea: Hexabothriidae) from the Cape elephant fish Callorhinchus capensis (Holocephali) off the western coast of South Africa. The study revealed the presence of several new characteristics for this species. These include the presence of regularly distributed, knob-shaped projections on the surface of the haptor, haptoral appendix and sucker peduncles measuring 0.2 μm and in concentrations of approximately 100 per 10 μm(2) and the existence of a ridge which bisects each sucker lumen, forming two different loculi. We also report, for the first time for any monogenean, the presence of 'true spines'; these occur on the luminal surface of the haptoral suckers and have all of the characteristics of the tegumental spines of digeneans, i.e. they are situated within the distal syncytial tegumental cytoplasm, rest on the basal plasma membrane, have a uniform structure and are covered apically by the tegumental surface plasma membrane. These spines are simple, straight and single-pointed. Under the scanning electron microscopy (SEM), within an area of 20 μm in diameter, 23 such spines were counted, but their concentration and arrangement varies in different regions of the sucker. At their base, they measure about 1.5 μm in width and reach approximately 2 μm in height above the general level of the tegument, but transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements of an entire spine indicate that they may reach 3 μm in total length. The presence of spines, possessing similar morphological characteristics in both basal polyopisthocotylean monogeneans and digeneans, represents another characteristic which may prove useful in understanding the evolutionary relationships within the Neodermata.

  2. Across-environment genetic correlations and the frequency of selective environments shape the evolutionary dynamics of growth rate in Impatiens capensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stinchcombe, John R; Izem, Rima; Heschel, M Shane; McGoey, Brechann V; Schmitt, Johanna

    2010-10-01

    Trade-offs can exist within and across environments, and constrain evolutionary trajectories. To examine the effects of competition and resource availability on trade-offs, we grew individuals of recombinant inbred lines of Impatiens capensis in a factorial combination of five densities with two light environments (full light and neutral shade) and used a Bayesian logistic growth analysis to estimate intrinsic growth rates. To estimate across-environment constraints, we developed a variance decomposition approach to principal components analysis, which accounted for sample size, model-fitting, and within-RIL variation prior to eigenanalysis. We detected negative across-environment genetic covariances in intrinsic growth rates, although only under full-light. To evaluate the potential importance of these covariances, we surveyed natural populations of I. capensis to measure the frequency of different density environments across space and time. We combined our empirical estimates of across-environment genetic variance-covariance matrices and frequency of selective environments with hypothetical (yet realistic) selection gradients to project evolutionary responses in multiple density environments. Selection in common environments can lead to correlated responses to selection in rare environments that oppose and counteract direct selection in those rare environments. Our results highlight the importance of considering both the frequency of selective environments and the across-environment genetic covariances in traits simultaneously. © 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  3. Uptake of heavy metals by Typha capensis from wetland sites polluted by effluent from mineral processing plants: implications of metal-metal interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaranyika, M F; Nyati, W

    2017-10-01

    The aim of the present work was to demonstrate the existence of metal-metal interactions in plants and their implications for the absorption of toxic elements like Cr. Typha capensis , a good accumulator of heavy metals, was chosen for the study. Levels of Fe, Cr, Ni, Cd, Pb, Cu and Zn were determined in the soil and roots, rhizomes, stems and leaves of T. capensis from three Sites A, B and C polluted by effluent from a chrome ore processing plant, a gold ore processing plant, and a nickel ore processing plant, respectively. The levels of Cr were extremely high at Site A at 5415 and 786-16,047 μg g -1 dry weight in the soil and the plant, respectively, while the levels of Ni were high at Site C at 176 and 24-891 μg g -1 in the soil and the plant, respectively. The levels of Fe were high at all three sites at 2502-7500 and 906-13,833 μg g -1 in the soil and plant, respectively. For the rest of the metals, levels were modest at 8.5-148 and 2-264 μg g -1 in the soil and plant, respectively. Pearson's correlation analysis confirmed mutual synergistic metal-metal interactions in the uptake of Zn, Cu, Co, Ni, Fe, and Cr, which are attributed to the similarity in the radii and coordination geometry of the cations of these elements. The implications of such metal-metal interactions (or effects of one metal on the behaviour of another) on the uptake of Cr, a toxic element, and possible Cr detoxification mechanism within the plant, are discussed.

  4. Labeo capensis (Smith)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ture effects have used animals acclimated to constant tempera- tures in the ... in pools isolated during the dry, hot season (Jubb 1967). More than 80070 of the fish .... was such that the fish could actively swim around during their specific oxygen ..... Oxygen consumption and mode of energy production in the intertidal worm ...

  5. Effects of laboratory housing on exploratory behaviour, novelty discrimination and spatial reference memory in a subterranean, solitary rodent, the Cape mole-rat (Georychus capensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosthuizen, Maria Kathleen; Scheibler, Anne-Gita; Bennett, Nigel Charles; Amrein, Irmgard

    2013-01-01

    A large number of laboratory and field based studies are being carried out on mole-rats, both in our research group and others. Several studies have highlighted the development of adverse behaviours in laboratory animals and have emphasised the importance of enrichment for captive animals. Hence we were interested in evaluating how laboratory housing would affect behavioural performance in mole-rats. We investigated exploratory behaviour, the ability to discriminate between novel and familiar environments and reference memory in the solitary Cape mole-rat (Georychus capensis). Our data showed that both wild and captive animals readily explore open spaces and tunnels. Wild animals were however more active than their captive counterparts. In the Y maze two trial discrimination task, wild animals failed to discriminate between novel and familiar environments, while laboratory housed mole-rats showed preferential spatial discrimination in terms of the length of time spent in the novel arm. The performance of the laboratory and wild animals were similar when tested for reference memory in the Y maze, both groups showed a significant improvement compared to the first day, from the 3rd day onwards. Wild animals made more mistakes whereas laboratory animals were slower in completing the task. The difference in performance between wild and laboratory animals in the Y-maze may be as a result of the lower activity of the laboratory animals. Laboratory maintained Cape mole-rats show classic behaviours resulting from a lack of stimulation such as reduced activity and increased aggression. However, they do display an improved novelty discrimination compared to the wild animals. Slower locomotion rate of the laboratory animals may increase the integration time of stimuli, hence result in a more thorough inspection of the surroundings. Unlike the captive animals, wild animals show flexibility in their responses to unpredictable events, which is an important requirement under

  6. Antibacterial activity of Ficus capensis

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2008-05-16

    Allium sativum) is used to reduce cholesterol levels and to boost immune system; it lowers high blood pressure and its oil has been seen to have antibacterial properties (Juurlink, 2001). Milk thistle. Silybum marianum has also ...

  7. Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen., n. sp. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae: Heterocotylinae) from the gills of a captive onefin electric ray, Narke capensis (Narkidae) at Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, David B; Chisholm, Leslie A; Hansen, Haakon

    2016-09-01

    Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen., n. sp. (Monogenea: Monocotylidae) is described from the gills of a captive female onefin electric ray, Narke capensis, collected for exhibition at Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa. Electrocotyle n. gen. is most similar to the heterocotyline genera Heterocotyle and Potamotrygonocotyle but could not be accommodated easily in either of these groups. The new genus is characterised by a haptor with one central and eight peripheral loculi, four unsclerotised structures on the dorsal surface of the haptor, a single unsclerotised non-sinous ridge on the ventral surface of the haptoral septa, large hamuli with a long handle and reduced guard, a vagina with sclerotised walls, and tetrahedral eggs. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on 28S sequences strongly support the separate genus status of Electrocotyle n. gen and thus support our morphological conclusion. The Heterocotylinae is amended to accommodate the new genus, and the new species is fully described and illustrated herein. This is the first record of a monocotylid from the Narkidae. Electrocotyle whittingtoni n. gen. n. sp. is considered potentially pathogenic given its negative impact on the health of its captive host kept in the quarantine facility at Two Oceans Aquarium.

  8. Early ontogeny of Labeo capensis (pisces: Cyprinidae)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    the early development of Indian Labeo species (e.g. Khan. 1925; Ahmad 1944 ...... ber, size or intensity, was helpful in grouping North American cyprinid larvae. .... impregnated eggs of common freshwater fishes of Bengal. Curro Sci. 26: 125 ...

  9. anchovy Engraulis capensis, sardine Sardinops sa

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    rates ranged between 0.05 and 0.29.h-1, with mean values of 0.09 and 0.27.h-1 for fish fed zooplankton and phytoplankton ... Linear, square root, and exponential func- tions were ...... Far Eastern sardine and their implication in the fluctuation.

  10. Pseudocordylus capensis (Sauria: CordyJidae)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1997-02-24

    Feb 24, 1997 ... of the evolution of CordyJidae reproductive cycles, this study represents the first .... that both gland types are more functional in males. detailed studies are .... eral groups of lizard, snake, and fish taxa, suggesting that sex- ual differences in body ... to determine the role of constraining ecological factors, such.

  11. Reproductive periods in birds near the equator

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Alden H.

    2012-01-01

    Para el estudio de los ciclos reproductivos de las aves cerca al ecuador se seleccionó el Gorrión (Zonotrichia capensis) teniendo en cuenta que se han realizado estudios intensivos en especies próximas que habitan el hemisferio norte. Se escogió como estación de trabajo, el sitio denominado Mares localizado en la cima de la Cordillera Occidental sobre la carretera que conduce de Cali a Buenaventura.  Mediante trabajos de anillado, instalación de trampas para captura de las aves, realización d...

  12. Positive interactions between desert granivores: localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Edelman

    Full Text Available Facilitation, when one species enhances the environment or performance of another species, can be highly localized in space. While facilitation in plant communities has been intensely studied, the role of facilitation in shaping animal communities is less well understood. In the Chihuahuan Desert, both kangaroo rats and harvester ants depend on the abundant seeds of annual plants. Kangaroo rats, however, are hypothesized to facilitate harvester ants through soil disturbance and selective seed predation rather than competing with them. I used a spatially explicit approach to examine whether a positive or negative interaction exists between banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis mounds and rough harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus colonies. The presence of a scale-dependent interaction between mounds and colonies was tested by comparing fitted spatial point process models with and without interspecific effects. Also, the effect of proximity to a mound on colony mortality and spatial patterns of surviving colonies was examined. The spatial pattern of kangaroo rat mounds and harvester ant colonies was consistent with a positive interspecific interaction at small scales (<10 m. Mortality risk of vulnerable, recently founded harvester ant colonies was lower when located close to a kangaroo rat mound and proximity to a mound partly predicted the spatial pattern of surviving colonies. My findings support localized facilitation of harvester ants by kangaroo rats, likely mediated through ecosystem engineering and foraging effects on plant cover and composition. The scale-dependent effect of kangaroo rats on abiotic and biotic factors appears to result in greater founding and survivorship of young colonies near mounds. These results suggest that soil disturbance and foraging by rodents can have subtle impacts on the distribution and demography of other species.

  13. Uncoupling the effects of seed predation and seed dispersal by granivorous ants on plant population dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Arnan

    Full Text Available Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation and benefits (seed dispersal, the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength.

  14. Four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens) seed and seedling consumption by granivorous rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens [Pursh] Nutt.), native to western North America, extends from Canada to Mexico and from the Great Plains to the Pacific Coast. Shrubby species of Atriplex are in the family Chenopodiacea, which contains other important shrubs such as winter fat (Krascheninnikov...

  15. Differential regulation of adipokines may influence migratory behavior in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Erica F; Verpeut, Jessica; Horvat-Gordon, Maria; Ramachandran, Ramesh; Bartell, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    White-throated sparrows increase fat deposits during pre-migratory periods and rely on these fat stores to fuel migration. Adipose tissue produces hormones and signaling factors in a rhythmic fashion and may be controlled by a clock in adipose tissue or driven by a master clock in the brain. The master clock may convey photoperiodic information from the environment to adipose tissue to facilitate pre-migratory fattening, and adipose tissue may, in turn, release adipokines to indicate the extent of fat energy stores. Here, we present evidence that a change in signal from the adipokines adiponectin and visfatin may act to indicate body condition, thereby influencing an individual's decision to commence migratory flight, or to delay until adequate fat stores are acquired. We quantified plasma adiponectin and visfatin levels across the day in captive birds held under constant photoperiod. The circadian profiles of plasma adiponectin in non-migrating birds were approximately inverse the profiles from migrating birds. Adiponectin levels were positively correlated to body fat, and body fat was inversely related to the appearance of nocturnal migratory restlessness. Visfatin levels were constant across the day and did not correlate with fat deposits; however, a reduction in plasma visfatin concentration occurred during the migratory period. The data suggest that a significant change in the biological control of adipokine expression exists between the two migratory conditions and we propose a role for adiponectin, visfatin and adipose clocks in the regulation of migratory behaviors.

  16. Differential regulation of adipokines may influence migratory behavior in the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica F Stuber

    Full Text Available White-throated sparrows increase fat deposits during pre-migratory periods and rely on these fat stores to fuel migration. Adipose tissue produces hormones and signaling factors in a rhythmic fashion and may be controlled by a clock in adipose tissue or driven by a master clock in the brain. The master clock may convey photoperiodic information from the environment to adipose tissue to facilitate pre-migratory fattening, and adipose tissue may, in turn, release adipokines to indicate the extent of fat energy stores. Here, we present evidence that a change in signal from the adipokines adiponectin and visfatin may act to indicate body condition, thereby influencing an individual's decision to commence migratory flight, or to delay until adequate fat stores are acquired. We quantified plasma adiponectin and visfatin levels across the day in captive birds held under constant photoperiod. The circadian profiles of plasma adiponectin in non-migrating birds were approximately inverse the profiles from migrating birds. Adiponectin levels were positively correlated to body fat, and body fat was inversely related to the appearance of nocturnal migratory restlessness. Visfatin levels were constant across the day and did not correlate with fat deposits; however, a reduction in plasma visfatin concentration occurred during the migratory period. The data suggest that a significant change in the biological control of adipokine expression exists between the two migratory conditions and we propose a role for adiponectin, visfatin and adipose clocks in the regulation of migratory behaviors.

  17. Antibacterial activity of Ficus capensis | Oyeleke | African Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Biotechnology. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 7, No 10 (2008) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

  18. Annual reproductive pattern in the dassie Procavia capensis

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    fertilization between the period mid-March and mid-April. Of. 49 pregnant ... crease litter size appears to be related more to a conservative ovulation rate than to ova ..... tween the left and right uterine horns is given in Table 2, from which it can ...

  19. Anchovy Engraulis capensis and sardine Sardinops sagax currently ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Recruitment is thought to be determined largely by ... for forecasting recruitment strength. ..... In March and April, sustained upwelling wind events ... 2 Assumes average current velocities of 10–15 cm.s–1 in a west-north-westerly direction ...

  20. REPRODUCTION IN THE ROCK HYRAX (PROCA VIA CAPENSIS ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    of corpora lutea and foetuses in the females, the reproductive organs and glands of all animals ... However, the approximate time of conception was calculated from the ... These findings were further confirmed by estimating the percentage.

  1. Cape hake Merluccius capensis are abundant over the Namibian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    In summer 1994, oxygen depletion was very pro- nounced in bottom waters over the Namibian shelf, from 18 to 25°S. In January, bottom water of the inner and midshelf regions of northern and central Namibia was depleted of oxygen to levels as low as <0.5 ml.l–1, with levels of between 1 and 2 ml.l–1 at the shelf edge.

  2. Biological activities of Typha capensis (Typhaceae) from Limpopo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2008-10-20

    Oct 20, 2008 ... hypersensitivity, immune-suppression and allergic reac- tions (Ahmad et al., 1998). .... detected by yellow spots against a purple background on TLC ... ments for both domestic animals and humans in southern. Africa and for ...

  3. The Cape horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus capensis is the most ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    25 cm being sampled by the latter. Also, the .... Parallel trawl comparison tests .... fish (>27 cm). The modal length of the fish in both. 268. A Decade of Namibian Fisheries Science. South African Journal of Marine Science 23. 2001. B. A C W u.

  4. Cape hake Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus in southern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    knowledge of the behaviour of Cape hake in general. ... Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, National Marine Information and Research Centre, P.O. Box 912, Swakopmund, Namibia. E-mail: ... (BEI) post-processing system, which allows for better ..... deep water, where hake density is generally low and.

  5. Nuclear organization of the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) amygdaloid complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limacher-Burrell, Aude-Marie; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Gravett, Nadine; Maseko, Busisiwe C; Manger, Paul R

    2016-07-01

    The current study details the nuclear organization of the rock hyrax amygdaloid complex using both Nissl and myelin stains, along with a range of immunohistochemical stains. The rock hyrax appears to be the least derived of the Afrotherians, a group with a huge range of body phenotypes, life histories and specialized behaviours, brain sizes, and ecological niches. In this sense, the rock hyrax represents a species where the organization of the amygdaloid complex may be reflective of that in stem Eutherian mammals. Our analysis indicates that the nuclear organization of the rock hyrax amygdaloid complex is indeed very similar to that in other mammals studied, with four major nuclear groupings (the deep or basolateral group; the superficial or cortical-like or corticomedial group; the centromedial group; and the other amygdaloid nuclei) being observed, which is typical of Eutherian mammals. Moreover, each of these groupings is composed of several nuclei, the vast majority of which were readily identified in the rock hyrax. Small nuclei identified in rodents and primates were absent in the superficial and centromedial groups, seemingly involved with olfaction. A novel shell-like nucleus of the accessory basal nuclear cluster was observed in the rock hyrax, again, likely to be involved in olfaction. The current study underlines the conserved nature of nuclear parcellation in the Eutherian mammal amygdaloid complex and indicates that across most species, the flow of information processing related to species-specific affective-laden stimuli and the resultant physiological and behavioural outcomes are likely to be similar across species.

  6. The Cape horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus capensis is an ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    The extent to which this feeding behaviour is relevant to South African .... 1). These fish were either processed on board or blast-frozen ... 1998. 265. Table II: Stomach sample collection information of horse mackerel caught in bottom trawls during the South and West ..... Agulhas Bank, where the thermocline is deep and.

  7. Over the past decades, the Cape anchovy Engraulis capensis has ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Data on the thermal structure, copepod biomass and production, and total number of eggs of the Cape anchovy ... To identify factors controlling the area of this water mass, a cluster ...... thesis, University of Cape Town: [vii] + 278 pp. SHANNON ...

  8. Vine snake (Thelotornis capensis bite in a dog : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Otto

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available A vine snake bite in a dog is reported. There was continued minor bleeding from the assumed nose bite site for 4 days. Currently manufactured snakebite antivenom is not effective against vine snake bites and treatment is supportive.

  9. The Cape horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus capensis fishery off ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    1940s, mainly by purse-seiners operating off the. West ... near Mossel Bay to East London were carried out in ... West Coast (including Namibia) and South Coast population of horse mackerel, ..... spawning behaviour, as reported for mackerel.

  10. The ichthyofauna associated with Zostera capensis Setchell ill the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    quency distribution of the adult, juvenile and larval fish oc- curring in the main ...... Estuarine fishes. In: Estuarine Ecology with particular reference to southern Africa (ed.) ... Structural and functional aspects of the surf- zone fish community in ...

  11. The two species of Cape hake, Merluccius capensis and M ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    are to be chosen by decision-makers, and adjust the TAC up or down from one year to the next according to whether trends in ... ment of the Nambian hake resource at that time was ...... Distribution medians, together with 90% probability.

  12. The Shiny Cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis (Gmelin, 1789) (Aves: Icteridae), at 2,800 m asl in Quito, Ecuador.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo-Pérez, Verónica; Pinto, C Miguel; Carrión, Juan Manuel; Jarrín-E, Rubén D; Poveda, Cristian; de Vries, Tjitte

    2016-01-01

    The Shiny Cowbird, Molothrus bonariensis Gmelin, 1789, is a brood parasite of hundreds of small-bodied birds that is native to South American lowlands. Within the last 100 years this species has been expanding its range throughout the Caribbean, towards North America, but has rarely been seen above 2,000 m asl. Here, we present records of Shiny Cowbirds in Quito, a city located 2,800 m above sea level that harbors a bird community typical of the Andean valleys. We found two juvenile individuals parasitizing two different pairs of Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis Müller, 1776). This report constitutes an altitudinal range expansion of reproductive populations of ca. 500m, which may have beenprompted by anthropogenic disturbance.

  13. Rates of cholestrol ester formation during storage of anchovy (Engraulis capensis) at various temperatures

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    De Koning, AJ

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Anchovy were stored at 17, 8, 0 and -6 degrees C. Samples were withdrawn periodically, the lipids extracted, purified, and analysed for free and esterified cholesterol. From the results of these tests the rates of the enzymatic esterification...

  14. A description and discussion of threat- and anxiety-behaviour of Burhinus capensis (Lichtenstein) during incubation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broekhuysen, G.J.

    1964-01-01

    Dedicated to Professor H. Boschma on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. INTRODUCTION The family Burhinidae or Stone Curlews, consists of large ploverlike birds which have no hind toe, long yellow legs with thickened tibiotarsal joints, hence the sometimes used popular name of "thickknee". The

  15. Feeding on prey increases photosynthetic efficiency in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pavlovič, A.; Krausko, M.; Libiaková, M.; Adamec, Lubomír

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 113, č. 1 (2014), s. 69-78 ISSN 0305-7364 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : carnivorous plants * fruit flies * digestive enzymes Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.654, year: 2014

  16. The two species of Cape hake, Merluccius capensis (shallow-water ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    tinguish them in commercial catch statistics. Conse- ... and hence are taken incidentally in hake-directed fishing, instead of only species whose capture requires a different .... catch of these species is determined only at the landing site, and is ...

  17. Polytocy in the Cape serotine bat Eptesicus capensis (A. Smith 1829 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1989-11-28

    Nov 28, 1989 ... cover would not be a reliable measure of availability as flowers represent a small proportion of the plant canopy and are also only temporarily present. From these observations it may be concluded that. Cape hares are not obligate grazers but are capable of utilizing browse, a strategy which allows this ...

  18. Within-species digestive tract flexibility in rufous-collared sparrows and the climatic variability hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Karin; Bozinovic, Francisco; Rojas, José M; Sabat, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    The climatic variability hypothesis (CVH) states that species are geographically more widespread at higher latitudes because individuals have a broader range of physiological tolerance or phenotypic flexibility as latitude and climatic variability increase. However, it remains unclear to what extent climatic variability or latitude, acting on the phenotype, account for any observed geographical gradient in mean range size. In this study, we analyzed the physiological flexibility within the CVH framework by using an intraspecific population experimental approach. We tested for a positive relationship between digestive-tract flexibility (i.e., morphology and enzyme activities) and latitude and climatic and natural diet variability in populations of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) captured in desert (27°S), Mediterranean (33°S), and cold-temperate (41°S) sites in Chile. In accordance with the CVH, we observed a positive relationship between the magnitude of digestive-tract flexibility and environmental variability but not latitude. The greatest digestive flexibility was observed in birds at middle latitudes, which experience the most environmental variability (a Mediterranean climate), whereas individuals from the most stable climates (desert and cold-temperate) exhibited little or no digestive-tract flexibility in response to experimental diets. Our findings support the idea that latitudinal gradients in geographical ranges may be strongly affected by the action of regional features, which makes it difficult to find general patterns in the distribution of species.

  19. Effects of food supplementation on a tropical bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Class, Alexandra M; Moore, Ignacio T

    2013-10-01

    Tropical birds typically exhibit a 'slow pace of life' relative to higher latitude species. This is often manifested as slow development, low fecundity, and high survival. Following from this, it is predicted that tropical birds may be more likely to trade current reproductive effort to favor self-maintenance, thus supporting survival and future reproduction. To test this idea, we conducted two food supplementation experiments on tropical rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) in the eastern Andes of Ecuador. In the first experiment, we food-supplemented pairs during the non-breeding life-history stage, and in the second experiment, we food-supplemented pairs that were provisioning fledglings. In both experiments, a larger proportion of food-supplemented birds exhibited pre-basic molt (replacement of feathers) than in a control group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that a food-supplemented bird invests extra resources into molt, a form of self-maintenance, and contrasts with the majority of food supplementation studies in high latitude birds that show they typically advance the initiation of, or extend the period of, reproduction. Our results are consistent with the syndrome of the slow pace of life in the tropics and support the concept of fundamental differences between temperate-zone and tropical birds.

  20. Why are tropical mountain passes "low" for some species? Genetic and stable-isotope tests for differentiation, migration and expansion in elevational generalist songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadek, Chauncey R; Newsome, Seth D; Beckman, Elizabeth J; Chavez, Andrea N; Galen, Spencer C; Bautista, Emil; Witt, Christopher C

    2018-05-01

    Most tropical bird species have narrow elevational ranges, likely reflecting climatic specialization. This is consistent with Janzen's Rule, the tendency for mountain passes to be effectively "higher" in the tropics. Hence, those few tropical species that occur across broad elevational gradients (elevational generalists) represent a contradiction to Janzen's Rule. Here, we aim to address the following questions. Are elevational generalists being sundered by diversifying selection along the gradient? Does elevational movement cause these species to resist diversification or specialization? Have they recently expanded, suggesting that elevational generalism is short-lived in geological time? To answer these questions, we tested for differentiation, movement and expansion in four elevational generalist songbird species on the Andean west slope. We used morphology and mtDNA to test for genetic differentiation between high- and low-elevation populations. To test for elevational movements, we measured hydrogen isotope (δ 2 H) values of metabolically inert feathers and metabolically active liver. Morphology differed for House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) and Hooded Siskin (Spinus magellanicus), but not for Cinereous Conebill (Conirostrum cinereum) and Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) respectively. mtDNA was structured by elevation only in Z. capensis. δ 2 H data indicated elevational movements by two tree- and shrub-foraging species with moderate-to-high vagility (C. cinereum and S. magellanicus), and sedentary behaviour by two terrestrial-foraging species with low-to-moderate vagility (T. aedon and Z. capensis). In S. magellanicus, elevational movements and lack of mtDNA structure contrast with striking morphological divergence, suggesting strong diversifying selection on body proportions across the c. 50 km gradient. All species except C. cinereum exhibited mtDNA haplotype variation consistent with recent population expansion across the elevational

  1. Larvae of Contracaecum sp. (Nematoda: Anisakidae) in the threatened freshwater fish Sandelia capensis (Anabantidae) in South Africa

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Moravec, František; van Rensburg, C.J.; Van As, L. L.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 120, č. 3 (2016), s. 251-254 ISSN 0177-5103 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : parasitic nematode * third-stage larva * paratenic host * endangered fish species * Africa Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.549, year: 2016

  2. Phytophthora taxa associated with cultivated Agathosma, with emphasis on the P. citricola complex and P. capensis sp. nov.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezuidenhout, C.M.; Denman, S.; Kirk, S.A.; Botha, W.J.; Mostert, L.; McLeod, A.

    2010-01-01

    Agathosma species, which are indigenous to South Africa, are also cultivated for commercial use. Recently growers experienced severe plant loss, and symptoms shown by affected plants suggested that a soilborne disease could be the cause of death. A number of Phytophthora taxa were isolated from

  3. Notes on food and foraging of the Honey Badger Mellivora capensis in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Kruuk

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available Contents of faeces indicated that honey badgers in the Kalahari eat mostly rodents, followed by lizards and scorpions, all of which are caught by digging. Larger mammals (aardwolf, bat-eared fox, springhare and large snakes are also eaten. Foraging behaviour is described and individual differences in foraging strategies are discussed.

  4. The role of electrical and jasmonate signalling in the recognition of captured prey in the carnivorous sundew plant Drosera capensis

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krausko, M.; Perůtka, M.; Šebela, M.; Šamajová, O.; Šamaj, J.; Novák, Ondřej; Pavlovič, A.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 213, č. 4 (2017), s. 1818-1835 ISSN 0028-646X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : action potential * carnivorous plant * Drosera * electrical signal * enzymes * jasmonates * long-distance signalling * sundew Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 7.330, year: 2016

  5. Firewalls in bee nests—survival value of propolis walls of wild Cape honeybee ( Apis mellifera capensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tribe, Geoff; Tautz, Jürgen; Sternberg, Karin; Cullinan, Jenny

    2017-04-01

    The Cape bee is endemic to the winter rainfall region of South Africa where fires are an integral part of the ecology of the fynbos (heathland) vegetation. Of the 37 wild nests in pristine Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos in the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park that have been analyzed so far, only 22 could be accessed sufficiently to determine the existence of a propolis wall of which 68% had propolis walls which entirely enclosed their openings. The analysis of the 37 wild nests revealed that 78% occurred under boulders or in clefts within rocks, 11% in the ground, 8% in tree cavities, and 3% within shrubs. The analysis of 17 of these nests following a fire within the park revealed that the propolis walls materially protected the nests and retarded the fire with all the colonies surviving. The bees responded to the smoke by imbibing honey and retreating to the furthest recess of their nest cavity. The bees were required to utilize this honey for about 3 weeks after which fire-loving plants appeared and began flowering. Considerable resources were utilized in the construction of the propolis walls, which ranged in thickness from 1.5 to 40 mm (mean 5 mm). Its physical environment determines the nesting behavior of the Cape bee. The prolific use of propolis serves to insulate the nest from extremes of temperature and humidity, restricts entry, camouflages the nest, and acts as an effective fire barrier protecting nests established mostly under rocks in vegetation subjected to periodic fires.

  6. Firewalls in bee nests-survival value of propolis walls of wild Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tribe, Geoff; Tautz, Jürgen; Sternberg, Karin; Cullinan, Jenny

    2017-04-01

    The Cape bee is endemic to the winter rainfall region of South Africa where fires are an integral part of the ecology of the fynbos (heathland) vegetation. Of the 37 wild nests in pristine Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos in the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park that have been analyzed so far, only 22 could be accessed sufficiently to determine the existence of a propolis wall of which 68% had propolis walls which entirely enclosed their openings. The analysis of the 37 wild nests revealed that 78% occurred under boulders or in clefts within rocks, 11% in the ground, 8% in tree cavities, and 3% within shrubs. The analysis of 17 of these nests following a fire within the park revealed that the propolis walls materially protected the nests and retarded the fire with all the colonies surviving. The bees responded to the smoke by imbibing honey and retreating to the furthest recess of their nest cavity. The bees were required to utilize this honey for about 3 weeks after which fire-loving plants appeared and began flowering. Considerable resources were utilized in the construction of the propolis walls, which ranged in thickness from 1.5 to 40 mm (mean 5 mm). Its physical environment determines the nesting behavior of the Cape bee. The prolific use of propolis serves to insulate the nest from extremes of temperature and humidity, restricts entry, camouflages the nest, and acts as an effective fire barrier protecting nests established mostly under rocks in vegetation subjected to periodic fires.

  7. Genetic population structure in an equatorial sparrow: roles for culture and geography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danner, J E; Fleischer, R C; Danner, R M; Moore, I T

    2017-06-01

    Female preference for local cultural traits has been proposed as a barrier to breeding among animal populations. As such, several studies have found correlations between male bird song dialects and population genetics over relatively large distances. To investigate whether female choice for local dialects could act as a barrier to breeding between nearby and contiguous populations, we tested whether variation in male song dialects explains genetic structure among eight populations of rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) in Ecuador. Our study sites lay along a transect, and adjacent study sites were separated by approximately 25 km, an order of magnitude less than previously examined for this and most other species. This transect crossed an Andean ridge and through the Quijos River Valley, both of which may be barriers to gene flow. Using a variance partitioning approach, we show that song dialect is important in explaining population genetics, independent of the geographic variables: distance, the river valley and the Andean Ridge. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that song acts as a barrier to breeding among populations in close proximity. In addition, songs of contiguous populations differed by the same degree or more than between two populations previously shown to exhibit female preference for local dialect, suggesting that birds from these populations would also breed preferentially with locals. As expected, all geographic variables (distance, the river valley and the Andean Ridge) also predicted population genetic structure. Our results have important implications for the understanding whether, and at what spatial scale, culture can affect population divergence. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Relationship between bird-of-prey decals and bird-window collisions on a Brazilian university campus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thaís Brisque

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Bird-window collisions are a dramatic cause of bird mortality globally. In Latin America, statistics are generally very scarce and/or inaccessible so the frequency of such incidents is still poorly understood. Nevertheless, civilians have applied preventive methods (e.g. adhesive bird-of-prey decals sparsely but, to our knowledge, no study has evaluated their effectiveness in Brazil. Here, we estimated the mortality rate of bird-window collisions and tested the effectiveness of bird-of-prey decals at preventing such accidents. We undertook daily searches for bird carcasses, presumably resulting from window collisions, near all buildings on a university campus over seven months. Adhesive bird-of-prey decals were then applied to the two buildings with the highest mortality rates and surveys continued for over 12 more months. The mortality rates before and after the application of decals and between seasons were then compared using Friedman test. We recorded 36 collisions, 29 around the two buildings with the highest collision rates 19 prior and 10 after our intervention with associated collision rates of 0.08 and 0.04 collisions/day. Although mortality was reduced by almost half, this difference was not statistically significant. The Blue-black grassquit, Volatinia jacarina (Linnaeus, 1766, and Ruddy ground dove, Columbina talpacoti (Temminck, 1810 suffered the highest number of collisions, followed by the Rufous-collared sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis (P. L. Statius Müller, 1776. Our bird-of-prey decals and efforts were insufficient to prevent or dramatically reduce the number of bird-window collisions. Therefore, we recommend that different interventions be used and additional long-term studies undertaken on their efficacy.

  9. The new French 2010 Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus causes an RHD-like disease in the Sardinian Cape hare (Lepus capensis mediterraneus)

    OpenAIRE

    Puggioni, Giantonella; Cavadini, Patrizia; Maestrale, Caterina; Scivoli, Rosario; Botti, Giuliana; Ligios, Ciriaco; Le Gall-Recul?, Ghislaine; Lavazza, Antonio; Capucci, Lorenzo

    2013-01-01

    Lagovirus is an emerging genus of Caliciviridae, which includes the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) of rabbits and the European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) of hares that cause lethal hepatitis. In 2010, a new RHDV related virus (RHDV2) with a unique genetic and antigenic profile and lower virulence was identified in France in rabbits. Here we report the identification of RHDV2 as the cause in Sardinia of several outbreaks of acute hepatitis in rabbits and Cape hare (Lepus capens...

  10. Effects of environmental variables on survey catch rates and distribution by size of shallow- and deep-water Cape hakes, Merluccius capensis and Merluccius paradoxus off Namibia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kainge, Paulus Inekela; van der Plas, A. K.; Bartholomae, C. H.

    2017-01-01

    In order to study the effects of temperature, oxygen, salinity and time of day on survey trawl catches, we modeled observed catches of juvenile, small, medium and large hakes per station as functions of zenith angle of the sun, geographical position, year, temperature, salinity, oxygen and depth....

  11. Stock-environment recruitment analysis for Namibian Cape hake ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Stock-environment recruitment analysis for Namibian Cape hake Merluccius capensis. ... The factors modulating recruitment success of Cape hake Merluccius capensis in Namibian waters are still unresolved. ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  12. Argyrosomus hololepidotus, Pomatomus saltatrix and Merluccius ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    saltatrix (elf) and Merluccius capensis (Shallow-water hake) between Algoa Bay ... deep-water species such as Merluccius capensis is well known. (Botha 1971; Botha ...... B. Davie in collecting and processing the material is acknowledged.

  13. The Cetaceans of Ghana, a Validated Faunal Checklist | Van ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... S. longirostris longirostris*, S. attenuata, S. frontalis, Delphinus capensis capensis*, Lagenodelphis hosei, Steno bredanensis, Grampus griseus, Peponocephala electra*, Feresa attenuata**, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Orcinus orca*, Pseudorca crassidens*, Kogia sima**, Physetermacrocephalus*, Ziphius cavirostris** ...

  14. Reproductive periods in birds near the Equator Reproductive periods in birds near the Equator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miller Alden H.

    1958-09-01

    Full Text Available Para el estudio de los ciclos reproductivos de las aves cerca al ecuador se seleccionó el Gorrión (Zonotrichia capensis teniendo en cuenta que se han realizado estudios intensivos en especies próximas que habitan el hemisferio norte.  Se escogió como estación de trabajo, el sitio denominado Mares localizado en la cima de la Cordillera Occidental sobre la carretera que conduce de Cali a Buenaventura. Mediante trabajos de anillado, instalación de trampas para captura de las aves, realización de laparotomías y observación constante. se ha llegado a las siguientes conclusiones preliminares: a Que las aves cerca del ecuador tienen como en otras latitudes periodos o ciclos de reproducción, aunque la especie en conjunto pueda estar anidando prácticamente durante todo el año. b Que los machos están en condiciones fisiológicas para reproducirse a los cinco meses de edad y que con seguridad algunos permanecen en condiciones de reproducción durante cuatro meses continuos; además que las hembras anidan a los cinco meses de edad. c Que estas aves tienen una marcada resistencia contra las infecciones que podrían sobrevenirles por el empleo de instrumental quirúrgico sin previa desinfección, usado en las intervenciones.  Algunos individuos fueron operados hasta tres veces y tan solo se sabe de uno que murió, no debido a infección sino a una alta dosis de anestesia. A partir del ocho de febrero del presente año, se han anillado ciento veinte (120 individuos en un área aproximada de dos hectáreas, y se ha coleccionado material adicional en la vecindad de la estación de estudio, el cual se preserva para futuros estudios comparativos. Para el estudio de los ciclos reproductivos de las aves cerca al ecuador se seleccionó el Gorrión (Zonotrichia capensis teniendo en cuenta que se han realizado estudios intensivos en especies próximas que habitan el hemisferio norte. Se escogió como estación de trabajo, el sitio denominado Mares

  15. In vitro determination of the anti-aging potential of four southern African medicinal plants

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ndlovu, G

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available southern African medicinal plants; Clerodendrum glabrum, Schotia brachypetala, Psychotria capensis and Peltophorum africanum, were investigated to assess their anti-aging properties....

  16. Abundance and distribution of avian and marine mammal predators ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The principal predators associated with this activity were common dolphins Delphinus capensis and Cape gannets Morus capensis, and their nearshore distribution was associated with sardine and East Coast round herring E. teres. Few clupeoids were encountered along the KwaZulu-Natal continental shelf, although ...

  17. The KwaZulu-Natal sardine run: shoal distribution in relation to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The predator variables were highly significant (r2 = 0.48) with Cape gannets Morus capensis, followed by the sharks/gamefish and common dolphins Delphinus capensis, being most closely associated with sardine presence. Environmental variables were not as influential in the GLM models (r2 = 0.23), but some variables ...

  18. Temperature sensitivity of the oxygenation reaction of stripped ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -operativity (n) at all three experimental temperatures compared to L. capensis. The heat of oxygenation (",H) between 8"C (pH 7,63) and. 23"C (pH 7,49) calculated for L capensis haemoglobin (-56,3 kJ.mol ') exceeded that of C. gariepinus ...

  19. An analysis of the recreational shore fishery in the Goukamma ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ten years (1993–2002) of shore fishing catch and effort data collected during routine patrols in the Goukamma Marine Protected Area in theWestern Cape Province were analysed. Of a total of 35 species recorded, the most common were backtail, Diplodus sargus capensis (39%), and galjoen, Dichistius capensis (25%).

  20. Phylogenetic relationships among members of the Pachydactylus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Pachydactylus capensis group is a phenetically-defined assemblage of five small-bodied geckos broadly distributed in eastern southern Africa. Several additional small-bodied Pachydactylus have been historically considered subspecies of P. capensis or members of this group. To assess evolutionary relationships ...

  1. Sexual dimorphism of four owl species in South Africa | Ansara-Ross ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Owl Tyto capensis, Barn Owl T. alba, Marsh Owl Asio capensis and Spotted Eagle-Owl Bubo africanus) by examining specimens of intact owl carcasses found killed by vehicles along a national road in Gauteng province, South Africa. Females ...

  2. 50 CFR 10.13 - List of Migratory Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Protection of Migratory Birds, August 16, 1916, United States-Great Britain (on behalf of Canada), 39 Stat..., Gallinago stenura Swinhoe's, Gallinago megala Wilson's, Gallinago delicata (the “common” snipe hunted in..., Spizella pusilla Five-striped, Aimophila quinquestriata Fox, Passerella iliaca Golden-crowned, Zonotrichia...

  3. Compilation of 1985 Annual Reports of the Navy ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) Communications System Ecological Monitoring Program. Volume 3. Tabs H-J.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-07-01

    Buckley B. (1975) The Feen% P. (1970) Seasonal changes in oak leaf tannin processing of conifer and hardwood leaves in two and nutrients as a cause...Zonotrichia aIbicollis 35 51 34 77 -Drk-.yed Junco Junco hvermlis I I I I Red- wineed Blackbird Amelaius ohoeniceus 1 5 15 0 Comnon Grackle Ouiscalus cuiscula

  4. SPECIALIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURAL HOLDINGS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zofia Kołoszko-Chomentowska

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In the present article, an attempt was made to assess the sustainability of agricultural holdings with diff erent directions of production. Agricultural holdings in the Podlaskie voivodeship registered in the FADN system in 2011–2012 were investigated. Assessment accounted for agroecological indicators (share of permanent grasslands, share of cereals in crops, soil coverage with vegetation, stock density and economic indicators (profi tableness of land and labor. Analysis was conducted according to a classifi cation into agricultural holding types: fi eldcrops, dairy cattle, and granivores. Fieldcrop and granivore holdings achieved more favourable environmental sustainability indicators. Holdings specializing in dairy cattle breeding posed a threat to the natural environment, mainly due to their excessive stock density. Economic sustainability assessment showed that granivore holdings were assessed most favorably. In these holdings, holding income per full-time worker was 37% greater than in fi eldcrop holdings and 57% greater than in dairy cattle holdings.

  5. Remote Cameras Reveal Experimental Artifact in a Study of Seed Predation in a Semi-Arid Shrubland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alissa J Brown

    Full Text Available Granivorous animals may prefer to predate or cache seed of certain plant species over others. Multiple studies have documented preference for larger, non-native seed by granivores. To accomplish this, researchers have traditionally used indirect inference by relating patterns of seed removal to the species composition of the granivorous animal community. To measure seed removal, researchers present seed to granivorous animals in the field using equipment intended to exclude certain animal taxa while permitting access to others. This approach allows researchers to differentiate patterns of seed removal among various taxa (e.g., birds, small mammals, and insects; however, it is unclear whether the animals of interest are freely using the exclusion devices, which may be a hindrance to discovering the seed dishes. We used video observation to perform a study of seed predation using a custom-built, infrared digital camera and recording system. We presented native and non-native seed mixtures in partitioned Petri dishes both within and outside of exclusion cages. The exclusion cages were intended to allow entrance by rodent taxa while preventing entrance by rabbits and birds. We documented all seed removal visits by granivorous animals, which we identified to the genus level. Genera exhibited varying seed removal patterns based on seed type (native vs. non-native and dish type (open vs. enclosed. We documented avoidance of the enclosed dishes by all but one rodent taxa, even though these dishes were intended to be used freely by rodents. This suggests that preference for non-native seed occurs differentially among granivorous animals in this system; however, interpretation of these nuanced results would be difficult without the benefit of video observation. When feasible, video observation should accompany studies using in situ equipment to ensure incorrect assumptions do not lead to inappropriate interpretation of results.

  6. New distribution records for four mammal species, with notes on their taxonomy and ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.N. Bronner

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available New distribution records for four small mammal species (Georychus capensis, Galerella pulverulenta, Rhinolophus swinnyi and Amblysomus julianae are presented, along with relevant notes on the taxonomy, karyology and ecology of these species.

  7. African penguins as predators and prey — coping (or not) with change

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    They feed to a large extent on shoaling epipelagic fish, notably anchovy Engraulis capensis and ... This has led to both the extinction and formation of colonies. ... The chance of survival of the species through the 21st century is tenuous.

  8. Two hake species, deep-water Cape hake Merluccius paradoxus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    paradoxus and shallow-water Cape hake M. capensis, are found along the ... For both species, average length increased with depth. M. paradoxus expanded its ..... Evolution of the Benguela, physical features and processes. In Oceano-.

  9. pisces: Sparidae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    items, which combines the modified points method and the frequency of occurrence ... Studies on the feeding and breeding biology of D. sargus capensis to date refer to ...... habits of albacore, bluefin tuna, and bonito in California water. Calif.

  10. SWFSC/MMTD: Ecosystem Survey of Delphinus Species (ESDS) 2009

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This survey focused on two species of common dolphin: the short-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus delphis, and the long-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus capensis ,...

  11. Impact of commercial afforestation on bird populations in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa - Insights from bird-atlas data

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Allan, DG

    1997-02-01

    Full Text Available -tailed pipit Anthus brachyurus Yellow-breasted pipit Hemimacronyx chloris Orange-throated longclaw Macronyx capensis Fiscal shrike Lanius collaris Pied starling Spreo bicolor Gurney's sugarbird Promerops gurneyi Malachite sunbird...

  12. The Food and Agriculture Organization, in its Reykjavik Declaration ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2005-06-06

    Jun 6, 2005 ... information on the geographical distribution of marine species to improve .... snoek, albacore, bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, shallow- water Cape hake Merluccius capensis and deep- ..... raw data processing by MCM. Because ...

  13. African Zoology - Vol 47, No 1 (2012)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lygodactylus capensis) (Gekkonidae) · EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. Patricia A. Fleming, Philip W. Bateman, 55-59. http://dx.doi.org/10.3377/004.047.0110 ...

  14. Trawl survey data are applied in fish stock assessment mainly to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    Merluccius capensis (shallow-water Cape hake) and. M. paradoxus (deep-water Cape hake) off Namibia provide an ... published data), meaning that the horizontal trawl opening will .... Acoustic data were post-processed twice daily. Hake.

  15. The Benguela upwelling system is one of the most productive in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    Waldron and Probyn 1992), providing a large biomass of plankton and planktivo- rous fish (Ware 1992) that in turn are preyed on by the. Cape hakes Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus, which are dominant and highly successful demersal.

  16. Seasonal variation in plasma and corpus luteum oestradiol.17[3and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Flemming 1993) and, in males, with circulating sex steroid concentrations ..... biology of the Cape mole-rat, Georychus capensis (Rodentia. Bathycrgidac), j, Zool" ... brain. and behavior: an emerging discipline in herpetology. In: Biology of the ...

  17. Nieuwe vondsten van zeldzame planten in 1993, 1994 en (ten dele) 1995

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijden, van der Ruud; Holverda, Wout J.; Duistermaat, Leni (H.)

    1996-01-01

    New indigenous species are Conopodium majus and Vulpia membranacea, and the recently recorded hybrid Scutellaria galericulata x minor (S. x hybrida). New and fully naturalized neophytes are the invasive species Hydrocotyle ranunculoides and Impatiens capensis. Other new neophytes are

  18. Department of Zoological Sciences, Addis Ababa Univer

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2016-12-02

    Dec 2, 2016 ... unprecedented negative effects thereby exasperating natural disasters which ultimately will cause a negative .... such farms there is substantial activity in animal husbandry. .... capensis, Prunus africana, Cordia africana, and ...

  19. lutionary research has been on the relationships and structure of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    off Namibia have been limited by either a spatial or a temporal scale ... Antarctic Intermediate, deep and bottom waters. (Shannon .... either to include or to ignore rare species (Alatalo ...... Shallow-water Cape hake Merluccius capensis, horse.

  20. Applying an Avian Index of Biological Integrity to Assess and Monitor Arid and Semi-arid Riparian Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    e.g., foraging or reproduction behavior). Measurement of the IHD. The purpose of the IHD is to establish a gradient of human disturbance that may...sparverius Resident Insectivore Ground Hawk PIF 2A Non-Dependent Native Cavity Domestic Peacock Pavo cristatus Resident Granivore Ground Captive

  1. Family Common Name Scientific name Main food Main Guild Beach ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NICKSON

    Spur-winged Plover, Vanellus spinosus, crustaceans, insects, worms, Invertebrate, 1.38, 0.6, 3.4, 0.59, RES. Kittlits Plover, Charadrius ... Great Snipe, Gallinago media, crustaceans, worms, insects, Invertebrate, 0.34, PM. Common ... Red-eyed Dove, Streptopelia semitorquata, seeds, grains, Granivore, 1.38, 0.62, 0.59, RES.

  2. Insect diet of some afrotropical insectivorous passerines at the Jos ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite being the most common avian dietary strategy, our understanding of the nutrition of avian insectivores lags behind that of less populous granivores, herbivores, and frugivores; thereby attracting research interest. Insect diet of Afrotropical insectivorous passerines at the Jos Wildlife Park was studied by trapping birds ...

  3. THE ENERGETIC COST OF FEATHER SYNTHESIS IS PROPORTIONAL TO BASAL METABOLIC-RATE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VISSER, GH; DAAN, S

    1993-01-01

    The cost of feather production, C(f) (kJ . [g dry feathers]-1), differs substantially between species. We studied the molt cost in one insectivorous songbird (bluethroat, Luscinia s. svecica) and one granivorous songbird (common redpoll, Carduelis f. flammea), We wanted to test whether differences

  4. Biotic resistance via granivory: Establishment by invasive, naturalized, and native asters reflects generalist preference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Ragan M. Callaway; John L. Maron

    2011-01-01

    Escape from specialist natural enemies is frequently invoked to explain exotic plant invasions, but little attention has been paid to how generalist consumers in the recipient range may influence invasion. We examined how seed preferences of the widespread generalist granivore Peromyscus maniculatus related to recruitment of the strongly invasive exotic Centaurea...

  5. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion

    Science.gov (United States)

    B. M. Connolly; D. E. Pearson; R. N. Mack

    2014-01-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food...

  6. European birds and aposematic Heteroptera: review of comparative experiments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Exnerová, A.; Svádová, K.; Fousová, P.; Fučiková, E.; Ježová, D.; Niederlová, A.; Kopečková, M.; Štys, P.

    2008-01-01

    The efficiency of defensive mechanisms in 11 European aposematic species of Heteroptera against various passerine predators was analysed. Bird species differed in their reactions to aposematic preys: small insectivorous birds generally avoided aposematic bugs, but granivorous birds as well as large

  7. Molecular evidence for long-distance colonization in an Indo-Pacific seahorse lineage

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Teske, P.R.; Hamilton, H.; Palsboll, P.J.; Choo, C.K.; Gabr, H.; Lourie, S.A.; Santos, M.; Sreepada, R.A.; Cherry, M.I.; Matthee, C.A.

    Island, Mozambique 2 Pemba, Tanzania* 1 H. kuda Tayabas Bay, Quezon, the Philippines 35(+3) (West Pacific lineage) Fiji 10 Taiwan* 1 H. fuscus Gulf of Suez, Red Sea, Egypt* 35 H. capensis Knysna Estuary, South Africa 35 Outgroup H. reidi Gulf of Mexico..., Mexico* 1 H. ingens East Pacific coast, Mexico* 1 H. hilonis Hawaii* 1 H. capensis (South Africa) H. kuda (South Africa) H. kuda (Mozambique) H. kuda (Tanzania) H. kuda (western India) H. kuda (southeastern India) H. kuda (Malaysia) H. kuda (Lombok) H...

  8. Ant species richness of fynbos and forest ecosystems in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The ant fauna in fynbos and forest habitats in the southern Cape are compared. There is no significant difference in ant species richness between the two undisturbed habitat types, and the only two species common to both are Acantholepis capensis and Camponotus maculatus. The degree of Hakea sericea infestation in ...

  9. The taxonomic status of common dolphins Delphinus spp. in South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Aside from gender differences, a principal components analysis of skull measurements of 72 adult common dolphins from South Africa failed to distinguish more than one form of Delphinus. Plots of rostral length against zygomatic width indicated most could be referred to the long-beaked form D. capensis, but three ...

  10. During the British Antarctic Survey's Offshore Biological Programme ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    high wingfold thickened to form a ridge, long wing, short crest; hood long relative to crest and broadly notched in the midline; thickened fold running to lower part ... soma (Goodrich, 1896), C. imperator Chun, 1910, C. atlantica (MacDonald & Clench, 1934), C. joubini. Voss, 1967, C. capensis Voss, 1967 and C. calyx. Young ...

  11. Forecasting in South African pelagic fisheries management: The use ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Two simple rulebased deterministic modelling approaches are described, which use semi-quantitative and qualitative rules to relate recruitment success of South African anchovy Engraulis capensis to physical and biological indices. The first model relates recruitment success to indices of wind and sea surface temperature ...

  12. Sodium and potassium concentrations in floral nectars in relation to ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sodium and potassium concentrations have been measured in nectar from a variety of flowering plants visited by honey bees (Apis mellifera capensis). In 18 plant species the mean sodium concentration was 9,8 ± 1,4 mmol (± S.E.), and the mean potassium concentration was 18,7 ± 4,3 mmol. These results are compared ...

  13. Comparison of nectar foraging efficiency in the Cape honeybee ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-03-17

    Mar 17, 1987 ... Comparison of nectar foraging efficiency in the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis Escholtz, and the African honeybee, Apis mellifera adansonii Latreille,. , in the western Cape Province. P.V. W-Worswick*. Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700 Republic of South Africa.

  14. African Zoology - Vol 33, No 4 (1998)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Predation on the tent tortoise Psammobates tentorius: a whodunit with the honey badger Mellivora capensis as prime suspect · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. Penn Lloyd, Dekker A. Stadler, 200-202 ...

  15. Effects of temperature and salinity on resting metabolism in two ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigates the resting metabolic rate (RMR; mg O2 g/h) of the resident rock pool fish Caffrogobius caffer and the transient sparid Diplodus sargus capensis at a range of salinities (5, 15, 25, 35 and 45 PSU) and temperatures (14, 20 and 28°C) using closed-vessel respirometry. Both species were temperature ...

  16. Variable spatial structure of schooling pelagic fish off Namibia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Schools of horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus capensis, sardine Sardinops sagax and round herring Etrumeus whiteheadi were surveyed by conventional echo-integration along systematic transects. The transects were surveyed twice, in opposite directions. Clupeoid biomass was concentrated in a few dense ...

  17. Phylogeographic patterning among two codistributed shrimp species (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae reveals high levels of connectivity across biogeographic regions along the South African coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa E Wood

    Full Text Available We compare the genetic structuring and demographic history of two sympatric caridean shrimp species with distinct life history traits, one amphidromous species Palaemon capensis and one marine/estuarine species Palaemon peringueyi, in the historical biogeographical context of South Africa. A total of 103 specimens of P. capensis collected from 12 localities and 217 specimens of P. peringueyi collected from 24 localities were sequenced for the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase one (CO1 locus. Results from analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA, pairwise ΦST comparisons and haplotype networks demonstrate weak to moderate genetic differentiation in P. capensis and P. peringueyi respectively. P. peringueyi exhibits partial isolation between populations associated with distinct biogeographic regions, likely driven by the region's oceanography. However, there is minimal evidence for the occurrence of discrete regional evolutionary lineages. This demonstrated lack of genetic differentiation is consistent with a marine, highly dispersive planktonic phase in both the amphidromous P. capensis and the marine/estuarine P. peringueyi. Bayesian skyline plots, mismatch expansions and time since expansion indicate that both species maintained stable populations during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, unlike other southern African aquatic species.

  18. African Zoology - Vol 21, No 2 (1986)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Biochemical population genetics of the black mussel Choromytilus meridionalis · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT ... Effects of temperature and hypoxic stress on the oxygen consumption rates of the mudsucker fish Labeo capensis (Smith) · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT

  19. Short Communication Validation of growth zone deposition rate in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Flathead mullet Mugil cephalus and freshwater mullet Myxus capensis are important components in South African estuarine fish communities and fisheries, but there is little information on their age and growth or age validation. This study validated the periodicity of growth zone formation in sectioned sagittal otoliths and ...

  20. Validation of growth zone deposition in otoliths of two large endemic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We tested the hypothesis that growth zones in the astericus otoliths of smallmouth yellowfish (Labeobarbus aeneus) and Orange River mudfish (Labeo capensis) were deposited annually. Two methods, fluorochrome marking and edge analysis of otoliths were used. For fluorochrome marking, specimens of both species ...

  1. Bayesian analysis of allozyme markers indicates a single genetic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kingklip Genypterus capensis inhabit deep continental shelf and slope waters off southern Africa and are now largely harvested as a bycatch in trawl and longline fisheries for Cape hakes Merluccius spp. Regional differences in growth, vertebral count and otolith morphology indicate that kingklip may consist of three stocks.

  2. Escapement of Cape hakes under the fishing line of the Namibian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The objective of this study was to establish whether Cape hakes Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus escape under the fishing line and to identify any species or length dependence of escape rates. Experiments were carried out in Namibian waters during two cruises in October 2002 and October 2003. A collection bag ...

  3. Intrusion of beach-disposed dredger spoil into the Mhlathuze ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sediment intrusion and its impact on the beds of the seagrass Zostera capensis in the estuary were monitored from 1996 to 1999. Fine sediment did enter the estuary from the marine environment and was deposited mainly in its lower reaches, where its settling on the leaves of Zostera resulted in a major die-back. However ...

  4. In vitro antioxidant activity and phytochemical screening of methanol ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, phytochemical screening and in vitro antioxidant activity of methanol extracts of D. edulis and F. capensis leaves were evaluated. Each plant leaves were extracted in methanol using standard procedures. The phytochemical screening of the resulting extracts showed the presence of cardiac glycosides, ...

  5. Functional Anatomy of the Feeding Apparatus of Four South African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The functional anatomy of the head and anterior neck region of the cormorants Phalacrocorax lucidus. P. neglectus, P. capensis and P. africanus was investigated. There are significant differences in absolute size of the muscle and bone elements between the four species. The relative proportions of these elements are, ...

  6. Evaluation of a class of possible simple interim management ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    During 1997, considerable scientific differences arose about the status of the Namibian hake (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus) resource, and as to whether the hake Total Allowable Catch (TAC) should be substantially decreased or increased. These differences revolved primarily around whether or not abundance ...

  7. A model of trophic flows in the northern Benguela upwelling system ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ultimately, this type of model may form a basis for multispecies management approaches in the region. By the 1980s, sardine Sardinops sagax and hake Merluccius spp. stocks in the northern Benguela had both undergone a decline, yet were still heavily fished. Horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus capensis had increased ...

  8. Selected fishery and population parameters of eight shore-angling ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Selected fishery and population parameters of eight shore-angling species in the ... Five different estimates of natural mortality (M), and the coefficients of ... for the most abundant species, blacktail Diplodus capensis, with a mean CPUE of 0.252 ... Keywords: catch per unit effort; fisheries management; marine protected area; ...

  9. Influence of oceanographic fronts and low oxygen on the distribution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The horizontal and vertical distributions of eggs and larvae of sardine Sardinops sagax, anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus and horse mackerel Trachurus trachurus capensis were examined in relation to distribution patterns of temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen. Samples were collected during February–March 2002 ...

  10. Molecular evidence for long-distance colonization in an Indo-Pacific seahorse lineage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teske, PR; Hamilton, H; Palsboll, PJ; Choo, CK; Gabr, H; Lourie, SA; Santos, M; Sreepada, A; Cherry, MI; Matthee, CA

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondrial control region (mtDNA CR) diversity within and among 6 seahorse populations associated with the Indo-Pacific Hippocampus kuda complex (H. kuda from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, H. fuscus from the Red Sea and H. capensis from South Africa) was compared to determine

  11. (Gmelin, 1791) and Patella concolor Krauss, 1848 (Gastropoda

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1986-11-21

    Nov 21, 1986 ... Trans Roy. Soc. S. Afr. 41: 111-160. BRANCH, G.M. 1975. Notes on the ecology of Patella concolor and Cellana capensis and the effects of human consumption on limpet populations. 2001 Afr. 10: 75-85. BRANCH, G.M. 1981. The biology of limpets: physical factors, energy flow, and ecological interactions.

  12. Male flat lizards prefer females with novel scents | Lewis | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Males were given a choice between two refuges, an odourless control and one of the following: a conspecific female from the same population (sympatric), a conspecific female from a distant population (allopatric), and a female from their sister species (heterospecific), P. capensis. Males chose refuges treated with the scent ...

  13. New species of haematozoa in Phalacrocoracidae and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    New species of haematozoa, namely Leucocytozoon ugwidi sp. nov. from the Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis and Haemoproteus skuae sp. nov. from the Subantarctic Skua Catharacta antarctica, are described. These are the first species to be recorded from the families Phalacrocoracidae and Stercorariidae, ...

  14. Factors influencing the breeding success of Cape Gannets Morus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the 2002/2003 breeding season at Malgas Island, South Africa, 125 nests of Cape Gannets Morus capensis, of which at least one partner was of known age, were monitored. The age of birds at these nests ranged from five to 22 years. At five nests, the ages of both partners were known; ages were similar for birds ...

  15. The Cape commercial linefishery consists of about 2 500 vessels ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    assessing the ecosystem effects of fishing and evaluating the benefits of ... Such information would assist in the ... Traditional Cape linefish may be broadly divided into ... gressively farther offshore (and into deeper. Griffiths: ... (Griffiths 1997c); this process controls avail- ... of shallow-water Cape hake Merluccius capensis,.

  16. Ontogenetic dietary shift and morphological correlates for Diplodus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Allometric growth patterns of functional morphological variables that reflect resource use in fish were correlated with the diet of Diplodus capensis in southern Angola. A total of 114 individuals (76–336 mm FL) were collected for stomach content analysis and a further 35 individuals (80–320 mm FL) for morphometric ...

  17. Short Note Is the Cape White-eye Zosterops virens or Zosterops ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The recent scientific literature employs three binomial names for the southern African endemic bird known as the Cape White-eye: Zosterops capensis, Z. pallidus and Z. virens. This unacceptable inconsistency reflects the contention regarding white-eye systematics. Recent molecular work by Oatley and colleagues led to ...

  18. Review of the rescue, rehabilitation and restoration of oiled seabirds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Review of the rescue, rehabilitation and restoration of oiled seabirds in South Africa, especially African penguins Spheniscus demersus and Cape gannets Morus capensis , 1983–2005. ... In addition, oiling has a long-term negative impact on the breeding productivity and cost of reproduction in de-oiled birds. The primary ...

  19. The proposed transfer of the echiuran Ochetostoma capense to the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The taxonomic position of the echurian Ochetostoma capense is reviewed based on examination of type material and on specimens from the type locality. On the basis of the disposition of the inner oblique muscle layer, the species is transferred to the genus Listriolobus and is re-described as L. capensis.

  20. Comparison of the morphology of the megachiropteran and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... from the choroid. This does not occur in the insectivorous bat R. capensis, where the choroid and the retina form a smooth layer. It is suggested that this unique feature of the fruit bat, and the associated increase in surface area and hence the number of photoreceptors is probably responsible for its good nocturnal vision.

  1. Integration of metabolism and digestion in the hyrax | Fairall | South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Metabolic adaptations and digestive ability were integrated to explain the ecological efficiency of the hyrax (Procavia capensis). Metabolic rate was shown to decrease linearly with a drop in ambient temperature, but at a lower rate than an animal of equivalent size, the guinea-pig (Cavia porcel/us). This is achieved by ...

  2. Energetic Requirements for Growth and Maintenance of the Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Energetic requirements for growth and maintenance of the Cape gannet (Sula capensis) were studied by hand-rearing captive chicks and keeping juveniles in captivity at constant mass. Daily gain in mass was linear until 60 days of age; after 82 days the chicks lost mass prior to attaining fledging age (97 days).

  3. Fish community structures in Zostera and non-Zostera regions of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Zostera capensis Setchell as shelter and food for juvenile fish in South ... (0) Shannon-Weaver index of general diversity (II) where. H = rP)o~P; ..... sea. Van der Elst 1981. sea. Day et al. 1981. sea sea. Wallace 1975. sea. Day et al. 1981 .... The water in the Mngazana estuary is remarkably clear, especially in the mouth area ...

  4. Spawning strategies and transport of early stages of the two Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seasonal and short-term variability of environmental parameters influence the spawning strategies of fish species. In this study, the spawning strategies and the transport of early stages of the two Cape hake species off South Africa were investigated. Distribution of eggs and larvae of Merluccius paradoxus and M. capensis ...

  5. The distribution and abundance of the endangered Knysna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The occurrence, distribution and abundance of the endangered Knysna seahorse Hippocampus capensis in 10 estuaries on South Africa's warm temperate south coast, were investigated. Seahorses were found only in the Knysna, Swartvlei and Keurbooms estuaries. Sex ratios were even and, in most cases, more adults ...

  6. Author Details

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    W-Worswick, P.V.. Vol 23, No 2 (1988) - Articles Comparison of nectar foraging efficiency in the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis Escholtz, and the African honeybee, Apis mellifera adansonii Latreille, in the western Cape Province Abstract PDF. ISSN: 2224-073X. AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL.

  7. Crustacea; Talitridae

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Distribution of the amphipod, Talorchestia capensis (Crustacea; Talitridae) has been studied in a dune-beach system. The majority of amphipods occurred in dune slacks with fewer on the beach. No zonation of size classes existed, both juveniles and adults occurring throughout the slack. Amphipods were concentrated in ...

  8. Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region (Version 2.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-01

    nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canaden- sis), white panicle aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum = Aster simplex...spp.), smallspike false nettle , lizard’s tail, skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), cardinal flower, jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), tearthumbs...Presence of live individuals, diapausing insect eggs or crustacean cysts, or dead remains of aquatic fauna, such as, but not limited to, sponges, bivalves

  9. Estimating Cape hare occupancy and abundance in southern ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study outlines the importance of integrating spotlighting data and occupancy modelling to estimate the spatial occupancy, abundance and habitat preferences of Cape hares Lepus capensis in southern Tunisia. Exploring the spatial distribution pattern of this species is problematic because of its nocturnal and secretive ...

  10. The importance of lipid-rich fish prey for Cape gannet chick growth : are fishery discards an alternative?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mullers, Ralf H. E.; Navarro, Rene A.; Crawford, Robert J. M.; Underhill, Les G.

    2009-01-01

    A recent decline in population numbers of Cape gannets (Morus capensis) breeding off the west coast of South Africa coincided with decreased availability of lipid-rich fish prey: anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) and sardine (Sardinops sagax). Seabirds can use fishery discards as an alternative, but

  11. Macrofaunal community structure in the littoral zone of a freshwater ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Multidimensional scaling (MDS) indicated that there were no significant spatial patterns in the macrofaunal community structure within the four zones which could be related to the predominance of euryhaline species, including Marphysa sanguinea (estuarine wonder worm), Arcuatula capensis (estuarine mussel), Macoma ...

  12. Aphrodisiac properties of some Zimbabwean medicinal plants ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    treated with M. whitei and E. capensis, aloe and pumpkin seeds showing an increase in sexual performance in terms of intromissions and ejaculatory latency which also improved sexual sensation and coupulatory efficiency. The formulations of plants under investigation showed significant aphrodisiac properties.

  13. Comparison of the population structure and life-history parameters ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Blacktail seabream Diplodus capensis were sampled from proximate (10 km apart) exploited and unexploited areas in southern Angola to compare their population structures and life-history parameters. Females dominated the larger size and older age classes in the unexploited area. In the exploited area the length and ...

  14. Effects of animal activity on the absorption rate of soils in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The rates of absorption into various microsites in Karoo soils were compared. The absorption of water by hard, bare intershrub soils was significantly increased by the presence of emergence holes of adult cicadas and near nest-mounds of the harvester ant Messor capensis. Both these insects play an important role in ...

  15. First record of predation by the alien invasive freshwater fish ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    First record of predation by the alien invasive freshwater fish Micropterus salmoides L. (Centrarchidae) on migrating estuarine fishes in South Africa. ... Estuarine fish species, Monodactylus falciformis, and two species of the family Mugilidae, Mugil cephalus and Myxus capensis, were the most common fish prey in both size ...

  16. Development of the chondrocranium of the shallow-water Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1988-01-15

    Jan 15, 1988 ... Both the auditory capsules and the occipital arches take part in the development of the tectum synoticum. The tectum posterius does not develop separately, but as a posterior extension of the tectum synoticum. Die ontwikkeling die neurokranium van Merluccius capensis word beskryf vanaf die vroegste ...

  17. In a study on the description and dynamics of the nearshore ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    plankton taxonomy from the neritic region along the south-east coast of South Africa. The family Cyno- glossidae consists of three genera and 13 species in southern African waters (Heemstra 1986). The genus. Cynoglossus alone contains nine of these species, C. zanzibarensis and C. capensis being the only two.

  18. Root-nodule bacteria isolated from native Amphithalea ericifolia and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Indigenous root-nodule bacteria isolated from the acid sands of the Cape using Aspalathus linearis, Aspalathus hispida, Aspalathus carnosa, Aspalathus capensis and Amphithalea ericifolia as trap hosts showed considerable tolerance to low pH. Isolates from A. ericifolia and A. carnosa could even grow in YMB medium at ...

  19. Browse Title Index

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Items 51 - 100 of 250 ... Vol 103, No 1 (2014), Butterfly pollination of the dryland wildflower Gloriosa minor, Abstract. DJ Martins. Vol 88, No 1 (1999), Canthariphilous insects in east Africa, Abstract. C Hemp, A Hemp, K Dettner. Vol 103, No 2 (2014), Cape grass owl tyto capensis pellet indicates a Range extension for the vlei rat ...

  20. African Zoology - Vol 42, No 2 (2007)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Habitat use and movement patterns in the graceful crag lizard, Pseudocordylus capensis · EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT ... The leaf-litter earthworm fauna (Annelida: Oligochaeta) of forests in Limpopo Province, South Africa: diversity, communities and conservation · EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT

  1. Author Details

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract · Vol 31, No 1 (2009) - Articles Review of the rescue, rehabilitation and restoration of oiled seabirds in South Africa, especially African penguins Spheniscus demersus and Cape gannets Morus capensis, 1983–2005. Abstract · Vol 31, No 1 (2009) - Articles Turtle bycatch in the pelagic longline fishery off southern ...

  2. ’n Respirometer vir akwatiese diere, geyk teen die Scholander-respirometer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. J. van Aardt

    1984-03-01

    Full Text Available ’n Betroubare maar stadig werkende respirometer is vergelyk met ’n nuut ontwerpte Clark-elektroderespirometer. As metingsmateriaal is van Labeo capensis, ’n varswatervis, gebruik gemaak. Die resultate is statisties ontleed. Daar is gevind dat die iesings van die Clark-elektroderespirometer effens hoer is as die van die klassieke manometriese respirometer van Scholander.

  3. Four large coastal upwelling areas are created by eastern boundary ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    large deep-water hake Merluccius paradoxus, 2.7% small M. paradoxus, 1.3% ... hake in the Benguela region, the shallow-water species. Merluccius capensis .... sharks are not included in the estimate, and neither is the proportion of sharks ...

  4. Next-generation sequencing reveals phylogeographic structure and a species tree for recent bird divergences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCormack, John E.; Maley, James M.; Hird, Sarah M.

    2012-01-01

    divergence in four phylogenetically diverse avian systems using a method for quick and cost-effective generation of primary DNA sequence data using pyrosequencing. NGS data were processed using an analytical pipeline that reduces many reads into two called alleles per locus per individual. Using single...... throughout the genome. Using eight loci found in Zonotrichia and Junco lineages, we were also able to generate a species tree of these sparrow sister genera, demonstrating the potential of this method for generating data amenable to coalescent-based analysis. We discuss improvements that should enhance...

  5. The relationship between habitat complexity and nursery provision for an estuarine-dependent fish species in a permanently open South African Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Timothy; James, Nicola C.; Potts, Warren M.; Rajkaran, Anusha

    2017-11-01

    Estuarine-dependent marine fish species rely on shallow, sheltered and food rich habitats for protection from predators, growth and ultimately recruitment to adult populations. Hence, habitats within estuaries function as critical nursery areas for an abundance of fish species. However, these habitats vary in the degree of nursery function they provide and few studies have quantitatively assessed the relative nursery value of different habitat types within estuaries, particularly in the context of habitat complexity. This study aimed to assess the nursery value of the dominant vegetated habitats, namely the submergent Zostera capensis (Setch.) (seagrass) beds and emergent Spartina maritima (Curtis) Fernald (salt marsh) beds in the Bushmans Estuary, South Africa. Biomass and stem density were sampled seasonally in order to gain insight into the vegetation dynamics of seagrass and salt marsh beds. Aerial cover, canopy height and underwater camera imagery were used to develop multiple complexity indices for prioritizing habitat complexity. The relatively consistent results of the dimensionless indices (interstitial space indices and fractal geometry) suggest that Z. capensis exhibits an overall greater degree of complexity than S. maritima, and hence it can be expected that fish abundance is likely to be higher in Z. capensis beds than in S. maritima habitats. Underwater video cameras were deployed in seagrass, salt marsh and sand flat habitats to assess the relative abundance and behaviour of the estuarine-dependent sparid Rhabosargus holubi (Steindachner 1881) in different habitats. The relative abundance of R. holubi was significantly higher in Z. capensis seagrass than S. maritima salt marsh and sand flats, whilst the behaviour of R. holubi indicated a high degree of habitat use in structured habitats (both Z. capensis and S. martima) and a low degree of habitat use in unstructured sand flat habitats.

  6. Brain transcriptome sequencing and assembly of three songbird model systems for the study of social behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher N. Balakrishnan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Emberizid sparrows (emberizidae have played a prominent role in the study of avian vocal communication and social behavior. We present here brain transcriptomes for three emberizid model systems, song sparrow Melospiza melodia, white-throated sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis, and Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii. Each of the assemblies covered fully or in part, over 89% of the previously annotated protein coding genes in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata, with 16,846, 15,805, and 16,646 unique BLAST hits in song, white-throated and white-crowned sparrows, respectively. As in previous studies, we find tissue of origin (auditory forebrain versus hypothalamus and whole brain as an important determinant of overall expression profile. We also demonstrate the successful isolation of RNA and RNA-sequencing from post-mortem samples from building strikes and suggest that such an approach could be useful when traditional sampling opportunities are limited. These transcriptomes will be an important resource for the study of social behavior in birds and for data driven annotation of forthcoming whole genome sequences for these and other bird species.

  7. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA reveals reticulate evolution in hares (Lepus spp., Lagomorpha, Mammalia from Ethiopia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zelalem Tolesa

    Full Text Available For hares (Lepus spp., Leporidae, Lagomorpha, Mammalia from Ethiopia no conclusive molecular phylogenetic data are available. To provide a first molecular phylogenetic model for the Abyssinian Hare (Lepus habessinicus, the Ethiopian Hare (L. fagani, and the Ethiopian Highland Hare (L. starcki and their evolutionary relationships to hares from Africa, Eurasia, and North America, we phylogenetically analysed mitochondrial ATPase subunit 6 (ATP6; n = 153 / 416bp and nuclear transferrin (TF; n = 155 / 434bp sequences of phenotypically determined individuals. For the hares from Ethiopia, genotype composition at twelve microsatellite loci (n = 107 was used to explore both interspecific gene pool separation and levels of current hybridization, as has been observed in some other Lepus species. For phylogenetic analyses ATP6 and TF sequences of Lepus species from South and North Africa (L. capensis, L. saxatilis, the Anatolian peninsula and Europe (L. europaeus, L. timidus were also produced and additional TF sequences of 18 Lepus species retrieved from GenBank were included as well. Median joining networks, neighbour joining, maximum likelihood analyses, as well as Bayesian inference resulted in similar models of evolution of the three species from Ethiopia for the ATP6 and TF sequences, respectively. The Ethiopian species are, however, not monophyletic, with signatures of contemporary uni- and bidirectional mitochondrial introgression and/ or shared ancestral polymorphism. Lepus habessinicus carries mtDNA distinct from South African L. capensis and North African L. capensis sensu lato; that finding is not in line with earlier suggestions of its conspecificity with L. capensis. Lepus starcki has mtDNA distinct from L. capensis and L. europaeus, which is not in line with earlier suggestions to include it either in L. capensis or L. europaeus. Lepus fagani shares mitochondrial haplotypes with the other two species from Ethiopia, despite its distinct

  8. Field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a lowland area of the temperate zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasakawa, Kôji

    2010-10-01

    Granivory is a specialized food habit in the predominantly carnivorous beetle family Carabidae. Most studies of carabid granivory have been conducted under laboratory conditions; thus, our knowledge of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the field is insufficient. I conducted field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult carabids in a lowland area of eastern Japan, from early October to late November in 2008. This is the first systematic field observation of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the temperate zone. In total, 176 carabid individuals of 11 species were observed, with 108 individuals feeding on plant seeds/flowers. Each carabid species was primarily observed feeding on a particular plant species. Frequently observed combinations were: Amara gigantea Motschulsky on Humulus scandens (Loureiro) Merrill (Moraceae) seed, Amara lucens Baliani on Artemisia indica Willdenow (Asteraceae) flower, and Amara macronota (Solsky) and Harpalus (Pseudoophonus) spp. on Digitaria ciliaris (Retzius) Koeler (Poaceae) seed. In all but one species, the sex ratio of individuals observed feeding was female-biased. In Am. gigantea and Am. macronota, a larger proportion of females than males ate seeds. In the three Amara species, copulations on plants, with the female feeding on its seeds/flowers, were often observed. These observations may indicate that, whereas females climb onto plants to feed on seeds, males climb to seek females for copulation rather than forage. Because granivorous carabids play important roles as weed-control agents in temperate agro-ecosystems, the present results would provide valuable basic information for future studies on this subject.

  9. Seed Removal Increased by Scramble Competition with an Invasive Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minor, Rebecca L; Koprowski, John L

    2015-01-01

    Competition for seeds has a major influence on the evolution of granivores and the plants on which they rely. The complexity of interactions and coevolutionary relationships vary across forest types. The introduction of non-native granivores has considerable potential to alter seed dispersal dynamics. Non-native species are a major cause of endangerment for native species, but the mechanisms are often unclear. As biological invasions continue to rise, it is important to understand mechanisms to build up strategies to mitigate the threat. Our field experiment quantified the impact of introduced Abert's squirrels (Sciurus aberti) on rates of seed removal within the range of critically endangered Mount Graham red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis), which consumes similar foods. In the presence of invasive Abert's squirrels, the time cones were removed was faster than when the invasive was excluded, accounting for a median removal time of cones available to red and Abert's squirrels that is 32.8% less than that of cones available only to the rare native red squirrels. Moreover, in the presence of Abert's squirrels, removal rates are higher at great distance from a territorial red squirrel larderhoard and in more open portions of the forest, which suggests differential patterns of seed dispersal. The impact on food availability as a result of cone removal by Abert's squirrels suggests the potential of food competition as a mechanism of endangerment for the Mount Graham red squirrel. Furthermore, the magnitude and differential spatial patterns of seed removal suggest that non-native granivores may have impacts on forest regeneration and structure.

  10. Seed Removal Increased by Scramble Competition with an Invasive Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca L Minor

    Full Text Available Competition for seeds has a major influence on the evolution of granivores and the plants on which they rely. The complexity of interactions and coevolutionary relationships vary across forest types. The introduction of non-native granivores has considerable potential to alter seed dispersal dynamics. Non-native species are a major cause of endangerment for native species, but the mechanisms are often unclear. As biological invasions continue to rise, it is important to understand mechanisms to build up strategies to mitigate the threat. Our field experiment quantified the impact of introduced Abert's squirrels (Sciurus aberti on rates of seed removal within the range of critically endangered Mount Graham red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis, which consumes similar foods. In the presence of invasive Abert's squirrels, the time cones were removed was faster than when the invasive was excluded, accounting for a median removal time of cones available to red and Abert's squirrels that is 32.8% less than that of cones available only to the rare native red squirrels. Moreover, in the presence of Abert's squirrels, removal rates are higher at great distance from a territorial red squirrel larderhoard and in more open portions of the forest, which suggests differential patterns of seed dispersal. The impact on food availability as a result of cone removal by Abert's squirrels suggests the potential of food competition as a mechanism of endangerment for the Mount Graham red squirrel. Furthermore, the magnitude and differential spatial patterns of seed removal suggest that non-native granivores may have impacts on forest regeneration and structure.

  11. Small mammals of the Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Swanepoel

    1975-07-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the small mammals of the Addo Elephant National Park resulted in a checklist, as well as information on relative numbers, distribution within the Park, reproductive activity, sex ratios, and body measurements. Forty mammals species occur in the Park, while three re-introduced species probably do not occur any longer. Of the 40 species 28 are considered small mammals comprising 13 rodent, eight carnivore, two shrew, two bat, one primate and one lagomorph species, as well as the aardvark: Crociduraflavescens, C. cyanea infumata, Rousettus aegyptiacus, Eptesicus capensis, Cercopithecus pygerythrus, Canis mesomelas, Ictonyx striatus, Poecilogale albinucha, Genetta sp., Herpestes pulverulentus, Suricata suricatta, Proteles cristatus, Felis caracal, Orycteropus afer, Lepus saxatilis, Cryptomys hottentotus, Hystrix africae-australis, Pedetes capensis, Graphiurus murinus, Aethomys namaquensis, Praomys natalensis, Rhabdomys pumilio, Mus minutoides, Rattus rattus, Saccostomys campestris, Desmodillus auricularis, Otomys irroratus and 0. unisulcatus.

  12. Freshwater fishes of Tsitsikamma National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.A. Russell

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine the distribution and relative abundance of freshwater fishes in the Tsitsikamma National Park. Fish assemblages in six river systems were sampled in 2001, with a total of 323 fish from eight species recorded. Indigenous fish collected included four freshwater species (Pseudobarbus afer, Pseudobarbus tenuis, Sandelia capensis, Anguilla mossambica, three estuarine species (Monodactylus falciformis, Caffrogobius gilchristi, Myxus capensis, and one alien (Micropterus salmoides. One additional indigenous species (Galaxias zebratus and two aliens (Salmo trutta, Oncorhynchus mykiss could potentially occur within the park. The topography and locality of the park presents a unique opportunity to meaningfully conserve the endangered P. tenuis as well as other fish characteristic of the eastern reaches of the Cape Floristic Region. Management action is required to minimise opportunities for further establishment and spread of alien fish species and to conserve indigenous fish assemblages within the park.

  13. Fine-scale environmental effects on Cape hake survey catch rates in the Northern Benguela, using data from a trawl-mounted instrument package

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kainge, Paulus Inekela; Wieland, Kai

    2017-01-01

    We investigated fine-scale effects of environmental variables associated with habitat distribution for 4 size groups of Cape hakes, Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus, using generalized additive models (GAMs) with a negative binominal error distribution. This study took place during the Namibian...... hake trawl survey of 2016, and was made possible for the first time in Namibia by collecting oceanographic information with a trawl-mounted instrument package concurrently with the catch data. Depth, geographical position, bottom oxygen and bottom temperature had the most pronounced effect on the catch...... rates of both hake species, whereas solar zenith angle representing diel effects and surface layer chlorophyll appeared to be less important. The explained deviance for the best models ranged from 71.4% for M. capensis to 92.7% for M. paradoxus between 43 and 57 cm in length. Differences in catch rates...

  14. Diptera Brachycera found inside the esophagus of a mummified adult male from the early XIX century, Lisbon, Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcia Souto Couri

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Fly puparia and adult fragments of diptera muscid were found inside the esophagus of a mummified body from the early XIX century, buried inside the crypt of the Sacrament Church (Lisbon, Portugal. The identification of the material revealed a monospecific colonization by Ophyra capensis (Wiedemann (Diptera: Muscidae, a species known to invade corpses in the ammoniacal fermentation wave. This species can be found in corpses kept indoors, not available to the early waves of blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae. In the present case, the number of pupae and their developmental stage suggest that the female invaded the mummified corpse through the partially opened mouth and the oviposition took place directly inside the esophagus. This is the first case of O. capensis infesting internal organs of an intact corpse. The use of chemical products for the embalming process probably explains why external colonization did not occur.

  15. Effects of mammalian competitors on the ecology and evolution of communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, J.H.

    1978-01-01

    Competitive interactions with other species influence the abundance, distribution, and evolution of small mammal populations. In some cases, closely related species exclude each other from local habitats by direct, aggressive interference; in others, they coexist by differentially exploiting limiting resources and avoiding interspecific aggression. Selection to reduce competition has resulted in the evolution of differences in resource utilization among coexisting species. Regular patterns of character displacement are particularly evident in communities of closely related granivores, frugivores, and carnivores. Recent evidence suggests that small mammals compete significantly with distantly related taxa of vertebrates and invertebrates. Such interactions may have important consequences for the structure and function of natural ecosystems

  16. Antidiabetic screening and scoring of eleven plants traditionally used in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van de Venter, M

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available 1 cCannabis sativa L. Cannabaceae L Aq 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 2 Org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cissampelos capensis L.f. Menispermaceae L Aq 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 2 L Org 2 -1 2 -1 1 5 -2 3 Org 2 -1 2 -1 0 4 -2 2 cCatharanthus roseus (L.) G.Don. Apocynaceae T Aq 2...

  17. Investigating onychophoran gas exchange and water balance as a means to inform current controversies in arthropod physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Chown, Steven L

    2008-10-01

    Several controversies currently dominate the fields of arthropod metabolic rate, gas exchange and water balance, including the extent to which modulation of gas exchange reduces water loss, the origins of discontinuous gas exchange, the relationship between metabolic rate and life-history strategies, and the causes of Palaeozoic gigantism. In all of these areas, repeated calls have been made for the investigation of groups that might most inform the debates, especially of taxa in key phylogenetic positions. Here we respond to this call by investigating metabolic rate, respiratory water loss and critical oxygen partial pressure (Pc) in the onychophoran Peripatopsis capensis, a member of a group basal to the arthropods, and by synthesizing the available data on the Onychophora. The rate of carbon dioxide release (VCO2) at 20 degrees C in P. capensis is 0.043 ml CO2 h(-1), in keeping with other onychophoran species; suggesting that low metabolic rates in some arthropod groups are derived. Continuous gas exchange suggests that more complex gas exchange patterns are also derived. Total water loss in P. capensis is 57 mg H2O h(-1) at 20 degrees C, similar to modern estimates for another onychophoran species. High relative respiratory water loss rates ( approximately 34%; estimated using a regression technique) suggest that the basal condition in arthropods may be a high respiratory water loss rate. Relatively high Pc values (5-10% O2) suggest that substantial safety margins in insects are also a derived condition. Curling behaviour in P. capensis appears to be a strategy to lower energetic costs when resting, and the concomitant depression of water loss is a proximate consequence of this behaviour.

  18. Effects of temperature and hypoxic stress on the oxygen ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The specific oxygen consumption rate (VO2lMb) of Labeo capensis, the freshwater mudsucker, was determined for small and large fish at winter (8°C) and summer (23°C) temperatures. VO2lMb was also determined during hypoxic conditions of the experimental water. It was found that VO2lMb does not differ substantially ...

  19. Phylogeny of the Juncaceae based on rbcL sequences, with special emphasis on Luzula DC. and Juncus L

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drábková, L.; Kirschner, J.; Seberg, Ole

    2003-01-01

    Cladistic analysis of rbcL nucleotide sequences was applied to 58 taxa representing most subgenera and sections of Luzula and Juncus, chosen to reflect morphological and geographical diversity of both genera. Additionally, representatives of all other genera of the Juncaceae and two taxa from the......-supported clade is represented by an assemblage of representatives of five genera and species distributed in the Southern Hemisphere: Juncus capensis and J. lomatophyllus (both from section Graminifolii), Rostkovia, Distichia, Marsippospermum, and Patosia....

  20. Aspects of the morphology and the ecology of a Paradiplozoon species from Barbus aeneus in the Vaal Dam, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    M.Sc. Zoology Only a few species of the family Diplozoidae have previously been described from Africa, from various Labeo and Barbus species. An investigation was undertaken respectively in the Vaal Dam and Vaal River Barrage in the Vaal River system, South Africa to determine aspects of the morphology, taxonomy and ecology of specimens of this family collected from the gills of Barbus aeneus. Various fish species, namely B. aeneus, Barbus kimberleyensis, Labeo capensis, Labeo umbratus, Cy...

  1. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with shade trees and Coffea arabica L. in a coffee-based agroforestry system in Bonga, Southwestern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Sewnet ,Tadesse Chanie; Tuju, Fassil Assefa

    2013-01-01

    In a first step to understand the interactions between Coffea arabica L. trees and mycorrhizae in Ethio¬pia, an investigation of the current mycorrhizal colonization status of roots was undertaken. We sampled 14 shade tree species occurring in coffee populations in Bonga forest, Ethiopia. Milletia fer¬ruginea, Schefflera abyssinica, Croton macrostachyus, Ficus vasta, F. sur, Albizia gummifera, Olea capensis, Cordia africana, Ehretia abyssinica, Pouteria adolfi-friederici, Pavetta oliveriana, ...

  2. Blood lead concentrations in wild birds from a polluted mining region at Villa de La Paz, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapa-Vargas, Leonardo; Mejia-Saavedra, Jose J; Monzalvo-Santos, Karina; Puebla-Olivares, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    This investigation was undertaken to determine the concentrations of lead in bird blood samples from a mining region in central Mexico and to compare concentrations among several different feeding guilds. The study took place in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi in a region known as "Villa de la Paz." This is one of the most intensely exploited mining regions in central Mexico and has been actively mined for over four centuries. Lead concentrations from bird blood samples taken from four polluted sites were significantly higher than those from a control, unpolluted site (F = 6.3, P birds from a highly polluted site were higher than those from a site that has intermediate pollution levels (P birds had significantly lower lead concentrations compared to granivores, frugivores-insectivores, and omnivores (F = 4.86, P = 0.004), and a large proportion of all individuals had blood lead concentrations indicative of low, sub-lethal toxic effects. Finally, in two polluted sites, remarkably small numbers of insectivore-frugivores, and granivores were trapped, and in one polluted site a large number of insectivores was trapped (X(2) = 29.9, P = 0.03), and no differences in proportions of migrants and non-migrants were found among sampling sites (X(2) = 0.6, P = 0.96). To date, it has not been determined to what extent constant exposure to these levels of pollution can influence health at the individual level, lifespan, and, therefore, population demography of birds from this region.

  3. Reversing functional extinction of mammals prompts a rethink of paradigms about seed fate in arid Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Charlotte H; Letnic, Mike

    2018-01-01

    Functional extinction of once abundant species has frequently preceded understanding of their ecological roles. Consequently, our understanding of ecosystems is prone to shifting baselines because it often relies on observations made on depauperate species assemblages. In Australian deserts, current paradigms are that ants are the dominant granivores, mammals are unimportant seed predators and that myrmecochory in many Australian shrubs is an adaptation to increase dispersal distance and direct seeds to favourable germination sites. Here, we ask whether these paradigms could be artefacts of mammal extinction. We take advantage of a predator-proof reserve within which locally extinct native mammals have been reintroduced to compare seed removal by ants and mammals. Using foraging trays that selectively excluded mammals and ants we show that a reintroduced mammal, the woylie ( Bettongia penicillata ) was at least as important as ants in the removal of seeds of two shrub species ( Dodonaea viscosa and Acacia ligulata ). Our results provide evidence that the dominance of ants as granivores and current understanding of the adaptive benefit of myrmecochory in arid Australia may be artefacts of the functional extinction of mammals. Our study shows how reversing functional extinction can provide the opportunity to rethink contemporary understanding of ecological processes.

  4. Grazing impact on desert plants and soil seed banks: Implications for seed-eating animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pol, Rodrigo G.; Sagario, M. Cecilia; Marone, Luis

    2014-02-01

    We assess whether the knowledge of livestock diet helps to link grazing effects with changes in plant cover and soil seed bank size, aiming at inferring the consequences of grazing on seed-eating animals. Specifically, we test whether continuous and heavy grazing reduce the cover, number of reproductive structures and seed reserves of the same grass species whose seeds are selected and preferred by granivorous animals in the central Monte desert, Argentina. Grass cover and the number of grass spikes usually diminished under grazing conditions in the two localities studied (Telteca and Ñacuñán), and soil seed bank was consistently reduced in all three years evaluated owing to a decline of perennial grass and forb seeds. In particular, the abundance of those seeds selected and preferred by birds and ants (in all cases grass species) declined 70-92% in Ñacuñán, and 52-72% in Telteca. Reduction of perennial grass cover and spike number in grazed sites reinforced the causal link between livestock grazing and the decline of grass soil seed reserves throughout failed plant reproduction. Grass seed bank depletion suggests that grazing may trigger a "cascade" of mechanisms that affect the abundance and persistence of valuable fodder species as well as the availability of seed resources for granivorous animals.

  5. Short seed longevity, variable germination conditions, and infrequent establishment events provide a narrow window for Yucca brevifolia (Agavaceae) recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, M.; Reynolds, J.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2012-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The future of long-lived stand-forming desert plants such as Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree) has come into question in light of climate variation and landscape-scale disturbances such as wildfire. Understanding plant establishment dynamics is important for mitigating the impacts of disturbances and promoting revegetation. • METHODS: We placed Y. brevifolia seeds in shallow caches and manipulated granivore access, nurse shrub effects, and the season of cache placement to determine conditions for seed germination and seedling establishment. • KEY RESULTS: Greatest seedling emergence occurred during spring and summer, when increased soil moisture was accompanied by warm soil temperatures. Late winter-spring emergence for cached seeds was enhanced beneath shrub canopies, but seedling survival declined beneath shrubs as temperatures increased in spring. Germinability of seed remaining in the soil was reduced from 50-68% after 12 mo residence time in soil and declined to parent plants, seeds are either removed by granivores or lose germinability, imposing substantial losses of potential germinants. • CONCLUSIONS: Specific germination and establishment requirements impose stringent limits on recruitment rates for Y. brevifolia. Coupled with infrequent seed availability, the return rates to prefire densities and demographic structure may require decades to centuries, especially in light of potential changes to regional desert climate in combination with the potential for fire recurrence. Demographic patterns are predicted to vary spatially in response to environmental variability that limits recruitment and may already be apparent among extant populations.

  6. Toward reliable estimates of seed removal by small mammals and birds in the Neotropics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AV. Christianini

    Full Text Available Birds are often considered seed predators of less importance when compared to rodents or granivorous ants in studies of seed predation using selective exclosures. However, it is possible that the role of granivorous birds interacting with seeds on the floor of Neotropical forests is being underestimated, if the selective exclosures designed to allow exclusive access to small rodents do not work properly in the Neotropics. We used an experimental approach to evaluate whether birds could remove seeds from selective exclosures designed to allow exclusive access to rodents. We compared seed removal from two paired treatments in the field: an open treatment (control allowing the access to all vertebrates, and a selective exclosure treatment, where seeds were placed under a cage staked to the ground and covered on top and on the laterals by wire mesh of varying sizes. Treatments were placed in the center of a sand quadrat in order to record the visit of vertebrates from their footprints. Although the selective exclosures are used to tell apart the small mammal seed removal from that of other animals, birds could persistently remove seeds from selective exclosures. Thus, the role of birds interacting with seeds on the floor of tropical forests may be underestimated for some plant species, due to an artifact of the exclosure method employed. Exclosures of 40 x 40 x 40 cm should be efficient to deter the removal of seeds by birds, allowing the consumption of the seeds by small mammals at the same time.

  7. Monograph of Diplachne (Poaceae, Chloridoideae, Cynodonteae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, Neil; Peterson, Paul M; Romaschenko, Konstantin; Simon, Bryan K

    2018-01-01

    Diplachne P. Beauv. comprises two species with C 4 (NAD-ME) photosynthesis. Diplachne fusca has a nearly pantropical-pantemperate distribution with four subspecies: D. fusca subsp. fusca is Paleotropical with native distributions in Africa, southern Asia and Australia; the widespread Australian endemic D. f. subsp. muelleri; and D. f. subsp. fascicularis and D. f. subsp. uninervia occurring in the New World. Diplachne gigantea is known from a few widely scattered, older collections in east-central and southern Africa, and although Data Deficient clearly is of conservation concern. A discussion of previous taxonomic treatments is provided, including molecular data supporting Diplachne in its newer, restricted sense. Many populations of Diplachne fusca are highly tolerant of saline substrates and most prefer seasonally moist to saturated soils, often in disturbed areas. Some populations of Diplachne fusca in southern Asia combine nitrogen-fixation, high salinity tolerance and palatibilty to livestock, which should be pursued with further research for purposes of soil reclamation. Diplachne fusca subsp. uninervia is the most invasive of the subspecies and is becoming weedy in some non-native areas, including in the Old World. This monograph provides detailed descriptions of all taxa, a key to the species and subspecies, geographic distributions and information on the anatomy of leaves, stems, lemmatal micromorphology and discussions of the chromosome numbers. Lectotypes are designated for: Atropis carinata Grisb.; Diplachne acuminata Nash; Diplachne capensis (Nees) Nees var. concinna Nees; Diplachne capensis (Nees) Nees var. obscura Nees, Diplachne capensis (Nees) Nees var. prolifera subvar. minor Nees, Diplachne halei Nash, Diplachne maritima E.P. Bicknel, Diplachne muelleri Benth., Diplachne reverchonii Vasey, Diplachne tectoneticola Backer, Leptochloa imbricata Thurb., Leptochloa neuroglossa Peter, Leptochloa uninervia var. typica fo. abbreviata Parodi, Triodia

  8. Nutritional significance of a winter-flowering succulent for opportunistic avian nectarivores

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Symes, CT

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available the enriched crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) isotopic signature of nectar ()12.6 ± 0.5&). This relatively small contribution of A. marlothii nectar to assimilated carbon in whole blood contrasted with that of exhaled CO2 in Afri- can Red-eyed Bulbuls... Pycnonotus nigricans and Cape White-eyes Zosterops capensis. In both these species, the d13C of breath samples was significantly enriched compared with blood and feathers, and closely resembled that of the nectar, revealing combustion of ingested nectar...

  9. Further account of the marine littoral diatoms of the Saldanha Bay Lagoon, Cape province, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Giffen, MH

    1976-01-01

    Full Text Available of the raphe, asymmetric. Surface of the valve on both sides costate, costae 6 in 10 pm, bet~veen the costae double rows of obscure alternating puncta. Type slide 636 in the Giffen Collection. lconotype figures No.10?13. Frustu lae in visu connectivale... utrinque raphe costatis validis 6 in 10 pm cx punctis obscuris in seribus duobus et in quincuncem ordinatis compositae. Habitat: in aquis marinis OceaniA tlantici in lacunae Saldanha bet Oesterwal dicti Pro rincia Capensis. Typus: praeparatum No. 636...

  10. Functional co-operation between the nuclei of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and mitochondria from other yeast species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spirek, M.; Horvath, A.; Piskur, Jure

    2000-01-01

    We elaborated a simple method that allows the transfer of mitochondria from collection yeasts to Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Protoplasts prepared from different yeasts were fused to the protoplasts of the ade2-1, ura3-52, kar1-1, rho (0) strain of S. cerevisiae and were selected for respiring cybrids....... italicus, S, oviformis, S. capensis and S. chevalieri) exhibited complete compatibility with S. cerevisiae nuclei. The closely related S. douglasii mitochondrial genome could also partially restore respiration-deficiency in rho (0) S. cerevisiae, whereas mitochondrial genomes from phylogenetically less...

  11. Avian adaptations to the Kalahari environment: A typical continental semidesert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. L Maclean

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available Bird species adapted to the Kalahari are generally either (a sedentary, insectivorous (or carnivorous and non-gregarious, or (b nomadic, granivorous and gregarious even when breeding. Ground-dwelling birds predominate numerically and are cryptically coloured to avoid predation. Many species have nasal glands which secrete hypertonic solutions in response to the intake of fluids with high solute concentrations, as an adaptation to water conservation. Thermoregulation is discussed especially in relation to high ambient temperatures. Breeding is initiated in most species by rainfall or associated ecological effects, correlated with improved body condition of the females; lag periods between rain and egglaying are related to diet and time of year. Nest orientation is also related to season and capitalizes on maximal shade in summer. Parental care in sandgrouse is discussed.

  12. Omnivory in birds is a macroevolutionary sink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burin, Gustavo; Kissling, W Daniel; Guimarães, Paulo R; Şekercioğlu, Çağan H; Quental, Tiago B

    2016-04-07

    Diet is commonly assumed to affect the evolution of species, but few studies have directly tested its effect at macroevolutionary scales. Here we use Bayesian models of trait-dependent diversification and a comprehensive dietary database of all birds worldwide to assess speciation and extinction dynamics of avian dietary guilds (carnivores, frugivores, granivores, herbivores, insectivores, nectarivores, omnivores and piscivores). Our results suggest that omnivory is associated with higher extinction rates and lower speciation rates than other guilds, and that overall net diversification is negative. Trait-dependent models, dietary similarity and network analyses show that transitions into omnivory occur at higher rates than into any other guild. We suggest that omnivory acts as macroevolutionary sink, where its ephemeral nature is retrieved through transitions from other guilds rather than from omnivore speciation. We propose that these dynamics result from competition within and among dietary guilds, influenced by the deep-time availability and predictability of food resources.

  13. Heavy metal distribution and bioaccumulation in Chihuahuan Desert Rough Harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Del Toro, I.; Floyd, K.; Gardea-Torresdey, J.; Borrok, D.

    2010-01-01

    Heavy metal contamination can negatively impact arid ecosystems; however a thorough examination of bioaccumulation patterns has not been completed. We analyzed the distribution of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in soils, seeds and ant (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) populations of the Chihuahuan Desert near El Paso, TX, USA. Concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, and Pb in soils, seeds and ants declined as a function of distance from a now inactive Cu and Pb smelter and all five metals bioaccumulated in the granivorous ants. The average bioaccumulation factors for the metals from seeds to ants ranged from 1.04x (As) to 8.12x (Cd). The findings show bioaccumulation trends in linked trophic levels in an arid ecosystem and further investigation should focus on the impacts of heavy metal contamination at the community level. - Heavy metals bioaccumulate in desert ants.

  14. Economic efficiency of extensive livestock production in the European Union

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nastić Lana

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Various types of extensive livestock production are present worldwide, primarily in regions where natural resources such as pastures and meadows could be used. Extensive livestock production is common in the EU, as well. Therefore the goal of this research was to establish economic efficiency of extensive livestock production types and to compare their efficiency with some intensive livestock production types. In order to achieve that goal FADN (Farm Accountancy Data Network methodology was used. Source of information was FADN database as well as appropriate sector analysis and publications of European commission. It has been determined that sheep and goat production is competitive with intensive production types (dairy and granivores - pigs and poultry. Cattle production (other than dairy production proved to be economically inefficient due to low output level.

  15. A casual cantharophily: The meeting between Astylus variegatus (Coleoptera: Myleridae and Oxypetalum banksii (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fonseca, Rúbia

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Cantharophily is reported for the first time in a Brazilian asclepiad, involving the mylerid Astylus variegatus and the nectariferous flowers of Oxypetalum banksii, a plant mainly pollinated by wasps. The use of nectar as food by A. variegatus, considered pollinivorous and granivorous, is also novel. The mutual interaction described here is an example of a plant-pollinator interaction with generalist insects visiting a plant with a specialized pollination system. It’s also temporary and occasional and, therefore, is often overlooked in studies of plant-pollinator interactions. In this study, we found that the casual meeting between O. banksii and A. variegatus was a key event for the reproduction of both.

  16. Effects of urbanization on host-pathogen interactions, using Yersinia in house sparrows as a model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strubbe, Diederik; Teyssier, Aimeric; Salleh Hudin, Noraine; Van den Abeele, Anne-Marie; Cox, Ivo; Haesendonck, Roel; Delmée, Michel; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Lens, Luc; Martel, An

    2017-01-01

    Urbanization strongly affects biodiversity, altering natural communities and often leading to a reduced species richness. Yet, despite its increasingly recognized importance, how urbanization impacts on the health of individual animals, wildlife populations and on disease ecology remains poorly understood. To test whether, and how, urbanization-driven ecosystem alterations influence pathogen dynamics and avian health, we use house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and Yersinia spp. (pathogenic for passerines) as a case study. Sparrows are granivorous urban exploiters, whose western European populations have declined over the past decades, especially in highly urbanized areas. We sampled 329 house sparrows originating from 36 populations along an urbanization gradient across Flanders (Belgium), and used isolation combined with ‘matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization- time of flight mass spectrometry’ (MALDI-TOF MS) and PCR methods for detecting the presence of different Yersinia species. Yersinia spp. were recovered from 57.43% of the sampled house sparrows, of which 4.06%, 53.30% and 69.54% were identified as Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. enterocolitica and other Yersinia species, respectively. Presence of Yersinia was related to the degree of urbanization, average daily temperatures and the community of granivorous birds present at sparrow capture locations. Body condition of suburban house sparrows was found to be higher compared to urban and rural house sparrows, but no relationships between sparrows’ body condition and presence of Yersinia spp. were found. We conclude that two determinants of pathogen infection dynamics, body condition and pathogen occurrence, vary along an urbanization gradient, potentially mediating the impact of urbanization on avian health. PMID:29281672

  17. Selection of passerine birds as bio-sentinel of persistent organic pollutants in terrestrial environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ling; Zheng, Xiaobo; Sun, Yuxin; Yu, Lehuan; Luo, Xiaojun; Xu, Xiangrong; Qin, Xiaoquan; Gao, Yongli; Mai, Bixian

    2018-08-15

    A broad suite of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites, were analyzed in pectoral muscle of eight terrestrial passerine bird species from an extensive e-waste recycling site in South China. Concentrations of PCBs, PBDEs, and DDTs in bird samples ranged from 1260-279,000, 121-14,200, and 31-7910ng/g lipid weight, respectively. Insectivorous birds had significantly higher levels of PCBs, PBDEs, and DDTs than those in granivorous birds. Concentrations of POPs in resident insectivorous birds were significantly greater than those in migrant insectivorous birds. PCBs were the predominant pollutants in all bird species from the e-waste site, followed by PBDEs and DDTs, indicating that PCBs were mainly derived from e-wastes. The granivorous birds had higher proportions of hepta-CBs in total PCBs and higher proportions of octa- to deca-BDEs in total PBDEs compared with the insectivorous birds. The various dietary sources, migration behavior, and possible biotransformation were suspected as reasons of the distinct profiles of POPs in different bird species. The δ 15 N values were significantly and positively correlated with concentrations of POPs in resident insectivorous birds, but not in other passerine bird species, suggesting the influence of trophic levels on bioaccumulation of POPs in resident insectivorous birds. The resident insectivorous birds seem to be promising bio-sentinel of POPs in terrestrial environment around the e-waste sites. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Impacts of Rotation Schemes on Ground-Dwelling Beneficial Arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, Mike W; Gassmann, Aaron J; O'Neal, Matthew E

    2016-10-01

    Crop rotation alters agroecosystem diversity temporally, and increasing the number of crops in rotation schemes can increase crop yields and reduce reliance on pesticides. We hypothesized that increasing the number of crops in annual rotation schemes would positively affect ground-dwelling beneficial arthropod communities. During 2012 and 2013, pitfall traps were used to measure activity-density and diversity of ground-dwelling communities within three previously established, long-term crop rotation studies located in Wisconsin and Illinois. Rotation schemes sampled included continuous corn, a 2-yr annual rotation of corn and soybean, and a 3-yr annual rotation of corn, soybean, and wheat. Insects captured were identified to family, and non-insect arthropods were identified to class, order, or family, depending upon the taxa. Beneficial arthropods captured included natural enemies, granivores, and detritivores. The beneficial community from continuous corn plots was significantly more diverse compared with the community in the 2-yr rotation, whereas the community in the 3-yr rotation did not differ from either rotation scheme. The activity-density of the total community and any individual taxa did not differ among rotation schemes in either corn or soybean. Crop species within all three rotation schemes were annual crops, and are associated with agricultural practices that make infield habitat subject to anthropogenic disturbances and temporally unstable. Habitat instability and disturbance can limit the effectiveness and retention of beneficial arthropods, including natural enemies, granivores, and detritivores. Increasing non-crop and perennial species within landscapes in conjunction with more diverse rotation schemes may increase the effect of biological control of pests by natural enemies. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Movement Patterns, Home Range Size and Habitat Selection of an Endangered Resource Tracking Species, the Black-Throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rechetelo, Juliana; Grice, Anthony; Reside, April Elizabeth; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Moloney, James

    2016-01-01

    Understanding movement patterns and home range of species is paramount in ecology; it is particularly important for threatened taxa as it can provide valuable information for conservation management. To address this knowledge gap for a range-restricted endangered bird, we estimated home range size, daily movement patterns and habitat use of a granivorous subspecies in northeast Australia, the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta; BTF) using radio-tracking and re-sighting of colour banded birds. Little is known about basic aspects of its ecology including movement patterns and home range sizes. From 2011-2014 we colour-banded 102 BTF and radio-tracked 15 birds. We generated home ranges (calculated using kernel and Minimum Convex Polygons techniques of the 15 tracked BTF). More than 50% of the re-sightings occurred within 200 m of the banding site (n = 51 out of 93 events) and within 100 days of capture. Mean home-range estimates with kernel (50%, 95% probability) and Minimum Convex Polygons were 10.59 ha, 50.79 ha and 46.27 ha, respectively. Home range size differed between two capture sites but no seasonal differences were observed. BTF home ranges overlapped four habitat types among eight available. Habitat selection was different from random at Site 1 (χ2 = 373.41, df = 42, pmovements may be related to resource bottleneck periods. Daily movement patterns differed between sites, which is likely linked to the fact that the sites differ in the spatial distribution of resources. The work provides information about home range sizes and local movement of BTF that will be valuable for targeting effective management and conservation strategies for this endangered granivore.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  1. Genetics and shell morphometrics of assimineids (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda, Truncatelloidea in the St Lucia Estuary, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson Miranda

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The Assimineidae are a family of amphibious microgastropods that can be mostly found in estuaries and mangroves in South Africa. These snails often occur in great numbers and are ecologically important to the St Lucia Estuary, which forms a crucial part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Genetic and shell morphometric analyses were conducted on individuals collected from nine localities distributed from the northern lake regions to the southern lake and the mouth of the St Lucia estuarine lake. Mitochondrial (COI and nuclear (28S DNA was used to construct Bayesian Inference, Neighbour-joining, Maximum Parsimony and Maximum Likelihood trees. Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis were performed on standard shell parameter data. Results indicate that two different taxa are present in St Lucia. The taxon comprising individuals from the South Lake and St Lucia Estuary Mouth is identified as Assiminea cf. capensis Bartsch, in accordance with the latest taxonomic consensus. The taxon comprising assimineid individuals from False Bay, North Lake and South Lake, is here tentatively named “A.” aff. capensis (Sowerby. These two taxa exhibit patterns of spatial overlap that appear to vary depending on environmental parameters, particularly salinity. The need to resolve the complex taxonomy of assimineids is highlighted.

  2. Genetics and shell morphometrics of assimineids (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda, Truncatelloidea) in the St Lucia Estuary, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Nelson A F; van Rooyen, Ryan; MacDonald, Angus; Ponder, Winston; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2014-01-01

    The Assimineidae are a family of amphibious microgastropods that can be mostly found in estuaries and mangroves in South Africa. These snails often occur in great numbers and are ecologically important to the St Lucia Estuary, which forms a crucial part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Genetic and shell morphometric analyses were conducted on individuals collected from nine localities distributed from the northern lake regions to the southern lake and the mouth of the St Lucia estuarine lake. Mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (28S) DNA was used to construct Bayesian Inference, Neighbour-joining, Maximum Parsimony and Maximum Likelihood trees. Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis were performed on standard shell parameter data. Results indicate that two different taxa are present in St Lucia. The taxon comprising individuals from the South Lake and St Lucia Estuary Mouth is identified as Assiminea cf. capensis Bartsch, in accordance with the latest taxonomic consensus. The taxon comprising assimineid individuals from False Bay, North Lake and South Lake, is here tentatively named "Assiminea" aff. capensis (Sowerby). These two taxa exhibit patterns of spatial overlap that appear to vary depending on environmental parameters, particularly salinity. The need to resolve the complex taxonomy of assimineids is highlighted.

  3. Evolutionary history of a keystone pollinator parallels the biome occupancy of angiosperms in the Greater Cape Floristic Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jager, Marinus L; Ellis, Allan G

    2017-02-01

    The Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) in South Africa has been extensively investigated for its phenomenal angiosperm diversity. A key emergent pattern is the occurrence of older plant lineages in the southern Fynbos biome and younger lineages in the northern Succulent Karoo biome. We know practically nothing, however, about the evolutionary history of the animals that pollinate this often highly-specialized flora. In this study, we explore the evolutionary history of an important GCFR fly pollinator, Megapalpus capensis, and ask whether it exhibits broadly congruent genetic structuring and timing of diversification to flowering plants within these biomes. We find that the oldest M. capensis lineages originated in Fynbos during the Miocene, while younger Succulent Karoo lineages diverged in the Pliocene and correspond to the proposed age of this recent biome. A strong signature of population expansion is also recovered for flies in this arid biome, consistent with recent colonization. Our first investigation into the evolutionary history of GCFR pollinators thus supports a recent origin of the SK biome, as inferred from angiosperm phylogenies, and suggests that plants and pollinators may have co-diverged within this remarkable area. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Metazoan parasites of deep-sea fishes from the South Eastern Pacific: Exploring the role of ecology and host phylogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ñacari, Luis A.; Oliva, Marcelo E.

    2016-09-01

    We studied the parasite fauna of five deep-sea fish species (>1000 m depth), Three members of Macrouridae (Macrourus holotrachys, Coryphaenoides ariommus and Coelorhynchus sp.), the Morid Antimora rostrata and the Synaphobranchidae Diaptobranchus capensis caught as by-catch of the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) from central and northern Chile at depths between 1000 and 2000 m. The parasite fauna of M. holotrachys was the most diverse, with 32 species (The higher reported for Macrourus spp.) and the lower occur in the basketwork eel D. capensis (one species). Trophically transmitted parasites, mainly Digenea and Nematoda explain 59.1% of the total number of species obtained (44 species) and the 81.1% of the 1020 specimens collected. Similarity analysis based on prevalence as well as a Correspondence analysis shows that higher similitude in parasite fauna occurs in members of Macrouridae. The importance of diet and phylogeny is discussed as forces behind the characteristics of the endoparasite and ectoparasite communities found in the studied fish species.

  5. Mitochondrial genome diversity and population structure of two western honey bee subspecies in the Republic of South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eimanifar, Amin; Kimball, Rebecca T; Braun, Edward L; Ellis, James D

    2018-01-22

    Apis mellifera capensis Eschscholtz and A.m. scutellata Lepeletier are subspecies of western honey bees that are indigenous to the Republic of South Africa (RSA). Both subspecies have invasive potential and are organisms of concern for areas outside their native range, though they are important bees to beekeepers, agriculture, and the environment where they are native. The aim of the present study was to examine genetic differentiation among these subspecies and estimate their phylogenetic relationships using complete mitochondrial genomes sequences. We used 25 individuals that were either assigned to one of the subspecies or designated hybrids using morphometric analyses. Phylogenetic analyses of mitogenome sequences by maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference identified a monophyletic RSA clade, subdivided into two clades. A haplotype network was consistent with the phylogenetic trees. However, members of both subspecies occurred in both clades, indicating that A.m. capensis and A.m. scutellata are neither reciprocally monophyletic nor do they exhibit paraphyly with one subspecies nested within the other subspecies. Furthermore, no mitogenomic features were diagnostic to either subspecies. All bees analyzed from the RSA expressed a substantial level of haplotype diversity (most samples had unique haplotypes) but limited nucleotide diversity. The number of variable codons across protein-coding genes (PCGs) differed among loci, with CO3 exhibiting the most variation and ATP6 the least.

  6. IBA and ICP-OES determination of trace elements in indigenous medicinal herbs and their extracts on the infertility in the human male reproductive system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mars, J.A.; Fisher, D.; Henkel, R. [Department of Medical Bioscience, Universily of the Weslern Cape, Bellville (South Africa); Weilz, F. [Department of Biodiversily and Conservation Biology, University of the Weslern Cape, Bellville (South Africa)

    2013-07-01

    Full text: The abnormality of infertility in humans is biologically defined (Mader, 2004; Wood, 1994; Ellison, 2001) as the inability of a species to reproduce its own kind after period of 12 month of unprotected sexual intercourse/copulation. It is however difficult when one wishes to quantify the occurrence of infertility, since it is seldom expressed explicitly, but mostly in conjunction with population growth dynamics which include socio-economic factors. Various plants (herbs) have been used as treatment for infertility. These plants however have not yet been scientifically analysed. In this paper we determined the major and trace element composition of Typha capensis (rhizome and leaves) Cissampe/os capensis (Ieaves) and Hermannia cilliata, which were sourced from the Cape Flats Nature Reserve, Bellville, Western Cape Province, South Africa. The trace element concentration determination are at time cumbersome, especially when destructive analytical methods such as ICP-OES are used. For our determination, the various samples were freeze-dried. Part of the freeze-dried sample was used for ICP-OES and the other for PIXE analysis. For PIXE the dried sample was pressed into a pellet, then coated with a layer of carbon and irradiated with a 3 MeV proton beam. We report on the trace element content of the various parts of the plant and comment on the applicability of the part in male infertility. (author)

  7. IBA and ICP-OES determination of trace elements in indigenous medicinal herbs and their extracts on the infertility in the human male reproductive system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mars, J.A.; Fisher, D.; Henkel, R.; Weilz, F.

    2013-01-01

    Full text: The abnormality of infertility in humans is biologically defined (Mader, 2004; Wood, 1994; Ellison, 2001) as the inability of a species to reproduce its own kind after period of 12 month of unprotected sexual intercourse/copulation. It is however difficult when one wishes to quantify the occurrence of infertility, since it is seldom expressed explicitly, but mostly in conjunction with population growth dynamics which include socio-economic factors. Various plants (herbs) have been used as treatment for infertility. These plants however have not yet been scientifically analysed. In this paper we determined the major and trace element composition of Typha capensis (rhizome and leaves) Cissampe/os capensis (Ieaves) and Hermannia cilliata, which were sourced from the Cape Flats Nature Reserve, Bellville, Western Cape Province, South Africa. The trace element concentration determination are at time cumbersome, especially when destructive analytical methods such as ICP-OES are used. For our determination, the various samples were freeze-dried. Part of the freeze-dried sample was used for ICP-OES and the other for PIXE analysis. For PIXE the dried sample was pressed into a pellet, then coated with a layer of carbon and irradiated with a 3 MeV proton beam. We report on the trace element content of the various parts of the plant and comment on the applicability of the part in male infertility. (author)

  8. Status of the forensically important genus Ophyra (Diptera: Muscidae in Argentina Estado del género de importancia forense Ophyra (Diptera: Muscidae en Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciano D. Patitucci

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The genus Ophyra Robineau-Desvoidy is a necrophagous group of Muscidae distributed in warm climates worldwide. The information here presented is based on the compilation of distributional data obtained from material of different collections and bibliography for Argentina. Ophyra albuquerquei Lopes, Ophyra capensis (Wiedemann, Ophyra chalcogaster (Wiedemann and Ophyra solitaria Albuquerque were recorded for the first time for the country. A key for the Argentinean species is presented. Biological and forensic data of species are discussed.El género Ophyra Robineau-Desvoidy es un grupo de múscidos necrófagos distribuidos en los climas cálidos de todo el mundo. La información aquí presentada se basa en la recopilación de datos de distribución, obtenida a partir del material de diferentes colecciones y bibliografía para la Argentina. Ophyra albuquerquei Lopes, Ophyra capensis (Wiedemann, Ophyra chalcogaster (Wiedemann y Ophyra solitaria Albuquerque se registraron por primera vez para el país. Se presenta una clave para las especies argentinas. Se discuten los datos biológicos y forenses de las distintas especies.

  9. Produção de protoplastos e lise da parede celular de leveduras utilizando β-1,3 glucanase Protoplasts production and yeast cell wall lysis using β-1,3 glucanase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Francisco Fleuri

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available O presente trabalho visou a aplicação da β-1,3 glucanase lítica, obtida do microrganismo Cellulosimicrobium cellulans 191, na produção de protoplastos e na lise da parede celular de leveduras. A preparação bruta da enzima foi capaz de lisar as leveduras Kluyveromyces lodderi, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Fleischmann e Itaiquara, S. cerevisiae KL-88, S. diastaticus NCYC 713, S. cerevisiae NCYC 1001, Candida glabrata NCYC 388, Kluyveromyces marxianus NCYC 587 e Hansenula mrakii NCYC 500. A β-1,3 glucanase purificada foi capaz de lisar as leveduras Saccharomyces cerevisiae KL-88, Saccharomyces capensis, Debaromyces vanriji, Pachysolen tannophillus, Kluyveromyces drosophilarum, Candida glabrata, Hansenula mrakii e Pichia membranaefaciens e formar protoplastos de Saccharomyces cerevisiae KL-88.The aim of this work was the application of lytic β-1,3 glucanase obtained from Cellulosimicrobium cellulans strain 191 in the production of protoplasts and lysis of yeast cell walls. The crude extract demonstrated lysis activity against the yeasts Kluyveromyces lodderi, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Fleischmann and Itaiquara, S. cerevisiae KL-88, S. diastaticus NCYC 713, S. cerevisiae NCYC 1001, Candida glabrata NCYC 388, Kluyveromyces marxianus NCYC 587, and Hansenula mrakii NCYC 500. The purified β-1,3 glucanase demonstrated lysis activity against the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae KL-88, Saccharomyces capensis, Debaromyces vanriji, Pachysolen tannophillus, Kluyveromyces drosophilarum, Candida glabrata, Hansenula mrakii, and Pichia membranaefaciens, and it was able to produce Saccharomyces cerevisiae KL-88 protoplasts.

  10. Effects of experimentally elevated traffic noise on nestling white-crowned sparrow stress physiology, immune function and life history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crino, Ondi L; Johnson, Erin E; Blickley, Jessica L; Patricelli, Gail L; Breuner, Creagh W

    2013-06-01

    Roads have been associated with behavioral and physiological changes in wildlife. In birds, roads decrease reproductive success and biodiversity and increase physiological stress. Although the consequences of roads on individuals and communities have been well described, the mechanisms through which roads affect birds remain largely unexplored. Here, we examine one mechanism through which roads could affect birds: traffic noise. We exposed nestling mountain white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha) to experimentally elevated traffic noise for 5 days during the nestling period. Following exposure to traffic noise we measured nestling stress physiology, immune function, body size, condition and survival. Based on prior studies, we expected the traffic noise treatment to result in elevated stress hormones (glucocorticoids), and declines in immune function, body size, condition and survival. Surprisingly, nestlings exposed to traffic noise had lower glucocorticoid levels and improved condition relative to control nests. These results indicate that traffic noise does affect physiology and development in white-crowned sparrows, but not at all as predicted. Therefore, when evaluating the mechanisms through which roads affect avian populations, other factors (e.g. edge effects, pollution and mechanical vibration) may be more important than traffic noise in explaining elevated nestling stress responses in this species.

  11. Regional cholinesterase activity in white-throated sparrow brain is differentially affected by acephate (Orthene®)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, N.B.; Kuenzel, W.J.; Hill, E.F.; Romo, G.A.; Komaragiri, M.V.S.

    1996-01-01

    Effects of a 14-day dietary exposure to an organophosphorus pesticide, acephate (acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester), were determined on cholinesterase activity in three regions (basal ganglia, hippocampus, and hypothalamus) of the white-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis, brain. All three regions experienced depressed cholinesterase activity between 0.5–2 ppm acephate. The regions exhibited cholinesterase recovery at 2–16 ppm acephate; however, cholinesterase activity dropped and showed no recovery at higher dietary levels (>16 ppm acephate). Evidence indicates that the recovery is initiated by the magnitude of depression, not the duration. In general, as acephate concentration increased, differences in ChE activity among brain regions decreased. Three terms are introduced to describe ChE response to acephate exposure: 1) ChE resistance threshold, 2) ChE compensation threshold, and 3) ChE depression threshold. It is hypothesized that adverse effects to birds in the field may occur at pesticide exposure levels customarily considered negligible.

  12. White-throated Sparrow Response to Forest Harvesting in North-Central Alberta: Results Not So Clear-Cut?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin C. Hannah

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The use of density to measure a species' responses to habitat change remains prevalent despite warnings that relying on such parameters can be misleading. We evaluated whether density was a useful surrogate of habitat quality for the White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, an apparent habitat generalist, in a recently logged landscape near Calling Lake, Alberta, Canada. We detected significant differences in the territory density of birds among three distinct habitat types: interior forest, forest edges, and recent (4- to 6-yr-old clear-cuts. However, the observed patterns in territory density were not consistent with several indices of habitat quality. We found a consistent and marked gradient for indices such as nesting success (based on a reproductive index, pairing success, and the proportion of territories that successfully fledged young between interior forest sites and clear-cuts. Edge habitats, in which high relative density offset lower reproductive success, represented moderate-quality habitat for this species. Our results suggest that the continued use of density alone, without some measure of habitat quality, is insufficient if not misleading when evaluating response to habitat change. Our results have important implications for understanding the population dynamics of this species, which is often overlooked in population-level studies yet continues to experience long-term population declines over large portions of its breeding range.

  13. Regulation of vernal migration in Gambel's white-crowned sparrows: Role of thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, Jonathan H; Furlow, J David; Wingfield, John C; Ramenofsky, Marilyn

    2016-08-01

    Appropriate timing of migratory behavior is critical for migrant species. For many temperate zone birds in the spring, lengthening photoperiod is the initial cue leading to morphological, physiological and behavior changes that are necessary for vernal migration and breeding. Strong evidence has emerged in recent years linking thyroid hormone signaling to the photoinduction of breeding in birds while more limited information suggest a potential role in the regulation of vernal migration in photoperiodic songbirds. Here we investigate the development and expression of the vernal migratory life history stage in captive Gambel's white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) in a hypothyroidic state, induced by chemical inhibition of thyroid hormone production. To explore possible variations in the effects of the two thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, we subsequently performed a thyroid inhibition coupled with replacement therapy. We found that chemical inhibition of thyroid hormones resulted in complete abolishment of mass gain, fattening, and muscle hypertrophy associated with migratory preparation as well as resulting in failure to display nocturnal restlessness behavior. Replacement of thyroxine rescued all of these elements to near control levels while triiodothyronine replacement displayed partial or delayed rescue. Our findings support thyroid hormones as being necessary for the expression of changes in morphology and physiology associated with migration as well as migratory behavior itself. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Experimental temperature manipulations alter songbird autumnal nocturnal migratory restlessness

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    Berchtold Adrienne

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Migrating birds may respond to a variety of environmental cues in order to time migration. During the migration season nocturnally migrating songbirds may migrate or stop-over at their current location, and when migrating they may vary the rate or distance of migration on any given night. It has long been known that a variety of weather-related factors including wind speed and direction, and temperature, are correlated with migration in free-living birds, however these variables are often correlated with each other. In this study we experimentally manipulated temperature to determine if it would directly modulate nocturnal migratory restlessness in songbirds. We experimentally manipulated temperature between 4, 14, and 24°C and monitored nocturnal migratory restlessness during autumn in white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis. White-throated sparrows are relatively shortdistance migrants with a prolonged autumnal migration, and we thus predicted they might be sensitive to weatherrelated cues when deciding whether to migrate or stopover. At warm temperatures (24°C none of the birds exhibited migratory restlessness. The probability of exhibiting migratory restlessness, and the intensity of this restlessness (number of infra-red beam breaks increased at cooler (14°C, 4°C temperatures. These data support the hypothesis that one of the many factors that birds use when making behavioural decisions during migration is temperature, and that birds can respond to temperature directly independently of other weather-related cues.

  15. White-throated sparrows alter songs differentially in response to chorusing anurans and other background noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenske, Ariel K; La, Van T

    2014-06-01

    Animals can use acoustic signals to attract mates and defend territories. As a consequence, background noise that interferes with signal transmission has the potential to reduce fitness, especially in birds that rely on song. While much research on bird song has investigated vocal flexibility in response to urban noise, weather and other birds, the possibility of inter-class acoustic competition from anurans has not been previously studied. Using sound recordings from central Ontario wetlands, we tested if white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicolis) make short-term changes to their singing behaviour in response to chorusing spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), as well as to car noise, wind and other bird vocalizations. White-throated sparrow songs that were sung during the spring peeper chorus were shorter with higher minimum frequencies and narrower bandwidths resulting in reduced frequency overlap. Additionally, sparrows were less likely to sing when car noise and the vocalizations of other birds were present. These patterns suggest that birds use multiple adjustment strategies. This is the first report to demonstrate that birds may alter their songs differentially in response to different sources of noise. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Sensory trait variation in an echolocating bat suggests roles for both selection and plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Across heterogeneous environments selection and gene flow interact to influence the rate and extent of adaptive trait evolution. This complex relationship is further influenced by the rarely considered role of phenotypic plasticity in the evolution of adaptive population variation. Plasticity can be adaptive if it promotes colonization and survival in novel environments and in doing so may increase the potential for future population differentiation via selection. Gene flow between selectively divergent environments may favour the evolution of phenotypic plasticity or conversely, plasticity itself may promote gene flow, leading to a pattern of trait differentiation in the presence of gene flow. Variation in sensory traits is particularly informative in testing the role of environment in trait and population differentiation. Here we test the hypothesis of ‘adaptive differentiation with minimal gene flow’ in resting echolocation frequencies (RF) of Cape horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus capensis) across a gradient of increasingly cluttered habitats. Results Our analysis reveals a geographically structured pattern of increasing RF from open to highly cluttered habitats in R. capensis; however genetic drift appears to be a minor player in the processes influencing this pattern. Although Bayesian analysis of population structure uncovered a number of spatially defined mitochondrial groups and coalescent methods revealed regional-scale gene flow, phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial sequences did not correlate with RF differentiation. Instead, habitat discontinuities between biomes, and not genetic and geographic distances, best explained echolocation variation in this species. We argue that both selection for increased detection distance in relatively less cluttered habitats and adaptive phenotypic plasticity may have influenced the evolution of matched echolocation frequencies and habitats across different populations. Conclusions Our study reveals

  17. Biodiversity census of Lake St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa: Gastropod molluscs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renzo Perissinotto

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The recent dry phase experienced by the St Lucia estuarine system has led to unprecedented desiccation and hypersaline conditions through most of its surface area. This has changed only recently, at the end of 2011, with the onset of a new wet phase that has already caused a major shift to oligo- and mesohaline conditions. The estuary mouth, however, remains closed to the ocean, making the weak connection recently established between the St Lucia and the Mfolozi estuaries the only conveyance for marine recruitment. As a result, only 10 indigenous and two alien aquatic gastropod species are currently found living in the St Lucia estuarine lake. This is out of a total of 37 species recorded within the system since the earliest survey undertaken in 1924, half of which have not been reported in the literature before. The tick shell, Nassarius kraussianus, which was consistently found in large abundance prior to the recent dry phase, appears to have temporarily disappeared from the system, probably as a result of the extinction of Zostera marine grasses inside the lake. Population explosions of the bubble shell Haminoea natalensis, with its distinct egg masses, were recorded seasonally until 2009, but the species has subsequently not been observed again. A molecular DNA analysis of the various populations previously reported as belonging to the same assimineid species, variably referred to as Assiminea capensis, A. ovata, or A. bifasciata, has revealed that the St Lucia assemblage actually comprises two very distinct taxa, A. cf. capensis and a species provisionally referred to here as “A.” aff. capensis or simply Assimineidae sp. In the mangroves, the climbing whelk Cerithidea decollata is still found in numbers, while ellobiids such as Cassidula labrella, Melampus semiaratus and M. parvulus are present in low abundances and all previously recorded littorinids have disappeared. A number of alien freshwater species have colonized areas of the

  18. Biodiversity census of Lake St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa): Gastropod molluscs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perissinotto, Renzo; Miranda, Nelson A F; Raw, Jacqueline L; Peer, Nasreen

    2014-01-01

    The recent dry phase experienced by the St Lucia estuarine system has led to unprecedented desiccation and hypersaline conditions through most of its surface area. This has changed only recently, at the end of 2011, with the onset of a new wet phase that has already caused a major shift to oligo- and mesohaline conditions. The estuary mouth, however, remains closed to the ocean, making the weak connection recently established between the St Lucia and the Mfolozi estuaries the only conveyance for marine recruitment. As a result, only 10 indigenous and two alien aquatic gastropod species are currently found living in the St Lucia estuarine lake. This is out of a total of 37 species recorded within the system since the earliest survey undertaken in 1924, half of which have not been reported in the literature before. The tick shell, Nassarius kraussianus, which was consistently found in large abundance prior to the recent dry phase, appears to have temporarily disappeared from the system, probably as a result of the extinction of Zostera marine grasses inside the lake. Population explosions of the bubble shell Haminoea natalensis, with its distinct egg masses, were recorded seasonally until 2009, but the species has subsequently not been observed again. A molecular DNA analysis of the various populations previously reported as belonging to the same assimineid species, variably referred to as Assiminea capensis, A. ovata, or A. bifasciata, has revealed that the St Lucia assemblage actually comprises two very distinct taxa, A. cf. capensis and a species provisionally referred to here as "A." aff. capensis or simply Assimineidae sp. In the mangroves, the climbing whelk Cerithidea decollata is still found in numbers, while ellobiids such as Cassidula labrella, Melampus semiaratus and M. parvulus are present in low abundances and all previously recorded littorinids have disappeared. A number of alien freshwater species have colonized areas of the system that have remained

  19. Whole genome sequence analysis of Mycobacterium suricattae

    KAUST Repository

    Dippenaar, Anzaan; Parsons, Sven David Charles; Sampson, Samantha Leigh; Van Der Merwe, Ruben Gerhard; Drewe, Julian Ashley; Abdallah, Abdallah; Siame, Kabengele Keith; Gey Van Pittius, Nicolaas Claudius; Van Helden, Paul David; Pain, Arnab; Warren, Robin Mark

    2015-01-01

    Tuberculosis occurs in various mammalian hosts and is caused by a range of different lineages of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). A recently described member, Mycobacterium suricattae, causes tuberculosis in meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in Southern Africa and preliminary genetic analysis showed this organism to be closely related to an MTBC pathogen of rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), the dassie bacillus. Here we make use of whole genome sequencing to describe the evolution of the genome of M. suricattae, including known and novel regions of difference, SNPs and IS6110 insertion sites. We used genome-wide phylogenetic analysis to show that M. suricattae clusters with the chimpanzee bacillus, previously isolated from a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) in West Africa. We propose an evolutionary scenario for the Mycobacterium africanum lineage 6 complex, showing the evolutionary relationship of M. africanum and chimpanzee bacillus, and the closely related members M. suricattae, dassie bacillus and Mycobacterium mungi.

  20. Detection of the new emerging rabbit haemorrhagic disease type 2 virus (RHDV2) in Sicily from rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camarda, A; Pugliese, N; Cavadini, P; Circella, E; Capucci, L; Caroli, A; Legretto, M; Mallia, E; Lavazza, A

    2014-12-01

    Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a member of the genus Lagovirus, causes rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), a fatal hepatitis of rabbits, not previously reported in hares. Recently, a new RHDV-related virus emerged, called RHDV2. This lagovirus can cause RHD in rabbits and disease and mortality in Lepus capensis (Cape hare). Here we describe a case of RHDV2 infection in another hare species, Lepus corsicanus, during a concurrent RHD outbreak in a group of wild rabbits. The same RHDV2 strain infected rabbits and a hare, also causing a RHD-like syndrome in the latter. Our findings confirmed the capability of RHDV2 to infect hosts other than rabbits and improve the knowledge about the epidemiology and the host range of this new lagovirus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Some observations on Seabirds breeding in the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. J. M Crawford

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available In 1980 and 1981 more than 50 pairs of kelp gulls Lams dominicanus, 70 of Cape cormorants Phalacrocorax capensis and 20 of whitebreasted cormorants P. carbo nested in the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park. Kelp gulls were breeding in the Park in the mid 1960's but no records could be found of breeding by Cape cormorants prior to 1980. The earliest record for nesting by whitebreasted cormorants was 1971 and the population apparently increased in the late 1970's. Small numbers of African black oystercatchers Haematopus moquini nested in the park in 1980 and 1981. Brown mussels Perna perna and limpets Patella spp. dominated their hardshelled diet. Whereas oystercatchers at St Croix Island fed mainly on organisms from the mid intertidal region, those at Tsitsikamma appear to have favoured molluscs from the lower tidal range.

  2. Inventory and update on argasid ticks and associated pathogens in Algeria

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    I. Lafri

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Argasid ticks include vectors of relapsing fevers caused by Borrelia spp. in humans, and they can transmit arboviruses and other bacterial pathogens. Knowledge about soft ticks (Ixodida: Argasidae in Algeria is incomplete, and distribution data need to be updated. Here we report a series of entomologic investigations that we conducted in five different areas in Algeria between 2012 and 2015. Ticks were identified by entomologic keys and molecular tools (16S rRNA gene. Six distinct species belonging to two genera were identified, including Ornithodoros capensis s.s., Ornithodoros rupestris, Ornithodoros occidentalis, Ornithodoros erraticus, Ornithodoros sonrai and Argas persicus. The present study highlights the distribution of soft ticks, the establishment of an update inventory with nine species and associated pathogens detected in argasid ticks in Algeria. Keywords: Argasid, Borrelia, Ornithodoros, Rickettsia

  3. Inventory and update on argasid ticks and associated pathogens in Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafri, I; Benredjem, W; Neffah-Baaziz, F; Lalout, R; Abdelouahed, K; Gassen, B; Bakhouch, S; Chergui, M; Karakellah, M; Adjmi-Hamoudi, H; Bitam, I

    2018-05-01

    Argasid ticks include vectors of relapsing fevers caused by Borrelia spp. in humans, and they can transmit arboviruses and other bacterial pathogens. Knowledge about soft ticks ( Ixodida: Argasidae ) in Algeria is incomplete, and distribution data need to be updated. Here we report a series of entomologic investigations that we conducted in five different areas in Algeria between 2012 and 2015. Ticks were identified by entomologic keys and molecular tools (16S rRNA gene). Six distinct species belonging to two genera were identified, including Ornithodoros capensis s.s., Ornithodoros rupestris, Ornithodoros occidentalis, Ornithodoros erraticus, Ornithodoros sonrai and Argas persicus. The present study highlights the distribution of soft ticks, the establishment of an update inventory with nine species and associated pathogens detected in argasid ticks in Algeria.

  4. Small mammals as hosts of immature ixodid ticks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.G. Horak

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Two hundred and twenty-five small mammals belonging to 16 species were examined for ticks in Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa, and 18 ixodid tick species, of which two could only be identified to genus level, were recovered. Scrub hares, Lepus saxatilis, and Cape hares, Lepus capensis, harboured the largest number of tick species. In Free State Province Namaqua rock mice, Aethomys namaquensis, and four-striped grass mice, Rhabdomys pumilio, were good hosts of the immature stages of Haemaphysalis leachi and Rhipicephalus gertrudae, while in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces red veld rats, Aethomys chrysophilus, Namaqua rock mice and Natal multimammate mice, Mastomys natalensis were good hosts of H. leachi and Rhipicephalus simus. Haemaphysalis leachi was the only tick recovered from animals in all three provinces.

  5. An artificial water body provides habitat for an endangered estuarine seahorse species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claassens, Louw

    2016-10-01

    Anthropogenic development, especially the transformation of natural habitats to artificial, is a growing concern within estuaries and coastal areas worldwide. Thesen Islands marina, an artificial water body, added 25 ha of new estuarine habitat to the Knysna Estuary in South Africa, home to the Knysna seahorse. This study aimed to answer: (I) Can an artificial water body provide suitable habitat for an endangered seahorse species? And if so (II) what characteristics of this new habitat are important in terms of seahorse utilization? Four major habitat types were identified within the marina canals: (I) artificial reno mattress (wire baskets filled with rocks); (II) Codium tenue beds; (III) mixed vegetation on sediment; and (IV) barren canal floor. Seahorses were found throughout the marina system with significantly higher densities within the reno mattress habitat. The artificial water body, therefore, has provided suitable habitat for Hippocampus capensis, a noteworthy finding in the current environment of coastal development and the increasing shift from natural to artificial.

  6. Status of the forensically important genus Ophyra (Diptera: Muscidae in Argentina

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    Luciano D. PATITUCCI

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available El género Ophyra Robineau-Desvoidy es un grupo de múscidos necrófagos distribuidos en los climas cálidos de todo el mundo. La información aquí presentada se basa en la recopilación de datos de distribución, obtenida a partir del material de diferentes colecciones y bibliografía para la Argentina. Ophyra albuquerquei Lopes, Ophyra capensis (Wiedemann, Ophyra chalcogaster (Wiedemann y Ophyra solitaria Albuquerque se registraron por primera vez para el país. Se presenta una clave para las especies argentinas. Se discuten los datos biológicos y forenses de las distintas especies.

  7. Do singing rock hyraxes exploit conspecific calls to gain attention?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amiyaal Ilany

    Full Text Available Signal detection theory predicts that signals directed at distant or busy receivers in noisy backgrounds will begin with an alert component, in order to draw attention. Instead of an alert component, however, animals could get the same effect by using an external stimulus. Here we combined observations of free-living rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis with playback experiments to elucidate the circumstances under which males begin singing. We show that males sing following hyrax pup screams, which elicit a strong response from hyraxes within hearing distance, which are potential receivers. We hypothesize that singers enhance their singing display by exploiting the rarely emitted pup screams. To our knowledge, our findings are the first indication that animals may enhance signal reception by exploiting conspecifics' signals and the differential attention to these signals. We suggest that the utilization of external stimuli by signalers may be widespread, as an adaptive strategy for communication in complex environments.

  8. Report of isolations of unusual lyssaviruses (rabies and Mokola virus identified retrospectively from Zimbabwe : short communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Bingham

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Rabies isolates that had been stored between 1983 and 1997 were examined with a panel of anti-lyssavirus nucleocapsid monoclonal antibodies. Out of 56 isolates from cats and various wild carnivore species, 1 isolate of Mokola virus and 5 other non-typical rabies viruses were identified. The Mokola virus isolate was diagnosed as rabies in 1993 from a cat. Genetic analysis of this isolate suggests that it falls in a distinct subgroup of the Mokola virus genotype. The 5 non-typical rabies viruses were isolated from honey badgers (Mellivora capensis, African civets (Civettictis civetta and an unidentified mongoose (Herpestidae. These isolates are representatives of rarely-reported wildlife-associated strains of rabies, probably maintained by the slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea. These findings indicate that both Mokola virus and the mongoose-associated variant may be more common in Zimbabwe than is apparent from routine surveillance.

  9. Whole genome sequence analysis of Mycobacterium suricattae

    KAUST Repository

    Dippenaar, Anzaan

    2015-10-21

    Tuberculosis occurs in various mammalian hosts and is caused by a range of different lineages of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). A recently described member, Mycobacterium suricattae, causes tuberculosis in meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in Southern Africa and preliminary genetic analysis showed this organism to be closely related to an MTBC pathogen of rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), the dassie bacillus. Here we make use of whole genome sequencing to describe the evolution of the genome of M. suricattae, including known and novel regions of difference, SNPs and IS6110 insertion sites. We used genome-wide phylogenetic analysis to show that M. suricattae clusters with the chimpanzee bacillus, previously isolated from a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) in West Africa. We propose an evolutionary scenario for the Mycobacterium africanum lineage 6 complex, showing the evolutionary relationship of M. africanum and chimpanzee bacillus, and the closely related members M. suricattae, dassie bacillus and Mycobacterium mungi.

  10. A naturally occurring nanomaterial from the Sundew (Drosera) for tissue engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenaghan, S C; Xia, L; He, W; Zhang, M; Serpersu, K

    2011-01-01

    In recent years advances have been made in the design of novel materials for tissue engineering through the use of polysaccharides. This study evaluated the ability of a naturally secreted polysaccharide adhesive from the Sundew (Drosera capensis) as a support for cell growth. The Sundew adhesive has several advantages including its high elasticity and antibiotic nature. By coating glass cover slips with the Sundew adhesive, a network of nanofibers was generated that was capable of promoting attachment and differentiation of a model neuronal cell line, PC-12. We also demonstrated the potential of this material for repairing bone and soft tissue injuries, by testing attachment of osteoblasts and endothelial cells. Finally, it was determined that the Sundew biomaterial was stable through testing by atomic force microscopy and prolonged cell growth. This work has proven the capabilities of using a nanomaterial derived from the Sundew adhesive for the purpose of tissue engineering.

  11. Importance of vegetation analysis in the conservation management of the endangered butterfly Aloeides dentatis dentatis (Swierstra (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.S. Deutschlander

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available The study of the vegetation of the Ruimsig Entomological Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa revealed four plant communities one of which could be subdivided into two subcommunities and variants. The extensive climax stage of the vegetation represented by the Themeda triandra - Trachypogon spicatus grassland was found to be too dense and tall to support the butterfly Aloeides dentatis dentatis and the host ant Lepisiota capensis (Mayr. A degraded phase caused by succession in an area where pipes have been laid was found to be ideal habitat for both ant and butterfly. This vegetation also contained adequate numbers of the food plant Hermannia depressa. A serai community with tall- growing Hyparrhenia hirta was also found to be an unsuitable habitat for the butterfly. The identification of the preferred ideal habitat for the host ant and butterfly resulted in the compilation of a conservation management strategy that ensured the survival of the rare and endangered butterfly.

  12. Early developmental responses to seedling environment modulate later plasticity to light spectral quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric J B von Wettberg

    Full Text Available Correlations between developmentally plastic traits may constrain the joint evolution of traits. In plants, both seedling de-etiolation and shade avoidance elongation responses to crowding and foliage shade are mediated by partially overlapping developmental pathways, suggesting the possibility of pleiotropic constraints. To test for such constraints, we exposed inbred lines of Impatiens capensis to factorial combinations of leaf litter (which affects de-etiolation and simulated foliage shade (which affects phytochrome-mediated shade avoidance. Increased elongation of hypocotyls caused by leaf litter phenotypically enhanced subsequent elongation of the first internode in response to low red:far red (R:FR. Trait expression was correlated across litter and shade conditions, suggesting that phenotypic effects of early plasticity on later plasticity may affect variation in elongation traits available to selection in different light environments.

  13. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species.

  14. Mercury flow through an Asian rice-based food web

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abeysinghe, Kasun S.; Qiu, Guangle; Goodale, Eben; Anderson, Christopher W.N.; Bishop, Kevin; Evers, David C.; Goodale, Morgan W.; Hintelmann, Holger; Liu, Shengjie

    2017-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a globally-distributed pollutant, toxic to humans and animals. Emissions are particularly high in Asia, and the source of exposure for humans there may also be different from other regions, including rice as well as fish consumption, particularly in contaminated areas. Yet the threats Asian wildlife face in rice-based ecosystems are as yet unclear. We sought to understand how Hg flows through rice-based food webs in historic mining and non-mining regions of Guizhou, China. We measured total Hg (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in soil, rice, 38 animal species (27 for MeHg) spanning multiple trophic levels, and examined the relationship between stable isotopes and Hg concentrations. Our results confirm biomagnification of THg/MeHg, with a high trophic magnification slope. Invertivorous songbirds had concentrations of THg in their feathers that were 15x and 3x the concentration reported to significantly impair reproduction, at mining and non-mining sites, respectively. High concentrations in specialist rice consumers and in granivorous birds, the later as high as in piscivorous birds, suggest rice is a primary source of exposure. Spiders had the highest THg concentrations among invertebrates and may represent a vector through which Hg is passed to vertebrates, especially songbirds. Our findings suggest there could be significant population level health effects and consequent biodiversity loss in sensitive ecosystems, like agricultural wetlands, across Asia, and invertivorous songbirds would be good subjects for further studies investigating this possibility. - Highlights: • Hg concentrations were measured across rice-based food webs in Guizhou, China. • Of 38 animal species, THg concentrations were highest for invertivorous songbirds. • High THg levels in rice pests and in granivorous birds suggest rice as a source. • Levels of THg in songbird feathers at mining site were among highest ever recorded. • Even at non-mining site, THg in such

  15. Systematics of putative euparkeriids (Diapsida: Archosauriformes from the Triassic of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roland B. Sookias

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The South African species Euparkeria capensis is of great importance for understanding the early radiation of archosauromorphs (including archosaurs following the Permo–Triassic mass extinction, as most phylogenetic analyses place it as the sister taxon to crown group Archosauria within the clade Archosauriformes. Although a number of species from Lower–Middle Triassic deposits worldwide have been referred to the putative clade Euparkeriidae, the monophyly of Euparkeriidae is controversial and has yet to be demonstrated by quantitative phylogenetic analysis. Three Chinese taxa have been recently suggested to be euparkeriids: Halazhaisuchus qiaoensis, ‘Turfanosuchus shageduensis’, and Wangisuchus tzeyii, all three of which were collected from the Middle Triassic Ermaying Formation of northern China. Here, we reassess the taxonomy and systematics of these taxa. We regard Wangisuchus tzeyii as a nomen dubium, because the holotype is undiagnostic and there is no convincing evidence that the previously referred additional specimens represent the same taxon as the holotype. We also regard ‘Turfanosuchus shageduensis’ as a nomen dubium as we are unable to identify any diagnostic features. We refer the holotype to Archosauriformes, and more tentatively to Euparkeriidae. Halazhaisuchus qiaoensis and the holotype of ‘Turfanosuchus shageduensis’ are resolved as sister taxa in a phylogenetic analysis, and are in turn the sister taxon to Euparkeria capensis, forming a monophyletic Euparkeriidae that is the sister to Archosauria+Phytosauria. This is the first quantitative phylogenetic analysis to recover a non-monospecific, monophyletic Euparkeriidae, but euparkeriid monophyly is only weakly supported and will require additional examination. Given their similar sizes, stratigraphic positions and phylogenetic placement, the holotype of ‘Turfanosuchus shageduensis’ may represent a second individual of Halazhaisuchus qiaoensis, but no

  16. Effect of intra- and interspecific competition on the performance of native and invasive species of Impatiens under varying levels of shade and moisture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skálová, Hana; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Dvořáčková, Śárka; Pyšek, Petr

    2013-01-01

    Many alien plants are thought to be invasive because of unique traits and greater phenotypic plasticity relative to resident species. However, many studies of invasive species are unable to quantify the importance of particular traits and phenotypic plasticity in conferring invasive behavior because traits used in comparative studies are often measured in a single environment and by using plants from a single population. To obtain a deeper insight into the role of environmental factors, local differences and competition in plant invasions, we compared species of Impatiens (Balsaminaceae) of different origin and invasion status that occur in central Europe: native I. noli-tangere and three alien species (highly invasive I. glandulifera, less invasive I. parviflora and potentially invasive I. capensis). In two experiments we harvested late-stage reproductive plants to estimate performance. The first experiment quantified how populations differed in performance under varying light and moisture levels in the absence of competition. The second experiment quantified performance across these environments in the presence of intra- and inter-specific competition. The highly invasive I. glandulifera was the strongest competitor, was the tallest and produced the greatest biomass. Small size and high plasticity were characteristic for I. parviflora. This species appeared to be the second strongest competitor, especially under low soil moisture. The performance of I. capensis was within the range of the other Impatiens species studied, but sometimes limited by alien competitors. Our results suggest that invasion success within the genus Impatiens depends on the ability to grow large under a range of environmental conditions, including competition. The invasive species also exhibited greater phenotypic plasticity across environmental conditions than the native species. Finally, the decreased performance of the native I. noli-tangere in competition with other species studied

  17. Effect of intra- and interspecific competition on the performance of native and invasive species of Impatiens under varying levels of shade and moisture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hana Skálová

    Full Text Available Many alien plants are thought to be invasive because of unique traits and greater phenotypic plasticity relative to resident species. However, many studies of invasive species are unable to quantify the importance of particular traits and phenotypic plasticity in conferring invasive behavior because traits used in comparative studies are often measured in a single environment and by using plants from a single population. To obtain a deeper insight into the role of environmental factors, local differences and competition in plant invasions, we compared species of Impatiens (Balsaminaceae of different origin and invasion status that occur in central Europe: native I. noli-tangere and three alien species (highly invasive I. glandulifera, less invasive I. parviflora and potentially invasive I. capensis. In two experiments we harvested late-stage reproductive plants to estimate performance. The first experiment quantified how populations differed in performance under varying light and moisture levels in the absence of competition. The second experiment quantified performance across these environments in the presence of intra- and inter-specific competition. The highly invasive I. glandulifera was the strongest competitor, was the tallest and produced the greatest biomass. Small size and high plasticity were characteristic for I. parviflora. This species appeared to be the second strongest competitor, especially under low soil moisture. The performance of I. capensis was within the range of the other Impatiens species studied, but sometimes limited by alien competitors. Our results suggest that invasion success within the genus Impatiens depends on the ability to grow large under a range of environmental conditions, including competition. The invasive species also exhibited greater phenotypic plasticity across environmental conditions than the native species. Finally, the decreased performance of the native I. noli-tangere in competition with other

  18. Winter food of the fox Vulpes vulpes in the Province of Cuneo (North-Western Italy / Alimentazione invernale della Volpe Vulpes vulpes nell'Albese (Provincia di Cuneo

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    Paolo Debernardi

    1991-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The diet of the Fox Vulpes vulpes was studied by the analysis of 157 gastric contents coming from hilly areas of the Province of Cuneo. Samples were gathered during January-March of the years '86 (N. 41, '87 (N. 72 and '88 (N. 44. The mean percentage of frequency was determined for the following feeding categories: Fruits (26.1%, Other vegetable components (19.7%, Insects (2.5%, Wild birds (11.5%, Insectivores and Rodents (42.7%, Lepus capensis (13.4%, Indeterminate Lagomorphs (17.2%, Domestic animals (59.2% and Other (2.5%. The diet is analysed in relation to some available trophic resources (dumps, restoking of hares and of pheasants. Riassunto Vengono presentati i dati dell'analisi di 157 contenuti gastrici di Vulpes vulpes, provenienti da aree collinari della provincia di Cuneo; i campioni si riferiscono ai primi tre mesi delle annate '86 (N. 41, '87 (N. 72 e '88 (N. 44. Sono state determinate le frequenze percentuali delle seguenti categorie alimentari: Frutti (26,1%, Altre componenti vegetali (19,7%, Insetti (2,5%, Uccelli selvatici (11,5%, Insettivori e Roditori (42,7%, Lepus capensis (13,4%, Lagomorfi indeterminati (17,2%, Animali domestici (59,2% e Altro (2,5%. La dieta viene esaminata in relazione ad alcuni aspetti legati alle disponibilità trofiche del territorio (presenza di discariche, ripopolamenti di selvaggina.

  19. Short seed longevity, variable germination conditions, and infrequent establishment events provide a narrow window for Yucca brevifolia (Agavaceae) recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, M.; Reynolds, J.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2012-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The future of long-lived stand-forming desert plants such as Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree) has come into question in light of climate variation and landscape-scale disturbances such as wildfire. Understanding plant establishment dynamics is important for mitigating the impacts of disturbances and promoting revegetation. • METHODS: We placed Y. brevifolia seeds in shallow caches and manipulated granivore access, nurse shrub effects, and the season of cache placement to determine conditions for seed germination and seedling establishment. • KEY RESULTS: Greatest seedling emergence occurred during spring and summer, when increased soil moisture was accompanied by warm soil temperatures. Late winter-spring emergence for cached seeds was enhanced beneath shrub canopies, but seedling survival declined beneath shrubs as temperatures increased in spring. Germinability of seed remaining in the soil was reduced from 50-68% after 12 mo residence time in soil and declined to germinability, imposing substantial losses of potential germinants. • CONCLUSIONS: Specific germination and establishment requirements impose stringent limits on recruitment rates for Y. brevifolia. Coupled with infrequent seed availability, the return rates to prefire densities and demographic structure may require decades to centuries, especially in light of potential changes to regional desert climate in combination with the potential for fire recurrence. Demographic patterns are predicted to vary spatially in response to environmental variability that limits recruitment and may already be apparent among extant populations.

  20. Supplementing seed banks to rehabilitate disturbed Mojave Desert shrublands: where do all the seeds go?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.; Nicklas, Melissa B.; Kane, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    Revegetation of degraded arid lands often involves supplementing impoverished seed banks and improving the seedbed, yet these approaches frequently fail. To understand these failures, we tracked the fates of seeds for six shrub species that were broadcast across two contrasting surface disturbances common to the Mojave Desert—sites compacted by concentrated vehicle use and trenched sites where topsoil and subsurface soils were mixed. We evaluated seedbed treatments that enhance soil-seed contact (tackifier) and create surface roughness while reducing soil bulk density (harrowing). We also explored whether seed harvesting by granivores and seedling suppression by non-native annuals influence the success of broadcast seeding in revegetating degraded shrublands. Ten weeks after treatments, seeds readily moved off of experimental plots in untreated compacted sites, but seed movements were reduced 32% by tackifier and 55% through harrowing. Harrowing promoted seedling emergence in compacted sites, particularly for the early-colonizing species Encelia farinosa, but tackifier was largely ineffective. The inherent surface roughness of trenched sites retained three times the number of seeds than compacted sites, but soil mixing during trench development likely altered the suitability of the seedbed thus resulting in poor seedling emergence. Non-native annuals had little influence on seed fates during our study. In contrast, the prevalence of harvester ants increased seed removal on compacted sites, whereas rodent activity influenced removal on trenched sites. Future success of broadcast seeding in arid lands depends on evaluating disturbance characteristics prior to seeding and selecting appropriate species and seasons for application.

  1. Fate of native and introduced seeds consumed by captive white-lipped and collared peccaries (Tayassu pecari, Link 1795 and Pecari tajacu, Linnaeus 1758 in the Atlantic rainforest, Brazil

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    L. Lazure

    Full Text Available We studied the role of white-lipped and collared peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu as seed predators and dispersers in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil. The Atlantic rainforest ecosystem is highly threatened and has experienced dramatic declines in its populations of large mammals. Local extinctions can disrupt essential plant-animal interactions such as seed dispersion and seed predation. We tracked seeds from time of consumption to germination to assess the direct impact peccaries have on seed survival. We offered fruits of 20 species found in the Atlantic rainforest to the peccaries. Seeds were categorised as intact, scarified, ingested or defecated, and germination tests were performed. The overall impact by both peccary species was similar. Seeds were sometime scarified by mastication, always with fatal consequences. Most seeds that were consumed were destroyed during ingestion and digestion. Only small seeds (<10 mm were found in the feces and germination tests suggest a positive effect from the passage through the guts. Peccaries clearly have a double role as both seed predators and as small seeds dispersers, which is a specialised role within the granivore/frugivore community of the Atlantic rainforest.

  2. Population Densities of Birds Breeding in Urbanized Habitats in the Grabiszyn District in the City of Wrocław

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    Kopij Grzegorz

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Studies were carried out in 2010 by mean of simplified version of the mapping method. The study area (395 ha was located close to the city centre. It comprised a mosaic of urbanized habitats, with a clear dominance of green areas, such as parks (41.1 ha, gardens, cemeteries and tree clumps. A total of 48 breeding bird species were recorded in the whole study area. The most common (<25 pairs/100 ha were Passer domesticus, Passer montanus, Sturnus vulgaris, Parus caeruleus, Parus major, Apus apus and Columba livia. Numerous (7-15 pairs/100 ha were also the following species: Columba palumbus, Turdus pilaris, Sylvia atricapilla, Serinus serinus, Turdus merula and Pica pica. Insectivorous birds were the most common birds constituting 63.3%, and granivorous -32.6% of all pairs recorded. Most birds nested in tree holes (39.3%, in/on buildings (30.2% and in trees/shrubs (25.6%. Distribution of breeding pairs of 23 bird species was presented on maps. Population trends for 17 species were documented. Rapid increase in numbers of Turdus pilaris, Corvus cornix and Phoenicurus phoenicurus and decrease of Pica pica were recorded.

  3. Biodiversity conservation in an anthropized landscape: Trees, not patch size drive, bird community composition in a low-input agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellink, Eric; Riojas-López, Mónica E; Cárdenas-García, Melinda

    2017-01-01

    One of the most typical agro-ecosystems in the Llanos de Ojuelos, a semi-arid region of central Mexico, is that of fruit-production orchards of nopales (prickly pear cacti). This perennial habitat with complex vertical structure provides refuge and food for at least 112 species of birds throughout the year. Nopal orchards vary in their internal structure, size and shrub/tree composition, yet these factors have unknown effects on the animals that use them. To further understand the conservation potential of this agro-ecosystem, we evaluated the effects of patch-size and the presence of trees on bird community composition, as well as several habitat variables, through an information-theoretical modelling approach. Community composition was obtained through a year of census transects in 12 orchards. The presence of trees in the orchards was the major driver of bird communities followed by seasonality; bird communities are independent of patch size, except for small orchard patches that benefit black-chin sparrows, which are considered a sensitive species. At least 55 species of six trophic guilds (insectivores, granivores, carnivores, nectivores, omnivores, and frugivores) used the orchards. Orchards provide adequate habitat and food resources for several sensitive species of resident and migratory sparrows. The attributes that make orchards important for birds: trees, shrubs, herb seeds, and open patches can be managed to maintain native biodiversity in highly anthropized regions with an urgent need to find convergence between production and biological conservation.

  4. Environmental effects of radionuclides--observations on natural ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copplestone, D; Toal, M E; Johnson, M S; Jackson, D; Jones, S R

    2000-03-01

    To better quantify risk to non-human species from exposure to environmental radioactivity, understanding of the behaviour of radionuclides in the biosphere needs to be increased. This study outlines current thinking on ecological risk assessment (ERA) methodology and applies the indicator species or critical groups approach to biota inhabiting a semi-natural coniferous woodland contaminated with the radionuclides 137Cs, 238Pu, 239+240Pu and 241Am. The majority of these radionuclides originate from routine aerial emissions from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at BNFL, Sellafield, Cumbria, UK. Radionuclide activity concentrations have been determined in biota from the woodland and estimates of absorbed dose rates (mGy d(-1)) have been calculated using the dosimetric models outlined. Dose rates to the key indicator species, Oniscus asellus, Carabus violaceous and Apodemus sylvaticus (detritivorous invertebrate, predatory invertebrate and the granivorous wood mouse) have been determined at 3.0 x 10(-3) mGy d(-1), 2.2 x 10(-3) mGy d(-1) and 1.0 x 10(-3) mGy d(-1) respectively. The values are at least three orders of magnitude lower than the 1 mGy d(-1) level below which no observable effects on populations in a terrestrial ecosystem are thought to occur. Limitations of this approach are discussed.

  5. Characteristic trend of persistent organochlorine contamination in wildlife from a tropical agricultural watershed, south India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, A; Tanabe, S; Kannan, K; Subramanian, A N; Kumaran, P; Tatsukawa, R

    1992-07-01

    The residue levels of persistent organochlorines, such as HCH (BHC: 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexachlorocyclohexane) isomers, DDT [1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl) ethane] compounds, PCBs (polychlorobiphenyls) and HCB (hexachlorobenzene), were measured in wildlife. The wildlife were sampled from terrestrial and aquatic habitats in and around the agricultural watershed of Parangipettai, South India. On the basis of overall concentrations sigma HCH ranked first followed by sigma DDT, sigma PCB and HCB, reflecting the increasing usage of HCH in recent years in India. The residue levels of organochlorines in birds varied according to their feeding habits and showed the following pattern: inland piscivores and scavengers greater than coastal piscivores greater than insectivores greater than omnivores greater than granivores. High levels of HCH and DDT residues were recorded in Pond heron and Cattle egret which feed in the agricultural fields. Comparison of HCH concentrations in fish and birds in the study area to other locations was made to further understand the dynamics of contaminant accumulation in tropical wildlife. Regarding birds, a wide variation in residue levels could be seen among various countries, with tropical regions registering high levels. In contrast, the variation is not prominent in the case of fish. The residue levels in fish measured in the present study were generally comparable to values reported from other locations. This suggests that the bioavailability of contaminants to the aquatic fauna is less due to the smaller flux and shorter residence time of these chemicals in the tropics.

  6. The influence of habitat structure on bird species composition in lowland malaysian rain forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd

    2012-05-01

    Bird surveys were conducted in the Bukit Kepala Gajah limestone area in Lenggong, Perak from July 2010 to January 2011. The study area was divided into three zones: forest edge, forest intermediate and forest interior. A point-count distance sampling method was used in the bird surveys. The study recorded 7789 detections, representing 100 bird species belonging to 28 families. Pycnonotidae, Timaliidae and Nectariniidae were the dominant families overall and showed the highest number of observations recorded in the study area whereas Motacillidae showed the fewest observations. The bird species were grouped into three feeding guilds: insectivores, frugivores and others (omnivores, carnivores, nectarivores and granivores). The species richness of insectivorous birds differed significantly among the forest zones sampled (Kruskal-Wallis: α=0.05, H=10.979, d.f.=2, p=0.004), with more insectivorous birds occurring in the forest interior. No significant differences were found among the zones in the species richness of either the frugivore guild or the composite others guild.

  7. Avian diversity and feeding guilds in a secondary forest, an oil palm plantation and a paddy field in riparian areas of the kerian river basin, perak, malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azman, Nur Munira; Latip, Nurul Salmi Abdul; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd; Akil, Mohd Abdul Muin Md; Shafie, Nur Juliani; Khairuddin, Nurul Liyana

    2011-12-01

    The diversity and the feeding guilds of birds in three different habitats (secondary forest, oil palm plantation and paddy field) were investigated in riparian areas of the Kerian River Basin (KRB), Perak, Malaysia. Point-count observation and mist-netting methods were used to determine bird diversity and abundance. A total of 132 species of birds from 46 families were recorded in the 3 habitats. Species diversity, measured by Shannon's diversity index, was 3.561, 3.183 and 1.042 in the secondary forest, the paddy field and the oil palm plantation, respectively. The vegetation diversity and the habitat structure were important determinants of the number of bird species occurring in an area. The relative abundance of the insectivore, insectivore-frugivore and frugivore guilds was greater in the forest than in the monoculture plantation. In contrast, the relative abundance of the carnivore, granivore and omnivore guilds was higher in the plantation. The results of the study show that the conversion of forest to either oil palm plantation or paddy fields produced a decline in bird diversity and changes in the distribution of bird feeding guilds.

  8. Environmental effects of radionuclides - observations on natural ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Copplestone, D.; Toal, M.E.; Johnson, M.S.; Jackson, D.; Jones, S.R.

    2000-01-01

    To better quantify risk to non-human species from exposure to environmental radioactivity, understanding of the behaviour of radionuclides in the biosphere needs to be increased. This study outlines current thinking on ecological risk assessment (ERA) methodology and applies the indicator species or critical groups approach to biota inhabiting a semi-natural coniferous woodland contaminated with the radionuclides 137 Cs, 238 Pu, 239+240 Pu and 241 Am. The majority of these radionuclides originate from routine aerial emissions from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at BNFL, Sellafield, Cumbria, UK. Radionuclide activity concentrations have been determined in biota from the woodland and estimates of absorbed dose rates (mGy d -1 ) have been calculated using the dosimetric models outlined. Dose rates to the key indicator species, Oniscus asellus, Carabus violaceous and Apodemus sylvaticus (detritivorous invertebrate, predatory invertebrate and the granivorous wood mouse) have been determined at 3.0x10 -3 mGy d -1 , 2.2x10 -3 mGy d -1 and 1.0x10 -3 mGy d -1 respectively. The values are at least three orders of magnitude lower than the 1 mGy d -1 level below which no observable effects on populations in a terrestrial ecosystem are thought to occur. Limitations of this approach are discussed. (author)

  9. The future of tropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, S Joseph

    2010-05-01

    Five anthropogenic drivers--land use change, wood extraction, hunting, atmospheric change, climate change--will largely determine the future of tropical forests. The geographic scope and intensity of these five drivers are in flux. Contemporary land use change includes deforestation (approximately 64,000 km(2) yr(-1) for the entire tropical forest biome) and natural forests regenerating on abandoned land (approximately 21,500 km(2) yr(-1) with just 29% of the biome evaluated). Commercial logging is shifting rapidly from Southeast Asia to Africa and South America, but local fuelwood consumption continues to constitute 71% of all wood production. Pantropical rates of net deforestation are declining even as secondary and logged forests increasingly replace old-growth forests. Hunters reduce frugivore, granivore and browser abundances in most forests. This alters seed dispersal, seed and seedling survival, and hence the species composition and spatial template of plant regeneration. Tropical governments have responded to these local threats by protecting 7% of all land for the strict conservation of nature--a commitment that is only matched poleward of 40 degrees S and 70 degrees N. Protected status often fails to stop hunters and is impotent against atmospheric and climate change. There are increasing reports of stark changes in the structure and dynamics of protected tropical forests. Four broad classes of mechanisms might contribute to these changes. Predictions are developed to distinguish among these mechanisms.

  10. Breeding Bird Assemblage in a Mosaic of Urbanized Habitats in a Central European City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available There is a lack of data on the population densities of birds breeding in a mosaic of typical urbanized habitats. This study was undertaken to partly fulfil this gap in our knowledge. Counts were conducted in 2008 by means of simplified territory mapping method in a fragment (1197 ha of a large Central European city (Wrocław, SW Poland. In total, 50 bird species were breeding in the study area in 2008. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus, Common Swift Apus apus and Rock Dove comprised about 3/5 of all breeding pairs. The other group of species, each one with a density between 6 and 13 pairs per 100 ha, included seven species, namely the Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, House Martin, Delichon urbica, Tree Sparrow, Passer montanus, Great Tit, Parus major, Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus, and Jackdaw, Corvus monedula. They comprised together about 1/5. The remaining 40 species nested in a density between 0.1 and 3.5 pairs per 100 ha. The most numerous feeding guild were granivores (53.8% and insectivores (37.9 %. Birds nesting on buildings comprised together 74 % of all breeding pairs. For a few species (Luscinia megarhynchos, Saxicola torquata, Corvus cornix and Turdus pilaris an increase in their numbers in the last three decades has been evidenced.

  11. Avian conservation practices strengthen ecosystem services in California vineyards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jedlicka, Julie A; Greenberg, Russell; Letourneau, Deborah K

    2011-01-01

    Insectivorous Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) occupy vineyard nest boxes established by California winegrape growers who want to encourage avian conservation. Experimentally, the provision of available nest sites serves as an alternative to exclosure methods for isolating the potential ecosystem services provided by foraging birds. We compared the abundance and species richness of avian foragers and removal rates of sentinel prey in treatments with songbird nest boxes and controls without nest boxes. The average species richness of avian insectivores increased by over 50 percent compared to controls. Insectivorous bird density nearly quadrupled, primarily due to a tenfold increase in Western Bluebird abundance. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the abundance of omnivorous or granivorous bird species some of which opportunistically forage on grapes. In a sentinel prey experiment, 2.4 times more live beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua) were removed in the nest box treatment than in the control. As an estimate of the maximum foraging services provided by insectivorous birds, we found that larval removal rates measured immediately below occupied boxes averaged 3.5 times greater than in the control. Consequently the presence of Western Bluebirds in vineyard nest boxes strengthened ecosystem services to winegrape growers, illustrating a benefit of agroecological conservation practices. Predator addition and sentinel prey experiments lack some disadvantages of predator exclusion experiments and were robust methodologies for detecting ecosystem services.

  12. Avian conservation practices strengthen ecosystem services in California vineyards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie A Jedlicka

    Full Text Available Insectivorous Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana occupy vineyard nest boxes established by California winegrape growers who want to encourage avian conservation. Experimentally, the provision of available nest sites serves as an alternative to exclosure methods for isolating the potential ecosystem services provided by foraging birds. We compared the abundance and species richness of avian foragers and removal rates of sentinel prey in treatments with songbird nest boxes and controls without nest boxes. The average species richness of avian insectivores increased by over 50 percent compared to controls. Insectivorous bird density nearly quadrupled, primarily due to a tenfold increase in Western Bluebird abundance. In contrast, there was no significant difference in the abundance of omnivorous or granivorous bird species some of which opportunistically forage on grapes. In a sentinel prey experiment, 2.4 times more live beet armyworms (Spodoptera exigua were removed in the nest box treatment than in the control. As an estimate of the maximum foraging services provided by insectivorous birds, we found that larval removal rates measured immediately below occupied boxes averaged 3.5 times greater than in the control. Consequently the presence of Western Bluebirds in vineyard nest boxes strengthened ecosystem services to winegrape growers, illustrating a benefit of agroecological conservation practices. Predator addition and sentinel prey experiments lack some disadvantages of predator exclusion experiments and were robust methodologies for detecting ecosystem services.

  13. Multi-scale factors influencing the characteristics of avian communities in urban parks across Beijing during the breeding season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Shilin; Lu, Fei; Cao, Lei; Zhou, Weiqi; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the factors that influence the characteristics of avian communities using urban parks at both the patch and landscape level is important to focus management effort towards enhancing bird diversity. Here, we investigated this issue during the breeding season across urban parks in Beijing, China, using high-resolution satellite imagery. Fifty-two bird species were recorded across 29 parks. Analysis of residence type of birds showed that passengers were the most prevalent (37%), indicating that Beijing is a major node in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Park size was crucial for total species abundance, but foliage height diversity was the most important factor influencing avian species diversity. Thus, optimizing the configuration of vertical vegetation structure in certain park areas is critical for supporting avian communities in urban parks. Human visitation also showed negative impact on species diversity. At the landscape level, the percentage of artificial surface and largest patch index of woodland in the buffer region significantly affected total species richness, with insectivores and granivores being more sensitive to the landscape pattern of the buffer region. In conclusion, urban birds in Beijing are influenced by various multi-scale factors; however, these effects vary with different feeding types.

  14. Removal and Burial of Weed Seeds by Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) From the Soil Surface of a Cropped Area in Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkey, D M; Spafford, H

    2016-10-01

    Although granivorous ants are known to collect weed seeds from cropping areas in Australia, the fate of these seeds has not been adequately investigated. Seeds of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.) and wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.) were placed around the nests of five native ant species (Iridomyrmex greensladei Shattuck, Rhytidoponera metallica Smith, Melophorus turneri Forel, Monomorium rothsteini Forel, and Pheidole hartmeyeri Forel) and tracked continuously over a 24-h period. Removal rates and seed preference of the ant species were evaluated. Ant nests were then excavated to determine the placement of seeds that were taken into each nest. Seed preference, seed removal efficiencies, activity, and seed storage all varied between the ant species. Annual ryegrass seed was collected by three species of ants and was removed from the soil surface more efficiently than wild radish seed. Most ant species stored seed below ground at a depth that is inhibitory to emergence, thereby potentially removing that portion of seed from the seed bank, but some seed was placed at germinable depths. Pheidole hartmeyeri was identified as a likely biological control agent for annual ryegrass seeds and wild radish, while Me. turneri and Mo. rothsteini have potential as biocontrol agents for annual ryegrass, but further research is needed. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Effects of insecticides intended for Ceutorhynchus napi Gyll. control in oilseed rape on ground beetles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sivčev Lazar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of insecticides that are commonly used for conventional and integrated oilseed rape (OSR management on ground beetles were studied. Monitoring of harmful species showed that only insecticides intended against Ceutorhynchus napi should be applied. There were no differences in beetle numbers and phenology of settling of C. napi in the OSR fields that received different management practices. The type of OSR management has a primary and significant impact on ground beetles abundance. Early in the spring, ground beetles settled more massively on the non-tilled OSR field with abundant weed cover and mulch on soil surface. However, there were no significant differences in species richness between the OSR fields managed differently. A total of 22 species were recorded. Early in the spring, the granivorous ground beetles Amara aenea (47.3% and Harpalus distinguendus (32.5% were dominant. When insecticides were applied, immigration of ground beetles began, so that their adverse effect was minimal. In both management systems the number of ground beetles and their diversity increased after spraying. In conclusion, no significant harmful effects of the insecticides on ground beetles were detected in OSR fields managed in two different ways.

  16. Environmental effects of radionuclides - observations on natural ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Copplestone, D. [Industrial Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX (United Kingdom). E-mail: copplest at liv.ac.uk; Toal, M.E.; Johnson, M.S. [Industrial Ecology Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX (United Kingdom); Jackson, D.; Jones, S.R. [Westlakes Scientific Consulting, Princess Royal Building, Westlakes Science and Technology Park, Moor Row, Cumbria CA24 3LN (United Kingdom)

    2000-03-01

    To better quantify risk to non-human species from exposure to environmental radioactivity, understanding of the behaviour of radionuclides in the biosphere needs to be increased. This study outlines current thinking on ecological risk assessment (ERA) methodology and applies the indicator species or critical groups approach to biota inhabiting a semi-natural coniferous woodland contaminated with the radionuclides {sup 137}Cs, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239+240}Pu and {sup 241}Am. The majority of these radionuclides originate from routine aerial emissions from the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at BNFL, Sellafield, Cumbria, UK. Radionuclide activity concentrations have been determined in biota from the woodland and estimates of absorbed dose rates (mGy d{sup -1}) have been calculated using the dosimetric models outlined. Dose rates to the key indicator species, Oniscus asellus, Carabus violaceous and Apodemus sylvaticus (detritivorous invertebrate, predatory invertebrate and the granivorous wood mouse) have been determined at 3.0x10{sup -3} mGy d{sup -1}, 2.2x10{sup -3} mGy d{sup -1} and 1.0x10{sup -3} mGy d{sup -1} respectively. The values are at least three orders of magnitude lower than the 1 mGy d{sup -1} level below which no observable effects on populations in a terrestrial ecosystem are thought to occur. Limitations of this approach are discussed. (author)

  17. Doses to Terrestrial Biota in the Vicinity of BNFL Sellafield, Cumbria, UK (invited paper)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Copplestone, D.; Johnson, M.S.; Jackson, D.; Jones, S.R

    2000-07-01

    Source terms and corresponding radionuclide activity concentrations in biota for {sup 134}Cs, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239+240}Pu and {sup 241}Am have been assessed for three semi-natural ecosystems in the vicinity of BNFL Sellafield, Cumbria, UK. Estimates of absorbed doses (mGy.d{sup -1}) have been calculated. Doses to key indicator species, Oniscus asellus (detritivorous invertebrate), Carabus violaceous (predatory invertebrate) and Apodemus sylvaticus (granivorous wood mouse) are discussed with reference to the 1 mGy.d{sup -1} level, below which it is postulated that no observable effects on populations in a terrestrial ecosystem occur. Implications for the 'critical group' and 'reference model' approaches for a framework of radiological environmental protection are discussed. The need to assess the most highly exposed species is advanced. New research focused on the application of biomarker techniques as a mechanism for determining the interactions and effects of environmental contaminants on ecosystem structure and functioning is presented. (author)

  18. Bird communities in sun and shade coffee farms in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Smith

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural expansion to meet rising crop demand is one of the greatest threats to terrestrial biodiversity. Coffee, one of the most valuable trade items in tropical countries, can provide both economic livelihood and wildlife habitat. Previous work, conducted primarily on Neotropical coffee farms, indicates that birds are generally more abundant and diverse in farms with a canopy of shade trees, though regional variation exists. To date, few studies have examined birds on coffee farms in Africa, which contains 20% of the world’s coffee acreage. We studied differences in the bird communities between sun and shade monoculture coffee in central Kenya, and we examined effects of vegetation on bird abundance and diversity. Sun coffee had higher species richness and abundances of all major guilds (omnivores, insectivores, and granivores, and showed low community similarity to shade. Unlike findings from the Neotropics, canopy cover appeared to have a negative influence on all guilds, while understory volume of weeds increased bird abundance and species richness with a similar magnitude as canopy cover. These differences highlight the need for further studies in the general East Africa region with a wider variety of shade coffee systems.

  19. Apple orchard pest control strategies affect bird communities in southeastern France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouvier, Jean-Charles; Ricci, Benoît; Agerberg, Julia; Lavigne, Claire

    2011-01-01

    Birds are regarded as appropriate biological indicators of how changes in agricultural practices affect the environment. They are also involved in the biocontrol of pests. In the present study, we provide an assessment of the impact of pest control strategies on bird communities in apple orchards in southeastern France. We compared the structure (abundance, species richness, and diversity) of breeding bird communities in 15 orchards under conventional or organic pest control over a three-year period (2003-2005). Pest control strategies and their evolution over time were characterized by analyzing farmers' treatment schedules. The landscape surrounding the orchards was characterized using a Geographic Information System. We observed 30 bird species overall. Bird abundance, species richness, and diversity were all affected by pest control strategies, and were highest in organic orchards and lowest in conventional orchards during the three study years. The pest control strategy affected insectivores more than granivores. We further observed a tendency for bird communities in integrated pest management orchards to change over time and become increasingly different from communities in organic orchards, which also corresponded to changes in treatment schedules. These findings indicate that within-orchard bird communities may respond quickly to changes in pesticide use and may, in turn, influence biocontrol of pests by birds. © 2010 SETAC.

  20. A hidden Markov model for reconstructing animal paths from solar geolocation loggers using templates for light intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Winkler, David W; Bridge, Eli; Seavy, Nathaniel E; Sheldon, Daniel; Piersma, Theunis; Saveliev, Anatoly

    2015-01-01

    Solar archival tags (henceforth called geolocators) are tracking devices deployed on animals to reconstruct their long-distance movements on the basis of locations inferred post hoc with reference to the geographical and seasonal variations in the timing and speeds of sunrise and sunset. The increased use of geolocators has created a need for analytical tools to produce accurate and objective estimates of migration routes that are explicit in their uncertainty about the position estimates. We developed a hidden Markov chain model for the analysis of geolocator data. This model estimates tracks for animals with complex migratory behaviour by combining: (1) a shading-insensitive, template-fit physical model, (2) an uncorrelated random walk movement model that includes migratory and sedentary behavioural states, and (3) spatially explicit behavioural masks. The model is implemented in a specially developed open source R package FLightR. We used the particle filter (PF) algorithm to provide relatively fast model posterior computation. We illustrate our modelling approach with analysis of simulated data for stationary tags and of real tracks of both a tree swallow Tachycineta bicolor migrating along the east and a golden-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia atricapilla migrating along the west coast of North America. We provide a model that increases accuracy in analyses of noisy data and movements of animals with complicated migration behaviour. It provides posterior distributions for the positions of animals, their behavioural states (e.g., migrating or sedentary), and distance and direction of movement. Our approach allows biologists to estimate locations of animals with complex migratory behaviour based on raw light data. This model advances the current methods for estimating migration tracks from solar geolocation, and will benefit a fast-growing number of tracking studies with this technology.

  1. Genes located in a chromosomal inversion are correlated with territorial song in white-throated sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinzow-Kramer, W M; Horton, B M; McKee, C D; Michaud, J M; Tharp, G K; Thomas, J W; Tuttle, E M; Yi, S; Maney, D L

    2015-11-01

    The genome of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) contains an inversion polymorphism on chromosome 2 that is linked to predictable variation in a suite of phenotypic traits including plumage color, aggression and parental behavior. Differences in gene expression between the two color morphs, which represent the two common inversion genotypes (ZAL2/ZAL2 and ZAL2/ZAL2(m) ), may therefore advance our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of these phenotypes. To identify genes that are differentially expressed between the two morphs and correlated with behavior, we quantified gene expression and terrirorial aggression, including song, in a population of free-living white-throated sparrows. We analyzed gene expression in two brain regions, the medial amygdala (MeA) and hypothalamus. Both regions are part of a 'social behavior network', which is rich in steroid hormone receptors and previously linked with territorial behavior. Using weighted gene co-expression network analyses, we identified modules of genes that were correlated with both morph and singing behavior. The majority of these genes were located within the inversion, showing the profound effect of the inversion on the expression of genes captured by the rearrangement. These modules were enriched with genes related to retinoic acid signaling and basic cellular functioning. In the MeA, the most prominent pathways were those related to steroid hormone receptor activity. Within these pathways, the only gene encoding such a receptor was ESR1 (estrogen receptor 1), a gene previously shown to predict song rate in this species. The set of candidate genes we identified may mediate the effects of a chromosomal inversion on territorial behavior. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  2. Proximity to a high traffic road: glucocorticoid and life history consequences for nestling white-crowned sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crino, O L; Van Oorschot, B Klaassen; Johnson, E E; Malisch, J L; Breuner, C W

    2011-09-01

    Roads have been associated with decreased reproductive success and biodiversity in avian communities and increased physiological stress in adult birds. Alternatively, roads may also increase food availability and reduce predator pressure. Previous studies have focused on adult birds, but nestlings may also be susceptible to the detrimental impacts of roads. We examined the effects of proximity to a road on nestling glucocorticoid activity and growth in the mountain white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha). Additionally, we examined several possible indirect factors that may influence nestling corticosterone (CORT) activity secretion in relation to roads. These indirect effects include parental CORT activity, nest-site characteristics, and parental provisioning. And finally, we assessed possible fitness consequences of roads through measures of fledging success. Nestlings near roads had increased CORT activity, elevated at both baseline and stress-induced levels. Surprisingly, these nestlings were also bigger. Generally, greater corticosterone activity is associated with reduced growth. However, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis matures through the nestling period (as nestlings get larger, HPA-activation is greater). Although much of the variance in CORT responses was explained by body size, nestling CORT responses were higher close to roads after controlling for developmental differences. Indirect effects of roads may be mediated through paternal care. Nestling CORT responses were correlated with paternal CORT responses and paternal provisioning increased near roads. Hence, nestlings near roads may be larger due to increased paternal attentiveness. And finally, nest predation was higher for nests close to the road. Roads have apparent costs for white-crowned sparrow nestlings--increased predation, and apparent benefits--increased size. The elevation in CORT activity seems to reflect both increased size (benefit) and elevation due to road

  3. Effects of short-term fasting on stress physiology, body condition, and locomotor activity in wintering male white-crowned sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Jesse S; Pérez, Jonathan H; Meddle, Simone L; Wingfield, John C

    2017-08-01

    For wild free-living animals the availability of food resources can be greatly affected by environmental perturbations such as weather events. In response to environmental perturbations, animals activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to adjust physiology and behavior. The literature asserts that during weather events food intake declines leading to changes in HPA axis activity, as measured by both baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid concentrations. Here we investigated how body condition, locomotor activity, and stress physiology were affected by varying lengths of a fast (1, 2, 6, and 24h; similar to that experienced by free-living birds) compared to when food was provided ad libitum in captive wintering male white-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, exposed to a short day photoperiod. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were increased for all fasting durations but were highest in 6 and 24h fasted birds. Stress-induced corticosterone was elevated in 1h fasted birds with a trend for the 2h of fast; no other differences were found. Baseline corticosterone concentrations were negatively related to both total fat scores and body mass. All birds lost body mass regardless of fast length but birds fasted for 24h lost the most. Fat scores declined in the 6 and 24h groups, and no measureable changes were detected in pectoralis muscle profile. Locomotor activity was increased over the entire period in which food was removed regardless of fasting duration. Together this suggests that reduced food availability is responsible, at least in part, for the rapid elevation both baseline corticosterone under any duration of fast and stress-induced concentrations during short-term fasts. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Comparative BAC-based mapping in the white-throated sparrow, a novel behavioral genomics model, using interspecies overgo hybridization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonser Rusty A

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genomics era has produced an arsenal of resources from sequenced organisms allowing researchers to target species that do not have comparable mapping and sequence information. These new "non-model" organisms offer unique opportunities to examine environmental effects on genomic patterns and processes. Here we use comparative mapping as a first step in characterizing the genome organization of a novel animal model, the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, which occurs as white or tan morphs that exhibit alternative behaviors and physiology. Morph is determined by the presence or absence of a complex chromosomal rearrangement. This species is an ideal model for behavioral genomics because the association between genotype and phenotype is absolute, making it possible to identify the genomic bases of phenotypic variation. Findings We initiated a genomic study in this species by characterizing the white-throated sparrow BAC library via filter hybridization with overgo probes designed for the chicken, turkey, and zebra finch. Cross-species hybridization resulted in 640 positive sparrow BACs assigned to 77 chicken loci across almost all macro-and microchromosomes, with a focus on the chromosomes associated with morph. Out of 216 overgos, 36% of the probes hybridized successfully, with an average number of 3.0 positive sparrow BACs per overgo. Conclusions These data will be utilized for determining chromosomal architecture and for fine-scale mapping of candidate genes associated with phenotypic differences. Our research confirms the utility of interspecies hybridization for developing comparative maps in other non-model organisms.

  5. Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato spirochetes in wild birds in northwestern California: associations with ecological factors, bird behavior and tick infestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Erica A; Eisen, Lars; Eisen, Rebecca J; Fedorova, Natalia; Hasty, Jeomhee M; Vaughn, Charles; Lane, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    Although Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) are found in a great diversity of vertebrates, most studies in North America have focused on the role of mammals as spirochete reservoir hosts. We investigated the roles of birds as hosts for subadult Ixodes pacificus ticks and potential reservoirs of the Lyme disease spirochete B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.) in northwestern California. Overall, 623 birds representing 53 species yielded 284 I. pacificus larvae and nymphs. We used generalized linear models and zero-inflated negative binomial models to determine associations of bird behaviors, taxonomic relationships and infestation by I. pacificus with borrelial infection in the birds. Infection status in birds was best explained by taxonomic order, number of infesting nymphs, sampling year, and log-transformed average body weight. Presence and counts of larvae and nymphs could be predicted by ground- or bark-foraging behavior and contact with dense oak woodland. Molecular analysis yielded the first reported detection of Borrelia bissettii in birds. Moreover, our data suggest that the Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla), a non-resident species, could be an important reservoir for B. burgdorferi s.s. Of 12 individual birds (9 species) that carried B. burgdorferi s.l.-infected larvae, no birds carried the same genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l. in their blood as were present in the infected larvae removed from them. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed. Our study is the first to explicitly incorporate both taxonomic relationships and behaviors as predictor variables to identify putative avian reservoirs of B. burgdorferi s.l. Our findings underscore the importance of bird behavior to explain local tick infestation and Borrelia infection in these animals, and suggest the potential for bird-mediated geographic spread of vector ticks and spirochetes in the far-western United States.

  6. Long distance migratory songbirds respond to extremes in arctic seasonality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, N.; Asmus, A.; Chmura, H.; Krause, J.; Perez, J. H.; Sweet, S. K.; Gough, L.; Wingfield, J.

    2017-12-01

    Arctic regions are warming rapidly, with extreme weather events increasing in frequency, duration and intensity, as in other regions. Many studies have focused on how shifting seasonality in environmental conditions affect the phenology and productivity of vegetation, while far fewer have examined how arctic fauna responds. We studied two species of long-distance migratory songbirds, Lapland longspurs, Calcarius lapponicus, and White-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii, across seven consecutive breeding seasons in northern Alaskan tundra. We aimed to understand how spring environmental conditions affected breeding cycle phenology, food availability, body condition, stress physiology, and ultimately, reproductive success. Spring temperatures, precipitation, storm frequency, and snow-free dates differed significantly among years, with 2013 characterized by unusually late snow cover, and 2015 and 2016 characterized by unusually early snow-free dates and several late spring snowstorms. In response, we found that relative to other study years, there was a significant delay in breeding cycle phenology for both study species in 2013, while breeding cycle phenology was significantly earlier in 2015 only. For both species, we also found significant variation among years in: the seasonal patterns of arthropod availability during the nesting stage; body condition, and; stress physiology. Finally, we found significant variation in reproductive success of both species across years, and that daily survival rates were decreased by snow storm events. Our findings suggest that arctic-breeding passerine communities may be able to adjust phenology to unpredictable shifts in the timing of spring, but extreme conditions during the incubation and nestling stages are detrimental to reproductive success.

  7. Environment, behavior and physiology: do birds use barometric pressure to predict storms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuner, Creagh W; Sprague, Rachel S; Patterson, Stephen H; Woods, H Arthur

    2013-06-01

    Severe storms can pose a grave challenge to the temperature and energy homeostasis of small endothermic vertebrates. Storms are accompanied by lower temperatures and wind, increasing metabolic expenditure, and can inhibit foraging, thereby limiting energy intake. To avoid these potential problems, most endotherms have mechanisms for offsetting the energetic risks posed by storms. One possibility is to use cues to predict oncoming storms and to alter physiology and behavior in ways that make survival more likely. Barometric pressure declines predictably before inclement weather, and several lines of evidence indicate that animals alter behavior based on changes in ambient pressure. Here we examined the effects of declining barometric pressure on physiology and behavior in the white-crowned sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys. Using field data from a long-term study, we first evaluated the relationship between barometric pressure, storms and stress physiology in free-living white-crowned sparrows. We then manipulated barometric pressure experimentally in the laboratory and determined how it affects activity, food intake, metabolic rates and stress physiology. The field data showed declining barometric pressure in the 12-24 h preceding snowstorms, but we found no relationship between barometric pressure and stress physiology. The laboratory study showed that declining barometric pressure stimulated food intake, but had no effect on metabolic rate or stress physiology. These data suggest that white-crowned sparrows can sense and respond to declining barometric pressure, and we propose that such an ability may be common in wild vertebrates, especially small ones for whom individual storms can be life-threatening events.

  8. Inventory of montane-nesting birds in Katmai and Lake Clark national parks and preserves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, Lee; Gill, Robert E.; Handel, Colleen M.

    2007-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program, biologists from the U. S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center conducted an inventory of birds in montane regions of Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks and Preserves during 2004–2006. We used a stratified random survey design to allocate samples by ecological subsection. To survey for birds, we conducted counts at 468 points across 29, 10-km x 10-km (6.2-mi x 6.2-mi) sample plots in Katmai and 417 points across 25, 10-km x 10-km sample plots in Lake Clark. We detected 92 and 104 species in Katmai and Lake Clark, respectively, including 40 species of conservation concern. We detected three species not previously recorded in Katmai (Ring-necked Duck [Aythya collaris], Lesser Scaup [Aythya affinis], and White-tailed Ptarmigan [Lagopus leucurus]) and two species not previously recorded in Lake Clark (Northern Flicker [Colaptes auratus ] and Olive-sided Flycatcher [Contopus cooperi]). The most commonly detected species in both parks was Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla); Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) and American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) were abundant and widely-distributed as well. We defined sites as low (100–350 m), middle (351–600 m), or high (601–1,620 m) elevation based on the distribution of vegetation cover, and similarly categorized the 34 most-commonly detected species based on the mean elevation of sample points at which they were detected. High elevation (i.e., alpine) sites were characterized by high percent cover of dwarf shrub and bare ground habitat and supported species like Rock Ptarmigan (L. mutus), American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica), Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana), Surfbird (Aphriza virgata), and Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis), all species of conservation concern. This inventory represents the first systematic survey of birds nesting in montane regions of both parks. Results from this inventory can form the foundation of

  9. White-crowned sparrow males show immediate flexibility in song amplitude but not in song minimum frequency in response to changes in noise levels in the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derryberry, Elizabeth P; Gentry, Katherine; Derryberry, Graham E; Phillips, Jennifer N; Danner, Raymond M; Danner, Julie E; Luther, David A

    2017-07-01

    The soundscape acts as a selective agent on organisms that use acoustic signals to communicate. A number of studies document variation in structure, amplitude, or timing of signal production in correspondence with environmental noise levels thus supporting the hypothesis that organisms are changing their signaling behaviors to avoid masking. The time scale at which organisms respond is of particular interest. Signal structure may evolve across generations through processes such as cultural or genetic transmission. Individuals may also change their behavior during development (ontogenetic change) or in real time (i.e., immediate flexibility). These are not mutually exclusive mechanisms, and all must be investigated to understand how organisms respond to selection pressures from the soundscape. Previous work on white-crowned sparrows ( Zonotrichia leucophrys ) found that males holding territories in louder areas tend to sing higher frequency songs and that both noise levels and song frequency have increased over time (30 years) in urban areas. These previous findings suggest that songs are changing across generations; however, it is not known if this species also exhibits immediate flexibility. Here, we conducted an exploratory, observational study to ask whether males change the minimum frequency of their song in response to immediate changes in noise levels. We also ask whether males sing louder, as increased minimum frequency may be physiologically linked to producing sound at higher amplitudes, in response to immediate changes in environmental noise. We found that territorial males adjust song amplitude but not minimum frequency in response to changes in environmental noise levels. Our results suggest that males do not show immediate flexibility in song minimum frequency, although experimental manipulations are needed to test this hypothesis further. Our work highlights the need to investigate multiple mechanisms of adaptive response to soundscapes.

  10. In vitro antibacterial, antioxidant and cytotoxic activity of acetone leaf extracts of nine under-investigated Fabaceae tree species leads to potentially useful extracts in animal health and productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dzoyem, Jean P; McGaw, Lyndy J; Eloff, Jacobus N

    2014-05-05

    The Fabaceae family is the second largest family of medicinal plants, containing more than 490 species which are being used as traditional medicine. The aim of this study was to determine the antioxidant and antibacterial activity as well as the cytotoxicity of acetone leaf extracts of nine tree species from the Fabaceae family that have not been investigated well previously for possible use in animal health and production. The antibacterial activity was determined by a serial microdilution method against three Gram-positive and three Gram-negative bacteria. Antioxidant activity was determined using free-radical scavenging assays. The safety of the extracts was ascertained using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay on Vero African green monkey kidney cells. Six of the nine acetone extracts had significant antibacterial activity against at least one of the six bacterial species with (MIC 20-80 μg/mL). The Crotalaria capensis extract had the highest activity against Salmonella typhimurium, followed by Indigofera cylindrica with MICs of 20 μg/mL and 40 μg/mL respectively. The Dalbergia nitidula extract had free radical scavenging capacity (IC50 of 9.31±2.14 μg/mL) close to that of the positive control Trolox in the DPPH assay. The Xylia torreana extract also had high activity (IC50 of 14.56±3.96 μg/mL) in the ABTS assay. There was a good correlation between antioxidant activity and total phenolic content (R2 values>0.8). The extracts had weak or no toxicity to Vero cells, compared to the positive control doxorubicin with the LC50 varying from 10.70±3.47 to 131.98±24.87 μg/mL at the concentrations tested. Extracts of D. nitidula, X. torreana, C. capensis and I. cylindrica had a low cytotoxicity and high antimicrobial and/or antioxidant activity. These species are therefore promising candidates for the development of useful antimicrobial/antioxidant preparations with a low cytotoxicity that may be useful in promoting

  11. Coping with Salt Water Habitats: Metabolic and Oxidative Responses to Salt Intake in the Rufous-Collared Sparrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Sabat

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Many physiological adjustments occur in response to salt intake in several marine taxa, which manifest at different scales from changes in the concentration of individual molecules to physical traits of whole organisms. Little is known about the influence of salinity on the distribution, physiological performance, and ecology of passerines; specifically, the impact of drinking water salinity on the oxidative status of birds has been largely ignored. In this study, we evaluated whether experimental variations in the salt intake of a widely-distributed passerine (Zontotrichia capensis could generate differences in basal (BMR and maximum metabolic rates (Msum, as well as affect metabolic enzyme activity and oxidative status. We measured rates of energy expenditure of birds after 30-d acclimation to drink salt (SW or tap (fresh water (TW and assessed changes in the activity of mitochondrial enzymes (cytochrome c oxidase and citrate synthase in skeletal muscle, heart, and kidney. Finally, we evaluated the oxidative status of bird tissues by means of total antioxidant capacity (TAC and superoxide dismutase activities and lipid oxidative damage (Malondialdehyde, MDA. The results revealed a significant increase in BMR but not Msum, which resulted in a reduction in factorial aerobic scope in SW- vs. TW-acclimated birds. These changes were paralleled with increased kidney and intestine masses and catabolic activities in tissues, especially in pectoralis muscle. We also found that TAC and MDA concentrations were ~120 and ~400% higher, respectively in the liver of animals acclimated to the SW- vs. TW-treatment. Our study is the first to document changes in the oxidative status in birds that persistently drink saltwater, and shows that they undergo several physiological adjustments that range that range in scale from biochemical capacities (e.g., TAC and MDA to whole organism traits (e.g., metabolic rates. We propose that the physiological changes observed

  12. Occurrence of plastic particles in procellariiforms, south of São Paulo state (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edison Barbieri

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Seabirds ingest plastic particles floating on the surface of the world's oceans. The birds can ingest plastic particles that they mistakenly identify as prey items. Alternatively, plastics can be taken up in the stomach contents of prey species. Plastic is often passed from parents to chicks in regurgitated food. In this study, individual petrels and albatrosses brought in by the tide onto Ilha Comprida beach between January 2000 and December 2002 were collected. Ilha Comprida, a barrier island in southern São Paulo, Brazil, was traversed by car along a transect of 70 kilometers. A total of 110 birds of 10 species were collected and 64.54% had plastic particles in their stomach. Frequencies of occurrence were Macronectes giganteus (64.28%, Thalassarche melanophrys (73.07%, Thalassarche chlororhinchos (44.44%, Puffinus puffinus (85.71%, Puffinus gravis (7.41%, Puffinus griseus (63.63%, Fumarus glacialoides (33.33%, Daption capensis (75%, Pachyptila belcheri (33.33%, Procellaria aequinoctialis (25%. These results demonstrated the extent of contamination with plastic and the possible harmful effects on seabirds.As aves marinhas ingerem partículas plásticas que ficam flutuando na superfície dos oceanos. Estes animais podem ingerir as partículas plásticas confundindo com as presas. Alternativamente os plásticos podem vir de presas, as quais os contêm em seus estômagos. Os plásticos podem ainda, serem passados dos pais para os ninhegos, quando regurgitam o alimento. Neste trabalho foram coletados indivíduos de petréis e albatrozes ao longo da praia da Ilha Comprida entre janeiro de 2000 a dezembro de 2002. Para tanto a Ilha Comprida, uma ilha de barreira situada no litoral sul do Estado de São Paulo, foi percorrida de carro ao longo de um transecção de 70 quilômetros.Foram coletados 110 indivíduos de aves de 10 espécies, das quais 64.54% continham partículas plásticas em seus estômagos. As Freqüências de ocorrências foram

  13. BIO-MONITORING FOR URANIUM USING STREAM-SIDE TERRESTRIAL PLANTS AND MACROPHYTES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caldwell, E.; Duff, M.; Hicks, T.; Coughlin, D.; Hicks, R.; Dixon, E.

    2012-01-12

    This study evaluated the abilities of various plant species to act as bio-monitors for environmental uranium (U) contamination. Vegetation and soil samples were collected from a U processing facility. The water-way fed from facility storm and processing effluents was the focal sample site as it represented a primary U transport mechanism. Soils and sediments from areas exposed to contamination possessed U concentrations that averaged 630 mg U kg{sup -1}. Aquatic mosses proved to be exceptional accumulators of U with dry weight (dw) concentrations measuring as high as 12500 mg U kg{sup -1} (approximately 1% of the dw mass was attributable to U). The macrophytes (Phragmites communis, Scripus fontinalis and Sagittaria latifolia) were also effective accumulators of U. In general, plant roots possessed higher concentrations of U than associated upper portions of plants. For terrestrial plants, the roots of Impatiens capensis had the highest observed levels of U accumulation (1030 mg kg{sup -1}), followed by the roots of Cyperus esculentus and Solidago speciosa. The concentration ratio (CR) characterized dry weight (dw) vegetative U levels relative to that in associated dw soil. The plant species that accumulated U at levels in excess of that found in the soil were: P. communis root (CR, 17.4), I. capensis root (CR, 3.1) and S. fontinalis whole plant (CR, 1.4). Seven of the highest ten CR values were found in the roots. Correlations with concentrations of other metals with U were performed, which revealed that U concentrations in the plant were strongly correlated with nickel (Ni) concentrations (correlation: 0.992; r-squared: 0.984). Uranium in plant tissue was also strongly correlated with strontium (Sr) (correlation: 0.948; r-squared: 0.899). Strontium is chemically and physically similar to calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg), which were also positively-correlated with U. The correlation with U and these plant nutrient minerals, including iron (Fe), suggests that active

  14. Parrots Eat Nutritious Foods despite Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilardi, James D.

    2012-01-01

    scarce for other frugivores and granivores. PMID:22679496

  15. Composition, diversity and foraging guilds of avifauna in a suburban area of southern West Bengal, India

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    Mukhopadhyay Shiladitya

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Avian communities are very good indicators of any ecosystem. Despite the alarming consequences of rapid urbanization, studies of avian diversity in the human-dominated landscapes of India are very few. Therefore, we studied the avian assemblage of Bongaon in southern West Bengal, India, a suburban area whose avifauna has thus far remained undocumented. Bird surveys were carried out from June 2015 to May 2016, following the fixed-radius (25 m point count method together with opportunistic observations. We recorded 119 avian species belonging to 53 families. Ardeidae was the most diverse avian family in the study area (RDi value = 5.882. Among the recorded avifauna, 89 species were resident, 26 species were winter visitors, three species were summer visitors, and one species was a passage migrant. Species richness of the resident and passage migrant species did not vary seasonally, while the winter and summer visitors displayed significant seasonal variation. In this suburban area, the species richness of feeding guilds varied significantly. Most birds were insectivorous (41.2%, followed by carnivorous (24.4%, omnivorous (18.5%, granivorous (7.6%, frugivorous (3.4%, nectarivorous (3.4% and herbivorous species (1.7%. Maximum species richness was recorded in November and minimum species richness in July. Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus and Alexandrine Parakeet Psittacula eupatria are two near-threatened species found in this region. Interestingly, six species having a globally declining trend are still very common in the study area. Long-term studies are required to monitor any change in the avian communities of this suburban landscape resulting from urbanization.

  16. Glucose transporter expression in an avian nectarivore: the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris.

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    Kenneth C Welch

    Full Text Available Glucose transporter (GLUT proteins play a key role in the transport of monosaccharides across cellular membranes, and thus, blood sugar regulation and tissue metabolism. Patterns of GLUT expression, including the insulin-responsive GLUT4, have been well characterized in mammals. However, relatively little is known about patterns of GLUT expression in birds with existing data limited to the granivorous or herbivorous chicken, duck and sparrow. The smallest avian taxa, hummingbirds, exhibit some of the highest fasted and fed blood glucose levels and display an unusual ability to switch rapidly and completely between endogenous fat and exogenous sugar to fuel energetically expensive hovering flight. Despite this, nothing is known about the GLUT transporters that enable observed rapid rates of carbohydrate flux. We examined GLUT (GLUT1, 2, 3, & 4 expression in pectoralis, leg muscle, heart, liver, kidney, intestine and brain from both zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris. mRNA expression of all four transporters was probed using reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR. In addition, GLUT1 and 4 protein expression were assayed by western blot and immunostaining. Patterns of RNA and protein expression of GLUT1-3 in both species agree closely with published reports from other birds and mammals. As in other birds, and unlike in mammals, we did not detect GLUT4. A lack of GLUT4 correlates with hyperglycemia and an uncoupling of exercise intensity and relative oxidation of carbohydrates in hummingbirds. The function of GLUTs present in hummingbird muscle tissue (e.g. GLUT1 and 3 remain undescribed. Thus, further work is necessary to determine if high capillary density, and thus surface area across which cellular-mediated transport of sugars into active tissues (e.g. muscle occurs, rather than taxon-specific differences in GLUT density or kinetics, can account for observed rapid rates of sugar flux into these

  17. Functional morphology of the cranio-mandibular complex of the Guira cuckoo (Aves).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestoni, Sofía; Degrange, Federico Javier; Tambussi, Claudia Patricia; Demmel Ferreira, María Manuela; Tirao, Germán Alfredo

    2018-06-01

    The cranio-mandibular complex is an important structure involved in food capture and processing. Its morphology is related to the nature of the food item. Jaw muscles enable the motion of this complex and their study is essential for functional and evolutionary analysis. The present study compares available behavioral and dietary data obtained from the literature with novel results from functional morphological analyses of the cranio-mandibular complex of the Guira cuckoo (Guira guira) to understand its relationship with the zoophagous trophic habit of this species. The bite force was estimated based on muscle dissections, measurements of the physiological cross-sectional area, and biomechanical modeling of the skull. The results were compared with the available functional morphological data for other birds. The standardized bite force of G. guira is higher than predicted for exclusively zoophagous birds, but lower than for granivorous and/or omnivorous birds. Guira guira possesses the generalized jaw muscular system of neognathous birds, but some features can be related to its trophic habit. The external adductor muscles act mainly during food item processing and multiple aspects of this muscle group are interpreted to increase bite force, that is, their high values of muscle mass, their mechanical advantage (MA), and their perpendicular orientation when the beak is closed. The m. depressor mandibulae and the m. pterygoideus dorsalis et ventralis are interpreted to prioritize speed of action (low MA values), being most important during prey capture. The supposed ecological significance of these traits is the potential to widen the range of prey size that can be processed and the possibility of rapidly capturing agile prey through changes in the leverage of the muscles involved in opening and closing of the bill. This contributes to the trophic versatility of the species and its ability to thrive in different habitats, including urban areas. © 2018 Wiley

  18. Bird Responses to Lowland Rainforest Conversion in Sumatran Smallholder Landscapes, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabowo, Walesa Edho; Darras, Kevin; Clough, Yann; Toledo-Hernandez, Manuel; Arlettaz, Raphael; Mulyani, Yeni A; Tscharntke, Teja

    2016-01-01

    Rapid land-use change in the tropics causes dramatic losses in biodiversity and associated functions. In Sumatra, Indonesia, lowland rainforest has mainly been transformed by smallholders into oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) monocultures, interspersed with jungle rubber (rubber agroforests) and a few forest remnants. In two regions of the Jambi province, we conducted point counts in 32 plots of four different land-use types (lowland rainforest, jungle rubber, rubber plantation and oil palm plantation) as well as in 16 nearby homegardens, representing a small-scale, traditional agricultural system. We analysed total bird abundance and bird abundance in feeding guilds, as well as species richness per point count visit, per plot, and per land-use system, to unveil the conservation importance and functional responses of birds in the different land-use types. In total, we identified 71 species from 24 families. Across the different land-use types, abundance did not significantly differ, but both species richness per visit and per plot were reduced in plantations. Feeding guild abundances between land-use types were variable, but homegardens were dominated by omnivores and granivores, and frugivorous birds were absent from monoculture rubber and oil palm. Jungle rubber played an important role in harbouring forest bird species and frugivores. Homegardens turned out to be of minor importance for conserving birds due to their low sizes, although collectively, they are used by many bird species. Changes in functional composition with land-use conversion may affect important ecosystem functions such as biological pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. In conclusion, maintaining forest cover, including degraded forest and jungle rubber, is of utmost importance to the conservation of functional and taxonomic bird diversity.

  19. Composition of physiologically important fatty acids in great tits differs between urban and rural populations on a seasonal basis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin N Andersson

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Fatty acids (FA have crucial functions in animals, affecting e.g. inflammatory responses, thermoregulation, and cell membrane fluidity. Diet and ambient temperature affect animals’ FA composition, which, in turn, may influence these physiological processes. Great tits (Parus major −common in both urban and rural habitats− are mainly granivorous during winter and insectivorous during summer. These diets show pronounced differences in FA composition. Such variation has context-dependent effects on physiology, because the thermal environment, food availability, and levels of pro-inflammatory environmental stressors differ between urban and rural areas. Thus, we investigated how great tit plasma FA composition varied between urban and rural habitats and across seasons. Eight FAs differed between urban and rural birds. Among these, arachidonic acid (omega (ω-6 polyunsaturated FA with thermoregulatory and pro-inflammatory properties was more abundant in urban than rural birds in winter, whereas ω-3 FAs with anti-inflammatory properties were more abundant in rural birds. The difference in pro- and anti-inflammatory FAs suggest that the negative health effects that urban birds suffer from being exposed to higher levels of pollutants might be enhanced by an elevated inflammatory response. Eight FAs differed between winter and summer birds. This variation reflected the diet change: FAs common in seeds, e.g. oleic- and linoleic acid, were present in higher amounts in winter birds, whereas ω-3 polyunsaturated FAs that are common in caterpillars were more abundant in summer birds. Overall, a larger seasonal variation was seen among the urban birds. This study is the first to reveal a difference in FA composition between urban and rural populations for all animals studied to date. Future experiments should unravel the physiological implications of this variation, and ultimately, link its effects to fitness of animals with different physiological and

  20. Comparison of metabolic substrates in alligators and several birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweazea, Karen L; McMurtry, John P; Elsey, Ruth M; Redig, Patrick; Braun, Eldon J

    2014-08-01

    On average, avian blood glucose concentrations are 1.5-2 times those of mammals of similar mass and high concentrations of insulin are required to lower blood glucose. Whereas considerable data exist for granivorous species, few data are available for plasma metabolic substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations for carnivorous birds and alligators. Birds and mammals with carnivorous diets have higher metabolic rates than animals consuming diets with less protein whereas alligators have low metabolic rates. Therefore, the present study was designed to compare substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations in several birds of prey and a phylogenetically close relative of birds, the alligator. The hypothesis was that the combination of carnivorous diets and high metabolic rates favored the evolution of greater protein and fatty acid utilization leading to insulin resistance and high plasma glucose concentrations in carnivorous birds. In contrast, it was hypothesized that alligators would have low substrate utilization attributable to a low metabolic rate. Fasting plasma substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations were compared for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Avian species had high circulating β-hydroxybutyrate (10-21 mg/dl) compared to alligators (2.81 ± 0.16 mg/dl). In mammals high concentrations of this byproduct of fatty acid utilization are correlated with insulin resistance. Fasting glucose and insulin concentrations were positively correlated in eagles whereas no relationship was found between these variables for owls, hawks or alligators. Additionally, β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were low in alligators. Similar to carnivorous mammals, ingestion of a high protein diet may have favored the utilization of fatty acids and protein for energy thereby promoting the development of insulin

  1. Segregating the Effects of Seed Traits and Common Ancestry of Hardwood Trees on Eastern Gray Squirrel Foraging Decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundaram, Mekala; Willoughby, Janna R; Lichti, Nathanael I; Steele, Michael A; Swihart, Robert K

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of specific seed traits in scatter-hoarded tree species often has been attributed to granivore foraging behavior. However, the degree to which foraging investments and seed traits correlate with phylogenetic relationships among trees remains unexplored. We presented seeds of 23 different hardwood tree species (families Betulaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae) to eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and measured the time and distance travelled by squirrels that consumed or cached each seed. We estimated 11 physical and chemical seed traits for each species, and the phylogenetic relationships between the 23 hardwood trees. Variance partitioning revealed that considerable variation in foraging investment was attributable to seed traits alone (27-73%), and combined effects of seed traits and phylogeny of hardwood trees (5-55%). A phylogenetic PCA (pPCA) on seed traits and tree phylogeny resulted in 2 "global" axes of traits that were phylogenetically autocorrelated at the family and genus level and a third "local" axis in which traits were not phylogenetically autocorrelated. Collectively, these axes explained 30-76% of the variation in squirrel foraging investments. The first global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seed species with thin shells, low lipid and high carbohydrate content, was negatively related to time to consume and cache seeds and travel distance to cache. The second global pPCA axis, which produced large scores for seeds with high protein, low tannin and low dormancy levels, was an important predictor of consumption time only. The local pPCA axis primarily reflected kernel mass. Although it explained only 12% of the variation in trait space and was not autocorrelated among phylogenetic clades, the local axis was related to all four squirrel foraging investments. Squirrel foraging behaviors are influenced by a combination of phylogenetically conserved and more evolutionarily labile seed traits that is consistent with a weak

  2. Seed harvesting by a generalist consumer is context-dependent: Interactive effects across multiple spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Klinger, Rob

    2013-01-01

    Granivore foraging decisions affect consumer success and determine the quantity and spatial pattern of seed survival. These decisions are influenced by environmental variation at spatial scales ranging from landscapes to local foraging patches. In a field experiment, the effects of seed patch variation across three spatial scales on seed removal by western harvester ants Pogonomyrmex occidentalis were evaluated. At the largest scale we assessed harvesting in different plant communities, at the intermediate scale we assessed harvesting at different distances from ant mounds, and at the smallest scale we assessed the effects of interactions among seed species in local seed neighborhoods on seed harvesting (i.e. resource–consumer interface). Selected seed species were presented alone (monospecific treatment) and in mixture with Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass; mixture treatment) at four distances from P. occidentalis mounds in adjacent intact sagebrush and non-native cheatgrass-dominated communities in the Great Basin, Utah, USA. Seed species differed in harvest, with B. tectorum being least preferred. Large and intermediate scale variation influenced harvest. More seeds were harvested in sagebrush than in cheatgrass-dominated communities (largest scale), and the quantity of seed harvested varied with distance from mounds (intermediate-scale), although the form of the distance effect differed between plant communities. At the smallest scale, seed neighborhood affected harvest, but the patterns differed among seed species considered. Ants harvested fewer seeds from mixed-seed neighborhoods than from monospecific neighborhoods, suggesting context dependence and potential associational resistance. Further, the effects of plant community and distance from mound on seed harvest in mixtures differed from their effects in monospecific treatments. Beyond the local seed neighborhood, selection of seed resources is better understood by simultaneously evaluating removal at

  3. Interactions between seed traits and digestive processes determine the germinability of bird-dispersed seeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleyheeg, Erik; Claessens, Mascha; Soons, Merel B

    2018-01-01

    Waterbirds disperse a wide range of plant seeds via their guts, promoting biotic connectivity between isolated habitat patches. However, the intensity of digestive forces encountered by seeds, and therefore their potential to survive digestive tract passage, varies within and between waterbird species. Here, we investigate under controlled conditions how the interaction between seed traits and digestive strategies affect the germinability of seeds following waterbird-mediated dispersal. We exposed seeds of 30 wetland plant species to the main digestive processes in the dabbling duck digestive system: mechanical, chemical and intestinal digestion. These were simulated by 1) a pressure test and scarification treatment, 2) incubation in simulated gastric juice, and 3) incubation in intestinal contents of culled mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). We evaluated their separate and combined effects on seed germination, and identified the role of seed size and seed coat traits in resisting the digestive forces. Seeds were generally resistant to separate digestive processes, but highly sensitive to a combination. Resistance to mechanical break-down was reduced by up to 80% by chemical pre-treatment, especially for seeds with permeable coats. Scarified seeds were 12-17% more vulnerable to chemical and intestinal digestive processes than undamaged seeds. Large seeds and seeds with thin, permeable coats were particularly sensitive to chemical and intestinal digestion. These results indicate that efficient digestion of seeds requires multiple digestive processes. The gizzard, responsible for mechanical digestion, plays a key role in seed survival. Omnivorous birds, which have relatively light gizzards compared to pure herbivores or granivores, are thus most likely to disperse seeds successfully. Regardless of digestive strategy, small seeds with tough seed coats are most resistant to digestion and may be adapted to endozoochorous dispersal by waterbirds.

  4. Parrots eat nutritious foods despite toxins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James D Gilardi

    Full Text Available Generalist herbivores are challenged not only by the low nitrogen and high indigestibility of their plant foods, but also by physical and chemical defenses of plants. This study investigated the foods of wild parrots in the Peruvian Amazon and asked whether these foods contain dietary components that are limiting for generalist herbivores (protein, lipids, minerals and in what quantity; whether parrots chose foods based on nutrient content; and whether parrots avoid plants that are chemically defended.We made 224 field observations of free-ranging parrots of 17 species in 8 genera foraging on 102 species of trees in an undisturbed tropical rainforest, in two dry seasons (July-August 1992-1993 and one wet season (January-February1994. We performed laboratory analyses of parts of plants eaten and not eaten by parrots and brine shrimp assays of toxicity as a proxy for vertebrates. Parrots ate seeds, fruits, flowers, leaves, bark, and insect larvae, but up to 70% of their diet comprised seeds of many species of tropical trees, in various stages of ripeness. Plant parts eaten by parrots were rich in protein, lipid, and essential minerals, as well as potentially toxic chemicals. Seeds were higher than other plant materials in protein and lipid and lower in fiber. Large macaws of three species ate foods higher in protein and lipids and lower in fiber compared to plant parts available but not eaten. Macaws ate foods that were lower in phenolic compounds than foods they avoided. Nevertheless, foods eaten by macaws contained measurable levels of toxicity. Macaws did not appear to make dietary selections based on mineral content.Parrots represent a remarkable example of a generalist herbivore that consumes seeds destructively despite plant chemical defenses. With the ability to eat toxic foods, rainforest-dwelling parrots exploited a diversity of nutritious foods, even in the dry season when food was scarce for other frugivores and granivores.

  5. Aves endêmicas e ameaçadas de extinção da Estação Ecológica de Xitué e a contribuição do taquaruçu Guadua tagoara (Nees Kunth para a riqueza local. Endemic and threatened birds of the Xitué Ecological Station and the contribution of the bamboo Guadua tagoara (Nees Kunth to local richness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexsander Zamorano ANTUNES

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available O contínuo ecológico da Serra deParanapiacaba, no sul do Estado de São Paulo,é uma área de extrema importância para aconservação das aves. Dentro do contínuo, a EstaçãoEcológica de Xitué é a Unidade de Conservaçãocuja avifauna é menos conhecida. Em levantamentoefetuado em 2006 foram registradas em Xitué48 espécies endêmicas da Mata Atlântica e 8ameaçadas de extinção. Apesar de ser a espécievegetal dominante em vastos trechos da estação,o taquaruçu Guadua tagoara (Nees Kunth parececontribuir pouco para a riqueza de espécies de avesencontradas. No entanto, entre estas espécies seencontra o criticamente ameaçado papa-capim-dataquaraSporophila falcirostris, granívoroespecializado em sementes de taquaras.The Paranapiacaba Range ecologicalcontinuum, in State of São Paulo southernBrazil, is an extremely important area to birdconservation. In Paranapiacaba Range the birds ofXitué Ecological Station remains poorly known.We surveyed the Xitué birds in 2006 and we found48 Atlantic Forest endemics species and 8 threatened.Although the bamboo Guadua tagoara (NeesKunth dominate many areas of Xitué, it contributedtoo little for bird richness. However, between thesebird species was the critically endangered Temminck’sSeedeater Sporophila falcirostris, specializedbamboo granivorous.

  6. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael. J.; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  7. Bird Responses to Lowland Rainforest Conversion in Sumatran Smallholder Landscapes, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clough, Yann; Toledo-Hernandez, Manuel; Arlettaz, Raphael; Mulyani, Yeni A.; Tscharntke, Teja

    2016-01-01

    Rapid land-use change in the tropics causes dramatic losses in biodiversity and associated functions. In Sumatra, Indonesia, lowland rainforest has mainly been transformed by smallholders into oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) monocultures, interspersed with jungle rubber (rubber agroforests) and a few forest remnants. In two regions of the Jambi province, we conducted point counts in 32 plots of four different land-use types (lowland rainforest, jungle rubber, rubber plantation and oil palm plantation) as well as in 16 nearby homegardens, representing a small-scale, traditional agricultural system. We analysed total bird abundance and bird abundance in feeding guilds, as well as species richness per point count visit, per plot, and per land-use system, to unveil the conservation importance and functional responses of birds in the different land-use types. In total, we identified 71 species from 24 families. Across the different land-use types, abundance did not significantly differ, but both species richness per visit and per plot were reduced in plantations. Feeding guild abundances between land-use types were variable, but homegardens were dominated by omnivores and granivores, and frugivorous birds were absent from monoculture rubber and oil palm. Jungle rubber played an important role in harbouring forest bird species and frugivores. Homegardens turned out to be of minor importance for conserving birds due to their low sizes, although collectively, they are used by many bird species. Changes in functional composition with land-use conversion may affect important ecosystem functions such as biological pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. In conclusion, maintaining forest cover, including degraded forest and jungle rubber, is of utmost importance to the conservation of functional and taxonomic bird diversity. PMID:27224063

  8. Avian mercury exposure and toxicological risk across western North America: A synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark; Hartman, Christopher; Peterson, Sarah; Evers, David C.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Elliott, John E.; Vander Pol, Stacy S.; Bryan, Colleen E.

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury contamination of the environment is an important issue globally, and birds are useful bioindicators for mercury monitoring programs. The available data on mercury contamination of birds in western North America were synthesized. Original data from multiple databases were obtained and a literature review was conducted to obtain additional mercury concentrations. In total, 29219 original bird mercury concentrations from 225 species were compiled, and an additional 1712 mean mercury concentrations, representing 19998 individuals and 176 species, from 200 publications were obtained. To make mercury data comparable across bird tissues, published equations of tissue mercury correlations were used to convert all mercury concentrations into blood-equivalent mercury concentrations. Blood-equivalent mercury concentrations differed among species, foraging guilds, habitat types, locations, and ecoregions. Piscivores and carnivores exhibited the greatest mercury concentrations, whereas herbivores and granivores exhibited the lowest mercury concentrations. Bird mercury concentrations were greatest in ocean and salt marsh habitats and lowest in terrestrial habitats. Bird mercury concentrations were above toxicity benchmarks in many areas throughout western North America, and multiple hotspots were identified. Additionally, published toxicity benchmarks established in multiple tissues were summarized and translated into a common blood-equivalent mercury concentration. Overall, 66% of birds sampled in western North American exceeded a blood-equivalent mercury concentration of 0.2 μg/g wet weight (ww; above background levels), which is the lowest-observed effect level, 28% exceeded 1.0 μg/g ww (moderate risk), 8% exceeded 3.0 μg/g ww (high risk), and 4% exceeded 4.0 μg/g ww (severe risk). Mercury monitoring programs should sample bird tissues, such as adult blood and eggs, that are most-easily translated into tissues with well-developed toxicity benchmarks and that

  9. Why is seed production so variable among individuals? A ten-year study with oaks reveals the importance of soil environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M; Aponte, Cristina; García, Luis V; Padilla-Díaz, Carmen M; Marañón, Teodoro

    2014-01-01

    Mast-seeding species exhibit not only a large inter-annual variability in seed production but also considerable variability among individuals within the same year. However, very little is known about the causes and consequences for population dynamics of this potentially large between-individual variability. Here, we quantified seed production over ten consecutive years in two Mediterranean oak species - the deciduous Quercus canariensis and the evergreen Q. suber - that coexist in forests of southern Spain. First, we calibrated likelihood models to identify which abiotic and biotic variables best explain the magnitude (hereafter seed productivity) and temporal variation of seed production at the individual level (hereafter CVi), and infer whether reproductive effort results from the available soil resources for the plant or is primarily determined by selectively favoured strategies. Second, we explored the contribution of between-individual variability in seed production as a potential mechanism of satiation for predispersal seed predators. We found that Q. canariensis trees inhabiting moister and more fertile soils were more productive than those growing in more resource-limited sites. Regarding temporal variation, individuals of the two studied oak species inhabiting these resource-rich environments also exhibited larger values of CVi. Interestingly, we detected a satiating effect on granivorous insects at the tree level in Q. suber, which was evident in those years where between-individual variability in acorn production was higher. These findings suggest that individual seed production (both in terms of seed productivity and inter-annual variability) is strongly dependent on soil resource heterogeneity (at least for one of the two studied oak species) with potential repercussions for recruitment and population dynamics. However, other external factors (such as soil heterogeneity in pathogen abundance) or certain inherent characteristics of the tree might be

  10. Migration routes and staging areas of trans-Saharan Turtle Doves appraised from light-level geolocators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril Eraud

    Full Text Available The identification of migration routes, wintering grounds and stopover sites are crucial issues for the understanding of the Palearctic-African bird migration system as well as for the development of relevant conservation strategies for trans-Saharan migrants. Using miniaturized light-level geolocators we report a comprehensive and detailed year round track of a granivorous trans-Saharan migrant, the European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur. From five recovered loggers, our data provide new insights on migratory journeys and winter destinations of Turtle Doves originating from a breeding population in Western France. Data confirm that Turtle Doves wintered in West Africa. The main wintering area encompassed Western Mali, the Inner Delta Niger and the Malian/Mauritanian border. Some individuals also extended their wintering ranges over North Guinea, North-West of Burkina Faso and the Ivory-Coast. Our results reveal that all individuals did not spend the winter period at a single location; some of them experienced a clear eastward shift of several hundred kilometres. We also found evidence for a loop migration pattern, with a post-breeding migration flyway lying west of the spring route. Finally, we found that on their way back to breeding grounds Turtle Doves needed to refuel after crossing the Sahara desert. Contrary to previous suggestions, our data reveal that birds used stopover sites for several weeks, presumably in Morocco and North Algeria. This later finding is a crucial issue for future conservation strategies because environmental conditions on these staging areas might play a pivotal role in population dynamics of this declining species.

  11. Aliens will provide: avian responses to a new temporal resource offered by ornithocorous exotic shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergara-Tabares, David L; Toledo, Martín; García, Emiliano; Peluc, Susana I

    2018-06-26

    Frugivorous birds are able to track spatiotemporal changes in fruit availability. Food resource fluctuations, characteristic of seasonal environments, can be affected by the naturalization of exotic ornithocorous plants. In the mountain forest of central Argentina, invasive shrubs of the genus Pyracantha provide a new temporal resource that modifies fluctuations of natural resource availability because the invasives fructify in autumn-winter (largely uncoupled with the fruiting of native species). The contrasting patterns of resource fluctuation between non-invaded and invaded areas throughout the year provide a good study system to test predictions of the fruit-tracking hypothesis, and to understand the relationship between food resources offered by fleshy fruited invasives and abundances of avian trophic guilds. By means of point counts conducted during five time periods at invaded and non-invaded sites we found that the presence of Pyracantha, and time periods, significantly affected frugivorous bird abundance, which in autumn-winter was greater in invaded sites and in spring-summer similar between invaded and non-invaded sites. On the other hand, granivores and insectivores did not show a significant relationship with the presence of Pyracantha. Abundances of the most common seed disperser were significantly affected by the interaction between time period and presence of Pyracantha. These results indicate that the abundances of birds that legitimately disperse Pyracantha seeds are temporally and spatially associated with fruit abundance provided by this exotic plant. This underscores fruit availability as an important ecological factor affecting frugivorous bird abundance, and suggests that Pyracantha seed dispersers are capable of detecting changes in the availability of its fruit, likely contributing to the effectiveness of its dispersal.

  12. Skylarks trade size and energy content in weed seeds to maximize total ingested lipid biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaba, Sabrina; Collas, Claire; Powolny, Thibaut; Bretagnolle, François; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2014-10-01

    The trade-off between forage quality and quantity has been particularly studied in herbivore organisms, but much less for seed eating animals, in particular seed-eating birds which constitute the bulk of wintering passerines in European farmlands. The skylark is one of the commonest farmland birds in winter, mainly feeding on seeds. We focus on weed seeds for conservation and management purposes. Weed seeds form the bulk of the diet of skylarks during winter period, and although this is still a matter for discussion, weed seed predation by granivorous has been suggested as an alternative to herbicides used to regulate weed populations in arable crops. Our objectives were to identify whether weed seed traits govern foraging decisions of skylarks, and to characterize key seed traits with respect to size, which is related to searching and handling time, and lipid content, which is essential for migratory birds. We combined a single-offer experiment and a multiple-offer one to test for feeding preferences of the birds by estimating seed intake on weed seed species differing in their seed size and seed lipid content. Our results showed (1) a selective preference for smaller seeds above a threshold of seed size or seed size difference in the pair and, (2) a significant effect of seed lipid biomass suggesting a trade-off between foraging for smaller seeds and selecting seeds rich in lipids. Skylarks foraging decision thus seems to be mainly based on seed size, that is presumably a 'proxy' for weed seed energy content. However, there are clearly many possible combinations of morphological and physiological traits that must play crucial role in the plant-bird interaction such as toxic compound or seed coat. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

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    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  14. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina.

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    Andrea Paula Goijman

    Full Text Available Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow

  15. Bird Responses to Lowland Rainforest Conversion in Sumatran Smallholder Landscapes, Indonesia.

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    Walesa Edho Prabowo

    Full Text Available Rapid land-use change in the tropics causes dramatic losses in biodiversity and associated functions. In Sumatra, Indonesia, lowland rainforest has mainly been transformed by smallholders into oil palm (Elaeis guineensis and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis monocultures, interspersed with jungle rubber (rubber agroforests and a few forest remnants. In two regions of the Jambi province, we conducted point counts in 32 plots of four different land-use types (lowland rainforest, jungle rubber, rubber plantation and oil palm plantation as well as in 16 nearby homegardens, representing a small-scale, traditional agricultural system. We analysed total bird abundance and bird abundance in feeding guilds, as well as species richness per point count visit, per plot, and per land-use system, to unveil the conservation importance and functional responses of birds in the different land-use types. In total, we identified 71 species from 24 families. Across the different land-use types, abundance did not significantly differ, but both species richness per visit and per plot were reduced in plantations. Feeding guild abundances between land-use types were variable, but homegardens were dominated by omnivores and granivores, and frugivorous birds were absent from monoculture rubber and oil palm. Jungle rubber played an important role in harbouring forest bird species and frugivores. Homegardens turned out to be of minor importance for conserving birds due to their low sizes, although collectively, they are used by many bird species. Changes in functional composition with land-use conversion may affect important ecosystem functions such as biological pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal. In conclusion, maintaining forest cover, including degraded forest and jungle rubber, is of utmost importance to the conservation of functional and taxonomic bird diversity.

  16. Temporal and Spatial Scales Matter: Circannual Habitat Selection by Bird Communities in Vineyards.

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    Claire Guyot

    Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of

  17. Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, B M; Pearson, D E; Mack, R N

    2014-07-01

    Seed predation is an important biotic filter that can influence abundance and spatial distributions of native species through differential effects on recruitment. This filter may also influence the relative abundance of nonnative plants within habitats and the communities' susceptibility to invasion via differences in granivore identity, abundance, and food preference. We evaluated the effect of postdispersal seed predators on the establishment of invasive, naturalized, and native species within and between adjacent forest and steppe communities of eastern Washington, USA that differ in severity of plant invasion. Seed removal from trays placed within guild-specific exclosures revealed that small mammals were the dominant seed predators in both forest and steppe. Seeds of invasive species (Bromus tectorum, Cirsium arvense) were removed significantly less than the seeds of native (Pseudoroegneria spicata, Balsamorhiza sagittata) and naturalized (Secale cereale, Centaurea cyanus) species. Seed predation limited seedling emergence and establishment in both communities in the absence of competition in a pattern reflecting natural plant abundance: S. cereale was most suppressed, B. tectorum was least suppressed, and P. spicata was suppressed at an intermediate level. Furthermore, seed predation reduced the residual seed bank for all species. Seed mass correlated with seed removal rates in the forest and their subsequent effects on plant recruitment; larger seeds were removed at higher rates than smaller seeds. Our vegetation surveys indicate higher densities and canopy cover of nonnative species occur in the steppe compared with the forest understory, suggesting the steppe may be more susceptible to invasion. Seed predation alone, however, did not result in significant differences in establishment for any species between these communities, presumably due to similar total small-mammal abundance between communities. Consequently, preferential seed predation by small

  18. Interactions between seed traits and digestive processes determine the germinability of bird-dispersed seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soons, Merel B.

    2018-01-01

    Waterbirds disperse a wide range of plant seeds via their guts, promoting biotic connectivity between isolated habitat patches. However, the intensity of digestive forces encountered by seeds, and therefore their potential to survive digestive tract passage, varies within and between waterbird species. Here, we investigate under controlled conditions how the interaction between seed traits and digestive strategies affect the germinability of seeds following waterbird-mediated dispersal. We exposed seeds of 30 wetland plant species to the main digestive processes in the dabbling duck digestive system: mechanical, chemical and intestinal digestion. These were simulated by 1) a pressure test and scarification treatment, 2) incubation in simulated gastric juice, and 3) incubation in intestinal contents of culled mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). We evaluated their separate and combined effects on seed germination, and identified the role of seed size and seed coat traits in resisting the digestive forces. Seeds were generally resistant to separate digestive processes, but highly sensitive to a combination. Resistance to mechanical break-down was reduced by up to 80% by chemical pre-treatment, especially for seeds with permeable coats. Scarified seeds were 12–17% more vulnerable to chemical and intestinal digestive processes than undamaged seeds. Large seeds and seeds with thin, permeable coats were particularly sensitive to chemical and intestinal digestion. These results indicate that efficient digestion of seeds requires multiple digestive processes. The gizzard, responsible for mechanical digestion, plays a key role in seed survival. Omnivorous birds, which have relatively light gizzards compared to pure herbivores or granivores, are thus most likely to disperse seeds successfully. Regardless of digestive strategy, small seeds with tough seed coats are most resistant to digestion and may be adapted to endozoochorous dispersal by waterbirds. PMID:29614085

  19. A junk-food hypothesis for gannets feeding on fishery waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grémillet, David; Pichegru, Lorien; Kuntz, Grégoire; Woakes, Anthony G; Wilkinson, Sarah; Crawford, Robert J.M; Ryan, Peter G

    2008-01-01

    Worldwide fisheries generate large volumes of fishery waste and it is often assumed that this additional food is beneficial to populations of marine top-predators. We challenge this concept via a detailed study of foraging Cape gannets Morus capensis and of their feeding environment in the Benguela upwelling zone. The natural prey of Cape gannets (pelagic fishes) is depleted and birds now feed extensively on fishery wastes. These are beneficial to non-breeding birds, which show reduced feeding effort and high survival. By contrast, breeding gannets double their diving effort in an attempt to provision their chicks predominantly with high-quality, live pelagic fishes. Owing to a scarcity of this resource, they fail and most chicks die. Our study supports the junk-food hypothesis for Cape gannets since it shows that non-breeding birds can survive when complementing their diet with fishery wastes, but that they struggle to reproduce if live prey is scarce. This is due to the negative impact of low-quality fishery wastes on the growth patterns of gannet chicks. Marine management policies should not assume that fishery waste is generally beneficial to scavenging seabirds and that an abundance of this artificial resource will automatically inflate their populations. PMID:18270155

  20. A molecular phylogeny of scaly tree ferns (Cyatheaceae).

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    Korall, Petra; Conant, David S; Metzgar, Jordan S; Schneider, Harald; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2007-05-01

    Tree ferns recently were identified as the closest sister group to the hyperdiverse clade of ferns, the polypods. Although most of the 600 species of tree ferns are arborescent, the group encompasses a wide range of morphological variability, from diminutive members to the giant scaly tree ferns, Cyatheaceae. This well-known family comprises most of the tree fern diversity (∼500 species) and is widespread in tropical, subtropical, and south temperate regions of the world. Here we investigate the phylogenetic relationships of scaly tree ferns based on DNA sequence data from five plastid regions (rbcL, rbcL-accD IGS, rbcL-atpB IGS, trnG-trnR, and trnL-trnF). A basal dichotomy resolves Sphaeropteris as sister to all other taxa and scale features support these two clades: Sphaeropteris has conform scales, whereas all other taxa have marginate scales. The marginate-scaled clade consists of a basal trichotomy, with the three groups here termed (1) Cyathea (including Cnemidaria, Hymenophyllopsis, Trichipteris), (2) Alsophila sensu stricto, and (3) Gymnosphaera (previously recognized as a section within Alsophila) + A. capensis. Scaly tree ferns display a wide range of indusial structures, and although indusium shape is homoplastic it does contain useful phylogenetic information that supports some of the larger clades recognised.

  1. Phenolic metabolites in carnivorous plants: Inter-specific comparison and physiological studies.

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    Kováčik, Jozef; Klejdus, Bořivoj; Repčáková, Klára

    2012-03-01

    Despite intensive phytochemical research, data related to the accumulation of phenols in carnivorous plants include mainly qualitative reports. We have quantified phenolic metabolites in three species: Drosera capensis, Dionaea muscipula and Nepenthes anamensis in the "leaf" (assimilatory part) and the "trap" (digestive part). For comparison, commercial green tea was analysed. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activities in Dionaea and Nepenthes were higher in the trap than in the leaf while the opposite was found in Drosera. Soluble phenols and majority of phenolic acids were mainly accumulated in the trap among species. Flavonoids were abundant in Drosera and Dionaea traps but not in Nepenthes. Phenolic acids were preferentially accumulated in a glycosidically-bound form and gallic acid was the main metabolite. Green tea contained more soluble phenols and phenolic acids but less quercetin. In vitro experiments with Drosera spathulata revealed that nitrogen deficiency enhances PAL activity, accumulation of phenols and sugars while PAL inhibitor (2-aminoindane-2-phosphonic acid) depleted phenols and some amino acids (but free phenylalanine and sugars were elevated). Possible explanations in physiological, biochemical and ecological context are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. In vitro evaluering van die effektiwiteit van vyf plante wat tradisioneel teen seksueel oordraagbare siektes gebruik word

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    H. Swart

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available Tot soveel as 60% van die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking raadpleeg tradisionele genesers vir siektetoestande, insluitende seksueel oordraagbare siektes (SOS. Medisinale plante speel ’n belangrike rol in die behandeling van SOS deur tradisionele genesers, maar sonder enige wetenskaplike bewyse van effektiwiteit. Vir hierdie studie is 5 plante vanuit die literatuur gekies op grond van hul gebruik deur tradisionele genesers vir die behandeling van SOS. Siftingstoetse vir die bepaling van aktiwiteit teen bakterieë en teen SOS is op die plante uitgevoer. Die plante was Clematis brachiata, Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Lepidium bonariense, Ranunculus multifidus en Typha capensis. Siftingstoetse is uitgevoer met die organismes Candida albicans, Neisseria gonorrhoeae en Haemophilus ducreyi wat met SOS geassosieer word, terwyl Bacillus subtilus, Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter sp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa en Aspergillus niger ook in die siftingstoetse ingesluit is. Slegs Lepidium bonariense het aktiwiteit teen die gebruikte organismes getoon. Dit is dus duidelik dat daar ’n behoefte bestaan om die effektiwiteit van medisinale plante wetenskaplik te bepaal en te kommunikeer.

  3. Molecular and Morphological Differentiation of Common Dolphins (Delphinus sp.) in the Southwestern Atlantic: Testing the Two Species Hypothesis in Sympatry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunha, Haydée A.; de Castro, Rocio Loizaga; Secchi, Eduardo R.; Crespo, Enrique A.; Lailson-Brito, José; Azevedo, Alexandre F.; Lazoski, Cristiano; Solé-Cava, Antonio M.

    2015-01-01

    The taxonomy of common dolphins (Delphinus sp.) has always been controversial, with over twenty described species since the original description of the type species of the genus (Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758). Two species and four subspecies are currently accepted, but recent molecular data have challenged this view. In this study we investigated the molecular taxonomy of common dolphins through analyses of cytochrome b sequences of 297 individuals from most of their distribution. We included 37 novel sequences from the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, a region where the short- and long-beaked morphotypes occur in sympatry, but which had not been well sampled before. Skulls of individuals from the Southwestern Atlantic were measured to test the validity of the rostral index as a diagnostic character and confirmed the presence of the two morphotypes in our genetic sample. Our genetic results show that all common dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean belong to a single species, Delphinus delphis. According to genetic data, the species Delphinus capensis is invalid. Long-beaked common dolphins from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean may constitute a different species. Our conclusions prompt the need for revision of currently accepted common dolphin species and subspecies and of Delphinus delphis distribution. PMID:26559411

  4. Two new species of Quasithelazia Maplestone, 1932 (Nematoda: Acuariidae) from Malaysia, with an amended diagnosis and review of the genus.

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    Mutafchiev, Yasen; Mariaux, Jean; Georgiev, Boyko B

    2014-06-01

    Quazithelazia rostrata n. sp. from Ceyx erithaca (L.) (type-host) and Alcedo euryzona Temminck (Coraciiformes, Alcedinidae) and Q. alata n. sp. from Enicurus ruficapillus Temminck (Passeriformes, Muscicapidae) are described from vicinities of Gombak Biological Station, Selangor, Malaysia; both species are parasitic under the koilin lining of the gizzard. Paratypes of Schistogendra pelargopsis Nandi, De & Majumdar, 1985, a parasite of Pelargopsis capensis (L.) (Alcedinidae) from India, are redescribed and the species is recognised as a junior synonym of the type-species of Quasithelazia, Q. tenuis Maplestone, 1932 (new synonymy), a species originally described from Halcyon smyrnensis (L.) (Alcedinidae) in India. An amended diagnosis of the genus Quasithelazia Maplestone, 1932 is proposed. Currently, this genus includes eight species occurring in the Old World, six of them parasitic in kingfishers (Alcedinidae) and two species parasitic in flycatchers (Muscicapidae). These include, inter alia, Q. halcyoni n. comb. for Viktorocara halcyoni Ryzhikov & Khokhlova, 1964 from Halcyon smyrnensis and H. pileata (Boddaert) in Vietnam and the Russian Far East, Q. microcordonis n. comb. for Rusguniella microcordonis Schmidt & Kuntz, 1971 from Halcyon coromanda major (Temminck & Schlegel) in Taiwan and Q. multipapillata n. comb. for Schistogendra multipapillata Zhang, 1993 from Tarsiger cyanurus (Pallas) (Muscicapidae) in China. Comparative morphological data for Quasithelazia spp. are presented. Schistogendra oligopapillata Zhang & An, 2002 from domestic ducks in China is considered a species incertae sedis.

  5. Detection of relapsing fever Borrelia spp., Bartonella spp. and Anaplasmataceae bacteria in argasid ticks in Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafri, Ismail; El Hamzaoui, Basma; Bitam, Idir; Leulmi, Hamza; Lalout, Reda; Mediannikov, Oleg; Chergui, Mohamed; Karakellah, Mohamed; Raoult, Didier; Parola, Philippe

    2017-11-01

    Argasid ticks (soft ticks) are blood-feeding arthropods that can parasitize rodents, birds, humans, livestock and companion animals. Ticks of the Ornithodoros genus are known to be vectors of relapsing fever borreliosis in humans. In Algeria, little is known about relapsing fever borreliosis and other bacterial pathogens transmitted by argasid ticks. Between May 2013 and October 2015, we investigated the presence of soft ticks in 20 rodent burrows, 10 yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) nests and animal shelters in six locations in two different bioclimatic zones in Algeria. Six species of argasid ticks were identified morphologically and through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The presence and prevalence of Borrelia spp., Bartonella spp., Rickettsia spp. and Anaplasmataceae was assessed by qPCR template assays in each specimen. All qPCR-positive samples were confirmed by standard PCR, followed by sequencing the amplified fragments. Two Borrelia species were identified: Borrelia hispanica in Ornithodoros occidentalis in Mostaganem, and Borrelia cf. turicatae in Carios capensis in Algiers. One new Bartonella genotype and one new Anaplasmataceae genotype were also identified in Argas persicus. The present study highlights the presence of relapsing fever borreliosis agents, although this disease is rarely diagnosed in Algeria. Other bacteria of unknown pathogenicity detected in argasid ticks which may bite humans deserve further investigation.

  6. Diet, dietary selectivity and density of South American grey fox, Lycalopex griseus, in Central Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Pedreros, Andrés; Yáñez, José; Norambuena, Heraldo V; Zúñiga, Alfredo

    2018-01-01

    The South American grey fox Lycalopex griseus is a canid widely distributed in southern South America; however, some aspects of its biology are still poorly known. We studied the diet and density of L. griseus in the Lago Peñuelas Biosphere Reserve, in Central Chile. The trophic niche breadth was B = 6.16 (B sta = 0.47) and prey diversity was H' = 2.46 (H max ' = 3.17, J' = 0.78). The highest proportions of prey consumed in the diet were Oryctolagus cuniculus (52.21%) and other mammals (32.78%). We compared these results with a latitudinal gradient of diet results for this species in Chile. L. griseus eats mostly mammals (>90% of total prey), consuming the rodent Phyllotis darwini and reptiles in the northern zone; Oryctolagus cuniculus, Octodon degus and Abrocoma bennetti in the central zone; Abrothrix spp. and lagomorphs in the southern zone; and Lepus capensis and Ovis aries in the austral zone. The estimated density of L. griseus in Lago Peñuelas NR was 1.3 foxes/km 2 . © 2017 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  7. Molecular methods routinely used to detect Coxiella burnetii in ticks cross-react with Coxiella-like bacteria

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    Jourdain Elsa

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Q fever is a widespread zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii. Ticks may act as vectors, and many epidemiological studies aim to assess C. burnetii prevalence in ticks. Because ticks may also be infected with Coxiella-like bacteria, screening tools that differentiate between C. burnetii and Coxiella-like bacteria are essential. Methods: In this study, we screened tick specimens from 10 species (Ornithodoros rostratus, O. peruvianus, O. capensis, Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus annulatus, R. decoloratus, R. geigy, O. sonrai, O. occidentalis, and Amblyomma cajennense known to harbor specific Coxiella-like bacteria, by using quantitative PCR primers usually considered to be specific for C. burnetii and targeting, respectively, the IS1111, icd, scvA, p1, and GroEL/htpB genes. Results: We found that some Coxiella-like bacteria, belonging to clades A and C, yield positive PCR results when screened with primers initially believed to be C. burnetii-specific. Conclusions: These results suggest that PCR-based surveys that aim to detect C. burnetii in ticks by using currently available methods must be interpreted with caution if the amplified products cannot be sequenced. Future molecular methods that aim at detecting C. burnetii need to take into account the possibility that cross-reactions may exist with Coxiella-like bacteria.

  8. Molecular technique reveals high variability of 18S rDNA distribution in harvestmen (Opiliones, Phalangiidae) from South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šťáhlavský, František; Opatova, Vera; Just, Pavel; Lotz, Leon N; Haddad, Charles R

    2018-01-01

    The knowledge of cytogenetics in the harvestmen family Phalangiidae has been based on taxa from the Northern Hemisphere. We performed cytogenetic analysis on Guruia africana (Karsch, 1878) (2n=24) and four species of the genus Rhampsinitus Simon, 1879 (2n=24, 26, 34) from South Africa. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with an 18S rDNA probe was used to analyze the number and the distribution of this cluster in the family Phalangiidae for the first time. The results support the cytogenetic characteristics typical for the majority of harvestmen taxa, i.e. the predominance of small biarmed chromosomes and the absence of morphologically well-differentiated sex chromosomes as an ancestral state. We identified the number of 18S rDNA sites ranging from two in R. qachasneki Kauri, 1962 to seven in one population of R. leighi Pocock, 1903. Moreover, we found differences in the number and localization of 18S rDNA sites in R. leighi between populations from two localities and between sexes of R. capensis (Loman, 1898). The heterozygous states of the 18S rDNA sites in these species may indicate the presence of XX/XY and ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes, and the possible existence of these systems in harvestmen is discussed. The variability of the 18S rDNA sites indicates intensive chromosomal changes during the differentiation of the karyotypes, which is in contrast to the usual uniformity in chromosomal morphology known from harvestmen so far.

  9. LEAF ANATOMICAL VARIATION IN RELATION TO STRESS TOLERANCE AMONG SOME WOODY SPECIES ON THE ACCRA PLAINS OF GHANA

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    DZOMEKU BELOVED MENSAH

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf anatomical study was conducted on some woody species on the Accra Plains of Ghana. Leaf epidermal strips and transverse sections were mounted in Canada balsam and studied. The anatomical studies revealed numerous stomata on the lower epidermis of Azadirachta indica. The anatomical studies revealed the presence of thick cuticles, double-layered palisade mesophyll in most species and the presence of epidermal hairs in some species. Ficus capensis showed the presence of cystolith in the lower epidermis whereas Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides showed the presence of mucilage gland in the upper epidermis. Epidermal cell of Chromolaena odorata are very large with undulating cell walls. The species studied had various adaptive anatomical features. The stomatal frequency of Azadirachta indica was very high. With the exception of Chromolaena odorata the stomatal frequencies of the species were relatively high. The stomatal dimensions showed that most of the species maintained constant stomatal length during the study period except Griffonia simplicifolia that increased the stomatal width during the afternoon. Unlike Morinda lucida, Griffonia simplicifolia and Chromolaena odorata, that showed reduction in the breadth of stomata, the other species maintained constant stomatal width.

  10. The Occurrence of Some Nonblood Protozoan Parasites in Wild and Domestic Mammals in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukášová, Radka; Halajian, Ali; Bártová, Eva; Kobédová, Kateřina; Swanepoel, Lourens H; O'Riain, M Justin

    2018-04-01

    Relatively little is known about protozoan parasites in African animals. Here we investigated the occurrence of protozoan parasites in mammals from South Africa. Oocysts of protozoan parasites were detected in 13 of 56 (23%) fecal samples using conventional microscopic examination methods. Cryptosporidium spp. and Cystoisospora spp. were detected in eight (14%) and five (9%) samples, respectively. Mixed parasitic infection of Cryptosporidium spp. and Cystoisospora spp. was recorded in banded mongoose ( Mungos mungo). Cryptosporidium spp. was detected for the first time in cheetah ( Acinonyx jubatus), spotted hyena ( Crocuta crocuta), and African polecat ( Ictonyx striatus). Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum were not detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in any of 32 sera tested. We detected T. gondii by PCR in tissues of five of 243 (2%) animals: domestic dog ( Canis lupus familiaris), gerbil ( Gerbilliscus spp.), greater kudu ( Tragelaphus strepsiceros), honey badger ( Mellivora capensis), and white-tailed mongoose ( Ichneumia albicauda). Our isolation of T. gondii from white-tailed mongoose and honey badger was a unique finding. All tissue samples were negative for N. caninum. The study increases our knowledge on the occurrence of protozoan parasites in populations of wild and domestic animals in South Africa.

  11. Aquatic systems in and adjacent to Agulhas National Park with particular reference to the fish fauna

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    I.A. Russell

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The study aimed to determine the distribution and relative abundance of freshwater fishes in and adjacent to Agulhas National Park. Fourteen fish species were collected during surveys carried out in the Heuningnes and Ratel river systems and a variety of endorheic pans from 2003 to 2005. Seven of the species are marine fishes tolerant of low salinity (Mugil cephalus, Liza richardsonii, Monodactylus falciformis, Caffrogobius gilchristi, Rhabdosargus holubi, Solea bleekeri, Gilchristella aestuaria with the remaining seven species being primary freshwater fishes. Three are indigenous, including Pseudobarbus burchelli, Sandelia capensis, and Galaxias zebratus of which two morphological forms were recorded within Agulhas National Park. The remaining four species are invasive aliens (Cyprinus carpio, Lepomis macrochirus, Micropterus salmoides, Micropterus punctulatus. Classification using physico-chemical variables indicated four major wetland groups, with fishes occurring predominantly in the group comprising palustrine, lacustrine and riverine wetlands, and in one instance in a brackish endorheic pan. Management actions which should facilitate conservation of indigenous fishes in the Agulhas region are suggested.

  12. Revision of Diplocirrus Haase, 1915, including Bradiella Rullier, 1965, and Diversibranchius Buzhinskaja, 1993 (Polychaeta, Flabelligeridae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I.; Buzhinskaja, Galina

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Diplocirrus Haase, 1915, includes flabelligerids having cylindrical to club-shaped bodies, with cirriform papillae, multiarticulate chaetae in both parapodial rami, 8 branchial filaments of two types (thick and rarely lamellate, or cirriform), gonopodial lobes in chaetigers 5 or 6, or multiple gonopores along some anterior chaetigers. Bradiella Rullier, 1965, has included only the type species: Bradiella branchiata Rullier, 1965, described from Eastern Australia. The original description has been overlooked and it lacked enough details on branchial and chaetal features. Diversibranchius Buzhinskaja, 1993, with Diplocirrus nicolaji Buzhinskaja, 1994, as the type species, was introduced for a similar species from the Japan Sea. These two monotypic genera share the same morphologic features with Diplocirrus, and are herein regarded as its junior synonyms. As herein redefined, Diplocirrus includes, besides its type species, Diplocirrus glaucus (Malmgren, 1867)from Scandinavia : Diplocirrus branchiatus (Rullier, 1965), comb. n. from Queensland, Australia, Diplocirrus capensis Day, 1961 from South Africa, Diplocirrus erythroporus Gallardo, 1968 from Vietnam, Diplocirrus hirsutus (Hansen, 1882) from Arctic and subarctic regions, Diplocirrus incognitus Darbyshire & Mackie, 2009 from South Africa, Diplocirrus kudenovi sp. n. from off Western Mexico, Diplocirrus longisetosus (von Marenzeller, 1890) restricted to the Bering Sea, Diplocirrus micans Fauchald, 1972 from deep water off Oregon and Western Mexico, Diplocirrus nicolaji (Buzhinskaja, 1994), comb. n. from the Japan Sea, Diplocirrus normani (McIntosh, 1908), comb. n. from Scandinavia, Diplocirrus octobranchus (Hartman, 1965), comb. n. from off New England, and Diplocirrus stopbowitzi Darbyshire & Mackie, 2009 from the Irish Sea. PMID:21852920

  13. The role of flowering plant species in the survival of blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae along the lower Orange River, South Africa

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    E. Myburgh

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available This study is an investigation of the role that plants play in the survival of adult blackflies by providing shelter and carbohydrate food. A detailed phenological study of the 29 most abundant plant species in the Augrabies Falls National Park showed that throughout the year the percentage of plant species flowering was remarkably constant. It is therefore unlikely that the availability of carbohydrates would limit adult Simulium survival at any time of the year. Blackflies were recorded feeding on the flowers of Pappea capensis. Acacia karroo, A. mellifera, Tamarix usneoides, Ziziphus mucronata, Scholia afra and Sisyndite spartea. An additional survey showed that another 64 plant species flowered throughout the year, and these can be regarded as potential carbohydrate sources. Blackflies were observed sheltering in dense shrubs and trees that provide protection against predation and harsh environmental conditions. This study suggests that vegetated drainage lines are the means by which adult blackflies survive dispersal away from the river. It is concluded that carbohydrate scarcity cannot be considered a limiting factor to adult blackfly survival along the lower Orange River.

  14. Alternative splicing of a single transcription factor drives selfish reproductive behavior in honeybee workers (Apis mellifera).

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    Jarosch, Antje; Stolle, Eckart; Crewe, Robin M; Moritz, Robin F A

    2011-09-13

    In eusocial insects the production of daughters is generally restricted to mated queens, and unmated workers are functionally sterile. The evolution of this worker sterility has been plausibly explained by kin selection theory [Hamilton W (1964) J Theor Biol 7:1-52], and many traits have evolved to prevent conflict over reproduction among the females in an insect colony. In honeybees (Apis mellifera), worker reproduction is regulated by the queen, brood pheromones, and worker policing. However, workers of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, can evade this control and establish themselves as social parasites by activating their ovaries, parthenogenetically producing diploid female offspring (thelytoky) and producing queen-like amounts of queen pheromones. All these traits have been shown to be strongly influenced by a single locus on chromosome 13 [Lattorff HMG, et al. (2007) Biol Lett 3:292-295]. We screened this region for candidate genes and found that alternative splicing of a gene homologous to the gemini transcription factor of Drosophila controls worker sterility. Knocking out the critical exon in a series of RNAi experiments resulted in rapid worker ovary activation-one of the traits characteristic of the social parasites. This genetic switch may be controlled by a short intronic splice enhancer motif of nine nucleotides attached to the alternative splice site. The lack of this motif in parasitic Cape honeybee clones suggests that the removal of nine nucleotides from the altruistic worker genome may be sufficient to turn a honeybee from an altruistic worker into a parasite.

  15. Sperm morphology in four species of African platypleurine cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadomorpha: Cicadidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chawanji, A S; Hodgson, A N; Villet, M H

    2005-08-01

    Mature spermatozoa from four species of platypleurine cicadas (Albanycada albigera, Azanicada zuluensis, Platypleura capensis and P. hirtipennis) were examined by light and electron microscopy. The filiform sperm have a similar ultrastructure in all species but notable variations were found in sperm dimensions. All species produce more than one discrete length of nucleated, motile sperm, a form of polymorphism termed polymegaly. Polymegaly is expressed in two ways: sperm have bi- or trimodal head and tail lengths. The anterior parts of sperm heads are embedded in an elongate homogenous matrix forming a spermatodesm. The conical acrosome is deeply invaginated posteriorly, and sits on top of the nucleus. The acrosomal contents are differentiated internally with an electron-lucent central medulla and a denser cortex. The homogenously electron-dense nucleus is pointed anteriorly and is generally cylindrical, although posteriorly there is a lateral invagination that extends part-way along the nucleus. This invagination houses fine granular material of the centriolar adjunct. Vesicle-like elements that are associated with both the posterior nucleus and the centriolar adjunct are also found within the invagination. Immediately posterior of and adjoining the centriolar adjunct is a pair of mitochondrial derivatives that are elongated and extend for almost the entire length of the tail. The absence of accessory bodies in cicada sperm suggests that within the Cicadomorpha, the families Cicadidae and Cercopidae are closely affiliated.

  16. Ignoring the irrelevant: auditory tolerance of audible but innocuous sounds in the bat-detecting ears of moths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullard, James H.; Ratcliffe, John M.; Jacobs, David S.

    2008-03-01

    Noctuid moths listen for the echolocation calls of hunting bats and respond to these predator cues with evasive flight. The African bollworm moth, Helicoverpa armigera, feeds at flowers near intensely singing cicadas, Platypleura capensis, yet does not avoid them. We determined that the moth can hear the cicada by observing that both of its auditory receptors (A1 and A2 cells) respond to the cicada’s song. The firing response of the A1 cell rapidly adapts to the song and develops spike periods in less than a second that are in excess of those reported to elicit avoidance flight to bats in earlier studies. The possibility also exists that for at least part of the day, sensory input in the form of olfaction or vision overrides the moth’s auditory responses. While auditory tolerance appears to allow H. armigera to exploit a food resource in close proximity to acoustic interference, it may render their hearing defence ineffective and make them vulnerable to predation by bats during the evening when cicadas continue to sing. Our study describes the first field observation of an eared insect ignoring audible but innocuous sounds.

  17. Bov-B-mobilized SINEs in vertebrate genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogolevsky, Konstantin P; Vassetzky, Nikita S; Kramerov, Dmitri A

    2008-01-15

    Two new short retroposon families (SINEs) have been found in the genome of springhare Pedetes capensis (Rodentia). One of them, Ped-1, originated from 5S rRNA, while the other one, Ped-2, originated from tRNA-derived SINE ID. In contrast to most currently active mammalian SINEs mobilized by L1 long retrotransposon (LINE), Ped-1 and Ped-2 are mobilized by Bov-B, a LINE family of the widely distributed RTE clade. The 3' part of these SINEs originates from two sequences in the 5' and 3' regions of Bov-B. Such bipartite structure of the LINE-derived part has been revealed in all Bov-B-mobilized SINEs known to date (AfroSINE, Bov-tA, Mar-1, and Ped-1/2), which distinguishes them from other SINEs with only a 3' LINE-derived part. Structural analysis and the distribution of Bov-B LINEs and partner SINEs supports the horizontal transfer of Bov-B, while the SINEs emerged independently in lineages with this LINE.

  18. Revising the recent evolutionary history of equids using ancient DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Ludovic; Metcalf, Jessica L; Alberdi, Maria T; Telles-Antunes, Miguel; Bonjean, Dominique; Otte, Marcel; Martin, Fabiana; Eisenmann, Véra; Mashkour, Marjan; Morello, Flavia; Prado, Jose L; Salas-Gismondi, Rodolfo; Shockey, Bruce J; Wrinn, Patrick J; Vasil'ev, Sergei K; Ovodov, Nikolai D; Cherry, Michael I; Hopwood, Blair; Male, Dean; Austin, Jeremy J; Hänni, Catherine; Cooper, Alan

    2009-12-22

    The rich fossil record of the family Equidae (Mammalia: Perissodactyla) over the past 55 MY has made it an icon for the patterns and processes of macroevolution. Despite this, many aspects of equid phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy remain unresolved. Recent genetic analyses of extinct equids have revealed unexpected evolutionary patterns and a need for major revisions at the generic, subgeneric, and species levels. To investigate this issue we examine 35 ancient equid specimens from four geographic regions (South America, Europe, Southwest Asia, and South Africa), of which 22 delivered 87-688 bp of reproducible aDNA mitochondrial sequence. Phylogenetic analyses support a major revision of the recent evolutionary history of equids and reveal two new species, a South American hippidion and a descendant of a basal lineage potentially related to Middle Pleistocene equids. Sequences from specimens assigned to the giant extinct Cape zebra, Equus capensis, formed a separate clade within the modern plain zebra species, a phenotypicically plastic group that also included the extinct quagga. In addition, we revise the currently recognized extinction times for two hemione-related equid groups. However, it is apparent that the current dataset cannot solve all of the taxonomic and phylogenetic questions relevant to the evolution of Equus. In light of these findings, we propose a rapid DNA barcoding approach to evaluate the taxonomic status of the many Late Pleistocene fossil Equidae species that have been described from purely morphological analyses.

  19. 'Emerging' mycobacteria in South Africa : review article

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    P.D. Van Helden

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Disease can be caused by various species of the genus Mycobacterium. A number of reports, both published and unpublished, of rarely reported mycobacteria have surfaced in South Africa in the last few years. Some unusual hosts have also been involved, causing concern in some quarters.These include reports on Mycobacterium goodii in a spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta, M. xenopi in a ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata, M. intracellulare in wild-caught chacma baboons (Papio ursinus, the 'dassie bacillus' in free ranging rock hyrax (dassies; Procavia capensis the 'oryx bacillus' from free-ranging buffalo (Syncerus caffer and M. tuberculosis in suricates (Suricata suricatta, a domestic dog and in baboons. In this article it has been attempted to put these in context and show how improved surveillance and technologies have allowed mycobacteria to be identified to species level more easily. Most of the unusual mycobacterial species have most likely been present in the region for many years and have probably caused disease episodes before, but have been misdiagnosed. Each case must be evaluated carefully with respect to the animal species involved, the environment in which the host is found and the mycobacterial species, and operational decisions made accordingly.

  20. Animal vocal sequences: not the Markov chains we thought they were.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershenbaum, Arik; Bowles, Ann E; Freeberg, Todd M; Jin, Dezhe Z; Lameira, Adriano R; Bohn, Kirsten

    2014-10-07

    Many animals produce vocal sequences that appear complex. Most researchers assume that these sequences are well characterized as Markov chains (i.e. that the probability of a particular vocal element can be calculated from the history of only a finite number of preceding elements). However, this assumption has never been explicitly tested. Furthermore, it is unclear how language could evolve in a single step from a Markovian origin, as is frequently assumed, as no intermediate forms have been found between animal communication and human language. Here, we assess whether animal taxa produce vocal sequences that are better described by Markov chains, or by non-Markovian dynamics such as the 'renewal process' (RP), characterized by a strong tendency to repeat elements. We examined vocal sequences of seven taxa: Bengalese finches Lonchura striata domestica, Carolina chickadees Poecile carolinensis, free-tailed bats Tadarida brasiliensis, rock hyraxes Procavia capensis, pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus, killer whales Orcinus orca and orangutans Pongo spp. The vocal systems of most of these species are more consistent with a non-Markovian RP than with the Markovian models traditionally assumed. Our data suggest that non-Markovian vocal sequences may be more common than Markov sequences, which must be taken into account when evaluating alternative hypotheses for the evolution of signalling complexity, and perhaps human language origins. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. Balanced Electrostatic and Structural Forces Guide the Large Conformational Change Associated with Maturation of T = 4 Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Tsutomu; Tsuruta, Hiro; Johnson, John E.

    2010-01-01

    Nudaurelia capensis omega virus has a well-characterized T = 4 capsid that undergoes a pH-dependent large conformational changes (LCC) and associated auto-catalytic cleavage of the subunit. We examined previously the particle size at different pH values and showed that maturation occurred at pH 5.5. We now characterized the LCC with time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering and showed that there were three kinetic stages initiated with an incremental drop in pH: 1), a rapid (electrostatic and structural forces shapes the energy landscape of the LCC with the latter requiring annealing of portions of the subunit. Equilibrium experiments showed that many intermediate states could be populated with a homogeneous ensemble of particles by carefully controlling the pH. A titration curve for the LCC was generated that showed that the virtual pKa (i.e., the composite of all titratable residues that contribute to the LCC) is 5.8. PMID:20371334

  2. Reading into lesser bibliography of rare mustelids (Eastern Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerzy Romanowski

    1995-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Many research and conservation efforts on rare mustelids in Eastern Europe, Russia and states of CIS are in progress. On a total of 640 publications examined, the otter (428 and the European mink (195 were the most studied species, the Steppe and Marbled polecats (89 and 83 entries, and Honey-badger (24 were less considered. Titles written in national languages dominate, but a recent increase in the ratio of publications written or summarized in English or German was noted. Based on number and profile of publications, it is suggested that conservation of European mink requires more efforts and research. Riassunto Bibliografia poco nota sui Mustelidi rari (Europa orientale - Nei paesi dell'Europa dell'Est, Russia e stati del CIS inclusi, le ricerche e le iniziative di conservazione riguardanti i mustelidi rari sono in progresso. Dall'esame di 640 pubblicazioni, Lutra lutra (428 e Mustela lutreola (195 sono le specie più studiate, mentre meno considerate sono M. erversmanni (89, Vormela peregusna (83 e Mellivora capensis (24. Buona parte dei lavori è in lingua originale, ma recentemente è in incremento il numero di pubblicazioni scritte o riassunte in inglese o tedesco. Sulla base del numero dei lavori e dei temi trattati, si evidenzia che la conservazione del visone europeo richiederebbe maggiori sforzi e ricerche.

  3. The effects of aluminum and nickel in nectar on the foraging behavior of bumblebees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meindl, George A.; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Metals in soil are known to negatively affect the health of many groups of organisms, but it is unclear whether they can affect plant-pollinator interactions, and whether pollinators that visit plants growing on contaminated soils are at risk of ingesting potentially toxic resources. We address whether the presence of metals in nectar alters foraging behavior by bumblebees by manipulating nectar with one of two common soil contaminants (Al or Ni) in flowers of Impatiens capensis (Balsaminaceae). While the presence of Al in nectar did not influence foraging patterns by bumblebees, flowers containing Ni nectar solutions were visited for shorter time periods relative to controls, and discouraged bees from visiting nearby Ni-contaminated flowers. However, because bumblebees still visited these flowers, they likely ingested a potentially toxic resource. Our findings suggest that soil metals could cascade to negatively affect pollinators in metal contaminated environments. -- Highlights: ► We address whether metals in nectar alter foraging behavior by bumblebees. ► Al in nectar did not influence foraging patterns by bumblebees. ► Ni nectar solutions were visited for shorter time periods relative to controls. ► Ni nectar solutions discouraged bees from visiting nearby Ni-contaminated flowers. ► Our findings suggest soil metals could cascade to negatively affect pollinators. -- We extend current understanding of the effects of plant chemistry on plant-pollinator interactions by describing the effects of metals in nectar on bee foraging

  4. Sleep in the Cape Mole Rat: A Short-Sleeping Subterranean Rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruger, Jean-Leigh; Gravett, Nadine; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Bennett, Nigel C; Archer, Elizabeth K; Manger, Paul R

    2016-01-01

    The Cape mole rat Georychus capensis is a solitary subterranean rodent found in the western and southern Cape of South Africa. This approximately 200-gram bathyergid rodent shows a nocturnal circadian rhythm, but sleep in this species is yet to be investigated. Using telemetric recordings of the electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) in conjunction with video recordings, we were able to show that the Cape mole rat, like all other rodents, has sleep periods composed of both rapid eye movement (REM) and slow-wave (non-REM) sleep. These mole rats spent on average 15.4 h awake, 7.1 h in non-REM sleep and 1.5 h in REM sleep each day. Cape mole rats sleep substantially less than other similarly sized terrestrial rodents but have a similar percentage of total sleep time occupied by REM sleep. In addition, the duration of both non-REM and REM sleep episodes was markedly shorter in the Cape mole rat than has been observed in terrestrial rodents. Interestingly, these features (total sleep time and episode duration) are similar to those observed in another subterranean bathyergid mole rat, i.e. Fukomys mechowii. Thus, there appears to be a bathyergid type of sleep amongst the rodents that may be related to their environment and the effect of this on their circadian rhythm. Investigating further species of bathyergid mole rats may fully define the emerging picture of sleep in these subterranean African rodents. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Selection on overdominant genes maintains heterozygosity along multiple chromosomes in a clonal lineage of honey bee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goudie, Frances; Allsopp, Michael H; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2014-01-01

    Correlations between fitness and genome-wide heterozygosity (heterozygosity-fitness correlations, HFCs) have been reported across a wide range of taxa. The genetic basis of these correlations is controversial: do they arise from genome-wide inbreeding ("general effects") or the "local effects" of overdominant loci acting in linkage disequilibrium with neutral loci? In an asexual thelytokous lineage of the Cape honey bee (Apis mellifera capensis), the effects of inbreeding have been homogenized across the population, making this an ideal system in which to detect overdominant loci, and to make inferences about the importance of overdominance on HFCs in general. Here we investigate the pattern of zygosity along two chromosomes in 42 workers from the clonal Cape honey bee population. On chromosome III (which contains the sex-locus, a gene that is homozygous-lethal) and chromosome IV we show that the pattern of zygosity is characterized by loss of heterozygosity in short regions followed by the telomeric restoration of heterozygosity. We infer that at least four selectively overdominant genes maintain heterozygosity on chromosome III and three on chromosome IV via local effects acting on neutral markers in linkage disequilibrium. We conclude that heterozygote advantage and local effects may be more common and evolutionarily significant than is generally appreciated. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  6. Fossil Suidae (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) from Aves Cave I and nearby sites in Bolt’s Farm Palaeokarst System, South Africa

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    Pickford, M.; Gommery, D.

    2016-07-01

    Excavations carried out since 2011 at Bolt’s Farm Palaeokarst System, South Africa, have led to the recovery of interesting remains of suids, notably from Aves Cave I. The taxa present are Potamochoeroides hypsodon and Notochoerus capensis, the same as those that occur at Makapansgat. The new Notochoerus material, which includes an upper third molar and a lower fourth premolar, strengthens the conclusion that this genus is a suine and not a tetraconodont as thought for the past half century. Potamochoeroides has thickened mandibular rami indicating that it descended from the genus Dasychoerus that dispersed into Africa from Eurasia about 5 million years ago. Other karst deposits at Bolt’s Farm have yielded a younger suid fauna comprising Metridiochoerus andrewsi and Phacochoerus modestus, indicating that the Bolt’s Farm Karst System was active for a considerable period of time (ca 4.5 Ma - 1.8 Ma). The fact that all the suid taxa from Bolt’s Farm are hypsodont indicates that the palaeoenvironment contained abundant grass. (Author)

  7. Tourists’ willingness to pay to view otters along the Wild Coast, South Africa: a potential for increased ecotourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihle Dumalisile

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available This article reports on tourists’ willingness to pay to view Cape clawless otters Aonyx capensis along the Eastern Cape Wild Coast, South Africa. We collected data from a survey carried out using a structured, selfadministered questionnaire. We analyzed 67 completed questionnaires, of which 60 respondents (89.5% indicated that they would be interested in viewing otters and would be prepared to pay an extra fee, over and above the normal entrance fees, for a trained guide to show them otters. The remaining 7 (10.4% respondents indicated that they would reconsider and pay if this would create jobs for members of the local community. Most (98.4% and 91.8% of the respondents also indicated that they would still pay even if there was only a 50% or 25% chance of seeing otters. Most of the respondents were willing to pay either less than R50.00 (ca US$8.00 or R50.00-R100.00 to view otters regardless of the chances of seeing them. We conclude from our results that otters do have the potential to increase ecotourism in the area, and also to contribute financially to the poverty stricken local Dwesa community.

  8. Cranial Bosses of Choerosaurus dejageri (Therapsida, Therocephalia): Earliest Evidence of Cranial Display Structures in Eutheriodonts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, Julien; Manger, Paul R; Fernandez, Vincent; Rubidge, Bruce S

    2016-01-01

    Choerosaurus dejageri, a non-mammalian eutheriodont therapsid from the South African late Permian (~259 Ma), has conspicuous hemispheric cranial bosses on the maxilla and the mandible. These bosses, the earliest of this nature in a eutheriodont, potentially make C. dejageri a key species for understanding the evolutionary origins of sexually selective behaviours (intraspecific competition, ritualized sexual and intimidation displays) associated with cranial outgrowths at the root of the clade that eventually led to extant mammals. Comparison with the tapinocephalid dinocephalian Moschops capensis, a therapsid in which head butting is strongly supported, shows that the delicate structure of the cranial bosses and the gracile structure of the skull of Choerosaurus would be more suitable for display and low energy combat than vigorous head butting. Thus, despite the fact that Choerosaurus is represented by only one skull (which makes it impossible to address the question of sexual dimorphism), its cranial bosses are better interpreted as structures involved in intraspecific selection, i.e. low-energy fighting or display. Display structures, such as enlarged canines and cranial bosses, are widespread among basal therapsid clades and are also present in the putative basal therapsid Tetraceratops insignis. This suggests that sexual selection may have played a more important role in the distant origin and evolution of mammals earlier than previously thought. Sexual selection may explain the subsequent independent evolution of cranial outgrowths and pachyostosis in different therapsid lineages (Biarmosuchia, Dinocephalia, Gorgonopsia and Dicynodontia).

  9. Cranial Bosses of Choerosaurus dejageri (Therapsida, Therocephalia: Earliest Evidence of Cranial Display Structures in Eutheriodonts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Benoit

    Full Text Available Choerosaurus dejageri, a non-mammalian eutheriodont therapsid from the South African late Permian (~259 Ma, has conspicuous hemispheric cranial bosses on the maxilla and the mandible. These bosses, the earliest of this nature in a eutheriodont, potentially make C. dejageri a key species for understanding the evolutionary origins of sexually selective behaviours (intraspecific competition, ritualized sexual and intimidation displays associated with cranial outgrowths at the root of the clade that eventually led to extant mammals. Comparison with the tapinocephalid dinocephalian Moschops capensis, a therapsid in which head butting is strongly supported, shows that the delicate structure of the cranial bosses and the gracile structure of the skull of Choerosaurus would be more suitable for display and low energy combat than vigorous head butting. Thus, despite the fact that Choerosaurus is represented by only one skull (which makes it impossible to address the question of sexual dimorphism, its cranial bosses are better interpreted as structures involved in intraspecific selection, i.e. low-energy fighting or display. Display structures, such as enlarged canines and cranial bosses, are widespread among basal therapsid clades and are also present in the putative basal therapsid Tetraceratops insignis. This suggests that sexual selection may have played a more important role in the distant origin and evolution of mammals earlier than previously thought. Sexual selection may explain the subsequent independent evolution of cranial outgrowths and pachyostosis in different therapsid lineages (Biarmosuchia, Dinocephalia, Gorgonopsia and Dicynodontia.

  10. Chromosome painting among Proboscidea, Hyracoidea and Sirenia: Support for Paenungulata (Afrotheria, Mammalia) but not Tethytheria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardini, A.T.; O'Brien, P. C. M.; Fu, B.; Bonde, R.K.; Elder, F.F.B.; Ferguson-Smith, M. A.; Yang, F.; Robinson, T.J.

    2007-01-01

    Despite marked improvements in the interpretation of systematic relationships within Eutheria, particular nodes, including Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Sirenia and Proboscidea), remain ambiguous. The combination of a rapid radiation, a deep divergence and an extensive morphological diversification has resulted in a limited phylogenetic signal confounding resolution within this clade both at the morphological and nucleotide levels. Cross-species chromosome painting was used to delineate regions of homology between Loxodonta africana (2n = 56), Procavia capensis (2n=54), Trichechus manatus latirostris (2n = 48) and an outgroup taxon, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer, 2n = 20). Changes specific to each lineage were identified and although the presence of a minimum of 11 synapomorphies confirmed the monophyly of Paenungulata, no change characterizing intrapaenungulate relationships was evident. The reconstruction of an ancestral paenungulate karyotype and the estimation of rates of chromosomal evolution indicate a reduced rate of genomic repatterning following the paenungulate radiation. In comparison to data available for other mammalian taxa, the paenungulate rate of chromosomal evolution is slow to moderate. As a consequence, the absence of a chromosomal character uniting two paenungulates (at the level of resolution characterized in this study) may be due to a reduced rate of chromosomal change relative to the length of time separating successive divergence events. ?? 2007 The Royal Society.

  11. Detection of a novel Rickettsia sp. in soft ticks (Acari: Argasidae) in Algeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafri, Ismail; Leulmi, Hamza; Baziz-Neffah, Fadhila; Lalout, Reda; Mohamed, Chergui; Mohamed, Karakallah; Parola, Philippe; Bitam, Idir

    2015-01-01

    Argasid ticks are vectors of viral and bacterial agents that can infect humans and animals. In Africa, relapsing fever borreliae are neglected arthropod-borne pathogens that cause mild to deadly septicemia and miscarriage. It would be incredibly beneficial to be able to simultaneous detect and identify other pathogens transmitted by Argasid ticks. From 2012 to 2014, we conducted field surveys in 4 distinct areas of Algeria. We investigated the occurrence of soft ticks in rodent burrows and yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) nests in 10 study sites and collected 154 soft ticks. Molecular identification revealed the occurrence of two different soft tick genera and five species, including Carios capensis in yellow-legged gull nests and Ornithodoros occidentalis, Ornithodoros rupestris, Ornithodoros sonrai, Ornithodoros erraticus in rodent burrows. Rickettsial DNA was detected in 41/154, corresponding to a global detection rate of 26.6%. Sequences of the citrate synthase (gltA) gene suggest that this agent is a novel spotted fever group Rickettsia. For the first time in Algeria, we characterize a novel Rickettsia species by molecular means in soft ticks. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  12. Detection of relapsing fever Borrelia spp., Bartonella spp. and Anaplasmataceae bacteria in argasid ticks in Algeria.

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    Ismail Lafri

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Argasid ticks (soft ticks are blood-feeding arthropods that can parasitize rodents, birds, humans, livestock and companion animals. Ticks of the Ornithodoros genus are known to be vectors of relapsing fever borreliosis in humans. In Algeria, little is known about relapsing fever borreliosis and other bacterial pathogens transmitted by argasid ticks.Between May 2013 and October 2015, we investigated the presence of soft ticks in 20 rodent burrows, 10 yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis nests and animal shelters in six locations in two different bioclimatic zones in Algeria. Six species of argasid ticks were identified morphologically and through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The presence and prevalence of Borrelia spp., Bartonella spp., Rickettsia spp. and Anaplasmataceae was assessed by qPCR template assays in each specimen. All qPCR-positive samples were confirmed by standard PCR, followed by sequencing the amplified fragments. Two Borrelia species were identified: Borrelia hispanica in Ornithodoros occidentalis in Mostaganem, and Borrelia cf. turicatae in Carios capensis in Algiers. One new Bartonella genotype and one new Anaplasmataceae genotype were also identified in Argas persicus.The present study highlights the presence of relapsing fever borreliosis agents, although this disease is rarely diagnosed in Algeria. Other bacteria of unknown pathogenicity detected in argasid ticks which may bite humans deserve further investigation.

  13. Soft tissue digestion of Paradiplozoon vaalense for SEM of sclerites and simultaneous molecular analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos, Q M; Avenant-Oldewage, A

    2015-02-01

    Classification of most monogeneans is primarily based on size, shape, and arrangement of haptoral sclerites. These structures are often obscured or misinterpreted when studied using light microscopy, leading to confusion regarding defining characters. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has predominantly been used to study haptoral sclerites in smaller monogeneans, focusing on hooks and anchors. In the Diplozoidae, SEM has not been used to study haptoral sclerites. Using new and modified techniques, the sclerites of diplozoids collected in South Africa were successfully studied using SEM. The digestion buffer from a DNA extraction kit was used to digest the surrounding tissue, and Poly-L-lysine-coated and concavity slides were employed to limit the movement and loss of sclerites, with the latter being more user-friendly. In addition to the success of visualizing the sclerites using SEM, the digested tissue from as little as half of the haptor provided viable genetic material for molecular characterization. From the results presented here, the study of the sclerites of larger monogeneans using SEM, including those bearing clamps, is a viable possibility for future research. Also, this method may be beneficial for the study of other, non-haptoral sclerites, such as cirri in other families of monogeneans. During this study, Labeo capensis was noted as a valid host of Paradiplozoon vaalense in a region of the Vaal River where the type host, Labeo umbratus, appears to be absent.

  14. Microbial growth and quorum sensing antagonist activities of herbal plants extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hussaini, Reema; Mahasneh, Adel M

    2009-09-03

    Antimicrobial and antiquorum sensing (AQS) activities of fourteen ethanolic extracts of different parts of eight plants were screened against four Gram-positive, five Gram-negative bacteria and four fungi. Depending on the plant part extract used and the test microorganism, variable activities were recorded at 3 mg per disc. Among the Grampositive bacteria tested, for example, activities of Laurus nobilis bark extract ranged between a 9.5 mm inhibition zone against Bacillus subtilis up to a 25 mm one against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus fumigatus were the most susceptible among bacteria and fungi tested towards other plant parts. Of interest is the tangible antifungal activity of a Tecoma capensis flower extract, which is reported for the first time. However, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC's) for both bacteria and fungi were relatively high (0.5-3.0 mg). As for antiquorum sensing activity against Chromobacterium violaceum, superior activity (>17 mm QS inhibition) was associated with Sonchus oleraceus and Laurus nobilis extracts and weak to good activity (8-17 mm) was recorded for other plants. In conclusion, results indicate the potential of these plant extracts in treating microbial infections through cell growth inhibition or quorum sensing antagonism, which is reported for the first time, thus validating their medicinal use.

  15. Microbial Growth and Quorum Sensing Antagonist Activities of Herbal Plants Extracts

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    Reema Al-Hussaini

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial and antiquorum sensing (AQS activities of fourteen ethanolic extracts of different parts of eight plants were screened against four Gram-positive, five Gram-negative bacteria and four fungi. Depending on the plant part extract used and the test microorganism, variable activities were recorded at 3 mg per disc. Among the Grampositive bacteria tested, for example, activities of Laurus nobilis bark extract ranged between a 9.5 mm inhibition zone against Bacillus subtilis up to a 25 mm one against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus fumigatus were the most susceptible among bacteria and fungi tested towards other plant parts. Of interest is the tangible antifungal activity of a Tecoma capensis flower extract, which is reported for the first time. However, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC's for both bacteria and fungi were relatively high (0.5-3.0 mg. As for antiquorum sensing activity against Chromobacterium violaceum, superior activity (>17 mm QS inhibition was associated with Sonchus oleraceus and Laurus nobilis extracts and weak to good activity (8-17 mm was recorded for other plants. In conclusion, results indicate the potential of these plant extracts in treating microbial infections through cell growth inhibition or quorum sensing antagonism, which is reported for the first time, thus validating their medicinal use.

  16. Dental pathology in dolphins (Cetacea: Delphinidae) from the southern coast of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loch, Carolina; Grando, Liliane J; Kieser, Jules A; Simões-Lopes, Paulo C

    2011-05-09

    Pathological processes observed in the stomatognathic systems of mammalian species are a useful source of information about the habits, evolution and general health of such animals. Studies of pathological conditions on teeth are common in humans and other primates, but rare in wild animals in general and marine mammals in particular. For cetaceans, previous studies provided scanty records of dental anomalies in a few species. This is the first broad and systematic inventory of dental pathology in dolphins. Specimens stored at scientific collections from the southern coast of Brazil were visually inspected under a stereoscopic microscope using a dental explorer. Diagnosis of lesions and anomalies followed literature descriptions. Abnormalities such as caries-like lesions, mineralized calculus deposits, dental erosion, enamel anomalies (hypoplasia and exogenous pigmentation), root resorption, germination and other shape anomalies, were diagnosed in the delphinids Sotalia guianensis, Delphinus capensis, Stenella frontalis, Stenella coeruleoalba, Lagenodelphis hosei, Pseudorca crassidens, Orcinus orca, Steno bredanensis and Tursiops truncatus. Endogenous causes may be related to the occurrence of certain conditions, but the aetiology of caries-like lesions and calculus accumulation is still unknown for cetaceans. The diagnosis of alveolar anomalies and other bone lesions in specimens with dental pathology lead us to believe these lesions modify the integrity of the periodontal ligament and bony tissues, adding to the burden of morbidity of affected animals.

  17. Allosteric effects in bacteriophage HK97 procapsids revealed directly from covariance analysis of cryo EM data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Nan; Veesler, David; Doerschuk, Peter C; Johnson, John E

    2018-05-01

    The information content of cryo EM data sets exceeds that of the electron scattering potential (cryo EM) density initially derived for structure determination. Previously we demonstrated the power of data variance analysis for characterizing regions of cryo EM density that displayed functionally important variance anomalies associated with maturation cleavage events in Nudaurelia Omega Capensis Virus and the presence or absence of a maturation protease in bacteriophage HK97 procapsids. Here we extend the analysis in two ways. First, instead of imposing icosahedral symmetry on every particle in the data set during the variance analysis, we only assume that the data set as a whole has icosahedral symmetry. This change removes artifacts of high variance along icosahedral symmetry axes, but retains all of the features previously reported in the HK97 data set. Second we present a covariance analysis that reveals correlations in structural dynamics (variance) between the interior of the HK97 procapsid with the protease and regions of the exterior (not seen in the absence of the protease). The latter analysis corresponds well with hydrogen deuterium exchange studies previously published that reveal the same correlation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular and Morphological Differentiation of Common Dolphins (Delphinus sp. in the Southwestern Atlantic: Testing the Two Species Hypothesis in Sympatry.

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    Haydée A Cunha

    Full Text Available The taxonomy of common dolphins (Delphinus sp. has always been controversial, with over twenty described species since the original description of the type species of the genus (Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758. Two species and four subspecies are currently accepted, but recent molecular data have challenged this view. In this study we investigated the molecular taxonomy of common dolphins through analyses of cytochrome b sequences of 297 individuals from most of their distribution. We included 37 novel sequences from the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean, a region where the short- and long-beaked morphotypes occur in sympatry, but which had not been well sampled before. Skulls of individuals from the Southwestern Atlantic were measured to test the validity of the rostral index as a diagnostic character and confirmed the presence of the two morphotypes in our genetic sample. Our genetic results show that all common dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean belong to a single species, Delphinus delphis. According to genetic data, the species Delphinus capensis is invalid. Long-beaked common dolphins from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean may constitute a different species. Our conclusions prompt the need for revision of currently accepted common dolphin species and subspecies and of Delphinus delphis distribution.

  19. Fos expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in response to light stimulation in a solitary and social species of African mole-rat (family Bathyergidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosthuizen, M K; Bennett, N C; Cooper, H M

    2005-01-01

    Mole-rats are strictly subterranean rodents that are rarely exposed to environmental light. They are well adapted to their environment and have reduced eyes and a severely regressed visual system. It has been shown, however, that mole-rats do exhibit endogenous circadian rhythms that can be entrained, suggesting an intact and functional circadian system. To determine whether light is the entraining agent in these animals, Fos expression in response to light pulses at different circadian times was investigated to obtain phase response curves. Light is integrated effectively in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the Cape mole-rat (Georychus capensis), and Fos expression is gated according to the phase of the circadian clock. The Fos response in the Cape mole-rat was comparable to that of aboveground rodents. In contrast, the highveld mole-rat (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae) was less sensitive to light and did not show a selective Fos response according to the phase of the circadian cycle. Social species appear to be less sensitive to light than their solitary counterparts, which compares well with results from locomotor activity studies.

  20. An invasive plant alters phenotypic selection on the vegetative growth of a native congener.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beans, Carolyn M; Roach, Deborah A

    2015-02-01

    The ecological consequences of plant competition have frequently been tested, but the evolutionary outcomes of these interactions have gone largely unexplored. The study of species invasions can make an important contribution to this field of research by allowing us to watch ecological and evolutionary processes unfold as a novel species is integrated into a plant community. We explored the ecological and evolutionary impact of an invasive jewelweed, Impatiens glandulifera, on a closely related native congener, I. capensis and asked: (1) Does the presence of the invasive jewelweed alter the fitness of native jewelweed populations? (2) Does the invasive jewelweed affect the vegetative growth of the native congener? and (3) Does the invasive jewelweed alter phenotypic selection on the vegetative traits of the native congener? We used a greenhouse competition experiment, an invasive species removal field experiment, and a survey of natural populations. We show that when the invasive jewelweed is present, phenotypic selection favors native jewelweed individuals investing less in rapid upward growth and more in branching and fruiting potential through the production of nodes. This research demonstrates that invasive plants have the potential to greatly alter natural selection on native competitors. Studies investigating altered selection in invaded communities can reveal the potential evolutionary impact of invasive competitors, while deepening our understanding of the more general role of competition in driving plant evolution and permitting species coexistence. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  1. Patterns of Song across Natural and Anthropogenic Soundscapes Suggest That White-Crowned Sparrows Minimize Acoustic Masking and Maximize Signal Content.

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    Elizabeth P Derryberry

    Full Text Available Soundscapes pose both evolutionarily recent and long-standing sources of selection on acoustic communication. We currently know more about the impact of evolutionarily recent human-generated noise on communication than we do about how natural sounds such as pounding surf have shaped communication signals over evolutionary time. Based on signal detection theory, we hypothesized that acoustic phenotypes will vary with both anthropogenic and natural background noise levels and that similar mechanisms of cultural evolution and/or behavioral flexibility may underlie this variation. We studied song characteristics of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli across a noise gradient that includes both anthropogenic and natural sources of noise in San Francisco and Marin counties, California, USA. Both anthropogenic and natural soundscapes contain high amplitude low frequency noise (traffic or surf, respectively, so we predicted that birds would produce songs with higher minimum frequencies in areas with higher amplitude background noise to avoid auditory masking. We also anticipated that song minimum frequencies would be higher than the projected lower frequency limit of hearing based on site-specific masking profiles. Background noise was a strong predictor of song minimum frequency, both within a local noise gradient of three urban sites with the same song dialect and cultural evolutionary history, and across the regional noise gradient, which encompasses 11 urban and rural sites, several dialects, and several anthropogenic and natural sources of noise. Among rural sites alone, background noise tended to predict song minimum frequency, indicating that urban sites were not solely responsible for driving the regional pattern. These findings support the hypothesis that songs vary with local and regional soundscapes regardless of the source of noise. Song minimum frequency from five core study sites was also higher than the lower frequency

  2. Patterns of Song across Natural and Anthropogenic Soundscapes Suggest That White-Crowned Sparrows Minimize Acoustic Masking and Maximize Signal Content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derryberry, Elizabeth P; Danner, Raymond M; Danner, Julie E; Derryberry, Graham E; Phillips, Jennifer N; Lipshutz, Sara E; Gentry, Katherine; Luther, David A

    2016-01-01

    Soundscapes pose both evolutionarily recent and long-standing sources of selection on acoustic communication. We currently know more about the impact of evolutionarily recent human-generated noise on communication than we do about how natural sounds such as pounding surf have shaped communication signals over evolutionary time. Based on signal detection theory, we hypothesized that acoustic phenotypes will vary with both anthropogenic and natural background noise levels and that similar mechanisms of cultural evolution and/or behavioral flexibility may underlie this variation. We studied song characteristics of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli) across a noise gradient that includes both anthropogenic and natural sources of noise in San Francisco and Marin counties, California, USA. Both anthropogenic and natural soundscapes contain high amplitude low frequency noise (traffic or surf, respectively), so we predicted that birds would produce songs with higher minimum frequencies in areas with higher amplitude background noise to avoid auditory masking. We also anticipated that song minimum frequencies would be higher than the projected lower frequency limit of hearing based on site-specific masking profiles. Background noise was a strong predictor of song minimum frequency, both within a local noise gradient of three urban sites with the same song dialect and cultural evolutionary history, and across the regional noise gradient, which encompasses 11 urban and rural sites, several dialects, and several anthropogenic and natural sources of noise. Among rural sites alone, background noise tended to predict song minimum frequency, indicating that urban sites were not solely responsible for driving the regional pattern. These findings support the hypothesis that songs vary with local and regional soundscapes regardless of the source of noise. Song minimum frequency from five core study sites was also higher than the lower frequency limit of hearing

  3. Cetacean records along São Paulo state coast, Southeastern Brazil

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    Marcos César de Oliveira Santos

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The São Paulo state (SP coast (23º18'S, 44º42'W; 25º14'S, 48º01'W is of approximately 600 km in length, bordering the Western Atlantic Ocean, in southeastern Brazil. Cetacean sightings and strandings have long been observed throughout this area. Scattered data from scientific publications, skeletal remains in museums, photographs and articles from newspaper files, universities and aquaria have been organised and updated since 1993. Field investigations on strandings and sightings have also been conducted. A total of 29 cetacean species have been recorded, including 7 baleen whales (Mysticeti and 22 toothed whales (Odontoceti, as follows: Balaenoptera physalus, B. borealis, B. edeni, B. acutorostrata, B. bonaerensis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eubalaena australis, Physeter macrocephalus, Kogia breviceps, K. sima, Berardius arnuxii, Mesoplodon europaeus, M. mirus, Ziphius cavirostris, Orcinus orca, Feresa attenuata, Globicephala melas, G. macrorhynchus, Pseudorca crassidens, Delphinus capensis, Lagenodelphis hosei, Steno bredanensis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella frontalis, S. longirostris, S. coeruleoalba, Lissodelphis peronii, Sotalia guianensis and Pontoporia blainvillei. Several species have been observed only once and include strays from their areas of common distribution, as well as species with known preferences for offshore distribution. Others, such as P. blainvillei and S. guianensis, are common coastal dwellers year-round. Z. cavirostris, P. crassidens and L. hosei are reported for the first time on the SP coast.A costa do Estado de São Paulo (SP (23º18'S, 44º42'O; 25º14'S, 48º01'O apresenta aproximadamente 600 km de extensão voltada para o Oceano Atlântico Ocidental no sudeste do Brasil. Registros de encalhes e de avistamentos de cetáceos vêm sendo realizados ao longo desse litoral. Desde 1993, dados obtidos em literatura científica, material osteológico encontrado em museus, fotografias e artigos de arquivos de jornais

  4. Efeito de extratos aquosos de plantas na oviposição da traça-das-crucíferas, em couve Effect of plants aqueous extracts on oviposition of the diamondback, in kale

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    Cesar Augusto Manfré Medeiros

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Avaliou-se o efeito de extratos aquosos de Achillea millefolium L. (folhas, Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (folhas, Bidens pilosa L. (folhas, frutos e ramos, Bougainvillea glabra Choisy (folhas, Chenopodium ambrosioides L. (folhas, frutos e ramos, Datura suaveolens Humb & Bonpl. ex. Willd (folhas, Enterolobium contortisilliquum (Vell. Morong (frutos, Mentha crispa L. (folhas e ramos, Nicotiana tabacum L. (folhas, Piper nigrum L. (folhas, Plumbago capensis Thunb. (folhas e ramos, Pothomorphe umbellata L. (folhas, Sapindus saponaria L. (folhas, S. saponaria (frutos, Solanum cernuum Vell. (folhas, Stryphnodendron adstringens (Mart Coville (casca, Symphytum officinale L. (folhas, Trichilia catigua A. Juss. (folhas, T. catigua (ramos, Trichilia pallida Sw. (folhas e T. pallida (ramos, em relação à preferência para oviposição de Plutella xylostella. Discos de folhas de couve (Brassica oleracea var. acephala cultivar Georgia foram imersos em cada extrato à concentração de 10% (massa/volume por um minuto. Em seguida, foram divididos em quatro partes iguais e duas partes foram colocadas alternadamente com outras duas partes tratadas com água destilada, em uma gaiola. A contagem dos ovos foi feita após 24 horas. Os extratos apresentaram efeito deterrente na oviposição da praga, com exceção do extrato de S. adstringens, que não diferiu da testemunha, tratada apenas com água destilada. Os extratos de E. contortisilliquum, S. saponaria (frutos e T. pallida (folhas foram os mais eficientes, apresentando 100% de deterrência.The effect of aqueous extracts from Achillea millefolium L. (leaves, Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (leaves, Bidens pilosa L. (leaves, fruits e branches, Bougainvillea glabra Choisy (leaves, Chenopodium ambrosioides L. (leaves, fruits e branches, Datura suaveolens Humb & Bonpl. ex. Willd (leaves, Enterolobium contortisilliquum (Vell. Morong (fruits, Mentha crispa L. (leaves e branches, Nicotiana tabacum L. (leaves, Piper nigrum

  5. Using toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic modeling as an acute risk assessment refinement approach in vertebrate ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Virginie; Ashauer, Roman; Bednarska, Agnieszka J; Hinarejos, Silvia; Thorbek, Pernille; Weyman, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    Recent guidance identified toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TK-TD) modeling as a relevant approach for risk assessment refinement. Yet, its added value compared to other refinement options is not detailed, and how to conduct the modeling appropriately is not explained. This case study addresses these issues through 2 examples of individual-level risk assessment for 2 hypothetical plant protection products: 1) evaluating the risk for small granivorous birds and small omnivorous mammals of a single application, as a seed treatment in winter cereals, and 2) evaluating the risk for fish after a pulsed treatment in the edge-of-field zone. Using acute test data, we conducted the first tier risk assessment as defined in the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance. When first tier risk assessment highlighted a concern, refinement options were discussed. Cases where the use of models should be preferred over other existing refinement approaches were highlighted. We then practically conducted the risk assessment refinement by using 2 different models as examples. In example 1, a TK model accounting for toxicokinetics and relevant feeding patterns in the skylark and in the wood mouse was used to predict internal doses of the hypothetical active ingredient in individuals, based on relevant feeding patterns in an in-crop situation, and identify the residue levels leading to mortality. In example 2, a TK-TD model accounting for toxicokinetics, toxicodynamics, and relevant exposure patterns in the fathead minnow was used to predict the time-course of fish survival for relevant FOCUS SW exposure scenarios and identify which scenarios might lead to mortality. Models were calibrated using available standard data and implemented to simulate the time-course of internal dose of active ingredient or survival for different exposure scenarios. Simulation results were discussed and used to derive the risk assessment refinement endpoints used for decision. Finally, we compared the

  6. Human impact gradient on mammalian biodiversity

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    Mariana Munguía

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Drastic changes have been caused by human influence in natural landscapes, which may exert an intensive effect on species loss. However, species loss from human pressure is not random but depends on a series of environmentally associated factors. Linking species traits to environmental attributes may allow us to detect the ecological impacts of habitat so that meaningful habitat degradation gradients can be identified. The relationships between environmental factors and species traits provide the basis for identifying those biological traits that make species more sensitive to disturbance. These relationships are also helpful to detect the geographic distribution of latent risk to reveal areas where biodiversity is threatened. Here, we identify a “Human Impact Gradient for Biodiversity (HIGB” based on a three-table ordination method (RLQ analysis and fourth-corner analysis to identify key species traits that are associated with environmental gradient. Species distribution and environmental geographic data were gathered nationwide to analyze 68 localities, which represent 27% of Mexico’s surface, including 211 species of mammals. Nine environmental variables (including biophysical, geophysical and land-use impacts were analyzed by using the Geographic Information System. Three types of species’ traits were evaluated: locomotion, trophic habit and body size. We identified a human impact gradient, which was mainly determined by the percentage of the area that was covered by seedlings, the plant richness, the understory coverage percentage and the human settlement index. The most important species traits that are associated with non-human-impacted sites were carnivores, frugivores–herbivores and a body size that was greater than 17.8 kg; 25 species were selected by the decision criteria framework for species that were sensitive to degradation based on ecological function information. Conversely, granivores, fossorial and semifossorial

  7. Forest rodents provide directed dispersal of Jeffrey pine seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, J.S.; Wall, S.B.V.; Jenkins, S.H.

    2009-01-01

    Some species of animals provide directed dispersal of plant seeds by transporting them nonrandomly to microsites where their chances of producing healthy seedlings are enhanced. We investigated whether this mutualistic interaction occurs between granivorous rodents and Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi) in the eastern Sierra Nevada by comparing the effectiveness of random abiotic seed dispersal with the dispersal performed by four species of rodents: deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), yellow-pine and long-eared chipmunks (Tamias amoenus and T. quadrimaculatus), and golden-mantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus lateralis). We conducted two caching studies using radio-labeled seeds, the first with individual animals in field enclosures and the second with a community of rodents in open forest. We used artificial caches to compare the fates of seeds placed at the range of microsites and depths used by animals with the fates of seeds dispersed abiotically. Finally, we examined the distribution and survival of naturally establishing seedlings over an eight-year period.Several lines of evidence suggested that this community of rodents provided directed dispersal. Animals preferred to cache seeds in microsites that were favorable for emergence or survival of seedlings and avoided caching in microsites in which seedlings fared worst. Seeds buried at depths typical of animal caches (5–25 mm) produced at least five times more seedlings than did seeds on the forest floor. The four species of rodents differed in the quality of dispersal they provided. Small, shallow caches made by deer mice most resembled seeds dispersed by abiotic processes, whereas many of the large caches made by ground squirrels were buried too deeply for successful emergence of seedlings. Chipmunks made the greatest number of caches within the range of depths and microsites favorable for establishment of pine seedlings. Directed dispersal is an important element of the population dynamics of Jeffrey pine, a

  8. Time-trends and congener profiles of PBDEs and PCBs in California peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, June-Soo; Holden, Arthur; Chu, Vivian; Kim, Michele; Rhee, Alexandra; Patel, Puja; Shi, Yating; Linthicum, Janet; Walton, Brian J; McKeown, Karen; Jewell, Nicholas P; Hooper, Kim

    2009-12-01

    High levels (microg/g lw) of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in peregrine falcon eggs from California (n = 90 eggs from 52 birds, 38 nest sites, collected 1986-2007, SigmaPBDEs median = 4.53, range = 0.08-53.1). Over the past 22 years, PBDE levels more than tripled each decade in the eggs, whereas PCB levels had no significant changes. PBDE levels were highest in eggs from major California cities ("Big Cities"), whereas PCBs showed no difference across the regions. For PBDEs, Big City eggs had markedly different patterns from Coastal eggs: BDE-209 and the higher brominated PBDEs (hexa-nona) were dominant congeners in Big City eggs, while BDE-47 and -99 were dominant in Coastal eggs. In many of the birds that gave multiple eggs over time ("time series"), PBDE patterns changed over time: the high proportions of BDE-209 and higher brominated PBDEs (short half-lives) in young birds contrasted with increasingly higher proportions of BDE-153 (long half-life) and other lower brominated PBDEs as the birds aged. These data are consistent with metabolic debromination of BDE-209 (t(1/2) = 1-2 weeks) to the lower brominated PBDEs, with accumulation over time of BDE-153 (t(1/2) = 3-4 years). In contrast, PCB patterns showed no differences by locations, and did not change over time. Diet (prey birds) may explain the urban PBDE pattern, as the patterns in urban pigeons and peregrines were similar, with high proportions of BDE-209 and the higher-brominated PBDEs. Also, our prey data (feathers from peregrine nests) showed urban peregrines having a higher proportion (>2 fold) of granivorous/opportunistic birds (e.g., "introduced feral" pigeons, mourning doves, starlings) in their diet than coastal peregrines. In summary, these data indicate that BDE-209 exits consumer products as an environmental contaminant to be taken up by wildlife (particularly in urban locations), and undergoes metabolic debromination to the banned lower

  9. First record of Phormia regina (Meigen, 1826 (Diptera: Calliphoridae from mummies at the Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral of Castelsardo, Sardinia, Italy

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    Giorgia Giordani

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The studies of insects from archaeological contexts can provide an important supplement of information to reconstruct past events, climate and environments. Furthermore, the list of the species present in an area in the past allows the reconstruction of the entomofauna on that area at that time, that can be different from the nowadays condition, providing information about biodiversity changes. In this work, the results of a funerary archaeoentomological study on samples collected from mummified corpses discovered during the restoration of the crypt of the Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral of Castelsardo (Sardinia, Italy are reported. The majority of the sampled specimens were Diptera puparia, whereas only few Lepidoptera cocoons and some Coleoptera fragments were isolated. Among Diptera, Calliphoridae puparia were identified as Phormia regina (Meigen, 1826 and Calliphora vicina, (Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 both species typical of the first colonization waves of exposed bodies. Three puparia fragments were also identified as belonging to a Sarcophaga Meigen, 1826, species (Sarcophagidae. Several Muscidae puparia of the species Hydrotaea capensis (Weidmermann, 1818, a late colonizer of bodies, and typical of buried bodies were also collected. The few moth (Lepidoptera cocoons were identified as belonging to the family Tineidae. This family comprises species feeding on dry tissues and hair typical of the later phases of the human decomposition. Among Coleoptera a single specimen in the family Histeridae, Saprinus semistriatus (Scriba, 1790 and a single elytra, potentially of a species in the family Tenebrionidae, were also collected. Overall, the samples collected indicated an initial colonization of the bodies in an exposed context, mainly in a warm season. This research allows the finding of elements indicating the presence, at least in the past, of P. regina in Sardinia. This species at the moment seems extinct from Sardinia while it is quite common

  10. Chemical cues released by an alien invasive aquatic gastropod drive its invasion success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raw, Jacqueline L; Miranda, Nelson A F; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2013-01-01

    Chemical cues provide aquatic organisms with sensory information that guides behavioural responses and thus interactions among themselves, each other and the environment. Chemical cues are considered important for predator avoidance, foraging, larval settlement and broadcast spawning in aquatic environments. However, the significance of their role as drivers of direct interactions between heterospecifics has been largely overlooked. A video camera and a demarcated arena were used in situ to record behavioural responses of three native gastropod species, Assiminea cf. capensis, Melanoides tuberculata and Coriandria durbanensis, exposed to treatments representing chemical cues released by a non-native invasive gastropod, Tarebia granifera. The responses were measured quantitatively as displacement and orientation of movement at locations in St Lucia Estuary, within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the east coast of South Africa. All native gastropods exhibited a negative taxis response to chemical cues released by T. granifera, while T. granifera individuals responded randomly to conspecifics. Displacement was measured relative to the source of the extract, the number of steps taken were determined with path analysis and orientation was determined from the mean (±95% CIs) turning angles, with significant negative turning angles representing negative taxis. Responses to treatments corresponding to the environment and conspecifics were random and undirected, indicating kinesis. This study presents evidence for interactions driven by chemical cues between a non-native invasive gastropod and several gastropods native to South Africa. The results indicate that chemical cues can facilitate invasion success as the behavioural response of native gastropods is to move away allowing additional food and space resources to become available to T. granifera.

  11. Hosts, seasonality and geographic distribution of the South African tortoise tick, Amblyomma marmoreum

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    I.G. Horak

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The tortoise tick Amblyomma marmoreum was collected from large numbers of reptiles and other animals during the course of numerous surveys conducted in South Africa. A total of 1 229 ticks, of which 550 were adults, were recovered from 309 reptiles belonging to 13 species, with leopard tortoises, Geochelone pardalis being the most heavily infested. The 269 birds sampled harboured 4 901 larvae, 217 nymphs and no adult ticks, and the prevalence of infestation was greatest on hel meted guinea fowls, Numida meleagris. Only two larvae were recovered from 610 rodents, including 31 spring hares, Pedetes capensis, whereas 1 144 other small mammals yielded 1 835 immature ticks, of which 1 655 were collected from 623 scrub hares, Lepus saxatilis. The 213 carnivores examined harboured 2 459 ticks of which none were adult. A single adult tick and 6 684 larvae and 62 nymphs were recovered from 656 large herbivores, and a total of 4 081 immature ticks and three adults were collected from 1 543 domestic animals and 194 humans. Adult male and female A. marmoreum were most numerous on reptiles during January and February, and larvae during March. The largest numbers of larvae were present on domestic cattle and helmeted guineafowls in the Eastern Cape Province during March or April respectively, whereas larvae were most numerous on helmeted guineafowls, scrub hares and the vegetation in north-eastern Mpumalanga Province during May. In both provinces nymphs were most numerous between October and December. Amblyomma marmoreum appears to be most prevalent in the western regions of the Western and Eastern Cape and Free State provinces, and the north-eastern regions of the Northern Cape, KwaZulu- Natal, Mpumulanga and Limpopo provinces.

  12. [Sequencing of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene in sarcosaphagous flies from 14 provinces in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Li; Cai, Jifeng; Wen, Jifang; Guo, Yadong

    2010-08-01

    To detect the 278 bp region of gene of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) in mitochondral DNA (mtDNA) of sarcosaphagous flies, identify the species of sarcosaphagous flies, and provide reference for forensic application. Samples were collected in Baotou and Chifeng of Inner Mongolia, Tianjin, Nanning, Fuzhou, Linyi of Shandong, Shijiazhuang, Yinchuan, Lanzhou, Huairou of Beijing, Xinxiang and Nanyang of Henan, Datong of Shanxi, Wuhu of Anhui, Quzhou of Zhejiang, Changsha, Zhuzhou and Yongzhou of Hunan. A total of 38 flies were randomly collected from rabbits, dogs and pigs which were set outdoors, then the flies' mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were extracted by the improved small insects DNA homogenate method. Amplification was conducted by Perkin-Elmer 9600 thermal cycler, then vertical non-denaturing 7% polyacrylamide gelectrophoresis. PCR products were purified using the nucleic acid purification kit. Sequences of both strands were obtained by direct sequence of the double-stranded PCR product using one of the PCR primers and the ABI PRISM big dye terminator cycle sequencing dit. Sequence reactions were electrophorsed on ABI Model 3730 DNA Sequencers. A UPGMA tree was contrasted using the maximum composite likelihood method in MEGA4. The 38 sarcosaphagous flies belonged to 3 families(Muscidae, Calliphoridae, and Sarcophagidae), 10 genuses (Musca Linnaeus, Hydrotaea Robineau-Desvoidy, Aldrichina Townsend, Hemipyrellia Townsend, Achoetandrus Bezzi, Protophormia Townsend, Chrysomya Robineau-Desvoidy, Lucilia Robineau-Desvoidy, Helicophagella Enderlein, and Boettcherisca Rohdendorf), and 12 species [Musca domestica (Linnaeus), Hydrotaea (Ophyra) capensis (Wiedemann), Lucilia caesar (Linnaeus), Lucilia illustris (Meigen), Aldrichina graham (Aldrich), Hemipyrellia ligurriens, Achoetandrus (Chrysomya) rufifacies (Macquary), Protophormia terraenovae (Robineau-Desvoidy), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius), Lucilia sericata (Meigen), Helicophagella melanura (Meigen), and

  13. Genus-level taxonomic changes implied by the mitochondrial phylogeny of grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Jean-Dominique; Chen, Wei-Jen; Shen, Kang-Ning; Fu, Cuizhang; Borsa, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    A comprehensive mitochondrial phylogeny of the family Mugilidae (Durand et al., Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 64 (2012) 73-92) demonstrated the polyphyly or paraphyly of a proportion of the 20 genera in the family. Based on these results, here we propose a revised classification with 25 genera, including 15 genera currently recognized as valid (Agonostomus, Aldrichetta, Cestraeus, Chaenomugil, Chelon, Crenimugil, Ellochelon, Joturus, Mugil, Myxus, Neomyxus, Oedalechilus, Rhinomugil, Sicamugil and Trachystoma), 7 resurrected genera [Dajaus (for Agonostomus monticola), Gracilimugil (for Liza argentea), Minimugil (for Sicamugil cascasia), Osteomugil (for several species currently under Moolgarda and Valamugil, including M. cunnesius, M. engeli, M. perusii, and V. robustus), Planiliza (for Indo-Pacific Chelon spp., Indo-Pacific Liza spp., and Paramugil parmatus), Plicomugil (for Oedalechilus labiosus), and Squalomugil (for Rhinomugil nasutus)] and 3 new genera: Neochelon gen. nov. (for Liza falcipinnis), Parachelon gen. nov. (for L. grandisquamis) and Pseudomyxus gen. nov. (for Myxus capensis). Genus Chelon was shown to include exclusively Chelon spp. and Liza spp. from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and Liza spp. species endemic to eastern southern Africa. Genus Crenimugil should now include C. crenilabis, Moolgarda seheli and V. buchanani. Genus names Liza, Moolgarda, Paramugil, Valamugil and Xenomugil should be abandoned because they are no longer valid. Further genetic evidence is required to confirm or infirm the validity of the genus Paracrenimugil Senou 1988. The mitochondrial phylogeny of the 25 genera from the present revision is the following: [(Sicamugil, (Minimugil, Rhinomugil)); Trachystoma; ((Myxus, Neomyxus), (Cestraeus, Chaenomugil, (Agonostomus, Dajaus, Joturus), Mugil)); (Aldrichetta, Gracilimugil); Neochelon gen. nov.; (Pseudomyxus gen. nov., (Chelon, Oedalechilus, Planiliza, Parachelon gen. nov.)); ((Squalomugil, (Ellochelon, Plicomugil)), (Crenimugil

  14. Chemical cues released by an alien invasive aquatic gastropod drive its invasion success.

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    Jacqueline L Raw

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Chemical cues provide aquatic organisms with sensory information that guides behavioural responses and thus interactions among themselves, each other and the environment. Chemical cues are considered important for predator avoidance, foraging, larval settlement and broadcast spawning in aquatic environments. However, the significance of their role as drivers of direct interactions between heterospecifics has been largely overlooked. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A video camera and a demarcated arena were used in situ to record behavioural responses of three native gastropod species, Assiminea cf. capensis, Melanoides tuberculata and Coriandria durbanensis, exposed to treatments representing chemical cues released by a non-native invasive gastropod, Tarebia granifera. The responses were measured quantitatively as displacement and orientation of movement at locations in St Lucia Estuary, within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the east coast of South Africa. All native gastropods exhibited a negative taxis response to chemical cues released by T. granifera, while T. granifera individuals responded randomly to conspecifics. Displacement was measured relative to the source of the extract, the number of steps taken were determined with path analysis and orientation was determined from the mean (±95% CIs turning angles, with significant negative turning angles representing negative taxis. Responses to treatments corresponding to the environment and conspecifics were random and undirected, indicating kinesis. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: This study presents evidence for interactions driven by chemical cues between a non-native invasive gastropod and several gastropods native to South Africa. The results indicate that chemical cues can facilitate invasion success as the behavioural response of native gastropods is to move away allowing additional food and space resources to become available to T. granifera.

  15. Neocortical neuron types in Xenarthra and Afrotheria: implications for brain evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Chet C; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Butti, Camilla; Bonar, Christopher J; Newton, Alisa L; Allman, John M; Hof, Patrick R

    2009-02-01

    Interpreting the evolution of neuronal types in the cerebral cortex of mammals requires information from a diversity of species. However, there is currently a paucity of data from the Xenarthra and Afrotheria, two major phylogenetic groups that diverged close to the base of the eutherian mammal adaptive radiation. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the distribution and morphology of neocortical neurons stained for nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein, calbindin, calretinin, parvalbumin, and neuropeptide Y in three xenarthran species-the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the lesser anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla), and the two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)-and two afrotherian species-the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) and the black and rufous giant elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi). We also studied the distribution and morphology of astrocytes using glial fibrillary acidic protein as a marker. In all of these species, nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive neurons predominated in layer V. These neurons exhibited diverse morphologies with regional variation. Specifically, high proportions of atypical neurofilament-enriched neuron classes were observed, including extraverted neurons, inverted pyramidal neurons, fusiform neurons, and other multipolar types. In addition, many projection neurons in layers II-III were found to contain calbindin. Among interneurons, parvalbumin- and calbindin-expressing cells were generally denser compared to calretinin-immunoreactive cells. We traced the evolution of certain cortical architectural traits using phylogenetic analysis. Based on our reconstruction of character evolution, we found that the living xenarthrans and afrotherians show many similarities to the stem eutherian mammal, whereas other eutherian lineages display a greater number of derived traits.

  16. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findlay, Ken P; Seakamela, S Mduduzi; Meÿer, Michael A; Kirkman, Stephen P; Barendse, Jaco; Cade, David E; Hurwitz, David; Kennedy, Amy S; Kotze, Pieter G H; McCue, Steven A; Thornton, Meredith; Vargas-Fonseca, O Alejandra; Wilke, Christopher G

    2017-01-01

    Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens), hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii), mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis) and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015) identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals) of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun) and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude feeding events

  17. Deterioration of the Gαo vomeronasal pathway in sexually dimorphic mammals.

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    Rodrigo Suárez

    Full Text Available In mammals, social and sexual behaviours are largely mediated by the vomeronasal system (VNS. The accessory olfactory bulb (AOB is the first synaptic locus of the VNS and ranges from very large in Caviomorph rodents, small in carnivores and ungulates, to its complete absence in apes, elephants, most bats and aquatic species. Two pathways have been described in the VNS of mammals. In mice, vomeronasal neurons expressing Gαi2 protein project to the rostral portion of the AOB and respond mostly to small volatile molecules, whereas neurons expressing Gαo project to the caudal AOB and respond mostly to large non-volatile molecules. However, the Gαo-expressing pathway is absent in several species (horses, dogs, musk shrews, goats and marmosets but no hypotheses have been proposed to date to explain the loss of that pathway. We noted that the species that lost the Gαo pathway belong to Laurasiatheria and Primates lineages, both clades with ubiquitous sexual dimorphisms across species. To assess whether similar events of Gαo pathway loss could have occurred convergently in dimorphic species we studied G-protein expression in the AOB of two species that independently evolved sexually dimorphic traits: the California ground squirrel Spermophilus beecheyi (Rodentia; Sciurognathi and the cape hyrax Procavia capensis (Afrotheria; Hyracoidea. We found that both species show uniform expression of Gαi2-protein throughout AOB glomeruli, while Gαo expression is restricted to main olfactory glomeruli only. Our results suggest that the degeneration of the Gαo-expressing vomeronasal pathway has occurred independently at least four times in Eutheria, possibly related to the emergence of sexual dimorphisms and the ability of detecting the gender of conspecifics at distance.

  18. Variance in centrality within rock hyrax social networks predicts adult longevity.

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    Adi Barocas

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In communal mammals the levels of social interaction among group members vary considerably. In recent years, biologists have realized that within-group interactions may affect survival of the group members. Several recent studies have demonstrated that the social integration of adult females is positively associated with infant survival, and female longevity is affected by the strength and stability of the individual social bonds. Our aim was to determine the social factors that influence adult longevity in social mammals. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: As a model system, we studied the social rock hyrax (Procavia capensis, a plural breeder with low reproductive skew, whose groups are mainly composed of females. We applied network theory using 11 years of behavioral data to quantify the centrality of individuals within groups, and found adult longevity to be inversely correlated to the variance in centrality. In other words, animals in groups with more equal associations lived longer. Individual centrality was not correlated with longevity, implying that social tension may affect all group members and not only the weakest or less connected ones. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our novel findings support previous studies emphasizing the adaptive value of social associations and the consequences of inequality among adults within social groups. However, contrary to previous studies, we suggest that it is not the number or strength of associations that an adult individual has (i.e. centrality that is important, but the overall configuration of social relationships within the group (i.e. centrality SD that is a key factor in influencing longevity.

  19. The phylogenetic position of Lygodactylus angularis and the utility of using the 16S rDNA gene for delimiting species in Lygodactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae

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    Riccardo Castiglia

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The African genus Lygodactylus Gray, is composed of roughly 60 species of diurnal geckos that inhabit tropical and temperate Africa, Madagascar, and South America. In this study, we assessed the phylogenetic position of L. angularis, for which molecular data were so far lacking, by means of sequence analysis of the mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene. We also compared intraspecific vs. interspecific genetic divergences using an extended data set (34 species, 153 sequences, to determine whether a fragment of this gene can be useful for species identification and to reveal the possible existence of new cryptic species in the genus. The analysis placed L. angularis in a monophyletic group together with members of “fischeri” and “picturatus” groups. Nevertheless, the independence of the “angularis” lineage is supported by the high genetic divergence. Comparison of intraspecific vs. interspecific genetic distances highlights that, assuming an equal molecular rate of evolution among the studied species for the used gene, the threshold value useful for recognising a candidate new species can be tentatively placed at 7%. We identified four species that showed an intraspecific divergence higher than, or close to, the 7% threshold: L. capensis (8.7%, L. gutturalis (9.3%, L. madagascariensis (6.5% and L. picturatus (8.1%. Moreover, two species, L. mombasicus and L. verticillatus, are paraphyletic in terms of gene genealogy. Thus, the study shows that a short fragment of the 16S rDNA gene can be an informative tool for species-level taxonomy in the genus Lygodactylus.

  20. Drivers of time-activity budget variability during breeding in a pelagic seabird.

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    Gavin M Rishworth

    Full Text Available During breeding, animal behaviour is particularly sensitive to environmental and food resource availability. Additionally, factors such as sex, body condition, and offspring developmental stage can influence behaviour. Amongst seabirds, behaviour is generally predictably affected by local foraging conditions and has therefore been suggested as a potentially useful proxy to indicate prey state. However, besides prey availability and distribution, a range of other variables also influence seabird behavior, and these need to be accounted for to increase the signal-to-noise ratio when assessing specific characteristics of the environment based on behavioural attributes. The aim of this study was to use continuous, fine-scale time-activity budget data from a pelagic seabird (Cape gannet, Morus capensis to determine the influence of intrinsic (sex and body condition and extrinsic (offspring and time variables on parent behaviour during breeding. Foraging trip duration and chick provisioning rates were clearly sex-specific and associated with chick developmental stage. Females made fewer, longer foraging trips and spent less time at the nest during chick provisioning. These sex-specific differences became increasingly apparent with chick development. Additionally, parents in better body condition spent longer periods at their nests and those which returned later in the day had longer overall nest attendance bouts. Using recent technological advances, this study provides new insights into the foraging behaviour of breeding seabirds, particularly during the post-guarding phase. The biparental strategy of chick provisioning revealed in this study appears to be an example where the costs of egg development to the female are balanced by paternal-dominated chick provisioning particularly as the chick nears fledging.

  1. Molecular characterization of Babesia peircei and Babesia ugwidiensis provides insight into the evolution and host specificity of avian piroplasmids

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    Michael J. Yabsley

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available There are 16 recognized species of avian-infecting Babesia spp. (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae. While the classification of piroplasmids has been historically based on morphological differences, geographic isolation and presumed host and/or vector specificities, recent studies employing gene sequence analysis have provided insight into their phylogenetic relationships and host distribution and specificity. In this study, we analyzed the sequences of the 18S rRNA gene and ITS-1 and ITS-2 regions of two Babesia species from South African seabirds: Babesia peircei from African penguins (Spheniscus demersus and Babesia ugwidiensis from Bank and Cape cormorants (Phalacrocorax neglectus and P. capensis, respectively. Our results show that avian Babesia spp. are not monophyletic, with at least three distinct phylogenetic groups. B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis are closely related, and fall within the same phylogenetic group as B. ardeae (from herons Ardea cinerea, B. poelea (from boobies Sula spp. and B. uriae (from murres Uria aalge. The validity of B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis as separate species is corroborated by both morphological and genetic evidence. On the other hand, our results indicate that B. poelea might be a synonym of B. peircei, which in turn would be a host generalist that infects seabirds from multiple orders. Further studies combining morphological and molecular methods are warranted to clarify the taxonomy, phylogeny and host distribution of avian piroplasmids. Keywords: Africa, Babesia, Piroplasmida, Phalacrocoracidae, Spheniscidae, Tick-borne pathogen

  2. Identification of Multiple Loci Associated with Social Parasitism in Honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallberg, Andreas; Pirk, Christian W; Allsopp, Mike H; Webster, Matthew T

    2016-06-01

    In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers) by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis), worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis.

  3. Occurrence of mislabelling in prepared fishery products in Southern Italy

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    Giuseppina Tantillo

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Fish authentication is a major concern not only for the prevention of commercial fraud, but also for the assessment of safety risks deriving from the undeclared introduction of potentially dangerous toxic or allergenic substances or environmentally damaging fish where endangered species are involved. Moreover, food authentication might affect the diet of certain groups of consumers, such as followers of religious practices. Considering the authentication of fish products is one of the key issues in food safety, quality and sustainability, the aim of this work was to investigate the prevalence of mislabelling in sole (Solea solea, plaice (Pleuronectes platessa, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar, and hake (Merluccius merluccius fillets from markets and supermarkets located in Apulia (Southern Italy using DNA barcoding. The results of the molecular investigations reveal that 42/98 (42.8% fillet samples were not correctly labelled. In particular, 12/27 (44.4% fillets of sole (Solea solea were identified as belonging to Solea senegalensis. In addition, 13/28 (46.4% plaice (Pleuronectes platessa samples were identified as Pangasius hypophtalmus. All Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar samples were correctly labelled. Post-sequencing data analysis revealed that 17/30 (56.6% hake fillets (Merluccius merluccius were not correctly labelled, of which 8/30 samples identified as Merluccius hubbsi, 5/30 samples as Merluccius products and 4/30 as Merluccius capensis. The study reveals a high occurrence of species mislabelling in the prepared fish fillet products, further evidence of the need for increased traceability and assessment of the authenticity of food products.

  4. Gametophyte and sporophyte of tree ferns in vitro culture

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    Katarzyna Goller

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Experiments had been carried out on gametophytes and very young fronds of sporophytes with application of Murashige and Skoog (1962 medium. The paper described the results of 15 years in vitro experiments on 16 species of tree ferns belonging to various genera: Blechnum, Cibotium, Cyathea and Dicksonia. Genus Cyathea was represented by: C. australis (R.Br. Domin., C. capensis (L.f. Sm., C. cooperi (F.Muell. Domin, C. brownii Domin, C. dealbata (G.Forest Sw., C. dregei Kunze, C. leichhardtiana (F.Muell. Copel., C. robertsiana (F.Muell. Domin., C. schanschin Mart., C. smithii Hook.f. and Cyathea sp. In case of genus Dicksonia only two species were introduced into our experiments: D. fibrosa Colenso and D. sellowiana Hook.. Taxa Blechnum was presented by B. brasiliense Desv. and Cibotium by C. glaucum (Sm. Hook. and Arn. and C. schiedei Schltdl. and Cham.. The studied species presented various responses on culture conditions depending on the level of stage of development. Time required for spores germination differed between species and took from only a few to 16 weeks. Prothalium formations showed various types of growth presented by marginal meristems. For all investigated species long term gametophyte in vitro cultures was established. Mature gametophyte possessed functional antheridia and archegonia. Spontaneous fertilization helped to establish the culture of young sporophytes. For all species the ex vitro culture in greenhouse collection was established. Manipulation of sucrose content in the medium stimulated the multiplication of gametophytes, but its lack induced formation of gemmae. Apospory was observed when culture of very young fronds was extended for 6 months and new generation of gametophytes was developed. Finally, sporophytes of 12 species were obtained and they have been growing in our greenhouse.

  5. Adult neurogenesis and its anatomical context in the hippocampus of three mole-rat species

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    Irmgard eAmrein

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available African mole-rats (family Bathyergidae are small to medium sized, long-lived and strictly subterranean rodents that became valuable animal models as a result of their longevity and diversity in social organization. The formation and integration of new hippocampal neurons in adult mammals (adult hippocampal neurogenesis, AHN correlates negatively with age and positively with habitat complexity. Here we present quantitative data on AHN in wild-derived mole-rats of one year and older, and briefly describe its anatomical context including markers of neuronal function (calbindin and parvalbumin. Solitary Cape mole-rats (Georychus capensis, social highveld mole-rats (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae, and eusocial naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber were assessed. Compared to other rodents, the hippocampal formation in mole-rats is small, but shows a distinct cytoarchitecture in the dentate gyrus and CA1. Distributions of the calcium-binding proteins differ from those seen in rodents; e.g., calbindin in CA3 of naked mole-rats distributes similar to the pattern seen in early primate development, and calbindin staining extends into the stratum lacunosum-moleculare of Cape mole-rats. Proliferating cells and young neurons are found in low numbers in the hippocampus of all three mole-rat species. Resident granule cell numbers are low as well. Proliferating cells expressed as a percentage of resident granule cells are in the range of other rodents, while the percentage of young neurons is lower than that observed in surface dwelling rodents. Between mole-rat species, we observed no difference in the percentage of proliferating cells. The percentages of young neurons are high in social highveld and naked mole-rats, and low in solitary Cape mole-rats. The findings support that proliferation is regulated independently of average life expectancy and habitat. Instead, neuronal differentiation reflects species-specific demands, which appear lower in subterranean

  6. Adult neurogenesis and its anatomical context in the hippocampus of three mole-rat species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amrein, Irmgard; Becker, Anton S; Engler, Stefanie; Huang, Shih-Hui; Müller, Julian; Slomianka, Lutz; Oosthuizen, Maria K

    2014-01-01

    African mole-rats (family Bathyergidae) are small to medium sized, long-lived, and strictly subterranean rodents that became valuable animal models as a result of their longevity and diversity in social organization. The formation and integration of new hippocampal neurons in adult mammals (adult hippocampal neurogenesis, AHN) correlates negatively with age and positively with habitat complexity. Here we present quantitative data on AHN in wild-derived mole-rats of 1 year and older, and briefly describe its anatomical context including markers of neuronal function (calbindin and parvalbumin). Solitary Cape mole-rats (Georychus capensis), social highveld mole-rats (Cryptomys hottentotus pretoriae), and eusocial naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) were assessed. Compared to other rodents, the hippocampal formation in mole-rats is small, but shows a distinct cytoarchitecture in the dentate gyrus and CA1. Distributions of the calcium-binding proteins differ from those seen in rodents; e.g., calbindin in CA3 of naked mole-rats distributes similar to the pattern seen in early primate development, and calbindin staining extends into the stratum lacunosum-moleculare of Cape mole-rats. Proliferating cells and young neurons are found in low numbers in the hippocampus of all three mole-rat species. Resident granule cell numbers are low as well. Proliferating cells expressed as a percentage of resident granule cells are in the range of other rodents, while the percentage of young neurons is lower than that observed in surface dwelling rodents. Between mole-rat species, we observed no difference in the percentage of proliferating cells. The percentages of young neurons are high in social highveld and naked mole-rats, and low in solitary Cape mole-rats. The findings support that proliferation is regulated independently of average life expectancy and habitat. Instead, neuronal differentiation reflects species-specific demands, which appear lower in subterranean rodents.

  7. Ear Structures of the Naked Mole-Rat, Heterocephalus glaber, and Its Relatives (Rodentia: Bathyergidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Mason

    Full Text Available Although increasingly popular as a laboratory species, very little is known about the peripheral auditory system of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. In this study, middle and inner ears of naked mole-rats of a range of ages were examined using micro-computed tomography and dissection. The ears of five other bathyergid species (Bathyergus suillus, Cryptomys hottentotus, Fukomys micklemi, Georychus capensis and Heliophobius argenteocinereus were examined for comparative purposes. The middle ears of bathyergids show features commonly found in other members of the Ctenohystrica rodent clade, including a fused malleus and incus, a synovial stapedio-vestibular articulation and the loss of the stapedius muscle. Heterocephalus deviates morphologically from the other bathyergids examined in that it has a more complex mastoid cavity structure, poorly-ossified processes of the malleus and incus, a 'columelliform' stapes and fewer cochlear turns. Bathyergids have semicircular canals with unusually wide diameters relative to their radii of curvature. How the lateral semicircular canal reaches the vestibule differs between species. Heterocephalus has much more limited high-frequency hearing than would be predicted from its small ear structures. The spongy bone forming its ossicular processes, the weak incudo-stapedial articulation, the columelliform stapes and (compared to other bathyergids reduced cochlear coiling are all potentially degenerate features which might reflect a lack of selective pressure on its peripheral auditory system. Substantial intraspecific differences were found in certain middle and inner ear structures, which might also result from relaxed selective pressures. However, such interpretations must be treated with caution in the absence of experimental evidence.

  8. Ear Structures of the Naked Mole-Rat, Heterocephalus glaber, and Its Relatives (Rodentia: Bathyergidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Matthew J; Cornwall, Hannah L; Smith, Ewan St J

    2016-01-01

    Although increasingly popular as a laboratory species, very little is known about the peripheral auditory system of the naked mole-rat, Heterocephalus glaber. In this study, middle and inner ears of naked mole-rats of a range of ages were examined using micro-computed tomography and dissection. The ears of five other bathyergid species (Bathyergus suillus, Cryptomys hottentotus, Fukomys micklemi, Georychus capensis and Heliophobius argenteocinereus) were examined for comparative purposes. The middle ears of bathyergids show features commonly found in other members of the Ctenohystrica rodent clade, including a fused malleus and incus, a synovial stapedio-vestibular articulation and the loss of the stapedius muscle. Heterocephalus deviates morphologically from the other bathyergids examined in that it has a more complex mastoid cavity structure, poorly-ossified processes of the malleus and incus, a 'columelliform' stapes and fewer cochlear turns. Bathyergids have semicircular canals with unusually wide diameters relative to their radii of curvature. How the lateral semicircular canal reaches the vestibule differs between species. Heterocephalus has much more limited high-frequency hearing than would be predicted from its small ear structures. The spongy bone forming its ossicular processes, the weak incudo-stapedial articulation, the columelliform stapes and (compared to other bathyergids) reduced cochlear coiling are all potentially degenerate features which might reflect a lack of selective pressure on its peripheral auditory system. Substantial intraspecific differences were found in certain middle and inner ear structures, which might also result from relaxed selective pressures. However, such interpretations must be treated with caution in the absence of experimental evidence.

  9. Floral diversity, composition and distribution in a montane wetland in hogsback, the eastern cape province, south africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Omar, M.Y.; Tol, J.J.V.; Maroyi, A.

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate plant species diversity, composition and distribution in a montane wetland in Hogsback, Eastern Cape province, South Africa. Twenty four circular plots with radius of 2m were established between March and August 2013 within Hogsback montane wetland. Within each sample plot, the habitat information and species present were recorded including Braun-Blanquet cover-abundance values for all species present in the plot. A total of 41 species belonging to 19 families and 36 genera were recorded. Of the documented species, 7.3% were exotic and endemic to South Africa, indicating diversity and dynamic nature of Hogsback montane wetland flora. Plant families with the highest number of species were: Poaceae (11 species), Asteraceae (six species), Onagraceae and Cyperaceae (three species each) and Lamiaceae with two species. The low number of exotic plant species recorded in Hogsback wetland (three species in total) indicates limited anthropogenic influences. Unique species recorded in Hogsback montane wetland were three species that are endemic to South Africa, namely, Alchemilla capensis Thunb., Helichrysum rosum (P.J. Bergius) Lees and Lysimachia nutans Nees. Five main floristic associations were identified from the Hierarchical Cluster Analysis. The Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) indicated that edaphic factors, particularly area covered with water, erosion category, organic matter content and water table depth were the most important environmental variables measured accounting for the vegetation pattern present in the Hogsback montane wetland. Montane wetlands have a relatively low species richness characterised by unique species compositions which are distinctive and habitat specific. (author)

  10. Experimental climate warming decreases photosynthetic efficiency of lichens in an arid South African ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maphangwa, Khumbudzo Walter; Musil, Charles F; Raitt, Lincoln; Zedda, Luciana

    2012-05-01

    Elevated temperatures and diminished precipitation amounts accompanying climate warming in arid ecosystems are expected to have adverse effects on the photosynthesis of lichen species sensitive to elevated temperature and/or water limitation. This premise was tested by artificially elevating temperatures (increase 2.1-3.8°C) and reducing the amounts of fog and dew precipitation (decrease 30.1-31.9%), in an approximation of future climate warming scenarios, using transparent hexagonal open-top warming chambers placed around natural populations of four lichen species (Xanthoparmelia austroafricana, X. hyporhytida , Xanthoparmelia. sp., Xanthomaculina hottentotta) at a dry inland site and two lichen species (Teloschistes capensis and Ramalina sp.) at a humid coastal site in the arid South African Succulent Karoo Biome. Effective photosynthetic quantum yields ([Formula: see text]) were measured hourly throughout the day at monthly intervals in pre-hydrated lichens present in the open-top warming chambers and in controls which comprised demarcated plots of equivalent open-top warming chamber dimensions constructed from 5-cm-diameter mesh steel fencing. The cumulative effects of the elevated temperatures and diminished precipitation amounts in the open-top warming chambers resulted in significant decreases in lichen [Formula: see text]. The decreases were more pronounced in lichens from the dry inland site (decline 34.1-46.1%) than in those from the humid coastal site (decline 11.3-13.7%), most frequent and prominent in lichens at both sites during the dry summer season, and generally of greatest magnitude at or after the solar noon in all seasons. Based on these results, we conclude that climate warming interacting with reduced precipitation will negatively affect carbon balances in endemic lichens by increasing desiccation damage and reducing photosynthetic activity time, leading to increased incidences of mortality.

  11. Humpback whale "super-groups" - A novel low-latitude feeding behaviour of Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae in the Benguela Upwelling System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken P Findlay

    Full Text Available Southern Hemisphere humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae generally undertake annual migrations from polar summer feeding grounds to winter calving and nursery grounds in subtropical and tropical coastal waters. Evidence for such migrations arises from seasonality of historic whaling catches by latitude, Discovery and natural mark returns, and results of satellite tagging studies. Feeding is generally believed to be limited to the southern polar region, where Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba has been identified as the primary prey item. Non-migrations and / or suspended migrations to the polar feeding grounds have previously been reported from a summer presence of whales in the Benguela System, where feeding on euphausiids (E. lucens, hyperiid amphipods (Themisto gaudichaudii, mantis shrimp (Pterygosquilla armata capensis and clupeid fish has been described. Three recent research cruises (in October/November 2011, October/November 2014 and October/November 2015 identified large tightly-spaced groups (20 to 200 individuals of feeding humpback whales aggregated over at least a one-month period across a 220 nautical mile region of the southern Benguela System. Feeding behaviour was identified by lunges, strong milling and repetitive and consecutive diving behaviours, associated bird and seal feeding, defecations and the pungent "fishy" smell of whale blows. Although no dedicated prey sampling could be carried out within the tightly spaced feeding aggregations, observations of E. lucens in the region of groups and the full stomach contents of mantis shrimp from both a co-occurring predatory fish species (Thyrsites atun and one entangled humpback whale mortality suggest these may be the primary prey items of at least some of the feeding aggregations. Reasons for this recent novel behaviour pattern remain speculative, but may relate to increasing summer humpback whale abundance in the region. These novel, predictable, inter-annual, low latitude

  12. Spillover Events of Infection of Brown Hares (Lepus europaeus) with Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Type 2 Virus (RHDV2) Caused Sporadic Cases of an European Brown Hare Syndrome-Like Disease in Italy and Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velarde, R; Cavadini, P; Neimanis, A; Cabezón, O; Chiari, M; Gaffuri, A; Lavín, S; Grilli, G; Gavier-Widén, D; Lavazza, A; Capucci, L

    2017-12-01

    Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is a lagovirus that can cause fatal hepatitis (rabbit haemorrhagic disease, RHD) with mortality of 80-90% in farmed and wild rabbits. Since 1986, RHDV has caused outbreaks in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Europe, but never in European brown hares (Lepus europaeus, EBH). In 2010, a new RHDV-related virus, called RHDV2, emerged in Europe, causing extended epidemics because it largely overcame the immunity to RHDV present in most rabbit populations. RHDV2 also was identified in Cape hare (Lepus capensis subsp. mediterraneus) and in Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus). Here, we describe two distinct incidents of RHDV2 infection in EBH that occurred in Italy (2012) and Spain (2014). The two RHDV2 strains caused macroscopic and microscopic lesions similar to European brown hare syndrome (EBHS) in hares, and they were genetically related to other RHDV2 strains in Europe. EBHs are common in Europe, often sharing habitat with rabbits. They likely have been exposed to high levels of RHDV2 during outbreaks in rabbits in recent years, yet only two incidents of RHDV2 in EBHs have been found in Italy and Spain, suggesting that EBHs are not a primary host. Instead, they may act as spillover hosts in situations when infection pressure is high and barriers between rabbits and hares are limited, resulting in occasional infections causing EBHS-like lesions. The serological survey of stocked hare sera taken from Italian and Spanish hare populations provided an understanding of naturally occurring RHDV2 infection in the field confirming its sporadic occurrence in EBH. Our findings increase the knowledge on distribution, host range and epidemiology of RHDV2. © 2016 The Authors. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases Published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  13. A molecular phylogeny of Afromontane dwarf geckos (Lygodactylus) reveals a single radiation and increased species diversity in a South African montane center of endemism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travers, Scott L; Jackman, Todd R; Bauer, Aaron M

    2014-11-01

    Afromontane habitats throughout eastern sub-Saharan Africa support remarkable levels of microendemism. However, despite being the subject of decades of research interest, biogeographical patterns of diversification throughout this disjunct montane system still remain largely unknown. We examined the evolutionary relationships of diurnal dwarf geckos (Lygodactylus) from several Afromontane regions throughout southeastern Africa, focusing primarily on two species groups (rex and bonsi groups). Using both mitochondrial and nuclear markers, we generate a molecular phylogeny containing all members of the rex and bonsi groups, to evaluate the monophyly of these groups along with previous biogeographic hypotheses suggesting independent southward invasions into the greater Drakensberg Afromontane center of endemism in northeastern South Africa by each group. Our results provide no support for these taxonomic and biogeographic hypotheses, and instead reveal geographically circumscribed patterns of diversification. One clade is restricted to the highlands of southern Malawi and northern Mozambique and the other to the greater Drakensberg region of northeastern South Africa and Swaziland. Interestingly, L. bernardi from the Nyanga Highlands of eastern Zimbabwe is nested within the primarily savanna-dwelling capensis group. We use Bayesian species delimitation methods to evaluate species limits within the greater Drakensberg clade, which support the elevation of the subspecies of L. ocellatus and L. nigropunctatus, thus bringing the total to eight species within a relatively confined geographic area. These results further highlight the greater Drakensberg Afromontane region as both an important center of endemism, as well as a center of diversification contributing to the accumulation of southern Africa's rich species diversity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Variability in the Foraging Distribution and Diet of Cape Gannets between the Guard and Post-guard Phases of the Breeding Cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan A. Botha

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available During breeding, seabirds are central place foragers and are sensitive to changes in local prey availability. As the breeding season progresses, foraging behavior and distribution is expected to change in response to possible changes in local prey availability. In addition, adult gender, and the increasing nutritional demands of a growing chick may also influence the foraging behavior of individuals. At present, relatively few studies have assessed the foraging behavior of adult birds during the late post-guard stages of chick rearing. Through a combination of GPS tracking and diet sampling we investigated the foraging distances, spatial distribution, and prey composition of adult Cape gannets (Morus capensis during the guard and post-guard stages of chick rearing. We found no clear evidence for consistent sex-specific differences in foraging distances and spatial distribution during the guard stage, although marginal differences in the location of core foraging areas during the post-guard stage were apparent. Results, however, revealed a clear increase in foraging range from the early guard to the late post-guard stage of chick rearing. During December the diet was comprised almost exclusively of anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus, the proportion of which had decreased significantly in the diet by January. This was mirrored by a substantial increase in the proportion of saury (Scomberesox saurus. These results suggest that Cape gannets show flexibility in the foraging behavior and diet, which may be related to changes in the abundance and distribution of prey or may reflect changes in the energetic requirements of the growing offspring. This study provides the first assessment of Cape gannet foraging behavior and spatial distribution during the post-guard stage of chick rearing. The importance of considering intra-annual variability in foraging distribution when using seabird tracking data in trophic and marine spatial planning studies are

  15. Identification of Multiple Loci Associated with Social Parasitism in Honeybees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Wallberg

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis, worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis.

  16. Caudal fin allometry in the white shark Carcharodon carcharias: implications for locomotory performance and ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingham-Soliar, Theagarten

    2005-05-01

    Allometric scaling analysis was employed to investigate the consequences of size evolution on hydrodynamic performance and ecology in the white shark Carcharodon carcharias. Discriminant analysis using the power equation y=axb was negative for caudal fin span (S) versus fork length (FL) in C. carcharias. In contrast in two delphinid species, Delphinus capensis and Tursiops aduncus, the span of the flukes versus fork length rises in positive allometric fashion, and strong positive allometry of S versus √A (area) was also recorded. The latter reflects a high lift/drag ratio. S versus √A in C. carcharias displays negative allometry and consequently a lower lift/drag ratio. A lower aspect ratio (AR) caudal fin in C. carcharias compared to that of the delphinids (mean 3.33 and 4.1, respectively) and other thunniform swimmers provides the potential for better maneuverability and acceleration. The liver in sharks is frequently associated with a buoyancy function and was found to be positively allometric in C. carcharias. The overall findings suggest that the negatively allometric caudal fin morphometrics in C. carcharias are unlikely to have deleterious evolutionary fitness consequences for predation. On the contrary, when considered in the context of positive liver allometry in C. carcharias it is hereby suggested that buoyancy may play a dominant role in larger white sharks in permitting slow swimming while minimizing energy demands needed to prevent sinking. In contrast hydrodynamic lift is considered more important in smaller white sharks. Larger caudal fin spans and higher lift/drag ratio in smaller C. carcharias indicate greater potential for prolonged, intermediate swimming speeds and for feeding predominantly on fast-moving fish, in contrast to slow-swimming search patterns of larger individuals for predominantly large mammalian prey. Such data may provide some answers to the lifestyle and widespread habitat capabilities of this still largely mysterious animal.

  17. Observaciones sobre la composición, ecología, y zoogeografía de la avifauna de la sierra de Chiribiquete, Caqueta, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stiles Hurd Frank Galfierd

    1995-06-01

    Full Text Available We report on an inventory of the avifauna of a mesa in the Sierra de Chlribiquete, a range of table-top mountains isolated in the Amazonian lowlands of SE Colombia, and previously unexplored ornithologically. Habitats in our study area included brushy savanna and scrub, and several types of forests. We recorded a total of 77 species, and collected 38 specimens representing 25 species. The avifauna of the study area was striking lor lts low density of individuals and low speeies diversity, probably related to the low productivity and poor nutrient content of the very shallow, sandy soil. In general, avian species richness per habitat was correlated with the height and structural and taxonomic diversity of the vegetation, with 20- 40 species in the different lorest habitats, and 13-16 species in savanna and scrub. Trophic groups well represented in the avifauna included small insectivores, raptores, and nectarivores (at least in terms of numbers of species; acuatic birds, frugivores and granivores were poorly represented. Families well represented included Formicariidae, Tyrannidae, and Trochilidae; few or no species of families of large frugivores like Psittacidae, Ramphastidae, or Cotingidae, or granivores like Columbidae or Emberizidae were recorded. The oscines in general were poorly represented, and no less than 8 of 21 species were boreal migrants. Neomorphus rufipennis was recorded for the first time in Colombia. For most species, the breeding season had not yet begun, and food resources, especially fruit, appeared to be scarce. The bulk of the avifauna shows close affinities with the birds of the savannas and sandy-belt forests of the Orinocan region, and not with the humid forest birdsof theAndean foothills or the Amazonian region. The distribution of these birds was probably more continuous during the Pleistocene, when savannas evidently covered much of SE Colombia. A small number of species have apparently dispersed to the Sierra from

  18. Cooperation between scientists, NGOs and industry in support of sustainable fisheries: the South African hake Merluccius spp. trawl fishery experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, J G; Attwood, C G; Jarre, A; Sink, K; Atkinson, L J; Petersen, S

    2013-10-01

    This paper examines the increasingly close interaction between natural and social scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and industry, in pursuit of responsible ecosystem-based management of fisheries. South Africa has committed to implementing an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Management advice stems from multi-stakeholder representation on government-led scientific and management working groups. In the hake Merluccius capensis and Merluccius paradoxus fishery, the primary management measure is an annual total allowable catch (TAC), the level of which is calculated using a management procedure (MP) that is revised approximately every 4 years. Revision of the MP is a consultative process involving most stakeholders, and is based on simulation modelling of projected probable scenarios of resource and fishery dynamics under various management options. NGOs, such as the Worldwide Fund for Nature in South Africa (WWF-SA), have played an important role in influencing consumers, the fishing industry and government to develop responsible fishing practices that minimize damage to marine ecosystems. Cooperation between industry, government and scientists has helped to improve sustainability and facilitated the meeting of market-based incentives for more responsible fisheries. Research includes ecosystem modelling, spatial analysis and ecosystem risk assessment with increasing research focus on social and economic aspects of the fishery. A four-year cooperative experiment to quantify the effect of trawling on benthic community structure is being planned. The food requirements of top predators still need to be included in the TAC-setting formulae and more social and economic research is needed. This paper also demonstrates how NGO initiatives such as Marine Stewardship Council certification and the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative, a traffic light system of classifying seafood for consumers, have contributed to responsible fishing

  19. Concentration and subcellular distribution of trace elements in liver of small cetaceans incidentally caught along the Brazilian coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunito, Takashi; Nakamura, Shinji; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Rosas, Fernando C.W.; Fillmann, Gilberto; Readman, James W

    2004-10-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, T-Hg, Org-Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver samples of estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis; n=20), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei; n=23), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; n=2), common dolphin (Delphinus capensis; n=1) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba; n=1) incidentally caught along the coast of Sao Paulo State and Parana State, Brazil, from 1997 to 1999. The hepatic concentrations of trace elements in the Brazilian cetaceans were comparable to the data available in literature on marine mammals from Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of V, Se, Mo, Cd, T-Hg and Org-Hg increased with increasing age in liver of both estuarine and Franciscana dolphins. Very high concentrations of Cu (range, 262-1970 {mu}g/g dry wt.) and Zn (range, 242-369 {mu}g/g dry wt.) were observed in liver of sucklings of estuarine dolphin. Hepatic concentrations of V, Se, T-Hg, Org-Hg and Pb were significantly higher in estuarine dolphin, whereas Franciscana dolphin showed higher concentrations of Mn, Co, As and Rb. Ratio of Org-Hg to T-Hg in liver was significantly higher in Franciscana dolphin than estuarine dolphin, suggesting that demethylation ability of methyl Hg might be lower in liver of Franciscana than estuarine dolphins. High hepatic concentrations of Ag were found in some specimens of Franciscana dolphin (maximum, 20 {mu}g/g dry wt.), and 17% of Franciscana showed higher concentrations of Ag than Hg. These samples with high Ag concentration also exhibited elevated hepatic Se concentration, implying that Ag might be detoxified by Se in the liver. Higher correlation coefficient between (Hg + 0.5 Ag) and Se than between Hg and Se and the large distribution of Ag in non-soluble fraction in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction of the liver also suggests that Ag might be detoxified by Se via formation of Ag{sub 2}Se in the liver of Franciscana

  20. A metagenomic viral discovery approach identifies potential zoonotic and novel mammalian viruses in Neoromicia bats within South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geldenhuys, Marike; Mortlock, Marinda; Weyer, Jacqueline; Bezuidt, Oliver; Seamark, Ernest C J; Kearney, Teresa; Gleasner, Cheryl; Erkkila, Tracy H; Cui, Helen; Markotter, Wanda

    2018-01-01

    Species within the Neoromicia bat genus are abundant and widely distributed in Africa. It is common for these insectivorous bats to roost in anthropogenic structures in urban regions. Additionally, Neoromicia capensis have previously been identified as potential hosts for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-related coronaviruses. This study aimed to ascertain the gastrointestinal virome of these bats, as viruses excreted in fecal material or which may be replicating in rectal or intestinal tissues have the greatest opportunities of coming into contact with other hosts. Samples were collected in five regions of South Africa over eight years. Initial virome composition was determined by viral metagenomic sequencing by pooling samples and enriching for viral particles. Libraries were sequenced on the Illumina MiSeq and NextSeq500 platforms, producing a combined 37 million reads. Bioinformatics analysis of the high throughput sequencing data detected the full genome of a novel species of the Circoviridae family, and also identified sequence data from the Adenoviridae, Coronaviridae, Herpesviridae, Parvoviridae, Papillomaviridae, Phenuiviridae, and Picornaviridae families. Metagenomic sequencing data was insufficient to determine the viral diversity of certain families due to the fragmented coverage of genomes and lack of suitable sequencing depth, as some viruses were detected from the analysis of reads-data only. Follow up conventional PCR assays targeting conserved gene regions for the Adenoviridae, Coronaviridae, and Herpesviridae families were used to confirm metagenomic data and generate additional sequences to determine genetic diversity. The complete coding genome of a MERS-related coronavirus was recovered with additional amplicon sequencing on the MiSeq platform. The new genome shared 97.2% overall nucleotide identity to a previous Neoromicia-associated MERS-related virus, also from South Africa. Conventional PCR analysis detected diverse adenovirus and

  1. An antimicrobial evaluation of plants used for the treatment of respiratory infections in rural Maputaland, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, T; van Vuuren, S F; de Wet, H

    2012-10-31

    Abundant availability of medicinal plants in the study area offers low cost health care, but scientific validation is needed in order to lend credibility to the traditional use against respiratory infections. This study focussed on determining the antimicrobial efficacies of 30 plant species (independently and in various combinations) used for respiratory related infections in rural Maputaland. In vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays were undertaken on dichloromethane-methanol (CH(2)Cl(2): MeOH) and aqueous extracts, as well as the hydro-distilled essential oils (for aromatic plants). Selected plant parts were assessed for antimicrobial activity against a range of respiratory pathogens i.e. Cryptococcus neoformans (ATCC 14116), Klebsiella pneumoniae (ATCC 13883), Moraxella catarrhalis (ATCC 23246), Mycobacterium smegmatis (ATCC 14468) and Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538). The sum of the fractional inhibitory concentrations (∑FIC) was determined for plants traditionally used in combination. Isobolograms represent MIC values for a selection of interactions where two plants were combined in various ratios. The most antimicrobially active aqueous extracts were that of Ozoroa obovata and Sclerocarya birrea (0.10 mg/ml) while organic extracts from Parinari capensis subsp. incohata and Tetradenia riparia demonstrated the most noteworthy (0.03 mg/ml) activity. Although both Lippia javanica and Eucalyptus grandis were by far the most popular plants traditionally used for respiratory infections, the antimicrobial activity was mostly only moderate. Furthermore, the traditional use in a 1:1 combination did not display strong antimicrobial interactions, but isobolograms demonstrate (against some test organisms) that when combined in various ratios, predominant additive interactions are evident where E. grandis was present in larger proportions. The combination of E. grandis with O. obovata demonstrated synergism against both C. neoformans and K. pneumoniae

  2. Medicinal plants used in treatment and management of cancer in Kakamega County, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochwang'i, Dominic O; Kimwele, Charles N; Oduma, Jemimah A; Gathumbi, Peter K; Mbaria, James M; Kiama, Stephen G

    2014-02-12

    Traditional medicine plays a critical role in treatment of chronic debilitating and life threatening conditions and diseases. Cancer is one such condition whose therapeutic intervention is commonly through inexpensive traditional herbal remedies. Increasingly industrialised societies are developing drugs and chemotherapeutics from these traditional herbal plants. Plant biogeography determines the abundance and availability of medicinal plants which in turn determine their use by local communities. The present study was carried out in Kakamega County of Kenya to identify and document medicinal plants used for treatment and management of cancer states by communities living adjacent to Kakamega Tropical rainforest of Kakamega County, Kenya. An ethnobotanical survey was done using semi-structured questionnaires administered to 32 randomly selected herbalists from Kakamega County. Sixty five (65) plants of 59 genera and 32 families were identified as candidates in therapeutic intervention against cancer states. Most commonly cited plant species were Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv. ssp. nilotica (Seem), Microglossa pyrifolia (Lam.) Kuntze, Harungana madagascariensis Lam. ex poir, Prunus africana (Hook. f.) kalkman, Cyphostemma serpens (A. Rich), Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don and Aloe volkensii Engl. The following were documented for the first time; Aeschynomene abyssinica (A. Rich.) Vatke, Synsepalum cerasiferum (welw.) T. D penn., Albizia coriaria Welw. ex Oliv., Aloe volkensii Engl. Bridelia micrantha (Hochst.) Baill, Croton macrostachyus Delile, Cyphostemma serpens (A. Rich), Dicliptera laxata C.B. Clarke, Ekebergia capensis Sparrm., Gardenia volkensii K. schum. ssp. volkensii, Glycine wightii (wight & Arn.), Ocimum gratissimum Suave, Olea hotcsh spp. hochstetteri, Pavetta abyssinica Fresen., Phyllanthus fischeri Pax, Psydrax schimperiana (A. Rich), Rhus vulgaris Meikle, Senna didymobotyra (Fresen.) Irwin and Barneby, Solanecio nandensis (S. Moore) C. Jeffrey

  3. Concentration and subcellular distribution of trace elements in liver of small cetaceans incidentally caught along the Brazilian coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunito, Takashi; Nakamura, Shinji; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Rosas, Fernando C.W.; Fillmann, Gilberto; Readman, James W.

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, T-Hg, Org-Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver samples of estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis; n=20), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei; n=23), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; n=2), common dolphin (Delphinus capensis; n=1) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba; n=1) incidentally caught along the coast of Sao Paulo State and Parana State, Brazil, from 1997 to 1999. The hepatic concentrations of trace elements in the Brazilian cetaceans were comparable to the data available in literature on marine mammals from Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of V, Se, Mo, Cd, T-Hg and Org-Hg increased with increasing age in liver of both estuarine and Franciscana dolphins. Very high concentrations of Cu (range, 262-1970 μg/g dry wt.) and Zn (range, 242-369 μg/g dry wt.) were observed in liver of sucklings of estuarine dolphin. Hepatic concentrations of V, Se, T-Hg, Org-Hg and Pb were significantly higher in estuarine dolphin, whereas Franciscana dolphin showed higher concentrations of Mn, Co, As and Rb. Ratio of Org-Hg to T-Hg in liver was significantly higher in Franciscana dolphin than estuarine dolphin, suggesting that demethylation ability of methyl Hg might be lower in liver of Franciscana than estuarine dolphins. High hepatic concentrations of Ag were found in some specimens of Franciscana dolphin (maximum, 20 μg/g dry wt.), and 17% of Franciscana showed higher concentrations of Ag than Hg. These samples with high Ag concentration also exhibited elevated hepatic Se concentration, implying that Ag might be detoxified by Se in the liver. Higher correlation coefficient between (Hg + 0.5 Ag) and Se than between Hg and Se and the large distribution of Ag in non-soluble fraction in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction of the liver also suggests that Ag might be detoxified by Se via formation of Ag 2 Se in the liver of Franciscana dolphin

  4. Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in the Maseru district of Lesotho.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seleteng Kose, Lerato; Moteetee, Annah; Van Vuuren, Sandy

    2015-07-21

    Ethnobotanical knowledge in Lesotho is passed on orally from one generation to another. As a result it has not been well documented. Existing publications have relied on previous literature and are limited either in terms of scope or coverage. Furthermore, some of them are out of print. Therefore, there are gaps in the documentation of medicinal plants used in Lesotho. The purpose of the current study is to investigate common ailments in Lesotho's traditional medicine and document plants that are used in treating such ailments. Interviews were conducted in five urban and four rural areas of the capital town of Maseru, by means of questionnaires to elicit information on medicinal plant use to cure common ailments. The informants were 20 males and seven females comprising 15 traditional healers, 11 herbalists and one pharmacist. Reproductive ailments were found to be the most commonly treated, followed by respiratory, degenerative and digestive problems. A list of the 80 plants used for treating the common ailments is given. A total of 44 families is represented, with Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Asphodelaceae and Poaceae families having the highest number of species used for medicinal purposes. The most frequently mentioned medicinal plants in interviews include; Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Pentanisia prunelloides, Hypoxis hermerocallidea, Eriocephalus sp., Salvia runcinata, Scabiosa columbaria, Dicoma anomala, Morella serrata, Xysmalobium undulatum, and Leobordea lanceolata. Due to the high demand of medicinal plants, some species such as L. lanceolata, Tephrosia capensis, E. elephantina, D. anomala and P. prunelloides were reported as over-harvested. In some cases animal products are added to the medicinal plants to enhance their curative abilities. A total of 80 plants were recorded in the study as treating 38 common ailments in the Maseru district of Lesotho. Records of eight medicinal plants and 146 new medicinal uses of 34 plants that were not recorded elsewhere in

  5. Phylogeny, biogeography and ecological diversification of Sarcocornia (Salicornioideae, Amaranthaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, Simone; Ball, Peter; Mucina, Ladislav; Kadereit, Gudrun

    2015-01-01

    advantageous in stressed environments with prolonged flooding, high tidal movement and frost. Some of these prostrate-habit types might be considered as ecotypes (e.g. S. pacifica or S. pillansii) while others represent good ecospecies (e.g. S. perennis, S. decumbens, S. capensis), hence representing different stages of speciation. PMID:25617410

  6. Down, but not out: Recent decline of Berg–Breede River whitefish (Barbus andrewi in the upper Hex River, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy M. Shelton

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Berg–Breede River whitefish, Barbus andrewi, an endangered Cape Floristic Region endemic, was once widespread in both the Berg and Breede River catchments. However, its distribution has been strongly reduced, apparently by human-related activities, over the last century, and the Hex River now contains one of the last recruiting populations within its native range. This population was last surveyed by Christie who found that the species occurred in six pools over a 9-km stretch of the upper Hex River. We re-surveyed fish populations at Christie’s sites in 2015 to evaluate differences in the fish community between 2002 and 2015. Our data indicated that the distribution of B. andrewi in the Hex River has declined from six to four pools and that its density in the study area in 2015 (0.57 fish per 100 m2 ± 0.31 fish per 100 m2 was more than fivefold lower than that recorded in 2002 (3.39 fish per 100 m2 ± 1.40 fish per 100 m2 . Moreover, small size classes of B. andrewi (< 10 cm were largely absent in 2015, indicating recruitment failure in recent years. Habitat degradation, exacerbated by a severe flood in 2008, and recent invasions by predatory non-native fishes (smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu and sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus are identified as likely causes of this decline. Cape kurper, Sandelia capensis, another native species, was relatively common in 2002 but not recorded in 2015, whereas the density of native Breede River redfin, Pseudobarbus burchelli, was higher in 2015 than in 2002. Urgent conservation actions including managing non-native fish invasions and mitigating agricultural impacts on aquatic habitat are required to prevent further decline, and possible extirpation, of the Hex River population of B. andrewi. Conservation implications: Urgent conservation actions including preventing further increases in the abundance and distribution of non-native fishes, and improving habitat and water quality through

  7. Genomic and phylogenetic characterization of luminous bacteria symbiotic with the deep-sea fish Chlorophthalmus albatrossis (Aulopiformes: Chlorophthalmidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunlap, Paul V; Ast, Jennifer C

    2005-02-01

    Bacteria forming light-organ symbiosis with deep-sea chlorophthalmid fishes (Aulopiformes: Chlorophthalmidae) are considered to belong to the species Photobacterium phosphoreum. The identification of these bacteria as P. phosphoreum, however, was based exclusively on phenotypic traits, which may not discriminate between phenetically similar but evolutionarily distinct luminous bacteria. Therefore, to test the species identification of chlorophthalmid symbionts, we carried out a genomotypic (repetitive element palindromic PCR genomic profiling) and phylogenetic analysis on strains isolated from the perirectal light organ of Chlorophthalmus albatrossis. Sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of 10 strains from 5 fish specimens placed these bacteria in a cluster related to but phylogenetically distinct from the type strain of P. phosphoreum, ATCC 11040(T), and the type strain of Photobacterium iliopiscarium, ATCC 51760(T). Analysis of gyrB resolved the C. albatrossis strains as a strongly supported clade distinct from P. phosphoreum and P. iliopiscarium. Genomic profiling of 109 strains from the 5 C. albatrossis specimens revealed a high level of similarity among strains but allowed identification of genomotypically different types from each fish. Representatives of each type were then analyzed phylogenetically, using sequence of the luxABFE genes. As with gyrB, analysis of luxABFE resolved the C. albatrossis strains as a robustly supported clade distinct from P. phosphoreum. Furthermore, other strains of luminous bacteria reported as P. phosphoreum, i.e., NCIMB 844, from the skin of Merluccius capensis (Merlucciidae), NZ-11D, from the light organ of Nezumia aequalis (Macrouridae), and pjapo.1.1, from the light organ of Physiculus japonicus (Moridae), grouped phylogenetically by gyrB and luxABFE with the C. albatrossis strains, not with ATCC 11040(T). These results demonstrate that luminous bacteria symbiotic with C. albatrossis, together with certain other strains of

  8. Avifauna de la Reserva de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlán, Hidalgo, México Birds of the Biosphere Reserve Barranca de Metztitlán, Hidalgo, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raúl Ortiz-Pulido

    2010-08-01

    types were: submontane shrubland with 113 species, tropical deciduous forest with 97, Juniperus forest with 96, and crasicaule shrubland with Stenocereus dumortieri dominance with 91. The best represented gremials were: insectivorous (235 species, frugivorous (88, and granivorous (85. We found 17 species under some risk category according with the Mexican law, and 32 species possesses some endemic degree. In the reserve inhabit near of the 60% of the birds of the Hidalgo state and 27% of the Mexican birds. This region should be considered as an Important Bird Area in Mexico.

  9. Stormwater runoff mitigation and nutrient leaching from a green roof designed to attract native pollinating insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, S.; Grogan, D. S.; Hale, S. R.

    2013-12-01

    A green roof is typically installed for one of two reasons: to mitigate the 'urban heat island' effect, reducing ambient temperatures and creating energy savings, or to reduce both the quantity and intensity of stormwater runoff, which is a major cause of river erosion and eutrophication. The study of green roofs in the United States has focused on commercial systems that use a proprietary expanded shale or clay substrate, along with succulent desert plants (mainly Sedum species). The green roof has the potential not only to provide thermal insulation and reduce storm runoff, but also to reclaim some of the natural habitat that has been lost to the built environment. Of special importance is the loss of habitat for pollinating insects, particularly native bees, which have been in decline for at least two decades. These pollinators are essential for crop production and for the reproduction of at least 65% of wild plants globally. Our study involves the installation of a small (4ft by 4ft), self-designed green roof system built with readily available components from a hardware store. The garden will be filled with a soilless potting mix, combined with 15% compost, and planted with grasses and wildflowers native to the Seacoast, New Hampshire region. Some of the plant species are used by bees for nesting materials, while others provide food in the form of nectar, pollen, and seeds for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and granivorous birds. We monitor precipitation on the roof and runoff from the garden on a per storm basis, and test grab samples of runoff for dissolved organic nitrogen and phosphorous. Runoff and nutrient concentration results are compared to a non-vegetated roof surface, and a proprietary Green Grid green roof system. This project is designed to address three main questions of interest: 1) Can these native plant species, which potentially provide greater ecosystem services than Sedum spp. in the form of food and habitat, survive in the conditions on

  10. Aves de fragmentos florestais em área de cultivo de cana-de-açúcar no sudeste do Brasil Birds of forest fragments in area of sugar-cane crops in southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Augusto Piratelli

    , granivores, carnivores, frugivores, piscivores, nectarivores, omnivores and carrion eaters. The species were also allocated into smaller guilds, associated to their habitats. Some species only fly over the fragments, as Egretta thula (Molina, 1782, while others are residents, as Manacus manacus (Linnaeus, 1766, and some used these fragments for nocturnal resting, as Amazona amazonica (Linnaeus, 1766. Small understory species apparently do not travel between fragments, given their relatively large spacing. Raptors, such as Rupornis magnirostris (Gmelin, 1789 live in both fragments and nearby open areas. Fragments in critical situation, supporting mainly generalists and/or edge species, still support some species with ecological interest, such as Rhynchocyclus olivaceus (Temminck, 1820 and A. amazonica.

  11. Science & education: Genetic analysis of winter social structure and social traits in a migratory sparrow & teaching argumentation in STEM education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnberg, Nina N.

    Stable social organization in a wide variety of organisms has been linked to kinship, which can minimize conflict due to the indirect fitness benefits from cooperating with relatives. In birds, kin selection has been mostly studied in the context of reproduction or in species that are social year round. Many birds however are migratory and the role of kinship in the winter societies of these species is virtually unexplored. A previous study detected striking social complexity and stability in wintering populations of migratory golden-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla)---individuals repeatedly form close associations with the same social partners, including across multiple winters. In chapter one I test the possibility that kinship might be involved in these close and stable social affiliations. I examine the relationship between kinship and social structure for two of the consecutive wintering seasons from the previous study. I found no evidence that social structure was influenced by kinship---relatedness between most pairs of individuals was at most that of first cousins (and mostly far lower) and Mantel tests revealed no relationship between kinship and pairwise interaction frequency. Kinship also failed to predict social structure in more fine-grained analyses, including analyses of each sex separately (in the event that sex-biased migration might limit kin selection to one sex) and separate analyses for each social community. The complex winter societies of golden-crowned sparrows appear to be based on cooperative benefits unrelated to kin selection. Although the complex social structure detected in wintering golden-crowned sparrows is not predicted by kinship, genetic variation may play a role in variation of winter social traits. In chapter two, I investigate the genetic causes of variation in fitness-related traits in a winter population of golden-crowned sparrows. Individuals show great variation in morphological and behavioral traits that may play

  12. Monitoring breeding and migration of neotropical migratory birds at Point Loma, San Diego County, California, 5-year summary, 2011–15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Suellen; Madden, Melanie C.; Kus, Barbara E.

    2017-04-27

    Executive SummaryWe operated a bird banding station on the Point Loma peninsula in western San Diego County, California, during spring and summer from 2011 to 2015. The station was established in 2010 as part of a long-term monitoring program for neotropical migratory birds during spring migration and for breeding birds as part of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program.During spring migration (April and May), 2011–15, we captured 1,760 individual birds of 54 species, 91 percent (1,595) of which were newly banded, fewer than 1 percent (3) of which were recaptures that were banded in previous years, and 9 percent (143 hummingbirds, 2 hawks, and 17 other birds) of which we released unbanded. We observed an additional 22 species that were not captured. Thirty-four individuals were captured more than once. Bird capture rate averaged 0.49 ± 0.07 captures per net-hour (range 0.41–0.56). Species richness per day averaged 6.87 ± 0.33. Cardellina pusilla (Wilson’s warbler) was the most abundant spring migrant captured, followed by Empidonax difficilis (Pacific-slope flycatcher), Vireo gilvus (warbling vireo), Zonotrichia leucophrys (white-crowned sparrow), and Selasphorus rufus (rufous hummingbird). Captures of white-crowned sparrow decreased, and captures of Pacific-slope flycatcher increased, over the 5 years of our study. Fifty-six percent of known-sex individuals were male and 44 percent were female. The peak number of new species arriving per day ranged from April 1 (2013-six species) to April 16 (2012-five species). A significant correlation was determined between the number of migrants captured each day per net-hour and the density of echoes on the Next-Generation Radar (NEXRAD) images across all 5 years, and in each year except 2014. NEXRAD radar imagery appears to be a useful tool for detecting pulses in migration.Our results indicate that Point Loma provides stopover habitat during migration for 76 migratory species, including 20

  13. Revision of Brada Stimpson, 1853, and Bradabyssa Hartman, 1967 (Annelida, Flabelligeridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I

    2017-11-03

    , 1978) n. comb., B. bransfieldia (Hartman, 1966) n. comb., B. nuda (Annenkova-Chlopina, 1922) n. comb., B. rugosa (Hansen, 1880) n. comb., and B. strelzovi (Jirkov & Filippova in Jirkov, 2001) n. comb. Group verrucosa contains B. abyssalis (Fauchald, 1972) n. comb., B. annenkovae (Buzhinskaja, 2001) n. comb., B. elinae n. sp., B. grangieri n. sp., B. irenaia (Chamberlin, 1919) n. comb., B. levensteinae n. sp., B. mammillata (Grube, 1877) n. comb., B. ochotensis (Annenkova-Chlopina, 1922) n. comb., B. papillata Hartman, 1967, B. tenebricosa (Berkeley, 1966) n. comb., n. status, and B. verrucosa (Chamberlin, 1919) n. comb. Group villosa contains B. capensis (Day, 1961) n. comb., n. status, B. harrisae n. sp., B. hartmanae n. sp., B. ilyvestis (Hartman, 1960) n. comb., B. intoshi (Caullery, 1944) n. comb., B. jirkovi n. sp., B. kirkegaardi n. sp., B. monnioti n. sp., B. parthenopeia (Lo Bianco, 1893) n. comb., B. pilosa (Moore, 1906) n. comb., B. pluribranchiata (Moore, 1923) n. comb., B. setosa (Verrill, 1873) n. comb., B. mezianei n. sp., B. tzetlini (Jirkov & Filippova in Jirkov, 2001) n. comb, B. villosa (Rathke, 1843) n. comb., B. whiteavesi (McIntosh, 1885) n. comb and  B. willeyi n. sp. Keys to aid identification of all genera in Flabelligeridae, to species in Brada, and for the species belonging in the four species groups of Bradabyssa are included.

  14. Fungal Planet description sheets: 400-468.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crous, P W; Wingfield, M J; Richardson, D M; Le Roux, J J; Strasberg, D; Edwards, J; Roets, F; Hubka, V; Taylor, P W J; Heykoop, M; Martín, M P; Moreno, G; Sutton, D A; Wiederhold, N P; Barnes, C W; Carlavilla, J R; Gené, J; Giraldo, A; Guarnaccia, V; Guarro, J; Hernández-Restrepo, M; Kolařík, M; Manjón, J L; Pascoe, I G; Popov, E S; Sandoval-Denis, M; Woudenberg, J H C; Acharya, K; Alexandrova, A V; Alvarado, P; Barbosa, R N; Baseia, I G; Blanchette, R A; Boekhout, T; Burgess, T I; Cano-Lira, J F; Čmoková, A; Dimitrov, R A; Dyakov, M Yu; Dueñas, M; Dutta, A K; Esteve-Raventós, F; Fedosova, A G; Fournier, J; Gamboa, P; Gouliamova, D E; Grebenc, T; Groenewald, M; Hanse, B; Hardy, G E St J; Held, B W; Jurjević, Ž; Kaewgrajang, T; Latha, K P D; Lombard, L; Luangsa-Ard, J J; Lysková, P; Mallátová, N; Manimohan, P; Miller, A N; Mirabolfathy, M; Morozova, O V; Obodai, M; Oliveira, N T; Ordóñez, M E; Otto, E C; Paloi, S; Peterson, S W; Phosri, C; Roux, J; Salazar, W A; Sánchez, A; Sarria, G A; Shin, H-D; Silva, B D B; Silva, G A; Smith, M Th; Souza-Motta, C M; Stchigel, A M; Stoilova-Disheva, M M; Sulzbacher, M A; Telleria, M T; Toapanta, C; Traba, J M; Valenzuela-Lopez, N; Watling, R; Groenewald, J Z

    2016-06-01

    Novel species of fungi described in the present study include the following from Australia: Vermiculariopsiella eucalypti, Mulderomyces natalis (incl. Mulderomyces gen. nov.), Fusicladium paraamoenum, Neotrimmatostroma paraexcentricum, and Pseudophloeospora eucalyptorum on leaves of Eucalyptus spp., Anungitea grevilleae (on leaves of Grevillea sp.), Pyrenochaeta acaciae (on leaves of Acacia sp.), and Brunneocarpos banksiae (incl. Brunneocarpos gen. nov.) on cones of Banksia attenuata. Novel foliicolous taxa from South Africa include Neosulcatispora strelitziae (on Strelitzia nicolai), Colletotrichum ledebouriae (on Ledebouria floridunda), Cylindrosympodioides brabejum (incl. Cylindrosympodioides gen. nov.) on Brabejum stellatifolium, Sclerostagonospora ericae (on Erica sp.), Setophoma cyperi (on Cyperus sphaerocephala), and Phaeosphaeria breonadiae (on Breonadia microcephala). Novelties described from Robben Island (South Africa) include Wojnowiciella cissampeli and Diaporthe cissampeli (both on Cissampelos capensis), Phaeotheca salicorniae (on Salicornia meyeriana), Paracylindrocarpon aloicola (incl. Paracylindrocarpon gen. nov.) on Aloe sp., and Libertasomyces myopori (incl. Libertasomyces gen. nov.) on Myoporum serratum. Several novelties are recorded from La Réunion (France), namely Phaeosphaeriopsis agapanthi (on Agapanthus sp.), Roussoella solani (on Solanum mauritianum), Vermiculariopsiella acaciae (on Acacia heterophylla), Dothiorella acacicola (on Acacia mearnsii), Chalara clidemiae (on Clidemia hirta), Cytospora tibouchinae (on Tibouchina semidecandra), Diaporthe ocoteae (on Ocotea obtusata), Castanediella eucalypticola, Phaeophleospora eucalypticola and Fusicladium eucalypticola (on Eucalyptus robusta), Lareunionomyces syzygii (incl. Lareunionomyces gen. nov.) and Parawiesneriomyces syzygii (incl. Parawiesneriomyces gen. nov.) on leaves of Syzygium jambos. Novel taxa from the USA include Meristemomyces arctostaphylos (on Arctostaphylos patula

  15. Annotated catalogue of the Tachinidae (Insecta, Diptera) of the Afrotropical Region, with the description of seven new genera

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Hara, James E.; Cerretti, Pierfilippo

    2016-01-01

    ), syn. n.; Dexiomera Curran, 1933 with Estheria Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830, syn. n.; Hemiwinthemia francoisi Verbeke, 1973 with Nemoraea capensis Schiner, 1868 (current name Smidtia capensis), syn. n.; Kinangopana van Emden, 1960 with Dyshypostena Villeneuve, 1939, syn. n.; Metadrinomyia Shima, 1980 with Charitella Mesnil, 1957, syn. n.; Phorocera majestica Curran, 1940 with Phorocera longirostris Villeneuve, 1938 (current name Myxophryxe longirostris), syn. n.; and Podomyia discalis Curran, 1939 with Antistasea fimbriata Bischof, 1904 (current name Antistasea fimbriata), syn. n. PMID:27110184

  16. Feral pigeons in urban environments: dietary flexibility and enzymatic digestion? Palomas domésticas en ambientes urbanos: ¿flexibilidad dietaria y digestión enzimática?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MARÍA EUGENIA CIMINARI

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Columba livia, original from Europe, is at present widely distributed all over the world. These granivores colonized urban environments where the availability of crops and seeds is not always permanent and, for that are forced to exploit other resources with different composition, e.g. high protein foodstuff. Thus, feral pigeons should have the ability to survive on a diet rich in protein as they do with starchy items by having an adequate digestive biochemical machinery to process it. Phylogenetical and functional hypothesis has been proposed linking dietary flexibility and enzyme lability. All Passeriformes studied to date show the expected positive correlation between aminopeptidase-N and dietary protein but not for intestinal carbohydrases. Conversely, all the non-passerine species modulate intestinal carbohydrases, but not peptidases. Moreover, different scenarios may be posed as the output of a phylogenetical effect, e.g., adding constraints to a lability scheme in certain groups or just determining it (e.g., intestinal disaccharidases modulated in Galloanserae and peptidases modulated in Passeriformes. Consequently, we tested the prediction that feral pigeons adjust digestive enzyme activities according to the level of the respective substrate (e.g., carbohydrates, protein in the diet. Birds were fed for 15 days with two different diets, one with high protein content (low in starch (HP and the other rich in starch and low in proteins (HS. Pigeons fed on the HP were able to survive with no other dietary supplement, as predicted. Pancreatic enzymes did not change between diet treatments. Birds fed on HP exhibited the predicted upward modulation of aminopeptidase-N activity, when compared to birds on HS, while intestinal carbohydrases did not show differences between diets. These results give an apparent support to the functional hypothesis, but are not enough to reject that the observed intestinal protease lability has a phylogenetical

  17. A revision of the family Cerococcidae Balachowsky (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha, Coccomorpha) with particular reference to species from the Afrotropical, western Palaearctic and western Oriental Regions, with the revival of Antecerococcus Green and description of a new genus and fifteen new species, and with ten new synonomies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Chris J; Williams, Douglas J

    2016-03-14

    is a junior synonym of Cerococcus intermedius Balachowsky, syn. nov.; Phenacobryum indigoferae Borchsenius is a junior synonym of Cerococcus roseus Green, syn. nov.; Cerococcus multipororum Lambdin is a junior synonym of Cerococcus fradei Castel-Branco, syn. nov.; Cercococcus polyporus Matesova is a junior synonym of Cerococcus perowskiae Archangelskaya, syn. nov., and Antecerococcus punctiferus Green is a junior synonym of Cerococcus paradoxus Maskell, syn. nov. In addition, the following new species have been described: Antecerococcus andamanensis Hodgson & Williams, from the Andaman Islands; Antecerococcus capensis Hodgson & Williams, from South Africa; Antecerococcus delottoi Hodgson & Williams, from Kenya; Antecerococcus hilli Hodgson & Williams, from The Seychelles; Antecerococcus insleyae Hodgson & Williams, from South Africa; Antecerococcus kakemegae Hodgson & Williams, from Kenya; Antecerococcus keralae Hodgson & Williams, from southern India; Antecerococcus kurraensis Hodgson & Williams, from Nigeria; Antecerococcus muntingi Hodgson & Williams, from South Africa; Antecerococcus oumeensis Hodgson & Williams, from Ivory Coast; Antecerococcus sparsiporus Hodgson & Williams, from from South Africa;  Antecerococcus thesii Hodgson & Williams from  South Africa; Antecerococcus yemenicus Hodgson & Williams, from Yemen; Cerochiton bernardi Hodgson & Williams, from Java, and Cerococcus asteris Hodgson & Williams, from Mexico. Thus, at the end of this study, the family Cerococcidae includes five genera and 80 species (Antecerococcus with 55 species (13 of them new), Asterococcus with eight species, Cerochiton with three species (one of them new), Cerococcus with 13 species (1 of them new and including two unplaced species), and Solenophora with one species). Keys are provided for the separation of the five genera and also for the species in each genus based on adult female morphology. Lectotypes have been designated for Cerococcus asparagi Joubert, C camarai Neves

  18. The phylogenetic position of Lygodactylus angularis and the utility of the 16S rDNA gene for delimiting species in Lygodactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo Castiglia

    2011-06-01

    ="EN-US">, the phylogenetic position of one species for which molecular data are lacking, L. angularis. Moreover, we compared the intraspecific vs interspecific genetic divergence using an extended dataset (37 species, 160 haplotypes, to determine whether a fragment of the same gene can be useful for species identification and to reveal the possible presence of new cryptic species in the genus. Lygodactylus angularis resulted in a monophyletic group together with members of the “fisheri” group and of the “picturatus” group. Nevertheless, the independence of the “angularis” lineage is supported by the high genetic divergence. Comparison of intraspecific vs interpecific genetic distances highlights that the threshold values useful for recognising a candidate new species can be tentatively placed at 7%. We identified four species that showed an intraspecific divergence higher than or near the 7% threshold: L. capensis (8.7%, L. gutturalis (9.3%, L. madagascariensis (6.5% and L. picturatus (8.1%. Moreover two species, L. mombasicus and L. verticillatus are paraphyletic in terms of gene genealogy. This study shows that a short fragment of the 16S rDNA gene