WorldWideScience

Sample records for key ecological functions

  1. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  2. Establishing Baseline Key Ecological Functions of Fish and Wildlife for Subbasin Planning, Final Report 2001.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Neil, Thomas A.

    2001-08-01

    As we strive to manage the Columbia River Basin for its sustainable, productive, and diverse ecosystems, we are, in fact, managing these systems to provide an a array of ecological functions upon which these systems are based. These ecological functions avail themselves as an important tool with which to assess our historical and current habitat conditions, as well as proposed future or ideal conditions under differing management scenarios. So what are key ecological functions (KEFs) and which ones are involved? Key ecological functions refer to the major ecological roles played by an organism in its ecosystem that can affect environmental conditions for themselves or other species, or that directly influences other organisms (Marcot and Vander Heyden 2001). Currently, 111 KEFs are identified for fish and wildlife species as a result of Task 1 of this project. Even though the assessment phase of this project encompasses the entire Columbia River Basin, only a subset of KEFs (58) that are associated with the lotic systems, which includes 7 anadromous fish, 20 co-occurring resident fish, and 137 wildlife species linked to salmon are addressed. Since the basin has not be systematically surveyed for each fish and wildlife species, baseline conditions for each KEF are determined by developing basin-wide species range maps using the following information: wildlife-habitat type associations, county and ecoprovince occurrence, literature (like individual state atlases), and expert peer review. This approach produced a set of species range maps that depict a species potential for occurrence given the current or historic conditions. It is this potential occurrence that serves as a baseline condition to determine the key ecological functions. The results offer a framework and a set of baseline assessments that can be done with existing databases. Thus, allowing resource managers the ability to assess future management activities against this norm and guide their activities in

  3. Establishing baseline key ecological functions of fish and wildlife for subbasin planning, final report 2001.; FINAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neil, Thomas A.

    2001-01-01

    As we strive to manage the Columbia River Basin for its sustainable, productive, and diverse ecosystems, we are, in fact, managing these systems to provide an a array of ecological functions upon which these systems are based. These ecological functions avail themselves as an important tool with which to assess our historical and current habitat conditions, as well as proposed future or ideal conditions under differing management scenarios. So what are key ecological functions (KEFs) and which ones are involved? Key ecological functions refer to the major ecological roles played by an organism in its ecosystem that can affect environmental conditions for themselves or other species, or that directly influences other organisms (Marcot and Vander Heyden 2001). Currently, 111 KEFs are identified for fish and wildlife species as a result of Task 1 of this project. Even though the assessment phase of this project encompasses the entire Columbia River Basin, only a subset of KEFs (58) that are associated with the lotic systems, which includes 7 anadromous fish, 20 co-occurring resident fish, and 137 wildlife species linked to salmon are addressed. Since the basin has not be systematically surveyed for each fish and wildlife species, baseline conditions for each KEF are determined by developing basin-wide species range maps using the following information: wildlife-habitat type associations, county and ecoprovince occurrence, literature (like individual state atlases), and expert peer review. This approach produced a set of species range maps that depict a species potential for occurrence given the current or historic conditions. It is this potential occurrence that serves as a baseline condition to determine the key ecological functions. The results offer a framework and a set of baseline assessments that can be done with existing databases. Thus, allowing resource managers the ability to assess future management activities against this norm and guide their activities in

  4. Using ecological production functions to link ecological ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively little attention. Ecological production functions may be defined as usable expressions (i.e., models) of the processes by which ecosystems produce ES, often including external influences on those processes. We identify key attributes of EPFs and discuss both actual and idealized examples of their use to inform decision making. Whenever possible, EPFs should estimate final, rather than intermediate, ES. Although various types of EPFs have been developed, we suggest that EPFs are more useful for decision making if they quantify ES outcomes, respond to ecosystem condition, respond to stressor levels or management scenarios, reflect ecological complexity, rely on data with broad coverage, have performed well previously, are practical to use, and are open and transparent. In an example using pesticides, we illustrate how EPFs with these attributes could enable the inclusion of ES in ecological risk assessment. The biggest challenges to ES inclusion are limited data sets that are easily adapted for use in modeling EPFs and generally poor understanding of linkages among ecological components and the processes that ultimately deliver the ES. We conclude by advocating for the incorporation into E

  5. Ecological Understanding 2: Transformation--A Key to Ecological Understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlsson, Britta

    2002-01-01

    Describes the structure and general features of the phenomenon of ecological understanding. Presents qualitatively different ways of experiencing cycling of matter and the flow of energy in the context of ecosystems. The idea of transformation is key to the development of ecological understanding. (Contains 17 references.) (Author/YDS)

  6. Ecological Functions of Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiryushin, V. I.

    2018-01-01

    Ecological functions of landscapes are considered a system of processes ensuring the development, preservation, and evolution of ecosystems and the biosphere as a whole. The concept of biogeocenosis can be considered a model that integrates biotic and environmental functions. The most general biogeocenotic functions specify the biodiversity, biotic links, self-organization, and evolution of ecosystems. Close interaction between biocenosis and the biotope (ecotope) is ensured by the continuous exchange of matter, energy, and information. Ecotope determines the biocenosis. The group of ecotopic functions includes atmospheric (gas exchange, heat exchange, hydroatmospheric, climate-forming), lithospheric (geodynamic, geophysical, and geochemical), hydrologic and hydrogeologic functions of landscape and ecotopic functions of soils. Bioecological functions emerge as a result of the biotope and ecotope interaction; these are the bioproductive, destructive, organoaccumulative, biochemical (gas, concentration, redox, biochemical, biopedological), pedogenetic, and energy functions

  7. Key Questions in Marine Megafauna Movement Ecology

    KAUST Repository

    Hays, Graeme C.; Ferreira, Luciana C.; Sequeira, Ana M.M.; Meekan, Mark G.; Duarte, Carlos M.; Bailey, Helen; Bailleul, Fred; Bowen, W. Don; Caley, M. Julian; Costa, Daniel P.; Eguí luz, Victor M.; Fossette, Sabrina; Friedlaender, Ari S.; Gales, Nick; Gleiss, Adrian C.; Gunn, John; Harcourt, Rob; Hazen, Elliott L.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Heupel, Michelle; Holland, Kim; Horning, Markus; Jonsen, Ian; Kooyman, Gerald L.; Lowe, Christopher G.; Madsen, Peter T.; Marsh, Helene; Phillips, Richard A.; Righton, David; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Sato, Katsufumi; Shaffer, Scott A.; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.; Sims, David W.; Skomal, Gregory; Takahashi, Akinori; Trathan, Philip N.; Wikelski, Martin; Womble, Jamie N.; Thums, Michele

    2016-01-01

    It is a golden age for animal movement studies and so an opportune time to assess priorities for future work. We assembled 40 experts to identify key questions in this field, focussing on marine megafauna, which include a broad range of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. Research on these taxa has both underpinned many of the recent technical developments and led to fundamental discoveries in the field. We show that the questions have broad applicability to other taxa, including terrestrial animals, flying insects, and swimming invertebrates, and, as such, this exercise provides a useful roadmap for targeted deployments and data syntheses that should advance the field of movement ecology. Technical advances make this an exciting time for animal movement studies, with a range of small, reliable data-loggers and transmitters that can record horizontal and vertical movements as well as aspects of physiology and reproductive biology.Forty experts identified key questions in the field of movement ecology.Questions have broad applicability across species, habitats, and spatial scales, and apply to animals in both marine and terrestrial habitats as well as both vertebrates and invertebrates, including birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, insects, and plankton. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Key Questions in Marine Megafauna Movement Ecology

    KAUST Repository

    Hays, Graeme C.

    2016-03-12

    It is a golden age for animal movement studies and so an opportune time to assess priorities for future work. We assembled 40 experts to identify key questions in this field, focussing on marine megafauna, which include a broad range of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. Research on these taxa has both underpinned many of the recent technical developments and led to fundamental discoveries in the field. We show that the questions have broad applicability to other taxa, including terrestrial animals, flying insects, and swimming invertebrates, and, as such, this exercise provides a useful roadmap for targeted deployments and data syntheses that should advance the field of movement ecology. Technical advances make this an exciting time for animal movement studies, with a range of small, reliable data-loggers and transmitters that can record horizontal and vertical movements as well as aspects of physiology and reproductive biology.Forty experts identified key questions in the field of movement ecology.Questions have broad applicability across species, habitats, and spatial scales, and apply to animals in both marine and terrestrial habitats as well as both vertebrates and invertebrates, including birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, insects, and plankton. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Key Questions in Marine Megafauna Movement Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hays, Graeme C; Ferreira, Luciana C; Sequeira, Ana M M; Meekan, Mark G; Duarte, Carlos M; Bailey, Helen; Bailleul, Fred; Bowen, W Don; Caley, M Julian; Costa, Daniel P; Eguíluz, Victor M; Fossette, Sabrina; Friedlaender, Ari S; Gales, Nick; Gleiss, Adrian C; Gunn, John; Harcourt, Rob; Hazen, Elliott L; Heithaus, Michael R; Heupel, Michelle; Holland, Kim; Horning, Markus; Jonsen, Ian; Kooyman, Gerald L; Lowe, Christopher G; Madsen, Peter T; Marsh, Helene; Phillips, Richard A; Righton, David; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Sato, Katsufumi; Shaffer, Scott A; Simpfendorfer, Colin A; Sims, David W; Skomal, Gregory; Takahashi, Akinori; Trathan, Philip N; Wikelski, Martin; Womble, Jamie N; Thums, Michele

    2016-06-01

    It is a golden age for animal movement studies and so an opportune time to assess priorities for future work. We assembled 40 experts to identify key questions in this field, focussing on marine megafauna, which include a broad range of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. Research on these taxa has both underpinned many of the recent technical developments and led to fundamental discoveries in the field. We show that the questions have broad applicability to other taxa, including terrestrial animals, flying insects, and swimming invertebrates, and, as such, this exercise provides a useful roadmap for targeted deployments and data syntheses that should advance the field of movement ecology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Key ecological challenges for closed systems facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, William F.; Allen, John P.

    2013-07-01

    Closed ecological systems are desirable for a number of purposes. In space life support systems, material closure allows precious life-supporting resources to be kept inside and recycled. Closure in small biospheric systems facilitates detailed measurement of global ecological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Closed testbeds facilitate research topics which require isolation from the outside (e.g. genetically modified organisms; radioisotopes) so their ecological interactions and fluxes can be studied separate from interactions with the outside environment. But to achieve and maintain closure entails solving complex ecological challenges. These challenges include being able to handle faster cycling rates and accentuated daily and seasonal fluxes of critical life elements such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, macro- and mico-nutrients. The problems of achieving sustainability in closed systems for life support include how to handle atmospheric dynamics including trace gases, producing a complete human diet, recycling nutrients and maintaining soil fertility, the maintenance of healthy air and water and preventing the loss of critical elements from active circulation. In biospheric facilities, the challenge is also to produce analogues to natural biomes and ecosystems, studying processes of self-organization and adaptation in systems that allow specification or determination of state variables and cycles which may be followed through all interactions from atmosphere to soils. Other challenges include the dynamics and genetics of small populations, the psychological challenges for small isolated human groups and backup technologies and strategic options which may be necessary to ensure long-term operation of closed ecological systems.

  11. [Principles and methodology for ecological rehabilitation and security pattern design in key project construction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Li-Ding; Lu, Yi-He; Tian, Hui-Ying; Shi, Qian

    2007-03-01

    Global ecological security becomes increasingly important with the intensive human activities. The function of ecological security is influenced by human activities, and in return, the efficiency of human activities will also be affected by the patterns of regional ecological security. Since the 1990s, China has initiated the construction of key projects "Yangtze Three Gorges Dam", "Qinghai-Tibet Railway", "West-to-East Gas Pipeline", "West-to-East Electricity Transmission" and "South-to-North Water Transfer" , etc. The interaction between these projects and regional ecological security has particularly attracted the attention of Chinese government. It is not only important for the regional environmental protection, but also of significance for the smoothly implementation of various projects aimed to develop an ecological rehabilitation system and to design a regional ecological security pattern. This paper made a systematic analysis on the types and characteristics of key project construction and their effects on the environment, and on the basis of this, brought forward the basic principles and methodology for ecological rehabilitation and security pattern design in this construction. It was considered that the following issues should be addressed in the implementation of a key project: 1) analysis and evaluation of current regional ecological environment, 2) evaluation of anthropogenic disturbances and their ecological risk, 3) regional ecological rehabilitation and security pattern design, 4) scenario analysis of environmental benefits of regional ecological security pattern, 5) re-optimization of regional ecological system framework, and 6) establishment of regional ecosystem management plan.

  12. SOIL ECOLOGY AS KEY TO SUSTAINABLE CROP PRODUCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, G B

    2015-01-01

    Sustainable production of food, feed and fiberwarrants sustainable soil management and crop protection. The tools available to achieve this are both in the realm of the plants and of the soil, with a key role for plant-soil interactions. At the plant level we have vast knowledge of variation within plant species with respect to pests and diseases, based on which we can breed for resistance. However, given that systems evolve this resistance is bound to be temporarily, hence also other strategies are needed. Here I plea for an integrative approach for sustainable production using ecological principles. Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with their environment, teaches us that diversity promotes productivity and yield stability. These effects are thought to be governed through resource use complementarity and reduced build-up of pests and diseases both above- and belowground. In recent years especially the role of soil biotic interactions has revealed new insights in how plant diversity and productivity are related to soil biodiversity and the functions soil biota govern. In our grassland biodiversity studies we found that root feeders can promote plant diversity and succession without reducing plant community productivity, this illustrates the role of diversity to maintain productivity. Also diversity within species offers scope for sustainable production, for example through awareness of differences between plant genotypes in chemical defense compounds that can attract natural enemies of pests aboveground- and belowground thereby providing plant protection. Plant breeding can also benefit from using complementarity between plant species in the selection for new varieties, as our work demonstrated that when growing in species mixtures plant species adapt to each other over time such that their resource acquisition traits become more complementing. Finally, in a recent meta-analysis we show that earthworms can stimulate crop yield with on average 25%, but

  13. Identifying the Areas Benefitting from the Prevention of Wind Erosion by the Key Ecological Function Area for the Protection of Desertification in Hunshandake, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Xiao

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Research on the spatial flow of ecosystem services can help to identify the spatial relationships between service-providing areas (SPAs and service-benefitting areas (SBAs. In this study, we used the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT model to stimulate the flow paths of the wind erosion prevented by ecosystems in Hunshandake, China. By interpolating these paths, the SBAs were identified, and their benefits in terms of land cover, population, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP were determined. The results indicated that the flow paths mostly extended to the eastern part of the study area, and the estimated cover of the SBAs was 39.21% of the total area of China. The grid cells through which many (≥10% of the trajectories passed were mainly located in the western part of north-eastern China and the eastern part of northern China. The benefitting population accounted for 74.51% of the total population of China, and the GDP was 67.11% of the total in 2010. Based on this research, we described a quantitative relationship between the SPAs and the SBAs and identified the actual beneficiaries. This work may provide scientific knowledge that can be used by decision makers to develop management strategies, such as ecological compensation to mitigate damage from sandstorms in the study area.

  14. Key ecological responses to nitrogen are altered by climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greaver, T.L.; Clark, C.M.; Compton, J.E.; Vallano, D.; Talhelm, A. F.; Weaver, C.P.; Band, L.E.; Baron, Jill S.; Davidson, E.A.; Tague, C.L.; Felker-Quinn, E.; Lynch, J.A.; Herrick, J.D.; Liu, L.; Goodale, C.L.; Novak, K. J.; Haeuber, R. A.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition are both important ecological threats. Evaluating their cumulative effects provides a more holistic view of ecosystem vulnerability to human activities, which would better inform policy decisions aimed to protect the sustainability of ecosystems. Our knowledge of the cumulative effects of these stressors is growing, but we lack an integrated understanding. In this Review, we describe how climate change alters key processes in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems related to nitrogen cycling and availability, and the response of ecosystems to nitrogen addition in terms of carbon cycling, acidification and biodiversity.

  15. Ecological functions of earthworms in soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andriuzzi, W.S.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological functions of earthworms in soil

    Walter S. Andriuzzi

    Abstract

    Earthworms are known to play an important role in soil structure and fertility, but there are still big knowledge gaps on the functional ecology of distinct earthworm species, on their

  16. Functional and phylogenetic ecology in R

    CERN Document Server

    Swenson, Nathan G

    2014-01-01

    Functional and Phylogenetic Ecology in R is designed to teach readers to use R for phylogenetic and functional trait analyses. Over the past decade, a dizzying array of tools and methods were generated to incorporate phylogenetic and functional information into traditional ecological analyses. Increasingly these tools are implemented in R, thus greatly expanding their impact. Researchers getting started in R can use this volume as a step-by-step entryway into phylogenetic and functional analyses for ecology in R. More advanced users will be able to use this volume as a quick reference to understand particular analyses. The volume begins with an introduction to the R environment and handling relevant data in R. Chapters then cover phylogenetic and functional metrics of biodiversity; null modeling and randomizations for phylogenetic and functional trait analyses; integrating phylogenetic and functional trait information; and interfacing the R environment with a popular C-based program. This book presents a uni...

  17. Functional ecology of tropical forest recovery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohbeck, M.W.M.

    2014-01-01

    Electronic abstract of the thesis for the library for the acquisitions department of Wageningen UR library (published as a html file so hyperlinks may be included)

    In English, one or 2 pages.

    Functional ecology of tropical forest recovery

    Currently in the

  18. The ecology of seamounts: structure, function, and human impacts.

    OpenAIRE

    Clark, MR; Rowden, AA; Schlacher, T; Williams, A; Consalvey, M; Stocks, KI; Rogers, AD; O'Hara, TD; White, M; Shank, TM; Hall-Spencer, JM

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological prod...

  19. Key properties of expert movement systems in sport : an ecological dynamics perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifert, Ludovic; Button, Chris; Davids, Keith

    2013-03-01

    This paper identifies key properties of expertise in sport predicated on the performer-environment relationship. Weaknesses of traditional approaches to expert performance, which uniquely focus on the performer and the environment separately, are highlighted by an ecological dynamics perspective. Key properties of expert movement systems include 'multi- and meta-stability', 'adaptive variability', 'redundancy', 'degeneracy' and the 'attunement to affordances'. Empirical research on these expert system properties indicates that skill acquisition does not emerge from the internal representation of declarative and procedural knowledge, or the imitation of expert behaviours to linearly reduce a perceived 'gap' separating movements of beginners and a putative expert model. Rather, expert performance corresponds with the ongoing co-adaptation of an individual's behaviours to dynamically changing, interacting constraints, individually perceived and encountered. The functional role of adaptive movement variability is essential to expert performance in many different sports (involving individuals and teams; ball games and outdoor activities; land and aquatic environments). These key properties signify that, in sport performance, although basic movement patterns need to be acquired by developing athletes, there exists no ideal movement template towards which all learners should aspire, since relatively unique functional movement solutions emerge from the interaction of key constraints.

  20. Measuring ecological function on California's rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porzig, E.

    2016-12-01

    There is a need for a better understanding of ecosystem processes on rangelands and how management decisions influence these processes on scales that are both ecologically and socially relevant. Point Blue Conservation Science's Rangeland Monitoring Network is a coordinated effort to collect standardized data on birds, vegetation, and soils on rangelands throughout California. We work with partners, including private landowners, land trusts, state and federal agencies, and others, to measure bird and plant abundance and diversity and three soil dynamic properties (water infiltration, bulk density, and organic carbon). Here, we present data from our first two years of monitoring on over 50 ranches in 17 counties. By collecting data on the scope and scale of variation in ecological function across rangelands and the relationship with management practices, we aim to advance rangeland management, restoration, and conservation.

  1. Functional ecology of aquatic phagotrophic protists - Concepts, limitations, and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisse, Thomas; Anderson, Ruth; Arndt, Hartmut; Calbet, Albert; Hansen, Per Juel; Montagnes, David J S

    2016-08-01

    Functional ecology is a subdiscipline that aims to enable a mechanistic understanding of patterns and processes from the organismic to the ecosystem level. This paper addresses some main aspects of the process-oriented current knowledge on phagotrophic, i.e. heterotrophic and mixotrophic, protists in aquatic food webs. This is not an exhaustive review; rather, we focus on conceptual issues, in particular on the numerical and functional response of these organisms. We discuss the evolution of concepts and define parameters to evaluate predator-prey dynamics ranging from Lotka-Volterra to the Independent Response Model. Since protists have extremely versatile feeding modes, we explore if there are systematic differences related to their taxonomic affiliation and life strategies. We differentiate between intrinsic factors (nutritional history, acclimatisation) and extrinsic factors (temperature, food, turbulence) affecting feeding, growth, and survival of protist populations. We briefly consider intraspecific variability of some key parameters and constraints inherent in laboratory microcosm experiments. We then upscale the significance of phagotrophic protists in food webs to the ocean level. Finally, we discuss limitations of the mechanistic understanding of protist functional ecology resulting from principal unpredictability of nonlinear dynamics. We conclude by defining open questions and identifying perspectives for future research on functional ecology of aquatic phagotrophic protists. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  2. Using ecological production functions to link ecological processes to ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively ...

  3. The Gut Microbiota: Ecology and Function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Willing, B.P.; Jansson, J.K.

    2010-06-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is teeming with an extremely abundant and diverse microbial community. The members of this community have coevolved along with their hosts over millennia. Until recently, the gut ecosystem was viewed as black box with little knowledge of who or what was there or their specific functions. Over the past decade, however, this ecosystem has become one of fastest growing research areas of focus in microbial ecology and human and animal physiology. This increased interest is largely in response to studies tying microbes in the gut to important diseases afflicting modern society, including obesity, allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases, and diabetes. Although the importance of a resident community of microorganisms in health was first hypothesized by Pasteur over a century ago (Sears, 2005), the multiplicity of physiological changes induced by commensal bacteria has only recently been recognized (Hooper et al., 2001). The term 'ecological development' was recently coined to support the idea that development of the GI tract is a product of the genetics of the host and the host's interactions with resident microbes (Hooper, 2004). The search for new therapeutic targets and disease biomarkers has escalated the need to understand the identities and functions of the microorganisms inhabiting the gut. Recent studies have revealed new insights into the membership of the gut microbial community, interactions within that community, as well as mechanisms of interaction with the host. This chapter focuses on the microbial ecology of the gut, with an emphasis on information gleaned from recent molecular studies.

  4. The Ecology of Seamounts: Structure, Function, and Human Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Malcolm R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Schlacher, Thomas; Williams, Alan; Consalvey, Mireille; Stocks, Karen I.; Rogers, Alex D.; O'Hara, Timothy D.; White, Martin; Shank, Timothy M.; Hall-Spencer, Jason M.

    2010-01-01

    In this review of seamount ecology, we address a number of key scientific issues concerning the structure and function of benthic communities, human impacts, and seamount management and conservation. We consider whether community composition and diversity differ between seamounts and continental slopes, how important dispersal capabilities are in seamount connectivity, what environmental factors drive species composition and diversity, whether seamounts are centers of enhanced biological productivity, and whether they have unique trophic architecture. We discuss how vulnerable seamount communities are to fishing and mining, and how we can balance exploitation of resources and conservation of habitat. Despite considerable advances in recent years, there remain many questions about seamount ecosystems that need closer integration of molecular, oceanographic, and ecological research.

  5. Designing ecological climate change impact assessments to reflect key climatic drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sofaer, Helen R; Barsugli, Joseph J; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Abatzoglou, John T; Talbert, Marian K; Miller, Brian W; Morisette, Jeffrey T

    2017-07-01

    Identifying the climatic drivers of an ecological system is a key step in assessing its vulnerability to climate change. The climatic dimensions to which a species or system is most sensitive - such as means or extremes - can guide methodological decisions for projections of ecological impacts and vulnerabilities. However, scientific workflows for combining climate projections with ecological models have received little explicit attention. We review Global Climate Model (GCM) performance along different dimensions of change and compare frameworks for integrating GCM output into ecological models. In systems sensitive to climatological means, it is straightforward to base ecological impact assessments on mean projected changes from several GCMs. Ecological systems sensitive to climatic extremes may benefit from what we term the 'model space' approach: a comparison of ecological projections based on simulated climate from historical and future time periods. This approach leverages the experimental framework used in climate modeling, in which historical climate simulations serve as controls for future projections. Moreover, it can capture projected changes in the intensity and frequency of climatic extremes, rather than assuming that future means will determine future extremes. Given the recent emphasis on the ecological impacts of climatic extremes, the strategies we describe will be applicable across species and systems. We also highlight practical considerations for the selection of climate models and data products, emphasizing that the spatial resolution of the climate change signal is generally coarser than the grid cell size of downscaled climate model output. Our review illustrates how an understanding of how climate model outputs are derived and downscaled can improve the selection and application of climatic data used in ecological modeling. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Functional ecology of an Antarctic Dry Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Yuki; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; Pointing, Stephen B.

    2013-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys are the largest ice-free region in Antarctica and are critically at risk from climate change. The terrestrial landscape is dominated by oligotrophic mineral soils and extensive exposed rocky surfaces where biota are largely restricted to microbial communities, although their ability to perform the majority of geobiological processes has remained largely uncharacterized. Here, we identified functional traits that drive microbial survival and community assembly, using a metagenomic approach with GeoChip-based functional gene arrays to establish metabolic capabilities in communities inhabiting soil and rock surface niches in McKelvey Valley. Major pathways in primary metabolism were identified, indicating significant plasticity in autotrophic, heterotrophic, and diazotrophic strategies supporting microbial communities. This represents a major advance beyond biodiversity surveys in that we have now identified how putative functional ecology drives microbial community assembly. Significant differences were apparent between open soil, hypolithic, chasmoendolithic, and cryptoendolithic communities. A suite of previously unappreciated Antarctic microbial stress response pathways, thermal, osmotic, and nutrient limitation responses were identified and related to environmental stressors, offering tangible clues to the mechanisms behind the enduring success of microorganisms in this seemingly inhospitable terrain. Rocky substrates exposed to larger fluctuations in environmental stress supported greater functional diversity in stress-response pathways than soils. Soils comprised a unique reservoir of genes involved in transformation of organic hydrocarbons and lignin-like degradative pathways. This has major implications for the evolutionary origin of the organisms, turnover of recalcitrant substrates in Antarctic soils, and predicting future responses to anthropogenic pollution. PMID:23671121

  7. Identifying Regional Key Eco-Space to Maintain Ecological Security Using GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hualin Xie

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Ecological security and environmental sustainability are the foundations of sustainable development. With the acceleration of urbanization, increasing human activities have promoted greater impacts on the eco-spaces that maintain ecological security. Regional key eco-space has become the primary need to maintain environmental sustainability and can offer society with continued ecosystem services. In this paper, considering the security of water resources, biodiversity conservation, disaster avoidance and protection and natural recreation, an integrated index of eco-space importance was established and a method for identifying key eco-space was created using GIS, with Lanzhou City, China as a case study. The results show that the area of core eco-space in the Lanzhou City is approximately 50,908.7 hm2, accounting for 40% of the region’s total area. These areas mainly consist of geological hazard protection zones and the core zones of regional river systems, wetlands, nature reserves, forest parks and scenic spots. The results of this study provide some guidance for the management of ecological security, ecological restoration and environmental sustainability.

  8. Non-equilibrium physics and evolution—adaptation, extinction, and ecology: a Key Issues review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kussell, E; Vucelja, M

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary dynamics in nature constitute an immensely complex non-equilibrium process. We review the application of physical models of evolution, by focusing on adaptation, extinction, and ecology. In each case, we examine key concepts by working through examples. Adaptation is discussed in the context of bacterial evolution, with a view toward the relationship between growth rates, mutation rates, selection strength, and environmental changes. Extinction dynamics for an isolated population are reviewed, with emphasis on the relation between timescales of extinction, population size, and temporally correlated noise. Ecological models are discussed by focusing on the effect of spatial interspecies interactions on diversity. Connections between physical processes—such as diffusion, turbulence, and localization—and evolutionary phenomena are highlighted. (key issues reviews)

  9. Functional and ecological consequences of saprotrophic fungus-grazer interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, Thomas W; Boddy, Lynne; Hefin Jones, T

    2012-11-01

    Saprotrophic fungi are key regulators of nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. They are the primary agents of plant litter decomposition and their hyphal networks, which grow throughout the soil-litter interface, represent highly dynamic channels through which nutrients are readily distributed. By ingesting hyphae and dispersing spores, soil invertebrates, including Arthropoda, Oligochaetae and Nematoda, influence fungal-mediated nutrient distribution within soil. Fungal physiological responses to grazing include changes to hydrolytic enzyme production and respiration rates. These directly affect nutrient mineralisation and the flux of CO(2) between terrestrial and atmospheric pools. Preferential grazing may also exert selective pressures on saprotrophic communities, driving shifts in fungal succession and community composition. These functional and ecological consequences of grazing are intrinsically linked, and influenced by invertebrate grazing intensity. High-intensity grazing often reduces fungal growth and activity, whereas low-intensity grazing can have stimulatory effects. Grazing intensity is directly related to invertebrate abundance, and varies dramatically between species and functional groups. Invertebrate diversity and community composition, therefore, represent key factors determining the functioning of saprotrophic fungal communities and the services they provide.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Potential ecological impacts of an oil spill in the Florida Keys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, E.A.; Swain, H.M.

    1991-01-01

    The Florida Keys are a unique ecosystem of natural communities, natural resources, and high biodiversity. The strong emphasis placed on the protection of the environment is reflected in the wide variety of parks and protected areas. The possibility of a major oil spill from extensive tanker and freighter traffic in the Florida Straits is cause for concern since all of the natural communities and associated biota in the coastal and marine environments are vulnerable to oiling. This paper will review and synthesize available information and present new data concerning the potential ecological impacts of a major spill in the Florida Keys. The review will focus on: the distribution of natural communities; the presence of endangered species; the location of parks and protected areas; and the abundance of natural resources

  12. Ecological characterization of the lower Everglades, Florida Bay, and the Florida Keys

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schomer, N.S.; Drew, R.D.

    1982-09-01

    A conceptual model of the study area identifies four major ecological zones: (1) terrestrial and freshwater wetlands, (2) estuarine and saltwater wetlands, (3) Florida Bay and mangrove islands, and (4) the Florida Keys. These zones are delineated by differences in basic physical-chemical background factors which in turn promote characteristic ecological communities. The terrestrial and freshwater wetlands support pinelands, sawgrass marshes, wet prairies, sloughs and occasional tree islands. The estuarine and saltwater wetlands support mangrove forests, salt marshes and oscillating salinity systems. Florida Bay exhibits oscillating meso- to hypersaline waters over grassbeds on marine lime mud sediments surrounding deeper lake areas. The exposed tips of the mud banks frequently support mangrove or salt prairie vegetation. The Florida Keys support almost all of the above communities to some small degree but are characterized by extensive offshore coral reefs. The productivity of these communities with regard to fish and wildlife reflects (1) the diversity and type of habitats available to species that are potentially capable of exploiting them, (2) the degree of alteration of these habitats by man and natural forces, and (3) historical, biogeographic and random factors that restrict organisms to specific environments or prohibit them from exploiting a potential habitat.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bochet, Esther; García-Fayos, Patricio

    2017-04-01

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

  14. KDiamend: a package for detecting key drivers in a molecular ecological network of disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyu, Mengxuan; Chen, Jiaxing; Jiang, Yiqi; Dong, Wei; Fang, Zhou; Li, Shuaicheng

    2018-04-11

    Microbial abundance profiles are applied widely to understand diseases from the aspect of microbial communities. By investigating the abundance associations of species or genes, we can construct molecular ecological networks (MENs). The MENs are often constructed by calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) between genes. In this work, we also applied multimodal mutual information (MMI) to construct MENs. The members which drive the concerned MENs are referred to as key drivers. We proposed a novel method to detect the key drivers. First, we partitioned the MEN into subnetworks. Then we identified the most pertinent subnetworks to the disease by measuring the correlation between the abundance pattern and the delegated phenotype-the variable representing the disease phenotypes. Last, for each identified subnetwork, we detected the key driver by PageRank. We developed a package named KDiamend and applied it to the gut and oral microbial data to detect key drivers for Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). We detected six T2D-relevant subnetworks and three key drivers of them are related to the carbohydrate metabolic process. In addition, we detected nine subnetworks related to RA, a disease caused by compromised immune systems. The extracted subnetworks include InterPro matches (IPRs) concerned with immunoglobulin, Sporulation, biofilm, Flaviviruses, bacteriophage, etc., while the development of biofilms is regarded as one of the drivers of persistent infections. KDiamend is feasible to detect key drivers and offers insights to uncover the development of diseases. The package is freely available at http://www.deepomics.org/pipelines/3DCD6955FEF2E64A/ .

  15. Functional Nanofibers and Colloidal Gels: Key Elements to Enhance Functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Nancy Amanda

    Nanomaterials bridge the gap between bulk materials and molecular structures and are known for their unique material properties and highly functional nature which make them attractive for a variety of potential applications, from energy storage and pollution sensors to agricultural and biomedical products. These potential applications, coupled with advances in nanotechnology, have generated considerable interest in nanostructure research. The work presented in this dissertation focuses on two such nanostructures, electrospun nanofibers and nanodiamond particles, with an overarching goal of tailoring the material behavior for a desired outcome. Our first research theme focuses on realizing the full potential of chitosan electrospinning by understanding the mechanism that enables fiber formation through cyclodextrin complexation as a function of solution properties, solvent types, and cyclodextrin content. We demonstrate that cyclodextrin addition not only enables chitosan fiber formation, but also extends the composition and solvent window for nanofiber synthesis while introducing a variety of mat topologies, including three-dimensional, self-supporting mats. These fiber formation improvements cannot be fully explained by conventional electrospinning parameters, but instead seem to be related to the molecular interactions between chitosan and cyclodextrin. Our second research theme entails the modification of highly water soluble, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) nanofibers dissolution properties via atomic layer deposition (ALD) post treatments. In this work, we demonstrate that applying different thicknesses of aluminum oxide nano-coatings can improve the stability of PVA nanofibers in high humidity conditions and significantly decrease the solubility of electrospun PVA mats in water, from seconds to multiple weeks. Controlling mat dissolution allows for the unique opportunity to modulate small molecule, such as drug, release from nanofibers without altering the core

  16. Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalusche, D.

    1978-01-01

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

  17. Key Generation for Fast Inversion of the Paillier Encryption Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Takato; Tanaka, Keisuke

    We study fast inversion of the Paillier encryption function. Especially, we focus only on key generation, and do not modify the Paillier encryption function. We propose three key generation algorithms based on the speeding-up techniques for the RSA encryption function. By using our algorithms, the size of the private CRT exponent is half of that of Paillier-CRT. The first algorithm employs the extended Euclidean algorithm. The second algorithm employs factoring algorithms, and can construct the private CRT exponent with low Hamming weight. The third algorithm is a variant of the second one, and has some advantage such as compression of the private CRT exponent and no requirement for factoring algorithms. We also propose the settings of the parameters for these algorithms and analyze the security of the Paillier encryption function by these algorithms against known attacks. Finally, we give experimental results of our algorithms.

  18. Community variability and ecological functioning: 40 years of change in the North Sea benthos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, D S; Robinson, L A; Frid, C L J

    2015-06-01

    Using established associations between species traits (life history, morphological and behavioural characteristics) and key ecological functions, we applied biological traits analysis (BTA) to investigate the consequences of 40 years of change in two North Sea benthic communities. Ecological functioning (trait composition) was found to be statistically indistinguishable across periods that differed significantly in taxonomic composition. A temporary alteration to functioning was, however, inferred at both sampling stations; coinciding with the North Sea regime shift of the 1980s. Trait composition recovered after 1 year at the station located inside the grounds of a trawl fishery, whereas the station located outside the main area of fishing activity underwent a six-year period of significantly altered, and temporally unstable, trait composition. A further alteration to functioning was inferred at the fished station, when the population of a newly established species rapidly increased in numbers. The results suggest that density compensation by characteristically similar (redundant) taxa acts to buffer changes to ecological functioning over time, but that functional stability is subject to aperiodic disruption due to substitutions of dissimilar taxa or uncompensated population fluctuations. The rate at which ecological functioning stabilises and recovers appears to be dependent on environmental context; e.g. disturbance regime. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Bacterial diversity and ecological function in lake water bodies

    OpenAIRE

    Lijuan Ren; Dan He; Peng Xing; Yujing Wang; Qinglong Wu

    2013-01-01

    The healthy development of lake ecosystems is a global issue. Bacteria are not only an integral component of food webs, but also play a key role in controlling and regulating water quality in lake ecosystems. Hence, in order to provide some suggestions for maintaining the long-term and healthy development of lake ecosystems, this review discusses and analyses concepts and assessment of bacterial diversity, the distribution of bacteria communities, mechanisms of formation, and the ecological f...

  20. A Rapid Method to Score Stream Reaches Based on the Overall Performance of Their Main Ecological Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, David K.; Parkyn, Stephanie; Quinn, John; Collier, Kevin; Hatton, Chris; Joy, Michael K.; Maxted, John; Moore, Stephen

    2009-06-01

    A method was developed to score the ecological condition of first- to third-order stream reaches in the Auckland region of New Zealand based on the performance of their key ecological functions. Such a method is required by consultants and resource managers to quantify the reduction in ecological condition of a modified stream reach relative to its unmodified state. This is a fundamental precursor for the determination of fair environmental compensation for achieving no-net-loss in overall stream ecological value. Field testing and subsequent use of the method indicated that it provides a useful measure of ecological condition related to the performance of stream ecological functions. It is relatively simple to apply compared to a full ecological study, is quick to use, and allows identification of the degree of impairment of each of the key ecological functions. The scoring system was designed so that future improvements in the measurement of stream functions can be incorporated into it. Although the methodology was specifically designed for Auckland streams, the principles can be readily adapted to other regions and stream types.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric L. Meunier

    2017-05-01

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

  2. Application of a novel functional gene microarray to probe the functional ecology of ammonia oxidation in nitrifying activated sludge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Short

    Full Text Available We report on the first study trialling a newly-developed, functional gene microarray (FGA for characterising bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidisers in activated sludge. Mixed liquor (ML and media biofilm samples from a full-scale integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS plant were analysed with the FGA to profile the diversity and relative abundance of ammonia-oxidising archaea and bacteria (AOA and AOB respectively. FGA analyses of AOA and AOB communities revealed ubiquitous distribution of AOA across all samples - an important finding for these newly-discovered and poorly characterised organisms. Results also revealed striking differences in the functional ecology of attached versus suspended communities within the IFAS reactor. Quantitative assessment of AOB and AOA functional gene abundance revealed a dominance of AOB in the ML and approximately equal distribution of AOA and AOB in the media-attached biofilm. Subsequent correlations of functional gene abundance data with key water quality parameters suggested an important functional role for media-attached AOB in particular for IFAS reactor nitrification performance and indicate possible functional redundancy in some IFAS ammonia oxidiser communities. Results from this investigation demonstrate the capacity of the FGA to resolve subtle ecological shifts in key microbial communities in nitrifying activated sludge and indicate its value as a tool for better understanding the linkages between the ecology and performance of these engineered systems.

  3. Parallel keyed hash function construction based on chaotic maps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Di; Liao Xiaofeng; Deng Shaojiang

    2008-01-01

    Recently, a variety of chaos-based hash functions have been proposed. Nevertheless, none of them works efficiently in parallel computing environment. In this Letter, an algorithm for parallel keyed hash function construction is proposed, whose structure can ensure the uniform sensitivity of hash value to the message. By means of the mechanism of both changeable-parameter and self-synchronization, the keystream establishes a close relation with the algorithm key, the content and the order of each message block. The entire message is modulated into the chaotic iteration orbit, and the coarse-graining trajectory is extracted as the hash value. Theoretical analysis and computer simulation indicate that the proposed algorithm can satisfy the performance requirements of hash function. It is simple, efficient, practicable, and reliable. These properties make it a good choice for hash on parallel computing platform

  4. Challenges in microbial ecology: Building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widder, Stefanie; Allen, Rosalind J.; Pfeiffer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The importance of microbial communities (MCs) cannot be overstated. MCs underpin the biogeochemical cycles of the earth's soil, oceans and the atmosphere, and perform ecosystem functions that impact plants, animals and humans. Yet our ability to predict and manage the function of these highly...... complex, dynamically changing communities is limited. Building predictive models that link MC composition to function is a key emerging challenge in microbial ecology. Here, we argue that addressing this challenge requires close coordination of experimental data collection and method development...... is needed to achieve significant progress in our understanding of MC dynamics and function, and we make specific practical suggestions as to how this could be achieved....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Turboelectric Aircraft Drive Key Performance Parameters and Functional Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Ralph H.; Brown, Gerald V.; Felder, James L.; Duffy, Kirsten P.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to propose specific power and efficiency as the key performance parameters for a turboelectric aircraft power system and investigate their impact on the overall aircraft. Key functional requirements are identified that impact the power system design. Breguet range equations for a base aircraft and a turboelectric aircraft are found. The benefits and costs that may result from the turboelectric system are enumerated. A break-even analysis is conducted to find the minimum allowable electric drive specific power and efficiency that can preserve the range, initial weight, operating empty weight, and payload weight of the base aircraft.

  7. High frequency of functional extinctions in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Säterberg, Torbjörn; Sellman, Stefan; Ebenman, Bo

    2013-07-25

    Intensified exploitation of natural populations and habitats has led to increased mortality rates and decreased abundances of many species. There is a growing concern that this might cause critical abundance thresholds of species to be crossed, with extinction cascades and state shifts in ecosystems as a consequence. When increased mortality rate and decreased abundance of a given species lead to extinction of other species, this species can be characterized as functionally extinct even though it still exists. Although such functional extinctions have been observed in some ecosystems, their frequency is largely unknown. Here we use a new modelling approach to explore the frequency and pattern of functional extinctions in ecological networks. Specifically, we analytically derive critical abundance thresholds of species by increasing their mortality rates until an extinction occurs in the network. Applying this approach on natural and theoretical food webs, we show that the species most likely to go extinct first is not the one whose mortality rate is increased but instead another species. Indeed, up to 80% of all first extinctions are of another species, suggesting that a species' ecological functionality is often lost before its own existence is threatened. Furthermore, we find that large-bodied species at the top of the food chains can only be exposed to small increases in mortality rate and small decreases in abundance before going functionally extinct compared to small-bodied species lower in the food chains. These results illustrate the potential importance of functional extinctions in ecological networks and lend strong support to arguments advocating a more community-oriented approach in conservation biology, with target levels for populations based on ecological functionality rather than on mere persistence.

  8. The Impact of Organismal Innovation on Functional and Ecological Diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, Peter C; Price, Samantha A

    2016-09-01

    Innovations in organismal functional morphology are thought to be a major force in shaping evolutionary patterns, with the potential to drive adaptive radiation and influence the evolutionary prospects for lineages. But the evolutionary consequences of innovation are diverse and usually do not result in adaptive radiation. What factors shape the macroevolutionary impact of innovations? We assert that little is known in general about the macroevolutionary outcomes associated with functional innovations and we discuss a framework for studying biological innovations in an evolutionary context. Innovations are novel functional mechanisms that enhance organismal performance. The ubiquity of trade-offs in functional systems means that enhanced performance on one axis often occurs at the expense of performance on another axis, such that many innovations result in an exchange of performance capabilities, rather than an expansion. Innovations may open up new resources for exploitation but their consequences for functional and ecological diversification depend heavily on the adaptive landscape around these novel resources. As an example of a broader program that we imagine, we survey five feeding innovations in labrid fishes, an exceptionally successful and ecologically diverse group of reef fishes, and explore their impact on the rate of evolution of jaw functional morphology. All of the innovations provide performance enhancements and result in changes in patterns of resource use, but most are not associated with subsequent functional diversification or substantial ecological diversification. Because selection acts on a specific performance enhancement and not on the evolutionary potential of an innovation, the enhancement of diversity may be highly serendipitous. The macroevolutionary potential of innovations depends critically on the interaction between the performance enhancement and the ecological opportunity that is exposed. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford

  9. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-12

    Studying the genetic basis of traits involved in ecological interactions is a fundamental part of elucidating the connections between evolutionary and ecological processes. Such knowledge allows one to link genetic models of trait evolution with ecological models describing interactions within and between species. Previous work has shown that connections between genetic and ecological processes in Arabidopsis thaliana may be mediated by the fact that quantitative trait loci (QTL) with 'direct' effects on traits of individuals also have pleiotropic 'indirect' effects on traits expressed in neighbouring plants. Here, we further explore these connections by examining functional relationships between traits affected directly and indirectly by the same QTL. We develop a novel approach using structural equation models (SEMs) to determine whether observed pleiotropic effects result from traits directly affected by the QTL in focal individuals causing the changes in the neighbours' phenotypes. This hypothesis was assessed using SEMs to test whether focal plant phenotypes appear to mediate the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the phenotypes of their neighbours, or alternatively, whether the connection between the focal plants' genotypes and the neighbours' phenotypes is mediated by unmeasured traits. We implement this analysis using a QTL of major effect that maps to the well-characterized flowering locus, FRIGIDA. The SEMs support the hypothesis that the pleiotropic indirect effects of this locus arise from size and developmental timing-related traits in focal plants affecting the expression of developmental traits in their neighbours. Our findings provide empirical insights into the genetics and nature of intraspecific ecological interactions. Our technique holds promise in directing future work into the genetic basis and functional relationship of traits mediating and responding to ecological interactions.

  10. Symbiotic Dinoflagellate Functional Diversity Mediates Coral Survival under Ecological Crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suggett, David J; Warner, Mark E; Leggat, William

    2017-10-01

    Coral reefs have entered an era of 'ecological crisis' as climate change drives catastrophic reef loss worldwide. Coral growth and stress susceptibility are regulated by their endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (genus Symbiodinium). The phylogenetic diversity of Symbiodinium frequently corresponds to patterns of coral health and survival, but knowledge of functional diversity is ultimately necessary to reconcile broader ecological success over space and time. We explore here functional traits underpinning the complex biology of Symbiodinium that spans free-living algae to coral endosymbionts. In doing so we propose a mechanistic framework integrating the primary traits of resource acquisition and utilisation as a means to explain Symbiodinium functional diversity and to resolve the role of Symbiodinium in driving the stability of coral reefs under an uncertain future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Identification of the key ecological factors influencing vegetation degradation in semi-arid agro-pastoral ecotone considering spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yu; Wang, Qinghui; Fan, Min

    2017-11-01

    When assessing re-vegetation project performance and optimizing land management, identification of the key ecological factors inducing vegetation degradation has crucial implications. Rainfall, temperature, elevation, slope, aspect, land use type, and human disturbance are ecological factors affecting the status of vegetation index. However, at different spatial scales, the key factors may vary. Using Helin County, Inner-Mongolia, China as the study site and combining remote sensing image interpretation, field surveying, and mathematical methods, this study assesses key ecological factors affecting vegetation degradation under different spatial scales in a semi-arid agro-pastoral ecotone. It indicates that the key factors are different at various spatial scales. Elevation, rainfall, and temperature are identified as crucial for all spatial extents. Elevation, rainfall and human disturbance are key factors for small-scale quadrats of 300 m × 300 m and 600 m × 600 m, temperature and land use type are key factors for a medium-scale quadrat of 1 km × 1 km, and rainfall, temperature, and land use are key factors for large-scale quadrats of 2 km × 2 km and 5 km × 5 km. For this region, human disturbance is not the key factor for vegetation degradation across spatial scales. It is necessary to consider spatial scale for the identification of key factors determining vegetation characteristics. The eco-restoration programs at various spatial scales should identify key influencing factors according their scales so as to take effective measurements. The new understanding obtained in this study may help to explore the forces which driving vegetation degradation in the degraded regions in the world.

  12. Towards an ecologically grounded functional practice in rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Daniela Virgínia; Silva, Paula Lanna; Mancini, Marisa Cotta; Carello, Claudia; Kinsella-Shaw, Jeffrey

    2017-04-01

    According to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, effective rehabilitation requires interventions that go beyond minimizing pathological conditions and associated symptoms. The scope of practice must include promoting an individual's activity within relevant contexts. We argue that best practice requires decisions that are not only evidence-based but also theory-based. Perception and action theories are essential for interpreting evidence and clinical phenomena as well as for developing new interventions. It is our contention that rehabilitation goals can best be achieved if inspired by the ecological approach to perception and action, an approach that focuses on the dynamics of interacting constraints of performer, task and environment. This contrasts with organism-limited motor control theories that have important influence in clinical practice. Parallels between such theories and the medical model of care highlight their fundamental inconsistency with the current understanding of functioning. We contend that incorporating ecological principles into rehabilitation research and practice can help advance our understanding of the complexity of action and provide better grounding for the development of effective functional practice. Implications and initial suggestions for an ecologically grounded functional practice are outlined. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Fire regime: history and definition of a key concept in disturbance ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, Patrik; Pezzatti, Gianni B; Mazzoleni, Stefano; Talbot, Lee M; Conedera, Marco

    2010-06-01

    "Fire regime" has become, in recent decades, a key concept in many scientific domains. In spite of its wide spread use, the concept still lacks a clear and wide established definition. Many believe that it was first discussed in a famous report on national park management in the United States, and that it may be simply defined as a selection of a few measurable parameters that summarize the fire occurrence patterns in an area. This view has been uncritically perpetuated in the scientific community in the last decades. In this paper we attempt a historical reconstruction of the origin, the evolution and the current meaning of "fire regime" as a concept. Its roots go back to the 19th century in France and to the first half of the 20th century in French African colonies. The "fire regime" concept took time to evolve and pass from French into English usage and thus to the whole scientific community. This coincided with a paradigm shift in the early 1960s in the United States, where a favourable cultural, social and scientific climate led to the natural role of fires as a major disturbance in ecosystem dynamics becoming fully acknowledged. Today the concept of "fire regime" refers to a collection of several fire-related parameters that may be organized, assembled and used in different ways according to the needs of the users. A structure for the most relevant categories of parameters is proposed, aiming to contribute to a unified concept of "fire regime" that can reconcile the physical nature of fire with the socio-ecological context within which it occurs.

  14. Is a community still a community? Reviewing definitions of key terms in community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, James T; Bush, Michael R; Ladd, Mark C; Nowicki, Robert J; Shantz, Andrew A; Sweatman, Jennifer

    2015-11-01

    Community ecology is an inherently complicated field, confounded by the conflicting use of fundamental terms. Nearly two decades ago, Fauth et al. (1996) demonstrated that imprecise language led to the virtual synonymy of important terms and so attempted to clearly define four keywords in community ecology; "community," "assemblage," "guild," and "ensemble". We revisit Fauth et al.'s conclusion and discuss how the use of these terms has changed over time since their review. An updated analysis of term definition from a selection of popular ecological textbooks suggests that definitions have drifted away from those encountered pre-1996, and slightly disagreed with results from a survey of 100 ecology professionals (comprising of academic professors, nonacademic PhDs, graduate and undergraduate biology students). Results suggest that confusion about these terms is still widespread in ecology. We conclude with clear suggestions for definitions of each term to be adopted hereafter to provide greater cohesion among research groups.

  15. Available nitrogen is the key factor influencing soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Jing; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Xu, Han; Li, Yide; Deng, Ye; Li, Diqiang; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-08-20

    Tropical rainforests cover over 50% of all known plant and animal species and provide a variety of key resources and ecosystem services to humans, largely mediated by metabolic activities of soil microbial communities. A deep analysis of soil microbial communities and their roles in ecological processes would improve our understanding on biogeochemical elemental cycles. However, soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforests and causative factors remain unclear. GeoChip, contained almost all of the key functional genes related to biogeochemical cycles, could be used as a specific and sensitive tool for studying microbial gene diversity and metabolic potential. In this study, soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforest was analyzed by using GeoChip technology. Gene categories detected in the tropical rainforest soils were related to different biogeochemical processes, such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling. The relative abundance of genes related to C and P cycling detected mostly derived from the cultured bacteria. C degradation gene categories for substrates ranging from labile C to recalcitrant C were all detected, and gene abundances involved in many recalcitrant C degradation gene categories were significantly (P rainforest. Soil available N could be the key factor in shaping the soil microbial functional gene structure and metabolic potential.

  16. Introduction. Antarctic ecology: from genes to ecosystems. Part 2. Evolution, diversity and functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Alex D; Murphy, Eugene J; Johnston, Nadine M; Clarke, Andrew

    2007-12-29

    The Antarctic biota has evolved over the last 100 million years in increasingly isolated and cold conditions. As a result, Antarctic species, from micro-organisms to vertebrates, have adapted to life at extremely low temperatures, including changes in the genome, physiology and ecological traits such as life history. Coupled with cycles of glaciation that have promoted speciation in the Antarctic, this has led to a unique biota in terms of biogeography, patterns of species distribution and endemism. Specialization in the Antarctic biota has led to trade-offs in many ecologically important functions and Antarctic species may have a limited capacity to adapt to present climate change. These include the direct effects of changes in environmental parameters and indirect effects of increased competition and predation resulting from altered life histories of Antarctic species and the impacts of invasive species. Ultimately, climate change may alter the responses of Antarctic ecosystems to harvesting from humans. The unique adaptations of Antarctic species mean that they provide unique models of molecular evolution in natural populations. The simplicity of Antarctic communities, especially from terrestrial systems, makes them ideal to investigate the ecological implications of climate change, which are difficult to identify in more complex systems.

  17. Pollination ecology in the 21st century: Key Questions for future research

    OpenAIRE

    STOUT, JANE CATHERINE

    2011-01-01

    PUBLISHED To inspire new ideas in research on pollination ecology, we list the most important unanswered questions in the field. This list was drawn up by contacting 170 scientists from different areas of pollination ecology and asking them to contribute their opinion on the greatest knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Almost 40% of them took part in our email poll and we received more than 650 questions and comments, which we classified into different categories repr...

  18. Pollination ecology in the 21st century:key questions for future research

    OpenAIRE

    Mayer, Caroline; Adler, Lynn; Armbruster, W. Scott; Dafni, Amots; Eardley, Connal; Huang, Shuang-Quan; Kevan, Peter; Ollerton, Jeff; Packer, Laurence; Ssymank, Axel; Stout, Jane C.; Potts, Simon G.

    2011-01-01

    To inspire new ideas in research on pollination ecology, we list the most important unanswered questions in the field. This list was drawn up by contacting 170 scientists from different areas of pollination ecology and asking them to contribute their opinion on the greatest knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Almost 40% of them took part in our email poll and we received more than 650 questions and comments, which we classified into different categories representing various aspects of p...

  19. Pollination ecology in the 21st Century: key questions for future research\\ud

    OpenAIRE

    Mayer, Carolin; Adler, Lynn; Armbruster, W Scott; Dafni, Amots; Eardley, Connal; Huang, Shuang-Quan; Kevan, Peter G; Ollerton, Jeff; Packer, Laurence; Ssymank, Axel; Stout, Jane C; Potts, Simon G

    2011-01-01

    To inspire new ideas in research on pollination ecology, we list the most important unanswered questions in the field. This list was drawn up by contacting 170 scientists from different areas of pollination ecology and asking them to contribute their opinion on the greatest knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Almost 40% of them took part in our email poll and we received more than 650 questions and comments, which we classified into different categories representing various aspects of p...

  20. Is a community still a community? Reviewing definitions of key terms in community ecology

    OpenAIRE

    Stroud, James T.; Bush, Michael R.; Ladd, Mark C.; Nowicki, Robert J.; Shantz, Andrew A.; Sweatman, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Community ecology is an inherently complicated field, confounded by the conflicting use of fundamental terms. Nearly two decades ago, Fauth et?al. (1996) demonstrated that imprecise language led to the virtual synonymy of important terms and so attempted to clearly define four keywords in community ecology; ?community,? ?assemblage,? ?guild,? and ?ensemble?. We revisit Fauth et?al.'s conclusion and discuss how the use of these terms has changed over time since their review. An update...

  1. Simulation of ecological processes using response functions method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malkina-Pykh, I.G.; Pykh, Yu. A.

    1998-01-01

    The article describes further development and applications of the already well-known response functions method (MRF). The method is used as a basis for the development of mathematical models of a wide set of ecological processes. The model of radioactive contamination of the ecosystems is chosen as an example. The mathematical model was elaborated for the description of 90 Sr dynamics in the elementary ecosystems of various geographical zones. The model includes the blocks corresponding with the main units of any elementary ecosystem: lower atmosphere, soil, vegetation, surface water. Parameters' evaluation was provided on a wide set of experimental data. A set of computer simulations was done on the model to prove the possibility of the model's use for ecological forecasting

  2. [A process of aquatic ecological function regionalization: The dual tree framework and conceptual model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Shu Hai; Wu, Bo

    2017-12-01

    Aquatic ecological regionalization and aquatic ecological function regionalization are the basis of water environmental management of a river basin and rational utilization of an aquatic ecosystem, and have been studied in China for more than ten years. Regarding the common problems in this field, the relationship between aquatic ecological regionalization and aquatic ecological function regionalization was discussed in this study by systematic analysis of the aquatic ecological zoning and the types of aquatic ecological function. Based on the dual tree structure, we put forward the RFCH process and the diamond conceptual model. Taking Liaohe River basin as an example and referring to the results of existing regionalization studies, we classified the aquatic ecological function regions based on three-class aquatic ecological regionalization. This study provided a process framework for aquatic ecological function regionalization of a river basin.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. Collaborative learning to unlock investments for functional ecological infrastructure: Bridging barriers in social-ecological systems in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Angelstam, P

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available . Based on expert knowledge at three scales, we analysed South Africa's opportunity to active adaptive management and to unlock investments that enhance functional ecological infrastructure. Barriers included lack of trust among actors, limited...

  5. Functional Imaging of Autonomic Regulation: Methods and Key Findings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul M Macey

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Central nervous system processing of autonomic function involves a network of regions throughout the brain which can be visualized and measured with neuroimaging techniques, notably functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. The development of fMRI procedures has both confirmed and extended earlier findings from animal models, and human stroke and lesion studies. Assessments with fMRI can elucidate interactions between different central sites in regulating normal autonomic patterning, and demonstrate how disturbed systems can interact to produce aberrant regulation during autonomic challenges. Understanding autonomic dysfunction in various illnesses reveals mechanisms that potentially lead to interventions in the impairments. The objectives here are to: 1 describe the fMRI neuroimaging methodology for assessment of autonomic neural control, 2 outline the widespread, lateralized distribution of function in autonomic sites in the normal brain which includes structures from the neocortex through the medulla and cerebellum, 3 illustrate the importance of the time course of neural changes when coordinating responses, and how those patterns are impacted in conditions of sleep-disordered breathing, and 4 highlight opportunities for future research studies with emerging methodologies. Methodological considerations specific to autonomic testing include timing of challenges relative to the underlying fMRI signal, spatial resolution sufficient to identify autonomic brainstem nuclei, blood pressure and blood oxygenation influences on the fMRI signal, and the sustained timing, often measured in minutes of challenge periods and recovery. Key findings include the lateralized nature of autonomic organization, which is reminiscent of asymmetric motor, sensory and language pathways. Testing brain function during autonomic challenges demonstrate closely-integrated timing of responses in connected brain areas during autonomic challenges, and the involvement with

  6. Opposing assembly mechanisms in a neotropical dry forest: implications for phylogenetic and functional community ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, Nathan G; Enquist, Brian J

    2009-08-01

    Species diversity is promoted and maintained by ecological and evolutionary processes operating on species attributes through space and time. The degree to which variability in species function regulates distribution and promotes coexistence of species has been debated. Previous work has attempted to quantify the relative importance of species function by using phylogenetic relatedness as a proxy for functional similarity. The key assumption of this approach is that function is phylogenetically conserved. If this assumption is supported, then the phylogenetic dispersion in a community should mirror the functional dispersion. Here we quantify functional trait dispersion along several key axes of tree life-history variation and on multiple spatial scales in a Neotropical dry-forest community. We next compare these results to previously reported patterns of phylogenetic dispersion in this same forest. We find that, at small spatial scales, coexisting species are typically more functionally clustered than expected, but traits related to adult and regeneration niches are overdispersed. This outcome was repeated when the analyses were stratified by size class. Some of the trait dispersion results stand in contrast to the previously reported phylogenetic dispersion results. In order to address this inconsistency we examined the strength of phylogenetic signal in traits at different depths in the phylogeny. We argue that: (1) while phylogenetic relatedness may be a good general multivariate proxy for ecological similarity, it may have a reduced capacity to depict the functional mechanisms behind species coexistence when coexisting species simultaneously converge and diverge in function; and (2) the previously used metric of phylogenetic signal provided erroneous inferences about trait dispersion when married with patterns of phylogenetic dispersion.

  7. Isotopic determination of the trophic ecology of a ubiquitous key species - The crab Liocarcinus depurator (Brachyura: Portunidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Careddu, Giulio; Calizza, Edoardo; Costantini, Maria Letizia; Rossi, Loreto

    2017-05-01

    Knowledge of the trophic ecology of predators is key to understanding how they affect food web structure and ecosystem functioning. The harbour crab Liocarcinus depurator (L.) (Brachyura: Portunidae) is one of the most abundant decapod species in soft-bottom areas of the Mediterranean Sea and northeast Atlantic Ocean. It is both a common prey and predator of commercial and non-commercial marine species and its predation pressure appears to have little effect on the subtidal community assemblage. However, there are few studies of its diet and little is known about its role in mediating energy flows in marine ecosystems. In this study, carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope analysis (SIA) and Bayesian analytical tools were used to characterise the trophic niche of L. depurator and to quantify the most important prey supporting this species under various environmental conditions. Specimens of L. depurator, their potential prey and basal resources were collected from two different subtidal areas of the Gulf of Gaeta, one affected by human activities (north side) and the other seasonally influenced by freshwater inputs originating from the River Garigliano (south side). While there were differences between the two sampling areas in terms of the abundance and δ15N and δ13C values of the macrobenthic prey community, no differences in the δ15N values and trophic position of L. depurator were observed. Specifically, Bayesian mixing models showed Polychaeta Errantia as the main source of crab diets in both areas. The observed differences in the δ13C values and the analysis of trophic pathways also indicate that the terrestrial organic matter originating from the discharge of the River Garigliano was integrated along the food web up to L. depurator. Although this species is usually considered an opportunistic feeder, it appears to be highly selective and its trophic habits did not influence food web topology, which in contrast was found to be strongly

  8. Frugivores and seed dispersal: mechanisms and consequences for biodiversity of a key ecological interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Pedro; Forget, Pierre-Michel; Lambert, Joanna E; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Traveset, Anna; Wright, S Joseph

    2011-06-23

    The 5th Symposium on Frugivores and Seed Dispersal, held in Montpellier (France), 13-18 June 2010, brought together more than 220 researchers exemplifying a wide diversity of approaches to the study of frugivory and dispersal of seeds. Following Ted Fleming and Alejandro Estrada's initiative in 1985, this event was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first meeting in Veracruz, Mexico. Frugivory and seed dispersal are active research areas that have diversified in multiple directions since 1985 to include evolution (e.g. phylogenetic diversity and dispersal adaptations), physiology (e.g. sensory cues and digestion), landscape ecology (movement patterns), molecular ecology (e.g. gene flow, genetic diversity and structure), community ecology (e.g. mutualistic interaction networks) and conservation biology (effects of hunting, fragmentation, invasion and extinction), among others. This meeting provided an opportunity to assess conceptual and methodological progress, to present ever more sophisticated insights into frugivory in animals and dispersal patterns in plants, and to report the advances made in examining the mechanisms and consequences of seed dispersal for plants and frugivores.

  9. Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternjej, Ivancica; Mihaljevic, Zlatko

    2017-10-01

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

  10. Functional genetics of intraspecific ecological interactions in Arabidopsis thaliana

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Unrecognized coral species diversity masks differences in functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulay, Jennifer N; Hellberg, Michael E; Cortés, Jorge; Baums, Iliana B

    2014-02-07

    Porites corals are foundation species on Pacific reefs but a confused taxonomy hinders understanding of their ecosystem function and responses to climate change. Here, we show that what has been considered a single species in the eastern tropical Pacific, Porites lobata, includes a morphologically similar yet ecologically distinct species, Porites evermanni. While P. lobata reproduces mainly sexually, P. evermanni dominates in areas where triggerfish prey on bioeroding mussels living within the coral skeleton, thereby generating asexual coral fragments. These fragments proliferate in marginal habitat not colonized by P. lobata. The two Porites species also show a differential bleaching response despite hosting the same dominant symbiont subclade. Thus, hidden diversity within these reef-builders has until now obscured differences in trophic interactions, reproductive dynamics and bleaching susceptibility, indicative of differential responses when confronted with future climate change.

  12. Pollination ecology in the 21st Century: Key questions for future research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane C. Stout

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available To inspire new ideas in research on pollination ecology, we list the most important unanswered questions in the field. This list was drawn up by contacting 170 scientists from different areas of pollination ecology and asking them to contribute their opinion on the greatest knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Almost 40% of them took part in our email poll and we received more than 650 questions and comments, which we classified into different categories representing various aspects of pollination research. The original questions were merged and synthesised, and a final vote and ranking led to the resultant list. The categories cover plant sexual reproduction, pollen and stigma biology, abiotic pollination, evolution of animal-mediated pollination, interactions of pollinators and floral antagonists, pollinator behaviour, taxonomy, plant-pollinator assemblages, geographical trends in diversity, drivers of pollinator loss, ecosystem services, management of pollination, and conservation issues such as the implementation of pollinator conservation. We focused on questions that were of a broad scope rather than case-specific; thus, addressing some questions may not be feasible within single research projects but constitute a general guide for future directions. With this compilation we hope to raise awareness of pollination-related topics not only among researchers but also among non-specialists including policy makers, funding agencies and the public at large.

  13. Linking biological soil crust diversity to ecological functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaser, Karin; Borchhardt, Nadine; Schulz, Karoline; Mikhailyuk, Tatiana; Baumann, Karen; Leinweber, Peter; Ulf, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an association of different microorganisms and soil particles in the top millimeters of the soil. They are formed by algae, cyanobacteria, microfungi, bacteria, bryophytes and lichens in various compositions. Our aim was to determine and compare the biodiversity of all occurring organisms in biogeographically different habitats, ranging from polar (both Arctic and Antarctic), subpolar (Scandinavia), temperate (Germany) to dry regions (Chile). The combination of microscopy and molecular techniques (next-generation sequencing) revealed highly diverse crust communities, whose composition clustered by region and correlates with habitat characteristics such as water content. The BSC biodiversity was then linked to the ecological function of the crusts. The functional role of the BSCs in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous is evaluated using an array of state of the art soil chemistry methods including Py-FIMS (pyrolysis field ionization mass spectrometry) and XANES (x-ray absorbance near edge structure). Total P as well as P fractions were quantified in all BSCs, adjacent soil underneath and comparable nearby soil of BSC-free areas revealing a remarkable accumulation of total phosphorous and a distinct pattern of P fractions in the crust. Further, we observed an indication of a different P-speciation composition in the crust compared with BSC-free soil. The data allow answering the question whether BSCs act as sink or source for these compounds, and how biodiversity controls the biogeochemical function of BSCs.

  14. Ecological Interactions between Humans, Wildlife Viral Reservoirs, and Key Environmental Drivers of Hantaan Virus Transmission

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Tong

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence and transmission of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS are closely related to environmental variability, so it is essential to clarify the complex relationships among the environment, hantavirus transmission, and the population dynamics of its wildlife hosts. Tian et al. analyzed a large, long-term dataset describing the circulation of hantavirus in rodents and its spillover into humans. Their article incorporates several mathematical models and argues that the interaction between environmental and human behavioral factors drives the observed seasonality and interannual variations in important zoonotic diseases. The ecological cascade effect of a drought in 2002 is highlighted, and the role of seasonality in agricultural activity is emphasized in that study.

  15. Estimation and Application of Ecological Memory Functions in Time and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itter, M.; Finley, A. O.; Dawson, A.

    2017-12-01

    A common goal in quantitative ecology is the estimation or prediction of ecological processes as a function of explanatory variables (or covariates). Frequently, the ecological process of interest and associated covariates vary in time, space, or both. Theory indicates many ecological processes exhibit memory to local, past conditions. Despite such theoretical understanding, few methods exist to integrate observations from the recent past or within a local neighborhood as drivers of these processes. We build upon recent methodological advances in ecology and spatial statistics to develop a Bayesian hierarchical framework to estimate so-called ecological memory functions; that is, weight-generating functions that specify the relative importance of local, past covariate observations to ecological processes. Memory functions are estimated using a set of basis functions in time and/or space, allowing for flexible ecological memory based on a reduced set of parameters. Ecological memory functions are entirely data driven under the Bayesian hierarchical framework—no a priori assumptions are made regarding functional forms. Memory function uncertainty follows directly from posterior distributions for model parameters allowing for tractable propagation of error to predictions of ecological processes. We apply the model framework to simulated spatio-temporal datasets generated using memory functions of varying complexity. The framework is also applied to estimate the ecological memory of annual boreal forest growth to local, past water availability. Consistent with ecological understanding of boreal forest growth dynamics, memory to past water availability peaks in the year previous to growth and slowly decays to zero in five to eight years. The Bayesian hierarchical framework has applicability to a broad range of ecosystems and processes allowing for increased understanding of ecosystem responses to local and past conditions and improved prediction of ecological

  16. Phylogenetic constraints in key functional traits behind species' climate niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kellermann, Vanessa; Loeschcke, Volker; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2012-01-01

    Species distributions are often constrained by climatic tolerances that are ultimately determined by evolutionary history and/or adaptive capacity, but these factors have rarely been partitioned. Here, we experimentally determined two key climatic niche traits (desiccation and cold resistance) fo...

  17. Analysis and optimization with ecological objective function of irreversible single resonance energy selective electron heat engines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Junle; Chen, Lingen; Ding, Zemin; Sun, Fengrui

    2016-01-01

    Ecological performance of a single resonance ESE heat engine with heat leakage is conducted by applying finite time thermodynamics. By introducing Nielsen function and numerical calculations, expressions about power output, efficiency, entropy generation rate and ecological objective function are derived; relationships between ecological objective function and power output, between ecological objective function and efficiency as well as between power output and efficiency are demonstrated; influences of system parameters of heat leakage, boundary energy and resonance width on the optimal performances are investigated in detail; a specific range of boundary energy is given as a compromise to make ESE heat engine system work at optimal operation regions. Comparing performance characteristics with different optimization objective functions, the significance of selecting ecological objective function as the design objective is clarified specifically: when changing the design objective from maximum power output into maximum ecological objective function, the improvement of efficiency is 4.56%, while the power output drop is only 2.68%; when changing the design objective from maximum efficiency to maximum ecological objective function, the improvement of power output is 229.13%, and the efficiency drop is only 13.53%. - Highlights: • An irreversible single resonance energy selective electron heat engine is studied. • Heat leakage between two reservoirs is considered. • Power output, efficiency and ecological objective function are derived. • Optimal performance comparison for three objective functions is carried out.

  18. [Ecological executive function characteristics and effects of executive function on social adaptive function in school-aged children with epilepsy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, X J; Wang, L L; Zhou, N

    2016-02-23

    To explore the characteristics of ecological executive function in school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy and examine the effects of executive function on social adaptive function. A total of 51 school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy aged 5-12 years at our hospital and 37 normal ones of the same gender, age and educational level were included. The differences in ecological executive function and social adaptive function were compared between the two groups with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and Child Adaptive Behavior Scale, the Pearson's correlation test and multiple stepwise linear regression were used to explore the impact of executive function on social adaptive function. The scores of school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in global executive composite (GEC), behavioral regulation index (BRI) and metacognition index (MI) of BRIEF ((62±12), (58±13) and (63±12), respectively) were significantly higher than those of the control group ((47±7), (44±6) and (48±8), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in adaptive behavior quotient (ADQ), independence, cognition, self-control ((86±22), (32±17), (49±14), (41±16), respectively) were significantly lower than those of the control group ((120±12), (59±14), (59±7) and (68±10), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy. School-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy may have significantly ecological executive function impairment and social adaptive function reduction. The aspects of BRI, inhibition and working memory in ecological executive function are significantly related with social adaptive function in school-aged children with epilepsy.

  19. Ecological Networks in Stored Grain: Key Postharvest Nodes for Emerging Pests, Pathogens, and Mycotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez Nopsa, John F; Daglish, Gregory J; Hagstrum, David W; Leslie, John F; Phillips, Thomas W; Scoglio, Caterina; Thomas-Sharma, Sara; Walter, Gimme H; Garrett, Karen A

    2015-10-01

    Wheat is at peak quality soon after harvest. Subsequently, diverse biota use wheat as a resource in storage, including insects and mycotoxin-producing fungi. Transportation networks for stored grain are crucial to food security and provide a model system for an analysis of the population structure, evolution, and dispersal of biota in networks. We evaluated the structure of rail networks for grain transport in the United States and Eastern Australia to identify the shortest paths for the anthropogenic dispersal of pests and mycotoxins, as well as the major sources, sinks, and bridges for movement. We found important differences in the risk profile in these two countries and identified priority control points for sampling, detection, and management. An understanding of these key locations and roles within the network is a new type of basic research result in postharvest science and will provide insights for the integrated pest management of high-risk subpopulations, such as pesticide-resistant insect pests.

  20. The mosquitoes (Diptera: Culidae of Seychelles: taxonomy, ecology, vectorial importance, and identification keys

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Goff Gilbert

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During recent periods, the islands of the Republic of Seychelles experienced many diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Bancroft’s filaria and malaria. Mosquitoes transmit the agents that cause these diseases. Published information on mosquitoes in the Seychelles is notably dispersed in the literature. The maximum number of species obtained on a single field survey does not exceed 14 species. Methods We performed a comprehensive bibliographic review using mosquito and Seychelles as the key words, as well as conducted a mosquito field survey for larval and adult stages during the rainy season in December 2008. Sixteen sites were sampled on four granitic islands (Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and Aride and six sites on coralline atolls in the extreme southwest of the country (Aldabra group. Results We found published references to 21 mosquito species identified at least on one occasion in the Seychelles. Our collections comprised 18 species of mosquitoes, all of them from the subfamily Culicinae; no Anophelinae was found. We also confirm that Aedes seychellensis is a junior synonym of Ae. (Aedimorphus albocephalus. The first records for Culex antennatus and Cx. sunyaniensis are presented from the country, specifically from Aldabra and Praslin, respectively. Based on a comparison of the taxa occurring on the granitic versus coralline islands, only three species, Ae. albocephalus, Cx. scottii and Cx. simpsoni are shared. Aedes albopictus appeared to exclude largely Ae. aegypti on the granitic islands; however, Ae. aegypti was common on Aldabra, where Ae. albopictus has not been recorded. The notable aggressiveness of mosquitoes towards humans on coralline islands was mainly due to two species, the females of which are difficult to distinguish: Ae. fryeri and Ae. (Aedimorphus sp. A. The number of mosquito species collected at least once in the Seychelles is now 22, among which five species (Ae. (Adm sp. A, Cx. stellatus, Uranotaenia

  1. The mosquitoes (Diptera: Culidae) of Seychelles: taxonomy, ecology, vectorial importance, and identification keys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Goff, Gilbert; Boussès, Philippe; Julienne, Simon; Brengues, Cécile; Rahola, Nil; Rocamora, Gérard; Robert, Vincent

    2012-09-21

    During recent periods, the islands of the Republic of Seychelles experienced many diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Bancroft's filaria and malaria. Mosquitoes transmit the agents that cause these diseases. Published information on mosquitoes in the Seychelles is notably dispersed in the literature. The maximum number of species obtained on a single field survey does not exceed 14 species. We performed a comprehensive bibliographic review using mosquito and Seychelles as the key words, as well as conducted a mosquito field survey for larval and adult stages during the rainy season in December 2008. Sixteen sites were sampled on four granitic islands (Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and Aride) and six sites on coralline atolls in the extreme southwest of the country (Aldabra group). We found published references to 21 mosquito species identified at least on one occasion in the Seychelles. Our collections comprised 18 species of mosquitoes, all of them from the subfamily Culicinae; no Anophelinae was found. We also confirm that Aedes seychellensis is a junior synonym of Ae. (Aedimorphus) albocephalus. The first records for Culex antennatus and Cx. sunyaniensis are presented from the country, specifically from Aldabra and Praslin, respectively. Based on a comparison of the taxa occurring on the granitic versus coralline islands, only three species, Ae. albocephalus, Cx. scottii and Cx. simpsoni are shared. Aedes albopictus appeared to exclude largely Ae. aegypti on the granitic islands; however, Ae. aegypti was common on Aldabra, where Ae. albopictus has not been recorded. The notable aggressiveness of mosquitoes towards humans on coralline islands was mainly due to two species, the females of which are difficult to distinguish: Ae. fryeri and Ae. (Aedimorphus) sp. A. The number of mosquito species collected at least once in the Seychelles is now 22, among which five species (Ae. (Adm) sp. A, Cx. stellatus, Uranotaenia browni. Ur. nepenthes and Ur. pandani) and one

  2. Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

    KAUST Repository

    Rädecker, Nils

    2015-04-01

    Corals are animals that form close mutualistic associations with endosymbiotic photosynthetic algae of the genus Symbiodinium. Together they provide the calcium carbonate framework of coral reef ecosystems. The importance of the microbiome (i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) to holobiont functioning has only recently been recognized. Given that growth and density of Symbiodinium within the coral host is highly dependent on nitrogen availability, nitrogen-cycling microbes may be of fundamental importance to the stability of the coral–algae symbiosis and holobiont functioning, in particular under nutrient-enriched and -depleted scenarios. We summarize what is known about nitrogen cycling in corals and conclude that disturbance of microbial nitrogen cycling may be tightly linked to coral bleaching and disease.

  3. Nitrogen cycling in corals: the key to understanding holobiont functioning?

    KAUST Repository

    Rä decker, Nils; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wiedenmann, Jö rg; Wild, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Corals are animals that form close mutualistic associations with endosymbiotic photosynthetic algae of the genus Symbiodinium. Together they provide the calcium carbonate framework of coral reef ecosystems. The importance of the microbiome (i.e., bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses) to holobiont functioning has only recently been recognized. Given that growth and density of Symbiodinium within the coral host is highly dependent on nitrogen availability, nitrogen-cycling microbes may be of fundamental importance to the stability of the coral–algae symbiosis and holobiont functioning, in particular under nutrient-enriched and -depleted scenarios. We summarize what is known about nitrogen cycling in corals and conclude that disturbance of microbial nitrogen cycling may be tightly linked to coral bleaching and disease.

  4. Do key dimensions of seed and seedling functional trait variation capture variation in recruitment probability?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Plant functional traits provide a mechanistic basis for understanding ecological variation among plant species and the implications of this variation for species distribution, community assembly and restoration. 2. The bulk of our functional trait understanding, however, is centered on traits rel...

  5. Functional ecology of aquatic phagotrophic protists–concepts, limitations, and perspectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weisse, Thomas; Anderson, Ruth; Arndt, Hartmut

    2016-01-01

    Functional ecology is a subdiscipline that aims to enable a mechanistic understanding of patterns and processes from the organismic to the ecosystem level. This paper addresses some main aspects of the process-oriented current knowledge on phagotrophic, i.e. heterotrophic and mixotrophic, protists......-Volterra to the Independent Response Model. Since protists have extremely versatile feeding modes, we explore if there are systematic differences related to their taxonomic affiliation and life strategies. We differentiate between intrinsic factors (nutritional history, acclimatisation) and extrinsic factors (temperature......, food, turbulence) affecting feeding, growth, and survival of protist populations. We briefly consider intraspecific variability of some key parameters and constraints inherent in laboratory microcosm experiments. We then upscale the significance of phagotrophic protists in food webs to the ocean level...

  6. Equivalency of Galápagos giant tortoises used as ecological replacement species to restore ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Gibbs, James P; Cayot, Linda J; Tapia, Washington

    2013-08-01

    Loss of key plant-animal interactions (e.g., disturbance, seed dispersal, and herbivory) due to extinctions of large herbivores has diminished ecosystem functioning nearly worldwide. Mitigating for the ecological consequences of large herbivore losses through the use of ecological replacements to fill extinct species' niches and thereby replicate missing ecological functions has been proposed. It is unknown how different morphologically and ecologically a replacement can be from the extinct species and still provide similar functions. We studied niche equivalency between 2 phenotypes of Galápagos giant tortoises (domed and saddlebacked) that were translocated to Pinta Island in the Galápagos Archipelago as ecological replacements for the extinct saddlebacked giant tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii). Thirty-nine adult, nonreproductive tortoises were introduced to Pinta Island in May 2010, and we observed tortoise resource use in relation to phenotype during the first year following release. Domed tortoises settled in higher, moister elevations than saddlebacked tortoises, which favored lower elevation arid zones. The areas where the tortoises settled are consistent with the ecological conditions each phenotype occupies in its native range. Saddlebacked tortoises selected areas with high densities of the arboreal prickly pear cactus (Opuntia galapageia) and mostly foraged on the cactus, which likely relied on the extinct saddlebacked Pinta tortoise for seed dispersal. In contrast, domed tortoises did not select areas with cactus and therefore would not provide the same seed-dispersal functions for the cactus as the introduced or the original, now extinct, saddlebacked tortoises. Interchangeability of extant megaherbivores as replacements for extinct forms therefore should be scrutinized given the lack of equivalency we observed in closely related forms of giant tortoises. Our results also demonstrate the value of trial introductions of sterilized individuals to test

  7. Using functional data analysis to analyze ecological series data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/MethodsA frequent goal in ecology is to understand the relationships among biological organisms and their environment. Most field data are collected as scalar measurements, such that observations are recorded as a collection of datums. The observations are t...

  8. A Novel Re-keying Function Protocol (NRFP For Wireless Sensor Network Security

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naif Alsharabi

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes a novel re-keying function protocol (NRFP for wireless sensor network security. A re-keying process management system for sensor networks is designed to support in-network processing. The design of the protocol is motivated by decentralization key management for wireless sensor networks (WSNs, covering key deployment, key refreshment, and key establishment. NRFP supports the establishment of novel administrative functions for sensor nodes that derive/re-derive a session key for each communication session. The protocol proposes direct connection, in-direct connection and hybrid connection. NRFP also includes an efficient protocol for local broadcast authentication based on the use of one-way key chains. A salient feature of the authentication protocol is that it supports source authentication without precluding in-network processing. Security and performance analysis shows that it is very efficient in computation, communication and storage and, that NRFP is also effective in defending against many sophisticated attacks.

  9. A Novel Re-keying Function Protocol (NRFP) For Wireless Sensor Network Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Maan Younis; Hua, Gui Wei; Alsharabi, Naif

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes a novel re-keying function protocol (NRFP) for wireless sensor network security. A re-keying process management system for sensor networks is designed to support in-network processing. The design of the protocol is motivated by decentralization key management for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), covering key deployment, key refreshment, and key establishment. NRFP supports the establishment of novel administrative functions for sensor nodes that derive/re-derive a session key for each communication session. The protocol proposes direct connection, in-direct connection and hybrid connection. NRFP also includes an efficient protocol for local broadcast authentication based on the use of one-way key chains. A salient feature of the authentication protocol is that it supports source authentication without precluding innetwork processing. Security and performance analysis shows that it is very efficient in computation, communication and storage and, that NRFP is also effective in defending against many sophisticated attacks. PMID:27873963

  10. A Novel Re-keying Function Protocol (NRFP) For Wireless Sensor Network Security.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdullah, Maan Younis; Hua, Gui Wei; Alsharabi, Naif

    2008-12-04

    This paper describes a novel re-keying function protocol (NRFP) for wireless sensor network security. A re-keying process management system for sensor networks is designed to support in-network processing. The design of the protocol is motivated by decentralization key management for wireless sensor networks (WSNs), covering key deployment, key refreshment, and key establishment. NRFP supports the establishment of novel administrative functions for sensor nodes that derive/re-derive a session key for each communication session. The protocol proposes direct connection, in-direct connection and hybrid connection. NRFP also includes an efficient protocol for local broadcast authentication based on the use of one-way key chains. A salient feature of the authentication protocol is that it supports source authentication without precluding in-network processing. Security and performance analysis shows that it is very efficient in computation, communication and storage and, that NRFP is also effective in defending against many sophisticated attacks.

  11. Authentication codes from ε-ASU hash functions with partially secret keys

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, S.L.; Tilborg, van H.C.A.; Weng, J.; Chen, Kefei

    2014-01-01

    An authentication code can be constructed with a family of e-Almost strong universal (e-ASU) hash functions, with the index of hash functions as the authentication key. This paper considers the performance of authentication codes from e-ASU, when the authentication key is only partially secret. We

  12. Land cover and vegetation data from an ecological survey of "key habitat" landscapes in England, 1992-1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Claire M.; Bunce, Robert G. H.; Norton, Lisa R.; Smart, Simon M.; Barr, Colin J.

    2018-05-01

    Since 1978, a series of national surveys (Countryside Survey, CS) have been carried out by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) (formerly the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, ITE) to gather data on the natural environment in Great Britain (GB). As the sampling framework for these surveys is not optimised to yield data on rarer or more localised habitats, a survey was commissioned by the then Department of the Environment (DOE, now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA) in the 1990s to carry out additional survey work in English landscapes which contained semi-natural habitats that were perceived to be under threat, or which represented areas of concern to the ministry. The landscapes were lowland heath, chalk and limestone (calcareous) grasslands, coasts and uplands. The information recorded allowed an assessment of the extent and quality of a range of habitats defined during the project, which can now be translated into standard UK broad and priority habitat classes. The survey, known as the "Key Habitat Survey", followed a design which was a series of gridded, stratified, randomly selected 1 km squares taken as representative of each of the four landscape types in England, determined from statistical land classification and geological data ("spatial masks"). The definitions of the landscapes are given in the descriptions of the spatial masks, along with definitions of the surveyed habitats. A total of 213 of the 1 km2 square sample sites were surveyed in the summers of 1992 and 1993, with information being collected on vegetation species, land cover, landscape features and land use, applying standardised repeatable methods. The database contributes additional information and value to the long-term monitoring data gathered by the Countryside Survey and provides a valuable baseline against which future ecological changes may be compared, offering the potential for a repeat survey. The data were analysed and described in a series of

  13. Land cover and vegetation data from an ecological survey of "key habitat" landscapes in England, 1992–1993

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. M. Wood

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Since 1978, a series of national surveys (Countryside Survey, CS have been carried out by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH (formerly the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, ITE to gather data on the natural environment in Great Britain (GB. As the sampling framework for these surveys is not optimised to yield data on rarer or more localised habitats, a survey was commissioned by the then Department of the Environment (DOE, now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA in the 1990s to carry out additional survey work in English landscapes which contained semi-natural habitats that were perceived to be under threat, or which represented areas of concern to the ministry. The landscapes were lowland heath, chalk and limestone (calcareous grasslands, coasts and uplands. The information recorded allowed an assessment of the extent and quality of a range of habitats defined during the project, which can now be translated into standard UK broad and priority habitat classes. The survey, known as the "Key Habitat Survey", followed a design which was a series of gridded, stratified, randomly selected 1 km squares taken as representative of each of the four landscape types in England, determined from statistical land classification and geological data ("spatial masks". The definitions of the landscapes are given in the descriptions of the spatial masks, along with definitions of the surveyed habitats. A total of 213 of the 1 km2 square sample sites were surveyed in the summers of 1992 and 1993, with information being collected on vegetation species, land cover, landscape features and land use, applying standardised repeatable methods. The database contributes additional information and value to the long-term monitoring data gathered by the Countryside Survey and provides a valuable baseline against which future ecological changes may be compared, offering the potential for a repeat survey. The data were analysed and described

  14. Ecological and Economic Indicators of Oil and Gas Companies Functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Anastasia V. Sheveleva

    2016-01-01

    This article analyzes the basic ecological-economic indicators of oil and gas companies, in particular the various volumes of oil, the number of spills per year of CO2 emissions, the costs of environmental protection. In the process of exploration, development and exploitation of oil and gas fields, production, refining, transportation and storage companies have a negative impact on the environment. Occur accidents involving oil spills, emissions and discharges of pollutants into the environm...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. [Tourism function zoning of Jinyintan Grassland Scenic Area in Qinghai Province based on ecological sensitivity analysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Lin-sheng; Tang, Cheng-cai; Guo, Hua

    2010-07-01

    Based on the statistical data of natural ecology and social economy in Jinyintan Grassland Scenic Area in Qinghai Province in 2008, an evaluation index system for the ecological sensitivity of this area was established from the aspects of protected area rank, vegetation type, slope, and land use type. The ecological sensitivity of the sub-areas with higher tourism value and ecological function in the area was evaluated, and the tourism function zoning of these sub-areas was made by the technology of GIS and according to the analysis of eco-environmental characteristics and ecological sensitivity of each sensitive sub-area. It was suggested that the Jinyintan Grassland Scenic Area could be divided into three ecological sensitivity sub-areas (high, moderate, and low), three tourism functional sub-areas (restricted development ecotourism, moderate development ecotourism, and mass tourism), and six tourism functional sub-areas (wetland protection, primitive ecological sightseeing, agriculture and pasture tourism, grassland tourism, town tourism, and rural tourism).

  17. Diversity and Ecological Functions of Crenarchaeota in Terrestrial Hot Springs of Tengchong, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, W.; Song, Z.; Chen, J.; Jiang, H.; Zhou, E.; Wang, F.; Xiao, X.; Zhang, C.

    2010-12-01

    The diversity and potential ecological functions of Crenarchaeota were investigated in eight terrestrial hot springs (pH: 2.8-7.7; temperature: 43.6-96 C) located in Tengchong, China, using 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis. A total of 826 crenarchaeotal clones were analyzed and a total of 47 Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified. Most (93%) of the identified OTUs were closely related (89-99%) to those retrieved from hot springs and other thermal environments. Our data showed that temperature may predominate over pH in affecting crenarchaeotal diversity in Tengchong hot springs. Crenarchaeotal diversity in moderate-temperature (59 to 77 C) hot springs was the highest, indicating that the moderate-temperature hot springs are more inclusive for Crenarchaeota. To understand what ecological functions these Crenarchaeota may play in Tengchong hot springs, we isolated the environmental RNA and constructed four cDNA clone libraries of the archaeal accA gene that encodes Acetyl CoA carboxylase. The accA gene represents one of the key enzymes responsible for the CO2 fixation in the 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathway. The results of phylogenetic analysis showed all the transcribed accA gene sequences can be classified into three large clusters, with the first one being affiliated with marine crenarchaeota, the second one with cultured crenarchaeota, and the third one with Chlorobi (Green sulfur bacteria), which have been proved to employ the 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathway. The long-branch distances of the phylogenetic tree suggest that these sequences represent novel accA-like gene. Our results also showed that sequences of the accA-like gene from the same hot spring belonged to one cluster, which suggests that a single crenarchaeotal group may fix CO2 via 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathway in the investigated hot springs.

  18. Continental cichlid radiations: functional diversity reveals the role of changing ecological opportunity in the Neotropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbour, Jessica Hilary; López-Fernández, Hernán

    2016-08-17

    Adaptive radiations have been hypothesized to contribute broadly to the diversity of organisms. Models of adaptive radiation predict that ecological opportunity and ecological release, the availability of empty ecological niches and the response by adapting lineages to occupy them, respectively, drive patterns of phenotypic and lineage diversification. Adaptive radiations driven by 'ecological opportunity' are well established in island systems; it is less clear if ecological opportunity influences continent-wide diversification. We use Neotropical cichlid fishes to test if variation in rates of functional evolution is consistent with changing ecological opportunity. Across a functional morphological axis associated with ram-suction feeding traits, evolutionary rates declined through time as lineages diversified in South America. Evolutionary rates of ram-suction functional morphology also appear to have accelerated as cichlids colonized Central America and encountered renewed opportunity. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity may play an important role in shaping patterns of morphological diversity of even broadly distributed lineages like Neotropical cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

  19. Positioning functional foods in an ecological approach to the prevention of overweight and obesity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wieringa, N.F.; van der Windt, H.J.; Zuiker, R.R.M.; Dijkhuizen, L.; Verkerk, M.A.; Vonk, R.J.; Swart, J.A.A.

    2008-01-01

    To contribute to the social debate about the role of functional foods in the prevention of overweight and obesity using an ecological model to study the positioning of functional foods and their social implications. Positioning was conceptualized as the relative attention given to functional foods

  20. Cryptanalysis on a parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo Wei; Wang Xiaoming; He Dake; Cao Yang

    2009-01-01

    This Letter analyzes the security of a novel parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps, proposed by Xiao et al. to improve the efficiency in parallel computing environment. We show how to devise forgery attacks on Xiao's scheme with differential cryptanalysis and give the experiment results of two kinds of forgery attacks firstly. Furthermore, we discuss the problem of weak keys in the scheme and demonstrate how to utilize weak keys to construct collision.

  1. Monotonicity of a Key Function Arised in Studies of Nematic Liquid Crystal Polymers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyun Wang

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available We revisit a key function arised in studies of nematic liquid crystal polymers. Previously, it was conjectured that the function is strictly decreasing and the conjecture was numerically confirmed. Here we prove the conjecture analytically. More specifically, we write the derivative of the function into two parts and prove that each part is strictly negative.

  2. Land-use choices follow profitability at the expense of ecological functions in Indonesian smallholder landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clough, Yann; Krishna, Vijesh V; Corre, Marife D; Darras, Kevin; Denmead, Lisa H; Meijide, Ana; Moser, Stefan; Musshoff, Oliver; Steinebach, Stefanie; Veldkamp, Edzo; Allen, Kara; Barnes, Andrew D; Breidenbach, Natalie; Brose, Ulrich; Buchori, Damayanti; Daniel, Rolf; Finkeldey, Reiner; Harahap, Idham; Hertel, Dietrich; Holtkamp, A Mareike; Hörandl, Elvira; Irawan, Bambang; Jaya, I Nengah Surati; Jochum, Malte; Klarner, Bernhard; Knohl, Alexander; Kotowska, Martyna M; Krashevska, Valentyna; Kreft, Holger; Kurniawan, Syahrul; Leuschner, Christoph; Maraun, Mark; Melati, Dian Nuraini; Opfermann, Nicole; Pérez-Cruzado, César; Prabowo, Walesa Edho; Rembold, Katja; Rizali, Akhmad; Rubiana, Ratna; Schneider, Dominik; Tjitrosoedirdjo, Sri Sudarmiyati; Tjoa, Aiyen; Tscharntke, Teja; Scheu, Stefan

    2016-10-11

    Smallholder-dominated agricultural mosaic landscapes are highlighted as model production systems that deliver both economic and ecological goods in tropical agricultural landscapes, but trade-offs underlying current land-use dynamics are poorly known. Here, using the most comprehensive quantification of land-use change and associated bundles of ecosystem functions, services and economic benefits to date, we show that Indonesian smallholders predominantly choose farm portfolios with high economic productivity but low ecological value. The more profitable oil palm and rubber monocultures replace forests and agroforests critical for maintaining above- and below-ground ecological functions and the diversity of most taxa. Between the monocultures, the higher economic performance of oil palm over rubber comes with the reliance on fertilizer inputs and with increased nutrient leaching losses. Strategies to achieve an ecological-economic balance and a sustainable management of tropical smallholder landscapes must be prioritized to avoid further environmental degradation.

  3. Land-use choices follow profitability at the expense of ecological functions in Indonesian smallholder landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clough, Yann; Krishna, Vijesh V.; Corre, Marife D.; Darras, Kevin; Denmead, Lisa H.; Meijide, Ana; Moser, Stefan; Musshoff, Oliver; Steinebach, Stefanie; Veldkamp, Edzo; Allen, Kara; Barnes, Andrew D.; Breidenbach, Natalie; Brose, Ulrich; Buchori, Damayanti; Daniel, Rolf; Finkeldey, Reiner; Harahap, Idham; Hertel, Dietrich; Holtkamp, A. Mareike; Hörandl, Elvira; Irawan, Bambang; Jaya, I. Nengah Surati; Jochum, Malte; Klarner, Bernhard; Knohl, Alexander; Kotowska, Martyna M.; Krashevska, Valentyna; Kreft, Holger; Kurniawan, Syahrul; Leuschner, Christoph; Maraun, Mark; Melati, Dian Nuraini; Opfermann, Nicole; Pérez-Cruzado, César; Prabowo, Walesa Edho; Rembold, Katja; Rizali, Akhmad; Rubiana, Ratna; Schneider, Dominik; Tjitrosoedirdjo, Sri Sudarmiyati; Tjoa, Aiyen; Tscharntke, Teja; Scheu, Stefan

    2016-10-01

    Smallholder-dominated agricultural mosaic landscapes are highlighted as model production systems that deliver both economic and ecological goods in tropical agricultural landscapes, but trade-offs underlying current land-use dynamics are poorly known. Here, using the most comprehensive quantification of land-use change and associated bundles of ecosystem functions, services and economic benefits to date, we show that Indonesian smallholders predominantly choose farm portfolios with high economic productivity but low ecological value. The more profitable oil palm and rubber monocultures replace forests and agroforests critical for maintaining above- and below-ground ecological functions and the diversity of most taxa. Between the monocultures, the higher economic performance of oil palm over rubber comes with the reliance on fertilizer inputs and with increased nutrient leaching losses. Strategies to achieve an ecological-economic balance and a sustainable management of tropical smallholder landscapes must be prioritized to avoid further environmental degradation.

  4. Ecologizing Our Cities: A Particular, Process-Function View of Southern California, from within Complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashwani Vasishth

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Cities, as the quintessential socio-technological artifacts of human civilization, are seen to set us apart from nature. But an ecosystem view from nested scale-hierarchical process-function ecology shows us that cities are best seen as the emergent and nodal end points of interactive flows of matter, energy and information. From within such a view, a clear need emerges to ecologize our cities by better integrating them back with nature. Arguing from such an ecosystem approach to depicting reality, this paper proposes that tracing the processes and functions which constitute the morphology of the city leads us to articulate an urban ecology that incorporates heat island mitigations, urban forestry, and ecological landscape management (taken both as the introduction of native vegetation and the insertion of increased proportions of pervious paving, all considered within the framework of an integrative ecosystem approach to land use planning. More importantly, such an approach to urban ecology is useful because, as a mode of intervention, it rests on—indeed, requires—an acknowledgement in ecological planning of the often amorphous and usually only indirectly sensible atmospheric, biogeochemical and hydrological processes and functions.

  5. Ecological and Economic Indicators of Oil and Gas Companies Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia V. Sheveleva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This article analyzes the basic ecological-economic indicators of oil and gas companies, in particular the various volumes of oil, the number of spills per year of CO2 emissions, the costs of environmental protection. In the process of exploration, development and exploitation of oil and gas fields, production, refining, transportation and storage companies have a negative impact on the environment. Occur accidents involving oil spills, emissions and discharges of pollutants into the environment. As a result contaminates water resources, soil and atmosphere, animals dying, birds and fish, but also transformed the structure of the subsurface and changes the landscape, reduced strategic reserves of fuel and energy resources are formed objects of accumulated environmental damage. The need for construction of environmental protection facilities; the protection, rational use and rehabilitation of lands; protection of water resources and atmospheric air; monitoring the environment and industrial facilities; the prevention and elimination of consequences of accidents on pipelines; disposal and recycling of waste; environmental education; conducting scientific research requires oil and gas companies to undertake large expenditures. A positive trend of modern development of oil and gas companies is the introduction of mechanisms for environmental management in practice their activities, which leads to a gradual reduction of the negative impact of their activities on the environment.

  6. Distribution and abundance of key vectors of Rift Valley fever and other arboviruses in two ecologically distinct counties in Kenya.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemary Sang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Rift Valley fever (RVF is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis of ruminants and humans that causes outbreaks in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula with significant public health and economic consequences. Humans become infected through mosquito bites and contact with infected livestock. The virus is maintained between outbreaks through vertically infected eggs of the primary vectors of Aedes species which emerge following rains with extensive flooding. Infected female mosquitoes initiate transmission among nearby animals, which amplifies virus, thereby infecting more mosquitoes and moving the virus beyond the initial point of emergence. With each successive outbreak, RVF has been found to expand its geographic distribution to new areas, possibly driven by available vectors. The aim of the present study was to determine if RVF virus (RVFV transmission risk in two different ecological zones in Kenya could be assessed by looking at the species composition, abundance and distribution of key primary and secondary vector species and the level of virus activity.Mosquitoes were trapped during short and long rainy seasons in 2014 and 2015 using CO2 baited CDC light traps in two counties which differ in RVF epidemic risk levels(high risk Tana-River and low risk Isiolo,cryo-preserved in liquid nitrogen, transported to the laboratory, and identified to species. Mosquito pools were analyzed for virus infection using cell culture screening and molecular analysis.Over 69,000 mosquitoes were sampled and identified as 40 different species belonging to 6 genera (Aedes, Anopheles, Mansonia, Culex, Aedeomyia, Coquillettidia. The presence and abundance of Aedes mcintoshi and Aedes ochraceus, the primary mosquito vectors associated with RVFV transmission in outbreaks, varied significantly between Tana-River and Isiolo. Ae. mcintoshi was abundant in Tana-River and Isiolo but notably, Aedes ochraceus found in relatively high numbers in Tana-River (n = 1,290, was totally

  7. Can Microbial Ecology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Inform Climate Change Models?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hofmockel, Kirsten; Hobbie, Erik

    2017-07-31

    Our funded research focused on soil organic matter dynamics and plant-microbe interactions by examining the role of belowground processes and mechanisms across scales, including decomposition of organic molecules, microbial interactions, and plant-microbe interactions associated with a changing climate. Research foci included mycorrhizal mediated priming of soil carbon turnover, organic N use and depolymerization by free-living microbes and mycorrhizal fungi, and the use of isotopes as additional constraints for improved modeling of belowground processes. This work complemented the DOE’s mandate to understand both the consequences of atmospheric and climatic change for key ecosystems and the feedbacks on C cycling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-09

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiane Gomes Calaça Menezes

    2017-11-01

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

  10. Ecological risk analysis as a key factor in environmental safety system development in the Arctic region of the Russian Federation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolsunovskaya, Y A; Bolsunovskaya, L M

    2015-01-01

    Due to specific natural and climatic conditions combined with human intervention, the Arctic is regarded as a highly sensitive region to any environmental pressures. Arctic projects require continuous environmental monitoring. This poses for the government of the Russian Federation (RF) a tremendous task concerning the formation and implementation of sustainable nature management policy within the international framework. The current article examines the basic constraints to the effective ecological safety system implementation in the Arctic region of the RF. The ecological risks and their effects which influence the sustainable development of the region were analyzed. The model of complex environmental safety system was proposed

  11. Improving the security of a parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao Di, E-mail: xiaodi_cqu@hotmail.co [College of Computer Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China); Liao Xiaofeng [College of Computer Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China); Wang Yong [College of Computer Science and Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China)] [College of Economy and Management, Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Chongqing 400065 (China)

    2009-11-23

    In this Letter, we analyze the cause of vulnerability of the original parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps in detail, and then propose the corresponding enhancement measures. Theoretical analysis and computer simulation indicate that the modified hash function is more secure than the original one. At the same time, it can keep the parallel merit and satisfy the other performance requirements of hash function.

  12. Improving the security of a parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiao Di; Liao Xiaofeng; Wang Yong

    2009-01-01

    In this Letter, we analyze the cause of vulnerability of the original parallel keyed hash function based on chaotic maps in detail, and then propose the corresponding enhancement measures. Theoretical analysis and computer simulation indicate that the modified hash function is more secure than the original one. At the same time, it can keep the parallel merit and satisfy the other performance requirements of hash function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  14. Density functional approach to the many-body problem : Key concepts and exact functionals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, Robert

    2003-01-01

    We give an overview of the fundamental concepts of density functional theory. We give a careful discussion of the several density functionals and their differentiability properties. We show that for nondegenerate ground states we can calculate the necessary functional derivatives by means of linear

  15. [Ecological validity and multitasking environments in the evaluation of the executive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-07-16

    Evaluation of executive functions is a major issue of neuropsychological assessment, due to the role displayed by these on a cognitive, behavioural and emotional level, and the implication of these functions in daily life functioning. In order to perform a reliable assessment, the strategy traditionally followed for the evaluation of executive functions has been their atomization in different cognitive subprocesses, which is useful in a clinical or a research context. However, in clinical practice it is frequently artificial to disintegrate a global and complex cognitive process, such as executive functions, in a variety of related components; thus, tests designed according to these theoretical processes have low value in clinical procedures (diagnosis, rehabilitation design) due to their poor correspondence with the subject's or patient's clinical reality. The aims of the present work are to revise the concept of ecological validity applied to the evaluation of executive functions, and to perform a critical review of executive functions assessment by means of multitask paradigms as a way to increase the ecological validity and predictive value of the subject's functional performance. After a historical journey around the (low) ecological validity of single-task tests, and the bet in favour of a multitask paradigm for the evaluation of executive functions, up-to-date existing multitask tests are presented meticulously (with their respective advantages and disadvantages). Finally, concrete recommendations about how to develop multitask tests in the future are presented, attending to concrete parameters related to the context, tasks, objectives, rules and scoring.

  16. Behaviour of mobile macrofauna is a key factor in beach ecology as response to rapid environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scapini, Felicita

    2014-10-01

    Sandy beach animals show behavioural adaptations that are expressed as contingencies during the life history of individuals to face periodic and episodic environmental changes. Such adaptations include activity rhythms, orientation, zonation, burrowing, escape responses and feeding strategies, the first two being common adaptations to all mobile animals. The complex conditions of a particular beach environment may be integrated in a learning process enhancing the adaptation and survival of individuals and eventually of populations. Evidence exists of genetic determination of some behavioural features that are adaptive in the long term (throughout generations) by increasing individual survival and reproductive potential. The environmental features integrated with the life history of beach animals shape the individual behaviour through ontogenetic processes, as well as population behaviour through evolutionary processes. Thus, behavioural differences among individuals may reflect environmental variation at the local and small/medium temporal scales of beach processes, whereas within-population behavioural coherence and differences among populations may reflect variation at the geographic scale. The different foci stressed by different authors and the variety of evidence dependent upon local geographical and ecological conditions have often resulted in compartmentalised explanations, making generalizations and the repeatability of behavioural studies of beach ecology challenging. There was a need to developing a more synthetic paradigm for beach animal behaviour. This paper gives a brief overview of the theoretical background and keystone studies, which have contributed to our understanding of animal behaviour in sandy beach ecology, and proposes testable hypotheses to be integrated in the beach ecology paradigm.

  17. Influence of microbial community diversity and function on pollutant removal in ecological wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yaohui; Huo, Yang; Liao, Kailingli; Qu, Jiuhui

    2017-10-01

    Traditional wastewater treatments based on activated sludge often encounter the problems of bulking and foaming, as well as malodor. To solve these problems, new treatment technologies have emerged in recent decades, including the ecological wastewater treatment process, which introduces selected local plants into the treatment system. With a focus on the underlying mechanisms of the ecological treatment process, we explored the microbial community biomass, composition, and function in the treatment system to understand the microbial growth in this system and its role in pollutant removal. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that ecological treatment significantly decreased influent bacterial quantity, with around 80% removal. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the ecological treatment also altered the bacterial community structure of the wastewater, leading to a significant change in Comamonadaceae in the effluent. In the internal ecological system, because most of microbes aggregate in the plant rhizosphere and the sludge under plant roots, we selected two plant species (Nerium oleander and Arundo donax) to study the characteristics of rhizosphere and sludge microbes. Metagenomic results showed that the microbial community composition and function differed between the two species, and the microbial communities of A. donax were more sensitive to seasonal effects. Combined with their greater biomass and abundance of metabolic genes, microbes associated with N. oleander showed a greater contribution to pollutant removal. Further, the biodegradation pathways of some micropollutants, e.g., atrazine, were estimated.

  18. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: Exploring Principles of Ecology with Agricultural Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruesink, Jennifer; O'Connor, Eileen; Sparks, Grace

    2006-01-01

    To date, little of the ecological research on biological diversity and ecosystem functioning has been carried out in agricultural systems, despite the fact that agriculture is a major contributor to loss of native habitats and species. However, agricultural research has demonstrated that polycultures of multiple crop species can have higher total…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Fincher; Marie-Louise Smith

    1994-01-01

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

  20. Key issues for the development and application of the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model for ecological risk assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Fu-Liu; Li, Yi-Long; Wang, Yin

    2015-01-01

    The species sensitivity distribution (SSD) model is one of the most commonly used methods for ecological risk assessment based on the potentially affected fraction (PAF) of and the combined PAF (msPAF) as quantitative indicators. There are usually four steps for the development of SSD models...... and their applications: (1) obtain the toxicity data of the pollutants; (2) fit the SSD curves; (3) calculate the potentially affected fractions (PAFs) of the individual pollutants for the ecological risk assessment of an individual pollutant; and (4) calculate the accumulated multi-substance potentially affected...... collected from the ecotoxicity database, (3) how to transform the acute toxicity data into chronic data, (4) how to best fit the toxicity data, (5) how to calculate the msPAF of multiple pollutants, and (6) how to determine the uncertainty of the SSD model”. In response to these questions, several...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. CO2 leakage alters biogeochemical and ecological functions of submarine sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molari, Massimiliano; Guilini, Katja; Lott, Christian; Weber, Miriam; de Beer, Dirk; Meyer, Stefanie; Ramette, Alban; Wegener, Gunter; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Martin, Daniel; Cibic, Tamara; De Vittor, Cinzia; Vanreusel, Ann; Boetius, Antje

    2018-01-01

    Subseabed CO2 storage is considered a future climate change mitigation technology. We investigated the ecological consequences of CO2 leakage for a marine benthic ecosystem. For the first time with a multidisciplinary integrated study, we tested hypotheses derived from a meta-analysis of previous experimental and in situ high-CO2 impact studies. For this, we compared ecological functions of naturally CO2-vented seafloor off the Mediterranean island Panarea (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy) to those of nonvented sands, with a focus on biogeochemical processes and microbial and faunal community composition. High CO2 fluxes (up to 4 to 7 mol CO2 m−2 hour−1) dissolved all sedimentary carbonate, and comigration of silicate and iron led to local increases of microphytobenthos productivity (+450%) and standing stocks (+300%). Despite the higher food availability, faunal biomass (−80%) and trophic diversity were substantially lower compared to those at the reference site. Bacterial communities were also structurally and functionally affected, most notably in the composition of heterotrophs and microbial sulfate reduction rates (−90%). The observed ecological effects of CO2 leakage on submarine sands were reproduced with medium-term transplant experiments. This study assesses indicators of environmental impact by CO2 leakage and finds that community compositions and important ecological functions are permanently altered under high CO2. PMID:29441359

  4. State of the science and challenges of breeding landscape plants with ecological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilde, H Dayton; Gandhi, Kamal J K; Colson, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    Exotic plants dominate esthetically-managed landscapes, which cover 30–40 million hectares in the United States alone. Recent ecological studies have found that landscaping with exotic plant species can reduce biodiversity on multiple trophic levels. To support biodiversity in urbanized areas, the increased use of native landscaping plants has been advocated by conservation groups and US federal and state agencies. A major challenge to scaling up the use of native species in landscaping is providing ornamental plants that are both ecologically functional and economically viable. Depending on ecological and economic constraints, accelerated breeding approaches could be applied to ornamental trait development in native plants. This review examines the impact of landscaping choices on biodiversity, the current status of breeding and selection of native ornamental plants, and the interdisciplinary research needed to scale up landscaping plants that can support native biodiversity. PMID:26504560

  5. Functional impacts of ocean acidification in an ecologically critical foundation species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa M; Sanford, Eric; Lenz, Elizabeth A; Jacobs, Lisa A; Sato, Kirk N; Russell, Ann D; Hettinger, Annaliese

    2011-08-01

    Anthropogenic CO(2) is reducing the pH and altering the carbonate chemistry of seawater, with repercussions for marine organisms and ecosystems. Current research suggests that calcification will decrease in many species, but compelling evidence of impaired functional performance of calcium carbonate structures is sparse, particularly in key species. Here we demonstrate that ocean acidification markedly degrades the mechanical integrity of larval shells in the mussel Mytilus californianus, a critical community member on rocky shores throughout the northeastern Pacific. Larvae cultured in seawater containing CO(2) concentrations expected by the year 2100 (540 or 970 ppm) precipitated weaker, thinner and smaller shells than individuals raised under present-day seawater conditions (380 ppm), and also exhibited lower tissue mass. Under a scenario where mussel larvae exposed to different CO(2) levels develop at similar rates, these trends suggest a suite of potential consequences, including an exacerbated vulnerability of new settlers to crushing and drilling attacks by predators; poorer larval condition, causing increased energetic stress during metamorphosis; and greater risks from desiccation at low tide due to shifts in shell area to body mass ratios. Under an alternative scenario where responses derive exclusively from slowed development, with impacted individuals reaching identical milestones in shell strength and size by settlement, a lengthened larval phase could increase exposure to high planktonic mortality rates. In either case, because early life stages operate as population bottlenecks, driving general patterns of distribution and abundance, the ecological success of this vital species may be tied to how ocean acidification proceeds in coming decades.

  6. Ecological limit functions relating fish community response to hydrologic departures of the ecological flow regime in the Tennessee River basin, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Rodney R.; Murphy, Jennifer C.; Wolfe, William J.; Saylor, Charles F.; Wales, Amy K.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological limit functions relating streamflow and aquatic ecosystems remain elusive despite decades of research. We investigated functional relationships between species richness and changes in streamflow characteristics at 662 fish sampling sites in the Tennessee River basin. Our approach included the following: (1) a brief summary of relevant literature on functional relations between fish and streamflow, (2) the development of ecological limit functions that describe the strongest discernible relationships between fish species richness and streamflow characteristics, (3) the evaluation of proposed definitions of hydrologic reference conditions, and (4) an investigation of the internal structures of wedge-shaped distributions underlying ecological limit functions.Twenty-one ecological limit functions were developed across three ecoregions that relate the species richness of 11 fish groups and departures from hydrologic reference conditions using multivariate and quantile regression methods. Each negatively sloped function is described using up to four streamflow characteristics expressed in terms of cumulative departure from hydrologic reference conditions. Negative slopes indicate increased departure results in decreased species richness.Sites with the highest measured fish species richness generally had near-reference hydrologic conditions for a given ecoregion. Hydrology did not generally differ between sites with the highest and lowest fish species richness, indicating that other environmental factors likely limit species richness at sites with reference hydrology.Use of ecological limit functions to make decisions regarding proposed hydrologic regime changes, although commonly presented as a management tool, is not as straightforward or informative as often assumed. We contend that statistical evaluation of the internal wedge structure below limit functions may provide a probabilistic understanding of how aquatic ecology is influenced by altered hydrology

  7. Citrate, a Ubiquitous Key Metabolite with Regulatory Function in the CNS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Westergaard, Niels; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Belhage, Bo

    2017-01-01

    Citrate is key constituent of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, serves as substrate for fatty acid and sterol biosynthesis, and functions as a key regulator of intermediary energy metabolism. Ursula Sonnewald had initiated studies using for the first time both proton- and 13C-NMR to investigate...... metabolic processes in cultured neurons and astrocytes resulting in the important observation that citrate was specifically synthesized in and released from astrocytes in large amounts which is in keeping with the high concentration found in the CSF. The aim of this review is to highlight the possible roles...

  8. Does human perception of wetland aesthetics and healthiness relate to ecological functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottet, Marylise; Piégay, Hervé; Bornette, Gudrun

    2013-10-15

    Wetland management usually aims at preserving or restoring desirable ecological characteristics or functions. It is now well-recognized that some social criteria should also be included. Involving lay-people in wetland preservation or restoration projects may mean broadening project objectives to fit various and potentially competing requirements that relate to ecology, aesthetics, recreation, etc. In addition, perceived value depends both upon expertise and objectives, both of which vary from one stakeholder population to another. Perceived value and ecological functioning have to be reconciled in order to make a project successful. Understanding the perceptions of lay-people as well as their opinions about ecological value is a critical part of the development of sustainable management plans. Characterizing the environment in a way that adequately describes ecological function while also being consistent with lay perception may help reach such objectives. This goal has been addressed in a case study relating to wetlands of the Ain River (France). A photo-questionnaire presenting a sample of photographs of riverine wetlands distributed along the Ain River was submitted to 403 lay-people and self-identified experts. Two objectives were defined: (1) to identify the different parameters, whether visual or ecological, influencing the perception regarding the value of these ecosystems; (2) to compare the perceptions of self-identified experts and lay-people. Four criteria appear to strongly influence peoples' perceptions of ecological and aesthetical values: water transparency and colour, the presence and appearance of aquatic vegetation, the presence of sediments, and finally, trophic status. In our study, we observed only a few differences in perception. The differences primarily related to the value assigned to oligotrophic wetlands but even here, the differences between lay and expert populations were minimal. These results support the idea that it is possible to

  9. A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Domains of Applicability of Ecological Models and its Implementation in the Ecological Production Function Library - International Society for Ecological Modelling Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of computational ecological models to inform environmental management and policy has proliferated in the past 25 years. These models have become essential tools as linkages and feedbacks between human actions and ecological responses can be complex, and as funds for sampl...

  10. Functional profiles reveal unique ecological roles of various biological soil crust organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Mau, R.L.; Maestre, F.T.; Escolar, C.; Castillo-Monroy, A. P.

    2011-01-01

    1. At the heart of the body of research on biodiversity effects on ecosystem function is the debate over whether different species tend to be functionally singular or redundant. When we consider ecosystem multi-function, the provision of multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously, we may find that seemingly redundant species may in fact play unique roles in ecosystems. 2. Over the last few decades, the significance of biological soil crusts (BSCs) as ecological boundaries and ecosystem engineers, and their multi-functional nature, has become increasingly well documented. We compiled 'functional profiles' of the organisms in this understudied community, to determine whether functional singularity emerges when multiple ecosystem functions are considered. 3. In two data sets, one representing multiple sites around the semi-arid regions of Spain (regional scale), and another from a single site in central Spain (local scale), we examined correlations between the abundance or frequency of BSC species in a community, and multiple surrogates of ecosystem functioning. There was a wide array of apparent effects of species on specific functions. 4. Notably, in gypsiferous soils and at regional scale, we found that indicators of carbon (C) and phosphorus cycling were apparently suppressed and promoted by the lichens Diploschistes diacapsis and Squamarina lentigera, respectively. The moss Pleurochaete squarrosa appears to promote C cycling in calcareous soils at this spatial scale. At the local scale in gypsiferous soils, D. diacapsis positively correlated with carbon cycling, but negatively with nitrogen cycling, whereas numerous lichens exhibited the opposite profile. 5. We found a high degree of functional singularity, i.e. that species were highly individualistic in their effects on multiple functions. Many functional attributes were not easily predictable from existing functional grouping systems based primarily on morphology. 6. Our results suggest that maintaining

  11. An ecological function and services approach to total maximum daily load (TMDL) prioritization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Robert K; Guiliano, David; Swanson, Sherman; Philbin, Michael J; Lin, John; Aron, Joan L; Schafer, Robin J; Heggem, Daniel T

    2014-04-01

    Prioritizing total maximum daily load (TMDL) development starts by considering the scope and severity of water pollution and risks to public health and aquatic life. Methodology using quantitative assessments of in-stream water quality is appropriate and effective for point source (PS) dominated discharge, but less so in watersheds with mostly nonpoint source (NPS) related impairments. For NPSs, prioritization in TMDL development and implementation of associated best management practices should focus on restoration of ecosystem physical functions, including how restoration effectiveness depends on design, maintenance and placement within the watershed. To refine the approach to TMDL development, regulators and stakeholders must first ask if the watershed, or ecosystem, is at risk of losing riparian or other ecologically based physical attributes and processes. If so, the next step is an assessment of the spatial arrangement of functionality with a focus on the at-risk areas that could be lost, or could, with some help, regain functions. Evaluating stream and wetland riparian function has advantages over the traditional means of water quality and biological assessments for NPS TMDL development. Understanding how an ecosystem functions enables stakeholders and regulators to determine the severity of problem(s), identify source(s) of impairment, and predict and avoid a decline in water quality. The Upper Reese River, Nevada, provides an example of water quality impairment caused by NPS pollution. In this river basin, stream and wetland riparian proper functioning condition (PFC) protocol, water quality data, and remote sensing imagery were used to identify sediment sources, transport, distribution, and its impact on water quality and aquatic resources. This study found that assessments of ecological function could be used to generate leading (early) indicators of water quality degradation for targeting pollution control measures, while traditional in-stream water

  12. Priority conservation plans of ecological function areas for terrestrial endangered mammals in China

    OpenAIRE

    Gongqi Sun; Yi Qu; Meiqing Tang; Xiao Liu; Xiaofeng Luan

    2013-01-01

    To reduce costs and maximize species protection in China, we identified conservation priorities of endangered terrestrial mammals. Using geographic information system (GIS), we identified the irreplaceable values (IR) of 1,434 units of the terrestrial ecological function areas. Based on the IR values of the units, we divided the units into three classes with decreasing priorities, including the mandatory reserve (MR) units (20), the negotiable reserve (NR) units (29), and the partially reserv...

  13. Development of ecological indicators of climate change based on lichen functional diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Matos, Paula Sofia Antunes

    2016-01-01

    Growing evidence shows us that climate has changed in the recent decades, and the scenario for the future will most likely worsen. A set of climate variables is being developed to monitor climate change, but this is not enough to keep track its effects on ecosystems. It’s imperative to understand and quantify how ecosystems functioning are affected by and respond to these changes, and ecological indicators based on biodiversity metrics are one of the tools to do this. The...

  14. Invasive carnivores alter ecological function and enhance complementarity in scavenger assemblages on ocean beaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Marion B; Schlacher, Thomas A; Schoeman, David S; Weston, Michael A; Huijbers, Chantal M; Olds, Andrew D; Connolly, Rod M

    2015-10-01

    Species composition is expected to alter ecological function in assemblages if species traits differ strongly. Such effects are often large and persistent for nonnative carnivores invading islands. Alternatively, high similarity in traits within assemblages creates a degree of functional redundancy in ecosystems. Here we tested whether species turnover results in functional ecological equivalence or complementarity, and whether invasive carnivores on islands significantly alter such ecological function. The model system consisted of vertebrate scavengers (dominated by raptors) foraging on animal carcasses on ocean beaches on two Australian islands, one with and one without invasive red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Partitioning of scavenging events among species, carcass removal rates, and detection speeds were quantified using camera traps baited with fish carcasses at the dune-beach interface. Complete segregation of temporal foraging niches between mammals (nocturnal) and birds (diurnal) reflects complementarity in carrion utilization. Conversely, functional redundancy exists within the bird guild where several species of raptors dominate carrion removal in a broadly similar way. As predicted, effects of red foxes were large. They substantially changed the nature and rate of the scavenging process in the system: (1) foxes consumed over half (55%) of all carrion available at night, compared with negligible mammalian foraging at night on the fox-free island, and (2) significant shifts in the composition of the scavenger assemblages consuming beach-cast carrion are the consequence of fox invasion at one island. Arguably, in the absence of other mammalian apex predators, the addition of red foxes creates a new dimension of functional complementarity in beach food webs. However, this functional complementarity added by foxes is neither benign nor neutral, as marine carrion subsidies to coastal red fox populations are likely to facilitate their persistence as exotic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Nicholas R

    2017-10-25

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

  16. Ecology and functional roles of biological soil crusts in semi-arid ecosystems of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestre, Fernando T.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Cantón, Yolanda; Castillo-Monroy, Andrea P.; Cortina, Jordi; Escolar, Cristina; Escudero, Adrián; Lázaro, Roberto; Martínez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs), composed of lichens, cyanobacteria, mosses, liverworts and microorganisms, are key biotic components of arid and semi-arid ecosystems worldwide. Despite they are widespread in Spain, these organisms have been historically understudied in this country. This trend is beginning to change as a recent wave of research has been identifying BSCs as a model ecological system. Many studies and research projects carried out in Spain have explored the role of BSCs on water, carbon and nitrogen fluxes, the interactions between BSCs and vascular plants, their dynamics after disturbances, and their response to global change, among other topics. In this article we review the growing body of research on BSCs available from semi-arid areas of Spain, highlighting its importance for increasing our knowledge on this group of organisms. We also discuss how it is breaking new ground in emerging research areas on the ecology of BSCs, and how it can be use to guide management and restoration efforts. Finally, we provide directions for future research on the ecology of BSCs in Spain and abroad. PMID:25908884

  17. Long-term oil contamination alters the molecular ecological networks of soil microbial functional genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuting eLiang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available With knowledge on microbial composition and diversity, investigation of within-community interactions is a further step to elucidate microbial ecological functions, such as the biodegradation of hazardous contaminants. In this work, microbial functional molecular ecological networks were studied in both contaminated and uncontaminated soils to determine the possible influences of oil contamination on microbial interactions and potential functions. Soil samples were obtained from an oil-exploring site located in South China, and the microbial functional genes were analyzed with GeoChip, a high-throughput functional microarray. By building random networks based on null model, we demonstrated that overall network structures and properties were significantly different between contaminated and uncontaminated soils (P < 0.001. Network connectivity, module numbers, and modularity were all reduced with contamination. Moreover, the topological roles of the genes (module hub and connectors were altered with oil contamination. Subnetworks of genes involved in alkane and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation were also constructed. Negative co-occurrence patterns prevailed among functional genes, thereby indicating probable competition relationships. The potential keystone genes, defined as either hubs or genes with highest connectivities in the network, were further identified. The network constructed in this study predicted the potential effects of anthropogenic contamination on microbial community co-occurrence interactions.

  18. An ecologically valid performance-based social functioning assessment battery for schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Chuan; He, Yi; Cheung, Eric F C; Yu, Xin; Chan, Raymond C K

    2013-12-30

    Psychiatrists pay more attention to the social functioning outcome of schizophrenia nowadays. How to evaluate the real world function among schizophrenia is a challenging task due to culture difference, there is no such kind of instrument in terms of the Chinese setting. This study aimed to report the validation of an ecologically valid performance-based everyday functioning assessment for schizophrenia, namely the Beijing Performance-based Functional Ecological Test (BJ-PERFECT). Fifty community-dwelling adults with schizophrenia and 37 healthy controls were recruited. Fifteen of the healthy controls were re-tested one week later. All participants were administered the University of California, San Diego, Performance-based Skill Assessment-Brief version (UPSA-B) and the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). The finalized assessment included three subdomains: transportation, financial management and work ability. The test-retest and inter-rater reliabilities were good. The total score significantly correlated with the UPSA-B. The performance of individuals with schizophrenia was significantly more impaired than healthy controls, especially in the domain of work ability. Among individuals with schizophrenia, functional outcome was influenced by premorbid functioning, negative symptoms and neurocognition such as processing speed, visual learning and attention/vigilance. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  20. A Foray into Fungal Ecology: Understanding Fungi and Their Functions Across Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, N.; Dunkirk, N. C.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Despite their incredible diversity and importance to terrestrial ecosystems, fungi are not included in a standard high school science curriculum. This past summer, however, my work for the Stanford EARTH High School Internship program introduced me to fungal ecology through experiments involving culturing, genomics and root dissections. The two fungal experiments I worked on had very different foci, both searching for answers to broad ecological questions of fungal function and physiology. The first, a symbiosis experiment, sought to determine if the partners of the nutrient exchange between pine trees and their fungal symbionts could choose one another. The second experiment, a dung fungal succession project, compared the genetic sequencing results of fungal extractions from dung versus fungal cultures from dung. My part in the symbiosis experiment involved dissection, weighing and encapsulation of root tissue samples characterized based on the root thickness and presence of ectomycorrhizal fungi. The dung fungi succession project required that I not only learn how to culture various genera of dung fungi but also learn how to extract DNA and RNA for sequencing from the fungal tissue. Although I primarily worked with dung fungi cultures and thereby learned about their unique physiologies, I also learned about the different types of genetic sequencing since the project compared sequences of cultured fungi versus Next Generation sequencing of all fungi present within a dung pellet. Through working on distinct fungal projects that reassess how information about fungi is known within the field of fungal ecology, I learned not only about the two experiments I worked on but also many past related experiments and inquiries through reading scientific papers. Thanks to my foray into fungal research, I now know not only the broader significance of fungi in ecological research but also how to design and conduct ecological experiments.

  1. Functional profiling of cyanobacterial genomes and its role in ecological adaptations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ratna Prabha

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available With the availability of complete genome sequences of many cyanobacterial species, it is becoming feasible to study the broad prospective of the environmental adaptation and the overall changes at transcriptional and translational level in these organisms. In the evolutionary phase, niche-specific competitive forces have resulted in specific features of the cyanobacterial genomes. In this study, functional composition of the 84 different cyanobacterial genomes and their adaptations to different environments was examined by identifying the genomic composition for specific cellular processes, which reflect their genomic functional profile and ecological adaptation. It was identified that among cyanobacterial genomes, metabolic genes have major share over other categories and differentiation of genomic functional profile was observed for the species inhabiting different habitats. The cyanobacteria of freshwater and other habitats accumulate large number of poorly characterized genes. Strain specific functions were also reported in many cyanobacterial members, of which an important feature was the occurrence of phage-related sequences. From this study, it can be speculated that habitat is one of the major factors in giving the shape of functional composition of cyanobacterial genomes towards their ecological adaptations.

  2. Ecological prediction with nonlinear multivariate time-frequency functional data models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wen-Hsi; Wikle, Christopher K.; Holan, Scott H.; Wildhaber, Mark L.

    2013-01-01

    Time-frequency analysis has become a fundamental component of many scientific inquiries. Due to improvements in technology, the amount of high-frequency signals that are collected for ecological and other scientific processes is increasing at a dramatic rate. In order to facilitate the use of these data in ecological prediction, we introduce a class of nonlinear multivariate time-frequency functional models that can identify important features of each signal as well as the interaction of signals corresponding to the response variable of interest. Our methodology is of independent interest and utilizes stochastic search variable selection to improve model selection and performs model averaging to enhance prediction. We illustrate the effectiveness of our approach through simulation and by application to predicting spawning success of shovelnose sturgeon in the Lower Missouri River.

  3. Functional ecology of free-living nitrogen fixation: A contemporary perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Townsend, Alan R.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) availability is thought to frequently limit terrestrial ecosystem processes, and explicit consideration of N biogeochemistry, including biological N2 fixation, is central to understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change. Yet, the importance of free-living N2 fixation—a process that occurs on a wide variety of substrates, is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, and may often represent the dominant pathway for acquiring newly available N—is often underappreciated. Here, we draw from studies that investigate free-living N2 fixation from functional, physiological, genetic, and ecological perspectives. We show that recent research and analytical advances have generated a wealth of new information that provides novel insight into the ecology of N2 fixation as well as raises new questions and priorities for future work. These priorities include a need to better integrate free-living N2 fixation into conceptual and analytical evaluations of the N cycle's role in a variety of global change scenarios.

  4. Functional group diversity is key to Southern Ocean benthic carbon pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David K A Barnes

    Full Text Available High latitude benthos are globally important in terms of accumulation and storage of ocean carbon, and the feedback this is likely to have on regional warming. Understanding this ecosystem service is important but difficult because of complex taxonomic diversity, history and geography of benthic biomass. Using South Georgia as a model location (where the history and geography of benthic biology is relatively well studied we investigated whether the composition of functional groups were critical to benthic accumulation, immobilization and burial pathway to sequestration-and also aid their study through simplification of identification. We reclassified [1], [2] morphotype and carbon mass data to 13 functional groups, for each sample of 32 sites around the South Georgia continental shelf. We investigated the influence on carbon accumulation, immobilization and sequestration estimate by multiple factors including the compositions of functional groups. Functional groups showed high diversity within and between sites, and within and between habitat types. Carbon storage was not linked to a functional group in particular but accumulation and immobilization increased with the number of functional groups present and the presence of hard substrata. Functional groups were also important to carbon burial rate, which increased with the presence of mixed (hard and soft substrata. Functional groups showed high surrogacy for taxonomic composition and were useful for examining contrasting habitat categorization. Functional groups not only aid marine carbon storage investigation by reducing time and the need for team size and speciality, but also important to benthic carbon pathways per se. There is a distinct geography to seabed carbon storage; seabed boulder-fields are hotspots of carbon accumulation and immobilization, whilst the interface between such boulder-fields and sediments are key places for burial and sequestration.

  5. New multidimensional functional diversity indices for a multifaceted framework in functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villéger, Sébastien; Mason, Norman W H; Mouillot, David

    2008-08-01

    Functional diversity is increasingly identified as an important driver of ecosystem functioning. Various indices have been proposed to measure the functional diversity of a community, but there is still no consensus on which are most suitable. Indeed, none of the existing indices meets all the criteria required for general use. The main criteria are that they must be designed to deal with several traits, take into account abundances, and measure all the facets of functional diversity. Here we propose three indices to quantify each facet of functional diversity for a community with species distributed in a multidimensional functional space: functional richness (volume of the functional space occupied by the community), functional evenness (regularity of the distribution of abundance in this volume), and functional divergence (divergence in the distribution of abundance in this volume). Functional richness is estimated using the existing convex hull volume index. The new functional evenness index is based on the minimum spanning tree which links all the species in the multidimensional functional space. Then this new index quantifies the regularity with which species abundances are distributed along the spanning tree. Functional divergence is measured using a novel index which quantifies how species diverge in their distances (weighted by their abundance) from the center of gravity in the functional space. We show that none of the indices meets all the criteria required for a functional diversity index, but instead we show that the set of three complementary indices meets these criteria. Through simulations of artificial data sets, we demonstrate that functional divergence and functional evenness are independent of species richness and that the three functional diversity indices are independent of each other. Overall, our study suggests that decomposition of functional diversity into its three primary components provides a meaningful framework for its quantification

  6. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Functional group, biomass, and climate change effects on ecological drought in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.; Duniway, Michael C.; Hall, Sonia A.; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar; Jia, Gensuo; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Munson, Seth M.; Pyke, David A.; Tietjen, Britta

    2018-01-01

    Water relations in plant communities are influenced both by contrasting functional groups (grasses, shrubs) and by climate change via complex effects on interception, uptake and transpiration. We modelled the effects of functional group replacement and biomass increase, both of which can be outcomes of invasion and vegetation management, and climate change on ecological drought (soil water potential below which photosynthesis stops) in 340 semiarid grassland sites over 30‐year periods. Relative to control vegetation (climate and site‐determined mixes of functional groups), the frequency and duration of drought were increased by shrubs and decreased by annual grasses. The rankings of shrubs, control vegetation, and annual grasses in terms of drought effects were generally consistent in current and future climates, suggesting that current differences among functional groups on drought effects predict future differences. Climate change accompanied by experimentally‐increased biomass (i.e. the effects of invasions that increase community biomass, or management that increases productivity through fertilization or respite from grazing) increased drought frequency and duration, and advanced drought onset. Our results suggest that the replacement of perennial temperate semiarid grasslands by shrubs, or increased biomass, can increase ecological drought both in current and future climates.

  8. Brazilian adaptation of the Hotel Task: A tool for the ecological assessment of executive functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Caroline de Oliveira; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Paraná, Camila Borges; Gindri, Gigiane; de Pereira, Ana Paula Almeida; Fonseca, Rochele Paz

    2015-01-01

    Over recent years, neuropsychological research has been increasingly concerned with the need to develop more ecologically valid instruments for the assessment of executive functions. The Hotel Task is one of the most widely used ecological measures of executive functioning, and provides an assessment of planning, organization, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility. Objective The goal of this study was to adapt the Hotel Task for use in the Brazilian population. Methods The sample comprised 27 participants (three translators, six expert judges, seven healthy adults, ten patients with traumatic brain injuries and one hotel manager). The adaptation process consisted of five steps, which were repeated until a satisfactory version of the task was produced. The steps were as follows: (1) Translation; (2) Development of new stimuli and brainstorming among the authors; (3) Analysis by expert judges; (4) Pilot studies; (5) Assessment by an expert in business administration and hotel management. Results The adapted version proved adequate and valid for the assessment of executive functions. However, further research must be conducted to obtain evidence of the reliability, as well as the construct and criterion validity, sensitivity and specificity, of the Hotel Task. Conclusion Many neurological and/or psychiatric populations may benefit from the adapted task, since it may make significant contributions to the assessment of dysexecutive syndromes and their impact on patient functioning. PMID:29213957

  9. Brazilian adaptation of the Hotel Task: A tool for the ecological assessment of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Caroline de Oliveira; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Paraná, Camila Borges; Gindri, Gigiane; de Pereira, Ana Paula Almeida; Fonseca, Rochele Paz

    2015-01-01

    Over recent years, neuropsychological research has been increasingly concerned with the need to develop more ecologically valid instruments for the assessment of executive functions. The Hotel Task is one of the most widely used ecological measures of executive functioning, and provides an assessment of planning, organization, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility. The goal of this study was to adapt the Hotel Task for use in the Brazilian population. The sample comprised 27 participants (three translators, six expert judges, seven healthy adults, ten patients with traumatic brain injuries and one hotel manager). The adaptation process consisted of five steps, which were repeated until a satisfactory version of the task was produced. The steps were as follows:(1) Translation;(2) Development of new stimuli and brainstorming among the authors;(3) Analysis by expert judges;(4) Pilot studies;(5) Assessment by an expert in business administration and hotel management. The adapted version proved adequate and valid for the assessment of executive functions. However, further research must be conducted to obtain evidence of the reliability, as well as the construct and criterion validity, sensitivity and specificity, of the Hotel Task. Many neurological and/or psychiatric populations may benefit from the adapted task, since it may make significant contributions to the assessment of dysexecutive syndromes and their impact on patient functioning.

  10. Eco-innovation, international trade, WTO and climate: Key issues for an ecological industrial policy. Documentation of a workshop on March 12, 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoppe, Jutta; Kahlenborn, Walter [Adelphi Research, Berlin (Germany); Gather, Corinna (eds.) [Umweltbundesamt, Dessau (Germany)

    2009-01-15

    Within the meeting of the German Federal Environment Agency (Dessau, Federal Republic of Germany) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Natural Safety (Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany) at 12th March, 2008, the following reports were held: (a) Trade Policy and Climate Change - An overview from the perspective of an ecological industrial policy (Jutta Hoppe et al.); (b) Kyoto, Post-Kyoto and the WTO (Malena Sell); (c) Climate change, trade and competitiveness (Aaron Cosby, John Drexhage); (d) Unilateral climate policy and implications for trade policy (Susanne Droege); (e) Trade in environmental goods and services relevant to climate-change mitigation: Opportunities and challenges for new industries in the European Union (Mahesh Sugathan); (f) The relevance of WTO activities and rules in the climate change debate (Ludivine Tamiotti); (g) Like-products, energy standards and labelling (Roland Ismer); (h) EC Trade policy and climate challenges: An overview of EC trade policy approaches to climate change (Ditte Juul-Joergensen); (i) Opportunities and constraints for an integrated European climate and trade policy (Ulrich Hoffmann); (j) Climate change, eco-innovation, and EU trade policy: a critical assessment (Daniel Mittler); (k) Resume: Key Issues for an Ecological Industrial policy (Jutta Hoppe, Walter Kahlenborn).

  11. Ecological factors affecting the distribution of zooplankton ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    and ecological functioning of aquatic ecosystems, which must be taken into account ... zooplankton, which is its key position in the trophic chain, gives a fundamental role ..... suspended solids can block the filtering apparatus and impede their ...

  12. Social Cognition and Executive Functions As Key Factors for Effective Pedagogy in Higher Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correia, Rut; Navarrete, Gorka

    2017-01-01

    Higher education (HE) faces the challenge of responding to an increasing diversity. In this context, more attention is being paid to teachers and teaching skills positively related to students learning. Beyond the knowledges identified as key components of an effective teacher, teachers also need to be capable of unraveling what their students think and believe, and how they accommodate the new information. More importantly, teachers need to be able to adapt their own teaching to their audience's needs. In learners, social cognition (SC) has been related to a better receptivity to the different teacher-student interactions. Since these interactions are bidirectional, SC could also help to explain teachers' receptiveness to the information available in feedback situations. However, little is known about how SC is related to teacher development, and therefore teaching effectiveness, in HE. In addition, executive functions (EFs), closely related to SC, could play a key role in the ability to self-regulate their own teaching to better answering their students emerging needs. Although there is wide evidence regarding the association of EFs to performance in high demanding settings, as far as we know, there are no studies exploring the relationship between teachers' EFs and teaching effectiveness in HE. Establishing a positive association between teaching effectiveness and these socio-cognitive functions could be a promising first step in designing professional development programs that promote HE academics' ability to understand and care about students thoughts and emotions, to eventually adapt their teaching to their students needs for a better learning.

  13. Wetland management strategies lead to tradeoffs in ecological structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariane L. Peralta

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic legacy effects often occur as a consequence of land use change or land management and can leave behind long-lasting changes to ecosystem structure and function. This legacy is described as a memory in the form of ecological structure or ecological interactions that remains at a location from a previous condition. We examined how forested floodplain restoration strategy, based on planting intensity, influenced wetland community structure and soil chemical and physical factors after 15 years. The site was divided into 15 strips, and strips were assigned to one of five restoration treatments: plantings of acorns, 2-year-old seedlings, 5-ft bareroot trees, balled and burlapped trees, and natural seed bank regeneration. Our community composition survey revealed that plots planted with bareroot or balled and burlapped trees developed closed tree canopies with little herbaceous understory, while acorn plantings and natural colonization plots developed into dense stands of the invasive species reed canary grass (RCG; 'Phalaris arundinacea'. Restoration strategy influenced bacterial community composition but to a lesser degree compared to the plant community response, and riverine hydrology and restoration strategy influenced wetland soil conditions. Soil ammonium concentrations and pH were similar across all wetland restoration treatments, while total organic carbon was highest in forest and RCG-dominated plots compared to mixed patches of trees and open areas. The differences in restoration strategy and associated economic investment resulted in ecological tradeoffs. The upfront investment in larger, more mature trees (i.e., bareroot, balled and burlapped led to floodplain forested communities, while cheaper, more passive planting strategies (i.e., seedlings, seedbank, or acorns resulted in dense stands of invasive RCG, despite the similar floodplain hydrology across all sites. Therefore, recovery of multiple ecosystem services that

  14. Key features for more successful place-based sustainability research on social-ecological systems: a Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Balvanera

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The emerging discipline of sustainability science is focused explicitly on the dynamic interactions between nature and society and is committed to research that spans multiple scales and can support transitions toward greater sustainability. Because a growing body of place-based social-ecological sustainability research (PBSESR has emerged in recent decades, there is a growing need to understand better how to maximize the effectiveness of this work. The Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS provides a unique opportunity for synthesizing insights gained from this research community on key features that may contribute to the relative success of PBSESR. We surveyed the leaders of PECS-affiliated projects using a combination of open, closed, and semistructured questions to identify which features of a research project are perceived to contribute to successful research design and implementation. We assessed six types of research features: problem orientation, research team, and contextual, conceptual, methodological, and evaluative features. We examined the desirable and undesirable aspects of each feature, the enabling factors and obstacles associated with project implementation, and asked respondents to assess the performance of their own projects in relation to these features. Responses were obtained from 25 projects working in 42 social-ecological study cases within 25 countries. Factors that contribute to the overall success of PBSESR included: explicitly addressing integrated social-ecological systems; a focus on solution- and transformation-oriented research; adaptation of studies to their local context; trusted, long-term, and frequent engagement with stakeholders and partners; and an early definition of the purpose and scope of research. Factors that hindered the success of PBSESR included: the complexities inherent to social-ecological systems, the imposition of particular epistemologies and methods on the wider research group

  15. Ecological safety of the Carpathian region as a process of oil and gas complexes functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgiy Rudko

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available There have been considered the main ecological problems of Western Ukraine and changes of geological environment under the influence of oil and gas complexes functioning. Ecochemical investigations of the environment give us a possibility to reveal the areas with abnormal hydrocarbon concentration in the near-surface layers and in ground waters. On the basis of the investigation results there have been worked out organizational, technological and environmental measures to eliminate pollution or to reduce its negative influence on geological environment.

  16. Examining the influence of family physician supply on district health system performance in South Africa: An ecological analysis of key health indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Von Pressentin, Klaus B; Mash, Bob J; Esterhuizen, Tonya M

    2017-04-28

    The supply of appropriate health workers is a key building block in the World Health Organization's model of effective health systems. Primary care teams are stronger if they contain doctors with postgraduate training in family medicine. The contribution of such family physicians to the performance of primary care systems has not been evaluated in the African context. Family physicians with postgraduate training entered the South African district health system (DHS) from 2011. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of family physicians within the DHS of South Africa. The objectives were to evaluate the impact of an increase in family physician supply in each district (number per 10 000 population) on key health indicators. All 52 South African health districts were included as units of analysis. An ecological study evaluated the correlations between the supply of family physicians and routinely collected data on district performance for two time periods: 2010/2011 and 2014/2015. Five years after the introduction of the new generation of family physicians, this study showed no demonstrable correlation between family physician supply and improved health indicators from the macro-perspective of the district. The lack of a measurable impact at the level of the district is most likely because of the very low supply of family physicians in the public sector. Studies which evaluate impact closer to the family physician's circle of control may be better positioned to demonstrate a measurable impact in the short term.

  17. Dung beetle community and functions along a habitat-disturbance gradient in the Amazon: a rapid assessment of ecological functions associated to biodiversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo F Braga

    Full Text Available Although there is increasing interest in the effects of habitat disturbance on community attributes and the potential consequences for ecosystem functioning, objective approaches linking biodiversity loss to functional loss are uncommon. The objectives of this study were to implement simultaneous assessment of community attributes (richness, abundance and biomass, each calculated for total-beetle assemblages as well as small- and large-beetle assemblages and three ecological functions of dung beetles (dung removal, soil perturbation and secondary seed dispersal, to compare the effects of habitat disturbance on both sets of response variables, and their relations. We studied dung beetle community attributes and functions in five land-use systems representing a disturbance gradient in the Brazilian Amazon: primary forest, secondary forest, agroforestry, agriculture and pasture. All response variables were affected negatively by the intensification of habitat disturbance regimes, but community attributes and ecological functions did not follow the same pattern of decline. A hierarchical partitioning analysis showed that, although all community attributes had a significant effect on the three ecological functions (except the abundance of small beetles on all three ecological functions and the biomass of small beetles on secondary dispersal of large seed mimics, species richness and abundance of large beetles were the community attributes with the highest explanatory value. Our results show the importance of measuring ecological function empirically instead of deducing it from community metrics.

  18. Ecological and socio-economic functions across tropical land use systems after rainforest conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drescher, Jochen; Rembold, Katja; Allen, Kara; Beckschäfer, Philip; Buchori, Damayanti; Clough, Yann; Faust, Heiko; Fauzi, Anas M; Gunawan, Dodo; Hertel, Dietrich; Irawan, Bambang; Jaya, I Nengah S; Klarner, Bernhard; Kleinn, Christoph; Knohl, Alexander; Kotowska, Martyna M; Krashevska, Valentyna; Krishna, Vijesh; Leuschner, Christoph; Lorenz, Wolfram; Meijide, Ana; Melati, Dian; Nomura, Miki; Pérez-Cruzado, César; Qaim, Matin; Siregar, Iskandar Z; Steinebach, Stefanie; Tjoa, Aiyen; Tscharntke, Teja; Wick, Barbara; Wiegand, Kerstin; Kreft, Holger; Scheu, Stefan

    2016-05-19

    Tropical lowland rainforests are increasingly threatened by the expansion of agriculture and the extraction of natural resources. In Jambi Province, Indonesia, the interdisciplinary EFForTS project focuses on the ecological and socio-economic dimensions of rainforest conversion to jungle rubber agroforests and monoculture plantations of rubber and oil palm. Our data confirm that rainforest transformation and land use intensification lead to substantial losses in biodiversity and related ecosystem functions, such as decreased above- and below-ground carbon stocks. Owing to rapid step-wise transformation from forests to agroforests to monoculture plantations and renewal of each plantation type every few decades, the converted land use systems are continuously dynamic, thus hampering the adaptation of animal and plant communities. On the other hand, agricultural rainforest transformation systems provide increased income and access to education, especially for migrant smallholders. Jungle rubber and rubber monocultures are associated with higher financial land productivity but lower financial labour productivity compared to oil palm, which influences crop choice: smallholders that are labour-scarce would prefer oil palm while land-scarce smallholders would prefer rubber. Collecting long-term data in an interdisciplinary context enables us to provide decision-makers and stakeholders with scientific insights to facilitate the reconciliation between economic interests and ecological sustainability in tropical agricultural landscapes. © 2016 The Authors.

  19. Planning Water Resources in an Agroforest Ecosystem for Improvement of Regional Ecological Function Under Uncertainties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueting Zeng

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study, an agroforestry ecosystem project (AEP is developed for confronting the conflict between agricultural development and forest protection. A fuzzy stochastic programming with Laplace scenario analysis (FSL is proposed for planning water resources in an AEP issue under uncertainties. FSL can not only deal with spatial and temporal variations of hydrologic elements and meteorological conditions; but also handle uncertainties that are expressed in terms of probability, possibility distributions and fuzzy sets; meanwhile, policy scenario analysis with Laplace’s criterion (PSL is introduced to handle probability of each scenario occurrence under the supposition of no data available. The developed FSL can be applied to an AEP issue in Xixian county, located in north of China. The result of ecological effects, water allocation patterns, pollution mitigation schemes and system benefits under various scenarios are obtained, which can support policymakers adjusting current strategy to improve regional ecological function with cost-effective and sustainable manners. Meanwhile, it can support generating a robust water plan for regional sustainability in an AEP issue under uncertainties.

  20. [Regional ecological construction and mission of landscape ecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Duning; Xie, Fuju; Wei, Jianbing

    2004-10-01

    The eco-construction on regional and landscape scale is the one which can be used to specific landscape and intercrossing ecosystem in specific region including performing scientific administration of ecosystem and optimizing environmental function. Recently, the government has taken a series of significant projects into action, such as national forest protection item, partly forest restoration, and adjustment of water, etc. Enforcing regional eco-construction and maintaining the ecology security of the nation have become the strategic requisition. In various regions, different eco-construction should be applied, for example, performing ecological safeguard measure in ecological sensitive zone, accommodating the ecological load in ecological fragile zone, etc., which can control the activities of human being, so that, sustainable development can be reached. Facing opportunity and challenge in the development of landscape ecology, we have some key topics: landscape pattern of ecological security, land use and ecological process, landscape changes under human activity stress, quantitative evaluation of the influence on human being activities, evaluation of zonal ecological security and advance warning of ecological risk, and planning and optimizing of model in landscape eco-construction.

  1. Cities may save some threatened species but not their ecological functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Álvaro Luna

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Background Urbanization is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Wildlife responses to urbanization, however, are greatly variable and, paradoxically, some threatened species may achieve much larger populations in urban than in natural habitats. Urban conservation hotspots may therefore help some species avoid regional or even global extinctions, but not conserve their often overlooked ecological functions in the wild. We aim to draw attention to this issue using two species of globally threatened parrots occurring in the Dominican Republic: the Hispaniolan amazon (Amazona ventralis and the Hispaniolan parakeet (Psittacara chloropterus. Methods We conducted a large-scale roadside survey in June 2017 across the country to estimate the relative abundance of parrots in natural habitats, rural habitats, and cities. We combined this with informal interviews with local people to collect information on past and current human impacts on parrot populations. We also looked for foraging parrots to assess their potential role as seed dispersers, an ecological function that has been overlooked until very recently. Results Relative abundances of both parrot species were negligible in rural areas and very low in natural habitats. They were generally between one and two orders of magnitude lower than that of congeneric species inhabiting other Neotropical ecosystems. Relative abundances were six times higher in cities than in natural habitats in the case of the Hispaniolan parakeet and three times higher in the case of the Hispaniolan amazon. People indicated hunting for a source food and to mitigate crop damage as causes of parrot population declines, and a vigorous illegal trade for parrots (131 individuals recorded, 75% of them poached very recently, mostly obtained from protected areas where the last small wild populations remain. We observed parrots foraging on 19 plant species from 11 families, dispersing the fruits of 14 species by

  2. Phylogenetic and Functional Structure of Wintering Waterbird Communities Associated with Ecological Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Xianli; Zhang, Min; Zhao, Yanyan; Zhang, Qiang; Quan, Qing; Møller, Anders; Zou, Fasheng

    2018-01-19

    Ecological differences may be related to community component divisions between Oriental (west) and Sino-Japanese (east) realms, and such differences may result in weak geographical breaks in migratory species that are highly mobile. Here, we conducted comparative phylogenetic and functional structure analyses of wintering waterbird communities in southern China across two realms and subsequently examined possible climate drivers of the observed patterns. An analysis based on such highly migratory species is particularly telling because migration is bound to reduce or completely eliminate any divergence between communities. Phylogenetic and functional structure of eastern communities showed over-dispersion while western communities were clustered. Basal phylogenetic and functional turnover of western communities was significant lower than that of eastern communities. The break between eastern and western communities was masked by these two realms. Geographic patterns were related to mean temperature changes and temperature fluctuations, suggesting that temperature may filter waterbird lineages and traits, thus underlying geographical community divisions. These results suggest phylogenetic and functional divisions in southern China, coinciding with biogeography. This study shows that temperature fluctuations constitute an essential mechanism shaping geographical divisions that have largely gone undetected previously, even under climate change.

  3. Architecture and functional ecology of the human gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Erin E; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2016-04-01

    The gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit (MTU) is central to human locomotion. Structural variation in the human gastrocnemius MTU is predicted to affect the efficiency of locomotion, a concept most often explored in the context of performance activities. For example, stiffness of the Achilles tendon varies among individuals with different histories of competitive running. Such a finding highlights the functional variation of individuals and raises the possibility of similar variation between populations, perhaps in response to specific ecological or environmental demands. Researchers often assume minimal variation in human populations, or that industrialized populations represent the human species as well as any other. Yet rainforest hunter-gatherers, which often express the human pygmy phenotype, contradict such assumptions. Indeed, the human pygmy phenotype is a potential model system for exploring the range of ecomorphological variation in the architecture of human hindlimb muscles, a concept we review here. © 2015 Anatomical Society.

  4. Five species, many genotypes, broad phenotypic diversity: When agronomy meets functional ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Ivan; Litrico, Isabelle; Violle, Cyrille; Barre, Philippe

    2017-01-01

    Current ecological theory can provide insight into the causes and impacts of plant domestication. However, just how domestication has impacted intraspecific genetic variability (ITV) is unknown. We used 50 ecotypes and 35 cultivars from five grassland species to explore how selection drives functional trait coordination and genetic differentiation. We quantified the extent of genetic diversity among different sets of functional traits and determined how much genetic diversity has been generated within populations of natural ecotypes and selected cultivars. In general, the cultivars were larger (e.g., greater height, faster growth rates) and had larger and thinner leaves (greater SLA). We found large (average 63%) and trait-dependent (ranging from 14% for LNC to 95.8% for growth rate) genetic variability. The relative extent of genetic variability was greater for whole-plant than for organ-level traits. This pattern was consistent within ecotypes and within cultivars. However, ecotypes presented greater ITV variability. The results indicated that genetic diversity is large in domesticated species with contrasting levels of heritability among functional traits and that selection for high yield has led to indirect selection of some associated leaf traits. These findings open the way to define which target traits should be the focus in selection programs, especially in the context of community-level selection. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  5. Prodromal functioning of migraine patients relative to their interictal state--an ecological momentary assessment study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan H Houtveen

    Full Text Available Smartphones were used in an online Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA design to test prodromal functioning relative to the interictal state in migraine patients. Eighty-seven participants completed an electronic diary 4 times daily during 3-6 weeks to monitor their migraine attacks. Twice daily the diary additionally included 16 multi-answer questions covering physical symptoms (30 items, cognitive-affective functioning (25 items and external factors (25 items. Eight clustered prodromal features were identified in the current study: sensory sensitivity, pain/stiffness, fatigue, cognitive functioning, positive affect, negative affect, effort spent and stressors encountered. Per feature, individual change scores with interictal control days--excluding 24-hour post-attack recovery--were computed for six 12-hour pre-attack time windows covering three prodromal days. Linear mixed model (fixed-effect analysis established significant increases in sensory sensitivity, pain/stiffness and fatigue, and a tendency for increased negative affect, in the 12 hours prior to the attack. Positive affect and cognitive functioning were impaired both in the 25-36 hour and--more strongly--in the 12-hour time window before the attack. No effects were found for effort spent and stressors encountered. Exploratory (random effect analysis revealed significant individual differences in the change scores in sensory sensitivity, pain/stiffness, fatigue and negative affect. It is concluded that the prodromal change in migraine--relative to interictal functioning--predominantly exists within the last 12 hours before attack onset. Individual diversity is large, however. Future research should zoom in to identify prodrome development within the 12 pre-attack hours as well as to isolate individual patterns.

  6. Urban Ecological Stewardship: Understanding the Structure, Function and Network of Community-based Urban Land Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsay K. Campbell

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban environmental stewardship activities are on the rise in cities throughout the Northeast. Groups participating in stewardship activities range in age, size, and geography and represent an increasingly complex and dynamic arrangement of civil society, government and business sectors. To better understand the structure, function and network of these community-based urban land managers, an assessment was conducted in 2004 by the research subcommittee of the Urban Ecology Collaborative. The goal of the assessment was to better understand the role of stewardship organizations engaged in urban ecology initiatives in selected major cities in the Northeastern U.S.: Boston, New Haven, New York City, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. A total of 135 active organizations participated in this assessment. Findings include the discovery of a dynamic social network operating within cities, and a reserve of social capital and expertise that could be better utilized. Although often not the primary land owner, stewardship groups take an increasingly significant responsibility for a wide range of land use types including street and riparian corridors, vacant lots, public parks and gardens, green roofs, etc. Responsibilities include the delivery of public programs as well as daily maintenance and fundraising support. While most of the environmental stewardship organizations operate on staffs of zero or fewer than ten, with small cohorts of community volunteers, there is a significant difference in the total amount of program funding. Nearly all respondents agree that committed resources are scarce and insufficient with stewards relying upon and potentially competing for individual donations, local foundations, and municipal support. This makes it a challenge for the groups to grow beyond their current capacity and to develop long-term programs critical to resource management and education. It also fragments groups, making it difficult for planners and

  7. Functional biology and ecological role of krill in Northern marine ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersted, Mette Dalgaard

    Krill is an understudied key group of zooplankton, which transfers energy through the food web by linking lower and higher trophic levels. Furthermore, krill play an important role in the biological pump by transporting carbon out of the euphotic zone to depth by diel vertical migration (DVM...... to be the key factor determining the trophic position of a species, where the largest species had the highest trophic position. The species were feeding on the same food items, which could lead to competition for food. However, there is a difference between the two functional groups, represented by M. norvegica...... for the two dominating species within the fjord, T. inermis and T. raschii. The krill grazed community at this time of year. Yet, the grazing impact was similar to the copepods’, which are normally...

  8. Beyond classic ecological assessment: The use of functional indices to indicate fish assemblages sensitivity to human disturbance in estuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teichert, Nils; Lepage, Mario; Lobry, Jérémy

    2018-05-22

    Assessing ecological health of aquatic ecosystems is crucial in the current context of biodiversity loss to guide and prioritize management actions. Although several fish-based indices were developed to assess the ecological status of estuarine ecosystems, they do not provide guidance on the causal responses of communities to disturbances. The functional trait-based approach provides an understanding of how human disturbance affects the composition of biological and ecological traits in assemblages, as well as their consequences for ecosystem functioning. Here, we evaluate the responses of fish assemblages to human disturbance in 30 French estuaries using several taxonomic and functional indices (e.g. diversity, evenness or redundancy). We tested whether these indices can provide additional information on the human impacts and health of assemblages that are not reflected by the ecological indicator (fish-based index ELFI). Results indicated that high values of local human disturbances were associated to a decrease in fish abundance, decrease in species richness and reduced functional redundancy, whereas taxonomic and functional evenness increased. In contrast, the functional richness remained stable suggesting that the functional traits of species removed by stressors were maintained by more tolerant species. Indeed, we found that the local disturbances mainly resulted in a decrease in the proportions of small benthic species feeding on macro-invertebrates, which were dominant in the studied estuaries. Some functional alterations were detected by the fish-based index, but the decline of functional redundancy was not reflected, highlighting a serious concern for management. Indeed, the abrupt collapse of functional redundancy in response to local disturbances can decrease the ability of assemblages to maintain certain species traits in the face of future environmental disturbance, including climate change. From a management perspective, the application of such

  9. A Bigger Picture: Organismal Function at the Nexus of Development, Ecology, and Evolution: An Introduction to the Symposium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gignac, P M; Santana, S E

    2016-09-01

    Over the past 40 years of research, two perspectives have dominated the study of ecomorphology at ontogenetic and evolutionary timescales. For key anatomical complexes (e.g., feeding apparatus, locomotor systems, sensory structures), morphological changes during ontogeny are often interpreted in functional terms and linked to their putative importance for fitness. Across larger timescales, morphological transformations in these complexes are examined through character stability or mutability during cladogenesis. Because the fittest organisms must pass through ontogenetic changes in size and shape, addressing transformations in morphology at different time scales, from life histories to macroevolution, has the potential to illuminate major factors contributing to phenotypic diversity. To date, most studies have relied on the assumption that organismal form is tightly constrained by the adult niche. Although this could be accurate for organisms that rapidly reach and spend a substantial portion of their life history at the adult phenotype (e.g., birds, mammals), it may not always hold true for species that experience substantial growth after one or more major fitness filters during their ontogeny (e.g., some fishes, reptiles). In such circumstances, examining the adult phenotype as the primary result of selective processes may be erroneous as it likely obscures the developmental configuration of morphology that was most critical to early survival. Given this discrepancy-and its potential to mislead interpretations of how selection may shape a taxon's phenotype-this symposium addresses the question: how do we identify such ontogenetic "inertia," and how do we integrate developmental information into our phylogenetic, ecological, and functional interpretations of complex phenotypes? © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. The Distribution Patterns of China's County Ecological Function%中国县域生态功能格局研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张昌顺; 谢高地; 曹淑艳; 冷允法; 肖玉

    2012-01-01

    China' s counties as the lowest regionalization unit, soil erosion modulus, regional ecosystem sensitivity and ecological and environmental problems were carried out according to established guidelines. Primary eco-environmental problems and their drivers were also extracted. The spatial distribution of soil erosion, national nature reserves, slope degree, and key forestry ecological projects were characterized by GIS. Ecological function regionalization was determined on existing achievement at the county scale. A total of 268 eco-functional zones were classified, comprising33 water conservation functional zones, 57 soil conservation functional zones, 19 wind break and sand fixation functional zones, 11 coastal protection functional zones, 63 biological products functional zones and 85 biodiversity conservation functional zones. Because this scheme pays more attention to the application of the usual name in ecoregion naming, and maintains the integrity of county borders, it provides a scientific basis for protecting, constructing, and evaluating national eco-environments. Our approach results in the integration of eco-environmental data with socio-economic data and encourages more effective ecosystem management, regional ecological function and regional eco-security.

  11. Modern money theory and ecological tax reform: A functional finance approach to energy conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, Scott L. B.

    This dissertation contributes to heterodox economics by developing a theoretical and policy-relevant link that will promote the conservation of energy while driving the value of the domestic currency. The analysis relies upon the theoretical foundation of modern money theory and functional finance, which states that "taxes-drive-money" where the value of a sovereign nation's currency is imputed through the acceptance by the sovereign nation of the currency in payment of taxation. This theoretical perspective lends itself to various public policy prescriptions, such as government employment policies or the employer of last resort (ELR), which has been discussed at length elsewhere (Wray 1998; Tcherneva 2007, Forstater 2003). This research contributes to this overall program by arguing that the basis for taxation under modern money theory allows public policy makers various alternatives regarding the make-up of the tax system in place. In particular, following functional finance, taxes do not have the sole purpose of paying for government spending, but rather drive the value of the currency and may be designed to perform other functions as well, such as penalizing socially undesirable behavior. The focus in this dissertation is on the amelioration of pollution and increasing energy conservation. The research question for this dissertation is this: what federally implemented tax would best serve the multiple criteria of 1) driving the value of the currency, 2) promoting energy conservation and 3) ameliorating income and wealth disparities inherent in a monetary production economy? This dissertation provides a suggestion for such a tax that would be part of a much larger overall policy program based upon the tenets of modern money theory and functional finance. Additionally, this research seeks to provide an important theoretical contribution to the emerging Post Keynesian and ecological economics dialog.

  12. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...

  13. The Development of the Functional Literacy Experience Scale Based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) and Validity-Reliability Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özenç, Emine Gül; Dogan, M. Cihangir

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to perform a validity-reliability test by developing the Functional Literacy Experience Scale based upon Ecological Theory (FLESBUET) for primary education students. The study group includes 209 fifth grade students at Sabri Taskin Primary School in the Kartal District of Istanbul, Turkey during the 2010-2011 academic year.…

  14. Distribution of phytoplankton functional types in high-nitrate low-chlorophyll waters in a new diagnostic ecological indicator model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palacz, Artur; St. John, Michael; Brevin, R.J.W.

    2013-01-01

    Modeling and monitoring plankton functional types (PFTs) is challenged by insufficient amount of field measurements to ground-truth both plankton models and bio-optical algorithms. In this study, we combine remote sensing data and a dynamic plankton model to simulate an ecologically-sound spatial...

  15. Ecological function as a target for ecosystem-based management: Defining when change matters in decision making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem-based management (EBM) accounts for both direct and indirect drivers of ecological change for decision making. Just as with direct management of a resource, EBM requires a definition of management thresholds that define when change in function is sufficient to merit ma...

  16. Pollination ecology and floral function of Brown's peony (Paeonia brownii) in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter Bernhardt; Retha Meier; Nan. Vance

    2013-01-01

    Brown’s peony, Paeonia brownie (Paeoniaceae), is one of only two peony species native to the Western Hemisphere, yet its pollination ecology and breeding system have never been documented. Using flowering individuals of an endemic colony in the Blue Mountains of Oregon, U.S., we investigated the peony’s pollination system and floral function. We...

  17. Context-Specific Trophic and Functional Ecology of Fishes of Small Stream Ecosystems in the Ouachita National Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Matthews; A. Maria Miller-Lemke; Melvin L. Warren; Donna Cobb; Jeffery G. Stewart; Betty Crump; Frances P. Gelwick

    2004-01-01

    Abstract - Fish play diverse and important roles in stream ecosystems, but details about ecosystem effects are poorly known for many freshwater fish species. A requisite first step to understanding functional roles of individual species is information on their trophic ecology in the context of particular environmental settings. Stomach contents were...

  18. Macrophytes: Ecology of aquatic plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bornette, G.; Puijalon, S.

    2009-01-01

    Aquatic plants contribute to maintaining key functions and related biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems, and to provide the needs of human societies. The way the ecological niches of macrophytes are determined by abiotic filters and biotic ones is considered. A simple, broadly applicable model of

  19. ANLN functions as a key candidate gene in cervical cancer as determined by integrated bioinformatic analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia L

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Leilei Xia,1,* Xiaoling Su,1,2,* Jizi Shen,1,* Qi Meng,1 Jiuqiong Yan,1 Caihong Zhang,1 Yu Chen,1 Han Wang,3 Mingjuan Xu,1 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, No. 455 Hospital, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Pathology, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Background: Cervical cancer, one of the leading causes of female deaths, remains a top cause of mortality in gynecologic oncology and tends to affect younger individuals. However, the pathogenesis of cervical cancer is still far from clear. Given the high incidence and mortality of cervical cancer, uncovering the causes and pathogenesis as well as identifying novel biomarkers are of great significance and are desperately needed.Materials and methods: First, raw data were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. The Robuse Multi-Array Average algorithm and combat function of the sva package were subsequently applied to preprocess and remove batch effects. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs analyzed with the limma package were followed by gene ontology and pathway analysis, and a protein–protein interaction (PPI network based on the STRING website and the Cytoscape software was constructed. Weighted Correlation Network Analysis (WGCNA was utilized to build the coexpression network. Subsequently, UALCAN websites were employed to conduct survival analysis. Finally, the oncomine database was used to validate the expression of ANLN in other datasets.Results: GSE29570 and GSE89657, including 49 cervical cancer tissues and 20 normal cervical tissues, were screened as the datasets. Three-hundred-twenty-four DEGs were identified and, among them, 123 were upregulated, while 201 were downregulated. The

  20. Functional redundancy and ecological innovation shape the circulation of tick-transmitted pathogens

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Estrada-Peña, A.; de la Fuente, J.; Cabezas Cruz, Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 7, MAY (2017), č. článku 234. ISSN 2235-2988 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 278976 - ANTIGONE Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : communities * networks * tick-borne pathogens * ticks Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.300, year: 2016

  1. Ecological functions of Trichoderma spp. and their secondary metabolites in the rhizosphere: interactions with plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras-Cornejo, Hexon Angel; Macías-Rodríguez, Lourdes; del-Val, Ek; Larsen, John

    2016-04-01

    Trichodermaspp. are common soil and root inhabitants that have been widely studied due to their capacity to produce antibiotics, parasitize other fungi and compete with deleterious plant microorganisms. These fungi produce a number of secondary metabolites such as non-ribosomal peptides, terpenoids, pyrones and indolic-derived compounds. In the rhizosphere, the exchange and recognition of signaling molecules byTrichodermaand plants may alter physiological and biochemical aspects in both. For example, severalTrichodermastrains induce root branching and increase shoot biomass as a consequence of cell division, expansion and differentiation by the presence of fungal auxin-like compounds. Furthermore,Trichoderma, in association with plant roots, can trigger systemic resistance and improve plant nutrient uptake. The present review describes the most recent advances in understanding the ecological functions ofTrichodermaspp. in the rhizosphere at biochemical and molecular levels with special emphasis on their associations with plants. Finally, through a synthesis of the current body of work, we present potential future research directions on studies related toTrichodermaspp. and their secondary metabolites in agroecosystems. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Functional remediation components: A conceptual method of evaluating the effects of remediation on risks to ecological receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Bunn, Amoret; Downs, Janelle; Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn; Salisbury, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Governmental agencies, regulators, health professionals, tribal leaders, and the public are faced with understanding and evaluating the effects of cleanup activities on species, populations, and ecosystems. While engineers and managers understand the processes involved in different remediation types such as capping, pump and treat, and natural attenuation, there is often a disconnect between (1) how ecologists view the influence of different types of remediation, (2) how the public perceives them, and (3) how engineers understand them. The overall goal of the present investigation was to define the components of remediation types (= functional remediation). Objectives were to (1) define and describe functional components of remediation, regardless of the remediation type, (2) provide examples of each functional remediation component, and (3) explore potential effects of functional remediation components in the post-cleanup phase that may involve continued monitoring and assessment. Functional remediation components include types, numbers, and intensity of people, trucks, heavy equipment, pipes, and drill holes, among others. Several components may be involved in each remediation type, and each results in ecological effects, ranging from trampling of plants, to spreading invasive species, to disturbing rare species, and to creating fragmented habitats. In some cases remediation may exert a greater effect on ecological receptors than leaving the limited contamination in place. A goal of this conceptualization is to break down functional components of remediation such that managers, regulators, and the public might assess the effects of timing, extent, and duration of different remediation options on ecological systems.

  3. Hunting down frame shifts: Ecological analysis of diverse functional gene sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal eStrejcek

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Functional gene ecological analyses using amplicon sequencing can be challenging as translated sequences are often burdened with shifted reading frames. The aim of this work was to evaluate several bioinformatics tools designed to correct errors which arise during sequencing in an effort to reduce the number of frame-shifts (FS. Genes encoding for alpha subunits of biphenyl (bphA and benzoate (benA dioxygenases were used as model sequences. FrameBot, a FS correction tool, was able to reduce the number of detected FS to zero. However, up to 43.1% of sequences were discarded by FrameBot as non-specific targets. Therefore, we proposed a de novo mode of FrameBot for FS correction, which works on a similar basis as common chimera identifying platforms and is not dependent on reference sequences. By nature of FrameBot de novo design, it is crucial to provide it with data as error free as possible. We tested the ability of several publicly available correction tools to decrease the number of errors in the data sets. The combination of Maximum Expected Error (MEE filtering and single linkage pre-clustering (SLP proved the most efficient read procession. Applying FrameBot de novo on the processed data enabled analysis of BphA sequences with minimal losses of potentially functional sequences not homologous to those previously known. This experiment also demonstrated the extensive diversity of dioxygenases in soil. A script which performs FrameBot de novo is presented in the supplementary material to the study and the tool was implemented into FunGene Pipeline available at http://fungene.cme.msu.edu/FunGenePipeline/ and https://github.com/rdpstaff/Framebot.

  4. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Asmita; McConkey, Kim R; Radhakrishna, Sindhu

    2015-01-01

    Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice.

  5. Primates, Provisioning and Plants: Impacts of Human Cultural Behaviours on Primate Ecological Functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asmita Sengupta

    Full Text Available Human provisioning of wildlife with food is a widespread global practice that occurs in multiple socio-cultural circumstances. Provisioning may indirectly alter ecosystem functioning through changes in the eco-ethology of animals, but few studies have quantified this aspect. Provisioning of primates by humans is known to impact their activity budgets, diets and ranging patterns. Primates are also keystone species in tropical forests through their role as seed dispersers; yet there is no information on how provisioning might affect primate ecological functions. The rhesus macaque is a major human-commensal species but is also an important seed disperser in the wild. In this study, we investigated the potential impacts of provisioning on the role of rhesus macaques as seed dispersers in the Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. We studied a troop of macaques which were provisioned for a part of the year and were dependent on natural resources for the rest. We observed feeding behaviour, seed handling techniques and ranging patterns of the macaques and monitored availability of wild fruits. Irrespective of fruit availability, frugivory and seed dispersal activities decreased when the macaques were provisioned. Provisioned macaques also had shortened daily ranges implying shorter dispersal distances. Finally, during provisioning periods, seeds were deposited on tarmac roads that were unconducive for germination. Provisioning promotes human-primate conflict, as commensal primates are often involved in aggressive encounters with humans over resources, leading to negative consequences for both parties involved. Preventing or curbing provisioning is not an easy task as feeding wild animals is a socio-cultural tradition across much of South and South-East Asia, including India. We recommend the initiation of literacy programmes that educate lay citizens about the ill-effects of provisioning and strongly caution them against the practice.

  6. Conservation success as a function of good alignment of social and ecological structures and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, Orjan; Crona, Beatrice; Thyresson, Matilda; Golz, Anna-Lea; Tengö, Maria

    2014-10-01

    How to create and adjust governing institutions so that they align (fit) with complex ecosystem processes and structures across scales is an issue of increasing concern in conservation. It is argued that lack of such social-ecological fit makes governance and conservation difficult, yet progress in explicitly defining and rigorously testing what constitutes a good fit has been limited. We used a novel modeling approach and data from case studies of fishery and forest conservation to empirically test presumed relationships between conservation outcomes and certain patterns of alignment of social-ecological interdependences. Our approach made it possible to analyze conservation outcome on a systems level while also providing information on how individual actors are positioned in the complex web of social-ecological interdependencies. We found that when actors who shared resources were also socially linked, conservation at the level of the whole social-ecological system was positively affected. When the scales at which individual actors used resources and the scale at which ecological resources were interconnected to other ecological resources were aligned through tightened feedback loops, conservation outcome was better than when they were not aligned. The analysis of individual actors' positions in the web of social-ecological interdependencies was helpful in understanding why a system has a certain level of social-ecological fit. Results of analysis of positions showed that different actors contributed in very different ways to achieve a certain fit and revealed some underlying difference between the actors, for example in terms of actors' varying rights to access and use different ecological resources. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Proceedings of the first international congress of ecology: structure, functioning, and management of ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1974-01-01

    Ninety-six papers were presented; one paper, dealing with ecosystems stability, was abstracted and indexed separately for Energy Research Abstracts. Other subjects included are of interest to limnologists, biologists, botanists, zoologists, microbiologists, and agriculturists. An interdiscipline approach discussed subjects such as energy flow, productivity, diversity, stability and maturity from their different points of view. Special reports are included on systems analysis, remote sensing and methods of experimentation with ecosystems. Biological control, parasitic system, aerobiology and human ecology are also treated in relation to general ecology. Tropical forests are treated with ecological consequences of deforestation for vegetation, soil and aquatic systems in the tropics. In these proceedings, contributions to the plenary sessions are represented only in the form of abstracts. Full texts and summaries of the discussions will be published in a separate book: Unifying Concepts of Ecology. (PCS)

  8. Spatial Extent of the Impact of Transported Road Materials on the Ecological Function of Forested Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-16

    Roads have varied ecological impacts on the adjacent plant and soil environment due to physical and chemical disturbances resulting from roadway construction, roadside maintenance, and vehicle deposition. The two main areas influenced by a road are t...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Probing molecular mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone: biophysical modeling identifies key regulators of functional dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anshuman Dixit

    Full Text Available Deciphering functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 chaperone machinery is an important objective in cancer biology aiming to facilitate discovery of targeted anti-cancer therapies. Despite significant advances in understanding structure and function of molecular chaperones, organizing molecular principles that control the relationship between conformational diversity and functional mechanisms of the Hsp90 activity lack a sufficient quantitative characterization. We combined molecular dynamics simulations, principal component analysis, the energy landscape model and structure-functional analysis of Hsp90 regulatory interactions to systematically investigate functional dynamics of the molecular chaperone. This approach has identified a network of conserved regions common to the Hsp90 chaperones that could play a universal role in coordinating functional dynamics, principal collective motions and allosteric signaling of Hsp90. We have found that these functional motifs may be utilized by the molecular chaperone machinery to act collectively as central regulators of Hsp90 dynamics and activity, including the inter-domain communications, control of ATP hydrolysis, and protein client binding. These findings have provided support to a long-standing assertion that allosteric regulation and catalysis may have emerged via common evolutionary routes. The interaction networks regulating functional motions of Hsp90 may be determined by the inherent structural architecture of the molecular chaperone. At the same time, the thermodynamics-based "conformational selection" of functional states is likely to be activated based on the nature of the binding partner. This mechanistic model of Hsp90 dynamics and function is consistent with the notion that allosteric networks orchestrating cooperative protein motions can be formed by evolutionary conserved and sparsely connected residue clusters. Hence, allosteric signaling through a small network of distantly connected

  11. Microbial Species and Functional Diversity in Rice Rhizosphere of High-yield Special Ecological Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAN Li-yuan

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Taoyuan, Yunnan Province is a special eco-site which keeps the highest yield records of rice cultivation in small planting areas. Soil microbial species and functional diversity were evaluated using cultivation method and BIOLOG ecoplates. The results showed that the microbial community of the high yield region was more abundant, and the total microbial population was 2 times of the control, furthermore, the areas belonged to the healthy "bacteria" soil, which was showed as bacteria > actinomycetes > fungi. Bacteria were the dominant populations in the rhizosphere of high yielding rice field, and the yield formation of rice was not correlated with the depth of soil layers. In order to obtain more species diversity information, Shannon diversity index H, Shannon evenness index E and Simpson index D were analyzed, and the results showed that microbial community diversity and evenness were not the main differences between the high and general yield areas. Then, the functional diversity of soil microbial community was investigated through the average well color development(AWCD and diversity index analyses. The results of AWCD analysis indicated that the metabolic activity of soil microbial community in high yield paddy soils were stronger than the control. Moreover, the difference range from large to small showed as tillering stage > harvest period > seedling period > rotation period, the stronger the rice growth, the greater the difference between the high yield region and the control. At tillering stage and harvest stage, due to the vigorous plant growth, the root exudates were rich, and the microbial communities of high yield paddy soils showed a strong metabolic activity and strong ability to use carbon sources. The results of Shannon, Simpson and McIntosh indices analysis indicated that common microbial species was not a key factor affecting the yield of rice. Tillering stage was a key period for the growth of high yield rice, and many

  12. Impaired executive functioning in subclinical compulsive checking with ecologically valid stimuli in a Working Memory task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ben eHarkin

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We previously showed that working memory performance of subclinical checkers can be affected if they are presented with irrelevant but misleading information during the retention period (Harkin & Kessler, 2009, 2010. The present study differed from our previous research in the three crucial aspects. Firstly, we employed ecologically valid stimuli in form of electrical kitchen appliances on a kitchen countertop in order to address previous criticism of our stimuli in terms of validity with respect to compulsive checking symptomatology. Secondly, we tested whether the new stimuli would allow us to employ a simpler (un-blocked design while obtaining similarly robust results. Thirdly, in Experiment 2 we improved the measure of confidence as a metacognitive variable by using a quantitative scale (0-100, which indeed revealed more robust effects that were quantitatively related to accuracy of performance. The task in the present study was to memorise four appliances, incl. their states (on/off, and their locations on the kitchen countertop. Memory accuracy was tested for the states of appliances in Experiment 1, and for their locations in Experiment 2. Intermediate probes were identical in both Experiments and were administered during retention on 2/3 of the trials with 50% resolvable and 50% misleading probes. Experiment 1 revealed a general impairment of high checkers, which confirmed the efficacy of our stimuli. In Experiment 2 we observed the expected, more differentiated pattern: High checkers were not generally affected in their WM performance (i.e., no general capacity issue; instead they showed a particular impairment in the misleading distractor-probe condition. Also, high checkers’ confidence ratings were indicative of a general impairment in metacognitive functioning.

  13. The evolution of pharyngognathy: a phylogenetic and functional appraisal of the pharyngeal jaw key innovation in labroid fishes and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainwright, Peter C; Smith, W Leo; Price, Samantha A; Tang, Kevin L; Sparks, John S; Ferry, Lara A; Kuhn, Kristen L; Eytan, Ron I; Near, Thomas J

    2012-12-01

    , Atherinomorpha, and Blennioidei. Beyond the discovery of Ovalentaria, this study provides a surprising, but well-supported, hypothesis for a convict-blenny (Pholidichthys) sister group to the charismatic cichlids and new insights into the evolution of pharyngognathy. Bayesian stochastic mapping ancestral state reconstructions indicate that pharyngognathy has evolved at least six times in percomorphs, including four separate origins in members of the former Labroidei, one origin in the Centrogenyidae, and one origin within Beloniformes. Our analyses indicate that all pharyngognathous fishes have a mechanically efficient biting mechanism enabled by the muscular sling and a single lower jaw element. However, a major distinction exists between Labridae, which lacks the widespread, generalized percomorph pharyngeal biting mechanism, and all other pharyngognathous clades, which possess this generalized biting mechanism in addition to pharyngognathy. Our results reveal a remarkable history of pharyngognathy: far from a single origin, it appears to have evolved at least six times, and its status as a major evolutionary innovation is reinforced by it being a synapomorphy for several independent major radiations, including some of the most species rich and ecologically diverse percomorph clades of coral reef and tropical freshwater fishes, Labridae and Cichlidae. [Acanthomorpha; Beloniformes; Centrogenyidae; key innovation; Labroidei; Ovalentaria; pharyngeal jaws; Perciformes.].

  14. Adaptive landscape and functional diversity of Neotropical cichlids: implications for the ecology and evolution of Cichlinae (Cichlidae; Cichliformes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbour, J H; López-Fernández, H

    2014-11-01

    Morphological, lineage and ecological diversity can vary substantially even among closely related lineages. Factors that influence morphological diversification, especially in functionally relevant traits, can help to explain the modern distribution of disparity across phylogenies and communities. Multivariate axes of feeding functional morphology from 75 species of Neotropical cichlid and a stepwise-AIC algorithm were used to estimate the adaptive landscape of functional morphospace in Cichlinae. Adaptive landscape complexity and convergence, as well as the functional diversity of Cichlinae, were compared with expectations under null evolutionary models. Neotropical cichlid feeding function varied primarily between traits associated with ram feeding vs. suction feeding/biting and secondarily with oral jaw muscle size and pharyngeal crushing capacity. The number of changes in selective regimes and the amount of convergence between lineages was higher than expected under a null model of evolution, but convergence was not higher than expected under a similarly complex adaptive landscape. Functional disparity was compatible with an adaptive landscape model, whereas the distribution of evolutionary change through morphospace corresponded with a process of evolution towards a single adaptive peak. The continentally distributed Neotropical cichlids have evolved relatively rapidly towards a number of adaptive peaks in functional trait space. Selection in Cichlinae functional morphospace is more complex than expected under null evolutionary models. The complexity of selective constraints in feeding morphology has likely been a significant contributor to the diversity of feeding ecology in this clade. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. The Chlamydomonas Genome Reveals the Evolution of Key Animal and Plant Functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merchant, Sabeeha S

    2007-04-09

    Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga whose lineage diverged from land plants over 1 billion years ago. It is a model system for studying chloroplast-based photosynthesis, as well as the structure, assembly, and function of eukaryotic flagella (cilia), which were inherited from the common ancestor of plants and animals, but lost in land plants. We sequenced the 120-megabase nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas and performed comparative phylogenomic analyses, identifying genes encoding uncharacterized proteins that are likely associated with the function and biogenesis of chloroplasts or eukaryotic flagella. Analyses of the Chlamydomonas genome advance our understanding of the ancestral eukaryotic cell, reveal previously unknown genes associated with photosynthetic and flagellar functions, and establish links between ciliopathy and the composition and function of flagella.

  16. Reform of Kosovo Tax System after independence and its key functions

    OpenAIRE

    Dr.Sc. Bedri Peci

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we have analyzed the initial circumstances which characterize tax system in Kosovo after independence. After the Declaration of Independence, it is of the paramount importance that Kosovo has undergone through a reform of policy and tax system by exploring more seriously the economic functions. However, policy and tax system of Kosovo should be more in function of economic development by achieving equilibrium between direct and indirect taxes, increasing efficiency of public ...

  17. Motivational deficits in early schizophrenia: prevalent, persistent, and key determinants of functional outcome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fervaha, Gagan; Foussias, George; Agid, Ofer; Remington, Gary

    2015-08-01

    Negative symptoms, in particular motivational deficits, are reported as impediments to functional recovery in patients with schizophrenia. This study examined the prevalence of motivational deficits in patients early in the illness, and the impact these deficits have on community functioning. Patients with schizophrenia between the ages of 18 and 35years, and within 5years of initiating antipsychotic treatment were included in the present investigation (N=166). The impact of motivation and cognition on concurrent and longitudinal functioning was evaluated. Motivational impairments were found in more than 75% of participants, and were not associated with receipt of social support. These deficits served as the most robust and reliable predictor of functional outcome, while neurocognition demonstrated significantly weaker associations with outcome. When considered together, motivational deficits demonstrated a reliable link with concurrent and longitudinal functioning, with cognition not offering any independent predictive value. Moreover, motivation was found to mediate the relationship between cognition and outcome. Changes in motivation were linked to changes in functioning; however, this was not the case for changes in cognitive performance. Motivation emerged as a significant predictor of functioning even after selected demographic and clinical characteristics (e.g., positive symptoms) were accounted for. These data indicate that motivational deficits are prevalent in patients with schizophrenia, even in the early stages of the illness, and these deficits stand as one of the most robust barriers to people with schizophrenia achieving functional recovery. Greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying these deficits is critical to effective treatment innovation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. [Spatio-temporal change of sand-fixing function and its driving forces in desertification control ecological function area of Hunshandake, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lu; Tian, Mei-rong; Gao, Ji-xi; Qian, Jin-ping

    2016-01-01

    Soil erosion is an important ecological and environmental problem in Hunshandake Desert, and the sand-fixing function determines the degree of ecological security in the entire region. In order to clarify the situation of windbreak and sand fixation in Hunshandake area, and to guide the prevention and treatment of desertification on regional scale, based on the meteorological and remote sensing data, this paper quantitatively analyzed the temporal and spatial pattern of windbreak and sand fixation ability between 2000-2010 by the revised wind erosion equation (RWEQ) model, meanwhile, the driving forces for each county ( or banner) in the functional zone were analyzed with the method of principal component analysis. The results showed that there was a fluctuation of the sand fixing capacity in Hunshandake over time, generally rendering a decline trend. The coniferous forest and grassland had strong windbreak and sand fixation capacity in unit area among the various land categories. In terms of spatial distribution, the windbreak and sand fixation function in western and southeastern region was weak and needed to be strengthened with ecological restoration efforts. Through the study of the social driving forces of each administrative region in the function zone, there were 3 main social driving forces of soil erosion in the administrative functions: the intensity of input-output, the level of economic development and the level of agriculture-husbandry development.

  19. Integration or Disintegration of the Ecological and Urban Functions of the River in the City? A Polish Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Katarzyna KUBIAK-WÓJCICKA; Justyna CHODKOWSKA-MISZCZUK; Krzysztof ROGATKA

    2018-01-01

    This article aims to find whether the urbanized area experiences integration or disintegration of the ecological and urban functions of the river. The river has always played an important role in urban areas, although over the centuries, it has come through radical changes. At first, it decided on the location of the city, served as a defense and means of transport, and during the period of industrialization it became the technical base for the city. Currently, the river has again come to be ...

  20. Key features for more successful place-based sustainability research on social-ecological systems: A Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balvanera, P.; Daw, T.M.; Gardner, T.A.; Martín-López, B.; Norström, A.V.; Ifejika Speranza, C.; Spierenburg, M.J.; Bennett, E.M.; Farfán, M.; Hamann, M.; Kittinger, J.N.; Luthe, T.; Maass, M.; Peterson, G.D.; Pérez-Verdin, G.

    2017-01-01

    The emerging discipline of sustainability science is focused explicitly on the dynamic interactions between nature and society and is committed to research that spans multiple scales and can support transitions toward greater sustainability. Because a growing body of place-based social-ecological

  1. MicroRNAs: not ‘fine-tuners’ but key regulators of neuronal development and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory eDavis

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available microRNAs (miRNAs are a class of short non-coding RNAs that operate as prominent post-transcriptional regulators of eukaryotic gene expression. miRNAs are abundantly expressed in the brain of most animals and exert diverse roles. The anatomical and functional complexity of brain requires the precise coordination of multi-layered gene regulatory networks. The flexibility, speed and reversibility of miRNA function provide precise temporal and spatial gene regulatory capabilities that are crucial for the correct functioning of the brain. Studies have shown that the underlying molecular mechanisms controlled by miRNAs in the nervous systems of invertebrate and vertebrate models are remarkably conserved in humans. We endeavour to provide insight into the roles of miRNAs in the nervous systems of these model organisms and discuss how such information may be used to inform regarding diseases of the human brain.

  2. Micro morphological and Chemical Approaches to Understand Changes in Ecological Functions of Metal-Impacted Soils under Various Land Uses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Acosta, J.A; Martinez, S.M; Faz, A; Van Mourik, J.M; Arocena, J.M

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the changes in faunal activities as measures of the ecological functions of soils impacted by potentially toxic metals (PTMs) under urban, industrial, agricultural, and natural uses. Concentrations and distributions of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Fe were estimated by sequential chemical extractions, while relicts and present faunal activities were studied by micro morphological analyses. Urban and natural lands were contaminated with Pb, Cd, and Zn. Micro arthropods and fungi are observed to be active in the litter decomposition in natural, agricultural and urban lands which indicates that total concentration of PTMs in soils is not a good indicator to evaluate the limitations of PTMs to fauna activity. Metals immobilization on carbonates and Fe/Mn oxides, and fertilizations reduced the negative effects of metals on faunal activity. Micro morphological analyses showed the impacts of metal on soil ecological functions in industrial site, where the surface soils are devoid of any evidence of faunal activity; likely due to high proportion of Pb and Zn in organic components. Therefore, the impacts of metals in soil fauna activities, hence ecological functions of soils, are best evaluated by the knowledge of metal partitioning on solid phases in combination with observations of fauna activities using micro morphological techniques.

  3. Micromorphological and Chemical Approaches to Understand Changes in Ecological Functions of Metal-Impacted Soils under Various Land Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Acosta

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the changes in faunal activities as measures of the ecological functions of soils impacted by potentially toxic metals (PTMs under urban, industrial, agricultural, and natural uses. Concentrations and distributions of Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Mn, and Fe were estimated by sequential chemical extractions, while relicts and present faunal activities were studied by micromorphological analyses. Urban and natural lands were contaminated with Pb, Cd, and Zn. Microarthropods and fungi are observed to be active in the litter decomposition in natural, agricultural and urban lands which indicates that total concentration of PTMs in soils is not a good indicator to evaluate the limitations of PTMs to fauna activity. Metals immobilization on carbonates and Fe/Mn oxides, and fertilizations reduced the negative effects of metals on faunal activity. Micromorphological analyses showed the impacts of metal on soil ecological functions in industrial site, where the surface soils are devoid of any evidence of faunal activity; likely due to high proportion of Pb and Zn in organic components. Therefore, the impacts of metals in soil fauna activities, hence ecological functions of soils, are best evaluated by the knowledge of metal partitioning on solid phases in combination with observations of fauna activities using micromorphological techniques.

  4. Coral Reef Health Indices versus the Biological, Ecological and Functional Diversity of Fish and Coral Assemblages in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pérez, Leopoldo; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, Fabián Alejandro; Ortiz, Marco; Cupul-Magaña, Amílcar Leví; Carriquiry, Jose D; Ríos-Jara, Eduardo; Rodríguez-Troncoso, Alma Paola; García-Rivas, María Del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the relationship between the indices known as the Reef Health Index (RHI) and two-dimensional Coral Health Index (2D-CHI) and different representative metrics of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals in 101 reef sites located across seven zones in the western Caribbean Sea. Species richness and average taxonomic distinctness were used to asses biological estimation; while ecological diversity was evaluated with the indices of Shannon diversity and Pielou´s evenness, as well as by taxonomic diversity and distinctness. Functional diversity considered the number of functional groups, the Shannon diversity and the functional Pielou´s evenness. According to the RHI, 57.15% of the zones were classified as presenting a "poor" health grade, while 42.85% were in "critical" grade. Based on the 2D-CHI, 28.5% of the zones were in "degraded" condition and 71.5% were "very degraded". Differences in fish and coral diversity among sites and zones were demonstrated using permutational ANOVAs. Differences between the two health indices (RHI and 2D-CHI) and some indices of biological, ecological and functional diversity of fish and corals were observed; however, only the RHI showed a correlation between the health grades and the species and functional group richness of fish at the scale of sites, and with the species and functional group richness and Shannon diversity of the fish assemblages at the scale of zones. None of the health indices were related to the metrics analyzed for the coral diversity. In general, our study suggests that the estimation of health indices should be complemented with classic community indices, or should at least include diversity indices of fish and corals, in order to improve the accuracy of the estimated health status of coral reefs in the western Caribbean Sea.

  5. Daily Rhythms of the Expression of Key Genes Involved in Steroidogenesis and Gonadal Function in Zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviana Di Rosa

    Full Text Available Fish present daily and seasonal rhythms in spawning and plasmatic levels of steroids that control reproduction. However, the existence of the rhythms of expression of the genes that underlie the endocrine mechanisms responsible for processes such as steroidogenesis and reproduction in fish have still been poorly explored to date. Here we investigated the daily pattern of the expression of key genes involved in sex steroid production that ultimately set the sex ratio in fish. Adult zebrafish were maintained under a 12:12 h light-dark cycle at a constant temperature of 27°C and were sampled every 4 h during a 24-hour cycle. The expression of key genes in the gonads and brains of female and male individuals were analyzed. In gonads, the expression of aromatase (cyp19a1a, ovarian aromatase and the antimüllerian hormone (amh, testis was rhythmic, with almost opposite acrophases: ZT 5:13 h (in the light phase and ZT 15:39 h (at night, respectively. The expression of foxl2 (forkhead box L2 was also rhythmic in the ovary (acrophase located at ZT 5:02 h and the expression of dmrt1 (doublesex and mab-3-related transcription factor 1 was rhythmic in testes (acrophase at ZT 18:36 h. In the brain, cyp19a1b (brain aromatase and cyp11b (11beta-hydroxylase presented daily differences, especially in males, where the expression peaked at night. These results provide the first evidence for marked time-of-the-day-dependent differences in the expression of the genes involved in sex ratio control, which should be considered when investigating processes such as reproduction, sex differentiation and steroidogenesis in fish.

  6. Key Components of Successful Sexuality Education for High Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greiert, Brittany Sovran

    2016-01-01

    To date, there is very little existing research on the sexuality education of high functioning adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) even though current research suggests that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with ASD (CDC, 2014). Through group consensus of experts in ASD representing families, school-based professionals, and researchers,…

  7. Phloem function: A key to understanding and manipulating plant responses to rising atmospheric [CO2]?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) directly stimulates photosynthesis and reduces stomatal conductance in C3 plants. Both of these physiological effects have the potential to alter phloem function at elevated [CO2]. Recent research has clearly established that photosynthetic...

  8. Key Microbiota Identification Using Functional Gene Analysis during Pepper (Piper nigrum L.) Peeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiachao; Hu, Qisong; Xu, Chuanbiao; Liu, Sixin; Li, Congfa

    2016-01-01

    Pepper pericarp microbiota plays an important role in the pepper peeling process for the production of white pepper. We collected pepper samples at different peeling time points from Hainan Province, China, and used a metagenomic approach to identify changes in the pericarp microbiota based on functional gene analysis. UniFrac distance-based principal coordinates analysis revealed significant changes in the pericarp microbiota structure during peeling, which were attributed to increases in bacteria from the genera Selenomonas and Prevotella. We identified 28 core operational taxonomic units at each time point, mainly belonging to Selenomonas, Prevotella, Megasphaera, Anaerovibrio, and Clostridium genera. The results were confirmed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. At the functional level, we observed significant increases in microbial features related to acetyl xylan esterase and pectinesterase for pericarp degradation during peeling. These findings offer a new insight into biodegradation for pepper peeling and will promote the development of the white pepper industry.

  9. Reform of Kosovo Tax System after independence and its key functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr.Sc. Bedri Peci

    2013-12-01

    However, policy and tax system of Kosovo should be more in function of economic development by achieving equilibrium between direct and indirect taxes, increasing efficiency of public expenditures and to offer more tax incentives. Designers’ preliminary requirement is to analyze fiscal, economic, etc., effects of each tax form which aims to apply in accordance with tax policy objectives and to analyze the role and effects of tax incentives to each tax form. Taking into account that Kosovo regarding the application of tax incentives of CIT, compared with other countries is the last, designers by using the experiences of other countries should apply more tax incentives in order that tax policy to be more in function for economic development

  10. Eosinophils are key regulators of perivascular adipose tissue and vascular functionality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Withers, Sarah B.; Forman, Ruth; Meza-Perez, Selene

    2017-01-01

    Obesity impairs the relaxant capacity of adipose tissue surrounding the vasculature (PVAT) and has been implicated in resultant obesity-related hypertension and impaired glucose intolerance. Resident immune cells are thought to regulate adipocyte activity. We investigated the role of eosinophils...... in mediating normal PVAT function. Healthy PVAT elicits an anti-contractile effect, which was lost in mice deficient in eosinophils, mimicking the obese phenotype, and was restored upon eosinophil reconstitution. Ex vivo studies demonstrated that the loss of PVAT function was due to reduced bioavailability...... of adiponectin and adipocyte-derived nitric oxide, which was restored after eosinophil reconstitution. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that adiponectin and nitric oxide are released after activation of adipocyte-expressed β3 adrenoceptors by catecholamines, and identified eosinophils as a novel source...

  11. Food choice as a key management strategy for functional gastrointestinal symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Peter R; Shepherd, Susan J

    2012-05-01

    Recognition of food components that induce functional gut symptoms in patient's functional bowel disorders (FBD) has been challenging. Food directly or indirectly provides considerable afferent input into the enteric nervous system. There is an altered relationship between the afferent input and perception/efferent response in FBD. Defining the nature of food-related stimuli may provide a means of minimizing such an input and gut symptoms. Using this premise, reducing the intake of FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, and mono-saccharides and polyols)--poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates that, by virtue of their small molecular size and rapid fermentability, will distend the intestinal lumen with liquid and gas--improves symptoms in the majority of patients. Well-developed methodologies to deliver the diet via dietician-led education are available. Another abundant source of afferent input is natural and added food chemicals (such as salicylates, amines, and glutamates). Studies are needed to assess the efficacy of the low food chemical dietary approach. A recent placebo-controlled trial of FODMAP-poor gluten provided the first valid evidence that non-celiac gluten intolerance might actually exist, but its prevalence and underlying mechanisms require elucidation. Food choice via the low FODMAP and potentially other dietary strategies is now a realistic and efficacious therapeutic approach for functional gut symptoms.

  12. Retinoic acid functions as a key GABAergic differentiation signal in the basal ganglia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina Chatzi

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Although retinoic acid (RA has been implicated as an extrinsic signal regulating forebrain neurogenesis, the processes regulated by RA signaling remain unclear. Here, analysis of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase mutant mouse embryos lacking RA synthesis demonstrates that RA generated by Raldh3 in the subventricular zone of the basal ganglia is required for GABAergic differentiation, whereas RA generated by Raldh2 in the meninges is unnecessary for development of the adjacent cortex. Neurospheres generated from the lateral ganglionic eminence (LGE, where Raldh3 is highly expressed, produce endogenous RA, which is required for differentiation to GABAergic neurons. In Raldh3⁻/⁻ embryos, LGE progenitors fail to differentiate into either GABAergic striatal projection neurons or GABAergic interneurons migrating to the olfactory bulb and cortex. We describe conditions for RA treatment of human embryonic stem cells that result in efficient differentiation to a heterogeneous population of GABAergic interneurons without the appearance of GABAergic striatal projection neurons, thus providing an in vitro method for generation of GABAergic interneurons for further study. Our observation that endogenous RA is required for generation of LGE-derived GABAergic neurons in the basal ganglia establishes a key role for RA signaling in development of the forebrain.

  13. Hidden keys to survival: the type, density, pattern and functional role of emperor penguin body feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Cassondra L; Hagelin, Julie C; Kooyman, Gerald L

    2015-10-22

    Antarctic penguins survive some of the harshest conditions on the planet. Emperor penguins breed on the sea ice where temperatures drop below -40°C and forage in -1.8°C waters. Their ability to maintain 38°C body temperature in these conditions is due in large part to their feathered coat. Penguins have been reported to have the highest contour feather density of any bird, and both filoplumes and plumules (downy feathers) are reported absent in penguins. In studies modelling the heat transfer properties and the potential biomimetic applications of penguin plumage design, the insulative properties of penguin plumage have been attributed to the single afterfeather attached to contour feathers. This attribution of the afterfeather as the sole insulation component has been repeated in subsequent studies. Our results demonstrate the presence of both plumules and filoplumes in the penguin body plumage. The downy plumules are four times denser than afterfeathers and play a key, previously overlooked role in penguin survival. Our study also does not support the report that emperor penguins have the highest contour feather density. © 2015 The Author(s).

  14. Eco-friendly design of scour protection: potential enhancement of ecological functioning in offshore wind farms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lengkeek, Wouter; Didderen, K.; Teunis, M.; Driessen, F.; Coolen, J.W.P.; Bos, O.G.; Vergouwen, S.A.; Raaijmakers, T.; Vries, de M.B.; Koningsveld, van M.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study is to explore the possibilities to implement ‘Building with North Sea Nature’ in offshore infrastructures in the North Sea by providing guidelines for the eco-friendly design of scour protection structures around monopiles in planned wind farms to enhance ecological

  15. Ecological Production Functions Linking Multiple Stressors to Ecosystem Services – A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ecosystem services concept is being used to frame environmental protection goals that guide management of the risks of chemicals. Ecosystem services link changes in ecological systems to the benefits received by people. The use of ecosystem services in risk assessments and th...

  16. Unravelling ecosystem functions at the Amazonia-Cerrado transition: II. Carbon stocks and CO2 soil efflux in cerradão forest undergoing ecological succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peixoto, Karine S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben Hur; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Elias, Fernando; de Farias, Josenilton; Freitag, Renata; Mews, Henrique A.; das Neves, Eder C.; Prestes, Nayane Cristina C. S.; Malhi, Yadvinder

    2017-07-01

    The transition region between two major South American biomes, the Amazon forest and the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna), has been substantially converted into human-modified ecosystems. Nevertheless, the recovery dynamics of ecosystem functions in this important zone of (ecological) tension (ZOT) remain poorly understood. In this study, we compared two areas of cerradão (a forest-woodland of the Brazilian savanna; Portuguese augmentative of cerrado), one in secondary succession (SC) and one adjacent and well preserved (PC), to test whether the ecosystem functions lost after conversion to pasture were restored after 22 years of regeneration. We tested the hypothesis that the increase in annual aboveground biomass in the SC would be greater than that in the PC because of anticipated successional gains. We also investigated soil CO2 efflux, litter layer content, and fine root biomass in both the SC and PC. In terms of biomass recovery our hypothesis was not supported: the biomass did not increase in the successional area over the study period, which suggested limited capacity for recovery in this key ecosystem compartment. By contrast, the structure and function of the litter layer and root mat were largely reconstituted in the secondary vegetation. Overall, we provide evidence that 22 years of secondary succession were not sufficient for these short and open forests (e.g., cerradão) in the ZOT to recover ecosystem functions to the levels observed in preserved vegetation of identical physiognomy.

  17. The ecological and construct validity of a newly developed measure of executive function: the Virtual Library Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renison, Belinda; Ponsford, Jennie; Testa, Renee; Richardson, Barry; Brownfield, Kylie

    2012-05-01

    Virtual reality (VR) assessment paradigms have the potential to address the limited ecological validity of pen and paper measures of executive function (EF) and the pragmatic and reliability issues associated with functional measures. To investigate the ecological validity and construct validity of a newly developed VR measure of EF, the Virtual Library Task (VLT); a real life analogous task--the Real Library Task (RLT); and five neuropsychological measures of EF were administered to 30 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 30 healthy Controls. Significant others for each participant also completed the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX), which is a behavioral rating scale of everyday EF. Performances on the VLT and the RLT were significantly positively correlated indicating that VR performance is similar to real world performance. The TBI group performed significantly worse than the Control group on the VLT and the Modified Six Elements Test (MSET) but the other four neuropsychological measures of EF failed to differentiate the groups. Both the MSET and the VLT significantly predicted everyday EF suggesting that they are both ecologically valid tools for the assessment of EF. The VLT has the advantage over the MSET of providing objective measurement of individual components of EF.

  18. Metabolic enzymes: key modulators of functionality in cancer stem-like cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Bo-Wen; Qin, Guang-Ming; Luo, Yan; Mao, Jian-Shan

    2017-02-21

    Cancer Stem-like Cells (CSCs) are a subpopulation of cancer cells with self-renewal capacity and are important for the initiation, progression and recurrence of cancer diseases. The metabolic profile of CSCs is consistent with their stem-like properties. Studies have indicated that enzymes, the main regulators of cellular metabolism, dictate functionalities of CSCs in both catalysis-dependent and catalysis-independent manners. This paper reviews diverse studies of metabolic enzymes, and describes the effects of these enzymes on metabolic adaptation, gene transcription and signal transduction, in CSCs.

  19. A social ecological approach to investigating relationships between housing and adaptive functioning for persons with serious mental illness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloos, Bret; Shah, Seema

    2009-12-01

    This paper seeks to advance mental health-housing research regarding which factors of housing and neighborhood environments are critical for adaptive functioning, health, and recovery for persons with serious mental illness (SMI). Housing and neighborhood environments are particularly important for persons with SMI because of the prevalence of poor housing conditions among this population. Most mental health-housing research has been limited by a focus on problems in environments and functioning. The paper seeks to expand the mental health-housing research agenda to consider protective factors that promote community integration and adaptive functioning. We provide an account of how social ecology theory transformed a research program, from examining individual risk factors to investigating the functioning of persons in the contexts of their housing and neighborhood experiences. The resulting housing environment framework-physical aspects of housing and neighborhoods, social environment of neighborhoods, and interpersonal relationships tied to housing-allows for identification of opportunities for health promotion and facilitation of participation in community-based settings. This program of research draws upon several methods to understand the social experience of persons with SMI living in community settings-survey research, qualitative interviews, Geographic Information Systems, participatory research, and visual ethnography. In this paper, we present how social ecology theory was instrumental in the development of new housing environment measures, the selection of appropriate research methods, and framing research questions that are building a new empirical base of knowledge about promoting adaptive functioning, health, and recovery for persons with SMI living in community settings.

  20. The function of animal ‘eyespots’: conspicuousness but not eye mimicry is key

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin STEVENS

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Many animals are marked with conspicuous circular features often called ‘eyespots’, which intimidate predators, preventing or halting an attack. It has long been assumed that eyespots work by mimicking the eyes of larger animals, but recent experiments have indicated that conspicuousness and contrast is important in eyespot function, and not eye mimicry. We undertake two further experiments to distinguish between the conspicuousness and mimicry hypotheses, by using artificial prey presented to wild avian predators in the field. In experiment 1, we test if eyespot effectiveness depends on the marking shape (bar or circle and arrangement (eye-like and non-eye-like positions. We find no difference between shapes or arrangement; all spots were equally effective in scaring birds. In experiment 2, we test if the often yellow and black colors of eyespots mimic the eyes of birds of prey. We find no effect of shape, and no advantage to yellow and black spots over non-eye-like but equally conspicuous colors. The consistent finding is that eyespot function lies in being a conspicuous signal to predators, and not necessarily due to eye mimicry [Current Zoology 55 (5: –2009].

  1. Safety functions and safety function indicators - key elements in SKB'S methodology for assessing long-term safety of a KBS-3 repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hedin, A.

    2008-01-01

    The application of so called safety function indicators in SKB safety assessment of a KBS-3 repository for spent nuclear fuel is presented. Isolation and retardation are the two main safety functions of the KBS-3 concept. In order to quantitatively evaluate safety on a sub-system level, these functions need to be differentiated, associated with quantitative measures and, where possible, with quantitative criteria relating to the fulfillment of the safety functions. A safety function is defined as a role through which a repository component contributes to safety. A safety function indicator is a measurable or calculable property of a repository component that allows quantitative evaluation of a safety function. A safety function indicator criterion is a quantitative limit such that if the criterion is fulfilled, the corresponding safety function is upheld. The safety functions and their associated indicators and criteria developed for the KBS-3 repository are primarily related to the isolating potential and to physical states of the canister and the clay buffer surrounding the canister. They are thus not directly related to release rates of radionuclides. The paper also describes how the concepts introduced i) aid in focussing the assessment on critical, safety related issues, ii) provide a framework for the accounting of safety throughout the different time frames of the assessment and iii) provide key information in the selection of scenarios for the safety assessment. (author)

  2. Measurements of water uptake of maize roots: the key function of lateral roots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, M. A.; Zarebanadkouki, M.; Kroener, E.; Kaestner, A.; Carminati, A.

    2014-12-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important crop worldwide. Despite its importance, there is limited information on the function of different root segments and root types of maize in extracting water from soils. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate locations of root water uptake in maize. We used neutron radiography to: 1) image the spatial distribution of maize roots in soil and 2) trace the transport of injected deuterated water (D2O) in soil and roots. Maizes were grown in aluminum containers (40×38×1 cm) filled with a sandy soil. When the plants were 16 days old, we injected D2O into selected soil regions containing primary, seminal and lateral roots. The experiments were performed during the day (transpiring plants) and night (not transpiring plants). The transport of D2O into roots was simulated using a new convection-diffusion numerical model of D2O transport into roots. By fitting the observed D2O transport we quantified the diffusional permeability and the water uptake of the different root segments. The maize root architecture consisted of a primary root, 4-5 seminal roots and many lateral roots connected to the primary and seminal roots. Laterals emerged from the proximal 15 cm of the primary and seminal roots. Water uptake occurred primarily in lateral roots. Lateral roots had the highest diffusional permeability (9.4×10-7), which was around six times higher that the diffusional permeability of the old seminal segments (1.4×10-7), and two times higher than the diffusional permeability of the young seminal segments (4.7×10-7). The radial flow of D2O into the lateral (6.7×10-5 ) was much higher than in the young seminal roots (1.1×10-12). The radial flow of D2O into the old seminal was negligible. We concluded that the function of the primary and seminal roots was to collect water from the lateral roots and transport it to the shoot. A maize root system with lateral roots branching from deep primary and seminal roots would be

  3. A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Domains of Applicability of Ecological Models and its Implementation in the Ecological Production Function Library

    Science.gov (United States)

    The use of computational ecological models to inform environmental management and policy has proliferated in the past 25 years. These models have become essential tools as linkages and feedbacks between human actions and ecological responses can be complex, and as funds for sampl...

  4. Provincial-level Land Consolidation and Ecological Environment Protection Based on the Perspective of Planning

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Chen; Liu, Xin-feng; Peng, Zhe; Si, Tao; Yang, Lin-li

    2012-01-01

    Based on the understanding of current land ecological environment in Anhui Province, we mainly analyze the relationship between land consolidation planning and ecological environment, and point out the problems concerning ecological environment, such as great soil erosion, serious soil pollution, frequent geological disasters in local areas, and forest vegetation destruction. We divide the key ecological function conservation areas into the following areas: River Source Area, River and Flood ...

  5. Benthic Habitat-Based Framework for Ecological Production Functions: Case Study for Utilization by Estuarine Birds in a Northeast Pacific Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habitat-based frameworks have been proposed for developing Ecological Production Functions (EPFs) to describe the spatial distribution of ecosystem services. As proof of concept, we generated EPFs that compared bird use patterns among intertidal benthic habitats for Yaquina estu...

  6. Imaging derived cortical thickness reduction in high-functioning autism: key regions and temporal slope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheel, Christian; Rotarska-Jagiela, Anna; Schilbach, Leonhard; Lehnhardt, Fritz G; Krug, Barbara; Vogeley, Kai; Tepest, Ralf

    2011-09-15

    Cortical thickness (CT) changes possibly contribute to the complex symptomatology of autism. The aberrant developmental trajectories underlying such differences in certain brain regions and their continuation in adulthood are a matter of intense debate. We studied 28 adults with high-functioning autism (HFA) and 28 control subjects matched for age, gender, IQ and handedness. A surface-based whole brain analysis utilizing FreeSurfer was employed to detect CT differences between the two diagnostic groups and to investigate the time course of age-related changes. Direct comparison with control subjects revealed thinner cortex in HFA in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) of the left hemisphere. Considering the time course of CT development we found clusters around the pSTS and cuneus in the left and the paracentral lobule in the right hemisphere to be thinner in HFA with comparable age-related slopes in patients and controls. Conversely, we found clusters around the supramarginal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule (IPL) in the left and the precentral and postcentral gyrus in the right hemisphere to be thinner in HFA, but with different age-related slopes in patients and controls. In the latter regions CT showed a steady decrease in controls but no analogous thinning in HFA. CT analyses contribute in characterizing neuroanatomical correlates of HFA. Reduced CT is present in brain regions involved in social cognition. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that aberrant brain development leading to such differences is proceeding throughout adulthood. Discrepancies in prior morphometric studies may be induced by the complex time course of cortical changes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Use and satisfaction with key functions of a common commercial electronic health record: a survey of primary care providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makam, Anil N; Lanham, Holly J; Batchelor, Kim; Samal, Lipika; Moran, Brett; Howell-Stampley, Temple; Kirk, Lynne; Cherukuri, Manjula; Santini, Noel; Leykum, Luci K; Halm, Ethan A

    2013-08-09

    Despite considerable financial incentives for adoption, there is little evidence available about providers' use and satisfaction with key functions of electronic health records (EHRs) that meet "meaningful use" criteria. We surveyed primary care providers (PCPs) in 11 general internal medicine and family medicine practices affiliated with 3 health systems in Texas about their use and satisfaction with performing common tasks (documentation, medication prescribing, preventive services, problem list) in the Epic EHR, a common commercial system. Most practices had greater than 5 years of experience with the Epic EHR. We used multivariate logistic regression to model predictors of being a structured documenter, defined as using electronic templates or prepopulated dot phrases to document at least two of the three note sections (history, physical, assessment and plan). 146 PCPs responded (70%). The majority used free text to document the history (51%) and assessment and plan (54%) and electronic templates to document the physical exam (57%). Half of PCPs were structured documenters (55%) with family medicine specialty (adjusted OR 3.3, 95% CI, 1.4-7.8) and years since graduation (nonlinear relationship with youngest and oldest having lowest probabilities) being significant predictors. Nearly half (43%) reported spending at least one extra hour beyond each scheduled half-day clinic completing EHR documentation. Three-quarters were satisfied with documenting completion of pneumococcal vaccinations and half were satisfied with documenting cancer screening (57% for breast, 45% for colorectal, and 46% for cervical). Fewer were satisfied with reminders for overdue pneumococcal vaccination (48%) and cancer screening (38% for breast, 37% for colorectal, and 31% for cervical). While most believed the problem list was helpful (70%) and kept an up-to-date list for their patients (68%), half thought they were unreliable and inaccurate (51%). Dissatisfaction with and suboptimal use

  8. The world's richest tadpole communities show functional redundancy and low functional diversity: ecological data on Madagascar's stream-dwelling amphibian larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randrianiaina Roger-Daniel

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Functional diversity illustrates the range of ecological functions in a community. It allows revealing the appearance of functional redundancy in communities and processes of community assembly. Functional redundancy illustrates the overlap in ecological functions of community members which may be an indicator of community resilience. We evaluated patterns of species richness, functional diversity and functional redundancy on tadpole communities in rainforest streams in Madagascar. This habitat harbours the world's most species-rich stream tadpole communities which are due to their occurrence in primary habitat of particular interest for functional diversity studies. Results Species richness of tadpole communities is largely determined by characteristics of the larval habitat (stream structure, not by adult habitat (forest structure. Species richness is positively correlated with a size-velocity gradient of the streams, i.e. communities follow a classical species-area relationship. While widely observed for other taxa, this is an unusual pattern for anuran larvae which usually is expected to be hump-shaped. Along the species richness gradient, we quantified functional diversity of all communities considering the similarity and dissimilarity of species in 18 traits related to habitat use and foraging. Especially species-rich communities were characterised by an overlap of species function, i.e. by functional redundancy. By comparing the functional diversity of the observed communities with functional diversity of random assemblages, we found no differences at low species richness level, whereas observed species-rich communities have lower functional diversity than respective random assemblages. Conclusions We found functional redundancy being a feature of communities also in primary habitat, what has not been shown before using such a continuous measure. The observed species richness dependent pattern of low functional

  9. Ecological Momentary Assessment of social functioning in schizophrenia: impact of performance appraisals and affect on social interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granholm, Eric; Ben-Zeev, Dror; Fulford, Daniel; Swendsen, Joel

    2013-04-01

    Research concerning the complex interplay between factors that contribute to poor social functioning in schizophrenia has been hampered by limitations of traditional measures, most notably the ecological validity and accuracy of retrospective self-report and interview measures. Computerized Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMAc) permits the real-time assessment of relationships between daily life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In the current study, EMAc was used to record daily social interactions, subjective performance appraisals of these interactions (e.g., "I succeeded/failed"; "I was liked/rejected"), and affect in 145 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Participants completed electronic questionnaires on a personal digital assistant (PDA) four times per day for one week. Time-lagged multilevel modeling of the data revealed that more positive interaction appraisals at any point in a day were associated with greater positive affect which, in turn, was a strong predictor of more social interactions over subsequent hours. Social functioning, therefore, was linked to positive performance beliefs about social interactions that were associated with greater positive affect. The findings suggest a useful treatment target for cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychosocial interventions that can be used to challenge defeatist beliefs and increase positive affect to enhance social functioning in schizophrenia. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Identification of Key Functional Residues in the Active Site of Human β1,4-Galactosyltransferase 7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talhaoui, Ibtissam; Bui, Catherine; Oriol, Rafael; Mulliert, Guillermo; Gulberti, Sandrine; Netter, Patrick; Coughtrie, Michael W. H.; Ouzzine, Mohamed; Fournel-Gigleux, Sylvie

    2010-01-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) play a central role in many pathophysiological events, and exogenous xyloside substrates of β1,4-galactosyltransferase 7 (β4GalT7), a major enzyme of GAG biosynthesis, have interesting biomedical applications. To predict functional peptide regions important for substrate binding and activity of human β4GalT7, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of the β1,4-galactosyltransferase family and generated a molecular model using the x-ray structure of Drosophila β4GalT7-UDP as template. Two evolutionary conserved motifs, 163DVD165 and 221FWGWGREDDE230, are central in the organization of the enzyme active site. This model was challenged by systematic engineering of point mutations, combined with in vitro and ex vivo functional assays. Investigation of the kinetic properties of purified recombinant wild-type β4GalT7 and selected mutants identified Trp224 as a key residue governing both donor and acceptor substrate binding. Our results also suggested the involvement of the canonical carboxylate residue Asp228 acting as general base in the reaction catalyzed by human β4GalT7. Importantly, ex vivo functional tests demonstrated that regulation of GAG synthesis is highly responsive to modification of these key active site amino acids. Interestingly, engineering mutants at position 224 allowed us to modify the affinity and to modulate the specificity of human β4GalT7 toward UDP-sugars and xyloside acceptors. Furthermore, the W224H mutant was able to sustain decorin GAG chain substitution but not GAG synthesis from exogenously added xyloside. Altogether, this study provides novel insight into human β4GalT7 active site functional domains, allowing manipulation of this enzyme critical for the regulation of GAG synthesis. A better understanding of the mechanism underlying GAG assembly paves the way toward GAG-based therapeutics. PMID:20843813

  11. Bos primigenius in Ancient Egyptian art – historical evidence for the continuity of occurrence and ecology of an extinct key species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carl Beierkuhnlein

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the habitat requirements and temporal stability of populations of extinct aurochs (Bos primigenius is surprisingly scarce. Reliable reports of this species, which by its domestication remains tremendously important for humans, are rare. As the species became extinct about 400 years ago and regionally disappeared much earlier, its behaviour and morphology are also under debate. Aurochs is also a crucial component of the mega-herbivore theory in nature conservation, but in fact its natural habitat and behaviour are unknown. Here, I report records of aurochs for the time period of Ancient Egypt. They are found in archaeological sites and literature, and in collections. Records of the species continue through all the periods of Ancient Egypt. In particular, hunting scenes illustrating the merits of high-ranking persons, in their graves (mastabas and temples, provide insights into the behaviour and ecology of the depicted game. Here, special attention is given to one outstanding hunting scene that is documented in a relief at the mortuary temple of Ramesses III (1175 BC, Medinet Habu, Egypt. Assisted by a group of hunters, the pharaoh kills three specimens of aurochs. The whole scene is stunningly realistic.  The adult specimen is fleeing towards the reed belt of the River Nile, suggesting that the species’ habitat was probably in large valley bottoms, where open grassland is regularly created by flooding. Endemic species of fish and game confirm that this scene took place in Lower Egypt. The regional populations of the North-African subspecies of aurochs probably went extinct shortly after this piece of art was produced. Records of species in ancient art can be very informative in terms of ecology and behaviour of species, especially when extinct species are addressed. In addition, the dating of old pieces of art containing biological information can be very precise, for instance when these refer to a historic personage. 

  12. An improved chaos-based secure communication technique using a novel encryption function with an embedded cipher key

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zaher, Ashraf A. [Physics Department, Science College, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, Safat 13060 (Kuwait)], E-mail: ashraf.zaher@ku.edu.kw

    2009-12-15

    In this paper, a secure communication technique, using a chaotic system with a single adjustable parameter and a single observable time series, is proposed. The chosen chaotic system, which is a variant of the famous Rikitake model, has a special structure for which the adjustable parameter appears in the dynamic equation of the observable time series. This particular structure is used to build a synchronization-based state observer that is decoupled from the adaptive parameter identifier. A local Lyapunov function is used to design the parameter identifier, with an adjustable convergence rate that guarantees the stability of the overall system. A two-channel transmission method is used to exemplify the suggested technique where the secret message is encoded using a nonlinear function of both the chaotic states and the adjustable parameter of the chaotic system that acts as a secret key. Simulations show that, at the receiver, the signal can be efficiently retrieved only if the secret key is known, even when both the receiver and the transmitter are in perfect synchronization. The proposed technique is demonstrated to have improved security and privacy against intruders, when compared to other techniques reported in the literature, while being simple to implement using both analog and digital hardware. In addition, the chosen chaotic system is shown to be flexible in accommodating the transmission of signals with variable bandwidths, which promotes the superiority and versatility of the suggested secure communication technique.

  13. An improved chaos-based secure communication technique using a novel encryption function with an embedded cipher key

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaher, Ashraf A.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, a secure communication technique, using a chaotic system with a single adjustable parameter and a single observable time series, is proposed. The chosen chaotic system, which is a variant of the famous Rikitake model, has a special structure for which the adjustable parameter appears in the dynamic equation of the observable time series. This particular structure is used to build a synchronization-based state observer that is decoupled from the adaptive parameter identifier. A local Lyapunov function is used to design the parameter identifier, with an adjustable convergence rate that guarantees the stability of the overall system. A two-channel transmission method is used to exemplify the suggested technique where the secret message is encoded using a nonlinear function of both the chaotic states and the adjustable parameter of the chaotic system that acts as a secret key. Simulations show that, at the receiver, the signal can be efficiently retrieved only if the secret key is known, even when both the receiver and the transmitter are in perfect synchronization. The proposed technique is demonstrated to have improved security and privacy against intruders, when compared to other techniques reported in the literature, while being simple to implement using both analog and digital hardware. In addition, the chosen chaotic system is shown to be flexible in accommodating the transmission of signals with variable bandwidths, which promotes the superiority and versatility of the suggested secure communication technique.

  14. Carbon dioxide and submersed macrophytes in lakes: linking functional ecology to community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titus, John E; Pagano, Angela M

    2017-12-01

    Evaluating plant community response to atmospheric CO 2 rise is critical to predicting ecosystem level change. Freshwater lakes offer a model system for examining CO 2 effects as submersed macrophyte species differ greatly in their growth responses to CO 2 enrichment, and free CO 2 concentrations among these habitats show a wide range of natural, spatial variation. We determined free CO 2 concentrations in the water column and sediment porewater in littoral zones with pH macrophyte communities coupled with greenhouse-derived growth responses to CO 2 enrichment of constituent species to test two hypotheses: (1) CCRI, which is higher for communities dominated by species with greater growth responses to CO 2 enrichment, is positively correlated to free [CO 2 ] in the water column, and (2) in natural communities, the percent of sediment CO 2 -using species, which are relatively unresponsive to CO 2 enrichment, is negatively correlated to free [CO 2 ]. A significant positive correlation (P = 0.003) between our physiologically based CCRI and the concentration of free CO 2 in the water column supported our primary hypothesis that sites with higher levels of free CO 2 are dominated by species with greater growth responses to CO 2 enrichment. Our CCRI is also highly significantly correlated (P macrophyte community composition. Further, we demonstrate the utility of a physiologically-based index of community composition, our CCRI, as an ecologically valid measure of community response to CO 2 . © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Functional Redundancy and Ecological Innovation Shape the Circulation of Tick-Transmitted Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustín Estrada-Peña

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ticks are vectors of pathogens affecting human and animal health worldwide. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary interactions between ticks, hosts, and pathogens are largely unknown. Here, we integrated a framework to evaluate the associations of the tick Ixodes ricinus with its hosts and environmental niches that impact pathogen circulation. The analysis of tick-hosts association suggested that mammals and lizards were the ancestral hosts of this tick species, and that a leap to Aves occurred around 120 M years ago. The signature of the environmental variables over the host's phylogeny revealed the existence of two clades of vertebrates diverging along a temperature and vegetation split. This is a robust proof that the tick probably experienced a colonization of new niches by adapting to a large set of new hosts, Aves. Interestingly, the colonization of Aves as hosts did not increase significantly the ecological niche of I. ricinus, but remarkably Aves are super-spreaders of pathogens. The disparate contribution of Aves to the tick-host-pathogen networks revealed that I. ricinus evolved to maximize habitat overlap with some hosts that are super-spreaders of pathogens. These results supported the hypothesis that large host networks are not a requirement of tick survival but pathogen circulation. The biological cost of tick adaptation to non-optimal environmental conditions might be balanced by molecular mechanisms triggered by the pathogens that we have only begun to understand.

  16. Trade-offs between seed and leaf size (seed-phytomer-leaf theory): functional glue linking regenerative with life history strategies … and taxonomy with ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, John G; Santini, Bianca A; Montserrat Marti, Gabriel; Royo Pla, Ferran; Jones, Glynis; Bogaard, Amy; Charles, Mike; Font, Xavier; Ater, Mohammed; Taleb, Abdelkader; Poschlod, Peter; Hmimsa, Younes; Palmer, Carol; Wilson, Peter J; Band, Stuart R; Styring, Amy; Diffey, Charlotte; Green, Laura; Nitsch, Erika; Stroud, Elizabeth; Romo-Díez, Angel; de Torres Espuny, Lluis; Warham, Gemma

    2017-11-10

    While the 'worldwide leaf economics spectrum' (Wright IJ, Reich PB, Westoby M, et al. 2004. The worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Nature : 821-827) defines mineral nutrient relationships in plants, no unifying functional consensus links size attributes. Here, the focus is upon leaf size, a much-studied plant trait that scales positively with habitat quality and components of plant size. The objective is to show that this wide range of relationships is explicable in terms of a seed-phytomer-leaf (SPL) theoretical model defining leaf size in terms of trade-offs involving the size, growth rate and number of the building blocks (phytomers) of which the young shoot is constructed. Functional data for 2400+ species and English and Spanish vegetation surveys were used to explore interrelationships between leaf area, leaf width, canopy height, seed mass and leaf dry matter content (LDMC). Leaf area was a consistent function of canopy height, LDMC and seed mass. Additionally, size traits are partially uncoupled. First, broad laminas help confer competitive exclusion while morphologically large leaves can, through dissection, be functionally small. Secondly, leaf size scales positively with plant size but many of the largest-leaved species are of medium height with basally supported leaves. Thirdly, photosynthetic stems may represent a functionally viable alternative to 'small seeds + large leaves' in disturbed, fertile habitats and 'large seeds + small leaves' in infertile ones. Although key elements defining the juvenile growth phase remain unmeasured, our results broadly support SPL theory in that phytometer and leaf size are a product of the size of the initial shoot meristem (≅ seed mass) and the duration and quality of juvenile growth. These allometrically constrained traits combine to confer ecological specialization on individual species. Equally, they appear conservatively expressed within major taxa. Thus, 'evolutionary canalization' sensu Stebbins (Stebbins GL

  17. A self administered executive functions ecological questionnaire (the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version shows impaired scores in a sample of patients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei Szöke

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Subjective measurements of cognition have seldom been used in schizophrenia. This is mainly due to the assumption that such measurements lack sensitivity in a disorder characterized by poor insight. We investigated the capacity of BRIEF-A (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version: a self-administered, ecological questionnaire to identify executive deficits in adults with schizophrenia. The global score and each domain-specific score was significantly lower in patients than in healthy controls. BRIEF-A could be a useful complement to objective measurements, providing a subjective assessment of everyday consequences of executive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia.

  18. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  19. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  20. A real-life, ecologically valid test of executive functioning : The executive secretarial task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamberts, Kirsten F.; Evans, Jonathan J.; Spikman, Jacoba M.

    2010-01-01

    A major goal of neuropsychological assessment is predicting a person's level of functioning in daily life. Making predictions about everyday executive functioning based on tests is problematic because of the contrast between demands made in the test environment and demands made in everyday life

  1. Identification and functional analysis of delta-9 desaturase, a key enzyme in PUFA Synthesis, isolated from the oleaginous diatom Fistulifera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaki Muto

    Full Text Available Oleaginous microalgae are one of the promising resource of nonedible biodiesel fuel (BDF feed stock alternatives. Now a challenge task is the decrease of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs content affecting on the BDF oxidative stability by using gene manipulation techniques. However, only the limited knowledge has been available concerning the fatty acid and PUFA synthesis pathways in microalgae. Especially, the function of Δ9 desaturase, which is a key enzyme in PUFA synthesis pathway, has not been determined in diatom. In this study, 4 Δ(9 desaturase genes (fD9desA, fD9desB, fD9desC and fD9desD from the oleaginous diatom Fistulifera were newly isolated and functionally characterized. The putative Δ(9 acyl-CoA desaturases in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER showed 3 histidine clusters that are well-conserved motifs in the typical Δ(9 desaturase. Furthermore, the function of these Δ(9 desaturases was confirmed in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ole1 gene deletion mutant (Δole1. All the putative Δ(9 acyl-CoA desaturases showed Δ(9 desaturation activity for C16∶0 fatty acids; fD9desA and fD9desB also showed desaturation activity for C18∶0 fatty acids. This study represents the first functional analysis of Δ(9 desaturases from oleaginous microalgae and from diatoms as the first enzyme to introduce a double bond in saturated fatty acids during PUFA synthesis. The findings will provide beneficial insights into applying metabolic engineering processes to suppressing PUFA synthesis in this oleaginous microalgal strain.

  2. Identification and functional analysis of delta-9 desaturase, a key enzyme in PUFA Synthesis, isolated from the oleaginous diatom Fistulifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muto, Masaki; Kubota, Chihiro; Tanaka, Masayoshi; Satoh, Akira; Matsumoto, Mitsufumi; Yoshino, Tomoko; Tanaka, Tsuyoshi

    2013-01-01

    Oleaginous microalgae are one of the promising resource of nonedible biodiesel fuel (BDF) feed stock alternatives. Now a challenge task is the decrease of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) content affecting on the BDF oxidative stability by using gene manipulation techniques. However, only the limited knowledge has been available concerning the fatty acid and PUFA synthesis pathways in microalgae. Especially, the function of Δ9 desaturase, which is a key enzyme in PUFA synthesis pathway, has not been determined in diatom. In this study, 4 Δ(9) desaturase genes (fD9desA, fD9desB, fD9desC and fD9desD) from the oleaginous diatom Fistulifera were newly isolated and functionally characterized. The putative Δ(9) acyl-CoA desaturases in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) showed 3 histidine clusters that are well-conserved motifs in the typical Δ(9) desaturase. Furthermore, the function of these Δ(9) desaturases was confirmed in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ole1 gene deletion mutant (Δole1). All the putative Δ(9) acyl-CoA desaturases showed Δ(9) desaturation activity for C16∶0 fatty acids; fD9desA and fD9desB also showed desaturation activity for C18∶0 fatty acids. This study represents the first functional analysis of Δ(9) desaturases from oleaginous microalgae and from diatoms as the first enzyme to introduce a double bond in saturated fatty acids during PUFA synthesis. The findings will provide beneficial insights into applying metabolic engineering processes to suppressing PUFA synthesis in this oleaginous microalgal strain.

  3. Does Your Terrestrial Model Capture Key Arctic-Boreal Relationships?: Functional Benchmarks in the ABoVE Model Benchmarking System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stofferahn, E.; Fisher, J. B.; Hayes, D. J.; Schwalm, C. R.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Hantson, W.

    2017-12-01

    The Arctic-Boreal Region (ABR) is a major source of uncertainties for terrestrial biosphere model (TBM) simulations. These uncertainties are precipitated by a lack of observational data from the region, affecting the parameterizations of cold environment processes in the models. Addressing these uncertainties requires a coordinated effort of data collection and integration of the following key indicators of the ABR ecosystem: disturbance, vegetation / ecosystem structure and function, carbon pools and biogeochemistry, permafrost, and hydrology. We are continuing to develop the model-data integration framework for NASA's Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), wherein data collection is driven by matching observations and model outputs to the ABoVE indicators via the ABoVE Grid and Projection. The data are used as reference datasets for a benchmarking system which evaluates TBM performance with respect to ABR processes. The benchmarking system utilizes two types of performance metrics to identify model strengths and weaknesses: standard metrics, based on the International Land Model Benchmarking (ILaMB) system, which relate a single observed variable to a single model output variable, and functional benchmarks, wherein the relationship of one variable to one or more variables (e.g. the dependence of vegetation structure on snow cover, the dependence of active layer thickness (ALT) on air temperature and snow cover) is ascertained in both observations and model outputs. This in turn provides guidance to model development teams for reducing uncertainties in TBM simulations of the ABR.

  4. Daily functioning profile of children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder: A pilot study using an ecological assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, Sara; Frisch, Carmit; Deutsh-Castel, Tsofia; Josman, Naomi

    2015-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often present with activities of daily living (ADL) performance deficits. This study aimed to compare the performance characteristics of children with ADHD to those of controls based on the Do-Eat assessment tool, and to establish the tool's validity. Participants were 23 children with ADHD and 24 matched controls, aged 6-9 years. In addition to the Do-Eat, the Children Activity Scale-Parent (ChAS-P) and the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) were used to measure sensorimotor abilities and executive function (EF). Significant differences were found in the Do-Eat scores between children with ADHD and controls. Significant moderate correlations were found between the Do-Eat sensorimotor scores, the ChAS-P and the BRIEF scores in the ADHD group. Significant correlations were found between performance on the Do-Eat and the ChAS-P questionnaire scores, verifying the tool's ecological validity. A single discriminant function described primarily by four Do-Eat variables, correctly classified 95.5% of the study participants into their respective study groups, establishing the tool's predictive validity within this population. These preliminary findings indicate that the Do-Eat may serve as a reliable and valid tool that provides insight into the daily functioning characteristics of children with ADHD. However, further research on larger samples is indicated.

  5. Ecological state of the Rance marine basin after 30 years of functioning of the tidal power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Retiere, Ch.; Desroy, N.; Bonnot-Courtois, C.; Le Mao, P.

    1997-01-01

    The Rance basin on the Brittany coast (France) is the unique site in the world where the long term ecological impacts of the functioning of a tidal power plant can be evaluated. Two aspects are distinguished: the consequences due to the building the plant and those due to the functioning of the plant. During the building of the barrage which lasted 3 years, the estuary was isolated from the sea and led to an increase of sedimentation and organic matter and to important variations of the water salinity. Thus the whole marine flora and fauna disappeared. Today, the operation of the plant has changed the rhythm and amplitude of the tide inside the basin. Ten to fifteen years were necessary for the marine fauna and flora to recover a new equilibrium inside the basin after the plant was built. The functioning of the new ecosystem is governed by the relationship between species independently of the initial perturbation and its equilibrium is based on the regular functioning of the plant. (J.S.)

  6. Marine Ecological Environment Management Based on Ecological Compensation Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qunzhen Qu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The level of marine environmental management is a key factor in the successful implementation of marine power strategies. The improvement in management levels of marine environments requires innovation in marine management. In other words, the transformation of marine environmental management into marine ecological environment management must be done in order to achieve sustainable development of the marine economy. As an environmental economic policy that combines both administrative and market measures, ecological compensation mechanisms have significant advantages in marine ecological environment management. Based on the study of the current development of ecological compensation mechanisms in China, through the analysis of the connotation of marine ecological civilization, existing marine ecological protection practices and marine environmental management methods, this paper posits that the current marine ecological environment management in China should be established on the basis of ecological compensation mechanisms. At present, a lack of laws and regulations for overall marine ecological environment management is the key factor restricting the practice of marine ecological environment management. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the current path of marine ecological environment management in China from the perspective of the construction of legal system of ecological compensation law, the establishment of ecological compensation fees, ecological taxes and ecological compensation fund systems, and the clear status for a marine ecological management and supervision body.

  7. The leukemia-specific fusion gene ETV6/RUNX1 perturbs distinct key biological functions primarily by gene repression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerhard Fuka

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: ETV6/RUNX1 (E/R (also known as TEL/AML1 is the most frequent gene fusion in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL and also most likely the crucial factor for disease initiation; its role in leukemia propagation and maintenance, however, remains largely elusive. To address this issue we performed a shRNA-mediated knock-down (KD of the E/R fusion gene and investigated the ensuing consequences on genome-wide gene expression patterns and deducible regulatory functions in two E/R-positive leukemic cell lines. FINDINGS: Microarray analyses identified 777 genes whose expression was substantially altered. Although approximately equal proportions were either up- (KD-UP or down-regulated (KD-DOWN, the effects on biological processes and pathways differed considerably. The E/R KD-UP set was significantly enriched for genes included in the "cell activation", "immune response", "apoptosis", "signal transduction" and "development and differentiation" categories, whereas in the E/R KD-DOWN set only the "PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling" and "hematopoietic stem cells" categories became evident. Comparable expression signatures obtained from primary E/R-positive ALL samples underline the relevance of these pathways and molecular functions. We also validated six differentially expressed genes representing the categories "stem cell properties", "B-cell differentiation", "immune response", "cell adhesion" and "DNA damage" with RT-qPCR. CONCLUSION: Our analyses provide the first preliminary evidence that the continuous expression of the E/R fusion gene interferes with key regulatory functions that shape the biology of this leukemia subtype. E/R may thus indeed constitute the essential driving force for the propagation and maintenance of the leukemic process irrespective of potential consequences of associated secondary changes. Finally, these findings may also provide a valuable source of potentially attractive therapeutic targets.

  8. Ecology of testate amoebae in an Amazonian peatland and development of a transfer function for palaeohydrological reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swindles, Graeme T; Reczuga, Monika; Lamentowicz, Mariusz; Raby, Cassandra L; Turner, T Edward; Charman, Dan J; Gallego-Sala, Angela; Valderrama, Elvis; Williams, Christopher; Draper, Frederick; Honorio Coronado, Euridice N; Roucoux, Katherine H; Baker, Tim; Mullan, Donal J

    2014-08-01

    Tropical peatlands represent globally important carbon sinks with a unique biodiversity and are currently threatened by climate change and human activities. It is now imperative that proxy methods are developed to understand the ecohydrological dynamics of these systems and for testing peatland development models. Testate amoebae have been used as environmental indicators in ecological and palaeoecological studies of peatlands, primarily in ombrotrophic Sphagnum-dominated peatlands in the mid- and high-latitudes. We present the first ecological analysis of testate amoebae in a tropical peatland, a nutrient-poor domed bog in western (Peruvian) Amazonia. Litter samples were collected from different hydrological microforms (hummock to pool) along a transect from the edge to the interior of the peatland. We recorded 47 taxa from 21 genera. The most common taxa are Cryptodifflugia oviformis, Euglypha rotunda type, Phryganella acropodia, Pseudodifflugia fulva type and Trinema lineare. One species found only in the southern hemisphere, Argynnia spicata, is present. Arcella spp., Centropyxis aculeata and Lesqueresia spiralis are indicators of pools containing standing water. Canonical correspondence analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling illustrate that water table depth is a significant control on the distribution of testate amoebae, similar to the results from mid- and high-latitude peatlands. A transfer function model for water table based on weighted averaging partial least-squares (WAPLS) regression is presented and performs well under cross-validation (r(2)(apparent)= 0.76, RMSE = 4.29; r(2)(jack)= 0.68, RMSEP =5.18). The transfer function was applied to a 1-m peat core, and sample-specific reconstruction errors were generated using bootstrapping. The reconstruction generally suggests near-surface water tables over the last 3,000 years, with a shift to drier conditions at c. cal. 1218-1273 AD.

  9. Plankton food-web functioning in anthropogenically impacted coastal waters (SW Mediterranean Sea): An ecological network analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meddeb, Marouan; Grami, Boutheïna; Chaalali, Aurélie; Haraldsson, Matilda; Niquil, Nathalie; Pringault, Olivier; Sakka Hlaili, Asma

    2018-03-01

    The study is the first attempt to (i) model spring food webs in three SW Mediterranean ecosystems which are under different anthropogenic pressures and (ii) to project the consequence of this stress on their function. Linear inverse models were built using the Monte Carlo method coupled with Markov Chains to characterize the food-web status of the Lagoon, the Channel (inshore waters under high eutrophication and chemical contamination) and the Bay of Bizerte (offshore waters under less anthropogenic pressure). Ecological network analysis was used for the description of structural and functional properties of each food web and for inter-ecosystem comparisons. Our results showed that more carbon was produced by phytoplankton in the inshore waters (966-1234 mg C m-2 d-1) compared to the Bay (727 mg C m-2 d-1). The total ecosystem carbon inputs into the three food webs was supported by high primary production, which was mainly due to >10 μm algae. However, the three carbon pathways were characterized by low detritivory and a high herbivory which was mainly assigned to protozooplankton. This latter was efficient in channelling biogenic carbon. In the Lagoon and the Channel, foods webs acted almost as a multivorous structure with a tendency towards herbivorous one, whereas in the Bay the herbivorous pathway was more dominant. Ecological indices revealed that the Lagoon and the Channel food webs/systems had high total system throughput and thus were more active than the Bay. The Bay food web, which had a high relative ascendency value, was more organized and specialized. This inter-ecosystem difference could be due to the varying levels of anthropogenic impact among sites. Indeed, the low value of Finn's cycling index indicated that the three systems are disturbed, but the Lagoon and the Channel, with low average path lengths, appeared to be more stressed, as both sites have undergone higher chemical pollution and nutrient loading. This study shows that ecosystem models

  10. STIM1 as a key regulator for Ca2+ homeostasis in skeletal-muscle development and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiviluoto Santeri

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Stromal interaction molecules (STIM were identified as the endoplasmic-reticulum (ER Ca2+ sensor controlling store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE and Ca2+-release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC channels in non-excitable cells. STIM proteins target Orai1-3, tetrameric Ca2+-permeable channels in the plasma membrane. Structure-function analysis revealed the molecular determinants and the key steps in the activation process of Orai by STIM. Recently, STIM1 was found to be expressed at high levels in skeletal muscle controlling muscle function and properties. Novel STIM targets besides Orai channels are emerging. Here, we will focus on the role of STIM1 in skeletal-muscle structure, development and function. The molecular mechanism underpinning skeletal-muscle physiology points toward an essential role for STIM1-controlled SOCE to drive Ca2+/calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT-dependent morphogenetic remodeling programs and to support adequate sarcoplasmic-reticulum (SR Ca2+-store filling. Also in our hands, STIM1 is transiently up-regulated during the initial phase of in vitro myogenesis of C2C12 cells. The molecular targets of STIM1 in these cells likely involve Orai channels and canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC channels TRPC1 and TRPC3. The fast kinetics of SOCE activation in skeletal muscle seem to depend on the triad-junction formation, favoring a pre-localization and/or pre-formation of STIM1-protein complexes with the plasma-membrane Ca2+-influx channels. Moreover, Orai1-mediated Ca2+ influx seems to be essential for controlling the resting Ca2+ concentration and for proper SR Ca2+ filling. Hence, Ca2+ influx through STIM1-dependent activation of SOCE from the T-tubule system may recycle extracellular Ca2+ losses during muscle stimulation, thereby maintaining proper filling of the SR Ca2+ stores and muscle function. Importantly, mouse models for dystrophic pathologies, like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, point towards an

  11. Functionally-ecological role of biodiversity of small rodents population to ionizing radiation response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grigorkina, E.B.; Olenev, G.V.; Tarasov, O.V.

    2014-01-01

    Full text : In the present work it is aimed to show the results of investigations of radioresistance and biological effects of acute irradiation in laboratory experiment and the specific rate of 90Sr accumulation in the bone tissue of rodents of alternative types of ontogeny development. It is used the functional ontogeny approach, which supposes to divide natural population of mice and voles into groups of individuals with the same functional status and with the uniform patterns of growth or maturation rate as well as whether they participate in reproduction

  12. Functional ecology of saltglands in shorebirds: flexible responses to variable environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutiérrez, J.S.; Dietz, M.W.; Masero, J.A.; Gill, R.E.; Dekinga, A.; Battley, P.F.; Sánchez-Guzmán, J.M.; Piersma, T.

    2012-01-01

    1. Birds of marine environments have specialized glands to excrete salt, the saltglands. Located on the skull between the eyes, the size of these organs is expected to reflect their demand, which will vary with water turnover rates as a function of environmental (heat load, salinity of prey and

  13. Urban ecological stewardship: understanding the structure, function and network of community-based urban land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika s. Svendsen; Lindsay K. Campbell

    2008-01-01

    Urban environmental stewardship activities are on the rise in cities throughout the Northeast. Groups participating in stewardship activities range in age, size, and geography and represent an increasingly complex and dynamic arrangement of civil society, government and business sectors. To better understand the structure, function and network of these community-based...

  14. Ecological-network models link diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alelio, Domenico; Libralato, Simone; Wyatt, Timothy; Ribera D'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2016-02-01

    A planktonic food-web model including sixty-three functional nodes (representing auto- mixo- and heterotrophs) was developed to integrate most trophic diversity present in the plankton. The model was implemented in two variants - which we named ‘green’ and ‘blue’ - characterized by opposite amounts of phytoplankton biomass and representing, respectively, bloom and non-bloom states of the system. Taxonomically disaggregated food-webs described herein allowed to shed light on how components of the plankton community changed their trophic behavior in the two different conditions, and modified the overall functioning of the plankton food web. The green and blue food-webs showed distinct organizations in terms of trophic roles of the nodes and carbon fluxes between them. Such re-organization stemmed from switches in selective grazing by both metazoan and protozoan consumers. Switches in food-web structure resulted in relatively small differences in the efficiency of material transfer towards higher trophic levels. For instance, from green to blue states, a seven-fold decrease in phytoplankton biomass translated into only a two-fold decrease in potential planktivorous fish biomass. By linking diversity, structure and function in the plankton food-web, we discuss the role of internal mechanisms, relying on species-specific functionalities, in driving the ‘adaptive’ responses of plankton communities to perturbations.

  15. A functional method for classifying European grasslands for use in joint ecological and economic studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hodgson, JG; Montserrat-Marti, G; Cerabolini, B; Ceriani, RM; Maestro-Martinez, M; Peco, B; Wilson, PJ; Thompson, K; Grime, JP; Band, SR; Bogard, A; Castro-Diez, P; Charles, M; Jones, G; Perez-Rontome, MC; Caccianiga, M; Alard, D; Bakker, JP; Cornelissen, JHC; Dutoit, T; Grootjans, AP; Guerrero-Campo, J; Gupta, PL; Hynd, A; Kahmen, S; Poschlod, P; Romo-Diez, A; Rorison, IH; Rosen, E; Schreiber, KF; Tallowin, J; Espuny, LD; Villar-Salvador, P

    2005-01-01

    A simple protocol is presented for a functional classification of European grassland species using attributes that can be quickly and easily measured. These attributes relate to habitat fertility, intensity of grazing and disturbance. As a surrogate for habitat fertility we use leaf nitrogen

  16. Functional ecology of saltglands in shorebirds : flexible responses to variable environmental conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutierrez, Jorge S.; Dietz, Maurine W.; Masero, Jose A.; Gill, Robert E.; Dekinga, Anne; Battley, Phil F.; Sanchez-Guzman, Juan M.; Piersma, Theunis; Dawson, Alistair

    1. Birds of marine environments have specialized glands to excrete salt, the saltglands. Located on the skull between the eyes, the size of these organs is expected to reflect their demand, which will vary with water turnover rates as a function of environmental (heat load, salinity of prey and

  17. Functional ecology of advance regeneration in relation to light in boreal forests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Messier, C.; Claveau, Y.; Kelly, C. [Quebec Univ., Montreal, PQ (Canada); Doucet, R. [Quebec Ministere des Ressources Naturelles, Ste. Foy, PQ (Canada); Ruel, J.C. [Laval Univ., Quebec, PQ (Canada); Lechowicz, M.J. [McGill Univ., Montreal, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    1999-06-01

    A comparative and functional approach is adopted that stresses the morphological and physiological qualities that may favor greater or lesser capacity to grow in the shaded understory. The current understanding of the functional basis for variation in the shade tolerance of the main boreal trees is reviewed, and a consideration is given to how shade tolerance is linked to the ability to respond effectively to small canopy openings. The most commercially important shade tolerant conifers in the boreal forests of North America are concentrated on including: balsam fir, black spruce, and white spruce. The functional basis of shade tolerance and competition among boreal trees are examined for understanding, by comparing these species to their most important shade intolerant counterparts: jack pine, lodgepole pine, trembling aspen, and paper birch. The functional basis for growth and survival of established seedlings and saplings up to pole size are stressed. The ability of boreal tree genera to grow and survive in shade up to pole size depends on the functional responses of saplings to the changing biotic and abiotic variables in the understory as overstory canopy changes over time. At the leaf level, the only consistent differences among boreal tree genera are in specific leaf mass and maximum photosynthetic capacity. At the shoot and crown levels, clear structural differences exist among conifer tree genera. Shoot and crown structural traits exhibit most plasticity in relation to light availability for firs and least for pines. At the whole-plant level, shade intolerant tree species such as pines tend to be more affected by shading than shade tolerant ones. Considering these main qualities, a framework is advanced for determining advance regeneration in sapling performance that relates interspecific differences in crown structural plasticity, growth strategies, and light requirements as size increases with the size and frequency of canopy gaps. Fir and spruce co

  18. The ecological law and ecological human rights: to the question on necessity of formation

    OpenAIRE

    Khvorostov A. J.

    2012-01-01

    Necessity of the ecological law is determined by presence of ecological crisis and formed at formation of ecological function of the state. Ecological human rights and the citizen are natural human rights, however should be legally fixed and guaranteed by the state. The further functioning of a society is impossible without observance of norms of the ecological law and ecological human rights.

  19. AMP-activated kinase in human spermatozoa: identification, intracellular localization, and key function in the regulation of sperm motility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Violeta Calle-Guisado

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available AMP-activated kinase (AMPK, a protein that regulates energy balance and metabolism, has recently been identified in boar spermatozoa where regulates key functional sperm processes essential for fertilization. This work′s aims are AMPK identification, intracellular localization, and their role in human spermatozoa function. Semen was obtained from healthy human donors. Sperm AMPK and phospho-Thr172-AMPK were analyzed by Western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence. High- and low-quality sperm populations were separated by a 40%-80% density gradient. Human spermatozoa motility was evaluated by an Integrated Semen Analysis System (ISAS in the presence or absence of the AMPK inhibitor compound C (CC. AMPK is localized along the human spermatozoa, at the entire acrosome, midpiece and tail with variable intensity, whereas its active form, phospho-Thr172-AMPK, shows a prominent staining at the acrosome and sperm tail with a weaker staining in the midpiece and the postacrosomal region. Interestingly, spermatozoa bearing an excess residual cytoplasm show strong AMPK staining in this subcellular compartment. Both AMPK and phospho-Thr172-AMPK human spermatozoa contents exhibit important individual variations. Moreover, active AMPK is predominant in the high motility sperm population, where shows a stronger intensity compared with the low motility sperm population. Inhibition of AMPK activity in human spermatozoa by CC treatment leads to a significant reduction in any sperm motility parameter analyzed: percent of motile sperm, sperm velocities, progressivity, and other motility coefficients. This work identifies and points out AMPK as a new molecular mechanism involved in human spermatozoa motility. Further AMPK implications in the clinical efficiency of assisted reproduction and in other reproductive areas need to be studied.

  20. AMP-activated kinase in human spermatozoa: identification, intracellular localization, and key function in the regulation of sperm motility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle-Guisado, Violeta; de Llera, Ana Hurtado; Martin-Hidalgo, David; Mijares, Jose; Gil, Maria C; Alvarez, Ignacio S; Bragado, Maria J; Garcia-Marin, Luis J

    2017-01-01

    AMP-activated kinase (AMPK), a protein that regulates energy balance and metabolism, has recently been identified in boar spermatozoa where regulates key functional sperm processes essential for fertilization. This work's aims are AMPK identification, intracellular localization, and their role in human spermatozoa function. Semen was obtained from healthy human donors. Sperm AMPK and phospho-Thr172-AMPK were analyzed by Western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence. High- and low-quality sperm populations were separated by a 40%–80% density gradient. Human spermatozoa motility was evaluated by an Integrated Semen Analysis System (ISAS) in the presence or absence of the AMPK inhibitor compound C (CC). AMPK is localized along the human spermatozoa, at the entire acrosome, midpiece and tail with variable intensity, whereas its active form, phospho-Thr172-AMPK, shows a prominent staining at the acrosome and sperm tail with a weaker staining in the midpiece and the postacrosomal region. Interestingly, spermatozoa bearing an excess residual cytoplasm show strong AMPK staining in this subcellular compartment. Both AMPK and phospho-Thr172-AMPK human spermatozoa contents exhibit important individual variations. Moreover, active AMPK is predominant in the high motility sperm population, where shows a stronger intensity compared with the low motility sperm population. Inhibition of AMPK activity in human spermatozoa by CC treatment leads to a significant reduction in any sperm motility parameter analyzed: percent of motile sperm, sperm velocities, progressivity, and other motility coefficients. This work identifies and points out AMPK as a new molecular mechanism involved in human spermatozoa motility. Further AMPK implications in the clinical efficiency of assisted reproduction and in other reproductive areas need to be studied. PMID:27678462

  1. Cabinet of Curiosities: Venom Systems and Their Ecological Function in Mammals, with a Focus on Primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode-Margono, Johanna E; Nekaris, K Anne-Isola

    2015-07-17

    Venom delivery systems (VDS) are common in the animal kingdom, but rare amongst mammals. New definitions of venom allow us to reconsider its diversity amongst mammals by reviewing the VDS of Chiroptera, Eulipotyphla, Monotremata, and Primates. All orders use modified anterior dentition as the venom delivery apparatus, except Monotremata, which possesses a crural system. The venom gland in most taxa is a modified submaxillary salivary gland. In Primates, the saliva is activated when combined with brachial gland exudate. In Monotremata, the crural spur contains the venom duct. Venom functions include feeding, intraspecific competition, anti-predator defense and parasite defense. Including mammals in discussion of venom evolution could prove vital in our understanding protein functioning in mammals and provide a new avenue for biomedical and therapeutic applications and drug discovery.

  2. Differences in ecological structure, function, and native species abundance between native and invaded Hawaiian streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tara Holitzki; Richard A. MacKenzie; Tracy N. Wiegner; Karla J. McDermid

    2013-01-01

    Poeciliids, one of the most invasive species worldwide, are found on almost every continent and have been identified as an ‘‘invasive species of concern’’ in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. Despite their global prevalence, few studies have quantified their impacts on tropical stream ecosystem structure, function, and biodiversity. Utilizing Hawaiian...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Functional ecology of soil microbial communities along a glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Martínez, Miguel A; Pointing, Stephen B; Pérez-Ortega, Sergio; Arróniz-Crespo, María; Green, T G Allan; Rozzi, Ricardo; Sancho, Leopoldo G; de Los Ríos, Asunción

    2016-09-01

    A previously established chronosequence from Pia Glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile) containing soils of different ages (from bare soils to forest ones) is analyzed. We used this chronosequence as framework to postulate that microbial successional development would be accompanied by changes in functionality. To test this, the GeoChip functional microarray was used to identify diversity of genes involved in microbial carbon and nitrogen metabolism, as well as other genes related to microbial stress response and biotic interactions. Changes in putative functionality generally reflected succession-related taxonomic composition of soil microbiota. Major shifts in carbon fixation and catabolism were observed, as well as major changes in nitrogen metabolism. At initial microbial dominated succession stages, microorganisms could be mainly involved in pathways that help to increase nutrient availability, while more complex microbial transformations such as denitrification and methanogenesis, and later degradation of complex organic substrates, could be more prevalent at vegetated successional states. Shifts in virus populations broadly reflected changes in microbial diversity. Conversely, stress response pathways appeared relatively well conserved for communities along the entire chronosequence. We conclude that nutrient utilization is likely the major driver of microbial succession in these soils. [Int Microbiol 19(3):161-173 (2016)]. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  5. The C8 side chain is one of the key functional group of Garcinol for its anti-cancer effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xin-Ying; Cao, Jing; Han, Chao-Ming; Li, Shu-Wen; Zhang, Chen; Du, Yin-Duan; Zhou, Qian-Qian; Zhang, Xin-Yan; Chen, Xin

    2017-04-01

    Garcinol from the fruit rind of Garcinia indica shows anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties, but its mechanism and key functional groups were still need to be identified. Our previous computer modeling suggested that the C8 side chain of Garcinol is so large that it may influence the bioactivity of the compound. 8-Me Garcinol, a derivative of Garcinol in which the bulky side chain at the C8 position of Garcinol is replaced with a much smaller methyl group, was synthesized through a 12-step procedure starting from 1,3-cyclohexanedione. The antitumor activity of Garcinol and 8-Me Garcinol was evaluated in vitro by MTT, cell cycle and cell apoptosis assays. The results showed that 8-Me Garcinol had weaker inhibitory activity on cells proliferation, and little effects on cell cycle and apoptosis in oral cancer cell line SCC15 cells when compared with Garcinol. All of the results indicated 8-Me Garcinol exerts weaker antitumor activity than Garcinol, and the C8 side chain might be an important active site in Garcinol. Changing the C8 side chain will affect the inhibitory effect of Garcinol. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 城市生态网络功能性连接辨识方法%Identifying and evaluating functional connectivity for building urban ecological networks

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈春娣; Meurk D. Colin; Ignatieva E. Maria; Stewart H. Glenn; 吴胜军

    2015-01-01

    城市生态网络是景观生态学应用领域研究的热点和重点之一,识别、评估生境之间的连接是构建生态网络的关键环节。在总结已有连接辨识方法的基础上,提出采用最小费用模型和图论分析相结合的方法,探讨功能性连接的辨识和优先恢复途径。以新西兰基督城为案例,分别利用景观发展强度指数建立阻力面,新西兰鸡毛松( Dacrycarpus dacrydioides)种子最大传播距离作为连接阈值来模拟、评价网络连接。结果表明:在1200 m 距离阈值下,共有408条连接,其重要性分为10类。其中Richmond—Petrie公园,Hansons—Auburn保护地,Centaurus公园—King George保护地是整个生态网络的关键连接;若去除,景观整体连接度将下降31.73%。此外,研究发现连接重要值与两端的源面积之和没有显著相关性,即面积大的源斑块之间的连接不一定对网络构建起关键作用,这一结论还有待进一步证明。针对缺少动物迁移资料的城市环境,改进最小费用模型和网络连接分析的部分参数;可操作性与实用性强,对中国城市区域生态恢复建设、栖息地选择具有借鉴意义。%With rapid urbanization and industrialization, habitat fragmentation and loss are inevitable. Under these circumstances, landscape connectivity and ecological networks have become a focus of applied landscape ecology. A well-connected ecological network is believed to facilitate energy and resource fluxes, species dispersal, genetic exchange and multiple other ecological processes, and to contribute to the maintenance of ecosystem stability and integrity. Identifying and evaluating functional connectivity between habitat patches is the key step in designing and building well-connected ecological networks. Based on a review of literature on linkage identification approaches, our study combined least-cost path modeling with graph-theory based network analysis to simulate, identify

  7. The multiscale classification system and grid encoding mode of ecological land in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Liu, Aixia; Lin, Yifan

    2017-10-01

    Ecological land provides goods and services that have direct or indirect benefic to eco-environment and human welfare. In recent years, researches on ecological land have become important in the field of land changes and ecosystem management. In the study, a multi-scale classification scheme of ecological land was developed for land management based on combination of the land-use classification and the ecological function zoning in China, including eco-zone, eco-region, eco-district, land ecosystem, and ecological land-use type. The geographical spatial unit leads toward greater homogeneity from macro to micro scale. The term "ecological land-use type" is the smallest one, being important to maintain the key ecological processes in land ecosystem. Ecological land-use type was categorized into main-functional and multi-functional ecological land-use type according to its ecological function attributes and production function attributes. Main-functional type was defined as one kind of land-use type mainly providing ecological goods and function attributes, such as river, lake, swampland, shoaly land, glacier and snow, while multi-functional type not only providing ecological goods and function attributes but also productive goods and function attributes, such as arable land, forestry land, and grassland. Furthermore, a six-level grid encoding mode was proposed for modern management of ecological land and data update under cadastral encoding. The six-level irregular grid encoding from macro to micro scale included eco-zone, eco-region, eco-district, cadastral area, land ecosystem, land ownership type, ecological land-use type, and parcel. Besides, the methodologies on ecosystem management were discussed for integrated management of natural resources in China.

  8. Community structure and ecological function of deep-water sponge grounds in the Traenadypet MPA—Northern Norwegian continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutti, Tina; Bannister, Raymond John; Fosså, Jan Helge

    2013-10-01

    Sponges within the 300 km2 Trænadypet coral MPA (Marine Protected Area) were mapped using photographic techniques. Three types of sponge communities were identified. The eastern side of the central circular depression was dominated by fan-shaped Phakellia ventilabrum sponges and further characterized by Mycale lingua and Oceanapia spp. sponges. Phakellia ventilabrum abundance (0.34 ind m-2) was positively correlated with the number of drop stones found. The western side of the depression was dominated by Geodia barretti, G. macandrewii and G. atlantica with an estimated average abundance of 0.40 ind m-2 and a biomass of 2.4 kg WW m-2. A third type of sponge community was found on both sides of the depression (in between the small scattered cold-water coral reefs constituting the MPA), which was characterized by Mycale lingua (0.20 ind m-2) and Oceanapia spp. (0.10 ind m-2), and which supported a high average Geodiidea biomass (1.6 kg WW m-2). The two last communities were both of the boreal ostur type and seemed to form continuous belts along the 2 km transects surveyed only interrupted by a few 15-30 m long empty patches. Within the MPA the average overall biomass of Geodiidea sponges was 1.8 kg WW m-2 and the overall sponge abundance was 1 ind m-2. Water pumping rates and respiration of Geodia barretti were measured, equating to 3000 l kg-1 DW day-1 and 1.5 μmol O2 g-1 DW h-1, respectively. Up-scaling this to the MPA as a whole suggests that the population of G. barretti alone could filter approximately 250 million m3 of water and consume 60 t of carbon daily. This demonstrates the important ecological function of sponges as nutrient vectors and points out the MPA as an ecologically significant area that should be carefully managed and monitored.

  9. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overbeek, Leonard S.; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. PMID:26136581

  10. Balancing the Ecological Function of Residential Stormwater Ponds with Homeowner Landscaping Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaghan, Paul; Hu, Shangchun; Hansen, Gail; Ott, Emily; Nealis, Charles; Morera, Maria

    2016-11-01

    Stormwater ponds are installed in urban developments to provide the ecosystem services of flood control and water treatment. In coastal areas, these ponds are connected to watersheds that can drain directly into protected estuaries, making their design, function, and maintenance critical to environmental protection. However, stormwater ponds in residential areas are increasingly managed as aesthetic amenities that add value to real estate rather than as engineered devices with special maintenance requirements. To help extend the life of neighborhood stormwater systems and improve ecosystem services, homeowners should follow best management practices for nutrient management and add shoreline plantings and non-invasive, beneficial aquatic plants to their ponds. This study used focus group and survey research to document the knowledge, behaviors, and attitudes of homeowners living near stormwater ponds in a master-planned community in Florida. The study was designed to use a social marketing research approach to promote Extension best practices. Findings indicate that many residents were aware of the functional components of stormwater systems and respondents' receptivity to best management practices was mediated by age, their attitudes about water quality and whether their home was adjacent to a pond. These findings can be used to target Extension audiences and improve adoption of stormwater pond best management practices for increased protection of water quality.

  11. Ecological strategies of Al-accumulating and non-accumulating functional groups from the cerrado sensu stricto

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo C. de Souza

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The cerrado's flora comprises aluminum-(Al accumulating and non-accumulating plants, which coexist on acidic and Al-rich soils with low fertility. Despite their existence, the ecological importance or biological strategies of these functional groups have been little explored. We evaluated the leaf flushing patterns of both groups throughout a year; leaf concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Al, total flavonoids and polyphenols; as well as the specific leaf area (SLA on young and mature leaves within and between the groups. In Al-accumulating plants, leaf flushed throughout the year, mainly in May and September; for non-accumulating plants, leaf flushing peaked at the dry-wet seasons transition. However, these behaviors could not be associated with strategies for building up concentrations of defense compounds in leaves of any functional groups. Al-accumulating plants showed low leaf nutrient concentrations, while non-accumulating plants accumulated more macronutrients and produced leaves with high SLA since the juvenile leaf phase. This demonstrates that the increase in SLA is slower in Al-accumulating plants that are likely to achieve SLA values comparable to the rest of the plant community only in the wet season, when sunlight capture is important for the growth of new branches.

  12. Ecological strategies of Al-accumulating and non-accumulating functional groups from the cerrado sensu stricto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Marcelo C de; Bueno, Paula C P; Morellato, Leonor P C; Habermann, Gustavo

    2015-01-01

    The cerrado's flora comprises aluminum-(Al) accumulating and non-accumulating plants, which coexist on acidic and Al-rich soils with low fertility. Despite their existence, the ecological importance or biological strategies of these functional groups have been little explored. We evaluated the leaf flushing patterns of both groups throughout a year; leaf concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Al, total flavonoids and polyphenols; as well as the specific leaf area (SLA) on young and mature leaves within and between the groups. In Al-accumulating plants, leaf flushed throughout the year, mainly in May and September; for non-accumulating plants, leaf flushing peaked at the dry-wet seasons transition. However, these behaviors could not be associated with strategies for building up concentrations of defense compounds in leaves of any functional groups. Al-accumulating plants showed low leaf nutrient concentrations, while non-accumulating plants accumulated more macronutrients and produced leaves with high SLA since the juvenile leaf phase. This demonstrates that the increase in SLA is slower in Al-accumulating plants that are likely to achieve SLA values comparable to the rest of the plant community only in the wet season, when sunlight capture is important for the growth of new branches.

  13. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardoim, Pablo R; van Overbeek, Leonard S; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-09-01

    All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Psychological disorders and ecological factors affect the development of executive functions: Some perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafika ZEBDI

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The links between deficits in executive functions (EF (e.g., mental flexibility, inhibition capacities..., and some psychological disorders (e.g., anxiety and depressive disorders has been investigated in the past decades or so. Observations evidenced that some deficits in working memory, planning, and mental flexibility were highly correlated with anxiety and depressive disorders. The majority of studies focused on adults’ population, whereas it seems important to adopt a developmental perspective to fully understand the dynamic of these EF/psychological disorders relations. We suggest two axis on which to focus in future research: (i relations between EF and anxiety traits through development; and (ii the possible role of external factors such as parent-child relationships on the development of EF.

  15. Psychological Disorders and Ecological Factors Affect the Development of Executive Functions: Some Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebdi, Rafika; Goyet, Louise; Pinabiaux, Charlotte; Guellaï, Bahia

    2016-01-01

    The links between deficits in executive functions (EFs) (e.g., mental flexibility, inhibition capacities, etc.) and some psychological disorders (e.g., anxiety and depressive disorders) have been investigated in the past decades or so. Observations evidenced that some deficits in working memory, planning, and mental flexibility were highly correlated with anxiety and depressive disorders. The majority of studies focused on adults' population, whereas it seems important to adopt a developmental perspective to fully understand the dynamic relation of these EF/psychological disorders. We suggest to focus on the following two axes in future research: (i) relations between EF and anxiety traits through development and (ii) the possible role of external factors such as parent-child relationships on the development of EF.

  16. Establishing and evaluating the key functions of an interactive systems framework using an assets-getting to outcomes intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinman, Matthew; Acosta, Joie; Ebener, Patricia; Q Burkhart; Clifford, Michael; Corsello, Maryann; Duffey, Tim; Hunter, Sarah; Jones, Margaret; Lahti, Michel; Malone, Patrick S; Paddock, Susan; Phillips, Andrea; Savell, Susan; Scales, Peter C; Tellett-Royce, Nancy

    2012-12-01

    Community practitioners can face difficulty in achieving outcomes demonstrated by prevention science. Building a community practitioner's prevention capacity-the knowledge and skills needed to conduct critical prevention practices-could improve the quality of prevention and its outcomes. The purpose of this article is to: (1) describe how an intervention called Assets-Getting To Outcomes (AGTO) was used to establish the key functions of the ISF and present early lessons learned from that intervention's first 6 months and (2) examine whether there is an empirical relationship between practitioner capacity at the individual level and the performance of prevention at the program level-a relationship predicted by the ISF but untested. The article describes an operationalization of the ISF in the context of a five-year randomized controlled efficacy trial that combines two complementary models designed to build capacity: Getting To Outcomes (GTO) and Developmental Assets. The trial compares programs and individual practitioners from six community-based coalitions using AGTO with programs and practitioners from six similar coalitions that are not. In this article, we primarily focus on what the ISF calls innovation specific capacity and discuss how the combined AGTO innovation structures and uses feedback about its capacity-building activities, which can serve as a model for implementing the ISF. Focus group discussions used to gather lessons learned from the first 6 months of the AGTO intervention suggest that while the ISF may have been conceptualized as three distinct systems, in practice they are less distinct. Findings from the baseline wave of data collection of individual capacity and program performance suggest that practitioner capacity predicts, in part, performance of prevention programs. Empirically linking practitioner capacity and performance of prevention provides empirical support for both the ISF and AGTO.

  17. A Continental-scale River Corridor Model to Synthesize Understanding and Prioritize Management of Water Purification Functions and Ecological Services in Large Basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, J. W.; Gomez-Velez, J. D.; Scott, D.; Boyer, E. W.; Schmadel, N. M.; Alexander, R. B.; Eng, K.; Golden, H. E.; Kettner, A.; Konrad, C. P.; Moore, R. B.; Pizzuto, J. E.; Schwarz, G. E.; Soulsby, C.

    2017-12-01

    The functional values of rivers depend on more than just wetted river channels. Instead, the river channel exchanges water and suspended materials with adjacent riparian, floodplain, hyporheic zones, and ponded waters such as lakes and reservoirs. Together these features comprise a larger functional unit known as the river corridor. The exchange of water, solutes, and sediments within the river corridor alters downstream water quality and ecological functions, but our understanding of the large-scale, cumulative impacts is inadequate and has limited advancements in sustainable management practices. A problem with traditional watershed, groundwater, and river water quality models is that none of them explicitly accounts for river corridor storage and processing, and the exchanges of water, solutes, and sediments that occur many times between the channel and off-channel environments during a river's transport to the sea. Our River Corridor Working Group at the John Wesley Powell Center is quantifying the key components of river corridor functions. Relying on foundational studies that identified floodplain, riparian, and hyporheic exchange flows and resulting enhancement of chemical reactions at river reach scales, we are assembling the datasets and building the models to upscale that understanding onto 2.6 million river reaches in the U.S. A principal goal of the River Corridor Working group is to develop a national-scale river corridor model for the conterminous U.S. that will reveal, perhaps for the first time, the relative influences of hyporheic, riparian, floodplain, and ponded waters at large spatial scales. The simple but physically-based models are predictive for changing conditions and therefore can directly address the consequences and effectiveness of management actions in sustaining valuable river corridor functions. This presentation features interpretation of useful river corridor connectivity metrics and ponded water influences on nutrient and sediment

  18. Quantum Hash function and its application to privacy amplification in quantum key distribution, pseudo-random number generation and image encryption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yu-Guang; Xu, Peng; Yang, Rui; Zhou, Yi-Hua; Shi, Wei-Min

    2016-01-01

    Quantum information and quantum computation have achieved a huge success during the last years. In this paper, we investigate the capability of quantum Hash function, which can be constructed by subtly modifying quantum walks, a famous quantum computation model. It is found that quantum Hash function can act as a hash function for the privacy amplification process of quantum key distribution systems with higher security. As a byproduct, quantum Hash function can also be used for pseudo-random number generation due to its inherent chaotic dynamics. Further we discuss the application of quantum Hash function to image encryption and propose a novel image encryption algorithm. Numerical simulations and performance comparisons show that quantum Hash function is eligible for privacy amplification in quantum key distribution, pseudo-random number generation and image encryption in terms of various hash tests and randomness tests. It extends the scope of application of quantum computation and quantum information.

  19. Quantum Hash function and its application to privacy amplification in quantum key distribution, pseudo-random number generation and image encryption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yu-Guang; Xu, Peng; Yang, Rui; Zhou, Yi-Hua; Shi, Wei-Min

    2016-01-01

    Quantum information and quantum computation have achieved a huge success during the last years. In this paper, we investigate the capability of quantum Hash function, which can be constructed by subtly modifying quantum walks, a famous quantum computation model. It is found that quantum Hash function can act as a hash function for the privacy amplification process of quantum key distribution systems with higher security. As a byproduct, quantum Hash function can also be used for pseudo-random number generation due to its inherent chaotic dynamics. Further we discuss the application of quantum Hash function to image encryption and propose a novel image encryption algorithm. Numerical simulations and performance comparisons show that quantum Hash function is eligible for privacy amplification in quantum key distribution, pseudo-random number generation and image encryption in terms of various hash tests and randomness tests. It extends the scope of application of quantum computation and quantum information. PMID:26823196

  20. Production function analysis for smallholder semi-subsistence and semi-commercial poultry production systems in three agro-ecological regions in Northern provinces of Vietnam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tung, Dinh Xuan; Rasmussen, Svend

    2005-01-01

    A formal cross section survey of 360 smallholder poultry keeping farms located in three agro-ecological regions in Vietnam was conducted. Cobb-Douglas production functions were applied to analyse and compare semi-subsistence and semi-commercial smallholder poultry systems in three regions...

  1. Optimized R functions for analysis of ecological community data using the R virtual laboratory (RvLab).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varsos, Constantinos; Patkos, Theodore; Oulas, Anastasis; Pavloudi, Christina; Gougousis, Alexandros; Ijaz, Umer Zeeshan; Filiopoulou, Irene; Pattakos, Nikolaos; Vanden Berghe, Edward; Fernández-Guerra, Antonio; Faulwetter, Sarah; Chatzinikolaou, Eva; Pafilis, Evangelos; Bekiari, Chryssoula; Doerr, Martin; Arvanitidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Parallel data manipulation using R has previously been addressed by members of the R community, however most of these studies produce ad hoc solutions that are not readily available to the average R user. Our targeted users, ranging from the expert ecologist/microbiologists to computational biologists, often experience difficulties in finding optimal ways to exploit the full capacity of their computational resources. In addition, improving performance of commonly used R scripts becomes increasingly difficult especially with large datasets. Furthermore, the implementations described here can be of significant interest to expert bioinformaticians or R developers. Therefore, our goals can be summarized as: (i) description of a complete methodology for the analysis of large datasets by combining capabilities of diverse R packages, (ii) presentation of their application through a virtual R laboratory (RvLab) that makes execution of complex functions and visualization of results easy and readily available to the end-user. In this paper, the novelty stems from implementations of parallel methodologies which rely on the processing of data on different levels of abstraction and the availability of these processes through an integrated portal. Parallel implementation R packages, such as the pbdMPI (Programming with Big Data - Interface to MPI) package, are used to implement Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD) parallelization on primitive mathematical operations, allowing for interplay with functions of the vegan package. The dplyr and RPostgreSQL R packages are further integrated offering connections to dataframe like objects (databases) as secondary storage solutions whenever memory demands exceed available RAM resources. The RvLab is running on a PC cluster, using version 3.1.2 (2014-10-31) on a x86_64-pc-linux-gnu (64-bit) platform, and offers an intuitive virtual environmet interface enabling users to perform analysis of ecological and microbial communities based on

  2. A Conceptual Model for Teaching the Relationship of Daily Life and Human Environmental Impact to Ecological Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyner, Yael

    2013-01-01

    In the general activity of daily life, it is easy to miss our dependency on the Earth's ecology. At the same time that people are living apparently separate from the environment, our impact on the Earth is increasing. This study seeks to understand how teachers can bridge this persistent disconnect of daily life from ecology and human impact.…

  3. Key Management Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — FUNCTION: Provides a secure environment to research and develop advanced electronic key management and networked key distribution technologies for the Navy and DoD....

  4. Ecological security pattern construction based on ecological protection redlines in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Changxin

    2017-04-01

    China is facing huge environmental problems with its current rapid rate of urbanization and industrialization, thus causing biodiversity loss, ecosystem service degradation on a major scale. Against this background, three previous examples (the nature reserve policy, the afforestation policy, and the zoning policy) are implemented in China. These all play important roles in protecting natural ecosystems, although they can sometimes cause new problems and lack rigorous targets for environmental outcomes. To overcome current management conflicts, China has proposed a new "ecological protection redlines" policy (EPR). EPR can be defined as the ecological baseline area needed to provide ecosystem services to guarantee and maintain ecological safety. This study analyzed the scope, objectives and technical methods of delineating EPR in China, and put forward the proposed scheme for the ecological security pattern based on EPR. We constructed three kinds of redlines in China, including key ecological function area redlines, ecological sensitive or fragile areas redlines, and forbidden development areas redlines. For the key ecological function area redlines, a total of 38 water conservation functional zones have been designated, covering a total area of 3.23 million km2; 14 soil conservation zones have been designated, covering a total area of 881700 km2; wind-prevention and sand-fixation zones across the country cover a total area of about 1.73 million km2, accounting for 57.13% of the total land area of the whole country. With respect to the ecologically vulnerable redlines, 18 ecologically vulnerable zones has been designated across the country, covering 2.19 million km2, accounting for 22.86% of the total land area of the whole country. Forbidden development areas redlines covered a total area of 3.29 million km2, accounting for 34.3% of the total land area of the whole country. We also suggest to form a complete ecological security pattern including patterns of

  5. Pollination ecology and floral function of Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nan Vance

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Brown’s peony, Paeonia brownii (Paeoniaceae, is one of only two peony species native to the Western Hemisphere, yet its pollination ecology and breeding system have never been documented. Using flowering individuals of an endemic colony in the Blue Mountains of Oregon, U.S., we investigated the peony’s pollination system and floral function. We also examined pollen/carpel interactions through experimental pollinations aided by fluorescence microscopy. Paeonia brownii appears to be self compatible and mostly protogynous with floral traits of a generalist pollination system. The flowers appear to attract insects by producing abundant floral nectar secreted from lobes of a perigynous disc throughout their 9-15-days of anthesis. The most common pollen vectors were wasp queens (Vespidae, the large flower fly Criorhina caudata (Syrphidae, and females of Lasioglossum spp. (Halictidae, all of which foraged exclusively for nectar. Whether collected from foraging wasps and flies, anthers, or stigmas, about half the pollen grains appeared fertile. The number of ovules per carpel was about 19. Seed set (seeds/ovule of naturally pollinated flowers was about 20% with about 4 viable seeds per follicle. The number of fertile pollen grains transferred to the stigma under natural conditions was highly variable but generally low, which may have contributed in part to the low rate of seed set. This study raises further questions about the role of pollen sterility, floral nectar and vespid wasps in shaping a pollinator system that is unusual in Paeonia.

  6. The Role of Stakeholders Related to the Management of Ecological Function of Urban Green Open Space. Case Study: City of Depok, Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangopa Malik, Andy Anton

    2017-12-01

    Urban green open space is one of the assets that provide substantial benefits to the urban community. One important function of urban green open space is a function of ecology. This study will provide initial explanation on the various studies related to the ecological function of urban green open space. The study of urban space management approach related to ecological function will explain the extent of the role of stakeholders in the urban areas that will further strengthen the importance of the existence of green open space, especially in city of Depok. With so many problems related to the supply and use of green open space in the city of Depok. This approach was originally applied by the private sector and many applications made a great contribution, so it began to be used by the government in managing public assets there. This study will use descriptive method, at the beginning of the study will explain the existence of the reality of urban green open space as part of the urban space by viewing it from theoretical overview of space, function and role of the various problems that occur in it. The results of this study indicate there are six problems in the management of green open spaces in city of Depok. Using the stages in asset management will provide space for participation of existing stakeholders in the management of green open spaces in city of Depok.

  7. Soft Sensing of Key State Variables in Fermentation Process Based on Relevance Vector Machine with Hybrid Kernel Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianglin ZHU

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available To resolve the online detection difficulty of some important state variables in fermentation process with traditional instruments, a soft sensing modeling method based on relevance vector machine (RVM with a hybrid kernel function is presented. Based on the characteristic analysis of two commonly-used kernel functions, that is, local Gaussian kernel function and global polynomial kernel function, a hybrid kernel function combing merits of Gaussian kernel function and polynomial kernel function is constructed. To design optimal parameters of this kernel function, the particle swarm optimization (PSO algorithm is applied. The proposed modeling method is used to predict the value of cell concentration in the Lysine fermentation process. Simulation results show that the presented hybrid-kernel RVM model has a better accuracy and performance than the single kernel RVM model.

  8. Combining functional weed ecology and crop stable isotope ratios to identify cultivation intensity: a comparison of cereal production regimes in Haute Provence, France and Asturias, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogaard, Amy; Hodgson, John; Nitsch, Erika; Jones, Glynis; Styring, Amy; Diffey, Charlotte; Pouncett, John; Herbig, Christoph; Charles, Michael; Ertuğ, Füsun; Tugay, Osman; Filipovic, Dragana; Fraser, Rebecca

    This investigation combines two independent methods of identifying crop growing conditions and husbandry practices-functional weed ecology and crop stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis-in order to assess their potential for inferring the intensity of past cereal production systems using archaeobotanical assemblages. Present-day organic cereal farming in Haute Provence, France features crop varieties adapted to low-nutrient soils managed through crop rotation, with little to no manuring. Weed quadrat survey of 60 crop field transects in this region revealed that floristic variation primarily reflects geographical differences. Functional ecological weed data clearly distinguish the Provence fields from those surveyed in a previous study of intensively managed spelt wheat in Asturias, north-western Spain: as expected, weed ecological data reflect higher soil fertility and disturbance in Asturias. Similarly, crop stable nitrogen isotope values distinguish between intensive manuring in Asturias and long-term cultivation with minimal manuring in Haute Provence. The new model of cereal cultivation intensity based on weed ecology and crop isotope values in Haute Provence and Asturias was tested through application to two other present-day regimes, successfully identifying a high-intensity regime in the Sighisoara region, Romania, and low-intensity production in Kastamonu, Turkey. Application of this new model to Neolithic archaeobotanical assemblages in central Europe suggests that early farming tended to be intensive, and likely incorporated manuring, but also exhibited considerable variation, providing a finer grained understanding of cultivation intensity than previously available.

  9. [Severe diarrhea after the original well-functioning percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube was replaced by a Mic-Key button].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Susanne Wigh; Eriksen, Jan; Kristensen, Kurt

    2006-03-06

    We report two cases of colocutaneous fistula as a complication of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) in small children. Both children developed severe osmotic diarrhoea immediately after the original PEG tube was replaced by a Mic-Key button which subsequently migrated to the colon.

  10. Deciphering the function and regulation of SbCAD2: A key lignin gene to improve sorghum biomass degradability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genetic modification of lignin biosynthesis in the cell wall of biofuel feedstocks is likely one of the most effective ways to improve the conversion efficiency of cellulosic biomass to biofuel for the bioenergy industry. As a key enzyme that catalyzes the last step of monolignol synthesis, cinnamy...

  11. Evaluation of 90nm 6T-SRAM as physical unclonable function for secure key generation in wireless sensor nodes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Selimis, G.; Konijnenburg, M.; Ashouei, M.; Huisken, J.; de Groot, H.; van der Leest, V.; Schrijen, G.-J.; van Hulst, M.; Tuyls, P.

    2011-01-01

    Due to the unattended nature of WSN (Wireless Sensor Network) deployment, each sensor can be subject to physical capture, cloning and unauthorized device alteration. In this paper, we use the embedded SRAM, often available on a wireless sensor node, for secure data (cryptographic keys, IDs)

  12. Temporal dynamics of spectral bioindicators evidence biological and ecological differences among functional types in a cork oak open woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerasoli, Sofia; Costa e Silva, Filipe; Silva, João M. N.

    2016-06-01

    The application of spectral vegetation indices for the purpose of vegetation monitoring and modeling increased largely in recent years. Nonetheless, the interpretation of biophysical properties of vegetation through their spectral signature is still a challenging task. This is particularly true in Mediterranean oak forest characterized by a high spatial and temporal heterogeneity. In this study, the temporal dynamics of vegetation indices expected to be related with green biomass and photosynthetic efficiency were compared for the canopy of trees, the herbaceous layer, and two shrub species: cistus ( Cistus salviifolius) and ulex ( Ulex airensis). coexisting in a cork oak woodland. All indices were calculated from in situ measurements with a FieldSpec3 spectroradiometer (ASD Inc., Boulder, USA). Large differences emerged in the temporal trends and in the correlation between climate and vegetation indices. The relationship between spectral indices and temperature, radiation, and vapor pressure deficit for cork oak was opposite to that observed for the herbaceous layer and cistus. No correlation was observed between rainfall and vegetation indices in cork oak and ulex, but in the herbaceous layer and in the cistus, significant correlations were found. The analysis of spectral vegetation indices with fraction of absorbed PAR (fPAR) and quantum yield of chlorophyll fluorescence ( ΔF/ Fm') evidenced strongest relationships with the indices Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI)512, respectively. Our results, while confirms the ability of spectral vegetation indices to represent temporal dynamics of biophysical properties of vegetation, evidence the importance to consider ecosystem composition for a correct ecological interpretation of results when the spatial resolution of observations includes different plant functional types.

  13. Mutation of the key residue for extraribosomal function of ribosomal protein S19 cause increased grooming behaviors in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jun; Kaitsuka, Taku; Fujino, Rika; Araki, Kimi; Tomizawa, Kazuhito; Yamamoto, Tetsuro

    2016-08-26

    Ribosomal protein S19 (RP S19) possesses ribosomal function as RP S19 monomer and extraribosomal function as cross-linked RP S19 oligomers which function as a ligand of the complement 5a (C5a) receptor (CD88). We have generated a Gln137Glu-RP S19 knock-in (KI) mouse, which is shown to possess the weakened extraribosomal function of RP S19. Because whether the extraribosomal function of RP S19 has a role in brain function had been unclear, we performed behavioral analysis on these mice and demonstrated that KI mice displayed an increased grooming behavior during open-field test and elevated plus maze test and an enhanced freezing behavior in contextual fear conditioning test. These results suggest an involvement of RP S19 oligomers in some anxiety-like behavior, especially grooming behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The olivo-cerebellar system: a key to understanding the functional significance of intrinsic oscillatory brain properties

    OpenAIRE

    Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    The reflexological view of brain function (Sherrington 1906) has played a crucial role in defining both the nature of connectivity and the role of the synaptic interactions among neuronal circuits. One implicit assumption of this view, however, has been that CNS function is fundamentally driven by sensory input. This view was questioned as early as the beginning of the last century when a possible role for intrinsic activity in CNS function was proposed by Thomas Graham Brow (Brown 1911; Brow...

  15. Ecology and economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menard, M.; Bischoff, J.

    1980-01-01

    The green movement challenges workers' unions and socialists. Who are the 'Greens', and what do they want. Where do their theoretical fundamentals come from. Will an ecological economy be able to function. Are the 'Greens' leftists or dreamers fighting against progress. Arguments for trade unionists and socialists in the ecological controversy. (orig.) [de

  16. ECOLOGICAL FEATURES OF FUNCTIONAL AND PLANNING STRUCTURE OF MEDIUM- AND SMALL-SIZED CITIES AT THE SOUTHERN FAR EAST (EXEMPLIFIED BY BIROBIDZHAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. B. Kalmanova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With account of perspective tendencies of formation and development of the cities at the southern part of the Russian Far East, and the formation of their ecological stability, the functional and planning structure for determining the landscaping of the urban land is analyzed. Historical mechanisms of the functional and planning structure forming in Birobidzhan are examined. Its main environmental features are analysed. Approaches to formation of the ecologically stable residential environment are described taking into account actual tasks of an urban development. The ratio of the built-up and undeveloped land, presence of green zones and sanitary buffer are the main indicators of ecologican stability of the residential environment. Effective usage of urban land is proposed.

  17. Placing prairie pothole wetlands along spatial and temporal continua to improve integration of wetland function in ecological investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Euliss, Ned H.; Mushet, David M.; Newton, Wesley E.; Otto, Clint R.V.; Nelson, Richard D.; LaBaugh, James W.; Scherff, Eric J.; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the efficacy of using chemical characteristics to rank wetland relation to surface and groundwater along a hydrologic continuum ranging from groundwater recharge to groundwater discharge. We used 27 years (1974–2002) of water chemistry data from 15 prairie pothole wetlands and known hydrologic connections of these wetlands to groundwater to evaluate spatial and temporal patterns in chemical characteristics that correspond to the unique ecosystem functions each wetland performed. Due to the mineral content and the low permeability rate of glacial till and soils, salinity of wetland waters increased along a continuum of wetland relation to groundwater recharge, flow-through or discharge. Mean inter-annual specific conductance (a proxy for salinity) increased along this continuum from wetlands that recharge groundwater being fresh to wetlands that receive groundwater discharge being the most saline, and wetlands that both recharge and discharge to groundwater (i.e., groundwater flow-through wetlands) being of intermediate salinity. The primary axis from a principal component analysis revealed that specific conductance (and major ions affecting conductance) explained 71% of the variation in wetland chemistry over the 27 years of this investigation. We found that long-term averages from this axis were useful to identify a wetland’s long-term relation to surface and groundwater. Yearly or seasonal measurements of specific conductance can be less definitive because of highly dynamic inter- and intra-annual climate cycles that affect water volumes and the interaction of groundwater and geologic materials, and thereby influence the chemical composition of wetland waters. The influence of wetland relation to surface and groundwater on water chemistry has application in many scientific disciplines and is especially needed to improve ecological understanding in wetland investigations. We suggest ways that monitoring in situ wetland conditions could be linked

  18. How will ocean acidification affect Baltic sea ecosystems? an assessment of plausible impacts on key functional groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havenhand, Jonathan N

    2012-09-01

    Increasing partial pressure of atmospheric CO₂ is causing ocean pH to fall-a process known as 'ocean acidification'. Scenario modeling suggests that ocean acidification in the Baltic Sea may cause a ≤ 3 times increase in acidity (reduction of 0.2-0.4 pH units) by the year 2100. The responses of most Baltic Sea organisms to ocean acidification are poorly understood. Available data suggest that most species and ecologically important groups in the Baltic Sea food web (phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoobenthos, cod and sprat) will be robust to the expected changes in pH. These conclusions come from (mostly) single-species and single-factor studies. Determining the emergent effects of ocean acidification on the ecosystem from such studies is problematic, yet very few studies have used multiple stressors and/or multiple trophic levels. There is an urgent need for more data from Baltic Sea populations, particularly from environmentally diverse regions and from controlled mesocosm experiments. In the absence of such information it is difficult to envision the likely effects of future ocean acidification on Baltic Sea species and ecosystems.

  19. Genome-wide functional analysis of plasmodium protein phosphatases reveals key regulators of parasite development and differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Guttery, David S.

    2014-07-09

    Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. © 2014 The Authors.

  20. Genome-wide functional analysis of plasmodium protein phosphatases reveals key regulators of parasite development and differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Guttery, David  S.; Poulin, Benoit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Wall, Richard  J.; Ferguson, David  J.P.; Brady, Declan; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Whipple, Sarah; Straschil, Ursula; Wright, Megan  H.; Mohamed, Alyaa  M.A.H.; Radhakrishnan, Anand; Arold, Stefan T.; Tate, Edward  W.; Holder, Anthony  A.; Wickstead, Bill; Pain, Arnab; Tewari, Rita

    2014-01-01

    Reversible protein phosphorylation regulated by kinases and phosphatases controls many cellular processes. Although essential functions for the malaria parasite kinome have been reported, the roles of most protein phosphatases (PPs) during Plasmodium development are unknown. We report a functional analysis of the Plasmodium berghei protein phosphatome, which exhibits high conservation with the P. falciparum phosphatome and comprises 30 predicted PPs with differential and distinct expression patterns during various stages of the life cycle. Gene disruption analysis of P. berghei PPs reveals that half of the genes are likely essential for asexual blood stage development, whereas six are required for sexual development/sporogony in mosquitoes. Phenotypic screening coupled with transcriptome sequencing unveiled morphological changes and altered gene expression in deletion mutants of two N-myristoylated PPs. These findings provide systematic functional analyses of PPs in Plasmodium, identify how phosphatases regulate parasite development and differentiation, and can inform the identification of drug targets for malaria. © 2014 The Authors.

  1. Using microbes as a key tool to unravel the mechanism of autophagy and the functions of the ATG proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Mauthe

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The study of microbe infections has always been a very effective approach to unveil and dissect cellular pathways. Autophagy is not an exception. Although some of the breakthrough discoveries in the field were obtained using yeast, pathogens have been and still are a great tool to discover and characterize new molecular and functional aspects of autophagy. Research on pathogens has helped to acquire knowledge about selective types of autophagy and the assembly of the autophagy machinery, i.e the autophagy-related (ATG proteins, but also about alternative cellular roles of this pathway, such as secretion. Finally, microbes have also served to discover and characterize unconventional functions of the ATG proteins, which are uncoupled from their role in autophagy. In our recent study, we have taken advantage of viruses as a screening tool to determine the extent of the unconventional functions of the ATG proteome and characterize one of them.

  2. Interconnection of Key Microbial Functional Genes for Enhanced Benzo[a]pyrene Biodegradation in Sediments by Microbial Electrochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Zaisheng; He, Yuhong; Cai, Haiyuan; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Krumholz, Lee R; Jiang, He-Long

    2017-08-01

    Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) can stimulate the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments, but the mechanism of this process is poorly understood at the microbial functional gene level. Here, the use of SMFC resulted in 92% benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) removal over 970 days relative to 54% in the controls. Sediment functions, microbial community structure, and network interactions were dramatically altered by the SMFC employment. Functional gene analysis showed that c-type cytochrome genes for electron transfer, aromatic degradation genes, and extracellular ligninolytic enzymes involved in lignin degradation were significantly enriched in bulk sediments during SMFC operation. Correspondingly, chemical analysis of the system showed that these genetic changes resulted in increases in the levels of easily oxidizable organic carbon and humic acids which may have resulted in increased BaP bioavailability and increased degradation rates. Tracking microbial functional genes and corresponding organic matter responses should aid mechanistic understanding of BaP enhanced biodegradation by microbial electrochemistry and development of sustainable bioremediation strategies.

  3. AN ATTEMPT TO DEVELOP AN ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION SYSTEM OF ECOLOGICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR EVALUATING FUNCTIONS OF ECOSYSTEM-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION (ECO-DRR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Doko

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available “Ecological Infrastructure (EI” are defined as naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as healthy mountain catchments, rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, and nodes and corridors of natural habitat, which together form a network of interconnected structural elements in the landscape. On the other hand, natural disaster occur at the locations where habitat was reduced due to the changes of land use, in which the land was converted to the settlements and agricultural cropland. Hence, habitat loss and natural disaster are linked closely. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built or hard infrastructure, and is as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. Hence, ecological infrastructure is expected to contribute to functioning as ecological disaster reduction, which is termed Ecosystem-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR. Although ecological infrastructure already exists in the landscape, it might be degraded, needs to be maintained and managed, and in some cases restored. Maintenance and restoration of ecological infrastructure is important for security of human lives. Therefore, analytical tool and effective visualization tool in spatially explicit way for the past natural disaster and future prediction of natural disaster in relation to ecological infrastructure is considered helpful. Hence, Web-GIS based Ecological Infrastructure Environmental Information System (EI-EIS has been developed. This paper aims to describe the procedure of development and future application of EI-EIS. The purpose of the EI-EIS is to evaluate functions of Eco-DRR. In order to analyse disaster data, collection of past disaster information, and disaster-prone area is effective. First, a number of digital maps and analogue maps in Japan and Europe were collected. In total, 18,572 maps over 100 years were collected. The Japanese data includes Future

  4. An Attempt to Develop AN Environmental Information System of Ecological Infrastructure for Evaluating Functions of Ecosystem-Based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction Eco-Drr

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doko, T.; Chen, W.; Sasaki, K.; Furutani, T.

    2016-06-01

    "Ecological Infrastructure (EI)" are defined as naturally functioning ecosystems that deliver valuable services to people, such as healthy mountain catchments, rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, and nodes and corridors of natural habitat, which together form a network of interconnected structural elements in the landscape. On the other hand, natural disaster occur at the locations where habitat was reduced due to the changes of land use, in which the land was converted to the settlements and agricultural cropland. Hence, habitat loss and natural disaster are linked closely. Ecological infrastructure is the nature-based equivalent of built or hard infrastructure, and is as important for providing services and underpinning socio-economic development. Hence, ecological infrastructure is expected to contribute to functioning as ecological disaster reduction, which is termed Ecosystem-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). Although ecological infrastructure already exists in the landscape, it might be degraded, needs to be maintained and managed, and in some cases restored. Maintenance and restoration of ecological infrastructure is important for security of human lives. Therefore, analytical tool and effective visualization tool in spatially explicit way for the past natural disaster and future prediction of natural disaster in relation to ecological infrastructure is considered helpful. Hence, Web-GIS based Ecological Infrastructure Environmental Information System (EI-EIS) has been developed. This paper aims to describe the procedure of development and future application of EI-EIS. The purpose of the EI-EIS is to evaluate functions of Eco-DRR. In order to analyse disaster data, collection of past disaster information, and disaster-prone area is effective. First, a number of digital maps and analogue maps in Japan and Europe were collected. In total, 18,572 maps over 100 years were collected. The Japanese data includes Future-Pop Data Series (1,736 maps

  5. The Olivo-cerebellar System: A Key to understanding the functional significance of intrinsic oscillatory brain properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolfo R Llinas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The reflexological view of brain function (Sherrington 1906 has played a crucial role in defining both the nature of connectivity and the role of the synaptic interactions among neuronal circuits. One implicit assumption of this view, however, has been that CNS function is fundamentally driven by sensory input. This view was questioned as early as the beginning of the last century when a possible role for intrinsic activity in CNS function was proposed by Thomas Graham Brow (Brown 1911; Brown 1914. However, little progress was made in addressing intrinsic neuronal properties in vertebrates until the discovery of calcium conductances in vertebrate central neurons leading dendritic electroresponsiveness (Llinas and Hess 1976, Llinas and Sugimori 1980a and b and subthreshold neuronal oscillation in mammalian inferior olive (IO neurons (Llinas and Yarom 1981; Llinas and Yarom 1981.This happened in parallel with a similar set of findings concerning invertebrate neuronal system (Marder and Bucher 2001. The generalization into a more global view of intrinsic rhythmicity, at forebrain level, occurred initially with the demonstration that the thalamus has similar oscillatory properties (Llinas and Jahnsen 1982 and the ionic properties responsible for some oscillatory activity were, in fact, similar to those in the IO (Jahnsen and Llinas 1984; Llinas 1988. Thus lending support to the view that not only motricity, but cognitive properties, are organized as coherent oscillatory states (Pare, deCurtis et al. 1992; Singer 1993; Hardcastle 1997; Llinas, Ribary et al. 1998; Varela, Lachaux et al. 2001.

  6. Comparative and functional genomics of Legionella identified eukaryotic like proteins as key players in host-pathogen interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eGomez-Valero

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Although best known for its ability to cause severe pneumonia in people whose immune defenses are weakened, Legionella pneumophila and Legionella longbeachae are two species of a large genus of bacteria that are ubiquitous in nature, where they parasitize protozoa. Adaptation to the host environment and exploitation of host cell functions are critical for the success of these intracellular pathogens. The establishment and publication of the complete genome sequences of L. pneumophila and L. longbeachae isolates paved the way for major breakthroughs in understanding the biology of these organisms. In this review we present the knowledge gained from the analyses and comparison of the complete genome sequences of different L. pneumophila and L. longbeachae strains. Emphasis is given on putative virulence and Legionella life cycle related functions, such as the identification of an extended array of eukaryotic-like proteins, many of which have been shown to modulate host cell functions to the pathogen's advantage. Surprisingly, many of the eukaryotic domain proteins identified in L. pneumophila as well as many substrates of the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system essential for intracellular replication are different between these two species, although they cause the same disease. Finally, evolutionary aspects regarding the eukaryotic like proteins in Legionella are discussed.

  7. A primer on brain-machine interfaces, concepts, and technology: a key element in the future of functional neurorestoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Brian; Liu, Charles Y; Apuzzo, Michael L J

    2013-01-01

    Conventionally, the practice of neurosurgery has been characterized by the removal of pathology, congenital or acquired. The emerging complement to the removal of pathology is surgery for the specific purpose of restoration of function. Advents in neuroscience, technology, and the understanding of neural circuitry are creating opportunities to intervene in disease processes in a reparative manner, thereby advancing toward the long-sought-after concept of neurorestoration. Approaching the issue of neurorestoration from a biomedical engineering perspective is the rapidly growing arena of implantable devices. Implantable devices are becoming more common in medicine and are making significant advancements to improve a patient's functional outcome. Devices such as deep brain stimulators, vagus nerve stimulators, and spinal cord stimulators are now becoming more commonplace in neurosurgery as we utilize our understanding of the nervous system to interpret neural activity and restore function. One of the most exciting prospects in neurosurgery is the technologically driven field of brain-machine interface, also known as brain-computer interface, or neuroprosthetics. The successful development of this technology will have far-reaching implications for patients suffering from a great number of diseases, including but not limited to spinal cord injury, paralysis, stroke, or loss of limb. This article provides an overview of the issues related to neurorestoration using implantable devices with a specific focus on brain-machine interface technology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The hyaluronan and proteoglycan link proteins: Organizers of the brain extracellular matrix and key molecules for neuronal function and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oohashi, Toshitaka; Edamatsu, Midori; Bekku, Yoko; Carulli, Daniela

    2015-12-01

    The hyaluronan and proteoglycanbinding link protein (Hapln) is a key molecule in the formation and control of hyaluronan-based condensed perineuronal matrix in the adult brain. This review summarizes the recent advances in understanding the role of Haplns in the formation and control of two distinct types of perineuronal matrices, one for "classical" PNN and the other for the specialized extracellular matrix (ECM) at the node of Ranvier in the central nervous system (CNS). We introduce the structural components of each ECM organization including the basic concept of supramolecular structure named "HLT model". We furthermore summarize the developmental and physiological role of perineuronal ECMs from the studies of Haplns and related molecules. Finally, we also discuss the potential mechanism modulating PNNs in the adult CNS. This layer of organized matrices may exert a direct effect via core protein or sugar moiety from the structure or by acting as a binding site for biologically active molecules, which are important for neuronal plasticity and saltatory conduction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Nicotine affects rat Leydig cell function in vivo and vitro via down-regulating some key steroidogenic enzyme expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiaoling; Wang, Huang; Wu, Xiaolong; Chen, Xianwu; Chen, Yong; Guo, Jingjing; Li, Xiaoheng; Lian, Qingquan; Ge, Ren-Shan

    2017-12-01

    Nicotine is consumed largely as a component of cigarettes and has a potential effect on pubertal development of Leydig cells in males. To investigate its effects, 49-day-old male Sprague Dawley rats received intraperitoneal injections of nicotine (0.5 or 1 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks and immature Leydig cells were isolated from the testes of 35-day-old rats and treated with nicotine (0.05-50 μM). Serum hormones, Leydig cell number and related gene expression levels after in vivo treatment were determined and medium androgen levels were measured and cell cycle, apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential (△Ψm), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) of Leydig cells after in vitro treatment were measured. In vivo exposure to nicotine lowered serum luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and testosterone levels and reduced Leydig cell number and gene expression levels. Nicotine in vitro inhibited androgen production in Leydig cells by downregulating the expression levels of P450 cholesterol side cleavage enzyme, 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1, and steroidogenic factor 1 at different concentration ranges. In conclusion, nicotine disrupts Leydig cell steroidogenesis during puberty possibly via down-regulating some key steroidogenic enzyme expressions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Endocrine Disrupters in Human Blood and Breast Milk: Extraction Methodologies, Cellular Uptake and Effect on Key Nuclear Receptor Functions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjelmborg, Philip Sebastian

    2010-01-01

    -products from incineration plants, plastic additives, technical industry products, pesticides from the farming industry and detergent degradation products. Many of these substances can interfere with the hormonal system in organisms. The common name for these compounds is endocrine disrupters (EDCs). Some EDCs...... are persistent to degradation and are also called persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Endocrine disrupters are compounds that can interfere with an organism’s hormone system by interacting with the hormone receptors. Many of an organism’s body functions are controlled by interactions between hormones...

  11. Acrolein Modification Impairs Key Functional Features of Rat Apolipoprotein E: Identification of Modified Sites by Mass Spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Tuyen N.; Kosaraju, Malathi G.; Tamamizu-Kato, Shiori; Akintunde, Olayemi; Zheng, Ying; Bielicki, John K.; Pinkerton, Kent; Uchida, Koji; Lee, Yuan Yu; Narayanaswami, Vasanthy

    2014-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (apoE), an anti-atherogenic apolipoprotein, plays a significant role in the metabolism of lipoproteins. It lowers plasma lipid levels by acting as a ligand for low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) family of proteins, in addition to playing a role in promoting macrophage cholesterol efflux in atherosclerotic lesions. The objective of this study is to examine the effect of acrolein modification on the structure and function of rat apoE and to determine sites and nature of modification by mass spectrometry. Acrolein is a highly reactive aldehyde, which is generated endogenously as one of the products of lipid peroxidation and is present in the environment in pollutants such as tobacco smoke and heated oils. In initial studies, acrolein-modified apoE was identified by immunoprecipitation using an acrolein-lysine specific antibody, in the plasma of ten-week old male rats that were exposed to filtered air (FA) or low doses of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). While both groups displayed acrolein-modified apoE in the lipoprotein fraction, the ETS group had higher levels in lipid-free fraction compared to the FA group. This observation provided the rationale to further investigate the effect of acrolein modification on rat apoE at a molecular level. Treatment of recombinant rat apoE with a 10-fold molar excess of acrolein resulted in: (i) a significant decrease in lipid-binding and cholesterol efflux abilities, (ii) impairment in the LDLr- and heparin-binding capabilities, and (iii) significant alterations in the overall stability of the protein. The disruption in the functional abilities is attributed directly or indirectly to acrolein modification yielding: an aldimine adduct at K149 and K155 (+38); a propanal adduct at K135 and K138 (+56); an Nε-(3-methylpyridinium)lysine (MP-lysine) at K64, K67 and K254 (+76), and Nε-(3-formyl-3,4-dehydropiperidino)lysine (FDP-lysine) derivative at position K68 (+94), as determined by Matrix-Assisted Laser

  12. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  13. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  14. Evaluating Structural and Functional Characteristics of Various Ecological Patches in Different Range Conditions (Case Study: Semi -Steppe Rangeland of Aghche-Isfahan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Jafari

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland condition assessment plays an important role in determining range health and applying appropriate management programs. This study aimed to evaluate the structure and function of a semi-steppe rangeland using Landscape Function Analysis technique (LFA in different land conditions in western Isfahan province, Iran. For this purpose, 4, 3 and 7 sites in different rangeland condition classes including very poor, poor, and moderate were selected respectively. In each site, a 30-meter transect was established and all kinds of patches and inter patches were identified and their lengths and widths were recorded. Also, in each ecological patch, 11 indicators of soil surface characteristics with three replications were measured, and their status was scored according to LFA method. The functionality indices of all the sites including soil stability, infiltration and nutrient cycling were measured. According to the statistical analysis results, most of the structural characteristics (number of patches, patch length, patch area index, landscape organization index and functional indices (infiltration, stability and nutrient cycling status varied significantly (α= 5% between rangeland sites with moderate and very poor condition. The changes of these structural and functional characteristics were not significant between range sites with moderate and poor, and also poor and very poor range conditions. According to the findings of this study, patch types' functionalities did not vary significantly in both rangeland sites with moderate and very poor conditions. The nutrient cycling index in patches formed by ‘forb, shrub and grass’ with poor range condition was significantly more than ‘forb’ and ‘grass’ patches. The study of range site functionality can assist managers in identifying possible ecological thresholds and prioritizing the sub-catchments and vegetation types for implementing range improvement practices.

  15. Disturbance of Oligodendrocyte Function Plays a Key Role in the Pathogenesis of Schizophrenia and Major Depressive Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shingo Miyata

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The major psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia (SZ and major depressive disorder (MDD are thought to be multifactorial diseases related to both genetic and environmental factors. However, the genes responsible and the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of SZ and MDD remain unclear. We previously reported that abnormalities of disrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1 and DISC1 binding zinc finger (DBZ might cause major psychiatric disorders such as SZ. Interestingly, both DISC and DBZ have been further detected in oligodendrocytes and implicated in regulating oligodendrocyte differentiation. DISC1 negatively regulates the differentiation of oligodendrocytes, whereas DBZ plays a positive regulatory role in oligodendrocyte differentiation. We have reported that repeated stressful events, one of the major risk factors of MDD, can induce sustained upregulation of plasma corticosterone levels and serum/glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 (Sgk1 mRNA expression in oligodendrocytes. Repeated stressful events can also activate the SGK1 cascade and cause excess arborization of oligodendrocyte processes, which is thought to be related to depressive-like symptoms. In this review, we discuss the expression of DISC1, DBZ, and SGK1 in oligodendrocytes, their roles in the regulation of oligodendrocyte function, possible interactions of DISC1 and DBZ in relation to SZ, and the activation of the SGK1 signaling cascade in relation to MDD.

  16. Functional and transcriptomic analysis of the key unfolded protein response transcription factor HacA in Aspergillus oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Bin; Xie, Jingyi; Liu, Xiaokai; Wang, Bin; Pan, Li

    2016-11-15

    HacA is a conserved basic leucine zipper transcription factor that serves as the master transcriptional regulator in the unfolded protein response (UPR). To comprehensively evaluate the role of HacA in Aspergillus oryzae, a homokaryotic hacA disruption mutant (HacA-DE) and a strain that expressed a constitutively active form of HacA (HacA-CA) were successfully generated, and transcriptome analyses of these mutants were performed. Growth and phenotypic profiles demonstrated that hyphal growth and sporulation were impaired in the HacA-DE and HacA-CA strains that were grown on complete and minimal media, and the growth impairment was more pronounced for the HacA-CA strain. Compared with a wild-type (WT) strain, the transcriptome results indicated that differentially expressed genes in these mutants mainly fell into four categories: the protein secretory pathway, amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism, and carbohydrate metabolism. Furthermore, we identified 80 and 36 genes of the secretory pathway whose expression significantly differed in the HacA-CA strain (compared with the WT and HacA-DE strains) and HacA-DE strain (compared with the WT strain), respectively, which mostly belonged to protein folding/UPR, glycosylation, and vesicle transport processes. Both the HacA-CA and HacA-DE strains exhibited reduced expression of extracellular enzymes, especially amylolytic enzymes, which resulted from the activation of the repression under secretion stress mechanism in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress. Collectively, our results suggest that the function of HacA is important not only for UPR induction, but also for growth and fungal physiology, as it serves to reduce secretion stress in A. oryzae. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Investigations of some elements distribution in dental tissues by INAA as a function of ecological and some other parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draskovic, R.J.; Jacimovic, Lj.; Stojicevic, M.; Pajic, P.; Filipovic, V.

    1982-01-01

    Distribution of some elements (Hg, Zn, Sb, Co and Sc) in dental tissues (enamel, dentine, pulp) has been investiaated by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Teeth samples were taken from patients living in different regions (mine and mineralized areas, plain), taking into account the following parameters: ecological conditions, age of patients, stomatological operations and use of local cosmetic preparations containig mercury. Samples of vegetation (beech, moss, pine) from two locations belonging to regions of mineralized areas also were analyzed. Results of our investigations are presented and discussed. (author)

  18. Quantitative plant ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    This e-book is written in the Wolfram' CDF format (download free CDF player from Wolfram.com) The objective of this e-book is to introduce the population ecological concepts for measuring and predicting the ecological success of plant species. This will be done by focusing on the measurement...... and statistical modelling of plant species abundance and the relevant ecological processes that control species abundance. The focus on statistical modelling and likelihood function based methods also means that more algorithm based methods, e.g. ordination techniques and boosted regression tress...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e. ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits and whole plant traits in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species’ ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance.

  1. Ecology for a changing earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, J.H.; Roughgarden, J.

    1990-01-01

    To forecast the ecological impact of global change, research initiatives are needed on the explicit role of humans in ecological systems, and on how ecological processes functioning at different spatial and temporal scales are coupled. Furthermore, to synthesize the results of ecological research for Congress, policymakers, and the general public, a new agency, called the United States Ecological Survey (USES) is urgently required. Also, a national commitment to environmental health, as exemplified by establishing a National Institutes of the Environment (NIE), should be a goal

  2. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    , and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... to translate positivist readings of the environment and hermeneutical perspectives on socioecological interaction into a common framework or terminology....

  3. The Innate Immune Receptor NLRX1 Functions as a Tumor Suppressor by Reducing Colon Tumorigenesis and Key Tumor-Promoting Signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Alicia Koblansky

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available NOD-like receptor (NLR proteins are intracellular innate immune sensors/receptors that regulate immunity. This work shows that NLRX1 serves as a tumor suppressor in colitis-associated cancer (CAC and sporadic colon cancer by keeping key tumor promoting pathways in check. Nlrx1−/− mice were highly susceptible to CAC, showing increases in key cancer-promoting pathways including nuclear factor κB (NF-κB, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3, and interleukin 6 (IL-6. The tumor-suppressive function of NLRX1 originated primarily from the non-hematopoietic compartment. This prompted an analysis of NLRX1 function in the Apcmin/+ genetic model of sporadic gastrointestinal cancer. NLRX1 attenuated Apcmin/+ colon tumorigenesis, cellular proliferation, NF-κB, MAPK, STAT3 activation, and IL-6 levels. Application of anti-interleukin 6 receptor (IL6R antibody therapy reduced tumor burden, increased survival, and reduced STAT3 activation in Nlrx1−/−Apcmin/+ mice. As an important clinical correlate, human colon cancer samples expressed lower levels of NLRX1 than healthy controls in multiple patient cohorts. These data implicate anti-IL6R as a potential personalized therapy for colon cancers with reduced NLRX1.

  4. Ecological mechanisms linking protected areas to surrounding lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Andrew J; DeFries, Ruth

    2007-06-01

    Land use is expanding and intensifying in the unprotected lands surrounding many of the world's protected areas. The influence of this land use change on ecological processes is poorly understood. The goal of this paper is to draw on ecological theory to provide a synthetic framework for understanding how land use change around protected areas may alter ecological processes and biodiversity within protected areas and to provide a basis for identifying scientifically based management alternatives. We first present a conceptual model of protected areas embedded within larger ecosystems that often include surrounding human land use. Drawing on case studies in this Invited Feature, we then explore a comprehensive set of ecological mechanisms by which land use on surrounding lands may influence ecological processes and biodiversity within reserves. These mechanisms involve changes in ecosystem size, with implications for minimum dynamic area, species-area effect, and trophic structure; altered flows of materials and disturbances into and out of reserves; effects on crucial habitats for seasonal and migration movements and population source/sink dynamics; and exposure to humans through hunting, poaching, exotics species, and disease. These ecological mechanisms provide a basis for assessing the vulnerability of protected areas to land use. They also suggest criteria for designing regional management to sustain protected areas in the context of surrounding human land use. These design criteria include maximizing the area of functional habitats, identifying and maintaining ecological process zones, maintaining key migration and source habitats, and managing human proximity and edge effects.

  5. Using ecological momentary assessment to investigate short-term variations in sexual functioning in a sample of peri-menopausal women from Iran.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir H Pakpour

    Full Text Available The investigation of short-term changes in female sexual functioning has received little attention so far. The aims of the study were to gain empirical knowledge on within-subject and within- and across-variable fluctuations in women's sexual functioning over time. More specifically, to investigate the stability of women´s self-reported sexual functioning and the moderating effects of contextual and interpersonal factors. A convenience sample of 206 women, recruited across eight Health care Clinics in Rasht, Iran. Ecological momentary assessment was used to examine fluctuations of sexual functioning over a six week period. A shortened version of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI was applied to assess sexual functioning. Self-constructed questions were included to assess relationship satisfaction, partner's sexual performance and stress levels. Mixed linear two-level model analyses revealed a link between orgasm and relationship satisfaction (Beta = 0.125, P = 0.074 with this link varying significantly between women. Analyses further revealed a significant negative association between stress and all six domains of women's sexual functioning. Women not only reported differing levels of stress over the course of the assessment period, but further differed from each other in how much stress they experienced and how much this influenced their sexual response. Orgasm and sexual satisfaction were both significantly associated with all other domains of sexual function (P<0.001. And finally, a link between partner performance and all domains of women`s sexual functioning (P<0.001 could be detected. Except for lubrication (P = 0.717, relationship satisfaction had a significant effect on all domains of the sexual response (P<0.001. Overall, our findings support the new group of criteria introduced in the DSM-5, called "associated features" such as partner factors and relationship factors. Consideration of these criteria is important and necessary for

  6. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity decreased as uranium increased in groundwater, while specific key microbial guilds increased significantly as

  7. Numerical ecology with R

    CERN Document Server

    Borcard, Daniel; Legendre, Pierre

    2018-01-01

    This new edition of Numerical Ecology with R guides readers through an applied exploration of the major methods of multivariate data analysis, as seen through the eyes of three ecologists. It provides a bridge between a textbook of numerical ecology and the implementation of this discipline in the R language. The book begins by examining some exploratory approaches. It proceeds logically with the construction of the key building blocks of most methods, i.e. association measures and matrices, and then submits example data to three families of approaches: clustering, ordination and canonical ordination. The last two chapters make use of these methods to explore important and contemporary issues in ecology: the analysis of spatial structures and of community diversity. The aims of methods thus range from descriptive to explanatory and predictive and encompass a wide variety of approaches that should provide readers with an extensive toolbox that can address a wide palette of questions arising in contemporary mul...

  8. Effects of Supplementation of the Synbiotic Ecologic® 825/FOS P6 on Intestinal Barrier Function in Healthy Humans: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilms, E.; Gerritsen, J.; Smidt, H.; Besseling-van der Vaart, I.; Rijkers, G. T.; Garcia Fuentes, A. R.; Masclee, A. A. M.; Troost, F. J.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics have been suggested as dietary strategies to improve intestinal barrier function. This study aimed to assess the effect of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on intestinal permeability under basal and stressed conditions. Secondary aims were the assessment of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on systemic immune function and gastrointestinal symptoms including defecation pattern. Design Twenty healthy adults completed a double-blind, controlled, randomized, parallel design study. Intervention Groups either received synbiotic (1.5 × 1010 CFU Ecologic® 825 + 10 g fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS P6) per day) or control supplements for two weeks. Outcomes Intestinal segment specific permeability was assessed non-invasively by oral administration of multiple sugar probes and, subsequently, assessing the excretion of these probes in urine. This test was conducted at baseline and at the end of intervention, in the absence and in the presence of an indomethacin challenge. Indomethacin was applied to induce a compromised gut state. Plasma zonulin, cytokines and chemokines were measured at baseline and at the end of intervention. Gastrointestinal symptoms and stool frequency were recorded at baseline and daily during intervention. Results Significantly more male subjects were in the synbiotic group compared to the control group (P = 0.025). Indomethacin significantly increased urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratio versus without indomethacin, both in the control group (P = 0.005) and in the synbiotic group (P = 0.017). Urinary sugar recoveries and ratios, plasma levels of zonulin, cytokines and chemokines, and gastrointestinal symptom scores were not significantly different after control or synbiotic intervention. Stool frequency within the synbiotic group was significantly increased during synbiotic intervention compared to baseline (P = 0.039) and higher compared to control intervention (P = 0.045). Conclusion Two weeks

  9. Effects of Supplementation of the Synbiotic Ecologic® 825/FOS P6 on Intestinal Barrier Function in Healthy Humans: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilms, E; Gerritsen, J; Smidt, H; Besseling-van der Vaart, I; Rijkers, G T; Garcia Fuentes, A R; Masclee, A A M; Troost, F J

    2016-01-01

    Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics have been suggested as dietary strategies to improve intestinal barrier function. This study aimed to assess the effect of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on intestinal permeability under basal and stressed conditions. Secondary aims were the assessment of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on systemic immune function and gastrointestinal symptoms including defecation pattern. Twenty healthy adults completed a double-blind, controlled, randomized, parallel design study. Groups either received synbiotic (1.5 × 1010 CFU Ecologic® 825 + 10 g fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS P6) per day) or control supplements for two weeks. Intestinal segment specific permeability was assessed non-invasively by oral administration of multiple sugar probes and, subsequently, assessing the excretion of these probes in urine. This test was conducted at baseline and at the end of intervention, in the absence and in the presence of an indomethacin challenge. Indomethacin was applied to induce a compromised gut state. Plasma zonulin, cytokines and chemokines were measured at baseline and at the end of intervention. Gastrointestinal symptoms and stool frequency were recorded at baseline and daily during intervention. Significantly more male subjects were in the synbiotic group compared to the control group (P = 0.025). Indomethacin significantly increased urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratio versus without indomethacin, both in the control group (P = 0.005) and in the synbiotic group (P = 0.017). Urinary sugar recoveries and ratios, plasma levels of zonulin, cytokines and chemokines, and gastrointestinal symptom scores were not significantly different after control or synbiotic intervention. Stool frequency within the synbiotic group was significantly increased during synbiotic intervention compared to baseline (P = 0.039) and higher compared to control intervention (P = 0.045). Two weeks Ecologic® 825/FOS P6 supplementation increased stool frequency

  10. Effects of Supplementation of the Synbiotic Ecologic® 825/FOS P6 on Intestinal Barrier Function in Healthy Humans: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Wilms

    Full Text Available Probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics have been suggested as dietary strategies to improve intestinal barrier function. This study aimed to assess the effect of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on intestinal permeability under basal and stressed conditions. Secondary aims were the assessment of two weeks synbiotic supplementation on systemic immune function and gastrointestinal symptoms including defecation pattern.Twenty healthy adults completed a double-blind, controlled, randomized, parallel design study.Groups either received synbiotic (1.5 × 1010 CFU Ecologic® 825 + 10 g fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS P6 per day or control supplements for two weeks.Intestinal segment specific permeability was assessed non-invasively by oral administration of multiple sugar probes and, subsequently, assessing the excretion of these probes in urine. This test was conducted at baseline and at the end of intervention, in the absence and in the presence of an indomethacin challenge. Indomethacin was applied to induce a compromised gut state. Plasma zonulin, cytokines and chemokines were measured at baseline and at the end of intervention. Gastrointestinal symptoms and stool frequency were recorded at baseline and daily during intervention.Significantly more male subjects were in the synbiotic group compared to the control group (P = 0.025. Indomethacin significantly increased urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratio versus without indomethacin, both in the control group (P = 0.005 and in the synbiotic group (P = 0.017. Urinary sugar recoveries and ratios, plasma levels of zonulin, cytokines and chemokines, and gastrointestinal symptom scores were not significantly different after control or synbiotic intervention. Stool frequency within the synbiotic group was significantly increased during synbiotic intervention compared to baseline (P = 0.039 and higher compared to control intervention (P = 0.045.Two weeks Ecologic® 825/FOS P6 supplementation increased stool

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Functional Connectivity Between Anterior Insula and Key Nodes of Frontoparietal Executive Control and Salience Networks Distinguish Bipolar Depression From Unipolar Depression and Healthy Control Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellard, Kristen K; Zimmerman, Jared P; Kaur, Navneet; Van Dijk, Koene R A; Roffman, Joshua L; Nierenberg, Andrew A; Dougherty, Darin D; Deckersbach, Thilo; Camprodon, Joan A

    2018-05-01

    Patients with bipolar depression are characterized by dysregulation across the full spectrum of mood, differentiating them from patients with unipolar depression. The ability to switch neural resources among the default mode network, salience network, and executive control network (ECN) has been proposed as a key mechanism for adaptive mood regulation. The anterior insula is implicated in the modulation of functional network switching. Differential connectivity between anterior insula and functional networks may provide insights into pathophysiological differences between bipolar and unipolar mood disorders, with implications for diagnosis and treatment. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 98 subjects (35 unipolar, 24 bipolar, and 39 healthy control subjects). Pearson correlations were computed between bilateral insula seed regions and a priori defined target regions from the default mode network, salience network, and ECN. After r-to-z transformation, a one-way multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted to identify significant differences in connectivity between groups. Post hoc pairwise comparisons were conducted and Bonferroni corrections were applied. Receiver-operating characteristics were computed to assess diagnostic sensitivity. Patients with bipolar depression evidenced significantly altered right anterior insula functional connectivity with the inferior parietal lobule of the ECN relative to patients with unipolar depression and control subjects. Right anterior insula-inferior parietal lobule connectivity significantly discriminated patients with bipolar depression. Impaired functional connectivity between the anterior insula and the inferior parietal lobule of the ECN distinguishes patients with bipolar depression from those with unipolar depression and healthy control subjects. This finding highlights a pathophysiological mechanism with potential as a therapeutic target and a clinical biomarker for bipolar

  13. A Key Role for NF-κB Transcription Factor c-Rel in T-Lymphocyte-Differentiation and Effector Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Visekruna

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The transcription factors of the Rel/NF-κB family function as key regulators of innate and adoptive immunity. Tightly and temporally controlled activation of NF-κB-signalling pathways ensures prevention of harmful immune cell dysregulation, whereas a loss of control leads to pathological conditions such as severe inflammation, autoimmune disease, and inflammation-associated oncogenesis. Five family members have been identified in mammals: RelA (p65, c-Rel, RelB, and the precursor proteins NF-κB1 (p105 and NF-κB2 (p100, that are processed into p50 and p52, respectively. While RelA-containing dimers are present in most cell types, c-Rel complexes are predominately found in cells of hematopoietic origin. In T-cell lymphocytes, certain genes essential for immune function such as Il2 and Foxp3 are directly regulated by c-Rel. Additionally, c-Rel-dependent IL-12 and IL-23 transcription by macrophages and dendritic cells is crucial for T-cell differentiation and effector functions. Accordingly, c-Rel expression in T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs controls a delicate balance between tolerance and immunity. This review gives a selective overview on recent progress in understanding of diverse roles of c-Rel in regulating adaptive immunity.

  14. Community Ecology

    CERN Document Server

    1988-01-01

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

  15. Ecological principles relevant to nuclear war

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hutchinson, T.C.; Cropper, W.P. Jr.; Grover, H.D.

    1985-01-01

    The ecological principles outlined are very basic ones; the authors anticipate a readership trained in a broad range of disciplines, including those unfamiliar with the academic discipline of ecology. The authors include substantial discussion on ecophysiology (i.e., the responses of organisms to their environment) because this is relevant to the new understanding of the potential climatic consequences of nuclear war. In particular, the physiological sensitivity of organisms to reduced levels of light and temperature are a key part of the analysis of the potential ecological effects and agricultural effects of nuclear war. Much of the ecological analysis has been organized around major biological units called biomes. The authors describe the biome concept and discuss some of the environmental-climatic factors that are believed to control biome distribution. Emphasis is given to plants because of their controlling influence on ecosystem functions through their role as primary producers. Future reports are needed to address more fully the potential effects on animals. Much more research needs to be done on both plant and animal responses to the types of perturbations possible for the aftermath of a nuclear war. Another important element for analysis of the potential ecological consequences of nuclear war concerns recovery processes. As the post-nuclear war environmental extremes ameliorate, ecological communities in devastated regions would begin to reorganize. It is not possible to predict the course of such a succession precisely, but some principles concerning post-perturbation replacement (such as seed banks and germination), relevant successional patterns, and organism strategies are discussed

  16. Functional evidence for the critical amino-terminal conserved domain and key amino acids of Arabidopsis 4-HYDROXY-3-METHYLBUT-2-ENYL DIPHOSPHATE REDUCTASE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Wei-Yu; Sung, Tzu-Ying; Wang, Hsin-Tzu; Hsieh, Ming-Hsiun

    2014-09-01

    The plant 4-HYDROXY-3-METHYLBUT-2-ENYL DIPHOSPHATE REDUCTASE (HDR) catalyzes the last step of the methylerythritol phosphate pathway to synthesize isopentenyl diphosphate and its allyl isomer dimethylallyl diphosphate, which are common precursors for the synthesis of plastid isoprenoids. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genomic HDR transgene-induced gene-silencing lines are albino, variegated, or pale green, confirming that HDR is essential for plants. We used Escherichia coli isoprenoid synthesis H (Protein Data Bank code 3F7T) as a template for homology modeling to identify key amino acids of Arabidopsis HDR. The predicted model reveals that cysteine (Cys)-122, Cys-213, and Cys-350 are involved in iron-sulfur cluster formation and that histidine (His)-152, His-241, glutamate (Glu)-242, Glu-243, threonine (Thr)-244, Thr-312, serine-379, and asparagine-381 are related to substrate binding or catalysis. Glu-242 and Thr-244 are conserved only in cyanobacteria, green algae, and land plants, whereas the other key amino acids are absolutely conserved from bacteria to plants. We used site-directed mutagenesis and complementation assay to confirm that these amino acids, except His-152 and His-241, were critical for Arabidopsis HDR function. Furthermore, the Arabidopsis HDR contains an extra amino-terminal domain following the transit peptide that is highly conserved from cyanobacteria, and green algae to land plants but not existing in the other bacteria. We demonstrated that the amino-terminal conserved domain was essential for Arabidopsis and cyanobacterial HDR function. Further analysis of conserved amino acids in the amino-terminal conserved domain revealed that the tyrosine-72 residue was critical for Arabidopsis HDR. These results suggest that the structure and reaction mechanism of HDR evolution have become specific for oxygen-evolving photosynthesis organisms and that HDR probably evolved independently in cyanobacteria versus other prokaryotes. © 2014

  17. [Assessment on the ecological suitability in Zhuhai City, Guangdong, China, based on minimum cumulative resistance model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian-fei; Li, Lin; Guo, Luo; Du, Shi-hong

    2016-01-01

    Urban landscape has the characteristics of spatial heterogeneity. Because the expansion process of urban constructive or ecological land has different resistance values, the land unit stimulates and promotes the expansion of ecological land with different intensity. To compare the effect of promoting and hindering functions in the same land unit, we firstly compared the minimum cumulative resistance value of promoting and hindering functions, and then looked for the balance of two landscape processes under the same standard. According to the ecology principle of minimum limit factor, taking the minimum cumulative resistance analysis method under two expansion processes as the evaluation method of urban land ecological suitability, this research took Zhuhai City as the study area to estimate urban ecological suitability by relative evaluation method with remote sensing image, field survey, and statistics data. With the support of ArcGIS, five types of indicators on landscape types, ecological value, soil erosion sensitivity, sensitivity of geological disasters, and ecological function were selected as input parameters in the minimum cumulative resistance model to compute urban ecological suitability. The results showed that the ecological suitability of the whole Zhuhai City was divided into five levels: constructive expansion prohibited zone (10.1%), constructive expansion restricted zone (32.9%), key construction zone (36.3%), priority development zone (2.3%), and basic cropland (18.4%). Ecological suitability of the central area of Zhuhai City was divided into four levels: constructive expansion prohibited zone (11.6%), constructive expansion restricted zone (25.6%), key construction zone (52.4%), priority development zone (10.4%). Finally, we put forward the sustainable development framework of Zhuhai City according to the research conclusion. On one hand, the government should strictly control the development of the urban center area. On the other hand, the

  18. EVALUATION OF ECOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT SECURITY IN CONTIGUOUS POVERTY ALLEVIATION AREA OF SICHUAN PROVINCE

    OpenAIRE

    W. Xian; Y. Chen; J. Chen; X. Luo; H. Shao

    2018-01-01

    According to the overall requirements of ecological construction and environmental protection, rely on the national key ecological engineering, strengthen ecological environmental restoration and protection, improve forest cover, control soil erosion, construct important ecological security barrier in poor areas, inhibit poverty alleviation through ecological security in this area from environmental damage to the vicious cycle of poverty. Obviously, the dynamic monitoring of ecological securi...

  19. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  20. Ecological Interface Design for Computer Network Defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Kevin B; Bryant, Adam; Sushereba, Christen

    2018-05-01

    A prototype ecological interface for computer network defense (CND) was developed. Concerns about CND run high. Although there is a vast literature on CND, there is some indication that this research is not being translated into operational contexts. Part of the reason may be that CND has historically been treated as a strictly technical problem, rather than as a socio-technical problem. The cognitive systems engineering (CSE)/ecological interface design (EID) framework was used in the analysis and design of the prototype interface. A brief overview of CSE/EID is provided. EID principles of design (i.e., direct perception, direct manipulation and visual momentum) are described and illustrated through concrete examples from the ecological interface. Key features of the ecological interface include (a) a wide variety of alternative visual displays, (b) controls that allow easy, dynamic reconfiguration of these displays, (c) visual highlighting of functionally related information across displays, (d) control mechanisms to selectively filter massive data sets, and (e) the capability for easy expansion. Cyber attacks from a well-known data set are illustrated through screen shots. CND support needs to be developed with a triadic focus (i.e., humans interacting with technology to accomplish work) if it is to be effective. Iterative design and formal evaluation is also required. The discipline of human factors has a long tradition of success on both counts; it is time that HF became fully involved in CND. Direct application in supporting cyber analysts.

  1. Prokaryotic homologs of Argonaute proteins are predicted to function as key components of a novel system of defense against mobile genetic elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van der Oost John

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In eukaryotes, RNA interference (RNAi is a major mechanism of defense against viruses and transposable elements as well of regulating translation of endogenous mRNAs. The RNAi systems recognize the target RNA molecules via small guide RNAs that are completely or partially complementary to a region of the target. Key components of the RNAi systems are proteins of the Argonaute-PIWI family some of which function as slicers, the nucleases that cleave the target RNA that is base-paired to a guide RNA. Numerous prokaryotes possess the CRISPR-associated system (CASS of defense against phages and plasmids that is, in part, mechanistically analogous but not homologous to eukaryotic RNAi systems. Many prokaryotes also encode homologs of Argonaute-PIWI proteins but their functions remain unknown. Results We present a detailed analysis of Argonaute-PIWI protein sequences and the genomic neighborhoods of the respective genes in prokaryotes. Whereas eukaryotic Ago/PIWI proteins always contain PAZ (oligonucleotide binding and PIWI (active or inactivated nuclease domains, the prokaryotic Argonaute homologs (pAgos fall into two major groups in which the PAZ domain is either present or absent. The monophyly of each group is supported by a phylogenetic analysis of the conserved PIWI-domains. Almost all pAgos that lack a PAZ domain appear to be inactivated, and the respective genes are associated with a variety of predicted nucleases in putative operons. An additional, uncharacterized domain that is fused to various nucleases appears to be a unique signature of operons encoding the short (lacking PAZ pAgo form. By contrast, almost all PAZ-domain containing pAgos are predicted to be active nucleases. Some proteins of this group (e.g., that from Aquifex aeolicus have been experimentally shown to possess nuclease activity, and are not typically associated with genes for other (putative nucleases. Given these observations, the apparent extensive

  2. Soil-covered strategy for ecological restoration alters the bacterial community structure and predictive energy metabolic functions in mine tailings profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2017-03-01

    Native soil amendment has been widely used to stabilize mine tailings and speed up the development of soil biogeochemical functions before revegetation; however, it remains poorly understood about the response of microbial communities to ecological restoration of mine tailings with soil-covered strategy. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in mine tailings during ecological restoration of two revegetation strategies (directly revegetation and native soil covered) with different plant species. The mine tailings were covered by native soils as thick as 40 cm for more than 10 years, and the total nitrogen, total organic carbon, water content, and heavy metal (Fe, Cu, and Zn) contents in the 0-40 cm intervals of profiles were changed. In addition, increased microbial diversity and changed microbial community structure were also found in the 10-40 cm intervals of profiles in soil-covered area. Soil-covered strategy rather than plant species and soil depth was the main factor influencing the bacterial community, which explained the largest portion (29.96%) of the observed variation. Compared directly to revegetation, soil-covered strategy exhibited the higher relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria and the lower relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria. PICRUSt analysis further demonstrated that soil-covered caused energy metabolic functional changes in carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur metabolism. Given all these, the soil-covered strategy may be used to fast-track the establishment of native microbial communities and is conducive to the rehabilitation of biogeochemical processes for establishing native plant species.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosser, James I; Bohannan, Brendan J M; Curtis, Tom P; Ellis, Richard J; Firestone, Mary K; Freckleton, Rob P; Green, Jessica L; Green, Laura E; Killham, Ken; Lennon, Jack J; Osborn, A Mark; Solan, Martin; van der Gast, Christopher J; Young, J Peter W

    2007-05-01

    Microbial ecology is currently undergoing a revolution, with repercussions spreading throughout microbiology, ecology and ecosystem science. The rapid accumulation of molecular data is uncovering vast diversity, abundant uncultivated microbial groups and novel microbial functions. This accumulation of data requires the application of theory to provide organization, structure, mechanistic insight and, ultimately, predictive power that is of practical value, but the application of theory in microbial ecology is currently very limited. Here we argue that the full potential of the ongoing revolution will not be realized if research is not directed and driven by theory, and that the generality of established ecological theory must be tested using microbial systems.

  5. [Ecological memory and its potential applications in ecology: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Zhong-yu; Ren, Hai

    2011-03-01

    Ecological memory (EM) is defined as the capability of the past states or experiences of a community to influence the present or future ecological responses of the community. As a relatively new concept, EM has received considerable attention in the study of ecosystem structure and function, such as community succession, ecological restoration, biological invasion, and natural resource management. This review summarized the definition, components, and categories of EM, and discussed the possible mechanisms and affecting factors of EM. Also, the potential applications of EM were proposed, in order to further understand the mechanisms of community succession and to guide ecological restoration.

  6. [Land layout for lake tourism based on ecological restraint].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jian-Ying; Li, Jiang-Feng; Zou, Li-Lin; Liu, Shi-Bin

    2012-10-01

    To avoid the decrease and deterioration of lake wetlands and the other ecological issues such as lake water pollution that were caused by the unreasonable exploration of lake tourism, a land layout for the tourism development of Liangzi Lake with the priority of ecological security pattern was proposed, based on the minimal cumulative resistance model and by using GIS technology. The study area was divided into four ecological function zones, i. e., core protection zone, ecological buffer zone, ecotone zone, and human activity zone. The core protection zone was the landscape region of ecological source. In the protection zone, new tourism land was forbidden to be increased, and some of the existing fundamental tourism facilities should be removed while some of them should be upgraded. The ecological buffer zone was the landscape region with resistance value ranged from 0 to 4562. In the buffer zone, expansion of tourism land should be forbidden, the existing tourism land should be downsized, and human activities should be isolated from ecological source by converting the human environment to the natural environment as far as possible. The ecotone zone was the landscape region with resistance value ranged from 4562 to 30797. In this zone, the existing tourism land was distributed in patches, tourism land could be expanded properly, and the lake forestry ecological tourism should be developed widely. The human activity zone was the landscape region with resistance value ranged from 30797 to 97334, which would be the key area for the land layout of lake tourism. It was suggested that the land layout for tourism with the priority of landscape ecological security pattern would be the best choice for the lake sustainable development.

  7. Key issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, N.G.W.

    1980-01-01

    Successful modeling of the thermo-mechanical and hydrochemical behavior of radioactive waste repositories in hard rock is possible in principle. Because such predictions lie outside the realm of experience, their adequacy depends entirely upon a thorough understanding of three fundamental questions: an understanding of the chemical and physical processess that determine the behavior of rock and all its complexities; accurate and realistic numerical models of the geologic media within which a repository may be built; and sufficient in-situ data covering the entire geologic region affected by, or effecting the behavior of a repository. At present sufficient is known to be able to identify most of those areas which require further attention. These areas extend all the way from a complete understanding of the chemical and physical processes determining the behavior of rock through to the exploration mapping and testing that must be done during the development of any potential repository. Many of the techniques, laboratory equipment, field instrumentation, and numerical methods needed to accomplish this do not exist at present. Therefore it is necessary to accept that a major investment in scientific research is required to generate this information over the next few years. The spectrum of scientific and engineering activities is wide extending from laboratory measurements through the development of numerical models to the measurement of data in-situ, but there is every prospect that sufficient can be done to resolve these key issues. However, to do so requires overt recognition of the many gaps which exist in our knowledge and abilities today, and of the need to bridge these gaps and of the significant costs involved in doing so

  8. Valuation of ecological resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, M.J.; Bilyard, G.R.; Link, S.O.; Ricci, P.F.; Seely, H.E.; Ulibarri, C.A.; Westerdahl, H.E.

    1995-04-01

    Ecological resources are resources that have functional value to ecosystems. Frequently, these functions are overlooked in terms of the value they provide to humans. Environmental economics is in search of an appropriate analysis framework for such resources. In such a framework, it is essential to distinguish between two related subsets of information: (1) ecological processes that have intrinsic value to natural ecosystems; and (2) ecological functions that are values by humans. The present study addresses these concerns by identifying a habitat that is being displaced by development, and by measuring the human and ecological values associated with the ecological resources in that habitat. It is also essential to determine which functions are mutually exclusive and which are, in effect, complementary or products of joint production. The authors apply several resource valuation tools, including contingent valuation methodology (CVM), travel cost methodology (TCM), and hedonic damage-pricing (HDP). One way to derive upper-limit values for more difficult-to-value functions is through the use of human analogs, because human-engineered systems are relatively inefficient at supplying the desired services when compared with natural systems. Where data on the relative efficiencies of natural systems and human analogs exist, it is possible to adjust the costs of providing the human analog by the relative efficiency of the natural system to obtain a more realistic value of the function under consideration. The authors demonstrate this approach in an environmental economic case study of the environmental services rendered by shrub-steppe habitats of Benton County, Washington State.

  9. Ecology in Urban Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Letitia K.; Ryan, Michael

    In this course guide to the teaching of urban ecology, six learning activities on the following topics are outlined: (1) city location and growth; (2) an in-depth study of New Orleans; (3) city shape and structure; (4) size and spacing of cities; (5) cities with special functions; (6) local community study. Educational objectives for each activity…

  10. Cloning and functional analysis of 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED) genes encoding a key enzyme during abscisic acid biosynthesis from peach and grape fruits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Mei; Leng, Ping; Zhang, Guanglian; Li, Xiangxin

    2009-08-15

    Ripening and senescence are generally controlled by ethylene in climacteric fruits like peaches, and the ripening process of grape, a non-climacteric fruit, may have some relationship to abscisic acid (ABA) function. In order to better understand the role of ABA in ripening and senescence of these two types of fruits, we cloned the 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED) gene that encodes a key enzyme in ABA biosynthesis from peaches and grapes using an RT-PCR approach. The NCED gene fragments were cloned from peaches (PpNCED1and PpNCED2, each 740bp) and grapes (VVNCED1, 741bp) using degenerate primers designed based on the conserved amino acids sequence of NCEDs in other plants. PpNCED1 showed 78.54% homology with PpNCED2, 74.90% homology with VVNCED1, and both showed high homology to NCEDs from other plants. The expression patterns of PpNCED1 and VVNCED1 were very similar. Both were highly expressed at the beginning of ripening when ABA content becomes high. The maximum ABA preceded ethylene production in peach fruit. ABA in the grape gradually increased from the beginning of ripening and reached the highest level at 20d before the harvest stage. However, ethylene remained at low levels during the entire process of fruit development, including ripening and senescence. ABA content, and ripening and softening of both types of fruits, were promoted or delayed by exogenous ABA or Fluridone (or NDGA) treatment. The roles of ABA and ethylene in the later ripening of fruit are complex. Based on results obtained in this study, we concluded that PpNCED1 and VVNCED1 initiate ABA biosynthesis at the beginning of fruit ripening, and that ABA accumulation might play a key role in the regulation of ripeness and senescence of both peach and grape fruits.

  11. Ecological macroeconomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2013-01-01

    by a more theoretical debate and increased interaction between the heterodox schools of ecological economics and post-Keynesian economics. In addition, both the degrowth community and the research community organized around sustainable transitions of socio-technical systems have contributed to discussions...... on how to reconcile environmental and social concerns. Based on this broad variety of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, a new ecological macroeconomics is emerging, but the contours are still vague. This chapter seeks to outline some of this topography and to add a few pieces of its own by highlighting the need...... to shift resources from consumption to investment and describing the role of consumer-citizens in such a change. The chapter starts by identifying the problems and challenges for an ecological macroeconomics. The next section outlines some of the shortcomings of traditional macroeconomics...

  12. Tol2 transposon-mediated transgenesis in the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) - towards understanding gene function and regulatory evolution in an ecological model system for rapid phenotypic diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratochwil, Claudius F; Sefton, Maggie M; Liang, Yipeng; Meyer, Axel

    2017-11-23

    The Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus spp.) is widely known among evolutionary biologists as a model system for sympatric speciation and adaptive phenotypic divergence within extremely short periods of time (a few hundred generations). The repeated parallel evolution of adaptive phenotypes in this radiation, combined with their near genetic identity, makes them an excellent model for studying phenotypic diversification. While many ecological and evolutionary studies have been performed on Midas cichlids, the molecular basis of specific phenotypes, particularly adaptations, and their underlying coding and cis-regulatory changes have not yet been studied thoroughly. For the first time in any New World cichlid, we use Tol2 transposon-mediated transgenesis in the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus). By adapting existing microinjection protocols, we established an effective protocol for transgenesis in Midas cichlids. Embryos were injected with a Tol2 plasmid construct that drives enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) expression under the control of the ubiquitin promoter. The transgene was successfully integrated into the germline, driving strong ubiquitous expression of eGFP in the first transgenic Midas cichlid line. Additionally, we show transient expression of two further transgenic constructs, ubiquitin::tdTomato and mitfa::eGFP. Transgenesis in Midas cichlids will facilitate further investigation of the genetic basis of species-specific traits, many of which are adaptations. Transgenesis is a versatile tool not only for studying regulatory elements such as promoters and enhancers, but also for testing gene function through overexpression of allelic gene variants. As such, it is an important first step in establishing the Midas cichlid as a powerful model for studying adaptive coding and non-coding changes in an ecological and evolutionary context.

  13. Using ecological function to develop recovery criteria for depleted species: Sea otters and kelp forests in the Aleutian archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, James A.; Tinker, M. Tim; Bodkin, James L.

    2010-01-01

    Recovery criteria for depleted species or populations normally are based on demographic measures, the goal being to maintain enough individuals over a sufficiently large area to assure a socially tolerable risk of future extinction. Such demographically based recovery criteria may be insufficient to restore the functional roles of strongly interacting species. We explored the idea of developing a recovery criterion for sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in the Aleutian archipelago on the basis of their keystone role in kelp forest ecosystems. We surveyed sea otters and rocky reef habitats at 34 island-time combinations. The system nearly always existed in either a kelp-dominated or deforested phase state, which was predictable from sea otter density. We used a resampling analysis of these data to show that the phase state at any particular island can be determined at 95% probability of correct classification with information from as few as six sites. When sea otter population status (and thus the phase state of the kelp forest) was allowed to vary randomly among islands, just 15 islands had to be sampled to estimate the true proportion that were kelp dominated (within 10%) with 90% confidence. We conclude that kelp forest phase state is a more appropriate, sensitive, and cost-effective measure of sea otter recovery than the more traditional demographically based metrics, and we suggest that similar approaches have broad potential utility in establishing recovery criteria for depleted populations of other functionally important species.

  14. Identifying ecological "sweet spots" underlying cyanobacteria functional group dynamics from long-term observations using a statistical machine learning approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, N.; Munoz-Carpena, R.; Phlips, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    Diversity in the eco-physiological adaptations of cyanobacteria genera creates challenges for water managers who are tasked with developing appropriate actions for controlling not only the intensity and frequency of cyanobacteria blooms, but also reducing the potential for blooms of harmful taxa (e.g., toxin producers, N2 fixers). Compounding these challenges, the efficacy of nutrient management strategies (phosphorus-only versus nitrogen-and-phosphorus) for cyanobacteria bloom abatement is the subject of an ongoing debate, which increases uncertainty associated with bloom mitigation decision-making. In this work, we analyze a unique long-term (17-year) dataset composed of monthly observations of cyanobacteria genera abundances, zooplankton abundances, water quality, and flow from Lake George, a bloom-impacted flow-through lake of the St. Johns River (FL, USA). Using the Random Forests machine learning algorithm, an assumption-free ensemble modeling approach, the dataset was evaluated to quantify and characterize relationships between environmental conditions and seven cyanobacteria groupings: five genera (Anabaena, Cylindrospermopsis, Lyngbya, Microcystis, and Oscillatoria) and two functional groups (N2 fixers and non-fixers). Results highlight the selectivity of nitrogen in describing genera and functional group dynamics, and potential for physical effects to limit the efficacy of nutrient management as a mechanism for cyanobacteria bloom mitigation.

  15. Globalization and sustainable development: a political ecology strategy to realize ecological justice

    OpenAIRE

    Byrne, John; Glover, Leigh; Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted

    2006-01-01

    Organic agriculture is, like mainstream agriculture, faced with the challenges of globalization and sustainable development. Ecological justice, the fair distribution of livelihoods and environments, has emerged as a key concept in efforts, on the one hand, to resist negative consequences of globalization and ecological modernization and, on the other to propose new agenda and institutional arrangements. This chapter investigates the role that ecological justice as a political ecology strateg...

  16. Investigating the effects of caffeine on executive functions using traditional Stroop and a new ecologically-valid virtual reality task, the Jansari assessment of Executive Functions (JEF(©)).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soar, K; Chapman, E; Lavan, N; Jansari, A S; Turner, J J D

    2016-10-01

    Caffeine has been shown to have effects on certain areas of cognition, but in executive functioning the research is limited and also inconsistent. One reason could be the need for a more sensitive measure to detect the effects of caffeine on executive function. This study used a new non-immersive virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as JEF(©) (the Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) alongside the 'classic' Stroop Colour-Word task to assess the effects of a normal dose of caffeinated coffee on executive function. Using a double-blind, counterbalanced within participants procedure 43 participants were administered either a caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and completed the 'JEF(©)' and Stroop tasks, as well as a subjective mood scale and blood pressure pre- and post condition on two separate occasions a week apart. JEF(©) yields measures for eight separate aspects of executive functions, in addition to a total average score. Findings indicate that performance was significantly improved on the planning, creative thinking, event-, time- and action-based prospective memory, as well as total JEF(©) score following caffeinated coffee relative to the decaffeinated coffee. The caffeinated beverage significantly decreased reaction times on the Stroop task, but there was no effect on Stroop interference. The results provide further support for the effects of a caffeinated beverage on cognitive functioning. In particular, it has demonstrated the ability of JEF(©) to detect the effects of caffeine across a number of executive functioning constructs, which weren't shown in the Stroop task, suggesting executive functioning improvements as a result of a 'typical' dose of caffeine may only be detected by the use of more real-world, ecologically valid tasks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Hybrid robust model based on an improved functional link neural network integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) and its application to predicting key process variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yan-Lin; Xu, Yuan; Geng, Zhi-Qiang; Zhu, Qun-Xiong

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, a hybrid robust model based on an improved functional link neural network integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) is proposed. Firstly, an improved functional link neural network with small norm of expanded weights and high input-output correlation (SNEWHIOC-FLNN) was proposed for enhancing the generalization performance of FLNN. Unlike the traditional FLNN, the expanded variables of the original inputs are not directly used as the inputs in the proposed SNEWHIOC-FLNN model. The original inputs are attached to some small norm of expanded weights. As a result, the correlation coefficient between some of the expanded variables and the outputs is enhanced. The larger the correlation coefficient is, the more relevant the expanded variables tend to be. In the end, the expanded variables with larger correlation coefficient are selected as the inputs to improve the performance of the traditional FLNN. In order to test the proposed SNEWHIOC-FLNN model, three UCI (University of California, Irvine) regression datasets named Housing, Concrete Compressive Strength (CCS), and Yacht Hydro Dynamics (YHD) are selected. Then a hybrid model based on the improved FLNN integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) was built. In IFLNN-PLS model, the connection weights are calculated using the partial least square method but not the error back propagation algorithm. Lastly, IFLNN-PLS was developed as an intelligent measurement model for accurately predicting the key variables in the Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) process and the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) process. Simulation results illustrated that the IFLNN-PLS could significant improve the prediction performance. Copyright © 2015 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Theoretical ecology as etiological from the start.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donhauser, Justin

    2016-12-01

    The world's leading environmental advisory institutions look to ecological theory and research as an objective guide for policy and resource management decision-making. In addition to the theoretical and broadly philosophical merits of doing so, it is therefore practically significant to clear up confusions about ecology's conceptual foundations and to clarify the basic workings of inferential methods used in the science. Through discussion of key moments in the genesis of the theoretical branch of ecology, this essay elucidates a general heuristic role of teleological metaphors in ecological research and defuses certain enduring confusions about work in ecology. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Ecological strategies shapes the insurance potential of biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel eMatias

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity is thought to provide insurance for ecosystem functioning under heterogeneous environments, however, such insurance potential is under serious threat following unprecedented loss of biodiversity. One of the key mechanism underlying ecological insurance is that niche differentiation allows asynchronous responses to fluctuating environments; although, the role of different ecological strategies (e.g. specialists vs generalists has yet to be formally evaluated. We combine here a simple model and experimental study to illustrate how different specialization-performance strategies shape the biodiversity-insurance relationship. We assembled microcosm of generalists and specialist bacteria over a gradient of salinity and found that, bacterial communities made up of generalists were more productive and more stable over time under environmental fluctuations. We argue that beyond species richness itself, it is essential to incorporate the distribution of ecological strategies across relevant environmental gradients as predictors of the insurance potential of biodiversity in natural ecosystems.

  20. Molecular ecological network analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-30

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

  1. Ecological concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains three critical contributions on the application of modern technology from the ethical point of view. The peaceful use of nuclear power is rejected as a technical error, which is overwhelming humanity. Ethical bases of a preventive technological policy and ecological aims are developed for the 21st century, in economy, technology, politics, and consciousness. (HSCH) [de

  2. Information Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Ellen Tove

    2006-01-01

    in the 1960ties, and chosen here because it integrates cultural and psychological trajectories in a theory of living settings. The pedagogical-didactical paradigm comprises three distinct information ecologies, named after their intended outcome: the problem-setting, the exploration-setting, and the fit...

  3. Structure-function mapping of BbCRASP-1, the key complement factor H and FHL-1 binding protein of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordes, Frank S; Kraiczy, Peter; Roversi, Pietro; Simon, Markus M; Brade, Volker; Jahraus, Oliver; Wallis, Russell; Goodstadt, Leo; Ponting, Chris P; Skerka, Christine; Zipfel, Peter F; Wallich, Reinhard; Lea, Susan M

    2006-05-01

    Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochaete transmitted to human hosts during feeding of infected Ixodes ticks, is the causative agent of Lyme disease, the most frequent vector-borne disease in Eurasia and North America. Sporadically Lyme disease develops into a chronic, multisystemic disorder. Serum-resistant B. burgdorferi strains bind complement factor H (FH) and FH-like protein 1 (FHL-1) on the spirochaete surface. This binding is dependent on the expression of proteins termed complement-regulator acquiring surface proteins (CRASPs). The atomic structure of BbCRASP-1, the key FHL-1/FH-binding protein of B. burgdorferi, has recently been determined. Our analysis indicates that its protein topology apparently evolved to provide a high affinity interaction site for FH/FHL-1 and leads to an atomic-level hypothesis for the functioning of BbCRASP-1. This work demonstrates that pathogens interact with complement regulators in ways that are distinct from the mechanisms used by the host and are thus obvious targets for drug design.

  4. An Ecological Study of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Part 2: Functional Performance Tests Correlate With Return-to-Sport Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, Timothy M; Waddington, Gordon; Scarvell, Jennie M; Ball, Nick; Creer, Rob; Woods, Kevin; Smith, Damian; Adams, Roger

    2017-02-01

    Additional high-quality prospective studies are needed to better define the objective criteria used in relation to return-to-sport decisions after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in active populations. To investigate prospectively the relationship between functional performance test results at 24 weeks postoperative and return-to-sport activity (Tegner activity score) at 12 and 24 months, respectively, after synthetic (ligament advanced reinforcement system [LARS]) and autograft (doubled semitendinosus/gracilis [2ST/2GR]) ACL reconstructions. Case series; Level of evidence, 4. A total of 64 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction (32 LARS, 32 2ST/2GR autograft; mean age, 27.9 years; body mass index [BMI], 24.9 kg/m 2 ) were assessed preoperatively and at staged intervals postoperatively up to 24 weeks for isokinetic testing of quadriceps and hamstring average power per repetition at 60 deg/s and 180 deg/s, a battery of hop tests, peak vertical ground-reaction force (vGRF), and time to peak vGRF (in seconds) during a step- and jump-down task onto a force platform and peak speed (m/s) using a global positioning system (GPS unit) during a running task. A cohort of 32 healthy matched participants (mean age, 26.31 years; BMI, 25.7 kg/m 2 ) were also tested to act as reference. Pearson correlation was calculated to assess correlation of each performance measure at 24 weeks postoperative with activity outcomes (Tegner score) at 12 and 24 months. The strongest correlation between physical performance tests and return-to-sport outcomes was observed with peak speed during running. Large correlations were also observed for hamstring isokinetic power and hop test for distance. Moderate correlations were observed for timed hop, peak vGRF during a jump-down task, and quadriceps isokinetic power. No statistical correlations were observed for time to peak vGRF during a step-down and jump-down task as well as peak vGRF during a step-down task. When the performance

  5. Chasing Ecological Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    Basic research on biodiversity has concentrated on individual species-naming new species, studying distribution patterns, and analyzing their evolutionary relationships. Yet biodiversity is more than a collection of individual species; it is the combination of biological entities and processes that support life on Earth. To understand biodiversity we must catalog it, but we must also assess the ways species interact with other species to provide functional support for the Tree of Life. Ecological interactions may be lost well before the species involved in those interactions go extinct; their ecological functions disappear even though they remain. Here, I address the challenges in studying the functional aspects of species interactions and how basic research is helping us address the fast-paced extinction of species due to human activities.

  6. Asian Eden : large herbivore ecology in India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahrestani, F.S.

    2009-01-01

    The study of large mammalian herbivore ecology has a strong allometric tradition. The
    majority of studies that have helped better understand how body mass affects large herbivore
    ecology in the tropics, from a biological, functional, and ecological perspective, are from
    Africa.

  7. Functional diversity in plant communities: Theory and analysis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Plant functional diversity in community has become a key point in ecology studies recently. The development of species functional diversity was reviewed in the present work. Based on the former original research papers and reviews, we discussed the concept and connotation and put forward a new definition of functional ...

  8. Political ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strohm, H.

    1979-01-01

    Using facts and examples, this didactically structures textbook gives an insight into the extent and consequences of the damage to the environment, with the subjects - fundamentals of ecology; - population and food problems; - the energy problem; - economic growth; scarcity of resources, recycling; - ground, water, and air pollution, - city and traffic problems; - work protection and medical care; - political alternatives and 'soft technologies'. The analysis of the political and economic reasons is combined with social and technical alternatives from which demands to be made and measures to be taken can be derived for individuals, citizens' interest groups, political groups and trade unions. Teaching models intend to help teachers to work on specific problems of ecology. (orig.) [de

  9. Wasteland ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hoag, Colin Brewster; Bertoni, Filippo; Bubandt, Nils Ole

    2018-01-01

    landscapes, this article argues, are the result of unheralded multispecies collaboration that can be traced empirically by attending ethnographically to multispecies forms of “gain-making,” the ways in which humans and other species leverage difference to find economic and ecological opportunity....... in the 1970s, when prevailing perceptions were that the entire mining area was a polluted wasteland, the AFLD Fasterholt waste and recycling plant has since changed in response to new EU waste management regulations, as well as the unexpected proliferation of non-human life in the area. Based on field...... research at this site—an Anthropocene landscape in the heartland of an EU-configured welfare state — this article is a contribution to the multispecies ethnography and political ecology of wastelands. We argue that “waste” is a co-species, biopolitical happening — a complex symbolic, political, biological...

  10. Marine ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    Studies on marine ecology included marine pollution; distribution patterns of Pu and Am in the marine waters, sediments, and organisms of Bikini Atoll and the influence of physical, chemical, and biological factors on their movements through marine biogeochemical systems; transfer and dispersion of organic pollutants from an oil refinery through coastal waters; transfer of particulate pollutants, including sediments dispersed during construction of offshore power plants; and raft culture of the mangrove oysters

  11. The unique fold and lability of the [2Fe-2S] clusters of NEET proteins mediate their key functions in health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karmi, Ola; Marjault, Henri-Baptiste; Pesce, Luca; Carloni, Paolo; Onuchic, Jose' N; Jennings, Patricia A; Mittler, Ron; Nechushtai, Rachel

    2018-02-12

    NEET proteins comprise a new class of [2Fe-2S] cluster proteins. In human, three genes encode for NEET proteins: cisd1 encodes mitoNEET (mNT), cisd2 encodes the Nutrient-deprivation autophagy factor-1 (NAF-1) and cisd3 encodes MiNT (Miner2). These recently discovered proteins play key roles in many processes related to normal metabolism and disease. Indeed, NEET proteins are involved in iron, Fe-S, and reactive oxygen homeostasis in cells and play an important role in regulating apoptosis and autophagy. mNT and NAF-1 are homodimeric and reside on the outer mitochondrial membrane. NAF-1 also resides in the membranes of the ER associated mitochondrial membranes (MAM) and the ER. MiNT is a monomer with distinct asymmetry in the molecular surfaces surrounding the clusters. Unlike its paralogs mNT and NAF-1, it resides within the mitochondria. NAF-1 and mNT share similar backbone folds to the plant homodimeric NEET protein (At-NEET), while MiNT's backbone fold resembles a bacterial MiNT protein. Despite the variation of amino acid composition among these proteins, all NEET proteins retained their unique CDGSH domain harboring their unique 3Cys:1His [2Fe-2S] cluster coordination through evolution. The coordinating exposed His was shown to convey the lability to the NEET proteins' [2Fe-2S] clusters. In this minireview, we discuss the NEET fold and its structural elements. Special attention is given to the unique lability of the NEETs' [2Fe-2S] cluster and the implication of the latter to the NEET proteins' cellular and systemic function in health and disease.

  12. The extracytoplasmic function sigma factor SigV plays a key role in the original model of lysozyme resistance and virulence of Enterococcus faecalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Le Jeune

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Enterococcus faecalis is one of the leading agents of nosocomial infections. To cause diseases, pathogens or opportunistic bacteria have to adapt and survive to the defense systems encountered in the host. One of the most important compounds of the host innate defense response against invading microorganisms is lysozyme. It is found in a wide variety of body fluids, as well as in cells of the innate immune system. Lysozyme could act either as a muramidase and/or as a cationic antimicrobial peptide. Like Staphylococcus aureus, E. faecalis is one of the few bacteria that are completely lysozyme resistant. RESULTS: This study revealed that oatA (O-acetyl transferase and dlt (D-Alanylation of lipoteicoic acids genes contribute only partly to the lysozyme resistance of E. faecalis and that a specific transcriptional regulator, the extracytoplasmic function SigV sigma factor plays a key role in this event. Indeed, the sigV single mutant is as sensitive as the oatA/dltA double mutant, and the sigV/oatA/dltA triple mutant displays the highest level of lysozyme sensitivity suggesting synergistic effects of these genes. In S. aureus, mutation of both oatA and dlt genes abolishes completely the lysozyme resistance, whereas this is not the case in E. faecalis. Interestingly SigV does not control neither oatA nor dlt genes. Moreover, the sigV mutants clearly showed a reduced capacity to colonize host tissues, as they are significantly less recovered than the parental JH2-2 strain from organs of mice subjected to intravenous or urinary tract infections. CONCLUSIONS: This work led to the discovery of an original model of lysozyme resistance mechanism which is obviously more complex than those described for other Gram positive pathogens. Moreover, our data provide evidences for a direct link between lysozyme resistance and virulence of E. faecalis.

  13. Identification of the endogenous key substrates of the human organic cation transporter OCT2 and their implication in function of dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dirk Taubert

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The etiology of neurodegenerative disorders, such as the accelerated loss of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease, is unclear. Current hypotheses suggest an abnormal function of the neuronal sodium-dependent dopamine transporter DAT to contribute to cell death in the dopaminergic system, but it has not been investigated whether sodium-independent amine transporters are implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By the use of a novel tandem-mass spectrometry-based substrate search technique, we have shown that the dopaminergic neuromodulators histidyl-proline diketopiperazine (cyclo(his-pro and salsolinol were the endogenous key substrates of the sodium-independent organic cation transporter OCT2. Quantitative real-time mRNA expression analysis revealed that OCT2 in contrast to its related transporters was preferentially expressed in the dopaminergic regions of the substantia nigra where it colocalized with DAT and tyrosine hydroxylase. By assessing cell viability with the MTT reduction assay, we found that salsolinol exhibited a selective toxicity toward OCT2-expressing cells that was prevented by cyclo(his-pro. A frequent genetic variant of OCT2 with the amino acid substitution R400C reduced the transport efficiency for the cytoprotective cyclo(his-pro and thereby increased the susceptibility to salsolinol-induced cell death. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings indicate that the OCT2-regulated interplay between cyclo(his-pro and salsolinol is crucial for nigral cell integrity and that a shift in transport efficiency may impact the risk of Parkinson's disease.

  14. Sulfur Denitrosylation by an Engineered Trx-like DsbG Enzyme Identifies Nucleophilic Cysteine Hydrogen Bonds as Key Functional Determinant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafaye, Céline; Van Molle, Inge; Tamu Dufe, Veronica; Wahni, Khadija; Boudier, Ariane; Leroy, Pierre; Collet, Jean-François; Messens, Joris

    2016-07-15

    Exposure of bacteria to NO results in the nitrosylation of cysteine thiols in proteins and low molecular weight thiols such as GSH. The cells possess enzymatic systems that catalyze the denitrosylation of these modified sulfurs. An important player in these systems is thioredoxin (Trx), a ubiquitous, cytoplasmic oxidoreductase that can denitrosylate proteins in vivo and S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) in vitro However, a periplasmic or extracellular denitrosylase has not been identified, raising the question of how extracytoplasmic proteins are repaired after nitrosative damage. In this study, we tested whether DsbG and DsbC, two Trx family proteins that function in reducing pathways in the Escherichia coli periplasm, also possess denitrosylating activity. Both DsbG and DsbC are poorly reactive toward GSNO. Moreover, DsbG is unable to denitrosylate its specific substrate protein, YbiS. Remarkably, by borrowing the CGPC active site of E. coli Trx-1 in combination with a T200M point mutation, we transformed DsbG into an enzyme highly reactive toward GSNO and YbiS. The pKa of the nucleophilic cysteine, as well as the redox and thermodynamic properties of the engineered DsbG are dramatically changed and become similar to those of E. coli Trx-1. X-ray structural insights suggest that this results from a loss of two direct hydrogen bonds to the nucleophilic cysteine sulfur in the DsbG mutant. Our results highlight the plasticity of the Trx structural fold and reveal that the subtle change of the number of hydrogen bonds in the active site of Trx-like proteins is the key factor that thermodynamically controls reactivity toward nitrosylated compounds. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  15. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  16. Bacterial community composition and predicted functional ecology of sponges, sediment and seawater from the thousand islands reef complex, West Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Voogd, Nicole J; Cleary, Daniel F R; Polónia, Ana R M; Gomes, Newton C M

    2015-04-01

    In the present study, we assessed the composition of Bacteria in four biotopes namely sediment, seawater and two sponge species (Stylissa massa and Xestospongia testudinaria) at four different reef sites in a coral reef ecosystem in West Java, Indonesia. In addition to this, we used a predictive metagenomic approach to estimate to what extent nitrogen metabolic pathways differed among bacterial communities from different biotopes. We observed marked differences in bacterial composition of the most abundant bacterial phyla, classes and orders among sponge species, water and sediment. Proteobacteria were by far the most abundant phylum in terms of both sequences and Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs). Predicted counts for genes associated with the nitrogen metabolism suggested that several genes involved in the nitrogen cycle were enriched in sponge samples, including nosZ, nifD, nirK, norB and nrfA genes. Our data show that a combined barcoded pyrosequencing and predictive metagenomic approach can provide novel insights into the potential ecological functions of the microbial communities. Not only is this approach useful for our understanding of the vast microbial diversity found in sponges but also to understand the potential response of microbial communities to environmental change. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. [Ecological and hygienic problems of nanotech progress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latyshevskaia, N I; Strekalova, A S

    2012-01-01

    In article necessity of development of new directions of researches--nanoecology (ecology of nanoindustry) and nanohygiene (hygiene of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials) is proved. On the basis of the spent review key ecological and hygienic problems of nanoindustrial development are systematized and also debatable questions are allocated. The conclusion is drawn on necessity of an intensification of studying of ecological and hygienic aspects of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  19. Ecological worldview perspective on urban sustainability

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Du Plessis, C

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available system, i.e. an ecological worldview. This paper briefly outlines the key characteristics of this alternative, ecological worldview as it is emerging from the interactions between a wide range of knowledge sources, in order to develop a theoretical basis...

  20. Graphic Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook Weld Muller

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This essay describes strategic approaches to graphic representation associated with critical environmental engagement and that build from the idea of works of architecture as stitches in the ecological fabric of the city. It focuses on the building up of partial or fragmented graphics in order to describe inclusive, open-ended possibilities for making architecture that marry rich experience and responsive performance. An aphoristic approach to crafting drawings involves complex layering, conscious absence and the embracing of tension. A self-critical attitude toward the generation of imagery characterized by the notion of ‘loose precision’ may lead to more transformative and environmentally responsive architectures.

  1. Industrial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, C K

    1992-01-01

    Industrial ecology addresses issues that will impact future production, use, and disposal technologies; proper use of the concept should reduce significantly the resources devoted to potential remediation in the future. This cradle-to-reincarnation production philosophy includes industrial processes that are environmentally sound and products that are environmentally safe during use and economically recyclable after use without adverse impact on the environment or on the net cost to society. This will require an industry-university-government round table to set the strategy and agenda for progress. PMID:11607254

  2. The ecological executive function of epileptic children with ADHD%癫痫共患ADHD儿童的生态学执行功能

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈静; 周农; 刘天龙; 顾安丽; 陈晓霞

    2015-01-01

    Objective To study the characteristics of ecological executive function and influencing factors of epilep-tic children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD) . Methods By utilizing the cross-sectional survey study, 79 cases of epileptic children were evaluated according to the clinical diagnostic scale of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM-IV, USA);all of the epileptic children and 52 cases of normal chil-dren with the matched age, gender and levels of education were completed with the questionnaire evaluation of Be-havior Rating Index of Executive Function ( BRIEF, Parents Version) . Results ①30 cases of ADHD were found in 79 cases of children with epilepsy, and the coincidence rate was 37. 97%. There were no statistically significant differences between epileptic children with ADHD and epileptic children without ADHD in gender, age, onset age, education level , course of diseases , control or not , family history and history of traumatic brain injuries . But there were statistically significant differences in epileptic seizure type and drug treatment or not ( P<0. 05 ) . ②The two scores of behavior management index and metacognition were higher in epileptic children with ADHD than the epi-leptic children without ADHD and the normal group, and the differences were statistically significant (P<0. 05).③ The clinical characteristics of seizure type, course of disease, epileptic seizure control or not and drug treatment or not in epileptic children with ADHD were significantly correlated with BRIEF(P<0. 05). Conclusion The eco-logical executive function is comprehensively damaged in the epileptic children with ADHD, and the damage is more serious than the epileptic children without ADHD. The ecological executive function of epileptic children with ADHD is significantly influenced by epilepsy seizure type, epilepsy control or not and drug treatment or not.%目的 探讨癫痫共患注意缺陷多动障碍( ADHD)儿童

  3. [Regional ecological planning and ecological network construction: a case study of "Ji Triangle" Region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bo; Han, Zeng-Lin; Tong, Lian-Jun

    2009-05-01

    By the methods of in situ investigation and regional ecological planning, the present ecological environment, ecosystem vulnerability, and ecological environment sensitivity in "Ji Triangle" Region were analyzed, and the ecological network of the study area was constructed. According to the ecological resources abundance degree, ecological recovery, farmland windbreak system, environmental carrying capacity, forestry foundation, and ecosystem integrity, the study area was classified into three regional ecological function ecosystems, i. e., east low hill ecosystem, middle plain ecosystem, and west plain wetland ecosystem. On the basis of marking regional ecological nodes, the regional ecological corridor (Haerbin-Dalian regional axis, Changchun-Jilin, Changchun-Songyuan, Jilin-Songyuan, Jilin-Siping, and Songyuan-Siping transportation corridor) and regional ecological network (one ring, three links, and three belts) were constructed. Taking the requests of regional ecological security into consideration, the ecological environment security system of "Ji Triangle" Region, including regional ecological conservation district, regional ecological restored district, and regional ecological management district, was built.

  4. Security for Key Management Interfaces

    OpenAIRE

    Kremer , Steve; Steel , Graham; Warinschi , Bogdan

    2011-01-01

    International audience; We propose a much-needed formal definition of security for cryptographic key management APIs. The advantages of our definition are that it is general, intuitive, and applicable to security proofs in both symbolic and computational models of cryptography. Our definition relies on an idealized API which allows only the most essential functions for generating, exporting and importing keys, and takes into account dynamic corruption of keys. Based on this we can define the ...

  5. La costra biológica del suelo: Avances recientes en el conocimiento de su estructura y función ecológica Biological soil crusts: Recent advances in our knowledge of their structure and ecological function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ANDREA P CASTILLO-MONROY

    2011-03-01

    estructura y funcionamiento de los ecosistemas en los que se encuentran.Biological soil crusts (BSCs result from an intimate association between soil particles and cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes. These crusts are widespread in many type of soils and in almost all plant communities where sunlight can reach the soil surface. However, BSCs are particulary dominant in environments with low productivity such as arid, semi-arid, alpine and polar areas. Biological soil crusts affect soil nutrient cycling, influence the local hidrological cycle, increase soil stability, and affect the establisment and performance of vascular plants. The knowledge on the biology, ecology and physiology of BSCs has substantially increased in recent years. However, there are important gaps in our knowledge concerning the influence of BSCs on biogeochemical cycles, particularly of phosphorus and carbon, as well as on many aspects related to biotic interactions among BSC components, and between these components and microorganisms, vascular plants and invertebrates. It is necessary to expand current research efforts to other parts of the world, as most studies have been conducted mainly in arid and semi-arid areas of USA, Israel, Australia and China. Of particular concern is the lack of studies from Central and South America, despite BSCs must be a key biotic component in countries such as Chile, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. With the aim of increasing the interest of the scientific community of Spanish-speaking countries about this important group of organisms, in this review we illustrate recent advances on the importance of BSCs to maintain the structure and functioning of those ecosystems in which they are present. We also highlight the main gaps in our knowledge on the ecology of these organisms, and discuss key areas for future research.

  6. The 'Functional Landscape Approach': Building a socio-ecological evidence base for its contribution to adaptation and resilience in wetland catchments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrie, Rachael; Dixon, Alan

    2015-04-01

    Sustainable land management is increasingly taking a landscape approach to advocate simultaneously for local and multiple stakeholder-negotiated development and environmental objectives. Landscape approaches advance earlier frameworks that failed to acknowledge or reconcile either biodiversity or societal trade-offs, and that often tended toward externally-derived or imposed management interventions. Most recently, the management of land to balance biodiversity, food security and ecosystem services outcomes has been informed by socio-ecological systems thinking that seeks to promote an interdisciplinary understanding of any given 'landscape' where environmental and social factors continually interact in complex, adaptive and resilient ways. Reflecting these concepts, and integrating local and external scientific knowledge, the Functional Landscape Approach (FLA) was developed by Wetland Action, focussing on wetland systems in rural sub-Saharan Africa to contribute to environmentally sensitive and climate resilient strategies for safeguarding essential ecosystem services and improving livelihoods and well-being. In particular, the FLA stresses the ways in which land productivity can be improved through supporting, strengthening or re-establishing functional linkages between wetlands and their catchments and provides a basis for local identification of specific interventions to improve the sustainability of land use. Crucially, it also emphasises the need for community-based institutional support and the importance of incentives through market linkages and value-chain development. In this paper we will describe our experiences of developing and implementing the FLA in Ethiopia, Zambia and Malawi over the past two decades. Drawing on successful and less-successful elements of participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation, and the facilitation of long-term sustainable benefits, we will discuss some of the accomplishments and challenges that can be associated with

  7. Non-equivalence of key positively charged residues of the free fatty acid 2 receptor in the recognition and function of agonist versus antagonist ligands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sergeev, Eugenia; Hojgaard Hansen, Anders; Pandey, Sunil K

    2016-01-01

    Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are produced in the gut by bacterial fermentation of poorly digested carbohydrates. A key mediator of their actions is the G protein-coupled Free Fatty Acid 2 (FFA2) receptor and this has been suggested as a therapeutic target for the treatment of both metabolic an...

  8. Virtualization of Research Universities: Raising the Right Questions to Address Key Functions of the Institution. Research & Occasional Paper Series. CSHE.6.03

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeffer, Thomas

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the variety of information and communication technology (ICT) applications at traditional universities and to integrate them into a holistic picture of the institution. Using the distinction of three key elements of scholarly activity (research, publication, education), it suggests a functional…

  9. Media Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Ašković

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Does the trend in which electronic media are gradually becoming extension of human body have to move towards full enslavement of a human and his personality, or the same human will unpredictably, with the aid of his personal media literacy, exit the whirls of media and technological censorships? Personality crisis is closely related to the crisis of language no matter how contradicted to global ideology of transnational transhumanism it may seem. Considering the fact that recent media presentations of the world are based on commercialization of environmentalism, philosophical and aesthetic thought appears as an important subject of ecology. As media mediates, the scenery of civilized living increasingly becomes more appealing even though it derives from commercial and political background. Consequently, the future of humanity depends by large on the philosophy of media. Media have to truly ecologise returning the humanum to its essence making it into the extension of the natural world.

  10. Ecological Ethics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oughton, Deborah

    2013-01-01

    Deborah Oughton started with a view of the work in progress by the ICRP TG 94 on ethics, from the historical context and the principles-based ethics in RP, to continue with an overview of the ethical theories and with the main area of elaboration which concerns the common values, to conclude with considerations about the implementation in different area such as biomedicine, nuclear safety and workers, ecological aspects, and environmental health and society. By reading again the ICRP and IAEA publications on the ethical aspects in the protection of environment from the effects of ionizing radiation, the presentation covers the various and different cultures within the history of environmental ethics, the perception of Nature and the theories of environmental ethics, in particular by focusing on anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as philosophical worldwide views, and on conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, environmental justice and human dignity, as primary principles of environmental protection. The influence of western Christianity, with a view of man dominating over every creeping thing on earth, and of the non-western ideas, the human perception of Nature has been analyzed and discussed to conclude that, in reality then, the anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as reflected in many cultures and religions, they all support the need to protect the environment and to recognise and preserve the diversity. Three challenges were then discussed in the presentation: the ecosystem approach and ecological economics, for example in the case of Fukushima by asking what is the economic cost of marine contamination; the ecosystem changes with attention to what harms, as in the case of the environment in the contaminated areas around Chernobyl; and the environmental consequences of remediation, which can be considered a source of controversy for environmental ethics and policy

  11. The logic of ecological patchiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünbaum, Daniel

    2012-04-06

    Most ecological interactions occur in environments that are spatially and temporally heterogeneous-'patchy'-across a wide range of scales. In contrast, most theoretical models of ecological interactions, especially large-scale models applied to societal issues such as climate change, resource management and human health, are based on 'mean field' approaches in which the underlying patchiness of interacting consumers and resources is intentionally averaged out. Mean field ecological models typically have the advantages of tractability, few parameters and clear interpretation; more technically complex spatially explicit models, which resolve ecological patchiness at some (or all relevant) scales, generally lack these advantages. This report presents a heuristic analysis that incorporates important elements of consumer-resource patchiness with minimal technical complexity. The analysis uses scaling arguments to establish conditions under which key mechanisms-movement, reproduction and consumption-strongly affect consumer-resource interactions in patchy environments. By very general arguments, the relative magnitudes of these three mechanisms are quantified by three non-dimensional ecological indices: the Frost, Strathmann and Lessard numbers. Qualitative analysis based on these ecological indices provides a basis for conjectures concerning the expected characteristics of organisms, species interactions and ecosystems in patchy environments.

  12. Breaking chaotic shift key communication via adaptive key identification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ren Haipeng; Han Chongzhao; Liu Ding

    2008-01-01

    This paper proposes an adaptive parameter identification method for breaking chaotic shift key communication from the transmitted signal in public channel. The sensitive dependence property of chaos on parameter mismatch is used for chaos adaptive synchronization and parameter identification. An index function about the synchronization error is defined and conjugate gradient method is used to minimize the index function and to search the transmitter's parameter (key). By using proposed method, secure key is recovered from transmitted signal generated by low dimensional chaos and hyper chaos switching communication. Multi-parameters can also be identified from the transmitted signal with noise

  13. Ecological stability of landscape - ecological infrastructure - ecological management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The Field Workshop 'Ecological Stability of Landscape - Ecological Infrastructure - Ecological Management' was held within a State Environmental Programme financed by the Federal Committee for the Environment. The objectives of the workshop were to present Czech and Slovak approaches to the ecological stability of the landscape by means of examples of some case studies in the field, and to exchange ideas, theoretical knowledge and practical experience on implementing the concept of ecological infrastructure in landscape management. Out of 19 papers contained in the proceedings, 3 items were inputted to the INIS system. (Z.S.)

  14. Evolution of egg coats: linking molecular biology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Longfei; Suter, Marc J-F; Räsänen, Katja

    2015-08-01

    One central goal of evolutionary biology is to explain how biological diversity emerges and is maintained in nature. Given the complexity of the phenotype and the multifaceted nature of inheritance, modern evolutionary ecological studies rely heavily on the use of molecular tools. Here, we show how molecular tools help to gain insight into the role of egg coats (i.e. the extracellular structures surrounding eggs and embryos) in evolutionary diversification. Egg coats are maternally derived structures that have many biological functions from mediating fertilization to protecting the embryo from environmental hazards. They show great molecular, structural and functional diversity across species, but intraspecific variability and the role of ecology in egg coat evolution have largely been overlooked. Given that much of the variation that influences egg coat function is ultimately determined by their molecular phenotype, cutting-edge molecular tools (e.g. proteomics, glycomics and transcriptomics), combined with functional assays, are needed for rigorous inferences on their evolutionary ecology. Here, we identify key research areas and highlight emerging molecular techniques that can increase our understanding of the role of egg coats in the evolution of biological diversity, from adaptation to speciation. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Countermeasures for China’s Ecological Environment Construction in Land Reclamation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen; LI; Xinfeng; LIU; Zhe; PENG; Tao; SI; Lingfeng; KONG

    2013-01-01

    Basic situation of the current ecological environment construction in land consolidation and rehabilitation of China is introduced. The related advanced experience abroad is summarized from mainly four aspects, namely policy, system as well as subject development, planning guidance, design method of project planning and engineering study, and practical countermeasures to China’s ecological environment construction in land reclamation are proposed. In terms of policy, system and subject, relevant regulations, policies and system construction should be strengthened and the framework of policy, system and subject development in ecological landscape construction of China’s land reclamation should be proposed, integrating ecological environment construction into land reclamation. At the level of strategic planning, the spatial layout and construction key points of green infrastructure in land reclamation of "urban multi-functional developing region, eastern economic developed region, central modern agricultural region and northwestern ecological fragile region" should be achieved. At the level of project planning design, ecological principles, sustainable landscape design principles and vernacular landscape design methods are to be integrated into the planning procedure to form operable technique regulations or introductions. At the level of engineering design, engineering technique system, standards and regulations of ditches, roads, forests and channels with local distinctions should be formulated according to the characters and strategic demands of urbanization, industrialization, agriculture modernization and ecological environment preservation in different regions.

  16. [Urban ecological risk assessment: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mei-E; Chen, Wei-Ping; Peng, Chi

    2014-03-01

    With the development of urbanization and the degradation of urban living environment, urban ecological risks caused by urbanization have attracted more and more attentions. Based on urban ecology principles and ecological risk assessment frameworks, contents of urban ecological risk assessment were reviewed in terms of driven forces, risk resources, risk receptors, endpoints and integrated approaches for risk assessment. It was suggested that types and degrees of urban economical and social activities were the driven forces for urban ecological risks. Ecological functional components at different levels in urban ecosystems as well as the urban system as a whole were the risk receptors. Assessment endpoints involved in changes of urban ecological structures, processes, functional components and the integrity of characteristic and function. Social-ecological models should be the major approaches for urban ecological risk assessment. Trends for urban ecological risk assessment study should focus on setting a definite protection target and criteria corresponding to assessment endpoints, establishing a multiple-parameter assessment system and integrative assessment approaches.

  17. Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Modern Western Ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Indigenous knowledge is often dismissed as 'traditional and outdated', and hence irrelevant to modern ecological assessment. This theoretical paper critically examines the arguments advanced to elevate modern western ecological knowledge over indigenous ecological knowledge, as well as the sources and uses of ...

  18. At the Nexus of History, Ecology, and Hydrobiogeochemistry: Improved Predictions across Scales through Integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, James C

    2018-01-01

    To improve predictions of ecosystem function in future environments, we need to integrate the ecological and environmental histories experienced by microbial communities with hydrobiogeochemistry across scales. A key issue is whether we can derive generalizable scaling relationships that describe this multiscale integration. There is a strong foundation for addressing these challenges. We have the ability to infer ecological history with null models and reveal impacts of environmental history through laboratory and field experimentation. Recent developments also provide opportunities to inform ecosystem models with targeted omics data. A major next step is coupling knowledge derived from such studies with multiscale modeling frameworks that are predictive under non-steady-state conditions. This is particularly true for systems spanning dynamic interfaces, which are often hot spots of hydrobiogeochemical function. We can advance predictive capabilities through a holistic perspective focused on the nexus of history, ecology, and hydrobiogeochemistry.

  19. Ecological Econophysics for Degrowth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Pueyo

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines a synthesis of ecological economics with econophysics and other complexity approaches to economics. Arguably, the resulting “ecological econophysics” will be scientifically sounder than mainstream economics and much better suited to addressing a major challenge of our times: the development of democratically-based policies to reduce economic throughput to an environmentally sustainable level without triggering economic crises and without excluding part of the world’s population, i.e., to implement degrowth. Degrowth will need major structural changes, which leads us to question whether there are limits to the malleability of the economic system’s architecture. A fundamental limit will be encountered if, as suggested by the physics of complexity, long-lasting complex systems always occur midway between an ordered and a disordered state. There is much evidence that this hypothesis holds and that the current economic system satisfies this condition. However, this does not mean that the problems posed by this system should be unavoidable. Ecological econophysics gives clues to identifying alternative economic systems that would also function between order and chaos, but which would have radically different implications for environmental sustainability and social justice.

  20. 25 CFR 502.14 - Key employee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 25 Indians 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Key employee. 502.14 Section 502.14 Indians NATIONAL....14 Key employee. Key employee means: (a) A person who performs one or more of the following functions... gaming operation. (d) Any other person designated by the tribe as a key employee. [57 FR 12392, Apr. 9...

  1. The chemical ecology of copepods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heuschele, Jan; Selander, Erik

    2014-01-01

    for the functioning of the marine food web, much is still unknown. We synthesize current knowledge about chemical ecology of copepods including foraging, survival and reproduction. We also compile information on the sensory apparatus and new analytical approaches that may facilitate the identification of signal...... molecules. The review illustrates the importance of chemical interactions in many aspects of copepod ecology and identifies gaps in our knowledge, such as the lack of identified infochemicals and electrophysiological studies to confirm the function of sensory structures. We suggest approaches...

  2. Civic Ecology: A Postmodern Approach to Ecological Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, V. L.

    2013-12-01

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

  3. Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digesters: The Key Players of Anaerobiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali Shah, Fayyaz; Mahmood, Qaisar; Maroof Shah, Mohammad; Pervez, Arshid; Ahmad Asad, Saeed

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion is the method of wastes treatment aimed at a reduction of their hazardous effects on the biosphere. The mutualistic behavior of various anaerobic microorganisms results in the decomposition of complex organic substances into simple, chemically stabilized compounds, mainly methane and CO2. The conversions of complex organic compounds to CH4 and CO2 are possible due to the cooperation of four different groups of microorganisms, that is, fermentative, syntrophic, acetogenic, and methanogenic bacteria. Microbes adopt various pathways to evade from the unfavorable conditions in the anaerobic digester like competition between sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and methane forming bacteria for the same substrate. Methanosarcina are able to use both acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic pathways for methane production. This review highlights the cellulosic microorganisms, structure of cellulose, inoculum to substrate ratio, and source of inoculum and its effect on methanogenesis. The molecular techniques such as DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) utilized for dynamic changes in microbial communities and FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) that deal with taxonomy and interaction and distribution of tropic groups used are also discussed. PMID:24701142

  4. Microbial ecology of anaerobic digesters: the key players of anaerobiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali Shah, Fayyaz; Mahmood, Qaisar; Maroof Shah, Mohammad; Pervez, Arshid; Ahmad Asad, Saeed

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion is the method of wastes treatment aimed at a reduction of their hazardous effects on the biosphere. The mutualistic behavior of various anaerobic microorganisms results in the decomposition of complex organic substances into simple, chemically stabilized compounds, mainly methane and CO2. The conversions of complex organic compounds to CH4 and CO2 are possible due to the cooperation of four different groups of microorganisms, that is, fermentative, syntrophic, acetogenic, and methanogenic bacteria. Microbes adopt various pathways to evade from the unfavorable conditions in the anaerobic digester like competition between sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and methane forming bacteria for the same substrate. Methanosarcina are able to use both acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic pathways for methane production. This review highlights the cellulosic microorganisms, structure of cellulose, inoculum to substrate ratio, and source of inoculum and its effect on methanogenesis. The molecular techniques such as DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) utilized for dynamic changes in microbial communities and FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) that deal with taxonomy and interaction and distribution of tropic groups used are also discussed.

  5. Modeling lichen communities : ecological key factors in a changing environment

    OpenAIRE

    Lopes, Pedro António Pinho, 1976-

    2010-01-01

    Tese de doutoramento, Biologia (Ecologia), Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, 2010 O fenómeno das alterações globais influencia o funcionamento de muitos dos sistemas planetários. Embora os factores ambientais associados a esse fenómeno funcionem numa escala global, os seus efeitos nos ecossistemas têm de ser estudados localmente. Este estudo é complexo não só pela necessidade de obter informação com uma elevada resolução espacial, mas também pela dificuldade de estarmos a trab...

  6. Morphological similarity and ecological overlap in two rotifer species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabaldón, Carmen; Montero-Pau, Javier; Serra, Manuel; Carmona, María José

    2013-01-01

    Co-occurrence of cryptic species raises theoretically relevant questions regarding their coexistence and ecological similarity. Given their great morphological similitude and close phylogenetic relationship (i.e., niche retention), these species will have similar ecological requirements and are expected to have strong competitive interactions. This raises the problem of finding the mechanisms that may explain the coexistence of cryptic species and challenges the conventional view of coexistence based on niche differentiation. The cryptic species complex of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is an excellent model to study these questions and to test hypotheses regarding ecological differentiation. Rotifer species within this complex are filtering zooplankters commonly found inhabiting the same ponds across the Iberian Peninsula and exhibit an extremely similar morphology-some of them being even virtually identical. Here, we explore whether subtle differences in body size and morphology translate into ecological differentiation by comparing two extremely morphologically similar species belonging to this complex: B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas. We focus on three key ecological features related to body size: (1) functional response, expressed by clearance rates; (2) tolerance to starvation, measured by growth and reproduction; and (3) vulnerability to copepod predation, measured by the number of preyed upon neonates. No major differences between B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas were found in the response to these features. Our results demonstrate the existence of a substantial niche overlap, suggesting that the subtle size differences between these two cryptic species are not sufficient to explain their coexistence. This lack of evidence for ecological differentiation in the studied biotic niche features is in agreement with the phylogenetic limiting similarity hypothesis but requires a mechanistic explanation of the coexistence of these species not based on

  7. Morphological similarity and ecological overlap in two rotifer species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Gabaldón

    Full Text Available Co-occurrence of cryptic species raises theoretically relevant questions regarding their coexistence and ecological similarity. Given their great morphological similitude and close phylogenetic relationship (i.e., niche retention, these species will have similar ecological requirements and are expected to have strong competitive interactions. This raises the problem of finding the mechanisms that may explain the coexistence of cryptic species and challenges the conventional view of coexistence based on niche differentiation. The cryptic species complex of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis is an excellent model to study these questions and to test hypotheses regarding ecological differentiation. Rotifer species within this complex are filtering zooplankters commonly found inhabiting the same ponds across the Iberian Peninsula and exhibit an extremely similar morphology-some of them being even virtually identical. Here, we explore whether subtle differences in body size and morphology translate into ecological differentiation by comparing two extremely morphologically similar species belonging to this complex: B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas. We focus on three key ecological features related to body size: (1 functional response, expressed by clearance rates; (2 tolerance to starvation, measured by growth and reproduction; and (3 vulnerability to copepod predation, measured by the number of preyed upon neonates. No major differences between B. plicatilis and B. manjavacas were found in the response to these features. Our results demonstrate the existence of a substantial niche overlap, suggesting that the subtle size differences between these two cryptic species are not sufficient to explain their coexistence. This lack of evidence for ecological differentiation in the studied biotic niche features is in agreement with the phylogenetic limiting similarity hypothesis but requires a mechanistic explanation of the coexistence of these species not

  8. Regulation of EphA4 kinase activity is required for a subset of axon guidance decisions suggesting a key role for receptor clustering in Eph function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Egea, Joaquim; Nissen, Ulla Vig; Dufour, Audrey

    2005-01-01

    Signaling by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) is mediated by their intrinsic kinase activity. Typically, kinase-activating mutations result in ligand-independent signaling and gain-of-function phenotypes. Like other RTKs, Ephs require kinase activity to signal, but signaling by Ephs in vitro also...... requires clustering by their membrane bound ephrin ligands. The relative importance of Eph kinase activity and clustering for in vivo functions is unknown. We find that knockin mice expressing a mutant form of EphA4 (EphA4 EE), whose kinase is constitutively activated in the absence of ephrinB ligands......, are deficient in the development of thalamocortical projections and some aspects of central pattern generator rhythmicity. Surprisingly, other functions of EphA4 were regulated normally by EphA4EE, including midline axon guidance, hindlimb locomotion, in vitro growth cone collapse, and phosphorylation...

  9. Biogeochemistry and ecology of terrestrial ecosystems of Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Davidson, Eric A.

    The last decade of research associated with the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) has led to substantial advances in our understanding of the biogeochemistry and ecology of Amazonian forests and savannas, in particular in relation to the carbon cycle of Amazonia. In this chapter, we present a synthesis of results and ideas that are presented in more detail in subsequent chapters, drawing together evidence from studies of forest ecology, ecophysiology, trace gas fluxes and atmospheric flux towers, large-scale rainfall manipulation experiments and soil surveys, satellite remote sensing, and quantification of carbon and nutrient stocks and flows. The studies have demonstrated the variability of the functioning and biogeochemistry of Amazonian forests at a range of spatial and temporal scales, and they provide clues as to how Amazonia will respond to ongoing direct pressure and global atmospheric change. We conclude by highlighting key questions for the next decade of research to address.

  10. Ecological Stoichiometry of Ocean Plankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Allison R.; Martiny, Adam C.

    2018-01-01

    Marine plankton elemental stoichiometric ratios can deviate from the Redfield ratio (106C:16N:1P); here, we examine physiological and biogeochemical mechanisms that lead to the observed variation across lineages, regions, and seasons. Many models of ecological stoichiometry blend together acclimative and adaptive responses to environmental conditions. These two pathways can have unique molecular mechanisms and stoichiometric outcomes, and we attempt to disentangle the two processes. We find that interactions between environmental conditions and cellular growth are key to understanding stoichiometric regulation, but the growth rates of most marine plankton populations are poorly constrained. We propose that specific physiological mechanisms have a strong impact on plankton and community stoichiometry in nutrient-rich environments, whereas biogeochemical interactions are important for the stoichiometry of the oligotrophic gyres. Finally, we outline key areas with missing information that is needed to advance understanding of the present and future ecological stoichiometry of ocean plankton.

  11. Editorial: Entropy in Landscape Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel A. Cushman

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics are the central organizing principles of nature, but the ideas and implications of the second law are poorly developed in landscape ecology. The purpose of this Special Issue “Entropy in Landscape Ecology” in Entropy is to bring together current research on applications of thermodynamics in landscape ecology, to consolidate current knowledge and identify key areas for future research. The special issue contains six articles, which cover a broad range of topics including relationships between entropy and evolution, connections between fractal geometry and entropy, new approaches to calculate configurational entropy of landscapes, example analyses of computing entropy of landscapes, and using entropy in the context of optimal landscape planning. Collectively these papers provide a broad range of contributions to the nascent field of ecological thermodynamics. Formalizing the connections between entropy and ecology are in a very early stage, and that this special issue contains papers that address several centrally important ideas, and provides seminal work that will be a foundation for the future development of ecological and evolutionary thermodynamics.

  12. Combined ecological risks of nitrogen and phosphorus in European freshwaters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Azevedo, Ligia B.; Zelm, Rosalie van; Leuven, Rob S.E.W.; Hendriks, A. Jan; Huijbregts, Mark A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Eutrophication is a key water quality issue triggered by increasing nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) levels and potentially posing risks to freshwater biota. We predicted the probability that an invertebrate species within a community assemblage becomes absent due to nutrient stress as the ecological risk (ER) for European lakes and streams subjected to N and P pollution from 1985 to 2011. The ER was calculated as a function of species-specific tolerances to NO 3 − and total P concentrations and water quality monitoring data. Lake and stream ER averaged 50% in the last monitored year (i.e. 2011) and we observed a decrease by 22% and 38% in lake and stream ER (respectively) of river basins since 1985. Additionally, the ER from N stress surpassed that of P in both freshwater systems. The ER can be applied to identify river basins most subjected to eutrophication risks and the main drivers of impacts. - Highlights: • Ecological risk was estimated as response additions of N and P. • The risk posed by N stress is higher than that by P in European freshwaters. • Ecological risks have remained unchanged in most European river basins. - Quantifying the ecological risk of invertebrate losses due to N and P pollution

  13. Microbial ecology-based engineering of Microbial Electrochemical Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christin; Korth, Benjamin; Harnisch, Falk

    2018-01-01

    Microbial ecology is devoted to the understanding of dynamics, activity and interaction of microorganisms in natural and technical ecosystems. Bioelectrochemical systems represent important technical ecosystems, where microbial ecology is of highest importance for their function. However, whereas aspects of, for example, materials and reactor engineering are commonly perceived as highly relevant, the study and engineering of microbial ecology are significantly underrepresented in bioelectrochemical systems. This shortfall may be assigned to a deficit on knowledge and power of these methods as well as the prerequisites for their thorough application. This article discusses not only the importance of microbial ecology for microbial electrochemical technologies but also shows which information can be derived for a knowledge-driven engineering. Instead of providing a comprehensive list of techniques from which it is hard to judge the applicability and value of information for a respective one, this review illustrates the suitability of selected techniques on a case study. Thereby, best practice for different research questions is provided and a set of key questions for experimental design, data acquisition and analysis is suggested. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  14. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 2002 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  15. SEAKEYS - Long Key 1993 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  16. SEAKEYS - Long Key 1994 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  17. SEAKEYS - Long Key 2009 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  18. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 2008 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  19. SEAKEYS -Sombrero Key 1998 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  20. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1996 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  1. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1995 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  2. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 1994 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  3. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1997 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  4. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1994 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  5. SEAKEYS - Long Key 2001 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  6. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 2008 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  7. SEAKEYS - Long Key 1998 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  8. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 1992 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  9. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 2000 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  10. SEAKEYS - Long Key 2000 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  11. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 2009 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  12. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 2009 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  13. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 2000 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  14. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 2002 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  15. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1993 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  16. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1999 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  17. SEAKEYS - Long Key 1995 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  18. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 1999 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  19. SEAKEYS - Long Key 1997 M+eteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  20. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 1996 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  1. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1992 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  2. SEAKEYS - Long Key 2002 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  3. SEAKEYS - Long Key 2008 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  4. SEAKEYS - Long 1999 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations Key

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  5. SEAKEYS - Long Key 1992 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  6. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 2001 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  7. SEAKEYS - Long Key 1996 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  8. SEAKEYS - Sombrero Key 1993 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  9. SEAKEYS - Sand Key 1998 Meteorological and Oceanographic Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Florida Institute of Oceanography's (FIO) SEAKEYS (Sustained Ecological Research Related to Management of the Florida Keys Seascape) program began in 1989 and...

  10. Bacterial Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenchel, Tom

    2011-01-01

    compounds these must first be undergo extracellular hydrolysis. Bacteria have a great diversity with respect to types of metabolism that far exceeds the metabolic repertoire of eukaryotic organisms. Bacteria play a fundamental role in the biosphere and certain key processes such as, for example......, the production and oxidation of methane, nitrate reduction and fixation of atmospheric nitrogen are exclusively carried out by different groups of bacteria. Some bacterial species – ‘extremophiles’ – thrive in extreme environments in which no eukaryotic organisms can survive with respect to temperature, salinity...... biogeochemical processes are carried exclusively by bacteria. * Bacteria play an important role in all types of habitats including some that cannot support eukaryotic life....

  11. The microbiota-gut-brain axis as a key regulator of neural function and the stress response: Implications for human and animal health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, N C; Dinan, T G; Ross, R P; Stanton, C; Clarke, G; Cryan, J F

    2017-07-01

    The brain-gut-microbiota axis comprises an extensive communication network between the brain, the gut, and the microbiota residing there. Development of a diverse gut microbiota is vital for multiple features of behavior and physiology, as well as many fundamental aspects of brain structure and function. Appropriate early-life assembly of the gut microbiota is also believed to play a role in subsequent emotional and cognitive development. If the composition, diversity, or assembly of the gut microbiota is impaired, this impairment can have a negative impact on host health and lead to disorders such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and even potentially neuropsychiatric illnesses, including anxiety and depression. Therefore, much research effort in recent years has focused on understanding the potential of targeting the intestinal microbiota to prevent and treat such disorders. This review aims to explore the influence of the gut microbiota on host neural function and behavior, particularly those of relevance to stress-related disorders. The involvement of microbiota in diverse neural functions such as myelination, microglia function, neuronal morphology, and blood-brain barrier integrity across the life span, from early life to adolescence to old age, will also be discussed. Nurturing an optimal gut microbiome may also prove beneficial in animal science as a means to manage stressful situations and to increase productivity of farm animals. The implications of these observations are manifold, and researchers are hopeful that this promising body of preclinical work can be successfully translated to the clinic and beyond.

  12. Structures and functions of insect arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (iaaNAT; a key enzyme for physiological and behavioral switch in arthropods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susumu eHiragaki

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of N-acetyltransfeases (NATs seems complex. Vertebrate arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (aaNAT has been extensively studied since it Leads to the synthesis of melatonin, a multifunctional neurohormone prevalent in photoreceptor cells, and is known as as a chemical token of the night. Melatonin also serves as a scavenger for reactive oxygen species. This is also true with invertebrates. NAT therefore has distinct functional implications in circadian function, as timezymes (aaNAT, and also xenobiotic reactions (arylamine NAT or simply NAT. NATs belong to a broader enzyme group, the GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase superfamily. Due to low sequence homology and a seemingly fast rate of structural differentiation, the nomenclature for NATs can be confusing. The advent of bioinformatics, however, has helped to classify this group of enzymes; vertebrates have two distinct subgroups, the timezyme type and the xenobiotic type, which has a wider substrate range including imidazolamine, pharmacological drugs, environmental toxicants and even histone. Insect aaNAT (iaaNAT form their own clade in the phylogeny, distinct from vertebrate aaNATs. Arthropods are unique, since the phylum has exoskeleton in which quinones derived from N-acetylated monoamines function in coupling chitin and arthropodins. Monoamine oxidase (MAO activity is limited in insects, but NAT-mediated degradation prevails. However, unexpectedly iaaNAT occurs not only among arthropods but also among basal deuterostomia, and is therefore more apomorphic. Our analyses illustrate that iaaNATs has unique physiological roles but at the same time it plays a role in a timezyme function, at least in photoperiodism. Photoperiodism has been considered as a function of circadian system but the detailed molecular mechanism is not well understood. We propose a molecular hypothesis for photoperiodism in Antheraea pernyi based on the transcription regulation of NAT interlocked by the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Long-term ecological research in the forests of the United States: Key lessons for its application in Chile and around the world Estudios ecológicos de largo plazo en bosques de Estados Unidos: Lecciones claves para su aplicación en Chile y otras regiones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JERRY F FRANKLIN

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Long-term ecological research addresses questions to which short-term research projects cannot effectively respond because of the temporal scales over which many ecosystem processes operate. In North America, this type of research has yielded important information on key processes and organisms in many forest types, from eastern broadleaf forests to the coniferous forests of the west, and from tropical to boreal latitudes. Long-term ecological research (that conducted at the decade scale or longer in the forests of North America has included watershed studies, silvicultural trials, establishment of permanent plots to assess forest demographics, and the study of disturbance regimes and predator-prey systems. Instituting such research in forest ecosystems of other regions of the world, especially at corresponding latitudes on either side of the equator, will help scientists understand patterns of natural disturbance and succession, the effects of alternative management strategies, and the impacts of climate change. Key recommendations based on North American long-term ecological research include: 1 the importance of multidisciplinary research, 2 the need to invest in data storage and management, 3 the deployment of both basic and advanced technology (e.g., eddy covariance systems, and 4 development of collaboration networks among regions, institutions, and individual researchers.La investigación ecológica de largo plazo es capaz de abordar ciertas preguntas de una manera mejor que los proyectos de corto plazo, debido a las escalas temporales en que funcionan muchos procesos ecológicos. En Norteamérica, este tipo de investigación ha brindado conocimiento sobre importantes procesos y organismos claves en muchos tipos forestales, extendiéndose desde los bosques caducifolios de la costa este a los bosques de coniferas en la costa oeste, y en latitudes tropicales hasta boreales. La investigación ecológica de largo plazo en los bosques de

  15. miR-181c-BRK1 axis plays a key role in actin cytoskeleton-dependent T cell function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Shok Ping; Ioannou, Nikolaos; Ramsay, Alan G; Darling, David; Gäken, Joop; Mufti, Ghulam J

    2018-05-01

    MicroRNAs are short endogenous noncoding RNAs that play pivotal roles in a diverse range of cellular processes. The miR-181 family is important in T cell development, proliferation, and activation. In this study, we have identified BRK1 as a potential target of miR-181c using a dual selection functional assay and have showed that miR-181c regulates BRK1 by translational inhibition. Given the importance of miR-181 in T cell function and the potential role of BRK1 in the involvement of WAVE2 complex and actin polymerization in T cells, we therefore investigated the influence of miR-181c-BRK1 axis in T cell function. Stimulation of PBMC derived CD3 + T cells resulted in reduced miR-181c expression and up-regulation of BRK1 protein expression, suggesting that miR-181c-BRK1 axis is important in T cell activation. We further showed that overexpression of miR-181c or suppression of BRK1 resulted in inhibition of T cell activation and actin polymerization coupled with defective lamellipodia generation and immunological synapse formation. Additionally, we found that BRK1 silencing led to reduced expressions of other proteins in the WAVE2 complex, suggesting that the impairment of T cell actin dynamics was a result of the instability of the WAVE2 complex following BRK1 depletion. Collectively, we demonstrated that miR-181c reduces BRK1 protein expression level and highlighted the important role of miR-181c-BRK1 axis in T cell activation and actin polymerization-mediated T cell functions. ©2018 Society for Leukocyte Biology.

  16. ATP-binding motifs play key roles in Krp1p, kinesin-related protein 1, function for bi-polar growth control in fission yeast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rhee, Dong Keun; Cho, Bon A; Kim, Hyong Bai

    2005-01-01

    Kinesin is a microtubule-based motor protein with various functions related to the cell growth and division. It has been reported that Krp1p, kinesin-related protein 1, which belongs to the kinesin heavy chain superfamily, localizes on microtubules and may play an important role in cytokinesis. However, the function of Krp1p has not been fully elucidated. In this study, we overexpressed an intact form and three different mutant forms of Krp1p in fission yeast constructed by site-directed mutagenesis in two ATP-binding motifs or by truncation of the leucine zipper-like motif (LZiP). We observed hyper-extended microtubules and the aberrant nuclear shape in Krp1p-overexpressed fission yeast. As a functional consequence, a point mutation of ATP-binding domain 1 (G89E) in Krp1p reversed the effect of Krp1p overexpression in fission yeast, whereas the specific mutation in ATP-binding domain 2 (G238E) resulted in the altered cell polarity. Additionally, truncation of the leucine zipper-like domain (LZiP) at the C-terminal of Krp1p showed a normal nuclear division. Taken together, we suggest that krp1p is involved in regulation of cell-polarized growth through ATP-binding motifs in fission yeast

  17. Including Overweight or Obese Students in Physical Education: A Social Ecological Constraint Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weidong; Rukavina, Paul

    2012-01-01

    In this review, we propose a social ecological constraint model to study inclusion of overweight or obese students in physical education by integrating key concepts and assumptions from ecological constraint theory in motor development and social ecological models in health promotion and behavior. The social ecological constraint model proposes…

  18. In Vivo Loss of Function Screening Reveals Carbonic Anhydrase IX as a Key Modulator of Tumor Initiating Potential in Primary Pancreatic Tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nabendu Pore

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Reprogramming of energy metabolism is one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer. Up-regulation of energy metabolism pathways fuels cell growth and division, a key characteristic of neoplastic disease, and can lead to dependency on specific metabolic pathways. Thus, targeting energy metabolism pathways might offer the opportunity for novel therapeutics. Here, we describe the application of a novel in vivo screening approach for the identification of genes involved in cancer metabolism using a patient-derived pancreatic xenograft model. Lentiviruses expressing short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs targeting 12 different cell surface protein transporters were separately transduced into the primary pancreatic tumor cells. Transduced cells were pooled and implanted into mice. Tumors were harvested at different times, and the frequency of each shRNA was determined as a measure of which ones prevented tumor growth. Several targets including carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX, monocarboxylate transporter 4, and anionic amino acid transporter light chain, xc- system (xCT were identified in these studies and shown to be required for tumor initiation and growth. Interestingly, CAIX was overexpressed in the tumor initiating cell population. CAIX expression alone correlated with a highly tumorigenic subpopulation of cells. Furthermore, CAIX expression was essential for tumor initiation because shRNA knockdown eliminated the ability of cells to grow in vivo. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first parallel in vivo assessment of multiple novel oncology target genes using a patient-derived pancreatic tumor model.

  19. International approach to assessing soil quality by ecologically-related biological parameters

    OpenAIRE

    Filip, Z.

    2002-01-01

    Metadata only record Soil quality represents an integral value of the compositional structures and natural functions of soil in relation to soil use and environmental conditions on site. Among the indigenous soil components, different organisms and especially microorganisms play a key role in ecologically important biogeochemical processes. In that way, soil microorganisms contribute to the maintenance of the matter and energy transfer in terrestrial environments. Under stress conditions c...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, Adrián; Valladares, Fernando

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Mammal Ecology Social Behaviour in Mammals

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... used as a complimentary text to accompany university courses in ecology and mam- ... is useful to have a treatment organized along phylogenetic lines. One benefit of .... Courtship sequences of butterflies, fish, newts and birds are described. ..... a more ecological approach providing functional interpreta- tions in order to ...

  2. Chemical ecology of the Thysanoptera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray S. Blum

    1991-01-01

    The chemical ecology of the Thysanoptera is identified with a variety of natural products discharged in anal droplets during confrontations with adversaries. These exudates are fortified with defensive allomones that may function as repellents, contact irritants, or in some cases, fumigants. Thrips synthesize a large diversity of allomonal products that include...

  3. Ecological homogenization of residential macrosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter M. Groffman; Meghan Avolio; Jeannine Cavender-Bares; Neil D. Bettez; J. Morgan Grove; Sharon J. Hall; Sarah E. Hobbie; Kelli L. Larson; Susannah B. Lerman; Dexter H. Locke; James B. Heffernan; Jennifer L. Morse; Christopher Neill; Kristen C. Nelson; Jarlath O' Neil-Dunne; Diane E. Pataki; Colin Polsky; Rinku Roy Chowdhury; Tara L. E. Trammell

    2017-01-01

    Similarities in planning, development and culture within urban areas may lead to the convergence of ecological processes on continental scales. Transdisciplinary, multi-scale research is now needed to understand and predict the impact of human-dominated landscapes on ecosystem structure and function.

  4. Carbon fluxes within the epipelagic zone of the Humboldt Current System off Chile: The significance of euphausiids and diatoms as key functional groups for the biological pump

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Humberto E.; Daneri, Giovanni; Iriarte, José L.; Yannicelli, Beatriz; Menschel, Eduardo; Barría, Claudio; Pantoja, Silvio; Lizárraga, Lorena

    2009-12-01

    The information from 54 drifting sediment traps deployed between 1997 and 2006 along the Humboldt Current System off Chile (from 19.9°S to 42.2°S) was analyzed to contribute to unveiling the recurrent global-ocean issue of the lack of relationship between gross primary production (GPP) and particulate organic carbon (POC) export below 50 m depth. When the proportion of carbon that effectively sinks is relatively low compared to the carbon being fixed through GPP, a significant amount (average of 32%) of the sinking organic matter is composed of diatoms, regardless of GPP rates. Such a fraction seems to be affected by the physiological state of phytoplankton. In contrast, when the fraction of carbon sinking is high relative to GPP, most of sinking organic matter is composed of euphausid faecal strings. Such a situation occurs at relatively low values of GPP and chlorophyll-a. Most of these high sinking rates of pellets and low phytoplankton biomass occur during summer, when physical conditions favour the presence of phytoplankton blooms, and when the GPP/Biomass ratio indicates healthy phytoplankton physiological conditions. All this evidence supports the assessment of the relevance of euphausiids as key species in the Humboldt Current System pointing to (i) the top-down control that euphausiids are capable of exerting over primary producer biomass, and (ii) euphausiids‘ paramount role on total organic carbon flux over the Concepción continental shelf, regarding both POC export to the sediments and possibly the channelling of GPP directly to higher trophic levels.

  5. 智能电网的关键技术与功能实现%Key Technology and Function Realization for Smart Grid

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐德明; 徐健; 姚晓玲

    2011-01-01

    介绍了智能电网的概念、主要特征及其与现有电网的差异;总结了包括先进的电网设备、参数量测、智能电网通信技术、信息管理系统、智能调度、分布式能源接入等智能电网的关键技术,并从智能控制中心、智能变电站、智能线路、智能需求侧管理4个主要方面分析了智能电网的实现;指出具有清洁、安全、灵活、经济、友好等性能的智能电网将成为未来电网的发展方向。%Introduction was made to concepts, main features of smart grid and differences with existing power grid. This paper summarized the key technologies of smart grid, including advanced power grid equipment, parameters measurement, communication technology of smart grid, information management system, smart dispatch, distributed energy connecting-in etc. Analysis was made to the realization of smart grid from four main aspects such as smart control center, smart substation, smart line and management of smart requirements. It is pointed out that smart grid with cleaning, safety, flexibility, economy and friendly performances will be the direction of development for future power grid.

  6. Experimental and density functional theory (DFT): A dual approach to probe the key properties of creatininium L-tartrate monohydrate single crystal for nonlinear optical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thirumurugan, R.; Babu, B.; Anitha, K.; Chandrasekaran, J.

    2017-12-01

    A novel organic nonlinear optical (NLO) material, creatininium L-tartrate monohydrate (CTM) was synthesized and it was grown as single crystals with optical quality. 1H and 13C NMR spectral studies were performed and molecular structure of synthesized CTM compound was confirmed. Single crystal X-ray diffraction (SXRD) analysis confirmed that CTM was crystallized in orthorhombic system with non-centrosymmetric (NCS), P212121, space group. The grown crystal exhibited admirable properties such as second harmonic generation efficiency (SHG) (1.9 times KDP), and high laser damage threshold (LDT) value of 3.7 GW cm-2. CTM crystal displayed high transparency (∼60%) in the visible and near-IR region with low cut-off wavelength at 249 nm. Photoluminescence study confirmed blue wavelength emission (∼463 nm) of grown crystal. Thermal and mechanical behaviours have been successfully analysed for grown crystals. The dielectric studies were carried out for grown crystal as a function of frequencies at different temperatures. Hirshfeld surface and fingerprint plots provided the percentage of individual interactions contributed by each atom. Moreover, density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been employed to probe the frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) and first hyperpolarizability (β) analysis of the optimized CTM structure. These results validated CTM as a suitable NLO candidate and were discussed in this work.

  7. Expression profiling and functional analysis reveals that TOR is a key player in regulating photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling pathways in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Pan; Xiong, Fangjie; Que, Yumei; Wang, Kai; Yu, Lihua; Li, Zhengguo; Ren, Maozhi

    2015-01-01

    Target of rapamycin (TOR) acts as a master regulator to control cell growth by integrating nutrient, energy, and growth factors in all eukaryotic species. TOR plays an evolutionarily conserved role in regulating the transcription of genes associated with anabolic and catabolic processes in Arabidopsis, but little is known about the functions of TOR in photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling, which are unique features of plants. In this study, AZD8055 (AZD) was screened as the strongest active-site TOR inhibitor (asTORi) in Arabidopsis compared with TORIN1 and KU63794 (KU). Gene expression profiles were evaluated using RNA-seq after treating Arabidopsis seedlings with AZD. More than three-fold differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in AZD-treated plants relative to rapamycin-treated plants in previous studies. Most of the DEGs and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways involved in cell wall elongation, ribosome biogenesis, and cell autophagy were common to both AZD- and rapamycin-treated samples, but AZD displayed much broader and more efficient inhibition of TOR compared with rapamycin. Importantly, the suppression of TOR by AZD resulted in remodeling of the expression profile of the genes associated with photosynthesis and various phytohormones, indicating that TOR plays a crucial role in modulating photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling in Arabidopsis. These newly identified DEGs expand the understanding of TOR signaling in plants. This study elucidates the novel functions of TOR in photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling and provides a platform to study the downstream targets of TOR in Arabidopsis.

  8. Genome of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), a globally significant invasive species, reveals key functional and evolutionary innovations at the beetle-plant interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Duane D; Scully, Erin D; Pauchet, Yannick; Hoover, Kelli; Kirsch, Roy; Geib, Scott M; Mitchell, Robert F; Waterhouse, Robert M; Ahn, Seung-Joon; Arsala, Deanna; Benoit, Joshua B; Blackmon, Heath; Bledsoe, Tiffany; Bowsher, Julia H; Busch, André; Calla, Bernarda; Chao, Hsu; Childers, Anna K; Childers, Christopher; Clarke, Dave J; Cohen, Lorna; Demuth, Jeffery P; Dinh, Huyen; Doddapaneni, HarshaVardhan; Dolan, Amanda; Duan, Jian J; Dugan, Shannon; Friedrich, Markus; Glastad, Karl M; Goodisman, Michael A D; Haddad, Stephanie; Han, Yi; Hughes, Daniel S T; Ioannidis, Panagiotis; Johnston, J Spencer; Jones, Jeffery W; Kuhn, Leslie A; Lance, David R; Lee, Chien-Yueh; Lee, Sandra L; Lin, Han; Lynch, Jeremy A; Moczek, Armin P; Murali, Shwetha C; Muzny, Donna M; Nelson, David R; Palli, Subba R; Panfilio, Kristen A; Pers, Dan; Poelchau, Monica F; Quan, Honghu; Qu, Jiaxin; Ray, Ann M; Rinehart, Joseph P; Robertson, Hugh M; Roehrdanz, Richard; Rosendale, Andrew J; Shin, Seunggwan; Silva, Christian; Torson, Alex S; Jentzsch, Iris M Vargas; Werren, John H; Worley, Kim C; Yocum, George; Zdobnov, Evgeny M; Gibbs, Richard A; Richards, Stephen

    2016-11-11

    Relatively little is known about the genomic basis and evolution of wood-feeding in beetles. We undertook genome sequencing and annotation, gene expression assays, studies of plant cell wall degrading enzymes, and other functional and comparative studies of the Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, a globally significant invasive species capable of inflicting severe feeding damage on many important tree species. Complementary studies of genes encoding enzymes involved in digestion of woody plant tissues or detoxification of plant allelochemicals were undertaken with the genomes of 14 additional insects, including the newly sequenced emerald ash borer and bull-headed dung beetle. The Asian longhorned beetle genome encodes a uniquely diverse arsenal of enzymes that can degrade the main polysaccharide networks in plant cell walls, detoxify plant allelochemicals, and otherwise facilitate feeding on woody plants. It has the metabolic plasticity needed to feed on diverse plant species, contributing to its highly invasive nature. Large expansions of chemosensory genes involved in the reception of pheromones and plant kairomones are consistent with the complexity of chemical cues it uses to find host plants and mates. Amplification and functional divergence of genes associated with specialized feeding on plants, including genes originally obtained via horizontal gene transfer from fungi and bacteria, contributed to the addition, expansion, and enhancement of the metabolic repertoire of the Asian longhorned beetle, certain other phytophagous beetles, and to a lesser degree, other phytophagous insects. Our results thus begin to establish a genomic basis for the evolutionary success of beetles on plants.

  9. Editorial: Pedagogical Media Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothee M. Meister

    2014-07-01

    learning and media ecologies with the material, global and ecological challenges that have become a part of the anthropocene. They do so by examining the mediation of a physical, architectural environment, their own departmental environment at Simon Fraser University. De Castell, Droumeva and Jenson uncover a range of practical and theoretical challenges, and explore the implications for both body and mind. Markus Deimann takes the reader back into the history of continental educational theory, to Humboldt’s (and others‘ expansive understanding of Bildung, to suggest a conceptual ecology germane to the manifold possibilities that are now on offer through open education. Deimann sees the «open paradigm» as changing education utterly – and for the better. It will do so, Deimann predicts, by «unbundling» resource and service provision, and assessment and accreditation functions that have for too long been monopolized by the educational monoliths known as «universities». Theo Hug’s contribution, «Media Form School – A Plea for Expanded Action Orientations and Reflective Perspectives» similarly looks to the past to envision possibilities for the future. Hug’s concern is with the narrow confines in which media are conceptualized and operationalized in many K-12 educational ecologies, and in the corresponding policy and curricular documents that further constrain and direct this action. Hug suggests looking to the recent past, the 1970s and 1960s, in which alternatives were envisioned not only by figures like McLuhan and Illich, but also intimated in the works of Austrian poets and artists. Norm Friesen provides the third «rearview mirror» perspective in his examination of the lecture as a trans-medial pedagogical form. From the late medieval university through to today’s IGNITE and TED talks, the lecture has accommodated and reflected a wide range of media ecologies, technical conditions and epistemological patterns. New media technologies –from the

  10. Ecological network analysis reveals the inter-connection between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function as affected by land use across Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creamer, R.C.; Hannula, S.E.; Leeuwen, van J.P.; Stone, D.; Rutgers, M.; Schmelz, R.M.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Bohse Hendriksen, N.; Bolger, T.; Bouffaud, M.L.; Buee, M.; Calvalho, F.; Costa, D.; Dirilgen, T.; Francisco, R.; Griffiths, B.S.; Griffiths, R.; Martin, F.; Martins da Silva, P.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.V.; Pereira, C.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Redecker, D.; Römbke, J.; Sousa, J.P.; Wouterse, M.; Lemanceau, P.

    2016-01-01

    Soil organisms are considered drivers of soil ecosystem services (primary productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon cycling, water regulation) associated with sustainable agricultural production. Soil biodiversity was highlighted in the soil thematic strategy as a key component of soil quality. The

  11. Synthesizing Nanomaterials for Energy Applications: Probing Activity as a Function of Composition, Morphology and Purity to Address Key Issues Associated with Fuel Cells and Li-Ion Batteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scofield, Megan Elaine

    With the growing need to find alternative clean energy sources to fossil fuels, research into developing efficient fuel cells and batteries stands at the forefront of this grand effort. However, before mass commercialization, fundamental key issues need to be addressed. For example, fuel cells are subject to high catalyst costs and poor durability of the underlying carbon support. As a way to alleviate these issues, we have synthesized ultrathin one-dimensional (1D) alloy nanowires to probe the effect of composition, purity, and one-dimensionality upon the observed overall activity, performance, and durability. In terms of chemical composition, crystalline ultrathin PtM alloy nanowires (NWs) ('M' = Fe, Co, Ru, Cu, and Au) were generated and subsequently evaluated for the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR). Additionally, ternary-based catalysts were synthesized (PtRuFe) in order to analyze how chemical composition influences CO tolerance as well as methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) and formic acid oxidation reaction (FAOR) activities. In both cases, we utilized a sustainably mild, ambient wet-synthesis method for the fabrication of chemically pure and crystalline systems in order to fabricate ultrathin, homogeneous alloy NWs. Moreover, in these studies, our NW systems exhibit favorable synergistic electronic effects with respect to controls. To address another fundamental issue associated with the durability of fuel cells, we have synthesized various metal oxide and perovskite materials of different sizes and chemical compositions as supports for Pt nanoparticles (NPs). Specifically, we have demonstrated favorable metal support interactions between the Pt NPs and the SrRuO3 NP supports, which lead to increased MOR activity as compared with not only the other metal oxide supports tested but also the commercial Pt NP/C standard. In terms of Li-ion batteries, LiFePO4 materials have become increasingly popular as a cathode material due to the many benefits they possess

  12. Dissecting the functional role of key residues in triheme cytochrome PpcA: a path to rational design of G. sulfurreducens strains with enhanced electron transfer capabilities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonor Morgado

    Full Text Available PpcA is the most abundant member of a family of five triheme cytochromes c7 in the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens (Gs and is the most likely carrier of electrons destined for outer surface during respiration on solid metal oxides, a process that requires extracellular electron transfer. This cytochrome has the highest content of lysine residues (24% among the family, and it was suggested to be involved in e-/H(+ energy transduction processes. In the present work, we investigated the functional role of lysine residues strategically located in the vicinity of each heme group. Each lysine was replaced by glutamine or glutamic acid to evaluate the effects of a neutral or negatively charged residue in each position. The results showed that replacing Lys9 (located near heme IV, Lys18 (near heme I or Lys22 (between hemes I and III has essentially no effect on the redox properties of the heme groups and are probably involved in redox partner recognition. On the other hand, Lys43 (near heme IV, Lys52 (between hemes III and IV and Lys60 (near heme III are crucial in the regulation of the functional mechanism of PpcA, namely in the selection of microstates that allow the protein to establish preferential e-/H(+ transfer pathways. The results showed that the preferred e-/H(+ transfer pathways are only established when heme III is the last heme to oxidize, a feature reinforced by a higher difference between its reduction potential and that of its predecessor in the order of oxidation. We also showed that K43 and K52 mutants keep the mechanistic features of PpcA by establishing preferential e-/H+ transfer pathways at lower reduction potential values than the wild-type protein, a property that can enable rational design of Gs strains with optimized extracellular electron transfer capabilities.

  13. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  14. Quantum key management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hughes, Richard John; Thrasher, James Thomas; Nordholt, Jane Elizabeth

    2016-11-29

    Innovations for quantum key management harness quantum communications to form a cryptography system within a public key infrastructure framework. In example implementations, the quantum key management innovations combine quantum key distribution and a quantum identification protocol with a Merkle signature scheme (using Winternitz one-time digital signatures or other one-time digital signatures, and Merkle hash trees) to constitute a cryptography system. More generally, the quantum key management innovations combine quantum key distribution and a quantum identification protocol with a hash-based signature scheme. This provides a secure way to identify, authenticate, verify, and exchange secret cryptographic keys. Features of the quantum key management innovations further include secure enrollment of users with a registration authority, as well as credential checking and revocation with a certificate authority, where the registration authority and/or certificate authority can be part of the same system as a trusted authority for quantum key distribution.

  15. Recent Advances in our Understanding of Tocopherol Biosynthesis in Plants: An Overview of Key Genes, Functions, and Breeding of Vitamin E Improved Crops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsche, Steffi; Wang, Xingxing; Jung, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Tocopherols, together with tocotrienols and plastochromanols belong to a group of lipophilic compounds also called tocochromanols or vitamin E. Considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants, tocochromanols are solely synthesized by photosynthetic organisms including plants, algae, and cyanobacteria and, therefore, are an essential component in the human diet. Tocochromanols potent antioxidative properties are due to their ability to interact with polyunsaturated acyl groups and scavenge lipid peroxyl radicals and quench reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus protecting fatty acids from lipid peroxidation. In the plant model species Arabidopsis thaliana, the required genes for tocopherol biosynthesis and functional roles of tocopherols were elucidated in mutant and transgenic plants. Recent research efforts have led to new outcomes for the vitamin E biosynthetic and related pathways, and new possible alternatives for the biofortification of important crops have been suggested. Here, we review 30 years of research on tocopherols in model and crop species, with emphasis on the improvement of vitamin E content using transgenic approaches and classical breeding. We will discuss future prospects to further improve the nutritional value of our food. PMID:29194404

  16. Structure-function mapping of key determinants for hydrocarbon biosynthesis by squalene and squalene synthase-like enzymes from the green alga Botryococcus braunii race B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Stephen A; Niehaus, Thomas D; Nybo, S Eric; Chappell, Joseph

    2014-12-09

    Squalene and botryococcene are branched-chain, triterpene compounds that arise from the head-to-head condensation of two molecules of farnesyl diphosphate to yield 1'-1 and 1'-3 linkages, respectively. The enzymes that catalyze their formation have attracted considerable interest from the medical field as potential drug targets and the renewable energy sector for metabolic engineering efforts. Recently, the enzymes responsible for botryococcene and squalene biosynthesis in the green alga Botryococcus braunii race B were characterized. To better understand how the specificity for the 1'-1 and 1'-3 linkages was controlled, we attempted to identify the functional residues and/or domains responsible for this step in the catalytic cascade. Existing crystal structures for the mammalian squalene synthase and Staphylococcus dehydrosqualene synthase enzymes were exploited to develop molecular models for the B. braunii botryococcene and squalene synthase enzymes. Residues within the active sites that could mediate catalytic specificity were identified, and reciprocal mutants were created in an attempt to interconvert the reaction product specificity of the enzymes. We report here the identification of several amino acid positions contributing to the rearrangement of the cyclopropyl intermediate to squalene, but these same positions do not appear to be sufficient to account for the cyclopropyl rearrangement to give botryococcene.

  17. A Key Role of Xanthophylls That Are Not Embedded in Proteins in Regulation of the Photosynthetic Antenna Function in Plants, Revealed by Monomolecular Layer Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welc, Renata; Luchowski, Rafal; Grudzinski, Wojciech; Puzio, Michal; Sowinski, Karol; Gruszecki, Wieslaw I

    2016-12-29

    The main physiological function of LHCII (light-harvesting pigment-protein complex of photosystem II), the largest photosynthetic antenna complex of plants, is absorption of light quanta and transfer of excitation energy toward the reaction centers, to drive photosynthesis. However, under strong illumination, the photosynthetic apparatus faces the danger of photodegradation and therefore excitations in LHCII have to be down-regulated, e.g., via thermal energy dissipation. One of the elements of the regulatory system, operating in the photosynthetic apparatus under light stress conditions, is a conversion of violaxanthin, the xanthophyll present under low light, to zeaxanthin, accumulated under strong light. In the present study, an effect of violaxanthin and zeaxanthin on the molecular organization and the photophysical properties of LHCII was studied in a monomolecular layer system with application of molecular imaging (atomic force microscopy, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy) and spectroscopy (UV-Vis absorption, FTIR, fluorescence spectroscopy) techniques. The results of the experiments show that violaxanthin promotes the formation of supramolecular LHCII structures preventing dissipative excitation quenching while zeaxanthin is involved in the formation of excitonic energy states able to quench chlorophyll excitations in both the higher (B states) and lower (Q states) energy levels. The results point to a strategic role of xanthophylls that are not embedded in a protein environment, in regulation of the photosynthetic light harvesting activity in plants.

  18. Group key management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunigan, T.; Cao, C.

    1997-08-01

    This report describes an architecture and implementation for doing group key management over a data communications network. The architecture describes a protocol for establishing a shared encryption key among an authenticated and authorized collection of network entities. Group access requires one or more authorization certificates. The implementation includes a simple public key and certificate infrastructure. Multicast is used for some of the key management messages. An application programming interface multiplexes key management and user application messages. An implementation using the new IP security protocols is postulated. The architecture is compared with other group key management proposals, and the performance and the limitations of the implementation are described.

  19. Modular Connector Keying Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishman, Scott; Dukes, Scott; Warnica, Gary; Conrad, Guy; Senigla, Steven

    2013-01-01

    For panel-mount-type connectors, keying is usually "built-in" to the connector body, necessitating different part numbers for each key arrangement. This is costly for jobs that require small quantities. This invention was driven to provide a cost savings and to reduce documentation of individual parts. The keys are removable and configurable in up to 16 combinations. Since the key parts are separate from the connector body, a common design can be used for the plug, receptacle, and key parts. The keying can then be set at the next higher assembly.

  20. Integrated structural biology and molecular ecology of N-cycling enzymes from ammonia-oxidizing archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolar, Bradley B; Herrmann, Jonathan; Bargar, John R; van den Bedem, Henry; Wakatsuki, Soichi; Francis, Christopher A

    2017-10-01

    Knowledge of the molecular ecology and environmental determinants of ammonia-oxidizing organisms is critical to understanding and predicting the global nitrogen (N) and carbon cycles, but an incomplete biochemical picture hinders in vitro studies of N-cycling enzymes. Although an integrative structural and dynamic characterization at the atomic scale would advance our understanding of function tremendously, structural knowledge of key N-cycling enzymes from ecologically relevant ammonia oxidizers is unfortunately extremely limited. Here, we discuss the challenges and opportunities for examining the ecology of ammonia-oxidizing organisms, particularly uncultivated Thaumarchaeota, through (meta)genome-driven structural biology of the enzymes ammonia monooxygenase (AMO) and nitrite reductase (NirK). © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Chemical Ecology of Stingless Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonhardt, Sara Diana

    2017-04-01

    Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae: Meliponini) represent a highly diverse group of social bees confined to the world's tropics and subtropics. They show a striking diversity of structural and behavioral adaptations and are important pollinators of tropical plants. Despite their diversity and functional importance, their ecology, and especially chemical ecology, has received relatively little attention, particularly compared to their relative the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Here, I review various aspects of the chemical ecology of stingless bees, from communication over resource allocation to defense. I list examples in which functions of specific compounds (or compound groups) have been demonstrated by behavioral experiments, and show that many aspects (e.g., queen-worker interactions, host-parasite interactions, neuronal processing etc.) remain little studied. This review further reveals that the vast majority of studies on the chemical ecology of stingless bees have been conducted in the New World, whereas studies on Old World stingless bees are still comparatively rare. Given the diversity of species, behaviors and, apparently, chemical compounds used, I suggest that stingless bees provide an ideal subject for studying how functional context and the need for species specificity may interact to shape pheromone diversification in social insects.

  2. Ecologies of Learning, Ecologies of Creativity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Helene

    in the light of the new Danish school reform. How can different learning institutions contribute to a “joint” ecology of learning? What would the benefits be from this in terms of young people’s literacies? On what theoretical basis can such an ecology and co-creation take place? And what kind of didactics...

  3. Edaphic, structural and physiological contrasts across Amazon Basin forest–savanna ecotones suggest a role for potassium as a key modulator of tropical woody vegetation structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Lloyd

    2015-11-01

    C / N ratios than nearby forest plots. These soil differences were also reflected in canopy averaged leaf traits with savanna trees typically having higher leaf mass per unit area but lower mass-based nitrogen (Nm and potassium (Km. Both Nm and Km also increased with declining mean annual precipitation (PA, but most area-based leaf traits such as leaf photosynthetic capacity showed no systematic variation with PA or vegetation type. Despite this invariance, when taken in conjunction with other measures such as mean canopy height, area-based soil exchangeable potassium content, [K]sa , proved to be an excellent predictor of several photosynthetic properties (including 13C isotope discrimination. Moreover, when considered in a multivariate context with PA and soil plant available water storage capacity (θP as covariates, [K]sa also proved to be an excellent predictor of stand-level canopy area, providing drastically improved fits as compared to models considering just PA and/or θP. Neither calcium, nor magnesium, nor soil pH could substitute for potassium when tested as alternative model predictors (ΔAIC > 10. Nor for any model could simple soil texture metrics such as sand or clay content substitute for either [K]sa or θP. Taken in conjunction with recent work in Africa and the forests of the Amazon Basin, this suggests – in combination with some newly conceptualised interacting effects of PA and θP also presented here – a critical role for potassium as a modulator of tropical vegetation structure and function.

  4. Citrus fruit flavor and aroma biosynthesis: isolation, functional characterization, and developmental regulation of Cstps1, a key gene in the production of the sesquiterpene aroma compound valencene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharon-Asa, Liat; Shalit, Moshe; Frydman, Ahuva; Bar, Einat; Holland, Doron; Or, Etti; Lavi, Uri; Lewinsohn, Efraim; Eyal, Yoram

    2003-12-01

    Citrus fruits possess unique aromas rarely found in other fruit species. While fruit flavor is composed of complex combinations of soluble and volatile compounds, several low-abundance sesquiterpenes, such as valencene, nootkatone, alpha-sinensal, and beta-sinensal, stand out in citrus as important flavor and aroma compounds. The profile of terpenoid volatiles in various citrus species and their importance as aroma compounds have been studied in detail, but much is still lacking in our understanding of the physiological, biochemical, and genetic regulation of their production. Here, we report on the isolation, functional expression, and developmental regulation of Cstps1, a sesquiterpene synthase-encoding gene, involved in citrus aroma formation. The recombinant enzyme encoded by Cstps1 was shown to convert farnesyl diphosphate to a single sesquiterpene product identified as valencene by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Phylogenetic analysis of plant terpene synthase genes localized Cstps1 to the group of angiosperm sesquiterpene synthases. Within this group, Cstps1 belongs to a subgroup of citrus sesquiterpene synthases. Cstps1 was found to be developmentally regulated: transcript was found to accumulate only towards fruit maturation, corresponding well with the timing of valencene accumulation in fruit. Although citrus fruits are non-climacteric, valencene accumulation and Cstps1 expression were found to be responsive to ethylene, providing further evidence for the role of ethylene in the final stages of citrus fruit ripening. Isolation of the gene encoding valencene synthase provides a tool for an in-depth study of the regulation of aroma compound biosynthesis in citrus and for metabolic engineering for fruit flavor characteristics.

  5. The beauty of sensory ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otálora-Luna, Fernando; Aldana, Elis

    2017-08-10

    Sensory ecology is a discipline that focuses on how living creatures use information to survive, but not to live. By trans-defining the orthodox concept of sensory ecology, a serious heterodox question arises: how do organisms use their senses to live, i.e. to enjoy or suffer life? To respond to such a query the objective (time-independent) and emotional (non-rational) meaning of symbols must be revealed. Our program is distinct from both the neo-Darwinian and the classical ecological perspective because it does not focus on survival values of phenotypes and their functions, but asks for the aesthetic effect of biological structures and their symbolism. Our message recognizes that sensing apart from having a survival value also has a beauty value. Thus, we offer a provoking and inspiring new view on the sensory relations of 'living things' and their surroundings, where the innovating power of feelings have more weight than the privative power of reason.

  6. Analysis of the Construction of Ecological Civilization in the Western Ethnic Areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Yongli

    2017-01-01

    Ecological civilization is a mode of civilization which is constructed on the concept of multiple-wins, such as economic benefit, social benefit and environmental benefit, etc. It requires that a harmonious relationship between man and nature permeate various aspects of civilization, such as material civilization, spiritual civilization, and political civilization, forming an ecological mode for production, living, consumption, and other behaviors. The theories and practices of eco ̄logical civilization both at home and abroad, as well as the strategic planning for the construction of ecological civilization in China, have constituted important theoretical and practical guidelines for the construction of ecological civilization in the western ethnic areas of China. Constructing ecological civilization in the western ethnic areas has important theoretical and practical significance. Compared with the eastern part of China or the whole country, the level of e ̄conomic and social development in the western eth ̄nic areas still lags behind; energy consumption is generally high , and the number of national key ecologically functional areas is large. Furthermore, these areas face a daunting task for their environ ̄mental protection and energy saving. In addition, the most concentrated areas of desertification in China are found in the western ethnic areas, espe ̄cially Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Qing ̄hai. Therefore, the construction of ecological civi ̄lization in the western ethnic areas has an impor ̄tant role for the sustainable development of the e ̄conomy and society, ecological security, energy saving and emission reduction, and the prevention of land desertification. Generally speaking, the western ethnic areas actively participate in the national demonstration areas of the construction of ecological civilization, and constantly improve the level of ecological civi ̄lization construction. However, their overall level is low, and the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Network spandrels reflect ecological assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Daniel S; Serván, Carlos A; Allesina, Stefano

    2018-03-01

    Ecological networks that exhibit stable dynamics should theoretically persist longer than those that fluctuate wildly. Thus, network structures which are over-represented in natural systems are often hypothesised to be either a cause or consequence of ecological stability. Rarely considered, however, is that these network structures can also be by-products of the processes that determine how new species attempt to join the community. Using a simulation approach in tandem with key results from random matrix theory, we illustrate how historical assembly mechanisms alter the structure of ecological networks. We demonstrate that different community assembly scenarios can lead to the emergence of structures that are often interpreted as evidence of 'selection for stability'. However, by controlling for the underlying selection pressures, we show that these assembly artefacts-or spandrels-are completely unrelated to stability or selection, and are instead by-products of how new species are introduced into the system. We propose that these network-assembly spandrels are critically overlooked aspects of network theory and stability analysis, and we illustrate how a failure to adequately account for historical assembly can lead to incorrect inference about the causes and consequences of ecological stability. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. The movement ecology of seagrasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kathryn; van Dijk, Kor-Jent; Ruiz-Montoya, Leonardo; Kendrick, Gary A; Krauss, Siegfried L; Waycott, Michelle; Verduin, Jennifer; Lowe, Ryan; Statton, John; Brown, Eloise; Duarte, Carlos

    2014-11-22

    A movement ecology framework is applied to enhance our understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of movement in seagrasses: marine, clonal, flowering plants. Four life-history stages of seagrasses can move: pollen, sexual propagules, vegetative fragments and the spread of individuals through clonal growth. Movement occurs on the water surface, in the water column, on or in the sediment, via animal vectors and through spreading clones. A capacity for long-distance dispersal and demographic connectivity over multiple timeframes is the novel feature of the movement ecology of seagrasses with significant evolutionary and ecological consequences. The space-time movement footprint of different life-history stages varies. For example, the distance moved by reproductive propagules and vegetative expansion via clonal growth is similar, but the timescales range exponentially, from hours to months or centuries to millennia, respectively. Consequently, environmental factors and key traits that interact to influence movement also operate on vastly different spatial and temporal scales. Six key future research areas have been identified.

  10. Biometry, the safe key

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Fraile-Hurtado

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Biometry is the next step in authentication, why do not we take this stepforward in our communication security systems? Keys are the main disadvantage in the cryptography, what if we were our own key?

  11. Financial Key Ratios

    OpenAIRE

    Tănase Alin-Eliodor

    2014-01-01

    This article focuses on computing techniques starting from trial balance data regarding financial key ratios. There are presented activity, liquidity, solvency and profitability financial key ratios. It is presented a computing methodology in three steps based on a trial balance.

  12. Public Key Cryptography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapson, Frank

    1996-01-01

    Describes public key cryptography, also known as RSA, which is a system using two keys, one used to put a message into cipher and another used to decipher the message. Presents examples using small prime numbers. (MKR)

  13. Public Key Infrastructure Study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Berkovits, Shimshon

    1994-01-01

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has tasked The MITRE Corporation to study the alternatives for automated management of public keys and of the associated public key certificates for the Federal Government...

  14. Taoism and Deep Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sylvan, Richard; Bennett, David

    1988-01-01

    Contrasted are the philosophies of Deep Ecology and ancient Chinese. Discusses the cosmology, morality, lifestyle, views of power, politics, and environmental philosophies of each. Concludes that Deep Ecology could gain much from Taoism. (CW)

  15. Information Assurance Cyber Ecology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jorgensen, Jane

    2003-01-01

    .... The goals of the Cyber Ecology project were to: (1) enable and demonstrate the discovery of noel IA technologies for the detection and mitigation of damage due to cyber attack through the application of ecological models, (2...

  16. Forest Fire Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucca, Carol; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents a model that integrates high school science with the needs of the local scientific community. Describes how a high school ecology class conducted scientific research in fire ecology that benefited the students and a state park forest ecologist. (MKR)

  17. Rock armour for birds and their prey: ecological enhancement of coastal engineering

    OpenAIRE

    Naylor, Larissa A.; MacArthur, Mairi; Hampshire, Stephanie; Bostock, Kieran; Coombes, Martin A.; Hansom, Jim; Byrne, Rowan; Folland, Tristan

    2017-01-01

    The authors present key design, construction and ecological enhancement criteria for sustainable coastal defence structures at Hartlepool, UK, a high-energy wave climate. Such ‘ecologically favourable’ coastal defences fulfil the habitats directive and key engineering and cost criteria. Bird, rocky intertidal ecological and biogeomorphological data underpin recommendations for ‘passive’ enhancement mitigation to maximise ecological potential involving rock armour material choice (partially en...

  18. Quantification of ecological debt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez Alier, Joan

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Ecological restoration [book review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Gustafson

    2010-01-01

    Ecological restoration has increased in prominence in recent years as environmental policies have slowed the rate of environmental degradation in many parts of the world and practitioners have looked for active ways to reverse the damage. Because of the vast number of types and contexts of degraded ecological systems, the field of ecological restoration is still very...

  20. The Key Lake project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    Key Lake is located in the Athabasca sand stone basin, 640 kilometers north of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The three sources of ore at Key Lake contain 70 100 tonnes of uranium. Features of the Key Lake Project were described under the key headings: work force, mining, mill process, tailings storage, permanent camp, environmental features, worker health and safety, and economic benefits. Appendices covering the historical background, construction projects, comparisons of western world mines, mining statistics, Northern Saskatchewan surface lease, and Key Lake development and regulatory agencies were included