WorldWideScience

Sample records for mechanistic ecological process

  1. From patterns to emerging processes in mechanistic urban ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shochat, Eyal; Warren, Paige S; Faeth, Stanley H; McIntyre, Nancy E; Hope, Diane

    2006-04-01

    Rapid urbanization has become an area of crucial concern in conservation owing to the radical changes in habitat structure and loss of species engendered by urban and suburban development. Here, we draw on recent mechanistic ecological studies to argue that, in addition to altered habitat structure, three major processes contribute to the patterns of reduced species diversity and elevated abundance of many species in urban environments. These activities, in turn, lead to changes in animal behavior, morphology and genetics, as well as in selection pressures on animals and plants. Thus, the key to understanding urban patterns is to balance studying processes at the individual level with an integrated examination of environmental forces at the ecosystem scale.

  2. Mechanistic effect modeling for ecological risk assessment: where to go from here?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Volker; Martin, Benjamin T

    2013-07-01

    Mechanistic effect models (MEMs) consider the mechanisms of how chemicals affect individuals and ecological systems such as populations and communities. There is an increasing awareness that MEMs have high potential to make risk assessment of chemicals more ecologically relevant than current standard practice. Here we discuss what kinds of MEMs are needed to improve scientific and regulatory aspects of risk assessment. To make valid predictions for a wide range of environmental conditions, MEMs need to include a sufficient amount of emergence, for example, population dynamics emerging from what individual organisms do. We present 1 example where the life cycle of individuals is described using Dynamic Energy Budget theory. The resulting individual-based population model is thus parameterized at the individual level but correctly predicts multiple patterns at the population level. This is the case for both control and treated populations. We conclude that the state-of-the-art in mechanistic effect modeling has reached a level where MEMs are robust and predictive enough to be used in regulatory risk assessment. Mechanistic effect models will thus be used to advance the scientific basis of current standard practice and will, if their development follows Good Modeling Practice, be included in a standardized way in future regulatory risk assessments. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  3. The use of mechanistic descriptions of algal growth and zooplankton grazing in an estuarine eutrophication model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, M. E.; Walker, S. J.; Wallace, B. B.; Webster, I. T.; Parslow, J. S.

    2003-03-01

    A simple model of estuarine eutrophication is built on biomechanical (or mechanistic) descriptions of a number of the key ecological processes in estuaries. Mechanistically described processes include the nutrient uptake and light capture of planktonic and benthic autotrophs, and the encounter rates of planktonic predators and prey. Other more complex processes, such as sediment biogeochemistry, detrital processes and phosphate dynamics, are modelled using empirical descriptions from the Port Phillip Bay Environmental Study (PPBES) ecological model. A comparison is made between the mechanistically determined rates of ecological processes and the analogous empirically determined rates in the PPBES ecological model. The rates generally agree, with a few significant exceptions. Model simulations were run at a range of estuarine depths and nutrient loads, with outputs presented as the annually averaged biomass of autotrophs. The simulations followed a simple conceptual model of eutrophication, suggesting a simple biomechanical understanding of estuarine processes can provide a predictive tool for ecological processes in a wide range of estuarine ecosystems.

  4. Application of mechanistic models to fermentation and biocatalysis for next-generation processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gernaey, Krist; Eliasson Lantz, Anna; Tufvesson, Pär

    2010-01-01

    of variables required for measurement, control and process design. In the near future, mechanistic models with a higher degree of detail will play key roles in the development of efficient next-generation fermentation and biocatalytic processes. Moreover, mechanistic models will be used increasingly......Mechanistic models are based on deterministic principles, and recently, interest in them has grown substantially. Herein we present an overview of mechanistic models and their applications in biotechnology, including future perspectives. Model utility is highlighted with respect to selection...

  5. Mechanistic Fermentation Models for Process Design, Monitoring, and Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mears, Lisa; Stocks, Stuart M.; Albæk, Mads Orla

    2017-01-01

    Mechanistic models require a significant investment of time and resources, but their application to multiple stages of fermentation process development and operation can make this investment highly valuable. This Opinion article discusses how an established fermentation model may be adapted...... for application to different stages of fermentation process development: planning, process design, monitoring, and control. Although a longer development time is required for such modeling methods in comparison to purely data-based model techniques, the wide range of applications makes them a highly valuable tool...... for fermentation research and development. In addition, in a research environment, where collaboration is important, developing mechanistic models provides a platform for knowledge sharing and consolidation of existing process understanding....

  6. 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.

  7. Reinterpreting maximum entropy in ecology: a null hypothesis constrained by ecological mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Dwyer, James P; Rominger, Andrew; Xiao, Xiao

    2017-07-01

    Simplified mechanistic models in ecology have been criticised for the fact that a good fit to data does not imply the mechanism is true: pattern does not equal process. In parallel, the maximum entropy principle (MaxEnt) has been applied in ecology to make predictions constrained by just a handful of state variables, like total abundance or species richness. But an outstanding question remains: what principle tells us which state variables to constrain? Here we attempt to solve both problems simultaneously, by translating a given set of mechanisms into the state variables to be used in MaxEnt, and then using this MaxEnt theory as a null model against which to compare mechanistic predictions. In particular, we identify the sufficient statistics needed to parametrise a given mechanistic model from data and use them as MaxEnt constraints. Our approach isolates exactly what mechanism is telling us over and above the state variables alone. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  8. The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution: a mechanistic appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaston, Kevin J; Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W; Hopkins, John

    2013-11-01

    The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution have been a longstanding source of concern, accentuated by realized and projected growth in electrical lighting. As human communities and lighting technologies develop, artificial light increasingly modifies natural light regimes by encroaching on dark refuges in space, in time, and across wavelengths. A wide variety of ecological implications of artificial light have been identified. However, the primary research to date is largely focused on the disruptive influence of nighttime light on higher vertebrates, and while comprehensive reviews have been compiled along taxonomic lines and within specific research domains, the subject is in need of synthesis within a common mechanistic framework. Here we propose such a framework that focuses on the cross-factoring of the ways in which artificial lighting alters natural light regimes (spatially, temporally, and spectrally), and the ways in which light influences biological systems, particularly the distinction between light as a resource and light as an information source. We review the evidence for each of the combinations of this cross-factoring. As artificial lighting alters natural patterns of light in space, time and across wavelengths, natural patterns of resource use and information flows may be disrupted, with downstream effects to the structure and function of ecosystems. This review highlights: (i) the potential influence of nighttime lighting at all levels of biological organisation (from cell to ecosystem); (ii) the significant impact that even low levels of nighttime light pollution can have; and (iii) the existence of major research gaps, particularly in terms of the impacts of light at population and ecosystem levels, identification of intensity thresholds, and the spatial extent of impacts in the vicinity of artificial lights. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  9. Mechanistic Models for Process Development and Optimization of Fed-batch Fermentation Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mears, Lisa; Stocks, Stuart M.; Albæk, Mads O.

    2016-01-01

    This work discusses the application of mechanistic models to pilot scale filamentous fungal fermentation systems operated at Novozymes A/S. For on-line applications, a state estimator model is developed based on a stoichiometric balance in order to predict the biomass and product concentration....... This is based on on-line gas measurements and ammonia addition flow rate measurements. Additionally, a mechanistic model is applied offline as a tool for batch planning, based on definition of the process back pressure, aeration rate and stirrer speed. This allows the batch starting fill to be planned, taking...... into account the oxygen transfer conditions, as well as the evaporation rates of the system. Mechanistic models are valuable tools which are applicable for both process development and optimization. The state estimator described will be a valuable tool for future work as part of control strategy development...

  10. When mechanism matters: Bayesian forecasting using models of ecological diffusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hefley, Trevor J.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Russell, Robin E.; Walsh, Daniel P.; Powell, James A.

    2017-01-01

    Ecological diffusion is a theory that can be used to understand and forecast spatio-temporal processes such as dispersal, invasion, and the spread of disease. Hierarchical Bayesian modelling provides a framework to make statistical inference and probabilistic forecasts, using mechanistic ecological models. To illustrate, we show how hierarchical Bayesian models of ecological diffusion can be implemented for large data sets that are distributed densely across space and time. The hierarchical Bayesian approach is used to understand and forecast the growth and geographic spread in the prevalence of chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We compare statistical inference and forecasts from our hierarchical Bayesian model to phenomenological regression-based methods that are commonly used to analyse spatial occurrence data. The mechanistic statistical model based on ecological diffusion led to important ecological insights, obviated a commonly ignored type of collinearity, and was the most accurate method for forecasting.

  11. Spatial ecology across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastings, Alan; Petrovskii, Sergei; Morozov, Andrew

    2011-04-23

    The international conference 'Models in population dynamics and ecology 2010: animal movement, dispersal and spatial ecology' took place at the University of Leicester, UK, on 1-3 September 2010, focusing on mathematical approaches to spatial population dynamics and emphasizing cross-scale issues. Exciting new developments in scaling up from individual level movement to descriptions of this movement at the macroscopic level highlighted the importance of mechanistic approaches, with different descriptions at the microscopic level leading to different ecological outcomes. At higher levels of organization, different macroscopic descriptions of movement also led to different properties at the ecosystem and larger scales. New developments from Levy flight descriptions to the incorporation of new methods from physics and elsewhere are revitalizing research in spatial ecology, which will both increase understanding of fundamental ecological processes and lead to tools for better management.

  12. The ecology and biogeochemistry of stream biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina; Bengtsson, Mia M; Romani, Anna M; Packmann, Aaron I

    2016-04-01

    Streams and rivers form dense networks, shape the Earth's surface and, in their sediments, provide an immensely large surface area for microbial growth. Biofilms dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, drive crucial ecosystem processes and contribute substantially to global biogeochemical fluxes. In turn, water flow and related deliveries of nutrients and organic matter to biofilms constitute major constraints on microbial life. In this Review, we describe the ecology and biogeochemistry of stream biofilms and highlight the influence of physical and ecological processes on their structure and function. Recent advances in the study of biofilm ecology may pave the way towards a mechanistic understanding of the effects of climate and environmental change on stream biofilms and the biogeochemistry of stream ecosystems.

  13. Unifying Research on Social-Ecological Resilience and Collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cumming, Graeme S; Peterson, Garry D

    2017-09-01

    Ecosystems influence human societies, leading people to manage ecosystems for human benefit. Poor environmental management can lead to reduced ecological resilience and social-ecological collapse. We review research on resilience and collapse across different systems and propose a unifying social-ecological framework based on (i) a clear definition of system identity; (ii) the use of quantitative thresholds to define collapse; (iii) relating collapse processes to system structure; and (iv) explicit comparison of alternative hypotheses and models of collapse. Analysis of 17 representative cases identified 14 mechanisms, in five classes, that explain social-ecological collapse. System structure influences the kind of collapse a system may experience. Mechanistic theories of collapse that unite structure and process can make fundamental contributions to solving global environmental problems. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Ecological plant epigenetics: Evidence from model and non-model species, and the way forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Christina L; Alonso, Conchita; Becker, Claude; Bossdorf, Oliver; Bucher, Etienne; Colomé-Tatché, Maria; Durka, Walter; Engelhardt, Jan; Gaspar, Bence; Gogol-Döring, Andreas; Grosse, Ivo; van Gurp, Thomas P; Heer, Katrin; Kronholm, Ilkka; Lampei, Christian; Latzel, Vít; Mirouze, Marie; Opgenoorth, Lars; Paun, Ovidiu; Prohaska, Sonja J; Rensing, Stefan A; Stadler, Peter F; Trucchi, Emiliano; Ullrich, Kristian; Verhoeven, Koen J F

    2017-12-01

    Growing evidence shows that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to complex traits, with implications across many fields of biology. In plant ecology, recent studies have attempted to merge ecological experiments with epigenetic analyses to elucidate the contribution of epigenetics to plant phenotypes, stress responses, adaptation to habitat, and range distributions. While there has been some progress in revealing the role of epigenetics in ecological processes, studies with non-model species have so far been limited to describing broad patterns based on anonymous markers of DNA methylation. In contrast, studies with model species have benefited from powerful genomic resources, which contribute to a more mechanistic understanding but have limited ecological realism. Understanding the significance of epigenetics for plant ecology requires increased transfer of knowledge and methods from model species research to genomes of evolutionarily divergent species, and examination of responses to complex natural environments at a more mechanistic level. This requires transforming genomics tools specifically for studying non-model species, which is challenging given the large and often polyploid genomes of plants. Collaboration among molecular geneticists, ecologists and bioinformaticians promises to enhance our understanding of the mutual links between genome function and ecological processes. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Inferring local ecological processes amid species pool influences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Belmaker, Jonathan; Myers, Jonathan A.

    2012-01-01

    studies, null models of community structure, and ecologically explicit definitions of the species pool as a means to compare predominant ecological processes among regions. By uniting concepts and tools from community ecology and macroecology, this approach might facilitate synthesis and resolve many......Resolving contingencies in community ecology requires comparative studies of local communities along broad-scale environmental gradients and in different biogeographic regions. However, comparisons of local ecological processes among regions require a synthetic understanding of how the species pool...... of potential community members influences the structure of ecological communities. Here, we outline an integrative approach for quantifying local ecological processes while explicitly accounting for species pool influences. Specifically, we highlight the utility of combining geographically replicated local...

  16. 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.

  17. Electrochemical processes and mechanistic aspects of field-effect sensors for biomolecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Weiguo; Diallo, Abdou Karim; Dailey, Jennifer L.; Besar, Kalpana

    2017-01-01

    Electronic biosensing is a leading technology for determining concentrations of biomolecules. In some cases, the presence of an analyte molecule induces a measured change in current flow, while in other cases, a new potential difference is established. In the particular case of a field effect biosensor, the potential difference is monitored as a change in conductance elsewhere in the device, such as across a film of an underlying semiconductor. Often, the mechanisms that lead to these responses are not specifically determined. Because improved understanding of these mechanisms will lead to improved performance, it is important to highlight those studies where various mechanistic possibilities are investigated. This review explores a range of possible mechanistic contributions to field-effect biosensor signals. First, we define the field-effect biosensor and the chemical interactions that lead to the field effect, followed by a section on theoretical and mechanistic background. We then discuss materials used in field-effect biosensors and approaches to improving signals from field-effect biosensors. We specifically cover the biomolecule interactions that produce local electric fields, structures and processes at interfaces between bioanalyte solutions and electronic materials, semiconductors used in biochemical sensors, dielectric layers used in top-gated sensors, and mechanisms for converting the surface voltage change to higher signal/noise outputs in circuits. PMID:29238595

  18. Making ecological models adequate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getz, Wayne M.; Marshall, Charles R.; Carlson, Colin J.; Giuggioli, Luca; Ryan, Sadie J.; Romañach, Stephanie; Boettiger, Carl; Chamberlain, Samuel D.; Larsen, Laurel; D'Odorico, Paolo; O'Sullivan, David

    2018-01-01

    Critical evaluation of the adequacy of ecological models is urgently needed to enhance their utility in developing theory and enabling environmental managers and policymakers to make informed decisions. Poorly supported management can have detrimental, costly or irreversible impacts on the environment and society. Here, we examine common issues in ecological modelling and suggest criteria for improving modelling frameworks. An appropriate level of process description is crucial to constructing the best possible model, given the available data and understanding of ecological structures. Model details unsupported by data typically lead to over parameterisation and poor model performance. Conversely, a lack of mechanistic details may limit a model's ability to predict ecological systems’ responses to management. Ecological studies that employ models should follow a set of model adequacy assessment protocols that include: asking a series of critical questions regarding state and control variable selection, the determinacy of data, and the sensitivity and validity of analyses. We also need to improve model elaboration, refinement and coarse graining procedures to better understand the relevancy and adequacy of our models and the role they play in advancing theory, improving hind and forecasting, and enabling problem solving and management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontarp, Mikael; Petchey, Owen L

    2018-03-14

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

  20. [Ecological security of wastewater treatment processes: a review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Sai; Hua, Tao

    2013-05-01

    Though the regular indicators of wastewater after treatment can meet the discharge requirements and reuse standards, it doesn't mean the effluent is harmless. From the sustainable point of view, to ensure the ecological and human security, comprehensive toxicity should be considered when discharge standards are set up. In order to improve the ecological security of wastewater treatment processes, toxicity reduction should be considered when selecting and optimizing the treatment processes. This paper reviewed the researches on the ecological security of wastewater treatment processes, with the focus on the purposes of various treatment processes, including the processes for special wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse, and for the safety of receiving waters. Conventional biological treatment combined with advanced oxidation technologies can enhance the toxicity reduction on the base of pollutants removal, which is worthy of further study. For the process aimed at wastewater reuse, the integration of different process units can complement the advantages of both conventional pollutants removal and toxicity reduction. For the process aimed at ecological security of receiving waters, the emphasis should be put on the toxicity reduction optimization of process parameters and process unit selection. Some suggestions for the problems in the current research and future research directions were put forward.

  1. Microbial ecology to manage processes in environmental biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2006-06-01

    Microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology are inherently tied to each other. The concepts and tools of microbial ecology are the basis for managing processes in environmental biotechnology; and these processes provide interesting ecosystems to advance the concepts and tools of microbial ecology. Revolutionary advancements in molecular tools to understand the structure and function of microbial communities are bolstering the power of microbial ecology. A push from advances in modern materials along with a pull from a societal need to become more sustainable is enabling environmental biotechnology to create novel processes. How do these two fields work together? Five principles illuminate the way: (i) aim for big benefits; (ii) develop and apply more powerful tools to understand microbial communities; (iii) follow the electrons; (iv) retain slow-growing biomass; and (v) integrate, integrate, integrate.

  2. 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.

  3. Hierarchical structure of ecological and non-ecological processes of differentiation shaped ongoing gastropod radiation in the Malawi Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bocxlaer, Bert

    2017-09-13

    Ecological processes, non-ecological processes or a combination of both may cause reproductive isolation and speciation, but their specific roles and potentially complex interactions in evolutionary radiations remain poorly understood, which defines a central knowledge gap at the interface of microevolution and macroevolution. Here I examine genome scans in combination with phenotypic and environmental data to disentangle how ecological and non-ecological processes contributed to population differentiation and speciation in an ongoing radiation of Lanistes gastropods from the Malawi Basin. I found a remarkable hierarchical structure of differentiation mechanisms in space and time: neutral and mutation-order processes are older and occur mainly between regions, whereas more recent adaptive processes are the main driver of genetic differentiation and reproductive isolation within regions. The strongest differentiation occurs between habitats and between regions, i.e. when ecological and non-ecological processes act synergistically. The structured occurrence of these processes based on the specific geographical setting and ecological opportunities strongly influenced the potential for evolutionary radiation. The results highlight the importance of interactions between various mechanisms of differentiation in evolutionary radiations, and suggest that non-ecological processes are important in adaptive radiations, including those of cichlids. Insight into such interactions is critical to understanding large-scale patterns of organismal diversity. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. Mechanistic modeling of heat transfer process governing pressure tube-to-calandria tube contact and fuel channel failure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luxat, J.C.

    2002-01-01

    Heat transfer behaviour and phenomena associated with ballooning deformation of a pressure tube into contact with a calandria tube have been analyzed and mechanistic models have been developed to describe the heat transfer and thermal-mechanical processes. These mechanistic models are applied to analyze experiments performed in various COG funded Contact Boiling Test series. Particular attention is given in the modeling to characterization of the conditions for which fuel channel failure may occur. Mechanistic models describing the governing heat transfer and thermal-mechanical processes are presented. The technical basis for characterizing parameters of the models from the general heat transfer literature is described. The validity of the models is demonstrated by comparison with experimental data. Fuel channel integrity criteria are proposed which are based upon three necessary and sequential mechanisms: Onset of CHF and local drypatch formation at contact; sustained film boiling in the post-contact period; and creep strain to failure of the calandria tube while in sustained film boiling. (author)

  5. Data Assimilation at FLUXNET to Improve Models towards Ecological Forecasting (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Dramatically increased volumes of data from observational and experimental networks such as FLUXNET call for transformation of ecological research to increase its emphasis on quantitative forecasting. Ecological forecasting will also meet the societal need to develop better strategies for natural resource management in a world of ongoing global change. Traditionally, ecological forecasting has been based on process-based models, informed by data in largely ad hoc ways. Although most ecological models incorporate some representation of mechanistic processes, today’s ecological models are generally not adequate to quantify real-world dynamics and provide reliable forecasts with accompanying estimates of uncertainty. A key tool to improve ecological forecasting is data assimilation, which uses data to inform initial conditions and to help constrain a model during simulation to yield results that approximate reality as closely as possible. In an era with dramatically increased availability of data from observational and experimental networks, data assimilation is a key technique that helps convert the raw data into ecologically meaningful products so as to accelerate our understanding of ecological processes, test ecological theory, forecast changes in ecological services, and better serve the society. This talk will use examples to illustrate how data from FLUXNET have been assimilated with process-based models to improve estimates of model parameters and state variables; to quantify uncertainties in ecological forecasting arising from observations, models and their interactions; and to evaluate information contributions of data and model toward short- and long-term forecasting of ecosystem responses to global change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. The physicochemical process of bacterial attachment to abiotic surfaces: Challenges for mechanistic studies, predictability and the development of control strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yi; Lee, Sui Mae; Dykes, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial attachment to abiotic surfaces can be explained as a physicochemical process. Mechanisms of the process have been widely studied but are not yet well understood due to their complexity. Physicochemical processes can be influenced by various interactions and factors in attachment systems, including, but not limited to, hydrophobic interactions, electrostatic interactions and substratum surface roughness. Mechanistic models and control strategies for bacterial attachment to abiotic surfaces have been established based on the current understanding of the attachment process and the interactions involved. Due to a lack of process control and standardization in the methodologies used to study the mechanisms of bacterial attachment, however, various challenges are apparent in the development of models and control strategies. In this review, the physicochemical mechanisms, interactions and factors affecting the process of bacterial attachment to abiotic surfaces are described. Mechanistic models established based on these parameters are discussed in terms of their limitations. Currently employed methods to study these parameters and bacterial attachment are critically compared. The roles of these parameters in the development of control strategies for bacterial attachment are reviewed, and the challenges that arise in developing mechanistic models and control strategies are assessed.

  9. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegen, James C; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K; Konopka, Allan E

    2015-01-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  10. Estimating and Mapping Ecological Processes Influencing Microbial Community Assembly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Stegen

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  11. Dynamic monitoring of landscape patterns and ecological processes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Landscape patterns and ecological processes have been in long-term research focus in the field of landscape ecology, but how to measure their quantitative relations is still open. This work chooses the Hulunbeier grassland as the study area where ecosystem shows high vulnerability, frequent evolvement of landscape ...

  12. Mechanistic curiosity will not kill the Bayesian cat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borsboom, D.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.; Romeijn, J.-W.

    2011-01-01

    Jones & Love (J&L) suggest that Bayesian approaches to the explanation of human behavior should be constrained by mechanistic theories. We argue that their proposal misconstrues the relation between process models, such as the Bayesian model, and mechanisms. While mechanistic theories can answer

  13. Mechanistic curiosity will not kill the Bayesian cat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borsboom, Denny; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan; Romeijn, Jan-Willem

    Jones & Love (J&L) suggest that Bayesian approaches to the explanation of human behavior should be constrained by mechanistic theories. We argue that their proposal misconstrues the relation between process models, such as the Bayesian model, and mechanisms. While mechanistic theories can answer

  14. Using energy budgets to combine ecology and toxicology in a mammalian sentinel species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desforges, Jean-Pierre W.; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune

    2017-04-01

    Process-driven modelling approaches can resolve many of the shortcomings of traditional descriptive and non-mechanistic toxicology. We developed a simple dynamic energy budget (DEB) model for the mink (Mustela vison), a sentinel species in mammalian toxicology, which coupled animal physiology, ecology and toxicology, in order to mechanistically investigate the accumulation and adverse effects of lifelong dietary exposure to persistent environmental toxicants, most notably polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Our novel mammalian DEB model accurately predicted, based on energy allocations to the interconnected metabolic processes of growth, development, maintenance and reproduction, lifelong patterns in mink growth, reproductive performance and dietary accumulation of PCBs as reported in the literature. Our model results were consistent with empirical data from captive and free-ranging studies in mink and other wildlife and suggest that PCB exposure can have significant population-level impacts resulting from targeted effects on fetal toxicity, kit mortality and growth and development. Our approach provides a simple and cross-species framework to explore the mechanistic interactions of physiological processes and ecotoxicology, thus allowing for a deeper understanding and interpretation of stressor-induced adverse effects at all levels of biological organization.

  15. Numerical simulation in steam injection process by a mechanistic approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Souza, J.C.Jr.; Campos, W.; Lopes, D.; Moura, L.S.S. [Petrobras, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2008-10-15

    Steam injection is a common thermal recovery method used in very viscous oil reservoirs. The method involves the injection of heat to reduce viscosity and mobilize oil. A steam generation and injection system consists primarily of a steam source, distribution lines, injection wells and a discarding tank. In order to optimize injection and improve the oil recovery factor, one must determine the parameters of steam flow such as pressure, temperature and steam quality. This study focused on developing a unified mathematical model by means of a mechanistic approach for two-phase steam flow in pipelines and wells. The hydrodynamic and heat transfer mechanistic model was implemented in a computer simulator to model the parameters of steam injection while trying to avoid the use of empirical correlations. A marching algorithm was used to determine the distribution of pressure and temperature along the pipelines and wellbores. The mathematical model for steam flow in injection systems, developed by a mechanistic approach (VapMec) performed well when the simulated values of pressures and temperatures were compared with the values measured during field tests. The newly developed VapMec model was incorporated in the LinVap-3 simulator that constitutes an engineering supporting tool for steam injection wells operated by Petrobras. 23 refs., 7 tabs., 6 figs.

  16. An ecological process model of systems change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peirson, Leslea J; Boydell, Katherine M; Ferguson, H Bruce; Ferris, Lorraine E

    2011-06-01

    In June 2007 the American Journal of Community Psychology published a special issue focused on theories, methods and interventions for systems change which included calls from the editors and authors for theoretical advancement in this field. We propose a conceptual model of systems change that integrates familiar and fundamental community psychology principles (succession, interdependence, cycling of resources, adaptation) and accentuates a process orientation. To situate our framework we offer a definition of systems change and a brief review of the ecological perspective and principles. The Ecological Process Model of Systems Change is depicted, described and applied to a case example of policy driven systems level change in publicly funded social programs. We conclude by identifying salient implications for thinking and action which flow from the Model.

  17. How superdiffusion gets arrested: ecological encounters explain shift from Levy to Brownian movement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jager, M.; Bartumeus, F.; Kölzsch, A.; Weissing, F.J.; Hengeveld, G.M.; Nolet, B.A.; Herman, P.M.J.; de Koppel, J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when

  18. How superdiffusion gets arrested : ecological encounters explain shift from Levy to Brownian movement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jager, Monique; Bartumeus, Frederic; Kolzsch, Andrea; Weissing, Franz J.; Hengeveld, Geerten M.; Nolet, Bart A.; Herman, Peter M. J.; de Koppel, Johan van

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when

  19. How superdiffusion gets arrested : Ecological encounters explain shift from Levy to Brownian movement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jager, Monique; Bartumeus, Frederic; Kölzsch, Andrea; Weissing, Franz J.; Hengeveld, Geerten M.; Nolet, Bart A.; Herman, Peter M.J.; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when

  20. Applications of Ecological Engineering Remedies for Uranium Processing Sites, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waugh, William [Navarro Research and Engineering

    2016-05-23

    The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) is responsible for remediation of environmental contamination and long-term stewardship of sites associated with the legacy of nuclear weapons production during the Cold War in the United States. Protection of human health and the environment will be required for hundreds or even thousands of years at many legacy sites. USDOE continually evaluates and applies advances in science and technology to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of surface and groundwater remedies (USDOE 2011). This paper is a synopsis of ecological engineering applications that USDOE is evaluating to assess the effectiveness of remedies at former uranium processing sites in the southwestern United States. Ecological engineering remedies are predicated on the concept that natural ecological processes at legacy sites, once understood, can be beneficially enhanced or manipulated. Advances in tools for characterizing key processes and for monitoring remedy performance are demonstrating potential. We present test cases for four ecological engineering remedies that may be candidates for international applications.

  1. Linking spring phenology with mechanistic models of host movement to predict disease transmission risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkle, Jerod A.; Cross, Paul C.; Scurlock, Brandon M.; Cole, Eric K.; Courtemanch, Alyson B.; Dewey, Sarah R.; Kauffman, Matthew J.

    2018-01-01

    Disease models typically focus on temporal dynamics of infection, while often neglecting environmental processes that determine host movement. In many systems, however, temporal disease dynamics may be slow compared to the scale at which environmental conditions alter host space-use and accelerate disease transmission.Using a mechanistic movement modelling approach, we made space-use predictions of a mobile host (elk [Cervus Canadensis] carrying the bacterial disease brucellosis) under environmental conditions that change daily and annually (e.g., plant phenology, snow depth), and we used these predictions to infer how spring phenology influences the risk of brucellosis transmission from elk (through aborted foetuses) to livestock in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.Using data from 288 female elk monitored with GPS collars, we fit step selection functions (SSFs) during the spring abortion season and then implemented a master equation approach to translate SSFs into predictions of daily elk distribution for five plausible winter weather scenarios (from a heavy snow, to an extreme winter drought year). We predicted abortion events by combining elk distributions with empirical estimates of daily abortion rates, spatially varying elk seroprevelance and elk population counts.Our results reveal strong spatial variation in disease transmission risk at daily and annual scales that is strongly governed by variation in host movement in response to spring phenology. For example, in comparison with an average snow year, years with early snowmelt are predicted to have 64% of the abortions occurring on feedgrounds shift to occurring on mainly public lands, and to a lesser extent on private lands.Synthesis and applications. Linking mechanistic models of host movement with disease dynamics leads to a novel bridge between movement and disease ecology. Our analysis framework offers new avenues for predicting disease spread, while providing managers tools to proactively mitigate

  2. A dynamic and mechanistic model of PCB bioaccumulation in the European hake ( Merluccius merluccius)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodiguel, Xavier; Maury, Olivier; Mellon-Duval, Capucine; Roupsard, François; Le Guellec, Anne-Marie; Loizeau, Véronique

    2009-08-01

    Bioaccumulation is difficult to document because responses differ among chemical compounds, with environmental conditions, and physiological processes characteristic of each species. We use a mechanistic model, based on the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory, to take into account this complexity and study factors impacting accumulation of organic pollutants in fish through ontogeny. The bioaccumulation model proposed is a comprehensive approach that relates evolution of hake PCB contamination to physiological information about the fish, such as diet, metabolism, reserve and reproduction status. The species studied is the European hake ( Merluccius merluccius, L. 1758). The model is applied to study the total concentration and the lipid normalised concentration of 4 PCB congeners in male and female hakes from the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean sea) and the Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic ocean). Outputs of the model compare consistently to measurements over the life span of fish. Simulation results clearly demonstrate the relative effects of food contamination, growth and reproduction on the PCB bioaccumulation in hake. The same species living in different habitats and exposed to different PCB prey concentrations exhibit marked difference in the body accumulation of PCBs. At the adult stage, female hakes have a lower PCB concentration compared to males for a given length. We successfully simulated these sex-specific PCB concentrations by considering two mechanisms: a higher energy allocation to growth for females and a transfer of PCBs from the female to its eggs when allocating lipids from reserve to eggs. Finally, by its mechanistic description of physiological processes, the model is relevant for other species and sets the stage for a mechanistic understanding of toxicity and ecological effects of organic contaminants in marine organisms.

  3. How superdiffusion gets arrested: Ecological encounters explain shift from Lévy to Brownian movement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Jager, M.; Bartumeus, F.; Kölzsch, A.; Weissing, F.J.; Hengeveld, G.M.; Nolet, B.A.; Herman, P.M.J.; Van de Koppel, J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when

  4. How superdiffusion gets arrested: ecological encounters explain shift from Lévy to Brownian movement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jager, de M.; Bartumeus, F.; Kölzsch, A.; Weissing, F.J.; Hengeveld, G.M.; Nolet, B.A.; Herman, P.M.J.; Koppel, van de J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when

  5. Enhancing the ecological risk assessment process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Virginia H; Biddinger, Gregory R; Newman, Michael C; Oris, James T; Suter, Glenn W; Thompson, Timothy; Armitage, Thomas M; Meyer, Judith L; Allen-King, Richelle M; Burton, G Allen; Chapman, Peter M; Conquest, Loveday L; Fernandez, Ivan J; Landis, Wayne G; Master, Lawrence L; Mitsch, William J; Mueller, Thomas C; Rabeni, Charles F; Rodewald, Amanda D; Sanders, James G; van Heerden, Ivor L

    2008-07-01

    The Ecological Processes and Effects Committee of the US Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board conducted a self-initiated study and convened a public workshop to characterize the state of the ecological risk assessment (ERA), with a view toward advancing the science and application of the process. That survey and analysis of ERA in decision making shows that such assessments have been most effective when clear management goals were included in the problem formulation; translated into information needs; and developed in collaboration with decision makers, assessors, scientists, and stakeholders. This process is best facilitated when risk managers, risk assessors, and stakeholders are engaged in an ongoing dialogue about problem formulation. Identification and acknowledgment of uncertainties that have the potential to profoundly affect the results and outcome of risk assessments also improves assessment effectiveness. Thus we suggest 1) through peer review of ERAs be conducted at the problem formulation stage and 2) the predictive power of risk-based decision making be expanded to reduce uncertainties through analytical and methodological approaches like life cycle analysis. Risk assessment and monitoring programs need better integration to reduce uncertainty and to evaluate risk management decision outcomes. Postdecision audit programs should be initiated to evaluate the environmental outcomes of risk-based decisions. In addition, a process should be developed to demonstrate how monitoring data can be used to reduce uncertainties. Ecological risk assessments should include the effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors at multiple levels of biological organization and spatial scale, and the extent and resolution of the pertinent scales and levels of organization should be explicitly considered during problem formulation. An approach to interpreting lines of evidence and weight of evidence is critically needed for complex assessments, and it would

  6. How superdiffusion gets arrested: ecological encounters explain shift from Lévy to Brownian movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jager, Monique; Bartumeus, Frederic; Kölzsch, Andrea; Weissing, Franz J.; Hengeveld, Geerten M.; Nolet, Bart A.; Herman, Peter M. J.; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when foraging in resource-poor environments. Yet, empirical studies reveal animals moving in a Brownian fashion when resources are abundant. We demonstrate that Einstein's original theory of collision-induced Brownian motion in physics provides a parsimonious, mechanistic explanation for these observations. Here, Brownian motion results from frequent encounters between organisms in dense environments. In density-controlled experiments, movement patterns of mussels shifted from Lévy towards Brownian motion with increasing density. When the analysis was restricted to moves not truncated by encounters, this shift did not occur. Using a theoretical argument, we explain that any movement pattern approximates Brownian motion at high-resource densities, provided that movement is interrupted upon encounters. Hence, the observed shift to Brownian motion does not indicate a density-dependent change in movement strategy but rather results from frequent collisions. Our results emphasize the need for a more mechanistic use of Brownian motion in ecology, highlighting that especially in rich environments, Brownian motion emerges from ecological interactions, rather than being a default movement pattern. PMID:24225464

  7. How superdiffusion gets arrested: ecological encounters explain shift from Lévy to Brownian movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jager, Monique; Bartumeus, Frederic; Kölzsch, Andrea; Weissing, Franz J; Hengeveld, Geerten M; Nolet, Bart A; Herman, Peter M J; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-01-07

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when foraging in resource-poor environments. Yet, empirical studies reveal animals moving in a Brownian fashion when resources are abundant. We demonstrate that Einstein's original theory of collision-induced Brownian motion in physics provides a parsimonious, mechanistic explanation for these observations. Here, Brownian motion results from frequent encounters between organisms in dense environments. In density-controlled experiments, movement patterns of mussels shifted from Lévy towards Brownian motion with increasing density. When the analysis was restricted to moves not truncated by encounters, this shift did not occur. Using a theoretical argument, we explain that any movement pattern approximates Brownian motion at high-resource densities, provided that movement is interrupted upon encounters. Hence, the observed shift to Brownian motion does not indicate a density-dependent change in movement strategy but rather results from frequent collisions. Our results emphasize the need for a more mechanistic use of Brownian motion in ecology, highlighting that especially in rich environments, Brownian motion emerges from ecological interactions, rather than being a default movement pattern.

  8. Putting ecology in environmental remediation: The strategic planning process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kapustka, L.A.; Williams, B.A.

    1991-01-01

    Traditional ecological studies have been conducted on many sites impacted by hazardous wastes. Yet in many cases, the information obtained has had limited value in the selection of remediation options. This paper discusses the importance of developing an ecological risk-based strategic plan to fulfill the scientific and social needs demanded in the remediation and restoration of hazardous waste sites. Ecological issues need to be considered seriously at the earliest phases of the scoping process. The decisions regarding selection of assessment endpoints and data quality objectives must be incorporated from the start to insure that cost-efficient and useful measurements are used. It is too late to develop effective ecological studies after the engineering decisions have been made. Strategic planning that integrates ecological concerns will minimize the frustration and the cost associated with clean up of hazardous waste sites and maximize the likelihood of successful site restoration

  9. [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.

  10. INCORPORATION OF MECHANISTIC INFORMATION IN THE ARSENIC PBPK MODEL DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

    Science.gov (United States)

    INCORPORATING MECHANISTIC INSIGHTS IN A PBPK MODEL FOR ARSENICElaina M. Kenyon, Michael F. Hughes, Marina V. Evans, David J. Thomas, U.S. EPA; Miroslav Styblo, University of North Carolina; Michael Easterling, Analytical Sciences, Inc.A physiologically based phar...

  11. Mechanistic, kinetic, and processing aspects of tungsten chemical mechanical polishing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, David

    This dissertation presents an investigation into tungsten chemical mechanical polishing (CMP). CMP is the industrially predominant unit operation that removes excess tungsten after non-selective chemical vapor deposition (CVD) during sub-micron integrated circuit (IC) manufacture. This work explores the CMP process from process engineering and fundamental mechanistic perspectives. The process engineering study optimized an existing CMP process to address issues of polish pad and wafer carrier life. Polish rates, post-CMP metrology of patterned wafers, electrical test data, and synergy with a thermal endpoint technique were used to determine the optimal process. The oxidation rate of tungsten during CMP is significantly lower than the removal rate under identical conditions. Tungsten polished without inhibition during cathodic potentiostatic control. Hertzian indenter model calculations preclude colloids of the size used in tungsten CMP slurries from indenting the tungsten surface. AFM surface topography maps and TEM images of post-CMP tungsten do not show evidence of plow marks or intergranular fracture. Polish rate is dependent on potassium iodate concentration; process temperature is not. The colloid species significantly affects the polish rate and process temperature. Process temperature is not a predictor of polish rate. A process energy balance indicates that the process temperature is predominantly due to shaft work, and that any heat of reaction evolved during the CMP process is negligible. Friction and adhesion between alumina and tungsten were studied using modified AFM techniques. Friction was constant with potassium iodate concentration, but varied with applied pressure. This corroborates the results from the energy balance. Adhesion between the alumina and the tungsten was proportional to the potassium iodate concentration. A heuristic mechanism, which captures the relationship between polish rate, pressure, velocity, and slurry chemistry, is presented

  12. Living in the branches: population dynamics and ecological processes in dendritic networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, E.H.C.; Lowe, W.H.; Fagan, W.F.

    2007-01-01

    Spatial structure regulates and modifies processes at several levels of ecological organization (e.g. individual/genetic, population and community) and is thus a key component of complex systems, where knowledge at a small scale can be insufficient for understanding system behaviour at a larger scale. Recent syntheses outline potential applications of network theory to ecological systems, but do not address the implications of physical structure for network dynamics. There is a specific need to examine how dendritic habitat structure, such as that found in stream, hedgerow and cave networks, influences ecological processes. Although dendritic networks are one type of ecological network, they are distinguished by two fundamental characteristics: (1) both the branches and the nodes serve as habitat, and (2) the specific spatial arrangement and hierarchical organization of these elements interacts with a species' movement behaviour to alter patterns of population distribution and abundance, and community interactions. Here, we summarize existing theory relating to ecological dynamics in dendritic networks, review empirical studies examining the population- and community-level consequences of these networks, and suggest future research integrating spatial pattern and processes in dendritic systems.

  13. The raison d'être of chemical ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raguso, Robert A; Agrawal, Anurag A; Douglas, Angela E; Jander, Georg; Kessler, André; Poveda, Katja; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2015-03-01

    Chemical ecology is a mechanistic approach to understanding the causes and consequences of species interactions, distribution, abundance, and diversity. The promise of chemical ecology stems from its potential to provide causal mechanisms that further our understanding of ecological interactions and allow us to more effectively manipulate managed systems. Founded on the notion that all organisms use endogenous hormones and chemical compounds that mediate interactions, chemical ecology has flourished over the past 50 years since its origin. In this essay we highlight the breadth of chemical ecology, from its historical focus on pheromonal communication, plant-insect interactions, and coevolution to frontier themes including community and ecosystem effects of chemically mediated species interactions. Emerging approaches including the -omics, phylogenetic ecology, the form and function of microbiomes, and network analysis, as well as emerging challenges (e.g., sustainable agriculture and public health) are guiding current growth of this field. Nonetheless, the directions and approaches we advocate for the future are grounded in classic ecological theories and hypotheses that continue to motivate our broader discipline.

  14. Ecological interactions affecting population-level responses to chemical stress in Mesocyclops leuckarti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, Devdutt; Hommen, Udo; Schäffer, Andreas; Preuss, Thomas G

    2014-10-01

    Higher tiers of ecological risk assessment (ERA) consider population and community-level endpoints. At the population level, the phenomenon of density dependence is one of the most important ecological processes that influence population dynamics. In this study, we investigated how different mechanisms of density dependence would influence population-level ERA of the cyclopoid copepod Mesocyclops leuckarti under toxicant exposure. We used a combined approach of laboratory experiments and individual-based modelling. An individual-based model was developed for M. leuckarti to simulate population dynamics under triphenyltin exposure based on individual-level ecological and toxicological data from laboratory experiments. The study primarily aimed to-(1) determine which life-cycle processes, based on feeding strategies, are most significant in determining density dependence (2) explore how these mechanisms of density dependence affect extrapolation from individual-level effects to the population level under toxicant exposure. Model simulations showed that cannibalism of nauplii that were already stressed by TPT exposure contributed to synergistic effects of biotic and abiotic factors and led to a twofold stress being exerted on the nauplii, thereby resulting in a higher population vulnerability compared to the scenario without cannibalism. Our results suggest that in population-level risk assessment, it is easy to underestimate toxicity unless underlying ecological interactions including mechanisms of population-level density regulation are considered. This study is an example of how a combined approach of experiments and mechanistic modelling can lead to a thorough understanding of ecological processes in ecotoxicology and enable a more realistic ERA. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Experiential Learning as a Constraint-Led Process: An Ecological Dynamics Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brymer, Eric; Davids, Keith

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we present key ideas for an ecological dynamics approach to learning that reveal the importance of learner-environment interactions to frame outdoor experiential learning. We propose that ecological dynamics provides a useful framework for understanding the interacting constraints of the learning process and for designing learning…

  16. Explanation and inference: Mechanistic and functional explanations guide property generalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tania eLombrozo

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The ability to generalize from the known to the unknown is central to learning and inference. Two experiments explore the relationship between how a property is explained and how that property is generalized to novel species and artifacts. The experiments contrast the consequences of explaining a property mechanistically, by appeal to parts and processes, with the consequences of explaining the property functionally, by appeal to functions and goals. The findings suggest that properties that are explained functionally are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions, with a weaker relationship between mechanistic explanations and generalization on the basis of shared parts and processes. The influence of explanation type on generalization holds even though all participants are provided with the same mechanistic and functional information, and whether an explanation type is freely generated (Experiment 1, experimentally provided (Experiment 2, or experimentally induced (Experiment 2. The experiments also demonstrate that explanations and generalizations of a particular type (mechanistic or functional can be experimentally induced by providing sample explanations of that type, with a comparable effect when the sample explanations come from the same domain or from a different domains. These results suggest that explanations serve as a guide to generalization, and contribute to a growing body of work supporting the value of distinguishing mechanistic and functional explanations.

  17. Explanation and inference: mechanistic and functional explanations guide property generalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombrozo, Tania; Gwynne, Nicholas Z

    2014-01-01

    The ability to generalize from the known to the unknown is central to learning and inference. Two experiments explore the relationship between how a property is explained and how that property is generalized to novel species and artifacts. The experiments contrast the consequences of explaining a property mechanistically, by appeal to parts and processes, with the consequences of explaining the property functionally, by appeal to functions and goals. The findings suggest that properties that are explained functionally are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions, with a weaker relationship between mechanistic explanations and generalization on the basis of shared parts and processes. The influence of explanation type on generalization holds even though all participants are provided with the same mechanistic and functional information, and whether an explanation type is freely generated (Experiment 1), experimentally provided (Experiment 2), or experimentally induced (Experiment 2). The experiments also demonstrate that explanations and generalizations of a particular type (mechanistic or functional) can be experimentally induced by providing sample explanations of that type, with a comparable effect when the sample explanations come from the same domain or from a different domains. These results suggest that explanations serve as a guide to generalization, and contribute to a growing body of work supporting the value of distinguishing mechanistic and functional explanations.

  18. 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...

  19. Of Models and Meanings: Cultural Resilience in Social–Ecological Systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crane, T.A.

    2010-01-01

    Modeling has emerged as a key technology in analysis of social–ecological systems. However, the tendency for modeling to focus on the mechanistic materiality of biophysical systems obscures the diversity of performative social behaviors and normative cultural positions of actors within the modeled

  20. Ecological Risk Assessment Process under the Endangered Species Act

    Science.gov (United States)

    This document provides an overview of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ecological risk assessment process for the evaluation of potential risk to endangered and threatened (listed) species from exposure to pesticides.

  1. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Testing mechanistic models of growth in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maino, James L; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-11-22

    Insects are typified by their small size, large numbers, impressive reproductive output and rapid growth. However, insect growth is not simply rapid; rather, insects follow a qualitatively distinct trajectory to many other animals. Here we present a mechanistic growth model for insects and show that increasing specific assimilation during the growth phase can explain the near-exponential growth trajectory of insects. The presented model is tested against growth data on 50 insects, and compared against other mechanistic growth models. Unlike the other mechanistic models, our growth model predicts energy reserves per biomass to increase with age, which implies a higher production efficiency and energy density of biomass in later instars. These predictions are tested against data compiled from the literature whereby it is confirmed that insects increase their production efficiency (by 24 percentage points) and energy density (by 4 J mg(-1)) between hatching and the attainment of full size. The model suggests that insects achieve greater production efficiencies and enhanced growth rates by increasing specific assimilation and increasing energy reserves per biomass, which are less costly to maintain than structural biomass. Our findings illustrate how the explanatory and predictive power of mechanistic growth models comes from their grounding in underlying biological processes. © 2015 The Author(s).

  3. An ecological interface for supporting situation awareness during malfunction and process and automation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohtsu, Masataka; Furukawa, Hiroshi; Inagaki, Toshiyuki; Monta, Kazuo

    2000-01-01

    This paper describes the outline of an experiment to investigate the effect of an ecological interface for supporting situation awareness during malfunction of process. We developed an ecological interface and an conventional interface for the simulator SCARLETT of a virtual plant that have two process control modes (automatic process control mode and manual process control mode). The purpose of this experiment is to investigate how interface and process control mode have any effects on situation awareness of human operator during malfunction of process, whether there are any interaction between interface and process control mode. We have been conducted this experiment now. (author)

  4. Behavior Analysis and Ecological Psychology: Past, Present, and Future. A Review of Harry Heft's Ecological Psychology in Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Edward K

    2009-01-01

    Relations between behavior analysis and ecological psychology have been strained for years, notwithstanding the occasional comment on their affinities. Harry Heft's (2001) Ecological Psychology in Context provides an occasion for reviewing anew those relations and affinities. It describes the genesis of ecological psychology in James's radical empiricism; addresses Holt's neorealism and Gestalt psychology; and synthesizes Gibson's ecological psychology and Barker's ecobehavioral science as a means for understanding everyday human behavior. Although behavior analysis is excluded from this account, Heft's book warrants a review nonetheless: It describes ecological psychology in ways that are congruent and complementary with behavior analysis (e.g., nonmediational theorizing; the provinces of natural history and natural science). After introducing modern ecological psychology, I comment on (a) Heft's admirable, albeit selective, historiography; (b) his ecological psychology—past and present—as it relates to Skinner's science and system (e.g., affordances, molar behavior); (c) his misunderstandings of Skinner's behaviorism (e.g., reductionistic, mechanistic, molecular); and (d) the theoretical status of Heft's cognitive terms and talk (i.e., in ontology, epistemology, syntax). I conclude by considering the alliance and integration of ecological psychology and behavior analysis, and their implications for unifying and transforming psychology as a life science, albeit more for the future than at present. PMID:20354604

  5. Specialists without spirit: limitations of the mechanistic biomedical model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewa, S; Hetherington, R W

    1995-06-01

    This paper examines the origin and the development of the mechanistic model of the human body and health in terms of Max Weber's theory of rationalization. It is argued that the development of Western scientific medicine is a part of the broad process of rationalization that began in sixteenth century Europe as a result of the Reformation. The development of the mechanistic view of the human body in Western medicine is consistent with the ideas of calculability, predictability, and control-the major tenets of the process of rationalization as described by Weber. In recent years, however, the limitations of the mechanistic model have been the topic of many discussions. George Engel, a leading advocate of general systems theory, is one of the leading proponents of a new medical model which includes the general quality of life, clean environment, and psychological, or spiritual stability of life. The paper concludes with consideration of the potential of Engel's proposed new model in the context of the current state of rationalization in modern industrialized society.

  6. Bacteriophage ecology in environmental biotechnology processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Orr H; Kushmaro, Ariel

    2011-06-01

    Heterotrophic bacteria are an integral part of any environmental biotechnology process (EBP). Therefore, factors controlling bacterial abundance, activity, and community composition are central to the understanding of such processes. Among these factors, top-down control by bacteriophage predation has so far received very limited attention. With over 10(8) particles per ml, phage appear to be the most numerous biological entities in EBP. Phage populations in EBP appear to be highly dynamic and to correlate with the population dynamics of their hosts and genomic evidence suggests bacteria evolve to avoid phage predation. Clearly, there is much to learn regarding bacteriophage in EBP before we can truly understand the microbial ecology of these globally important systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Mechanistic movement models to understand epidemic spread.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fofana, Abdou Moutalab; Hurford, Amy

    2017-05-05

    An overlooked aspect of disease ecology is considering how and why animals come into contact with one and other resulting in disease transmission. Mathematical models of disease spread frequently assume mass-action transmission, justified by stating that susceptible and infectious hosts mix readily, and foregoing any detailed description of host movement. Numerous recent studies have recorded, analysed and modelled animal movement. These movement models describe how animals move with respect to resources, conspecifics and previous movement directions and have been used to understand the conditions for the occurrence and the spread of infectious diseases when hosts perform a type of movement. Here, we summarize the effect of the different types of movement on the threshold conditions for disease spread. We identify gaps in the literature and suggest several promising directions for future research. The mechanistic inclusion of movement in epidemic models may be beneficial for the following two reasons. Firstly, the estimation of the transmission coefficient in an epidemic model is possible because animal movement data can be used to estimate the rate of contacts between conspecifics. Secondly, unsuccessful transmission events, where a susceptible host contacts an infectious host but does not become infected can be quantified. Following an outbreak, this enables disease ecologists to identify 'near misses' and to explore possible alternative epidemic outcomes given shifts in ecological or immunological parameters.This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Using Ancient DNA to Understand Evolutionary and Ecological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre; Cooper, Alan

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Comparative ecophysiology of two sympatric lizards. Laying the groundwork for mechanistic distribution models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique García-Muñoz

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution modelling usually makes inferences correlating species presence and environmental variables but does not take biotic relations into account. Alternative approaches based on a mechanistic understanding of biological processes are now being applied. Regarding lacertid lizards, physiological traits such as preferred body temperature (Tp are well known to correlate with several physiological optima. Much less is known about their water ecology although body temperature and evaporative water loss (Wl may trade-off. Two saxicolous lacertids, Algyroides marchi and Podarcis hispanica ss are sympatric in the Subbetic Mountains (SE Spain were they can be found in syntopy. Previous distribution modelling indicates the first species is associated with mountains, low temperatures; high precipitation and forest cover whereas the second one is more generalistic. Here, we perform two ecophysiological tests with both species: a Tp experiment in thermal gradient and a Wl experiment in sealed chambers. Although both species attained similar body temperatures, A. marchi lost more water and more uniformly in time than P. hispanica ss that displayed an apparent response to dehydration. These results suggest that water loss rather temperature is crucial to explain the distribution patterns of A. marchi in relation to P. hispanica ss, the former risking dehydration in dry areas no matter what temperature is. Ecophysiological traits represent a promising tool to build future mechanistic models for (lacertid lizards. Additionally, the implications for their biogeography and conservation are discussed.

  12. How superdiffusion gets arrested: ecological encounters explain shift from Lévy to Brownian movement

    OpenAIRE

    de Jager, Monique; Bartumeus, Frederic; Kölzsch, Andrea; Weissing, Franz J.; Hengeveld, Geerten M.; Nolet, Bart A.; Herman, Peter M. J.; van de Koppel, Johan

    2014-01-01

    Ecological theory uses Brownian motion as a default template for describing ecological movement, despite limited mechanistic underpinning. The generality of Brownian motion has recently been challenged by empirical studies that highlight alternative movement patterns of animals, especially when foraging in resource-poor environments. Yet, empirical studies reveal animals moving in a Brownian fashion when resources are abundant. We demonstrate that Einstein’s original theory ...

  13. Application of a Mechanistic Model as a Tool for On-line Monitoring of Pilot Scale Filamentous Fungal Fermentation Processes - The Importance of Evaporation Effects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mears, Lisa; Stocks, Stuart M.; Albæk, Mads Orla

    2017-01-01

    A mechanistic model-based soft sensor is developed and validated for 550L filamentous fungus fermentations operated at Novozymes A/S. The soft sensor is comprised of a parameter estimation block based on a stoichiometric balance, coupled to a dynamic process model. The on-line parameter estimation...... a historical dataset of eleven batches from the fermentation pilot plant (550L) at Novozymes A/S. The model is then implemented on-line in 550L fermentation processes operated at Novozymes A/S in order to validate the state estimator model on fourteen new batches utilizing a new strain. The product...... block models the changing rates of formation of product, biomass, and water, and the rate of consumption of feed using standard, available on-line measurements. This parameter estimation block, is coupled to a mechanistic process model, which solves the current states of biomass, product, substrate...

  14. Stochastic analysis in production process and ecology under uncertainty

    CERN Document Server

    Bieda, Bogusław

    2014-01-01

    The monograph addresses a problem of stochastic analysis based on the uncertainty assessment by simulation and application of this method in ecology and steel industry under uncertainty. The first chapter defines the Monte Carlo (MC) method and random variables in stochastic models. Chapter two deals with the contamination transport in porous media. Stochastic approach for Municipal Solid Waste transit time contaminants modeling using MC simulation has been worked out. The third chapter describes the risk analysis of the waste to energy facility proposal for Konin city, including the financial aspects. Environmental impact assessment of the ArcelorMittal Steel Power Plant, in Kraków - in the chapter four - is given. Thus, four scenarios of the energy mix production processes were studied. Chapter five contains examples of using ecological Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - a relatively new method of environmental impact assessment - which help in preparing pro-ecological strategy, and which can lead to reducing t...

  15. Cognitive science as an interface between rational and mechanistic explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chater, Nick

    2014-04-01

    Cognitive science views thought as computation; and computation, by its very nature, can be understood in both rational and mechanistic terms. In rational terms, a computation solves some information processing problem (e.g., mapping sensory information into a description of the external world; parsing a sentence; selecting among a set of possible actions). In mechanistic terms, a computation corresponds to causal chain of events in a physical device (in engineering context, a silicon chip; in biological context, the nervous system). The discipline is thus at the interface between two very different styles of explanation--as the papers in the current special issue well illustrate, it explores the interplay of rational and mechanistic forces. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  16. Mess management in microbial ecology: Rhetorical processes of disciplinary integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCracken, Christopher W.

    As interdisciplinary work becomes more common in the sciences, research into the rhetorical processes mediating disciplinary integration becomes more vital. This dissertation, which takes as its subject the integration of microbiology and ecology, combines a postplural approach to rhetoric of science research with Victor Turner's "social drama" analysis and a third-generation activity theory methodological framework to identify conceptual and practical conflicts in interdisciplinary work and describe how, through visual and verbal communication, scientists negotiate these conflicts. First, to understand the conflicting disciplinary principles that might impede integration, the author conducts a Turnerian analysis of a disciplinary conflict that took place in the 1960s and 70s, during which American ecologists and biologists debated whether they should participate in the International Biological Program (IBP). Participation in the IBP ultimately contributed to the emergence of ecology as a discipline distinct from biology, and Turnerian social drama analysis of the debate surrounding participation lays bare the conflicting principles separating biology and ecology. Second, to answer the question of how these conflicting principles are negotiated in practice, the author reports on a yearlong qualitative study of scientists working in a microbial ecology laboratory. Focusing specifically on two case studies from this fieldwork that illustrate the key concept of textually mediated disciplinary integration, the author's analysis demonstrates how scientific objects emerge in differently situated practices, and how these objects manage to cohere despite their multiplicity through textually mediated rhetorical processes of calibration and alignment.

  17. Determining environmental causes of biological effects: the need for a mechanistic physiological dimension in conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seebacher, Frank; Franklin, Craig E

    2012-06-19

    The emerging field of Conservation Physiology links environmental change and ecological success by the application of physiological theory, approaches and tools to elucidate and address conservation problems. Human activity has changed the natural environment to a point where the viability of many ecosystems is now under threat. There are already many descriptions of how changes in biological patterns are correlated with environmental changes. The next important step is to determine the causative relationship between environmental variability and biological systems. Physiology provides the mechanistic link between environmental change and ecological patterns. Physiological research, therefore, should be integrated into conservation to predict the biological consequences of human activity, and to identify those species or populations that are most vulnerable.

  18. Influences of Coupled Hydrologic and Microbial Processes on River Corridor Biogeochemistry and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheibe, T. D.; Song, H. S.; Stegen, J.; Graham, E.; Bao, J.; Goldman, A.; Zhou, T.; Crump, A.; Hou, Z.; Hammond, G. E.; Chen, X.; Huang, M.; Zhang, X.; Nelson, W. C.; Garayburu-Caruso, V. A.

    2017-12-01

    The exchange of water between rivers and surrounding subsurface environments (hydrologic exchange flows or HEFs) is a vital aspect of river ecology and watershed function. HEFs play a key role in water quality, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem health, and they modulate water temperatures and enhance exchange of terrestrial and aquatic nutrients, which lead to elevated biogeochemical activity. However, these coupled hydrologic and microbiological processes are not well understood, particularly in the context of large managed river systems with highly variable discharge, and are poorly represented in system-scale quantitative models. Using the 75 km Hanford Reach of the Columbia River as the research domain, we apply high-resolution flow simulations supported by field observations to understand how variable river discharge interacts with hydromorphic and hydrogeologic structures to generate HEFs and distributions of subsurface residence times. We combine this understanding of hydrologic processes with microbiological activity measurements and reactive transport models to elucidate the holistic impacts of variable discharge on river corridor (surface and subsurface) ecosystems. In particular, our project seeks to develop and test new conceptual and numerical models that explicitly incorporate i) the character (chemical speciation and thermodynamics) of natural organic matter as it varies along flow paths and through mixing of groundwater and surface water, and ii) the history-dependent response of microbial communities to varying time scales of inundation associated with fluctuations in river discharge. The results of these high-resolution mechanistic models are guiding formulation and parameterization of reduced-order models applicable at reach to watershed scales. New understanding of coupled hydrology and microbiology in the river corridor will play a key role in reduction of uncertainties associated with major Earth system biogeochemical fluxes, improving

  19. 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 ...

  20. Ecology of zoonotic infectious diseases in bats: current knowledge and future directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayman, D.T.; Bowen, R.A.; Cryan, P.M.; McCracken, G.F.; O'Shea, T.J.; Peel, A.J.; Gilbert, A.; Webb, C.T.; Wood, J.L.

    2013-01-01

    Bats are hosts to a range of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic pathogens. Human activities that increase exposure to bats will likely increase the opportunity for infections to spill over in the future. Ecological drivers of pathogen spillover and emergence in novel hosts, including humans, involve a complex mixture of processes, and understanding these complexities may aid in predicting spillover. In particular, only once the pathogen and host ecologies are known can the impacts of anthropogenic changes be fully appreciated. Cross-disciplinary approaches are required to understand how host and pathogen ecology interact. Bats differ from other sylvatic disease reservoirs because of their unique and diverse lifestyles, including their ability to fly, often highly gregarious social structures, long lifespans and low fecundity rates. We highlight how these traits may affect infection dynamics and how both host and pathogen traits may interact to affect infection dynamics. We identify key questions relating to the ecology of infectious diseases in bats and propose that a combination of field and laboratory studies are needed to create data-driven mechanistic models to elucidate those aspects of bat ecology that are most critical to the dynamics of emerging bat viruses. If commonalities can be found, then predicting the dynamics of newly emerging diseases may be possible. This modelling approach will be particularly important in scenarios when population surveillance data are unavailable and when it is unclear which aspects of host ecology are driving infection dynamics.

  1. Ecology of Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in Bats: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayman, D T S; Bowen, R A; Cryan, P M; McCracken, G F; O’Shea, T J; Peel, A J; Gilbert, A; Webb, C T; Wood, J L N

    2013-01-01

    Bats are hosts to a range of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic pathogens. Human activities that increase exposure to bats will likely increase the opportunity for infections to spill over in the future. Ecological drivers of pathogen spillover and emergence in novel hosts, including humans, involve a complex mixture of processes, and understanding these complexities may aid in predicting spillover. In particular, only once the pathogen and host ecologies are known can the impacts of anthropogenic changes be fully appreciated. Cross-disciplinary approaches are required to understand how host and pathogen ecology interact. Bats differ from other sylvatic disease reservoirs because of their unique and diverse lifestyles, including their ability to fly, often highly gregarious social structures, long lifespans and low fecundity rates. We highlight how these traits may affect infection dynamics and how both host and pathogen traits may interact to affect infection dynamics. We identify key questions relating to the ecology of infectious diseases in bats and propose that a combination of field and laboratory studies are needed to create data-driven mechanistic models to elucidate those aspects of bat ecology that are most critical to the dynamics of emerging bat viruses. If commonalities can be found, then predicting the dynamics of newly emerging diseases may be possible. This modelling approach will be particularly important in scenarios when population surveillance data are unavailable and when it is unclear which aspects of host ecology are driving infection dynamics. PMID:22958281

  2. Ecological imperatives for aquatic CO2-concentrating mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maberly, Stephen C; Gontero, Brigitte

    2017-06-01

    In aquatic environments, the concentration of inorganic carbon is spatially and temporally variable and CO2 can be substantially oversaturated or depleted. Depletion of CO2 plus low rates of diffusion cause inorganic carbon to be more limiting in aquatic than terrestrial environments, and the frequency of species with a CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM), and their contribution to productivity, is correspondingly greater. Aquatic photoautotrophs may have biochemical or biophysical CCMs and exploit CO2 from the sediment or the atmosphere. Though partly constrained by phylogeny, CCM activity is related to environmental conditions. CCMs are absent or down-regulated when their increased energy costs, lower CO2 affinity, or altered mineral requirements outweigh their benefits. Aquatic CCMs are most widespread in environments with low CO2, high HCO3-, high pH, and high light. Freshwater species are generally less effective at inorganic carbon removal than marine species, but have a greater range of ability to remove carbon, matching the environmental variability in carbon availability. The diversity of CCMs in seagrasses and marine phytoplankton, and detailed mechanistic studies on larger aquatic photoautotrophs are understudied. Strengthening the links between ecology and CCMs will increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying ecological success and will place mechanistic studies in a clearer ecological context. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Ecological assessment of integrated bioenergy systems using the Sustainable Process Index

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krotscheck, C.; Konig, F.; Obernberger, I.

    2000-01-01

    Biomass utilisation for energy production presently faces an uphill battle against fossil fuels. The use of biomass must offer additional benefits to compensate for higher prices: on the basis of a life cycle assessment (using BEAM to evaluate a variety of integrated bioenergy systems in connection with the Sustainable Process Index as a highly aggregated environmental pressure index) it is shown that integrated bioenergy systems are superior to fossil fuel systems in terms of environmental compatibility. The implementation of sustainability measures provides additional valuable information that might help in constructing and optimising integrated bioenergy systems. For a set of reference processes, among them fast pyrolysis, atmospheric gasification, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), combustion and steam cycle (CS) and conventional hydrolysis, a detailed impact assessment is shown. Sensitivity analyses of the most important ecological parameters are calculated, giving an overview of the impacts of various stages in the total life cycle and showing 'what really matters'. Much of the ecological impact of integrated bioenergy systems is induced by feedstock production. It is mainly the use of fossil fuels in cultivation, harvesting and transportation as well as the use of fertilisers in short-rotation coppice production that impose considerable ecological pressure. Concerning electricity generation the most problematic pressures are due to gaseous emissions, most notably the release of NO x . Moreover, a rather complicated process (high amount of grey energy) and the use of fossil pilot fuel (co-combustion) leads to a rather weak ecological performance in contrast to other 100% biomass-based systems. (author)

  4. Effects of season on ecological processes in extensive earthen tilapia ponds in Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favaro, E G P; Sipaúba-Tavares, L H; Milstein, A

    2015-11-01

    In Southeastern Brazil tilapia culture is conducted in extensive and semi-intensive flow-through earthen ponds, being water availability and flow management different in the rainy and dry seasons. In this region lettuce wastes are a potential cheap input for tilapia culture. This study examined the ecological processes developing during the rainy and dry seasons in three extensive flow-through earthen tilapia ponds fertilized with lettuce wastes. Water quality, plankton and sediment parameters were sampled monthly during a year. Factor analysis was used to identify the ecological processes occurring within the ponds and to construct a conceptual graphic model of the pond ecosystem functioning during the rainy and dry seasons. Processes related to nitrogen cycling presented differences between both seasons while processes related to phosphorus cycling did not. Ecological differences among ponds were due to effects of wind protection by surrounding vegetation, organic loading entering, tilapia density and its grazing pressure on zooplankton. Differences in tilapia growth among ponds were related to stocking density and ecological process affecting tilapia food availability and intraspecific competition. Lettuce wastes addition into the ponds did not produce negative effects, thus this practice may be considered a disposal option and a low-cost input source for tilapia, at least at the amounts applied in this study.

  5. Integrating plant ecological responses to climate extremes from individual to ecosystem levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felton, Andrew J; Smith, Melinda D

    2017-06-19

    Climate extremes will elicit responses from the individual to the ecosystem level. However, only recently have ecologists begun to synthetically assess responses to climate extremes across multiple levels of ecological organization. We review the literature to examine how plant responses vary and interact across levels of organization, focusing on how individual, population and community responses may inform ecosystem-level responses in herbaceous and forest plant communities. We report a high degree of variability at the individual level, and a consequential inconsistency in the translation of individual or population responses to directional changes in community- or ecosystem-level processes. The scaling of individual or population responses to community or ecosystem responses is often predicated upon the functional identity of the species in the community, in particular, the dominant species. Furthermore, the reported stability in plant community composition and functioning with respect to extremes is often driven by processes that operate at the community level, such as species niche partitioning and compensatory responses during or after the event. Future research efforts would benefit from assessing ecological responses across multiple levels of organization, as this will provide both a holistic and mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to increasing climatic variability.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Spatially explicit modeling in ecology: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Yurek, Simeon

    2017-01-01

    The use of spatially explicit models (SEMs) in ecology has grown enormously in the past two decades. One major advancement has been that fine-scale details of landscapes, and of spatially dependent biological processes, such as dispersal and invasion, can now be simulated with great precision, due to improvements in computer technology. Many areas of modeling have shifted toward a focus on capturing these fine-scale details, to improve mechanistic understanding of ecosystems. However, spatially implicit models (SIMs) have played a dominant role in ecology, and arguments have been made that SIMs, which account for the effects of space without specifying spatial positions, have an advantage of being simpler and more broadly applicable, perhaps contributing more to understanding. We address this debate by comparing SEMs and SIMs in examples from the past few decades of modeling research. We argue that, although SIMs have been the dominant approach in the incorporation of space in theoretical ecology, SEMs have unique advantages for addressing pragmatic questions concerning species populations or communities in specific places, because local conditions, such as spatial heterogeneities, organism behaviors, and other contingencies, produce dynamics and patterns that usually cannot be incorporated into simpler SIMs. SEMs are also able to describe mechanisms at the local scale that can create amplifying positive feedbacks at that scale, creating emergent patterns at larger scales, and therefore are important to basic ecological theory. We review the use of SEMs at the level of populations, interacting populations, food webs, and ecosystems and argue that SEMs are not only essential in pragmatic issues, but must play a role in the understanding of causal relationships on landscapes.

  7. Mechanistic species distribution modelling as a link between physiology and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Tyler G; Diamond, Sarah E; Kelly, Morgan W

    2015-01-01

    Climate change conservation planning relies heavily on correlative species distribution models that estimate future areas of occupancy based on environmental conditions encountered in present-day ranges. The approach benefits from rapid assessment of vulnerability over a large number of organisms, but can have poor predictive power when transposed to novel environments and reveals little in the way of causal mechanisms that define changes in species distribution or abundance. Having conservation planning rely largely on this single approach also increases the risk of policy failure. Mechanistic models that are parameterized with physiological information are expected to be more robust when extrapolating distributions to future environmental conditions and can identify physiological processes that set range boundaries. Implementation of mechanistic species distribution models requires knowledge of how environmental change influences physiological performance, and because this information is currently restricted to a comparatively small number of well-studied organisms, use of mechanistic modelling in the context of climate change conservation is limited. In this review, we propose that the need to develop mechanistic models that incorporate physiological data presents an opportunity for physiologists to contribute more directly to climate change conservation and advance the field of conservation physiology. We begin by describing the prevalence of species distribution modelling in climate change conservation, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of both mechanistic and correlative approaches. Next, we emphasize the need to expand mechanistic models and discuss potential metrics of physiological performance suitable for integration into mechanistic models. We conclude by summarizing other factors, such as the need to consider demography, limiting broader application of mechanistic models in climate change conservation. Ideally, modellers, physiologists and

  8. Changing tides: ecological and historical perspectives on fish cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, B Wren; Braithwaite, Victoria A

    2015-01-01

    The capacity for specialization and radiation make fish an excellent group in which to investigate the depth and variety of animal cognition. Even though early observations of fish using tools predates the discovery of tool use in chimpanzees, fish cognition has historically been somewhat overlooked. However, a recent surge of interest is now providing a wealth of material on which to draw examples, and this has required a selective approach to choosing the research described below. Our goal is to illustrate the necessity for basing cognitive investigations on the ecological and evolutionary context of the species at hand. We also seek to illustrate the importance of ecology and the environment in honing a range of sensory systems that allow fish to glean information and support informed decision-making. The various environments and challenges with which fish interact require equally varied cognitive skills, and the solutions that fish have developed are truly impressive. Similarly, we illustrate how common ecological problems will frequently produce common cognitive solutions. Below, we focus on four topics: spatial learning and memory, avoiding predators and catching prey, communication, and innovation. These are used to illustrate how both simple and sophisticated cognitive processes underpin much of the adaptive behavioral flexibility exhibited throughout fish phylogeny. Never before has the field had such a wide array of interdisciplinary techniques available to access both cognitive and mechanistic processes underpinning fish behavior. This capacity comes at a critical time to predict and manage fish populations in an era of unprecedented global change. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Supporting Mechanistic Reasoning in Domain-Specific Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinberg, Paul J.

    2017-01-01

    Mechanistic reasoning is an epistemic practice central within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Although there has been some work on mechanistic reasoning in the research literature and standards documents, much of this work targets domain-general characterizations of mechanistic reasoning; this study provides…

  10. DEVELOPMENT OF ECOLOGICAL CULTURE OF STUDENTS IN THE PROCESS OF INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. M. Andryukhina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. High level of ecological culture in modern society is the most important condition of self-preservation and sustainable development of a human civilization. The processes of globalization force to consider environmental problems with a support on polycultural practice, to take into account national and regional peculiarities in their integrity. Thus, there is the need of the international cooperation not only at the government level, but also at the levels of expert communities, separate groups of society and citizens of the country. Moreover, ecological culture is constantly highlighted in numerous studies, materials and documents of the international forums, summits and conferences of the UN and UNESCO. The aim of this publication is to present the authors’ didactic complex of development tools of ecological culture of students, and to show the potential of teaching foreign languages (on the example of French for students’ ecological culture formation by means of development of cross-cultural communicative competence.  Methodology and research methods. Culturological approach has been chosen as a key approach for creation of integrative model of development of ecological culture. The methods involve: the system-based analysis of the content of ecological education; generalization of the theory and practice of implementation of the international strategies of ecological culture development and the analysis of efficiency of the pedagogical technologies intended for this purpose; modeling of the process of formation of ecological culture of students. The diagnostics of components of students’ ecological culture has been performed by means of internal questioning, observation, and comparative analysis of group interactions. Also, pedagogical ascertaining experiments, methods of pedagogical design for forms of the educational environment organization, design of the educational programmes, and methods of graphical

  11. Ecological succession as an energy dispersal process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Würtz, Peter; Annila, Arto

    2010-04-01

    Ecological succession is described by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. According to the universal law of the maximal energy dispersal, an ecosystem evolves toward a stationary state in its surroundings by consuming free energy via diverse mechanisms. Species are the mechanisms that conduct energy down along gradients between repositories of energy which consist of populations at various thermodynamic levels. The salient characteristics of succession, growing biomass production, increasing species richness and shifting distributions of species are found as consequences of the universal quest to diminish energy density differences in least time. The analysis reveals that during succession the ecosystem's energy transduction network, i.e., the food web organizes increasingly more effective in the free energy reduction by acquiring new, more effective and abandoning old, less effective species of energy transduction. The number of species does not necessarily peak at the climax state that corresponds to the maximum-entropy partition of species maximizing consumption of free energy. According to the theory of evolution by natural selection founded on statistical physics of open systems, ecological succession is one among many other evolutionary processes. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Ecological opportunity and the adaptive diversification of lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellborn, Gary A; Langerhans, R Brian

    2015-01-01

    The tenet that ecological opportunity drives adaptive diversification has been central to theories of speciation since Darwin, yet no widely accepted definition or mechanistic framework for the concept currently exists. We propose a definition for ecological opportunity that provides an explicit mechanism for its action. In our formulation, ecological opportunity refers to environmental conditions that both permit the persistence of a lineage within a community, as well as generate divergent natural selection within that lineage. Thus, ecological opportunity arises from two fundamental elements: (1) niche availability, the ability of a population with a phenotype previously absent from a community to persist within that community and (2) niche discordance, the diversifying selection generated by the adaptive mismatch between a population's niche-related traits and the newly encountered ecological conditions. Evolutionary response to ecological opportunity is primarily governed by (1) spatiotemporal structure of ecological opportunity, which influences dynamics of selection and development of reproductive isolation and (2) diversification potential, the biological properties of a lineage that determine its capacity to diversify. Diversification under ecological opportunity proceeds as an increase in niche breadth, development of intraspecific ecotypes, speciation, and additional cycles of diversification that may themselves be triggered by speciation. Extensive ecological opportunity may exist in depauperate communities, but it is unclear whether ecological opportunity abates in species-rich communities. Because ecological opportunity should generally increase during times of rapid and multifarious environmental change, human activities may currently be generating elevated ecological opportunity - but so far little work has directly addressed this topic. Our framework highlights the need for greater synthesis of community ecology and evolutionary biology, unifying

  13. Metabolic Model-Based Integration of Microbiome Taxonomic and Metabolomic Profiles Elucidates Mechanistic Links between Ecological and Metabolic Variation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noecker, Cecilia; Eng, Alexander; Srinivasan, Sujatha; Theriot, Casey M.; Young, Vincent B.; Jansson, Janet K.; Fredricks, David N.; Borenstein, Elhanan; Sanchez, Laura M.

    2015-12-22

    ABSTRACT

    Multiple molecular assays now enable high-throughput profiling of the ecology, metabolic capacity, and activity of the human microbiome. However, to date, analyses of such multi-omic data typically focus on statistical associations, often ignoring extensive prior knowledge of the mechanisms linking these various facets of the microbiome. Here, we introduce a comprehensive framework to systematically link variation in metabolomic data with community composition by utilizing taxonomic, genomic, and metabolic information. Specifically, we integrate available and inferred genomic data, metabolic network modeling, and a method for predicting community-wide metabolite turnover to estimate the biosynthetic and degradation potential of a given community. Our framework then compares variation in predicted metabolic potential with variation in measured metabolites’ abundances to evaluate whether community composition can explain observed shifts in the community metabolome, and to identify key taxa and genes contributing to the shifts. Focusing on two independent vaginal microbiome data sets, each pairing 16S community profiling with large-scale metabolomics, we demonstrate that our framework successfully recapitulates observed variation in 37% of metabolites. Well-predicted metabolite variation tends to result from disease-associated metabolism. We further identify several disease-enriched species that contribute significantly to these predictions. Interestingly, our analysis also detects metabolites for which the predicted variation negatively correlates with the measured variation, suggesting environmental control points of community metabolism. Applying this framework to gut microbiome data sets reveals similar trends, including prediction of bile acid metabolite shifts. This framework is an important first step toward a system-level multi-omic integration and an improved mechanistic understanding of the microbiome activity and dynamics in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  15. Quantifying the effects of ecological constraints on trait expression using novel trait-gradient analysis parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottaviani, Gianluigi; Tsakalos, James L; Keppel, Gunnar; Mucina, Ladislav

    2018-01-01

    Complex processes related to biotic and abiotic forces can impose limitations to assembly and composition of plant communities. Quantifying the effects of these constraints on plant functional traits across environmental gradients, and among communities, remains challenging. We define ecological constraint ( C i ) as the combined, limiting effect of biotic interactions and environmental filtering on trait expression (i.e., the mean value and range of functional traits). Here, we propose a set of novel parameters to quantify this constraint by extending the trait-gradient analysis (TGA) methodology. The key parameter is ecological constraint, which is dimensionless and can be measured at various scales, for example, on population and community levels. It facilitates comparing the effects of ecological constraints on trait expressions across environmental gradients, as well as within and among communities. We illustrate the implementation of the proposed parameters using the bark thickness of 14 woody species along an aridity gradient on granite outcrops in southwestern Australia. We found a positive correlation between increasing environmental stress and strength of ecological constraint on bark thickness expression. Also, plants from more stressful habitats (shrublands on shallow soils and in sun-exposed locations) displayed higher ecological constraint for bark thickness than plants in more benign habitats (woodlands on deep soils and in sheltered locations). The relative ease of calculation and dimensionless nature of C i allow it to be readily implemented at various scales and make it widely applicable. It therefore has the potential to advance the mechanistic understanding of the ecological processes shaping trait expression. Some future applications of the new parameters could be investigating the patterns of ecological constraints (1) among communities from different regions, (2) on different traits across similar environmental gradients, and (3) for the same

  16. Bridging Mechanistic and Phenomenological Models of Complex Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transtrum, Mark K; Qiu, Peng

    2016-05-01

    The inherent complexity of biological systems gives rise to complicated mechanistic models with a large number of parameters. On the other hand, the collective behavior of these systems can often be characterized by a relatively small number of phenomenological parameters. We use the Manifold Boundary Approximation Method (MBAM) as a tool for deriving simple phenomenological models from complicated mechanistic models. The resulting models are not black boxes, but remain expressed in terms of the microscopic parameters. In this way, we explicitly connect the macroscopic and microscopic descriptions, characterize the equivalence class of distinct systems exhibiting the same range of collective behavior, and identify the combinations of components that function as tunable control knobs for the behavior. We demonstrate the procedure for adaptation behavior exhibited by the EGFR pathway. From a 48 parameter mechanistic model, the system can be effectively described by a single adaptation parameter τ characterizing the ratio of time scales for the initial response and recovery time of the system which can in turn be expressed as a combination of microscopic reaction rates, Michaelis-Menten constants, and biochemical concentrations. The situation is not unlike modeling in physics in which microscopically complex processes can often be renormalized into simple phenomenological models with only a few effective parameters. The proposed method additionally provides a mechanistic explanation for non-universal features of the behavior.

  17. Assessing uncertainty in mechanistic models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwin J. Green; David W. MacFarlane; Harry T. Valentine

    2000-01-01

    Concern over potential global change has led to increased interest in the use of mechanistic models for predicting forest growth. The rationale for this interest is that empirical models may be of limited usefulness if environmental conditions change. Intuitively, we expect that mechanistic models, grounded as far as possible in an understanding of the biology of tree...

  18. 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...

  19. Beyond positivist ecology: toward an integrated ecological ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Bryan G

    2008-12-01

    A post-positivist understanding of ecological science and the call for an "ecological ethic" indicate the need for a radically new approach to evaluating environmental change. The positivist view of science cannot capture the essence of environmental sciences because the recent work of "reflexive" ecological modelers shows that this requires a reconceptualization of the way in which values and ecological models interact in scientific process. Reflexive modelers are ecological modelers who believe it is appropriate for ecologists to examine the motives for their choices in developing models; this self-reflexive approach opens the door to a new way of integrating values into public discourse and to a more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change. This reflexive building of ecological models is introduced through the transformative simile of Aldo Leopold, which shows that learning to "think like a mountain" involves a shift in both ecological modeling and in values and responsibility. An adequate, interdisciplinary approach to ecological valuation, requires a re-framing of the evaluation questions in entirely new ways, i.e., a review of the current status of interdisciplinary value theory with respect to ecological values reveals that neither of the widely accepted theories of environmental value-neither economic utilitarianism nor intrinsic value theory (environmental ethics)-provides a foundation for an ecologically sensitive evaluation process. Thus, a new, ecologically sensitive, and more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change would include an examination of the metaphors that motivate the models used to describe environmental change.

  20. Of Models and Meanings: Cultural Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd A. Crane

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Modeling has emerged as a key technology in analysis of social-ecological systems. However, the tendency for modeling to focus on the mechanistic materiality of biophysical systems obscures the diversity of performative social behaviors and normative cultural positions of actors within the modeled system. The fact that changes in the biophysical system can be culturally constructed in different ways means that the perception and pursuit of adaptive pathways can be highly variable. Furthermore, the adoption of biophysically resilient livelihoods can occur under conditions that are subjectively experienced as the radical transformation of cultural systems. The objectives of this work are to: (1 highlight the importance of understanding the place of culture within social-ecological systems, (2 explore the tensions between empirical and normative positions in the analysis of social-ecological resilience, and (3 suggest how empirical modeling of social-ecological systems can synergistically interact with normative aspects of livelihoods and lifeways.

  1. Separating macroecological pattern and process: comparing ecological, economic, and geological systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Blonder

    Full Text Available Theories of biodiversity rest on several macroecological patterns describing the relationship between species abundance and diversity. A central problem is that all theories make similar predictions for these patterns despite disparate assumptions. A troubling implication is that these patterns may not reflect anything unique about organizational principles of biology or the functioning of ecological systems. To test this, we analyze five datasets from ecological, economic, and geological systems that describe the distribution of objects across categories in the United States. At the level of functional form ('first-order effects', these patterns are not unique to ecological systems, indicating they may reveal little about biological process. However, we show that mechanism can be better revealed in the scale-dependency of first-order patterns ('second-order effects'. These results provide a roadmap for biodiversity theory to move beyond traditional patterns, and also suggest ways in which macroecological theory can constrain the dynamics of economic systems.

  2. Separating macroecological pattern and process: comparing ecological, economic, and geological systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blonder, Benjamin; Sloat, Lindsey; Enquist, Brian J; McGill, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Theories of biodiversity rest on several macroecological patterns describing the relationship between species abundance and diversity. A central problem is that all theories make similar predictions for these patterns despite disparate assumptions. A troubling implication is that these patterns may not reflect anything unique about organizational principles of biology or the functioning of ecological systems. To test this, we analyze five datasets from ecological, economic, and geological systems that describe the distribution of objects across categories in the United States. At the level of functional form ('first-order effects'), these patterns are not unique to ecological systems, indicating they may reveal little about biological process. However, we show that mechanism can be better revealed in the scale-dependency of first-order patterns ('second-order effects'). These results provide a roadmap for biodiversity theory to move beyond traditional patterns, and also suggest ways in which macroecological theory can constrain the dynamics of economic systems.

  3. 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

  4. A preliminary study of mechanistic approach in pavement design to accommodate climate change effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harnaeni, S. R.; Pramesti, F. P.; Budiarto, A.; Setyawan, A.

    2018-03-01

    Road damage is caused by some factors, including climate changes, overload, and inappropriate procedure for material and development process. Meanwhile, climate change is a phenomenon which cannot be avoided. The effects observed include air temperature rise, sea level rise, rainfall changes, and the intensity of extreme weather phenomena. Previous studies had shown the impacts of climate changes on road damage. Therefore, several measures to anticipate the damage should be considered during the planning and construction in order to reduce the cost of road maintenance. There are three approaches generally applied in the design of flexible pavement thickness, namely mechanistic approach, mechanistic-empirical (ME) approach and empirical approach. The advantages of applying mechanistic approach or mechanistic-empirical (ME) approaches are its efficiency and reliability in the design of flexible pavement thickness as well as its capacity to accommodate climate changes in compared to empirical approach. However, generally, the design of flexible pavement thickness in Indonesia still applies empirical approach. This preliminary study aimed to emphasize the importance of the shifting towards a mechanistic approach in the design of flexible pavement thickness.

  5. ECOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF REFINING PROCESSING OF SILUMINS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. A. Rumjantseva

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Application of the method of mathematical planning of experiments enabled to receive dependences of mechanical characteristics of alloy AK9 in cast state, grade of porosity by the scale VIAM and quantity of escaping dust at flux processing on composition of fining flux metal. The composition of fining flux metal, providing minimum dust discharge and way of assessment of degree of discharge harmfulness by the amount of ecological tax is offered.

  6. Ecological hierarchies and self-organisation - Pattern analysis, modelling and process integration across scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, H.; Jopp, F.; Blanco-Moreno, J. M.; Damgaard, C.; Matsinos, Y.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2010-01-01

    A continuing discussion in applied and theoretical ecology focuses on the relationship of different organisational levels and on how ecological systems interact across scales. We address principal approaches to cope with complex across-level issues in ecology by applying elements of hierarchy theory and the theory of complex adaptive systems. A top-down approach, often characterised by the use of statistical techniques, can be applied to analyse large-scale dynamics and identify constraints exerted on lower levels. Current developments are illustrated with examples from the analysis of within-community spatial patterns and large-scale vegetation patterns. A bottom-up approach allows one to elucidate how interactions of individuals shape dynamics at higher levels in a self-organisation process; e.g., population development and community composition. This may be facilitated by various modelling tools, which provide the distinction between focal levels and resulting properties. For instance, resilience in grassland communities has been analysed with a cellular automaton approach, and the driving forces in rodent population oscillations have been identified with an agent-based model. Both modelling tools illustrate the principles of analysing higher level processes by representing the interactions of basic components.The focus of most ecological investigations on either top-down or bottom-up approaches may not be appropriate, if strong cross-scale relationships predominate. Here, we propose an 'across-scale-approach', closely interweaving the inherent potentials of both approaches. This combination of analytical and synthesising approaches will enable ecologists to establish a more coherent access to cross-level interactions in ecological systems. ?? 2010 Gesellschaft f??r ??kologie.

  7. A Decision Support System Based on Soil Ecological Criteria: Results from the European ECOGEN Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cortet, J.; Bohanec, M.; ?nidar?ic, M.

    and the public who are concerned about the possible ecological implications. The ECOGEN (www.ecogen.dk) project Soil ecological and economic evaluation of genetically modified crops is an EU-funded project aimed at combining simple lab tests, multi-species model ecosystems and field studies to acquire...... mechanistic and realistic knowledge about economic and ecological impacts of GM crops on the soil (Cortet et al, 2005, Griffiths et al, 2005, Vercesi et al, 2005). Economic trade-offs are assessed and related to ecological effects (Scatasta at al, 2005). One of the goals of the project is to develop...... a computer-based decision support system for the assessment of economic and ecological impacts of using GM crops, with special emphasis on soil biology and ecology. For model development, we have taken the approach of qualitative multi-attribute modeling (Bohanec 2003). The idea is to develop a hierarchical...

  8. Does Mechanistic Thinking Improve Student Success in Organic Chemistry?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Nathaniel P.; Cooper, Melanie M.; Cox, Elizabeth L.

    2012-01-01

    The use of the curved-arrow notation to depict electron flow during mechanistic processes is one of the most important representational conventions in the organic chemistry curriculum. Our previous research documented a disturbing trend: when asked to predict the products of a series of reactions, many students do not spontaneously engage in…

  9. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R.; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-10-01

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic.

  10. Integrated presentation of ecological risk from multiple stressors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goussen, Benoit; Price, Oliver R; Rendal, Cecilie; Ashauer, Roman

    2016-10-26

    Current environmental risk assessments (ERA) do not account explicitly for ecological factors (e.g. species composition, temperature or food availability) and multiple stressors. Assessing mixtures of chemical and ecological stressors is needed as well as accounting for variability in environmental conditions and uncertainty of data and models. Here we propose a novel probabilistic ERA framework to overcome these limitations, which focusses on visualising assessment outcomes by construct-ing and interpreting prevalence plots as a quantitative prediction of risk. Key components include environmental scenarios that integrate exposure and ecology, and ecological modelling of relevant endpoints to assess the effect of a combination of stressors. Our illustrative results demonstrate the importance of regional differences in environmental conditions and the confounding interactions of stressors. Using this framework and prevalence plots provides a risk-based approach that combines risk assessment and risk management in a meaningful way and presents a truly mechanistic alternative to the threshold approach. Even whilst research continues to improve the underlying models and data, regulators and decision makers can already use the framework and prevalence plots. The integration of multiple stressors, environmental conditions and variability makes ERA more relevant and realistic.

  11. Profiling the biological activity of oxide nanomaterials with mechanistic models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burello, E.

    2013-01-01

    In this study we present three mechanistic models for profiling the potential biological and toxicological effects of oxide nanomaterials. The models attempt to describe the reactivity, protein adsorption and membrane adhesion processes of a large range of oxide materials and are based on properties

  12. Appropriateness of mechanistic and non-mechanistic models for the application of ultrafiltration to mixed waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Foust, Henry; Ghosehajra, Malay

    2007-01-01

    This study asks two questions: (1) How appropriate is the use of a basic filtration equation to the application of ultrafiltration of mixed waste, and (2) How appropriate are non-parametric models for permeate rates (volumes)? To answer these questions, mechanistic and non-mechanistic approaches are developed for permeate rates and volumes associated with an ultrafiltration/mixed waste system in dia-filtration mode. The mechanistic approach is based on a filtration equation which states that t/V vs. V is a linear relationship. The coefficients associated with this linear regression are composed of physical/chemical parameters of the system and based the mass balance equation associated with the membrane and associated developing cake layer. For several sets of data, a high correlation is shown that supports the assertion that t/V vs. V is a linear relationship. It is also shown that non-mechanistic approaches, i.e., the use of regression models to are not appropriate. One models considered is Q(p) = a*ln(Cb)+b. Regression models are inappropriate because the scale-up from a bench scale (pilot scale) study to full-scale for permeate rates (volumes) is not simply the ratio of the two membrane surface areas. (authors)

  13. Indirect Effects of Global Change: From Physiological and Behavioral Mechanisms to Ecological Consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunderson, Alex R; Tsukimura, Brian; Stillman, Jonathon H

    2017-07-01

    A major focus of current ecological research is to understand how global change makes species vulnerable to extirpation. To date, mechanistic ecophysiological analyses of global change vulnerability have focused primarily on the direct effects of changing abiotic conditions on whole-organism physiological traits, such as metabolic rate, locomotor performance, cardiac function, and critical thermal limits. However, species do not live in isolation within their physical environments, and direct effects of climate change are likely to be compounded by indirect effects that result from altered interactions with other species, such as competitors and predators. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology 2017 Symposium "Indirect Effects of Global Change: From Physiological and Behavioral Mechanisms to Ecological Consequences" was designed to synthesize multiple approaches to investigating the indirect effects of global change by bringing together researchers that study the indirect effects of global change from multiple perspectives across habitat, type of anthropogenic change, and level of biological organization. Our goal in bringing together researchers from different backgrounds was to foster cross-disciplinary insights into the mechanistic bases and higher-order ecological consequences of indirect effects of global change, and to promote collaboration among fields. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. A mechanistic model on methane oxidation in the rice rhizosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodegom, van P.M.; Leffelaar, P.A.; Goudriaan, J.

    2001-01-01

    A mechanistic model is presented on the processes leading to methane oxidation in rice rhizosphere. The model is driven by oxygen release from a rice root into anaerobic rice soil. Oxygen is consumed by heterotrophic and methanotrophic respiration, described by double Monod kinetics, and by iron

  15. Biotic Interactions Shape the Ecological Distributions of Staphylococcus Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastman, Erik K; Kamelamela, Noelani; Norville, Josh W; Cosetta, Casey M; Dutton, Rachel J; Wolfe, Benjamin E

    2016-10-18

    Many metagenomic sequencing studies have observed the presence of closely related bacterial species or genotypes in the same microbiome. Previous attempts to explain these patterns of microdiversity have focused on the abiotic environment, but few have considered how biotic interactions could drive patterns of microbiome diversity. We dissected the patterns, processes, and mechanisms shaping the ecological distributions of three closely related Staphylococcus species in cheese rind biofilms. Paradoxically, the most abundant species (S. equorum) is the slowest colonizer and weakest competitor based on growth and competition assays in the laboratory. Through in vitro community reconstructions, we determined that biotic interactions with neighboring fungi help resolve this paradox. Species-specific stimulation of the poor competitor by fungi of the genus Scopulariopsis allows S. equorum to dominate communities in vitro as it does in situ Results of comparative genomic and transcriptomic experiments indicate that iron utilization pathways, including a homolog of the S. aureus staphyloferrin B siderophore operon pathway, are potential molecular mechanisms underlying Staphylococcus-Scopulariopsis interactions. Our integrated approach demonstrates that fungi can structure the ecological distributions of closely related bacterial species, and the data highlight the importance of bacterium-fungus interactions in attempts to design and manipulate microbiomes. Decades of culture-based studies and more recent metagenomic studies have demonstrated that bacterial species in agriculture, medicine, industry, and nature are unevenly distributed across time and space. The ecological processes and molecular mechanisms that shape these distributions are not well understood because it is challenging to connect in situ patterns of diversity with mechanistic in vitro studies in the laboratory. Using tractable cheese rind biofilms and a focus on coagulase-negative staphylococcus (CNS

  16. Monitoring the Long-Term Performance of Engineered Containment Systems: Role of Ecological Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Traynham, B.; Clarke, J.H.; Burger, J.; Waugh, J.

    2009-01-01

    Engineered covers have been widely used to minimize water infiltration into landfills used by U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the disposal of radioactive and hazardous chemical waste. The degradation of engineered covers over time is a complex process that is influenced by site specific characteristics, the structure and dynamics of the indigenous plant community, and the interplay of physical and biological factors at contaminated sites. It is necessary to develop a rigorous method to evaluate long-term performance of covers and other engineered barriers with quantification of risk and uncertainty. Because many of the contaminants of concern are long-lived, this methodology must consider changes in the environmental setting (e.g., precipitation, temperature) and cover components for long time periods (>100 years). Current monitoring approaches focus solely on hydrologic properties of the cover system. Additionally, cover design guidelines, such as those from RCRA, are not performance based and do not consider long-term site-specific influences such as climate, vegetation, and soils. Fundamental ecological processes such as succession are not even factored into current models, yet they directly affect the integrity of landfill covers through biointrusion, erosion, and water balance. Therefore, it is useful to identify ecological parameters and processes most important to performance for prioritization of site characterization and long-term monitoring activities. This investigation into the role of ecological monitoring of isolation containment systems utilizes the software platform GoldSim to identify important parameters and processes for performance verification and monitoring. (authors)

  17. The value of mechanistic biophysical information for systems-level understanding of complex biological processes such as cytokinesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollard, Thomas D

    2014-12-02

    This review illustrates the value of quantitative information including concentrations, kinetic constants and equilibrium constants in modeling and simulating complex biological processes. Although much has been learned about some biological systems without these parameter values, they greatly strengthen mechanistic accounts of dynamical systems. The analysis of muscle contraction is a classic example of the value of combining an inventory of the molecules, atomic structures of the molecules, kinetic constants for the reactions, reconstitutions with purified proteins and theoretical modeling to account for the contraction of whole muscles. A similar strategy is now being used to understand the mechanism of cytokinesis using fission yeast as a favorable model system. Copyright © 2014 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Process-based models are required to manage ecological systems in a changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    K. Cuddington; M.-J. Fortin; L.R. Gerber; A. Hastings; A. Liebhold; M. OConnor; C. Ray

    2013-01-01

    Several modeling approaches can be used to guide management decisions. However, some approaches are better fitted than others to address the problem of prediction under global change. Process-based models, which are based on a theoretical understanding of relevant ecological processes, provide a useful framework to incorporate specific responses to altered...

  19. The ChimERA project: Coupling mechanistic exposure and effect models into an integrated platform for ecological risk assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laender, de F.; Brink, van den P.J.; Janssen, C.R.; Guardo, Di A.

    2014-01-01

    Current techniques for the ecological risk assessment of chemical substances are often criticised for their lack of environmental realism, ecological relevance and methodological accuracy. ChimERA is a 3-year project (2013-2016), funded by Cefic's Long Range Initiative (LRI) that aims to address

  20. Requirements on mechanistic NPP models used in CSS for diagnostics and predictions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juslin, K.

    1996-01-01

    Mechanistic models have for several years with good experience been used for operators' support in electric power dispatching centres. Some models of limited scope have already been in use at nuclear power plants. It is considered that also advanced mechanistic models in combination with present computer technology with preference could be used in Computerized Support Systems (CSS) for the assistance of Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) operators. Requirements with respect to accuracy, validity range, speed flexibility and level of detail on the models used for such purposes are discussed. Quality Assurance, Verification and Validation efforts are considered. A long term commitment in the field of mechanistic modelling and real time simulation is considered as the key to successful implementations. The Advanced PROcess Simulation (APROS) code system and simulation environment developed at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) is intended also for CSS applications in NPP control rooms. (author). 4 refs

  1. PROMOTION OF ECOLOGIC PRODUCT CERTIFICATION AS INSTRUMENT TO SPEED UP THE ECOLOGIC AGRICULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George MOISE

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper present a vision about the possibility to speed up the conversion process to an ecological agriculture in Romania. The link from ecological products consumer and ecologic agricultural producer is also explained from point of view of certification process. Presenting the consumer mentality and principles and rules of organic farming and certification can open the way to a sustainable and ecological agriculture.

  2. A Social-Ecological, Process-Oriented Perspective on Political Violence and Child Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, E Mark; Goeke-Morey, Marcie; Merrilees, Christine E; Taylor, Laura K; Shirlow, Peter A

    2014-06-01

    Youths' risk for adjustment problems in contexts of political violence is well-documented. However, outcomes vary widely, with many children functioning well. Accordingly, moving beyond further documenting the risk for many negative outcomes associated with living in contexts of political violence, a second generation of research is moving towards identifying the mechanisms and conditions that contribute to children's adjustment. Increasing support is emerging for understanding effects on children in terms of changes in the social contexts in which children live, and in the psychological processes engaged by these social ecologies. Selected themes are considered, including (a) the need to study multiple levels of the social ecology, (b) differentiating between the effects of exposure to contexts of political versus non-political violence, and (c) theories about explanatory processes. Selected research pertinent to these directions is reviewed, including findings from a six-wave longitudinal study on political violence and children in Northern Ireland.

  3. Possibilities of the Integration of the Method of the Ecologically Oriented Independent Scientific Research in the Study Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grizans, Jurijs; Vanags, Janis

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to analyse possibilities of the integration of the method of the ecologically oriented independent scientific research in the study process. In order to achieve the set aim, the following scientific research methods were used: analysis of the conceptual guidelines for the development of environmentally oriented entrepreneurship, interpretation of the experts' evaluation of the ecologically oriented management, analysis of the results of the students' ecologically oriented independent scientific research, as well as monographic and logically constructive methods. The results of the study give an opportunity to make conclusions and to develop conceptual recommendations on how to introduce future economics and business professionals with the theoretical and practical aspects of ecologically oriented management during the study process.

  4. What is microbial community ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-11-01

    The activities of complex communities of microbes affect biogeochemical transformations in natural, managed and engineered ecosystems. Meaningfully defining what constitutes a community of interacting microbial populations is not trivial, but is important for rigorous progress in the field. Important elements of research in microbial community ecology include the analysis of functional pathways for nutrient resource and energy flows, mechanistic understanding of interactions between microbial populations and their environment, and the emergent properties of the complex community. Some emergent properties mirror those analyzed by community ecologists who study plants and animals: biological diversity, functional redundancy and system stability. However, because microbes possess mechanisms for the horizontal transfer of genetic information, the metagenome may also be considered as a community property.

  5. Rational and Mechanistic Perspectives on Reinforcement Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chater, Nick

    2009-01-01

    This special issue describes important recent developments in applying reinforcement learning models to capture neural and cognitive function. But reinforcement learning, as a theoretical framework, can apply at two very different levels of description: "mechanistic" and "rational." Reinforcement learning is often viewed in mechanistic terms--as…

  6. [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.

  7. A Mechanistically Informed User-Friendly Model to Predict Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Fluxes and Carbon Storage from Coastal Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul-Aziz, O. I.; Ishtiaq, K. S.

    2015-12-01

    We present a user-friendly modeling tool on MS Excel to predict the greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes and estimate potential carbon sequestration from the coastal wetlands. The dominant controls of wetland GHG fluxes and their relative mechanistic linkages with various hydro-climatic, sea level, biogeochemical and ecological drivers were first determined by employing a systematic data-analytics method, including Pearson correlation matrix, principal component and factor analyses, and exploratory partial least squares regressions. The mechanistic knowledge and understanding was then utilized to develop parsimonious non-linear (power-law) models to predict wetland carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes based on a sub-set of climatic, hydrologic and environmental drivers such as the photosynthetically active radiation, soil temperature, water depth, and soil salinity. The models were tested with field data for multiple sites and seasons (2012-13) collected from the Waquoit Bay, MA. The model estimated the annual wetland carbon storage by up-scaling the instantaneous predicted fluxes to an extended growing season (e.g., May-October) and by accounting for the net annual lateral carbon fluxes between the wetlands and estuary. The Excel Spreadsheet model is a simple ecological engineering tool for coastal carbon management and their incorporation into a potential carbon market under a changing climate, sea level and environment. Specifically, the model can help to determine appropriate GHG offset protocols and monitoring plans for projects that focus on tidal wetland restoration and maintenance.

  8. Rivers are social–ecological systems: Time to integrate human dimensions into riverscape ecology and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, Jason B.; Angermeier, Paul L.; Crausbay, Shelley D.; Cravens, Amanda; Gosnell, Hannah; McEvoy, Jamie; Moritz, Max A.; Raheem, Nejem; Sanford, Todd

    2018-01-01

    Incorporation of concepts from landscape ecology into understanding and managing riverine ecosystems has become widely known as riverscape ecology. Riverscape ecology emphasizes interactions among processes at different scales and their consequences for valued ecosystem components, such as riverine fishes. Past studies have focused strongly on understanding the ecological processes in riverscapes and how human actions modify those processes. It is increasingly clear, however, that an understanding of the drivers behind actions that lead to human modification also merit consideration, especially regarding how those drivers influence management efficacy. These indirect drivers of riverscape outcomes can be understood in the context of a diverse array of social processes, which we collectively refer to as human dimensions. Like ecological phenomena, social processes also exhibit complex interactions across spatiotemporal scales. Greater emphasis on feedbacks between social and ecological processes will lead scientists and managers to more completely understand riverscapes as complex, dynamic, interacting social–ecological systems. Emerging applications in riverscapes, as well as studies of other ecosystems, provide examples that can lead to stronger integration of social and ecological science. We argue that conservation successes within riverscapes may not come from better ecological science, improved ecosystem service analyses, or even economic incentives if the fundamental drivers of human behaviors are not understood and addressed in conservation planning and implementation.

  9. Proposed key characteristics of male reproductive toxicants as a method for organizing and screening mechanistic evidence for non-cancer outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The adoption of systematic review practices for risk assessment includes integration of evidence obtained from experimental, epidemiological, and mechanistic studies. Although mechanistic evidence plays an important role in mode of action analysis, the process of sorting and anal...

  10. Calibration and analysis of genome-based models for microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louca, Stilianos; Doebeli, Michael

    2015-10-16

    Microbial ecosystem modeling is complicated by the large number of unknown parameters and the lack of appropriate calibration tools. Here we present a novel computational framework for modeling microbial ecosystems, which combines genome-based model construction with statistical analysis and calibration to experimental data. Using this framework, we examined the dynamics of a community of Escherichia coli strains that emerged in laboratory evolution experiments, during which an ancestral strain diversified into two coexisting ecotypes. We constructed a microbial community model comprising the ancestral and the evolved strains, which we calibrated using separate monoculture experiments. Simulations reproduced the successional dynamics in the evolution experiments, and pathway activation patterns observed in microarray transcript profiles. Our approach yielded detailed insights into the metabolic processes that drove bacterial diversification, involving acetate cross-feeding and competition for organic carbon and oxygen. Our framework provides a missing link towards a data-driven mechanistic microbial ecology.

  11. Grasshopper Population Ecology: Catastrophe, Criticality, and Critique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dale R. Lockwood

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasshopper population dynamics are an important part of the North American rangeland ecosystem and an important factor in the economies that derive from the rangeland. Outbreak dynamics have plagued management strategies in the rangeland, and attempts to find simple, linear and mechanistic solutions to both understanding and predicting the dynamics have proved fruitless. These efforts to ground theory in a correspondence with the "real" world, including whether the population dynamics are ultimately density dependent or density independent, have generated abundant heat but little light. We suggest that a pragmatic approach, in which theories are taken to be "tools" rather than competing claims of truth, has greater promise to move ecological research in a constructive direction. Two recent non-linear approaches exploiting the tools of complexity science provide insights relevant to explaining and forecasting population dynamics. Observation and data collection were used to structure models derived from catastrophe theory and self-organized criticality. These models indicate that nonlinear processes are important in the dynamics of the outbreaks. And the conceptual structures of these approaches provide clear, albeit constrained or contingent, implications for pest managers. We show that, although these two frameworks, catastrophe theory and self-organized criticality, are very different, the frequency distributions of time series from both systems result in power law relationships. Further, we show that a simple lattice-based model, similar to SOC but structured on the biology of the grasshoppers gives a spatial time series similar to data over a 50-year span and the frequency distribution is also a power law relationship. This demonstration exemplifies how a "both-and" rather than an "either-or" approach to ecological modeling, in which the useful elements of particular theories or conceptual structures are extracted, may provide a way forward

  12. Macrosystems ecology: novel methods and new understanding of multi-scale patterns and processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Songlin Fei; Qinfeng Guo; Kevin Potter

    2016-01-01

    As the global biomes are increasingly threatened by human activities, understanding of macroscale patterns and processes is pressingly needed for effective management and policy making. Macrosystems ecology, which studies multiscale ecologicalpatterns and processes, has gained growing interest in the research community. However, as a relatively new field in...

  13. The role of ecology, neutral processes and antagonistic coevolution in an apparent sexual arms race.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Jennifer C; Garroway, Colin J; Rowe, Locke

    2017-09-01

    Some of the strongest examples of a sexual 'arms race' come from observations of correlated evolution in sexually antagonistic traits among populations. However, it remains unclear whether these cases truly represent sexually antagonistic coevolution; alternatively, ecological or neutral processes might also drive correlated evolution. To investigate these alternatives, we evaluated the contributions of intersex genetic correlations, ecological context, neutral genetic divergence and sexual coevolution in the correlated evolution of antagonistic traits among populations of Gerris incognitus water striders. We could not detect intersex genetic correlations for these sexually antagonistic traits. Ecological variation was related to population variation in the key female antagonistic trait (spine length, a defence against males), as well as body size. Nevertheless, population covariation between sexually antagonistic traits remained substantial and significant even after accounting for all of these processes. Our results therefore provide strong evidence for a contemporary sexual arms race. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  14. An ecological perspective of Listeria monocytogenes biofilms in food processing facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valderrama, Wladir B; Cutter, Catherine N

    2013-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes can enter the food chain at virtually any point. However, food processing environments seem to be of particular importance. From an ecological point of view, food processing facilities are microbial habitats that are constantly disturbed by cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Although L. monocytogenes is considered ubiquitous in nature, it is important to recognize that not all L. monocytogenes strains appear to be equally distributed; the distribution of the organism seems to be related to certain habitats. Currently, no direct evidence exists that L. monocytogenes-associated biofilms have played a role in food contamination or foodborne outbreaks, likely because biofilm isolation and identification are not part of an outbreak investigation, or the definition of biofilm is unclear. Because L. monocytogenes is known to colonize surfaces, we suggest that contamination patterns may be studied in the context of how biofilm formation is influenced by the environment within food processing facilities. In this review, direct and indirect epidemiological and phenotypic evidence of lineage-related biofilm formation capacity to specific ecological niches will be discussed. A critical view on the development of the biofilm concept, focused on the practical implications, strengths, and weaknesses of the current definitions also is discussed. The idea that biofilm formation may be an alternative surrogate for microbial fitness is proposed. Furthermore, current research on the influence of environmental factors on biofilm formation is discussed.

  15. Social Interface Model: Theorizing Ecological Post-Delivery Processes for Intervention Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Jonathan; Segrott, Jeremy; Ray, Colter D; Littlecott, Hannah

    2018-01-03

    Successful prevention programs depend on a complex interplay among aspects of the intervention, the participant, the specific intervention setting, and the broader set of contexts with which a participant interacts. There is a need to theorize what happens as participants bring intervention ideas and behaviors into other life-contexts, and theory has not yet specified how social interactions about interventions may influence outcomes. To address this gap, we use an ecological perspective to develop the social interface model. This paper presents the key components of the model and its potential to aid the design and implementation of prevention interventions. The model is predicated on the idea that intervention message effectiveness depends not only on message aspects but also on the participants' adoption and adaptation of the message vis-à-vis their social ecology. The model depicts processes by which intervention messages are received and enacted by participants through social processes occurring within and between relevant microsystems. Mesosystem interfaces (negligible interface, transference, co-dependence, and interdependence) can facilitate or detract from intervention effects. The social interface model advances prevention science by theorizing that practitioners can create better quality interventions by planning for what occurs after interventions are delivered.

  16. 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.

  17. Ecosystem management via interacting models of political and ecological processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haas, T. C.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The decision to implement environmental protection options is a political one. Political realities may cause a country to not heed the most persuasive scientific analysis of an ecosystem's future health. A predictive understanding of the political processes that result in ecosystem management decisions may help guide ecosystem management policymaking. To this end, this article develops a stochastic, temporal model of how political processes influence and are influenced by ecosystem processes. This model is realized in a system of interacting influence diagrams that model the decision making of a country's political bodies. These decisions interact with a model of the ecosystem enclosed by the country. As an example, a model for Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus management in Kenya is constructed and fitted to decision and ecological data.

  18. 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.

  19. Emergy evaluation of water utilization benefits in water-ecological-economic system based on water cycle process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, X.; Wu, Z.; Lv, C.

    2017-12-01

    The water utilization benefits are formed by the material flow, energy flow, information flow and value stream in the whole water cycle process, and reflected along with the material circulation of inner system. But most of traditional water utilization benefits evaluation are based on the macro level, only consider the whole material input and output and energy conversion relation, and lack the characterization of water utilization benefits accompanying with water cycle process from the formation mechanism. In addition, most studies are from the perspective of economics, only pay attention to the whole economic output and sewage treatment economic investment, but neglect the ecological function benefits of water cycle, Therefore, from the perspective of internal material circulation in the whole system, taking water cycle process as the process of material circulation and energy flow, the circulation and flow process of water and other ecological environment, social economic elements were described, and the composition of water utilization positive and negative benefits in water-ecological-economic system was explored, and the performance of each benefit was analyzed. On this basis, the emergy calculation method of each benefit was proposed by emergy quantitative analysis technique, which can realize the unified measurement and evaluation of water utilization benefits in water-ecological-economic system. Then, taking Zhengzhou city as an example, the corresponding benefits of different water cycle links were calculated quantitatively by emergy method, and the results showed that the emergy evaluation method of water utilization benefits can unify the ecosystem and the economic system, achieve uniform quantitative analysis, and measure the true value of natural resources and human economic activities comprehensively.

  20. Quantitative assessment of biological impact using transcriptomic data and mechanistic network models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomson, Ty M.; Sewer, Alain; Martin, Florian; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Frushour, Brian P.; Gebel, Stephan; Park, Jennifer; Schlage, Walter K.; Talikka, Marja; Vasilyev, Dmitry M.; Westra, Jurjen W.; Hoeng, Julia; Peitsch, Manuel C.

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to biologically active substances such as therapeutic drugs or environmental toxicants can impact biological systems at various levels, affecting individual molecules, signaling pathways, and overall cellular processes. The ability to derive mechanistic insights from the resulting system responses requires the integration of experimental measures with a priori knowledge about the system and the interacting molecules therein. We developed a novel systems biology-based methodology that leverages mechanistic network models and transcriptomic data to quantitatively assess the biological impact of exposures to active substances. Hierarchically organized network models were first constructed to provide a coherent framework for investigating the impact of exposures at the molecular, pathway and process levels. We then validated our methodology using novel and previously published experiments. For both in vitro systems with simple exposure and in vivo systems with complex exposures, our methodology was able to recapitulate known biological responses matching expected or measured phenotypes. In addition, the quantitative results were in agreement with experimental endpoint data for many of the mechanistic effects that were assessed, providing further objective confirmation of the approach. We conclude that our methodology evaluates the biological impact of exposures in an objective, systematic, and quantifiable manner, enabling the computation of a systems-wide and pan-mechanistic biological impact measure for a given active substance or mixture. Our results suggest that various fields of human disease research, from drug development to consumer product testing and environmental impact analysis, could benefit from using this methodology. - Highlights: • The impact of biologically active substances is quantified at multiple levels. • The systems-level impact integrates the perturbations of individual networks. • The networks capture the relationships between

  1. Modeling systems-level dynamics: Understanding without mechanistic explanation in integrative systems biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, Miles; Nersessian, Nancy J

    2015-02-01

    In this paper we draw upon rich ethnographic data of two systems biology labs to explore the roles of explanation and understanding in large-scale systems modeling. We illustrate practices that depart from the goal of dynamic mechanistic explanation for the sake of more limited modeling goals. These processes use abstract mathematical formulations of bio-molecular interactions and data fitting techniques which we call top-down abstraction to trade away accurate mechanistic accounts of large-scale systems for specific information about aspects of those systems. We characterize these practices as pragmatic responses to the constraints many modelers of large-scale systems face, which in turn generate more limited pragmatic non-mechanistic forms of understanding of systems. These forms aim at knowledge of how to predict system responses in order to manipulate and control some aspects of them. We propose that this analysis of understanding provides a way to interpret what many systems biologists are aiming for in practice when they talk about the objective of a "systems-level understanding." Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Trade-offs in thermal adaptation: the need for a molecular to ecological integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pörtner, Hans O; Bennett, Albert F; Bozinovic, Francisco; Clarke, Andrew; Lardies, Marco A; Lucassen, Magnus; Pelster, Bernd; Schiemer, Fritz; Stillman, Jonathon H

    2006-01-01

    Through functional analyses, integrative physiology is able to link molecular biology with ecology as well as evolutionary biology and is thereby expected to provide access to the evolution of molecular, cellular, and organismic functions; the genetic basis of adaptability; and the shaping of ecological patterns. This paper compiles several exemplary studies of thermal physiology and ecology, carried out at various levels of biological organization from single genes (proteins) to ecosystems. In each of those examples, trade-offs and constraints in thermal adaptation are addressed; these trade-offs and constraints may limit species' distribution and define their level of fitness. For a more comprehensive understanding, the paper sets out to elaborate the functional and conceptual connections among these independent studies and the various organizational levels addressed. This effort illustrates the need for an overarching concept of thermal adaptation that encompasses molecular, organellar, cellular, and whole-organism information as well as the mechanistic links between fitness, ecological success, and organismal physiology. For this data, the hypothesis of oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance in animals provides such a conceptual framework and allows interpreting the mechanisms of thermal limitation of animals as relevant at the ecological level. While, ideally, evolutionary studies over multiple generations, illustrated by an example study in bacteria, are necessary to test the validity of such complex concepts and underlying hypotheses, animal physiology frequently is constrained to functional studies within one generation. Comparisons of populations in a latitudinal cline, closely related species from different climates, and ontogenetic stages from riverine clines illustrate how evolutionary information can still be gained. An understanding of temperature-dependent shifts in energy turnover, associated with adjustments in aerobic scope and performance

  3. Advancing population ecology with integral projection models: a practical guide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Merow, Cory; Dahlgren, Johan; Metcall, C. Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    (e.g., environment). By combining regressions of vital rates, an IPM provides mechanistic insight into emergent ecological patterns such as population dynamics, species geographic distributions, or life history strategies. Here, we review important resources for building IPMs and provide...... a comprehensive guide, with extensive R code, for their construction. IPMs can be applied to any stage-structured population; here we illustrate IPMs for a series of plant life histories of increasing complexity and biological realism, highlighting the utility of various regression methods for capturing...

  4. Ecological processes in the cycling of radionuclides within arctic ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanson, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    Worldwide fallout radionuclides in arctic ecosystems was investigated ecologically by circumpolar nations during 1959-80. Several of the radionuclides are isotopes of elements which currently contribute to arctic haze; they thus serve as effective tracers of biogeochemical processes. Investigations demonstrated the effective concentration of several radionuclides, particularly strontium-90 (an alkaline earth metal) and cesium-137 (a light alkali metal) which are chemical analogs of calcium and potassium, two very important stable elements in biotic systems. Transfer of 137 Cs through the lichen-cariboureindeer-man food chain characteristic of circumpolar nations, resulted in body burdens in Inuit that were 20 to 200 times greater than those in human populations of temperature latitudes. Radiation exposures from 90 Sr, 137 Cs and other natural and worldwide fallout radionuclides, were two to three times greater than for most other world populations. These results demonstrate the concentration capabilities of arctic ecosystems for several groups of chemical elements that have counterparts in arctic haze. These elements, therefore, provide the basis for considering the ecological implications of current situations

  5. Understanding psychiatric disorder by capturing ecologically relevant features of learning and decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholl, Jacqueline; Klein-Flügge, Miriam

    2017-09-28

    Recent research in cognitive neuroscience has begun to uncover the processes underlying increasingly complex voluntary behaviours, including learning and decision-making. Partly this success has been possible by progressing from simple experimental tasks to paradigms that incorporate more ecological features. More specifically, the premise is that to understand cognitions and brain functions relevant for real life, we need to introduce some of the ecological challenges that we have evolved to solve. This often entails an increase in task complexity, which can be managed by using computational models to help parse complex behaviours into specific component mechanisms. Here we propose that using computational models with tasks that capture ecologically relevant learning and decision-making processes may provide a critical advantage for capturing the mechanisms underlying symptoms of disorders in psychiatry. As a result, it may help develop mechanistic approaches towards diagnosis and treatment. We begin this review by mapping out the basic concepts and models of learning and decision-making. We then move on to consider specific challenges that emerge in realistic environments and describe how they can be captured by tasks. These include changes of context, uncertainty, reflexive/emotional biases, cost-benefit decision-making, and balancing exploration and exploitation. Where appropriate we highlight future or current links to psychiatry. We particularly draw examples from research on clinical depression, a disorder that greatly compromises motivated behaviours in real-life, but where simpler paradigms have yielded mixed results. Finally, we highlight several paradigms that could be used to help provide new insights into the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Mechanistic modelling of the drying behaviour of single pharmaceutical granules

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thérèse F.C. Mortier, Séverine; Beer, Thomas De; Gernaey, Krist

    2012-01-01

    The trend to move towards continuous production processes in pharmaceutical applications enhances the necessity to develop mechanistic models to understand and control these processes. This work focuses on the drying behaviour of a single wet granule before tabletting, using a six...... phase (submodel 2), the water inside the granule evaporates. The second submodel contains an empirical power coefficient, b. A sensitivity analysis was performed to study the influence of parameters on the moisture content of single pharmaceutical granules, which clearly points towards the importance...

  7. Synthesis, Photoluminescence Behavior of Green Light Emitting Tb(III) Complexes and Mechanistic Investigation of Energy Transfer Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bala, Manju; Kumar, Satish; Devi, Rekha; Khatkar, Avni; Taxak, V B; Boora, Priti; Khatkar, S P

    2018-06-04

    A series of five new terbium(III) ion complexes with 4,4-difluoro-1-phenylbutane-1,3-dione (HDPBD) and anciliary ligands was synthesized. The composition and properties of complexes were analyzed by elemental analysis, IR, NMR, powder X-ray diffaraction, TG-DTG and photoluminescence spectroscopy. These complexes exhibited ligand sensitized green emission at 546 nm associated with 5 D 4  →  7 F 5 transitions of terbium ion in the emission spectra. The photoluminescence study manifested that the organic ligands act as antenna and facilitate the absorbed energy to emitting levels of Tb(III) ion efficiently. The enhanced luminescence intensity and decay time of ternary C2-C5 complexes observed due to synergistic effect of anciliary ligands. The CIE color coordinates of complexes came under the green region of chromaticity diagram. The mechanistic investigation of intramolecular energy transfer in the complexes was discussed in detail. These terbium(III) complexes can be thrivingly used as one of the green component in light emitting material and in display devices. Graphical Abstract Illustrate the sensitization process of the Tb ion and intramolecular energy transfer process in the Tb 3+ complex.

  8. Simulating the effects of climate change on the distribution of an invasive plant, using a high resolution, local scale, mechanistic approach: challenges and insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, Mark; Murphy, James E; Gallagher, Tommy; Osborne, Bruce

    2013-04-01

    The growing economic and ecological damage associated with biological invasions, which will likely be exacerbated by climate change, necessitates improved projections of invasive spread. Generally, potential changes in species distribution are investigated using climate envelope models; however, the reliability of such models has been questioned and they are not suitable for use at local scales. At this scale, mechanistic models are more appropriate. This paper discusses some key requirements for mechanistic models and utilises a newly developed model (PSS[gt]) that incorporates the influence of habitat type and related features (e.g., roads and rivers), as well as demographic processes and propagule dispersal dynamics, to model climate induced changes in the distribution of an invasive plant (Gunnera tinctoria) at a local scale. A new methodology is introduced, dynamic baseline benchmarking, which distinguishes climate-induced alterations in species distributions from other potential drivers of change. Using this approach, it was concluded that climate change, based on IPCC and C4i projections, has the potential to increase the spread-rate and intensity of G. tinctoria invasions. Increases in the number of individuals were primarily due to intensification of invasion in areas already invaded or in areas projected to be invaded in the dynamic baseline scenario. Temperature had the largest influence on changes in plant distributions. Water availability also had a large influence and introduced the most uncertainty in the projections. Additionally, due to the difficulties of parameterising models such as this, the process has been streamlined by utilising methods for estimating unknown variables and selecting only essential parameters. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  9. Forbidden versus permitted interactions: Disentangling processes from patterns in ecological network analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Veech, Joseph A

    2017-07-01

    Several studies have identified the tendency for species to share interacting partners as a key property to the functioning and stability of ecological networks. However, assessing this pattern has proved challenging in several regards, such as finding proper metrics to assess node overlap (sharing), and using robust null modeling to disentangle significance from randomness. Here, we bring attention to an additional, largely neglected challenge in assessing species' tendency to share interacting partners. In particular, we discuss and illustrate with two different case studies how identifying the set of "permitted" interactions for a given species (i.e. interactions that are not impeded, e.g. by lack of functional trait compatibility) is paramount to understand the ecological and co-evolutionary processes at the basis of node overlap and segregation patterns.

  10. Mechanistic facility safety and source term analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    PLYS, M.G.

    1999-01-01

    A PC-based computer program was created for facility safety and source term analysis at Hanford The program has been successfully applied to mechanistic prediction of source terms from chemical reactions in underground storage tanks, hydrogen combustion in double contained receiver tanks, and proccss evaluation including the potential for runaway reactions in spent nuclear fuel processing. Model features include user-defined facility room, flow path geometry, and heat conductors, user-defined non-ideal vapor and aerosol species, pressure- and density-driven gas flows, aerosol transport and deposition, and structure to accommodate facility-specific source terms. Example applications are presented here

  11. Mechanistic systems modeling to guide drug discovery and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Brian J; Papin, Jason A; Musante, Cynthia J

    2013-02-01

    A crucial question that must be addressed in the drug development process is whether the proposed therapeutic target will yield the desired effect in the clinical population. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies place a large investment on research and development, long before confirmatory data are available from human trials. Basic science has greatly expanded the computable knowledge of disease processes, both through the generation of large omics data sets and a compendium of studies assessing cellular and systemic responses to physiologic and pathophysiologic stimuli. Given inherent uncertainties in drug development, mechanistic systems models can better inform target selection and the decision process for advancing compounds through preclinical and clinical research. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Mechanistic Oral Absorption Modeling and Simulation for Formulation Development and Bioequivalence Evaluation: Report of an FDA Public Workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X; Duan, J; Kesisoglou, F; Novakovic, J; Amidon, G L; Jamei, M; Lukacova, V; Eissing, T; Tsakalozou, E; Zhao, L; Lionberger, R

    2017-08-01

    On May 19, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hosted a public workshop, entitled "Mechanistic Oral Absorption Modeling and Simulation for Formulation Development and Bioequivalence Evaluation." The topic of mechanistic oral absorption modeling, which is one of the major applications of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and simulation, focuses on predicting oral absorption by mechanistically integrating gastrointestinal transit, dissolution, and permeation processes, incorporating systems, active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), and the drug product information, into a systemic mathematical whole-body framework. © 2017 The Authors CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

  13. FOAM3D: A numerical simulator for mechanistic prediciton of foam displacement in multidimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kovscek, A.R.; Patzek, T.W. [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (United States); Radke, C.J. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1995-03-01

    Field application of foam is a technically viable enhanced oil recovery process (EOR) as demonstrated by recent steam-foam field studies. Traditional gas-displacement processes, such as steam drive, are improved substantially by controlling gas mobility and thereby improving volumetric displacement efficiency. For instance, Patzek and Koinis showed major oil-recovery response after about two years of foam injection in two different pilot studies at the Kern River field. They report increased production of 5.5 to 14% of the original oil in place over a five year period. Because reservoir-scale simulation is a vital component of the engineering and economic evaluation of any EOR project, efficient application of foam as a displacement fluid requires a predictive numerical model of foam displacement. A mechanistic model would also expedite scale-up of the process from the laboratory to the field scale. No general, mechanistic, field-scale model for foam displacement is currently in use.

  14. Ecological studies related to construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility on the Savannah River Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott, D.E.; Pechmann, J.H.K.; Knox, J.N.; Estes, R.A.; McGregor, J.H.; Bailey, K.

    1988-12-01

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has completed 10 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) on the Savannah River Site. This progress report examines water quality studies on streams peripheral to the DWPF construction site and examines the effectiveness of ''refuge ponds'' in ameliorating the effects of construction on local amphibians. Individual papers on these topics are indexed separately. 93 refs., 15 figs., 15 tabs

  15. [Process of land use transition and its impact on regional ecological quality in the Middle Reaches of Heihe River, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fu Hong; Zhao, Rui Feng; Zhang, Li Hua; Li, Hong Wei

    2017-12-01

    Land use transition is one of the main drivers of regional ecosystem change in arid area, which directly affects human well-being. Based on the satellite images of 1987, 2001 and 2016, the change detection assessment model and ecological response model were used to analyze the process of land use transition and response of ecological quality during 1987-2016 in the ecologically fragile middle reaches of the Heihe River. The results showed that the land use change was significant during 1987-2016 and the total change increased significantly, as well as the continuous increase of the cultivated land and construction land. There was a strong tendency of transform from grassland to cultivated land, while the tendency of transforming unused land to other land classes was not strong under a random process of gain or loss. During 1987-2016, the ecological quality of the study area displayed a decreasing trend as a whole and the ecological land decreased by 2.8%. The land use transition with the greatest impact on the ecological environment degradation was the transition of the grassland to the cultivated land and unused land. Therefore, in order to promote the sustainable use of regional land resources and to improve the regional ecological quality, it is necessary to allocate the proportion of production land and ecological land according to the regional water resources.

  16. Volcano ecology at Chaiten, Chile: geophysical processes interact with forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.

    2010-12-01

    The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences

  17. A synthesis of dominant ecological processes in intensive shrimp ponds and adjacent coastal environments in NE Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burford, M.A.; Costanzo, S.D.; Dennison, W.C.; Jackson, C.J.; Jones, A.B.; McKinnon, A.D.; Preston, N.P.; Trott, L.A.

    2003-01-01

    One of the key environmental concerns about shrimp farming is the discharge of waters with high levels of nutrients and suspended solids into adjacent waterways. In this paper we synthesize the results of our multidisciplinary research linking ecological processes in intensive shrimp ponds with their downstream impacts in tidal, mangrove-lined creeks. The incorporation of process measurements and bioindicators, in addition to water quality measurements, improved our understanding of the effect of shrimp farm discharges on the ecological health of the receiving water bodies. Changes in water quality parameters were an oversimplification of the ecological effects of water discharges, and use of key measures including primary production rates, phytoplankton responses to nutrients, community shifts in zooplankton and δ 15 N ratios in marine plants have the potential to provide more integrated and robust measures. Ultimately, reduction in nutrient discharges is most likely to ensure the future sustainability of the industry

  18. Ecological studies related to construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility on the Savannah River Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, D.E.; Pechmann, J.H.K.; Knox, J.N.; Estes, R.A.; McGregor, J.H.; Bailey, K. (ed.)

    1988-12-01

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has completed 10 years of ecological studies related to the construction of the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) on the Savannah River Site. This progress report examines water quality studies on streams peripheral to the DWPF construction site and examines the effectiveness of refuge ponds'' in ameliorating the effects of construction on local amphibians. Individual papers on these topics are indexed separately. 93 refs., 15 figs., 15 tabs. (MHB)

  19. [Progress and prospects on evaluation of ecological restoration: a review of the 5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jing-Yi; Zhao, Wen-Wu

    2014-09-01

    The 5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration was held in Madison, Wisconsin, USA on October 6-11, 2013. About 1200 delegates from more than 50 countries attended the conference, and discussed the latest developments in different thematic areas of ecological restoration. Discussions on evaluation of ecological restoration were mainly from three aspects: The construction for evaluation indicator system of ecological restoration; the evaluation methods of ecological restoration; monitoring and dynamic evaluation of ecological restoration. The meeting stressed the importance of evaluation in the process of ecological restoration and concerned the challenges in evaluation of ecological restoration. The conference had the following enlightenments for China' s research on evaluation of ecological restoration: 1) Strengthening the construction of comprehensive evaluation indicators system and focusing on the multi-participation in the evaluation process. 2) Paying more attentions on scale effect and scale transformation in the evaluation process of ecological restoration. 3) Expanding the application of 3S technology in assessing the success of ecological restoration and promoting the dynamic monitoring of ecological restoration. 4) Carrying out international exchanges and cooperation actively, and promoting China's international influence in ecological restoration research.

  20. Statistical ecology comes of age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T.; Morgan, Byron J. T.; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M.; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M.; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1–4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data. PMID:25540151

  1. Statistical ecology comes of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T; Morgan, Byron J T; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-12-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1-4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data.

  2. Causation at Different Levels: Tracking the Commitments of Mechanistic Explanations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fazekas, Peter; Kertész, Gergely

    2011-01-01

    connections transparent. These general commitments get confronted with two claims made by certain proponents of the mechanistic approach: William Bechtel often argues that within the mechanistic framework it is possible to balance between reducing higher levels and maintaining their autonomy at the same time...... their autonomy at the same time than standard reductive accounts are, and that what mechanistic explanations are able to do at best is showing that downward causation does not exist....

  3. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Ecological studies in the NRDA process: Some guidelines for what is necessary and what is not

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rebilliard, G.A.

    1993-01-01

    Biological resources are usually the primary focus of a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). The NRDA should emphasize ecological studies on resources that sustained substantial injuries resulting in significant reduction of services and loss of use, and thus in substantial damages. Further, assessment costs should be ''reasonable.'' Congress, in passing the laws providing for NRDAs, did not intend that every conceivable injury to every biological resource be documented; this is economically and scientifically unreasonable. Congress did however intend that the NRDA process should be objective, based on sound science, and focused on restoration of the injured resources and services. Appropriate ecological studies should focus on the dominant sensitive habitats, major recreational species, threatened, endangered and otherwise ''sensitive'' species, and ecologically ''key'' species. However, many NRDAs have been and are being conducted in an adversarial atmosphere where the threat of litigation, not cooperation, prevails. This results in additional studies of insignificant, extremely speculative, and/or highly improbable injuries that objective, experienced ecologists would agree will not have ecological significance and should not result in damages. These studies waste time and money for all parties involved. They erode the credibility of the scientists involved as well as the credibility of the whole NRDA process. Examples of both necessary and unnecessary studies will be drawn from several oil spills including Exxon Valdez, Exxon Bayway Pipeline Leak, and Shell Martinez Manufacturing complex

  5. The practice of prediction: What can ecologists learn from applied, ecology-related fields?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennekamp, Frank; Adamson, Matthew; Petchey, Owen L; Poggiale, Jean-Christophe; Aguiar, Maira; Kooi, Bob W.; Botkin, Daniel B.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2017-01-01

    The pervasive influence of human induced global environmental change affects biodiversity across the globe, and there is great uncertainty as to how the biosphere will react on short and longer time scales. To adapt to what the future holds and to manage the impacts of global change, scientists need to predict the expected effects with some confidence and communicate these predictions to policy makers. However, recent reviews found that we currently lack a clear understanding of how predictable ecology is, with views seeing it as mostly unpredictable to potentially predictable, at least over short time frames. However, in applied, ecology-related fields predictions are more commonly formulated and reported, as well as evaluated in hindsight, potentially allowing one to define baselines of predictive proficiency in these fields. We searched the literature for representative case studies in these fields and collected information about modeling approaches, target variables of prediction, predictive proficiency achieved, as well as the availability of data to parameterize predictive models. We find that some fields such as epidemiology achieve high predictive proficiency, but even in the more predictive fields proficiency is evaluated in different ways. Both phenomenological and mechanistic approaches are used in most fields, but differences are often small, with no clear superiority of one approach over the other. Data availability is limiting in most fields, with long-term studies being rare and detailed data for parameterizing mechanistic models being in short supply. We suggest that ecologists adopt a more rigorous approach to report and assess predictive proficiency, and embrace the challenges of real world decision making to strengthen the practice of prediction in ecology.

  6. The Gut Microbiota of Rural Papua New Guineans: Composition, Diversity Patterns, and Ecological Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inés Martínez

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Although recent research revealed an impact of westernization on diversity and composition of the human gut microbiota, the exact consequences on metacommunity characteristics are insufficiently understood, and the underlying ecological mechanisms have not been elucidated. Here, we have compared the fecal microbiota of adults from two non-industrialized regions in Papua New Guinea (PNG with that of United States (US residents. Papua New Guineans harbor communities with greater bacterial diversity, lower inter-individual variation, vastly different abundance profiles, and bacterial lineages undetectable in US residents. A quantification of the ecological processes that govern community assembly identified bacterial dispersal as the dominant process that shapes the microbiome in PNG but not in the US. These findings suggest that the microbiome alterations detected in industrialized societies might arise from modern lifestyle factors limiting bacterial dispersal, which has implications for human health and the development of strategies aimed to redress the impact of westernization.

  7. Fuel swelling importance in PCI mechanistic modelling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arimescu, V.I.

    2005-01-01

    Under certain conditions, fuel pellet swelling is the most important factor in determining the intensity of the pellet-to-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI). This is especially true during power ramps, which lead to a temperature increase to a higher terminal plateau that is maintained for hours. The time-dependent gaseous swelling is proportional to temperature and is also enhanced by the increased gas atom migration to the grain boundary during the power ramp. On the other hand, gaseous swelling is inhibited by a compressive hydrostatic stress in the pellet. Therefore, PCMI is the net result of combining gaseous swelling and pellet thermal expansion with the opposing feedback from the cladding mechanical reaction. The coupling of the thermal and mechanical processes, mentioned above, with various feedback loops is best simulated by a mechanistic fuel code. This paper discusses a mechanistic swelling model that is coupled with a fission gas release model as well as a mechanical model of the fuel pellet. The role of fuel swelling is demonstrated for typical power ramps at different burn-ups. Also, fuel swelling plays a significant role in avoiding the thermal instability for larger gap fuel rods, by limiting the potentially exponentially increasing gap due to the positive feedback loop effect of increasing fission gas release and the associated over-pressure inside the cladding. (author)

  8. 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....

  9. An Integrated Approach to Modelling the Economy-Society-Ecology System in Urbanization Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunqiang Liu

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization has become a key part of social and economic progress in the 21st Century, but achieving healthy and safe urban development has a long way to go for many developed and developing countries. Urbanization has been recognized as a complex ecosystem which is affected by economic, social, and ecological factors. With this in mind, this paper looks at many factors to first evaluate based on the matter-element (ME method and then model an Economy-Society-Ecology (ESE subsystem using a hybrid method by a fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP, and then by using the entropy method (EM to determine the relevant index weights. To avoid subjectivity when defining the model’s boundaries, the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS is introduced. Then, a coupling coordination degree model focusing on the degree of coordination in the ESE subsystem is established. Panel data collected from 2003 to 2012 for Chengdu, China, is then simulated to analyze the development process. The results show that: (1 The quality of urbanization continues to improve and the phasic features are presented; (2 The sensitivity analysis of subsystem weight shown that it had less effect on the coupling coordinated system; (3 The coordination in the ESE subsystem has also improved. However, the development rate of the economic subsystem is greater than that of the societal and ecological subsystem. The approach used here therefore, is shown to provide a promising basis for policy-making to support healthy urban development.

  10. Inside the "Black Box" of River Restoration: Using Catchment History to Identify Disturbance and Response Mechanisms to Set Targets for Process-Based Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Mika

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Many river restoration projects fail. Inadequate project planning underpins many of the reasons given for failure (such as setting overly ambitious goals; selecting inappropriate sites and techniques; losing stakeholder motivation; and neglecting to monitor, assess, and document projects. Another major problem is the lack of an agreed guiding image to direct the activities aimed at restoring the necessary biophysical and ecological processes within the logistic constraints of on-ground works. Despite a rich literature defining the components of restoration project planning, restoration ecology currently lacks an explicit and logical means of moving from the initial project vision through to on-ground strategies. Yet this process is fundamental because it directly links the ecological goals of the project to the on-ground strategies used to achieve them. We present a planning process that explicitly uses an interdisciplinary mechanistic model of disturbance drivers and system responses to build from the initial project vision to the implementation of on-ground works. A worked example on the Upper Hunter River in southeastern Australia shows how understanding catchment history can reveal disturbance and response mechanisms, thus facilitating process-based restoration.

  11. 36 CFR 219.20 - Ecological sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Ecological sustainability... Sustainability § 219.20 Ecological sustainability. To achieve ecological sustainability, the responsible official... diversity and species diversity are components of ecological sustainability. The planning process must...

  12. Ecologization Processes in Society Today: the Challenge of Globalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurelija Samoškienė

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Negative impact on the environment made by human activity is discussed in this article as well as main problems caused by interaction with negative environmental changes. Ecologization conception and its evolution are analyzed chronologically. Key perspectives of scientific research in the ecologization field are determined; the context of today’s society is taken into account.Article in Lithuanian

  13. A 2-D process-based model for suspended sediment dynamics: a first step towards ecological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achete, F. M.; van der Wegen, M.; Roelvink, D.; Jaffe, B.

    2015-06-01

    In estuaries suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is one of the most important contributors to turbidity, which influences habitat conditions and ecological functions of the system. Sediment dynamics differs depending on sediment supply and hydrodynamic forcing conditions that vary over space and over time. A robust sediment transport model is a first step in developing a chain of models enabling simulations of contaminants, phytoplankton and habitat conditions. This works aims to determine turbidity levels in the complex-geometry delta of the San Francisco estuary using a process-based approach (Delft3D Flexible Mesh software). Our approach includes a detailed calibration against measured SSC levels, a sensitivity analysis on model parameters and the determination of a yearly sediment budget as well as an assessment of model results in terms of turbidity levels for a single year, water year (WY) 2011. Model results show that our process-based approach is a valuable tool in assessing sediment dynamics and their related ecological parameters over a range of spatial and temporal scales. The model may act as the base model for a chain of ecological models assessing the impact of climate change and management scenarios. Here we present a modeling approach that, with limited data, produces reliable predictions and can be useful for estuaries without a large amount of processes data.

  14. A 2-D process-based model for suspended sediment dynamics: A first step towards ecological modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achete, F. M.; van der Wegen, M.; Roelvink, D.; Jaffe, B.

    2015-01-01

    In estuaries suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is one of the most important contributors to turbidity, which influences habitat conditions and ecological functions of the system. Sediment dynamics differs depending on sediment supply and hydrodynamic forcing conditions that vary over space and over time. A robust sediment transport model is a first step in developing a chain of models enabling simulations of contaminants, phytoplankton and habitat conditions. This works aims to determine turbidity levels in the complex-geometry delta of the San Francisco estuary using a process-based approach (Delft3D Flexible Mesh software). Our approach includes a detailed calibration against measured SSC levels, a sensitivity analysis on model parameters and the determination of a yearly sediment budget as well as an assessment of model results in terms of turbidity levels for a single year, water year (WY) 2011. Model results show that our process-based approach is a valuable tool in assessing sediment dynamics and their related ecological parameters over a range of spatial and temporal scales. The model may act as the base model for a chain of ecological models assessing the impact of climate change and management scenarios. Here we present a modeling approach that, with limited data, produces reliable predictions and can be useful for estuaries without a large amount of processes data.

  15. [Applied ecology: retrospect and prospect].

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xingyuan; Zeng, Dehui

    2004-10-01

    Applied ecology is evolved into a principal part of modern ecology that rapidly develops. The major stimulus for the development of applied ecology roots in seeking the solutions for the problems of human populations, resources and environments. Through four decades, the science of applied ecology has been becoming a huge group of disciplines. The future for the applied ecology should concern more with human-influenced and managed ecosystems, and acknowledge humans as the components of ecosystems. Nowadays and in future, the top-priorities in applied ecology should include following fields: sustainable ecosystems and biosphere, ecosystem services and ecological design, ecological assessment of genetically modified organisms, ecology of biological invasions, epidemical ecology, ecological forecasting, ecological process and its control. The authors believe that the comprehensive and active research hotspots coupled some new traits would occur around these fields in foreseeable future.

  16. Application of a mechanistic model as a tool for on-line monitoring of pilot scale filamentous fungal fermentation processes-The importance of evaporation effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mears, Lisa; Stocks, Stuart M; Albaek, Mads O; Sin, Gürkan; Gernaey, Krist V

    2017-03-01

    A mechanistic model-based soft sensor is developed and validated for 550L filamentous fungus fermentations operated at Novozymes A/S. The soft sensor is comprised of a parameter estimation block based on a stoichiometric balance, coupled to a dynamic process model. The on-line parameter estimation block models the changing rates of formation of product, biomass, and water, and the rate of consumption of feed using standard, available on-line measurements. This parameter estimation block, is coupled to a mechanistic process model, which solves the current states of biomass, product, substrate, dissolved oxygen and mass, as well as other process parameters including k L a, viscosity and partial pressure of CO 2 . State estimation at this scale requires a robust mass model including evaporation, which is a factor not often considered at smaller scales of operation. The model is developed using a historical data set of 11 batches from the fermentation pilot plant (550L) at Novozymes A/S. The model is then implemented on-line in 550L fermentation processes operated at Novozymes A/S in order to validate the state estimator model on 14 new batches utilizing a new strain. The product concentration in the validation batches was predicted with an average root mean sum of squared error (RMSSE) of 16.6%. In addition, calculation of the Janus coefficient for the validation batches shows a suitably calibrated model. The robustness of the model prediction is assessed with respect to the accuracy of the input data. Parameter estimation uncertainty is also carried out. The application of this on-line state estimator allows for on-line monitoring of pilot scale batches, including real-time estimates of multiple parameters which are not able to be monitored on-line. With successful application of a soft sensor at this scale, this allows for improved process monitoring, as well as opening up further possibilities for on-line control algorithms, utilizing these on-line model outputs

  17. Linking niche theory to ecological impacts of successful invaders: insights from resource fluctuation-specialist herbivore interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gidoin, Cindy; Roques, Lionel; Boivin, Thomas

    2015-03-01

    Theories of species coexistence and invasion ecology are fundamentally connected and provide a common theoretical framework for studying the mechanisms underlying successful invasions and their ecological impacts. Temporal fluctuations in resource availability and differences in life-history traits between invasive and resident species are considered as likely drivers of the dynamics of invaded communities. Current critical issues in invasion ecology thus relate to the extent to which such mechanisms influence coexistence between invasive and resident species and to the ability of resident species to persist in an invasive-dominated ecosystem. We tested how a fluctuating resource, and species trait differences may explain and help predict long-term impacts of biological invasions in forest specialist insect communities. We used a simple invasion system comprising closely related invasive and resident seed-specialized wasps (Hymenoptera: Torymidae) competing for a well-known fluctuating resource and displaying divergent diapause, reproductive and phenological traits. Based on extensive long-term field observations (1977-2010), we developed a combination of mechanistic and statistical models aiming to (i) obtain a realistic description of the population dynamics of these interacting species over time, and (ii) clarify the respective contributions of fluctuation-dependent and fluctuation-independent mechanisms to long-term impact of invasion on the population dynamics of the resident wasp species. We showed that a fluctuation-dependent mechanism was unable to promote coexistence of the resident and invasive species. Earlier phenology of the invasive species was the main driver of invasion success, enabling the invader to exploit an empty niche. Phenology also had the greatest power to explain the long-term negative impact of the invasive on the resident species, through resource pre-emption. This study provides strong support for the critical role of species

  18. Effect of Ecological Restoration on Body Condition of a Predator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel González-Tokman

    Full Text Available Ecological restoration attempts to recover the structure and function of ecosystems that have been degraded by human activities. A crucial test of ecosystem recovery would be to determine whether individuals in restored environments are as healthy as those in conserved environments. However, the impact of restoration on physiology of terrestrial animals has never been tested. Here, we evaluated the effect of two restoration methods on body condition measured as body size, body mass, lipid and muscle content of the spider Nephila clavipes in a tropical dry forest that has suffered chronic disturbance due to cattle grazing. We used experimental plots that had been excluded from disturbance by cattle grazing during eight years. Plots were either planted with native trees (i. e. maximal intervention, or only excluded from disturbance (i. e. minimal intervention, and were compared with control conserved (remnants of original forest and disturbed plots (where cattle is allowed to graze. We predicted (1 better body condition in spiders of conserved and restored sites, compared to disturbed sites, and (2 better body condition in plots with maximal intervention than in plots with minimal intervention. The first prediction was not supported in males or females, and the second prediction was only supported in females: body dry mass was higher in planted than in conserved plots for spiders of both sexes and also higher that in disturbed plots for males, suggesting that plantings are providing more resources. We discuss how different life histories and environmental pressures, such as food availability, parasitism, and competition for resources can explain our contrasting findings in male and female spiders. By studying animal physiology in restoration experiments it is possible to understand the mechanistic basis of ecological and evolutionary processes that determine success of ecological restoration.

  19. Ecological Vulnerability Assessment Based on Fuzzy Analytical Method and Analytic Hierarchy Process in Yellow River Delta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chunsheng; Liu, Gaohuan; Huang, Chong; Liu, Qingsheng; Guan, Xudong

    2018-04-25

    The Yellow River Delta (YRD), located in Yellow River estuary, is characterized by rich ecological system types, and provides habitats or migration stations for wild birds, all of which makes the delta an ecological barrier or ecotone for inland areas. Nevertheless, the abundant natural resources of YRD have brought huge challenges to the area, and frequent human activities and natural disasters have damaged the ecological systems seriously, and certain ecological functions have been threatened. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the status of the ecological environment based on scientific methods, which can provide scientifically robust data for the managers or stakeholders to adopt timely ecological protection measures. The aim of this study was to obtain the spatial distribution of the ecological vulnerability (EV) in YRD based on 21 indicators selected from underwater status, soil condition, land use, landform, vegetation cover, meteorological conditions, ocean influence, and social economy. In addition, the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) method was used to obtain the weights of the selected indicators, and a fuzzy logic model was constructed to obtain the result. The result showed that the spatial distribution of the EV grades was regular, while the fuzzy membership of EV decreased gradually from the coastline to inland area, especially around the river crossing, where it had the lowest EV. Along the coastline, the dikes had an obviously protective effect for the inner area, while the EV was higher in the area where no dikes were built. This result also showed that the soil condition and groundwater status were highly related to the EV spatially, with the correlation coefficients −0.55 and −0.74 respectively, and human activities had exerted considerable pressure on the ecological environment.

  20. Microbial ecology and starter culture technology in coffee processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinícius de Melo Pereira, Gilberto; Soccol, Vanete Thomaz; Brar, Satinder Kaur; Neto, Ensei; Soccol, Carlos Ricardo

    2017-09-02

    Coffee has been for decades the most commercialized food product and most widely consumed beverage in the world, with over 600 billion cups served per year. Before coffee cherries can be traded and processed into a final industrial product, they have to undergo postharvest processing on farms, which have a direct impact on the cost and quality of a coffee. Three different methods can be used for transforming the coffee cherries into beans, known as wet, dry, and semi-dry methods. In all these processing methods, a spontaneous fermentation is carried out in order to eliminate any mucilage still stuck to the beans and helps improve beverage flavor by microbial metabolites. The microorganisms responsible for the fermentation (e.g., yeasts and lactic acid bacteria) can play a number of roles, such as degradation of mucilage (pectinolytic activity), inhibition of mycotoxin-producing fungi growth, and production of flavor-active components. The use of starter cultures (mainly yeast strains) has emerged in recent years as a promising alternative to control the fermentation process and to promote quality development of coffee product. However, scarce information is still available about the effects of controlled starter cultures in coffee fermentation performance and bean quality, making it impossible to use this technology in actual field conditions. A broader knowledge about the ecology, biochemistry, and molecular biology could facilitate the understanding and application of starter cultures for coffee fermentation process. This review provides a comprehensive coverage of these issues, while pointing out new directions for exploiting starter cultures in coffee processing.

  1. Increasing connectivity between metapopulation ecology and landscape ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Paige E; Muths, Erin; Hossack, Blake R; Sigafus, Brent H; Chandler, Richard B

    2018-05-01

    Metapopulation ecology and landscape ecology aim to understand how spatial structure influences ecological processes, yet these disciplines address the problem using fundamentally different modeling approaches. Metapopulation models describe how the spatial distribution of patches affects colonization and extinction, but often do not account for the heterogeneity in the landscape between patches. Models in landscape ecology use detailed descriptions of landscape structure, but often without considering colonization and extinction dynamics. We present a novel spatially explicit modeling framework for narrowing the divide between these disciplines to advance understanding of the effects of landscape structure on metapopulation dynamics. Unlike previous efforts, this framework allows for statistical inference on landscape resistance to colonization using empirical data. We demonstrate the approach using 11 yr of data on a threatened amphibian in a desert ecosystem. Occupancy data for Lithobates chiricahuensis (Chiricahua leopard frog) were collected on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), Arizona, USA from 2007 to 2017 following a reintroduction in 2003. Results indicated that colonization dynamics were influenced by both patch characteristics and landscape structure. Landscape resistance increased with increasing elevation and distance to the nearest streambed. Colonization rate was also influenced by patch quality, with semi-permanent and permanent ponds contributing substantially more to the colonization of neighboring ponds relative to intermittent ponds. Ponds that only hold water intermittently also had the highest extinction rate. Our modeling framework can be widely applied to understand metapopulation dynamics in complex landscapes, particularly in systems in which the environment between habitat patches influences the colonization process. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The ecological economics: An ecological economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castiblanco R, Carmenza

    2007-01-01

    Ecological Economics arise as a scientific discipline aimed to integrate concepts of economics, ecology, thermodynamics, ethic and other natural and social sciences in order to incorporate a biophysical and integrated perspective of the inter dependences between economies and environment, from a plural conception and a methodology beyond disciplines. Ecological Economics studies the black box of economic processes usually excluded of the traditional economics: thermodynamics and ecology. Although it is relatively a new field of study, it has been strengthening its theoretical framework with scientific basis and analytic principles that lead to its identification as a new discipline that show a whole new paradigm. The scope of this article is to show the conceptual and methodological bases, the main founders, approaches and central debates of this new discipline. This brief introduction is a preamble to the papers of the meeting Ecological Economics: a perspective for Colombia included in this number, that took place on September 22 - 27 of 2007, at the National University of Colombia at Bogota. During tree days national and international experts, professors, researchers, workers of environmental sector and people interested on environmental issues joined together to know the conceptual and methodological achievements reached of this discipline; as well as to analyse and evaluate the environmental problems of the country, from the systemic, interdisciplinary and general perspective that it promotes

  5. A movement ecology paradigm for unifying organismal movement research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathan, Ran; Getz, Wayne M; Revilla, Eloy; Holyoak, Marcel; Kadmon, Ronen; Saltz, David; Smouse, Peter E

    2008-12-09

    Movement of individual organisms is fundamental to life, quilting our planet in a rich tapestry of phenomena with diverse implications for ecosystems and humans. Movement research is both plentiful and insightful, and recent methodological advances facilitate obtaining a detailed view of individual movement. Yet, we lack a general unifying paradigm, derived from first principles, which can place movement studies within a common context and advance the development of a mature scientific discipline. This introductory article to the Movement Ecology Special Feature proposes a paradigm that integrates conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and empirical frameworks for studying movement of all organisms, from microbes to trees to elephants. We introduce a conceptual framework depicting the interplay among four basic mechanistic components of organismal movement: the internal state (why move?), motion (how to move?), and navigation (when and where to move?) capacities of the individual and the external factors affecting movement. We demonstrate how the proposed framework aids the study of various taxa and movement types; promotes the formulation of hypotheses about movement; and complements existing biomechanical, cognitive, random, and optimality paradigms of movement. The proposed framework integrates eclectic research on movement into a structured paradigm and aims at providing a basis for hypothesis generation and a vehicle facilitating the understanding of the causes, mechanisms, and spatiotemporal patterns of movement and their role in various ecological and evolutionary processes. "Now we must consider in general the common reason for moving with any movement whatever." (Aristotle, De Motu Animalium, 4th century B.C.).

  6. Towards an Ecology of Participation: Process Philosophy and Co-Creation of Higher Education Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Carol A.; Bovill, Catherine

    2018-01-01

    This article brings together the authors' previous work on co-created curricula (Bovill, 2013a, 2014; Bovill et al., 2011) and on partnership and ethics (Taylor, 2015; Taylor and Robinson, 2014), to develop the concept of co-created curricula as an ecology of participation. In doing so, it deploys Alfred North Whitehead's process philosophy to…

  7. Semi-mechanistic Model Applied to the Search for Economically Optimal Conditions and Blending of Gasoline Feedstock for Steam-cracking Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karaba Adam

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Steam-cracking is energetically intensive large-scaled process which transforms a wide range of hydrocarbons feedstock to petrochemical products. The dependence of products yields on feedstock composition and reaction conditions has been successfully described by mathematical models which are very useful tools for the optimization of cracker operation. Remaining problem is to formulate objective function for such an optimization. Quantitative criterion based on the process economy is proposed in this paper. Previously developed and verified industrial steam-cracking semi-mechanistic model is utilized as supporting tool for economic evaluation of selected gasoline feedstock. Economic criterion is established as the difference between value of products obtained by cracking of studied feedstock under given conditions and the value of products obtained by cracking of reference feedstock under reference conditions. As an example of method utilization, optimal reaction conditions were searched for each of selected feedstock. Potential benefit of individual cracking and cracking of grouped feedstocks in the contrast to cracking under the middle of optimums is evaluated and also compared to cracking under usual conditions.

  8. Sparking interest in restaurant dishes? Cognitive and affective processes underlying dish design and ecological origin. An fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Leiva, Francisco; Gómez-Carmona, Diego

    2018-06-14

    The objective of the current paper is to verify to what extent the presentation of a restaurant dish and the origin of its food provoke reactions in the consumer's brain during the visualization and the decision-making process, from an exploratory approach. The two independent variables singled out for study were whether the presentation was well or poorly presented and if the ingredients were ecological or non-ecological. The results applying the functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) methodology reveal that well-presented dishes activate areas in the brain linked to the network of emotions indicating that the visualization in restaurant menus is not a purely cognitive and self-reflexive process but retains a strong affective component. Furthermore, the presence of this component is kept at the moment of choosing a dish, as observed by the activation of the gyrus cingulate, region linked to the regulatory processes of emotions. Hence, research ratifies the existence of an emotional factor during the entire process of decision-making carried out in a restaurant. Yet it is true that exposure to an ecological menu provokes activation of the medial frontal cortex, a region connected to higher reasoning and attention, suggesting that stimuli from well-presented dishes of ecological origin trigger neuronal responses related to high-level cognitive processes. The practical implications derived, along with its limitations and the future research opportunities, are interesting for both developing theory and also practice. Therefore, scholars are encouraged to further test some research proposals (e.g. moderating role of salubrity or simultaneously eye tracking method). Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. 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

  10. Generative mechanistic explanation building in undergraduate molecular and cellular biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn M.; Espindola, Melissa R.; Zaepfel, Samantha D.; Bolger, Molly S.

    2017-09-01

    When conducting scientific research, experts in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) use specific reasoning strategies to construct mechanistic explanations for the underlying causal features of molecular phenomena. We explored how undergraduate students applied this scientific practice in MCB. Drawing from studies of explanation building among scientists, we created and applied a theoretical framework to explore the strategies students use to construct explanations for 'novel' biological phenomena. Specifically, we explored how students navigated the multi-level nature of complex biological systems using generative mechanistic reasoning. Interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division biology students at a large public university in the United States. Results of qualitative coding revealed key features of students' explanation building. Students used modular thinking to consider the functional subdivisions of the system, which they 'filled in' to varying degrees with mechanistic elements. They also hypothesised the involvement of mechanistic entities and instantiated abstract schema to adapt their explanations to unfamiliar biological contexts. Finally, we explored the flexible thinking that students used to hypothesise the impact of mutations on multi-leveled biological systems. Results revealed a number of ways that students drew mechanistic connections between molecules, functional modules (sets of molecules with an emergent function), cells, tissues, organisms and populations.

  11. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Hyporheic flow and transport processes: mechanisms, models, and biogeochemical implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boano, Fulvio; Harvey, Judson W.; Marion, Andrea; Packman, Aaron I.; Revelli, Roberto; Ridolfi, Luca; Anders, Wörman

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years of hyporheic zone research have shown the important role played by the hyporheic zone as an interface between groundwater and surface waters. However, it is only in the last two decades that what began as an empirical science has become a mechanistic science devoted to modeling studies of the complex fluid dynamical and biogeochemical mechanisms occurring in the hyporheic zone. These efforts have led to the picture of surface-subsurface water interactions as regulators of the form and function of fluvial ecosystems. Rather than being isolated systems, surface water bodies continuously interact with the subsurface. Exploration of hyporheic zone processes has led to a new appreciation of their wide reaching consequences for water quality and stream ecology. Modern research aims toward a unified approach, in which processes occurring in the hyporheic zone are key elements for the appreciation, management, and restoration of the whole river environment. In this unifying context, this review summarizes results from modeling studies and field observations about flow and transport processes in the hyporheic zone and describes the theories proposed in hydrology and fluid dynamics developed to quantitatively model and predict the hyporheic transport of water, heat, and dissolved and suspended compounds from sediment grain scale up to the watershed scale. The implications of these processes for stream biogeochemistry and ecology are also discussed."

  13. Preface to: Indian Ocean biogeochemical processes and ecological variability

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Hood, R.R.; Naqvi, S.W.A.; Wiggert, J.D.

    monsoonal in fluence. The biogeochemical and ecological impacts of this complex physical forcing are not yet fully understood. The Indian Ocean is truly one of the last great frontiers of ocea- nographic research. In addition, it appears... to be particularly vulnerable to climate change and anthropogenic impacts, yet it has been more than a decade since the last coordinated international study of biogeochemical and ecological proc esses was undertaken in this region. To obtain a better un...

  14. Tritrophic Interactions Mediated by Herbivore-Induced Plant Volatiles: Mechanisms, Ecological Relevance, and Application Potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turlings, Ted C J; Erb, Matthias

    2018-01-07

    Tritrophic interactions between plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies are an integral part of all terrestrial ecosystems. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) play a key role in these interactions, as they can attract predators and parasitoids to herbivore-attacked plants. Thirty years after this discovery, the ecological importance of the phenomena is widely recognized. However, the primary function of HIPVs is still subject to much debate, as is the possibility of using these plant-produced cues in crop protection. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of HIPVs in tritrophic interactions from an ecological as well as a mechanistic perspective. This overview focuses on the main gaps in our knowledge of tritrophic interactions, and we argue that filling these gaps will greatly facilitate efforts to exploit HIPVs for pest control.

  15. 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...

  16. Growth and lipid production of Umbelopsis isabellina on a solid substrate - Mechanistic modeling and validation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meeuwse, P.; Klok, A.J.; Haemers, S.; Tramper, J.; Rinzema, A.

    2012-01-01

    Microbial lipids are an interesting feedstock for biodiesel. Their production from agricultural waste streams by fungi cultivated in solid-state fermentation may be attractive, but the yield of this process is still quite low. In this article, a mechanistic model is presented that describes growth,

  17. "Ratio via Machina": Three Standards of Mechanistic Explanation in Sociology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aviles, Natalie B.; Reed, Isaac Ariail

    2017-01-01

    Recently, sociologists have expended much effort in attempts to define social mechanisms. We intervene in these debates by proposing that sociologists in fact have a choice to make between three standards of what constitutes a good mechanistic explanation: substantial, formal, and metaphorical mechanistic explanation. All three standards are…

  18. Ecological palaeoecology: a missing link between ecology and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rull, V.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaeoecology is more than a palaeoenvironmental discipline; it is a science that is well-suited for supplying the empirical evidence necessary to test ecological hypotheses and contributes to our understanding of the interface of ecology and evolution. A critical time frame in palaeoecology is the often-overlooked Q-time dimension (centuries to millennia, which tends to be the most appropriate time dimension to examine ecology–evolution interactions. This paper discusses these topics from a conceptual perspective and provides examples of the contributions of palaeoecology to the study of ecology–evolution interactions. It also admonishes researchers about the threats of overlooking palaeoecology. Specifically, this paper argues that the neglect of palaeoecology may result in the loss of empirical support for ecology and its interactions with evolution as DNA-based phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies become more and more prevalent. The main concepts discussed are the time continuum, the notion of ecological palaeoecology and the empirical nature of palaeoecology in the face of more hypothetical approaches. More practically speaking, several examples are provided that highlight the utility of ecological palaeoecology for understanding a variety of processes, including ecological succession, community– environment equilibria, community assembly, biotic responses to environmental change, speciation and extinction, and biodiversity conservation. The ecology–evolution interface is analysed using two processes in which these disciplines interact intensively: ecological succession and long-range migration. This work concludes that both ecological palaeoecology (including ancient DNA records and DNA-based phylogenetics and phylogeography are needed to better understand the biosphere ecologically and the processes occurring at the ecology–evolution interface.La paleoecología es más que una disciplina ambiental, ya que proporciona las

  19. Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing for Analysis of Landscape Ecological Processes: Methods and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quattrochi, Dale A.; Luvall, Jeffrey C.

    1998-01-01

    Thermal Infrared (TIR) remote sensing data can provide important measurements of surface energy fluxes and temperatures, which are integral to understanding landscape processes and responses. One example of this is the successful application of TIR remote sensing data to estimate evapotranspiration and soil moisture, where results from a number of studies suggest that satellite-based measurements from TIR remote sensing data can lead to more accurate regional-scale estimates of daily evapotranspiration. With further refinement in analytical techniques and models, the use of TIR data from airborne and satellite sensors could be very useful for parameterizing surface moisture conditions and developing better simulations of landscape energy exchange over a variety of conditions and space and time scales. Thus, TIR remote sensing data can significantly contribute to the observation, measurement, and analysis of energy balance characteristics (i.e., the fluxes and redistribution of thermal energy within and across the land surface) as an implicit and important aspect of landscape dynamics and landscape functioning. The application of TIR remote sensing data in landscape ecological studies has been limited, however, for several fundamental reasons that relate primarily to the perceived difficulty in use and availability of these data by the landscape ecology community, and from the fragmentation of references on TIR remote sensing throughout the scientific literature. It is our purpose here to provide evidence from work that has employed TIR remote sensing for analysis of landscape characteristics to illustrate how these data can provide important data for the improved measurement of landscape energy response and energy flux relationships. We examine the direct or indirect use of TIR remote sensing data to analyze landscape biophysical characteristics, thereby offering some insight on how these data can be used more robustly to further the understanding and modeling of

  20. Bridging the gap between ecology and spatial planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Opdam, P.; Vos, C.C.; Foppen, R.

    2002-01-01

    Landscapes are studied by pattern (the geographical approach) and by process (the ecological approach within landscape ecology). The future of landscape ecology depends on whether the two approaches can be integrated. We present an approach to bridge the gap between the many detailed process studies

  1. Toward mechanistic classification of enzyme functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almonacid, Daniel E; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2011-06-01

    Classification of enzyme function should be quantitative, computationally accessible, and informed by sequences and structures to enable use of genomic information for functional inference and other applications. Large-scale studies have established that divergently evolved enzymes share conserved elements of structure and common mechanistic steps and that convergently evolved enzymes often converge to similar mechanisms too, suggesting that reaction mechanisms could be used to develop finer-grained functional descriptions than provided by the Enzyme Commission (EC) system currently in use. Here we describe how evolution informs these structure-function mappings and review the databases that store mechanisms of enzyme reactions along with recent developments to measure ligand and mechanistic similarities. Together, these provide a foundation for new classifications of enzyme function. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Methodical ecologization principles in construction management

    OpenAIRE

    Nuzhina Irina Pavlovna; Yudakhina Olga Borisovna

    2015-01-01

    In the article the subject of ecologization of construction sector is presented, the necessity of ecologization technology and technological processes is proved. The article also presents principles of ecologically friendly management of construction and investment activities and describes these principles in detail.

  3. Improving the International Agency for Research on Cancer's consideration of mechanistic evidence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goodman, Julie; Lynch, Heather

    2017-01-01

    Background: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently developed a framework for evaluating mechanistic evidence that includes a list of 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. This framework is useful for identifying and organizing large bodies of literature on carcinogenic mechanisms, but it lacks sufficient guidance for conducting evaluations that fully integrate mechanistic evidence into hazard assessments. Objectives: We summarize the framework, and suggest approaches to strengthen the evaluation of mechanistic evidence using this framework. Discussion: While the framework is useful for organizing mechanistic evidence, its lack of guidance for implementation limits its utility for understanding human carcinogenic potential. Specifically, it does not include explicit guidance for evaluating the biological significance of mechanistic endpoints, inter- and intra-individual variability, or study quality and relevance. It also does not explicitly address how mechanistic evidence should be integrated with other realms of evidence. Because mechanistic evidence is critical to understanding human cancer hazards, we recommend that IARC develop transparent and systematic guidelines for the use of this framework so that mechanistic evidence will be evaluated and integrated in a robust manner, and concurrently with other realms of evidence, to reach a final human cancer hazard conclusion. Conclusions: IARC does not currently provide a standardized approach to evaluating mechanistic evidence. Incorporating the recommendations discussed here will make IARC analyses of mechanistic evidence more transparent, and lead to assessments of cancer hazards that reflect the weight of the scientific evidence and allow for scientifically defensible decision-making. - Highlights: • IARC has a revised framework for evaluating literature on carcinogenic mechanisms. • The framework is based on 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. • IARC should develop transparent

  4. Improving the International Agency for Research on Cancer's consideration of mechanistic evidence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goodman, Julie, E-mail: jgoodman@gradientcorp.com; Lynch, Heather

    2017-03-15

    Background: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently developed a framework for evaluating mechanistic evidence that includes a list of 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. This framework is useful for identifying and organizing large bodies of literature on carcinogenic mechanisms, but it lacks sufficient guidance for conducting evaluations that fully integrate mechanistic evidence into hazard assessments. Objectives: We summarize the framework, and suggest approaches to strengthen the evaluation of mechanistic evidence using this framework. Discussion: While the framework is useful for organizing mechanistic evidence, its lack of guidance for implementation limits its utility for understanding human carcinogenic potential. Specifically, it does not include explicit guidance for evaluating the biological significance of mechanistic endpoints, inter- and intra-individual variability, or study quality and relevance. It also does not explicitly address how mechanistic evidence should be integrated with other realms of evidence. Because mechanistic evidence is critical to understanding human cancer hazards, we recommend that IARC develop transparent and systematic guidelines for the use of this framework so that mechanistic evidence will be evaluated and integrated in a robust manner, and concurrently with other realms of evidence, to reach a final human cancer hazard conclusion. Conclusions: IARC does not currently provide a standardized approach to evaluating mechanistic evidence. Incorporating the recommendations discussed here will make IARC analyses of mechanistic evidence more transparent, and lead to assessments of cancer hazards that reflect the weight of the scientific evidence and allow for scientifically defensible decision-making. - Highlights: • IARC has a revised framework for evaluating literature on carcinogenic mechanisms. • The framework is based on 10 key characteristics of carcinogens. • IARC should develop transparent

  5. Ecological risk estimation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartell, S.M.; Gardner, R.H.; O'Neill, R.V.

    1992-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment, the process that evaluates the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors, is being developed by the US EPA as a tool for decision making. This book presents one approach to risk assessment-that of applying laboratory toxicity data within an ecosystem model to predict the potential ecological consequences of toxic chemicals. Both Standard Water Column Model (SWACOM), using zooplankton and fish, and Monte Carlo simulations are discussed in detail, along with quantitative explanations for many responses. Simplifying assumptions are explicitly presented. The final chapter discusses strengths, weaknesses, and future directions of the approach. The book is appropriate for anyone who does or uses ecological risk assessment methodologies

  6. Ecological processes for Environmental Impact Assessment in Coastal Waters; Engan no kankyo eikyo hyoka (EIA) eno seitaigakuteki apurochi

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishikawa, Kimitoshi. [Environmental Assessment Dept., Tokyo (Japan)

    1999-03-25

    This paper focuses on a method for estimating adverse effects on natural environment by economic development in coastal waters in Japan. In particular, the most critical relations concerning the impact on marine organisms is pointed out and discussed according to an environmental impact assessment. Relations between environmental impact assessment and marine organisms needs a quantitative ecological approach in order to succeed in sustainable development of coastal waters management. Recently, the Environment Agency of Japan pointed out the unreliability and the theme on accuracy and the staff for biology and ecology in the environmental impact study. Ecological response to environmental impact occurs in a wide spectrum of physiological and biological and biological functions. Therefore biological monitoring measures must correspond to the given time-space scale of natural mechanisms. For the evaluation of environmental impact, it is desire able to develop of experimental technics and collect biological and ecological basic data for the object. I Reconstructing the following: 1. Reconstructing a clearlistic EIA process by EIA agencies and practitioners, 2. Scorping the biological and ecological issues by EIA professionals, 3. Using the current computer technology, 4. Considering monitoring systems over scales of time and space for the ecological target and 5. Making available to public all monitoring data and reports of EIA. (author)

  7. [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.

  8. Predicting interactions from mechanistic information: Can omic data validate theories?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borgert, Christopher J.

    2007-01-01

    To address the most pressing and relevant issues for improving mixture risk assessment, researchers must first recognize that risk assessment is driven by both regulatory requirements and scientific research, and that regulatory concerns may expand beyond the purely scientific interests of researchers. Concepts of 'mode of action' and 'mechanism of action' are used in particular ways within the regulatory arena, depending on the specific assessment goals. The data requirements for delineating a mode of action and predicting interactive toxicity in mixtures are not well defined from a scientific standpoint due largely to inherent difficulties in testing certain underlying assumptions. Understanding the regulatory perspective on mechanistic concepts will be important for designing experiments that can be interpreted clearly and applied in risk assessments without undue reliance on extrapolation and assumption. In like fashion, regulators and risk assessors can be better equipped to apply mechanistic data if the concepts underlying mechanistic research and the limitations that must be placed on interpretation of mechanistic data are understood. This will be critically important for applying new technologies to risk assessment, such as functional genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. It will be essential not only for risk assessors to become conversant with the language and concepts of mechanistic research, including new omic technologies, but also, for researchers to become more intimately familiar with the challenges and needs of risk assessment

  9. Automated experimentation in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lurgi, Miguel; Robertson, David

    2011-05-09

    In ecological networks, natural communities are studied from a complex systems perspective by representing interactions among species within them in the form of a graph, which is in turn analysed using mathematical tools. Topological features encountered in complex networks have been proved to provide the systems they represent with interesting attributes such as robustness and stability, which in ecological systems translates into the ability of communities to resist perturbations of different kinds. A focus of research in community ecology is on understanding the mechanisms by which these complex networks of interactions among species in a community arise. We employ an agent-based approach to model ecological processes operating at the species' interaction level for the study of the emergence of organisation in ecological networks. We have designed protocols of interaction among agents in a multi-agent system based on ecological processes occurring at the interaction level between species in plant-animal mutualistic communities. Interaction models for agents coordination thus engineered facilitate the emergence of network features such as those found in ecological networks of interacting species, in our artificial societies of agents. Agent based models developed in this way facilitate the automation of the design an execution of simulation experiments that allow for the exploration of diverse behavioural mechanisms believed to be responsible for community organisation in ecological communities. This automated way of conducting experiments empowers the study of ecological networks by exploiting the expressive power of interaction models specification in agent systems.

  10. Learning about social-ecological trade-offs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Galafassi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Trade-offs are manifestations of the complex dynamics in interdependent social-ecological systems. Addressing trade-offs involves challenges of perception due to the dynamics of interdependence. We outline the challenges associated with addressing trade-offs and analyze knowledge coproduction as a practice that may contribute to tackling trade-offs in social-ecological systems. We discuss this through a case study in coastal Kenya in which an iterative knowledge coproduction process was facilitated to reveal social-ecological trade-offs in the face of ecological and socioeconomic change. Representatives of communities, government, and NGOs attended two integrative workshops in which methods derived from systems thinking, dialogue, participatory modeling, and scenarios were applied to encourage participants to engage and evaluate trade-offs. Based on process observation and interviews with participants and scientists, our analysis suggests that this process lead to increased appreciation of interdependences and the way in which trade-offs emerge from complex dynamics of interdependent factors. The process seemed to provoke a reflection of knowledge assumptions and narratives, and management goals for the social-ecological system. We also discuss how stakeholders link these insights to their practices.

  11. Mechanistic modeling of reactive soil nitrogen emissions across agricultural management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasool, Q. Z.; Miller, D. J.; Bash, J. O.; Venterea, R. T.; Cooter, E. J.; Hastings, M. G.; Cohan, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The global reactive nitrogen (N) budget has increased by a factor of 2-3 from pre-industrial levels. This increase is especially pronounced in highly N fertilized agricultural regions in summer. The reactive N emissions from soil to atmosphere can be in reduced (NH3) or oxidized (NO, HONO, N2O) forms, depending on complex biogeochemical transformations of soil N reservoirs. Air quality models like CMAQ typically neglect soil emissions of HONO and N2O. Previously, soil NO emissions estimated by models like CMAQ remained parametric and inconsistent with soil NH3 emissions. Thus, there is a need to more mechanistically and consistently represent the soil N processes that lead to reactive N emissions to the atmosphere. Our updated approach estimates soil NO, HONO and N2O emissions by incorporating detailed agricultural fertilizer inputs from EPIC, and CMAQ-modeled N deposition, into the soil N pool. EPIC addresses the nitrification, denitrification and volatilization rates along with soil N pools for agricultural soils. Suitable updates to account for factors like nitrite (NO2-) accumulation not addressed in EPIC, will also be made. The NO and N2O emissions from nitrification and denitrification are computed mechanistically using the N sub-model of DAYCENT. These mechanistic definitions use soil water content, temperature, NH4+ and NO3- concentrations, gas diffusivity and labile C availability as dependent parameters at various soil layers. Soil HONO emissions found to be most probable under high NO2- availability will be based on observed ratios of HONO to NO emissions under different soil moistures, pH and soil types. The updated scheme will utilize field-specific soil properties and N inputs across differing manure management practices such as tillage. Comparison of the modeled soil NO emission rates from the new mechanistic and existing schemes against field measurements will be discussed. Our updated framework will help to predict the diurnal and daily variability

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Linson

    2018-03-01

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

  13. The dual impact of ecology and management on social incentives in marine common-pool resource systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, E S; Barbier, M R; Watson, J R

    2017-08-01

    Understanding how and when cooperative human behaviour forms in common-pool resource systems is critical to illuminating social-ecological systems and designing governance institutions that promote sustainable resource use. Before assessing the full complexity of social dynamics, it is essential to understand, concretely and mechanistically, how resource dynamics and human actions interact to create incentives and pay-offs for social behaviours. Here, we investigated how such incentives for information sharing are affected by spatial dynamics and management in a common-pool resource system. Using interviews with fishermen to inform an agent-based model, we reveal generic mechanisms through which, for a given ecological setting characterized by the spatial dynamics of the resource, the two 'human factors' of information sharing and management may heterogeneously impact various members of a group for whom theory would otherwise predict the same strategy. When users can deplete the resource, these interactions are further affected by the management approach. Finally, we discuss the implications of alternative motivations, such as equity among fishermen and consistency of the fleet's output. Our results indicate that resource spatial dynamics, form of management and level of depletion can interact to alter the sociality of people in common-pool resource systems, providing necessary insight for future study of strategic decision processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Theoretically exploring direct and indirect chemical effects across ecological and exposure scenarios using mechanistic fate and effects modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laender, de F.; Morselli, M.; Baveco, H.; Brink, van den P.J.; Guardo, Di A.

    2015-01-01

    Predicting ecosystem response to chemicals is a complex problem in ecotoxicology and a challenge for risk assessors. The variables potentially influencing chemical fate and exposure define the exposure scenario while the variables determining effects at the ecosystem level define the ecological

  16. Mechanistic Studies at the Interface Between Organometallic Chemistry and Homogeneous Catalysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casey, Charles P

    2012-11-14

    Mechanistic Studies at the Interface Between Organometallic Chemistry and Homogeneous Catalysis Charles P. Casey, Principal Investigator Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 Phone 608-262-0584 FAX: 608-262-7144 Email: casey@chem.wisc.edu http://www.chem.wisc.edu/main/people/faculty/casey.html Executive Summary. Our goal was to learn the intimate mechanistic details of reactions involved in homogeneous catalysis and to use the insight we gain to develop new and improved catalysts. Our work centered on the hydrogenation of polar functional groups such as aldehydes and ketones and on hydroformylation. Specifically, we concentrated on catalysts capable of simultaneously transferring hydride from a metal center and a proton from an acidic oxygen or nitrogen center to an aldehyde or ketone. An economical iron based catalyst was developed and patented. Better understanding of fundamental organometallic reactions and catalytic processes enabled design of energy and material efficient chemical processes. Our work contributed to the development of catalysts for the selective and mild hydrogenation of ketones and aldehydes; this will provide a modern green alternative to reductions by LiAlH4 and NaBH4, which require extensive work-up procedures and produce waste streams. (C5R4OH)Ru(CO)2H Hydrogenation Catalysts. Youval Shvo described a remarkable catalytic system in which the key intermediate (C5R4OH)Ru(CO)2H (1) has an electronically coupled acidic OH unit and a hydridic RuH unit. Our efforts centered on understanding and improving upon this important catalyst for reduction of aldehydes and ketones. Our mechanistic studies established that the reduction of aldehydes by 1 to produce alcohols and a diruthenium bridging hydride species occurs much more rapidly than regeneration of the ruthenium hydride from the diruthenium bridging hydride species. Our mechanistic studies require simultaneous transfer of hydride from ruthenium to

  17. Social-ecological research in urban natural areas: an emergent process for integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle L. Johnson; D. S. Novem Auyeung; Nancy F. Sonti; Clara C. Pregitzer; Heather L. McMillen; Richard Hallett; Lindsay K. Campbell; Helen M. Forgione; Mina Kim; Sarah Charlop-Powers; Erika S. Svendsen

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the structure and function of urban landscapes requires integrating social and ecological research. Here, we integrate parallel social and ecological assessments of natural areas within New York City. We examined social data (from a rapid assessment of park use and meaning, collected at a park zone level) alongside ecological data (froma plot-based...

  18. Mechanistic Insight into the Dehydro-Diels-Alder Reaction of Styrene-Ynes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocsis, Laura S; Kagalwala, Husain N; Mutto, Sharlene; Godugu, Bhaskar; Bernhard, Stefan; Tantillo, Dean J; Brummond, Kay M

    2015-12-04

    The Diels-Alder reaction represents one of the most thoroughly studied and well-understood synthetic transformations for the assembly of six-membered rings. Although intramolecular dehydro-Diels-Alder (IMDDA) reactions have previously been employed for the preparation of naphthalene and dihydronaphthalene substrates, low yields and product mixtures have reduced the impact and scope of this reaction. Through the mechanistic studies described within, we have confirmed that the thermal IMDDA reaction of styrene-ynes produces a naphthalene product via loss of hydrogen gas from the initially formed cycloadduct, a tetraenyl intermediate. Alternatively, the dihydronaphthalene product is afforded from the same tetraenyl intermediate via a radical isomerization process. Moreover, we have identified conditions that can be used to achieve efficient, high-yielding, and selective IMDDA reactions of styrene-ynes to form either naphthalene or dihydronaphthalene products. The operational simplicity and retrosynthetic orthogonality of this method for the preparation of naphthalenes and dihydronaphthalenes makes this transformation appealing for the synthesis of medicinal and material targets. The mechanistic studies within may impact the development of other thermal transformations.

  19. Ecological and economic interests in design process of thermal power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sander, M.

    1996-01-01

    In design process of thermal power plant various ecological and economic contradictory interests are brought in focus. Requests on environmental protection written in laws, standards and international treaties are increasing investment costs and energy production costs. In a design phase there is a task to reconcile these contradictory requests. The paper presents relationship between technology and environmental protection with a focus on air pollution. Air pollution and human health is considered taking in account the role of design phase in thermal power plants project and human health problems. International laws and standards are presented with moral dilemmas concerning low investment costs and high environmental standards. (author)

  20. Ecological and evolutionary processes at expanding range margins.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-05-31

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

  1. Biosemiotics and ecological monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2001-01-01

    of the qualitative and relational aspects that can only be grasped by considering the semiotic networks operative in complex ecological and cultural systems. In this paper, it is suggested that a biosemiotic approach to ecology may prove useful for the modelling process, which in turn will allow the construction...... of meaningful monitoring systems. It is also contended that a biosemiotic approach may also serve to better integrate our understanding and monitoring of ecosystems into the cultural process of searching for (human) sustainability....

  2. Use of mechanistic simulations as a quantitative risk-ranking tool within the quality by design framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocker, Elena; Toschkoff, Gregor; Sacher, Stephan; Khinast, Johannes G

    2014-11-20

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of computer simulations for generating quantitative knowledge as a basis for risk ranking and mechanistic process understanding, as required by ICH Q9 on quality risk management systems. In this specific publication, the main focus is the demonstration of a risk assessment workflow, including a computer simulation for the generation of mechanistic understanding of active tablet coating in a pan coater. Process parameter screening studies are statistically planned under consideration of impacts on a potentially critical quality attribute, i.e., coating mass uniformity. Based on computer simulation data the process failure mode and effects analysis of the risk factors is performed. This results in a quantitative criticality assessment of process parameters and the risk priority evaluation of failure modes. The factor for a quantitative reassessment of the criticality and risk priority is the coefficient of variation, which represents the coating mass uniformity. The major conclusion drawn from this work is a successful demonstration of the integration of computer simulation in the risk management workflow leading to an objective and quantitative risk assessment. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. An evolutionary ecology of individual differences

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Managing mechanistic and organic structure in health care organizations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olden, Peter C

    2012-01-01

    Managers at all levels in a health care organization must organize work to achieve the organization's mission and goals. This requires managers to decide the organization structure, which involves dividing the work among jobs and departments and then coordinating them all toward the common purpose. Organization structure, which is reflected in an organization chart, may range on a continuum from very mechanistic to very organic. Managers must decide how mechanistic versus how organic to make the entire organization and each of its departments. To do this, managers should carefully consider 5 factors for the organization and for each individual department: external environment, goals, work production, size, and culture. Some factors may push toward more mechanistic structure, whereas others may push in the opposite direction toward more organic structure. Practical advice can help managers at all levels design appropriate structure for their departments and organization.

  5. 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

  6. MI-Sim: A MATLAB package for the numerical analysis of microbial ecological interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Wade

    Full Text Available Food-webs and other classes of ecological network motifs, are a means of describing feeding relationships between consumers and producers in an ecosystem. They have application across scales where they differ only in the underlying characteristics of the organisms and substrates describing the system. Mathematical modelling, using mechanistic approaches to describe the dynamic behaviour and properties of the system through sets of ordinary differential equations, has been used extensively in ecology. Models allow simulation of the dynamics of the various motifs and their numerical analysis provides a greater understanding of the interplay between the system components and their intrinsic properties. We have developed the MI-Sim software for use with MATLAB to allow a rigorous and rapid numerical analysis of several common ecological motifs. MI-Sim contains a series of the most commonly used motifs such as cooperation, competition and predation. It does not require detailed knowledge of mathematical analytical techniques and is offered as a single graphical user interface containing all input and output options. The tools available in the current version of MI-Sim include model simulation, steady-state existence and stability analysis, and basin of attraction analysis. The software includes seven ecological interaction motifs and seven growth function models. Unlike other system analysis tools, MI-Sim is designed as a simple and user-friendly tool specific to ecological population type models, allowing for rapid assessment of their dynamical and behavioural properties.

  7. MI-Sim: A MATLAB package for the numerical analysis of microbial ecological interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Matthew J; Oakley, Jordan; Harbisher, Sophie; Parker, Nicholas G; Dolfing, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Food-webs and other classes of ecological network motifs, are a means of describing feeding relationships between consumers and producers in an ecosystem. They have application across scales where they differ only in the underlying characteristics of the organisms and substrates describing the system. Mathematical modelling, using mechanistic approaches to describe the dynamic behaviour and properties of the system through sets of ordinary differential equations, has been used extensively in ecology. Models allow simulation of the dynamics of the various motifs and their numerical analysis provides a greater understanding of the interplay between the system components and their intrinsic properties. We have developed the MI-Sim software for use with MATLAB to allow a rigorous and rapid numerical analysis of several common ecological motifs. MI-Sim contains a series of the most commonly used motifs such as cooperation, competition and predation. It does not require detailed knowledge of mathematical analytical techniques and is offered as a single graphical user interface containing all input and output options. The tools available in the current version of MI-Sim include model simulation, steady-state existence and stability analysis, and basin of attraction analysis. The software includes seven ecological interaction motifs and seven growth function models. Unlike other system analysis tools, MI-Sim is designed as a simple and user-friendly tool specific to ecological population type models, allowing for rapid assessment of their dynamical and behavioural properties.

  8. SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL THEORIES AND EMPIRICAL RESEARCH. COMPARING SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL SCHOOLS OF THOUGHTS IN ACTION

    OpenAIRE

    Bousquet, F.; Anderies, M.; Antona, M.; Bassett, T.; Benjaminsen, T.; Bonato, O.; Castro, M.; Gautier, D.; Gunderson, L.; Janssen, M.; Kinzig, A.; Lecoq, M.; Lynam, T.; Mathevet, R.; Perrings, C.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental problems, at local scale as well as global scale, are now considered as key issues and scientists are encouraged to be part of the process to address these issues. For the last decades, scholars have been focusing on the study of interactions between social dynamics and ecological processes and produced a set of concepts and scientific discourses aiming at framing the analysis of socio-ecological dynamics and eventually at orienting interventions. Scientific discourses are produ...

  9. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  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. Optimization of the scheme for natural ecology planning of urban rivers based on ANP (analytic network process) model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yichuan; Wang, Jiangping

    2015-07-01

    Rivers serve as a highly valued component in ecosystem and urban infrastructures. River planning should follow basic principles of maintaining or reconstructing the natural landscape and ecological functions of rivers. Optimization of planning scheme is a prerequisite for successful construction of urban rivers. Therefore, relevant studies on optimization of scheme for natural ecology planning of rivers is crucial. In the present study, four planning schemes for Zhaodingpal River in Xinxiang City, Henan Province were included as the objects for optimization. Fourteen factors that influenced the natural ecology planning of urban rivers were selected from five aspects so as to establish the ANP model. The data processing was done using Super Decisions software. The results showed that important degree of scheme 3 was highest. A scientific, reasonable and accurate evaluation of schemes could be made by ANP method on natural ecology planning of urban rivers. This method could be used to provide references for sustainable development and construction of urban rivers. ANP method is also suitable for optimization of schemes for urban green space planning and design.

  12. New perspectives on the ecology of tree structure and tree communities through terrestrial laser scanning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Jackson, Tobias; Patrick Bentley, Lisa; Lau, Alvaro; Shenkin, Alexander; Herold, Martin; Calders, Kim; Bartholomeus, Harm; Disney, Mathias I

    2018-04-06

    Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) opens up the possibility of describing the three-dimensional structures of trees in natural environments with unprecedented detail and accuracy. It is already being extensively applied to describe how ecosystem biomass and structure vary between sites, but can also facilitate major advances in developing and testing mechanistic theories of tree form and forest structure, thereby enabling us to understand why trees and forests have the biomass and three-dimensional structure they do. Here we focus on the ecological challenges and benefits of understanding tree form, and highlight some advances related to capturing and describing tree shape that are becoming possible with the advent of TLS. We present examples of ongoing work that applies, or could potentially apply, new TLS measurements to better understand the constraints on optimization of tree form. Theories of resource distribution networks, such as metabolic scaling theory, can be tested and further refined. TLS can also provide new approaches to the scaling of woody surface area and crown area, and thereby better quantify the metabolism of trees. Finally, we demonstrate how we can develop a more mechanistic understanding of the effects of avoidance of wind risk on tree form and maximum size. Over the next few years, TLS promises to deliver both major empirical and conceptual advances in the quantitative understanding of trees and tree-dominated ecosystems, leading to advances in understanding the ecology of why trees and ecosystems look and grow the way they do.

  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. World-Ecology and Ireland: The Neoliberal Ecological Regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharae Deckard

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, the socio-economic particularity of neoliberal capitalism in its Irish manifestation has increasingly been critiqued, but little attention has been paid to neoliberalism as ecology within Ireland. This article conducts an exploratory survey of the characteristics of the Irish neoliberal ecological regime during and after the Celtic Tiger, identifying the opening of new commodity frontiers (such as fracking, water, agro-biotechnology, and biopharma constituted in the neoliberal drive to appropriate and financialize nature. I argue for the usefulness of applying not only the tools of world-systems analysis, but also Jason W. Moore’s world-ecological paradigm, to analysis of Ireland as a semi-periphery. What is crucial to a macro-ecological understanding of Ireland’s role in the neoliberal regime of the world-ecology is the inextricability of its financial role as a tax haven and secrecy jurisdiction zone from its environmental function as a semi-peripheral pollution and water haven. We can adapt Jason W. Moore’s slogan that “Wall Street…becomes a way of organizing all of nature, characterized by the financialization of any income-generating activity” (Moore 2011b: 39 to say that to say that the “IFSC is a way of organizing nature,” with pernicious consequences for water, energy, and food systems in Ireland. Financial service centers and pharmaceutical factories, plantations and cattle ranches, tax havens and pollution havens, empires and common markets are all forms of environment-making that constellate human relations and extra-human processes into new ecological regimes. More expansive, dialectical understandings of “ecology” as comprising the whole of socio-ecological relations within the capitalist world-ecology—from farming to pharma to financialization—are crucial to forming configurations of knowledge able not only to take account of Ireland’s role in the environmental

  15. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Annual technical progress report of ecological research, period ending July 31, 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is a research unit of the University of Georgia (UGA) that is managed in conjunction with the University's Institute of Ecology. The laboratory's overall mission is to acquire and communicate knowledge of ecological processes and principles. SREL conducts basic and applied ecological research, as well as education and outreach programs, under an M ampersand O contract with the US Department of Energy at the Savannah River Site. Significant accomplishments were made during the year ending July 31, 1994 in the areas of research, education and service. Reviewed in this document are research projects in the following areas: Environmental Operations Support (impacted wetlands, streams, trace organics, radioecology, database synthesis, wild life studies, zooplankton, safety and quality assurance); wood stork foraging and breeding ecology; defence waste processing facility; environmental risk assessment (endangered species, fish, ash basin studies); ecosystem alteration by chemical pollutants; wetlands systems; biodiversity on the SRS; Environmental toxicology; environmental outreach and education; Par Pond drawdown studies in wildlife and fish and metals; theoretical ecology; DOE-SR National Environmental Research Park; wildlife studies. Summaries of educational programs and publications are also give

  16. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Annual technical progress report of ecological research, period ending July 31, 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-31

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is a research unit of the University of Georgia (UGA) that is managed in conjunction with the University`s Institute of Ecology. The laboratory`s overall mission is to acquire and communicate knowledge of ecological processes and principles. SREL conducts basic and applied ecological research, as well as education and outreach programs, under an M&O contract with the US Department of Energy at the Savannah River Site. Significant accomplishments were made during the year ending July 31, 1994 in the areas of research, education and service. Reviewed in this document are research projects in the following areas: Environmental Operations Support (impacted wetlands, streams, trace organics, radioecology, database synthesis, wild life studies, zooplankton, safety and quality assurance); wood stork foraging and breeding ecology; defence waste processing facility; environmental risk assessment (endangered species, fish, ash basin studies); ecosystem alteration by chemical pollutants; wetlands systems; biodiversity on the SRS; Environmental toxicology; environmental outreach and education; Par Pond drawdown studies in wildlife and fish and metals; theoretical ecology; DOE-SR National Environmental Research Park; wildlife studies. Summaries of educational programs and publications are also give.

  17. [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.

  18. Mechanistic Links Between PARP, NAD, and Brain Inflammation After TBI

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-01

    1 AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-13-2-0091 TITLE: Mechanistic Links Between PARP, NAD , and Brain Inflammation After TBI PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR...COVERED 25 Sep 2014 - 24 Sep 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Mechanistic Links Between PARP, NAD , and Brain Inflammation After TBI 5b. GRANT...efficacy of veliparib and NAD as agents for suppressing inflammation and improving outcomes after traumatic brain injury. The animal models include

  19. Art and artistic processes bridge knowledge systems about social-ecological change: An empirical examination with Inuit artists from Nunavut, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitlyn J. Rathwell

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The role of art and artistic processes is one fruitful yet underexplored area of social-ecological resilience. Art and art making can nurture Indigenous knowledge and at the same time bridge knowledge across generations and cultures (e.g., Inuit and scientific. Experiences in two Inuit communities in northern Canada (Cape Dorset and Pangnirtung, Nunavut provide the context in which we empirically examine the mechanisms through which art and art making may bridge knowledge systems about social-ecological change. Art making and artworks create continuity between generations via symbols and skill development (e.g., seal skin stretching for a modern artistic mural and by creating mobile and adaptive boundary objects that function as a shared reference point to connect different social worlds. Our results indicate how art and artistic processes may bridge knowledge systems through six mechanisms, and in so doing contribute to social-ecological resilience during change and uncertainty. These mechanisms are (1 embedding knowledge, practice and belief into art objects; (2 sharing knowledge using the language of art; (3 sharing of art making skills; (4 art as a contributor to monitoring social-ecological change; (5 the role of art in fostering continuity through time; and (6 art as a site of knowledge coproduction.

  20. Geospatial Assessment of Forest Fragmentation and its Implications for Ecological Processes in Tropical Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adepoju Kayode Adewale

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study assessed the patterns of spatio-temporal configuration imposed on a forest landscape in Southwestern Nigeria due to fragmentation for the period 1986 – 2010 in order to understand the relationship between landscape patterns and the ecological processes influencing the distribution of species in tropical forest environment. Time-series Landsat TM and ETM satellite images and forest inventory data were pre-processed and classified into four landuse/landcover categories using maximum likelihood classification algorithm. Fragstats software was used for the computation of seven landscape and six class level metrics to provide indicators of fragmentation and landscape connectivity from the classified images.

  1. The ecological importance of intraspecific variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Roches, Simone; Post, David M; Turley, Nash E; Bailey, Joseph K; Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Palkovacs, Eric P

    2018-01-01

    Human activity is causing wild populations to experience rapid trait change and local extirpation. The resulting effects on intraspecific variation could have substantial consequences for ecological processes and ecosystem services. Although researchers have long acknowledged that variation among species influences the surrounding environment, only recently has evidence accumulated for the ecological importance of variation within species. We conducted a meta-analysis comparing the ecological effects of variation within a species (intraspecific effects) with the effects of replacement or removal of that species (species effects). We evaluated direct and indirect ecological responses, including changes in abundance (or biomass), rates of ecological processes and changes in community composition. Our results show that intraspecific effects are often comparable to, and sometimes stronger than, species effects. Species effects tend to be larger for direct ecological responses (for example, through consumption), whereas intraspecific effects and species effects tend to be similar for indirect responses (for example, through trophic cascades). Intraspecific effects are especially strong when indirect interactions alter community composition. Our results summarize data from the first generation of studies examining the relative ecological effects of intraspecific variation. Our conclusions can help inform the design of future experiments and the formulation of strategies to quantify and conserve biodiversity.

  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 the Agaricus bisporus mushroom cropping process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGee, Conor F

    2018-02-01

    Agaricus bisporus is the most widely cultivated mushroom species in the world. Cultivation is commenced by inoculating beds of semi-pasteurised composted organic substrate with a pure spawn of A. bisporus. The A. bisporus mycelium subsequently colonises the composted substrate by degrading the organic material to release nutrients. A layer of peat, often called "casing soil", is laid upon the surface of the composted substrate to induce the development of the mushroom crop and maintain compost environmental conditions. Extensive research has been conducted investigating the biochemistry and genetics of A. bisporus throughout the cultivation process; however, little is currently known about the wider microbial ecology that co-inhabits the composted substrate and casing layers. The compost and casing microbial communities are known to play important roles in the mushroom production process. Microbial species present in the compost and casing are known for (1) being an important source of nitrogen for the A. bisporus mycelium, (2) releasing sugar residues through the degradation of the wheat straw in the composted substrate, (3) playing a critical role in inducing development of the A. bisporus fruiting bodies and (4) acting as pathogens by parasitising the mushroom mycelium/crop. Despite a long history of research into the mushroom cropping process, an extensive review of the microbial communities present in the compost and casing has not as of yet been undertaken. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of the literature investigating the compost and casing microbial communities throughout cultivation of the A. bisporus mushroom crop.

  4. Proceedings of the international workshop on mechanistic understanding of radionuclide migration in compacted/intact systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tachi, Yukio; Yui, Mikazu

    2010-03-01

    The international workshop on mechanistic understanding of radionuclide migration in compacted / intact systems was held at ENTRY, JAEA, Tokai on 21st - 23rd January, 2009. This workshop was hosted by Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) as part of the project on the mechanistic model/database development for radionuclide sorption and diffusion behavior in compacted / intact systems. The overall goal of the project is to develop the mechanistic model / database for a consistent understanding and prediction of migration parameters and its uncertainties for performance assessment of geological disposal of radioactive waste. The objective of the workshop is to integrate the state-of-the-art of mechanistic sorption and diffusion model in compacted / intact systems, especially in bentonite / clay systems, and discuss the JAEA's mechanistic approaches and future challenges, especially the following discussions points; 1) What's the status and difficulties for mechanistic model/database development? 2) What's the status and difficulties for applicability of mechanistic model to the compacted/intact system? 3) What's the status and difficulties for obtaining evidences for mechanistic model? 4) What's the status and difficulties for standardization of experimental methodology for batch sorption and diffusion? 5) What's the uncertainties of transport parameters in radionuclides migration analysis due to a lack of understanding/experimental methodologies, and how do we derive them? This report includes workshop program, overview and materials of each presentation, summary of discussions. (author)

  5. Scaling environmental change through the community level: a trait-based response-and-effect framework for plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katharine N. Suding; Sandra Lavorel; F. Stuart Chapin; Johannes H.C. Cornelissen; Sandra Diaz; Eric Garnier; Deborah Goldberg; David U. Hooper; Stephen T. Jackson; Marie-Laure. Navas

    2008-01-01

    Predicting ecosystem responses to global change is a major challenge in ecology. A critical step in that challenge is to understand how changing environmental conditions influence processes across levels of ecological organization. While direct scaling from individual to ecosystem dynamics can lead to robust and mechanistic predictions, new approaches are needed to...

  6. Ecological implications of behavioural syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sih, Andrew; Cote, Julien; Evans, Mara; Fogarty, Sean; Pruitt, Jonathan

    2012-03-01

    Interspecific trait variation has long served as a conceptual foundation for our understanding of ecological patterns and dynamics. In particular, ecologists recognise the important role that animal behaviour plays in shaping ecological processes. An emerging area of interest in animal behaviour, the study of behavioural syndromes (animal personalities) considers how limited behavioural plasticity, as well as behavioural correlations affects an individual's fitness in diverse ecological contexts. In this article we explore how insights from the concept and study of behavioural syndromes provide fresh understanding of major issues in population ecology. We identify several general mechanisms for how population ecology phenomena can be influenced by a species or population's average behavioural type, by within-species variation in behavioural type, or by behavioural correlations across time or across ecological contexts. We note, in particular, the importance of behavioural type-dependent dispersal in spatial ecology. We then review recent literature and provide new syntheses for how these general mechanisms produce novel insights on five major issues in population ecology: (1) limits to species' distribution and abundance; (2) species interactions; (3) population dynamics; (4) relative responses to human-induced rapid environmental change; and (5) ecological invasions. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  7. [Political ecology, ecological economics, and public health: interfaces for the sustainability of development and health promotion].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto, Marcelo Firpo; Martinez-Alier, Joan

    2007-01-01

    This article proposes to focus contributions from political ecology and ecological economics to the field of collective health with a view towards integrating the discussions around health promotion, socio-environmental sustainability, and development. Ecological economics is a recent interdisciplinary field that combines economists and other professionals from the social, human, and life sciences. The field has developed new concepts and methodologies that seek to grasp the relationship between the economy and ecological and social processes such as social metabolism and metabolic profile, thereby interrelating economic, material, and energy flows and producing indicators and indexes for (un)sustainability. Meanwhile, political ecology approaches ecological issues and socio-environmental conflicts based on the economic and power dynamics characterizing modern societies. Collective health and the discussions on health promotion can expand our understanding of territory, communities, and the role of science and institutions based on the contributions of political ecology and ecological economics in analyzing development models and the distributive and socio-environmental conflicts generated by them.

  8. The Combined Use of Correlative and Mechanistic Species Distribution Models Benefits Low Conservation Status Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thibaud Rougier

    Full Text Available Species can respond to climate change by tracking appropriate environmental conditions in space, resulting in a range shift. Species Distribution Models (SDMs can help forecast such range shift responses. For few species, both correlative and mechanistic SDMs were built, but allis shad (Alosa alosa, an endangered anadromous fish species, is one of them. The main purpose of this study was to provide a framework for joint analyses of correlative and mechanistic SDMs projections in order to strengthen conservation measures for species of conservation concern. Guidelines for joint representation and subsequent interpretation of models outputs were defined and applied. The present joint analysis was based on the novel mechanistic model GR3D (Global Repositioning Dynamics of Diadromous fish Distribution which was parameterized on allis shad and then used to predict its future distribution along the European Atlantic coast under different climate change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. We then used a correlative SDM for this species to forecast its distribution across the same geographic area and under the same climate change scenarios. First, projections from correlative and mechanistic models provided congruent trends in probability of habitat suitability and population dynamics. This agreement was preferentially interpreted as referring to the species vulnerability to climate change. Climate change could not be accordingly listed as a major threat for allis shad. The congruence in predicted range limits between SDMs projections was the next point of interest. The difference, when noticed, required to deepen our understanding of the niche modelled by each approach. In this respect, the relative position of the northern range limit between the two methods strongly suggested here that a key biological process related to intraspecific variability was potentially lacking in the mechanistic SDM. Based on our knowledge, we hypothesized that local

  9. Microbial ecology of Vietnamese Tra fish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) fillets during processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong Thi, Anh Ngoc; Noseda, Bert; Samapundo, Simbarashe; Nguyen, Binh Ly; Broekaert, Katrien; Rasschaert, Geertrui; Heyndrickx, Marc; Devlieghere, Frank

    2013-10-15

    There are numerous factors that can have an impact on the microbial ecology and quality of frozen Pangasius hypophthalmus fillets during processing in Vietnam. The presence of spoilage bacteria along the processing line can shorten the shelf-life of thawed frozen fish products. Therefore, the spoilage microbiota throughout the processing chain of two companies (BC: large scale factory, chlorine-based process, BW: large scale factory, water-based process and SC: small scale factory, chlorine-based process) was identified by culture-dependent techniques and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The microbiological counts were observed to be insignificantly different (p>0.05) between BC and BW. Surprisingly, chlorine treated fillets from the SC line were revealed to have significantly higher microbial counts than potable water treated fillets at BW line. This was determined to be a result of temperature abuse during processing at SC, with temperatures even greater than 10 °C being recorded from skinning onwards. On the contrary, the microbiota related to spoilage for BC and BW lines was determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing to be more diverse than that on the SC line. A total of 174 isolates, 20 genera and 38 species were identified along the processing chains. The genera Aeromonas, Acinetobacter, Lactococcus and Enterococcus were prevalent at various processing steps on all the processing lines evaluated. A diverse range of isolates belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae such as Providencia, Shigella, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Wautersiella were isolated from fillets sampled on the SC line whereas Serratia was only observed on fillets sampled on the BC and BW lines. The results can be used to improve Good Manufacturing Practices for processed Pangasius fillets and to select effective measures to prolong the shelf-life of thawed Vietnamese Pangasius fillets products. © 2013.

  10. Improving the reviewing process in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grossman, G. D.

    2014-06-01

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

  11. MELA: Modelling in Ecology with Location Attributes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludovica Luisa Vissat

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecology studies the interactions between individuals, species and the environment. The ability to predict the dynamics of ecological systems would support the design and monitoring of control strategies and would help to address pressing global environmental issues. It is also important to plan for efficient use of natural resources and maintenance of critical ecosystem services. The mathematical modelling of ecological systems often includes nontrivial specifications of processes that influence the birth, death, development and movement of individuals in the environment, that take into account both biotic and abiotic interactions. To assist in the specification of such models, we introduce MELA, a process algebra for Modelling in Ecology with Location Attributes. Process algebras allow the modeller to describe concurrent systems in a high-level language. A key feature of concurrent systems is that they are composed of agents that can progress simultaneously but also interact - a good match to ecological systems. MELA aims to provide ecologists with a straightforward yet flexible tool for modelling ecological systems, with particular emphasis on the description of space and the environment. Here we present four example MELA models, illustrating the different spatial arrangements which can be accommodated and demonstrating the use of MELA in epidemiological and predator-prey scenarios.

  12. Toward refined environmental scenarios for ecological risk assessment of down-the-drain chemicals in freshwater environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco, Antonio; Price, Oliver R; Marshall, Stuart; Jolliet, Olivier; Van den Brink, Paul J; Rico, Andreu; Focks, Andreas; De Laender, Frederik; Ashauer, Roman

    2017-03-01

    Current regulatory practice for chemical risk assessment suffers from the lack of realism in conventional frameworks. Despite significant advances in exposure and ecological effect modeling, the implementation of novel approaches as high-tier options for prospective regulatory risk assessment remains limited, particularly among general chemicals such as down-the-drain ingredients. While reviewing the current state of the art in environmental exposure and ecological effect modeling, we propose a scenario-based framework that enables a better integration of exposure and effect assessments in a tiered approach. Global- to catchment-scale spatially explicit exposure models can be used to identify areas of higher exposure and to generate ecologically relevant exposure information for input into effect models. Numerous examples of mechanistic ecological effect models demonstrate that it is technically feasible to extrapolate from individual-level effects to effects at higher levels of biological organization and from laboratory to environmental conditions. However, the data required to parameterize effect models that can embrace the complexity of ecosystems are large and require a targeted approach. Experimental efforts should, therefore, focus on vulnerable species and/or traits and ecological conditions of relevance. We outline key research needs to address the challenges that currently hinder the practical application of advanced model-based approaches to risk assessment of down-the-drain chemicals. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:233-248. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  13. Conceptual models for waste tank mechanistic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allemann, R.T.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Eyler, L.L.; Liljegren, L.M.; Roberts, J.S.

    1992-02-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is conducting a study for Westinghouse Hanford Company (Westinghouse Hanford), a contractor for the US Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the work is to study possible mechanisms and fluid dynamics contributing to the periodic release of gases from double-shell waste storage tanks at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. This interim report emphasizing the modeling work follows two other interim reports, Mechanistic Analysis of Double-Shell Tank Gas Release Progress Report -- November 1990 and Collection and Analysis of Existing Data for Waste Tank Mechanistic Analysis Progress Report -- December 1990, that emphasized data correlation and mechanisms. The approach in this study has been to assemble and compile data that are pertinent to the mechanisms, analyze the data, evaluate physical properties and parameters, evaluate hypothetical mechanisms, and develop mathematical models of mechanisms

  14. Why did Jacques Monod make the choice of mechanistic determinism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loison, Laurent

    2015-06-01

    The development of molecular biology placed in the foreground a mechanistic and deterministic conception of the functioning of macromolecules. In this article, I show that this conception was neither obvious, nor necessary. Taking Jacques Monod as a case study, I detail the way he gradually came loose from a statistical understanding of determinism to finally support a mechanistic understanding. The reasons of the choice made by Monod at the beginning of the 1950s can be understood only in the light of the general theoretical schema supported by the concept of mechanistic determinism. This schema articulates three fundamental notions for Monod, namely that of the rigidity of the sequence of the genetic program, that of the intrinsic stability of macromolecules (DNA and proteins), and that of the specificity of molecular interactions. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Ecological education and environmental protection training

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Motiejuniene, E.

    1998-01-01

    One of important directions of teaching processes in Lithuania now is ecological education and environment protection training. The real possibility to involve scientists into students, teachers ecological education appeared since 1993 when scientific programme 'Ignalina NPP and the Environment' was launched. Scientists working at Drukshiai Ecological Station together with specialists from Pedagogical University and Institute of Pedagogy prepared teaching programmes, methodical aids. During 1993 - 1997 31 measures - ecological camps for schoolchildren and students as well as seminars and workshops for teachers were organized; 551 participants took part. (author)

  17. Molecular ecology of aquatic microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    Abstracts of reports are presented from a meeting on Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes. Topics included: opportunities offered to aquatic ecology by molecular biology; the role of aquatic microbes in biogeochemical cycles; characterization of the microbial community; the effect of the environment on aquatic microbes; and the targeting of specific biological processes.

  18. Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) Study has been designed to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies to examine the physiological and environmental factors that interact to increase the risk of asthmatic responses. MICA is primarily a clinically-bases obser...

  19. Social-ecological resilience and geomorphic systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffin, Brian C.; Scown, Murray

    2018-03-01

    Governance of coupled social-ecological systems (SESs) and the underlying geomorphic processes that structure and alter Earth's surface is a key challenge for global sustainability amid the increasing uncertainty and change that defines the Anthropocene. Social-ecological resilience as a concept of scientific inquiry has contributed to new understandings of the dynamics of change in SESs, increasing our ability to contextualize and implement governance in these systems. Often, however, the importance of geomorphic change and geomorphological knowledge is somewhat missing from processes employed to inform SES governance. In this contribution, we argue that geomorphology and social-ecological resilience research should be integrated to improve governance toward sustainability. We first provide definitions of engineering, ecological, community, and social-ecological resilience and then explore the use of these concepts within and alongside geomorphology in the literature. While ecological studies often consider geomorphology as an important factor influencing the resilience of ecosystems and geomorphological studies often consider the engineering resilience of geomorphic systems of interest, very few studies define and employ a social-ecological resilience framing and explicitly link the concept to geomorphic systems. We present five key concepts-scale, feedbacks, state or regime, thresholds and regime shifts, and humans as part of the system-which we believe can help explicitly link important aspects of social-ecological resilience inquiry and geomorphological inquiry in order to strengthen the impact of both lines of research. Finally, we discuss how these five concepts might be used to integrate social-ecological resilience and geomorphology to better understand change in, and inform governance of, SESs. To compound these dynamics of resilience, complex systems are nested and cross-scale interactions from smaller and larger scales relative to the system of interest

  20. Processing of biological waste. Ecological efficiency and potential; Behandlung von Bioabfaellen. Oekoeffizienz und Potenziale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pitschke, Thorsten; Peche, Rene; Tronecker, Dieter; Kreibe, Siegfried [bifa Umweltinstitut GmbH, Augsburg (Germany)

    2013-07-01

    The sustainable usage of biological wastes has to be focused on the targets protection of resources and minimization of environmental impact. The only focus on the energy inventory is not sufficient. The following recommendations are summarized: separated bio-waste collection is usually more eco-efficient; the optimized bio-waste processing should be available according to the biodegradability; anaerobic degradation for biogas production and subsequent aerobic degradation of the fermentation product for compost can be combined; low-emission operational standards should be mandatory, innovation and investment should be promoted b reliable boundary conditions; ecological aspects should be equivalent to low-cost considerations; regulatory measures should be implemented for separated bio-waste collection and processing.

  1. The ecological impact of city lighting scenarios: exploring gap crossing thresholds for urban bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, James D; Fairbrass, Alison J; Matthews, Thomas J; Davies, Gemma; Sadler, Jon P

    2015-02-02

    As the global population urbanizes, dramatic changes are expected in city lighting and the urban form, which may threaten the functioning of urban ecosystems and the services they deliver. However, little is known about the ecological impact of lighting in different urban contexts. Movement is an important ecological process that can be disrupted by artificial lighting. We explored the impact of lighting on gap crossing for Pipistrellus pipistrellus, a species of bat (Chiroptera) common within UK cities. We aimed to determine whether the probability of crossing gaps in tree cover varied with crossing distance and lighting level, through stratified field surveys. We then used the resulting data on barrier thresholds to model the landscape resistance due to lighting across an entire city and explored the potential impact of scenarios for future changes to street lighting. The level of illumination required to create a barrier effect reduced as crossing distance increased. For those gaps where crossing was recorded, bats selected the darker parts of gaps. Heavily built parts of the case study city were associated with large and brightly lit gaps, and spatial models indicate movement would be highly restricted in these areas. Under a scenario for brighter street lighting, the area of accessible land cover was further reduced in heavily built parts of the city. We believe that this is the first study to demonstrate how lighting may create resistance to species movement throughout an entire city. That connectivity in urban areas is being disrupted for a relatively common species raises questions about the impacts on less tolerant groups and the resilience of bat communities in urban centres. However, this mechanistic approach raises the possibility that some ecological function could be restored in these areas through the strategic dimming of lighting and narrowing of gaps. © 2015 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Mass and energy budgets of animals: Behavioral and ecological implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Porter, W.P.

    1991-11-01

    The two major aims of our lab are as follows: First, to develop and field-test general mechanistic models that predict animal life history characteristics as influenced by climate and the physical, physiological behavioral characteristics of species. This involves: understanding how animal time and energy budgets are affected by climate and animal properties; predicting growth and reproductive potential from time and energy budgets; predicting mortality based on climate and time and energy budgets; and linking these individual based models to population dynamics. Second to conduct empirical studies of animal physiological ecology, particularly the effects of temperature on time and energy budgets. The physiological ecology of individual animals is the key link between the physical environment and population-level phenomena. We address the macroclimate to microclimate linkage on a broad spatial scale; address the links between individuals and population dynamics for lizard species; test the endotherm energetics and behavior model using beaver; address the spatial variation in climate and its effects on individual energetics, growth and reproduction; and address patchiness in the environment and constraints they may impose on individual energetics, growth and reproduction. These projects are described individually in the following section. 24 refs., 9 figs.

  3. Ecological Modernization and the Global Economy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mol, A.P.J.

    2002-01-01

    This paper explores what an ecological modernization perspective has to offer in an era marked by globalization. Globalization processes and dynamics are mostly seen as detrimental to the environment. The point that an ecological modernization perspective puts on the research agenda is that,

  4. The quest for a mechanistic understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem services relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Clare; Thompson, Julian R; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2015-10-22

    Ecosystem services (ES) approaches to biodiversity conservation are currently high on the ecological research and policy agendas. However, despite a wealth of studies into biodiversity's role in maintaining ES (B-ES relationships) across landscapes, we still lack generalities in the nature and strengths of these linkages. Reasons for this are manifold, but can largely be attributed to (i) a lack of adherence to definitions and thus a confusion between final ES and the ecosystem functions (EFs) underpinning them, (ii) a focus on uninformative biodiversity indices and singular hypotheses and (iii) top-down analyses across large spatial scales and overlooking of context-dependency. The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (B-EF) field provides an alternate context for examining biodiversity's mechanistic role in shaping ES, focusing on species' characteristics that may drive EFs via multiple mechanisms across contexts. Despite acknowledgements of a need for B-ES research to look towards underlying B-EF linkages, the connections between these areas of research remains weak. With this review, we pull together recent B-EF findings to identify key areas for future developments in B-ES research. We highlight a means by which B-ES research may begin to identify how and when multiple underlying B-EF relationships may scale to final ES delivery and trade-offs. © 2015 The Author(s).

  5. Ecological sustainability and personal behavior: relations demonstrated by the decision-making process of selecting a certain transportation mean

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Priewasser, Reinhold [Linz Univ., Inst. for Environmental Management in Enterprises and Regions, Linz (Austria)

    1999-07-01

    Facing the aim of ecological sustainability only little emphasis has been placed on the fact that the extent of environmental stresses is not only a consequence of certain factual or structural conditions but also essentially determined by varying human behaviour patterns. Technologies and structures are not ecologically effective by themselves, their environmental relevance strongly depends on the persons' way of acting within the prevailing system. Recognising the importance of that perspective psychological and social theories about the generation of personal behaviour as well as the theoretical models of learning can offer useful indications concerning the interpersonal and extrapersonal preconditions of environmentally oriented acting. With reference to the decision-making process of selecting a certain transportation mean, the influences of rational and emotional factors and obstacles to an ecologically sustainable personal act should be exemplary demonstrated. At the same time very effective points of departure for behavioural change can be identified. (Author)

  6. Mechanistic insights on the cycloisomerization of polyunsaturated precursors catalyzed by platinum and gold complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano, Elena; Marco-Contelles, José

    2009-08-18

    Organometallic chemistry provides powerful tools for the stereocontrolled synthesis of heterocycles and carbocycles. The electrophilic transition metals Pt(II) and Au(I, III) are efficient catalysts in these transitions and promote a variety of organic transformations of unsaturated precursors. These reactions produce functionalized cyclic and acyclic scaffolds for the synthesis of natural and non-natural products efficiently, under mild conditions, and with excellent chemoselectivity. Because these transformations are strongly substrate-dependent, they are versatile and may yield diverse molecular scaffolds. Therefore, synthetic chemists need a mechanistic interpretation to optimize this reaction process and design a new generation of catalysts. However, so far, no intermediate species has been isolated or characterized, so the formulated mechanistic hypotheses have been primarily based on labeling studies or trapping reactions. Recently, theoretical DFT studies have become a useful tool in our research, giving us insights into the key intermediates and into a variety of plausible reaction pathways. In this Account, we present a comprehensive mechanistic overview of transformations promoted by Pt and Au in a non-nucleophilic medium based on quantum-mechanical studies. The calculations are consistent with the experimental observations and provide fundamental insights into the versatility of these reaction processes. The reactivity of these metals results from their peculiar Lewis acid properties: the alkynophilic character of these soft metals and the pi-acid activation of unsaturated groups promotes the intra- or intermolecular attack of a nucleophile. 1,n-Enynes (n = 3-8) are particularly important precursors, and their transformation may yield a variety of cycloadducts depending on the molecular structure. However, the calculations suggest that these different cyclizations would have closely related reaction mechanisms, and we propose a unified mechanistic

  7. Problems in mechanistic theoretical models for cell transformation by ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chatterjee, Aloke; Holley, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    A mechanistic model based on yields of double strand breaks has been developed to determine the dose response curves for cell transformation frequencies. At its present stage the model is applicable to immortal cell lines and to various qualities (X-rays, Neon and Iron) of ionizing radiation. Presently, we have considered four types of processes which can lead to activation phenomena: (i) point mutation events on a regulatory segment of selected oncogenes, (ii) inactivation of suppressor genes, through point mutation, (iii) deletion of a suppressor gene by a single track, and (iv) deletion of a suppressor gene by two tracks. (author)

  8. DECISION STRATEGIES AND COGNITIVE ADAPTATIONS TO ECOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poleszczuk Jan

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I discuss the concept of adaptive rationality. I present a simple model of ecology and the set of decision rules. The basic structure of the process of cognitive adaptation to ecology is described as a structure comprising (1 perceptual space, (2 a function valuating perceived items, (3 a set of available decision rules and (4 the adaptation process - identification and selection of the best strategies in given ecological conditions. The presented model of ecosystem allows a conclusion that completely opposite strategies may be compatible with the assumption of adaptive rationality.

  9. Adopting an ecological view of metropolitan landscape: the case of "three circles" system for ecological construction and restoration in Beijing area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Feng; Zhang, Xin-shi

    2004-01-01

    Ecological construction and restoration for sustainable development are now a driving paradigm. It is increasingly recognized that ecological principles, especially landscape ecology theory, are not only necessary but also essential to maintain the long-term sustainability worldwide. Key landscape ecology principles-element, structure and process, dynamics, heterogeneity, hierarchies, connectivity, place and time were reviewed, and use Beijing area as a case study to illustrate how these principles might be applied to ecological construction and restoration, to eventually achieve sustainability. An example to more effectively incorporate the ecological principles in sustainable planning in China was presented.

  10. An ecologically-based method for selecting ecological indicators for assessing risks to biological diversity from genetically-engineered plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andow, D. A.; Lövei, Gabor L; Arpaia, Salvatore

    2013-01-01

    into ecological functional groups and selecting those that deliver the identified environmental values. (3) All of the species or ecosystem processes related to the selected functional groups are identified and (4) multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is used to rank the indicator endpoint entities, which may...... adverse effects to biological diversity. The approach starts by (1) identifying the local environmental values so the ERA addresses specific concerns associated with local biological diversity. The model simplifies the indicator endpoint selection problem by (2) classifying biological diversity...... be species or ecological processes. MCDA focuses on those species and processes that are critical for the identified ecological functions and are likely to be highly exposed to the GE organism. The highest ranked indicator entities are selected for the next step. (5) Relevant risk hypotheses are identified...

  11. An interdisciplinary political ecology of drinking water quality. Exploring socio-ecological inequalities in Lilongwe's water supply network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusca, Maria; Boakye-Ansah, Akosua Sarpong; Loftus, Alex; Ferrero, Giuliana; van der Zaag, P.

    2017-01-01

    Urban political ecology attempts to unravel and politicize the socio-ecological processes that produce uneven waterscapes. At the core of this analysis are the choreographies of power that influence how much water flows through urban infrastructure as well as where it flows, thereby shaping

  12. Stochastic Community Assembly: Does It Matter in Microbial Ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jizhong; Ning, Daliang

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the mechanisms controlling community diversity, functions, succession, and biogeography is a central, but poorly understood, topic in ecology, particularly in microbial ecology. Although stochastic processes are believed to play nonnegligible roles in shaping community structure, their importance relative to deterministic processes is hotly debated. The importance of ecological stochasticity in shaping microbial community structure is far less appreciated. Some of the main reasons for such heavy debates are the difficulty in defining stochasticity and the diverse methods used for delineating stochasticity. Here, we provide a critical review and synthesis of data from the most recent studies on stochastic community assembly in microbial ecology. We then describe both stochastic and deterministic components embedded in various ecological processes, including selection, dispersal, diversification, and drift. We also describe different approaches for inferring stochasticity from observational diversity patterns and highlight experimental approaches for delineating ecological stochasticity in microbial communities. In addition, we highlight research challenges, gaps, and future directions for microbial community assembly research. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  13. Mechanistic modeling analysis of micro-evolutive responses from a Caenorhabditis elegans population exposed to a radioactive metallic stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goussen, Benoit

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of toxic effects at a relevant scale is an important challenge for the ecosystem protection. Indeed, pollutants may impact populations over long-term and represent a new evolutionary force which can be adding itself to the natural selection forces. Thereby, it is necessary to acquire knowledge on the phenotypics and genetics changes that may appear in populations submitted to stress over several generations. Usually statistical analyses are performed to analyse such multi-generational studies. The use of a mechanistic mathematical model may provide a way to fully understand the impact of pollutants on the populations' dynamics. Such kind of model allows the integration of biological and toxic processes into the analysis of eco-toxicological data and the assessment of interactions between these processes. The aim of this Ph.D. project was to assess the contributions of the mechanistic modelling to the analysis of evolutionary experiment assessing long-term exposure. To do so, a three step strategy has been developed. Foremost, a multi-generational study was performed to assess the evolution of two populations of the ubiquitous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in control conditions or exposed to 1.1 mM of uranium. Several generations were selected to assess growth, reproduction, and dose-responses relationships, through exposure to a range of concentrations (from 0 to 1.2 mM U) with all endpoints measured daily. A first statistical analysis was then performed. In a second step, a bio-energetic model adapted to the assessment of eco-toxicological data (DEBtox) was developed on C. elegans. Its numerical behaviour was analysed. Finally, this model was applied to all the selected generations in order to infer parameters values for the two populations and to assess their evolutions. Results highlighted an impact of the uranium starting from 0.4 mM U on both C. elegans' growth and reproduction. Results from the mechanistic analysis indicate this effect is due

  14. Community ecology in a changing environment: Perspectives from the Quaternary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Stephen T; Blois, Jessica L

    2015-04-21

    Community ecology and paleoecology are both concerned with the composition and structure of biotic assemblages but are largely disconnected. Community ecology focuses on existing species assemblages and recently has begun to integrate history (phylogeny and continental or intercontinental dispersal) to constrain community processes. This division has left a "missing middle": Ecological and environmental processes occurring on timescales from decades to millennia are not yet fully incorporated into community ecology. Quaternary paleoecology has a wealth of data documenting ecological dynamics at these timescales, and both fields can benefit from greater interaction and articulation. We discuss ecological insights revealed by Quaternary terrestrial records, suggest foundations for bridging between the disciplines, and identify topics where the disciplines can engage to mutual benefit.

  15. The significance of the Danube ecological corridor in the proceedings of implementing ecological networks in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filipović Dejan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With the modern processes for exploiting land people have altered the original appearance of areas and created cultural environments. The remaining natural environments, whether protected or not, take up a relatively small portion of space and represent isolated islands which in itself can not be sufficient for the preservation of biodiversity or for the fulfillment of national, regional or international goals and commitments related to their preservation. In order to secure the preservation of biodiversity, the strengthening of integrity and the natural processes, such as animal migrations, succession of vegetation and evolution processes, the communication between natural habitats is imperative. Ecological corridors, as integral elements of ecological networks, ensure the preservation of vital ecological interactions by providing a connection between different habitats or areas. Depending on a range of factors, from the fulfillment of demands of different species to the connecting of regions, corridors of local, sub-regional, regional and international importance are identified. The Danube ecological corridor is one of the most significant corridors of international importance which encompasses a large number of habitats which are part of the natural watercourse of the corridor. There are numerous protected areas in the Danube coastal area on Serbia's territory which present themselves as central areas for forming the ecological network, such as: Gornje Podunavlje, Karađorđevo, Fruška Gora, Titelski Breg hill, Kovalski rit marsh, Dunavski loess bluffs, the Sava mouth, Labudovo okno, Deliblato sands, Đerdap and Mala Vrbica. The diverse and mosaic vegetation of the floodplain, as well as the consistency of the protected areas within the Danube corridor have a direct influence on the quality and functionality of this corridor. The goal of this paper is to show the significance of the Danube ecological corridor in the process of implementing

  16. The importance of topographically corrected null models for analyzing ecological point processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDowall, Philip; Lynch, Heather J

    2017-07-01

    Analyses of point process patterns and related techniques (e.g., MaxEnt) make use of the expected number of occurrences per unit area and second-order statistics based on the distance between occurrences. Ecologists working with point process data often assume that points exist on a two-dimensional x-y plane or within a three-dimensional volume, when in fact many observed point patterns are generated on a two-dimensional surface existing within three-dimensional space. For many surfaces, however, such as the topography of landscapes, the projection from the surface to the x-y plane preserves neither area nor distance. As such, when these point patterns are implicitly projected to and analyzed in the x-y plane, our expectations of the point pattern's statistical properties may not be met. When used in hypothesis testing, we find that the failure to account for the topography of the generating surface may bias statistical tests that incorrectly identify clustering and, furthermore, may bias coefficients in inhomogeneous point process models that incorporate slope as a covariate. We demonstrate the circumstances under which this bias is significant, and present simple methods that allow point processes to be simulated with corrections for topography. These point patterns can then be used to generate "topographically corrected" null models against which observed point processes can be compared. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  17. Development of a mechanistically based computer simulation of nitrogen oxide absorption in packed towers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Counce, R.M.

    1981-01-01

    A computer simulation for nitrogen oxide (NO/sub x/) scrubbing in packed towers was developed for use in process design and process control. This simulation implements a mechanistically based mathematical model, which was formulated from (1) an exhaustive literature review; (2) previous NO/sub x/ scrubbing experience with sieve-plate towers; and (3) comparisons of sequential sets of experiments. Nitrogen oxide scrubbing is characterized by simultaneous absorption and desorption phenomena: the model development is based on experiments designed to feature these two phenomena. The model was then successfully tested in experiments designed to put it in jeopardy

  18. Mechanistic Systems Modeling to Improve Understanding and Prediction of Cardiotoxicity Caused by Targeted Cancer Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaehee V. Shim

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs are highly potent cancer therapeutics that have been linked with serious cardiotoxicity, including left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, and QT prolongation. TKI-induced cardiotoxicity is thought to result from interference with tyrosine kinase activity in cardiomyocytes, where these signaling pathways help to control critical processes such as survival signaling, energy homeostasis, and excitation–contraction coupling. However, mechanistic understanding is limited at present due to the complexities of tyrosine kinase signaling, and the wide range of targets inhibited by TKIs. Here, we review the use of TKIs in cancer and the cardiotoxicities that have been reported, discuss potential mechanisms underlying cardiotoxicity, and describe recent progress in achieving a more systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity via the use of mechanistic models. In particular, we argue that future advances are likely to be enabled by studies that combine large-scale experimental measurements with Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP models describing biological mechanisms and dynamics. As such approaches have proven extremely valuable for understanding and predicting other drug toxicities, it is likely that QSP modeling can be successfully applied to cardiotoxicity induced by TKIs. We conclude by discussing a potential strategy for integrating genome-wide expression measurements with models, illustrate initial advances in applying this approach to cardiotoxicity, and describe challenges that must be overcome to truly develop a mechanistic and systematic understanding of cardiotoxicity caused by TKIs.

  19. The consideration of ecological safety in judicial practice-also on the ecological safety legislation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    L(U) Zhongmei

    2006-01-01

    Ecological safety has been one of the hot issues of environmental law in recent years.The maintenance of ecological safety has become one of the legislative principles,as exemplified by the revision of the Law of Sand Prevention and Sand.Management and the Law against Solid Waste Environmental Pollution,and the relevant rules that will be established.However actual cases will still happen,whether the legislators have made the statutory law or not.While scholars and legislators are debating,the judges have to handle cases and render judgments.Through the analysis of a case,this article will discuss the feasibility for judges to make ecological safety considerations in the judicial process by applying the principle of good faith and will also discuss the legislative issues related to ecological safety.

  20. Mechanistic aspects of ionic reactions in flames

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Egsgaard, H.; Carlsen, L.

    1993-01-01

    Some fundamentals of the ion chemistry of flames are summarized. Mechanistic aspects of ionic reactions in flames have been studied using a VG PlasmaQuad, the ICP-system being substituted by a simple quartz burner. Simple hydrocarbon flames as well as sulfur-containing flames have been investigated...

  1. Behavioural Procedural Models – a multipurpose mechanistic account

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Ivarola

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we outline an epistemological defence of what wecall Behavioural Procedural Models (BPMs, which represent the processes of individual decisions that lead to relevant economic patterns as psychologically (rather than rationally driven. Their general structure, and the way in which they may be incorporated to a multipurpose view of models, where the representational and interventionist goals are combined, is shown. It is argued that BPMs may provide “mechanistic-based explanations” in the sense defended by Hedström and Ylikoski (2010, which involve invariant regularities in Woodward’s sense. Such mechanisms provide a causal sort of explanation of anomalous economic patterns, which allow for extra marketintervention and manipulability in order to correct and improve some key individual decisions. This capability sets the basis for the so called libertarian paternalism (Sunstein and Thaler 2003.

  2. Extreme weather and climate events with ecological relevance: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ummenhofer, Caroline C; Meehl, Gerald A

    2017-06-19

    Robust evidence exists that certain extreme weather and climate events, especially daily temperature and precipitation extremes, have changed in regard to intensity and frequency over recent decades. These changes have been linked to human-induced climate change, while the degree to which climate change impacts an individual extreme climate event (ECE) is more difficult to quantify. Rapid progress in event attribution has recently been made through improved understanding of observed and simulated climate variability, methods for event attribution and advances in numerical modelling. Attribution for extreme temperature events is stronger compared with other event types, notably those related to the hydrological cycle. Recent advances in the understanding of ECEs, both in observations and their representation in state-of-the-art climate models, open new opportunities for assessing their effect on human and natural systems. Improved spatial resolution in global climate models and advances in statistical and dynamical downscaling now provide climatic information at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Together with the continued development of Earth System Models that simulate biogeochemical cycles and interactions with the biosphere at increasing complexity, these make it possible to develop a mechanistic understanding of how ECEs affect biological processes, ecosystem functioning and adaptation capabilities. Limitations in the observational network, both for physical climate system parameters and even more so for long-term ecological monitoring, have hampered progress in understanding bio-physical interactions across a range of scales. New opportunities for assessing how ECEs modulate ecosystem structure and functioning arise from better scientific understanding of ECEs coupled with technological advances in observing systems and instrumentation.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-19

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

  4. Phenomenological and mechanistic modeling of melt-structure-water interactions in a light water reactor severe accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bui, V.A.

    1998-01-01

    The objective of this work is to address the modeling of the thermal hydrodynamic phenomena and interactions occurring during the progression of reactor severe accidents. Integrated phenomenological models are developed to describe the accident scenarios, which consist of many processes, while mechanistic modeling, including direct numerical simulation, is carried out to describe separate effects and selected physical phenomena of particular importance

  5. ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT ANALYSIS OF CANNED SWEET CORN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phairat Usubharatana

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available There has been a notable increase in both consumer knowledge and awareness regarding the ecological benefits of green products and services. Manufacturers now pay more attention to green, environmentally friendly production processes. Two significant tools that can facilitate such a goal are life cycle assessment (LCA and ecological footprint (EF. This study aimed to analyse and determine the damage to the environment, focusing on the canned fruit and vegetable processing. Canned sweet corn (340 g was selected for the case study. All inputs and outputs associated with the product system boundary were collected through field surveys. The acquired inventory was then analysed and evaluated using both LCA and EF methodology. The results were converted into an area of biologically productive land and presented as global hectares (gha. The ecological footprint of one can of sweet corn was calculated as 6.51E-04 gha. The three factors with the highest impact on ecological footprint value were the corn kernels used in the process, the packaging and steam, equivalent to 2.93E-04 gha, 1.19E-04 gha and 1.17E-04 gha respectively. To promote the sustainable development, the company should develop new technology or utilize better management techniques to reduce the ecological footprint of canned food production.

  6. Bridging the gap between theoretical ecology and real ecosystems: modeling invertebrate community composition in streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuwirth, Nele; Reichert, Peter

    2013-02-01

    For the first time, we combine concepts of theoretical food web modeling, the metabolic theory of ecology, and ecological stoichiometry with the use of functional trait databases to predict the coexistence of invertebrate taxa in streams. We developed a mechanistic model that describes growth, death, and respiration of different taxa dependent on various environmental influence factors to estimate survival or extinction. Parameter and input uncertainty is propagated to model results. Such a model is needed to test our current quantitative understanding of ecosystem structure and function and to predict effects of anthropogenic impacts and restoration efforts. The model was tested using macroinvertebrate monitoring data from a catchment of the Swiss Plateau. Even without fitting model parameters, the model is able to represent key patterns of the coexistence structure of invertebrates at sites varying in external conditions (litter input, shading, water quality). This confirms the suitability of the model concept. More comprehensive testing and resulting model adaptations will further increase the predictive accuracy of the model.

  7. Mechanistic Insight into the Degradation of Nitrosamines via Aqueous-Phase UV Photolysis or a UV-Based Advanced Oxidation Process: Quantum Mechanical Calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minakata, Daisuke; Coscarelli, Erica

    2018-02-28

    Nitrosamines are a group of carcinogenic chemicals that are present in aquatic environments that result from byproducts of industrial processes and disinfection products. As indirect and direct potable reuse increase, the presence of trace nitrosamines presents challenges to water infrastructures that incorporate effluent from wastewater treatment. Ultraviolet (UV) photolysis or UV-based advanced oxidation processes that produce highly reactive hydroxyl radicals are promising technologies to remove nitrosamines from water. However, complex reaction mechanisms involving radicals limit our understandings of the elementary reaction pathways embedded in the overall reactions identified experimentally. In this study, we perform quantum mechanical calculations to identify the hydroxyl radical-induced initial elementary reactions with N -nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N -nitrosomethylethylamine, and N -nitrosomethylbutylamine. We also investigate the UV-induced NDMA degradation mechanisms. Our calculations reveal that the alkyl side chains of nitrosamine affect the reaction mechanism of hydroxyl radicals with each nitrosamine investigated in this study. Nitrosamines with one- or two-carbon alkyl chains caused the delocalization of the electron density, leading to slower subsequent degradation. Additionally, three major initial elementary reactions and the subsequent radical-involved reaction pathways are identified in the UV-induced NDMA degradation process. This study provides mechanistic insight into the elementary reaction pathways, and a future study will combine these results with the kinetic information to predict the time-dependent concentration profiles of nitrosamines and their transformation products.

  8. Mechanistic Insight into the Degradation of Nitrosamines via Aqueous-Phase UV Photolysis or a UV-Based Advanced Oxidation Process: Quantum Mechanical Calculations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisuke Minakata

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Nitrosamines are a group of carcinogenic chemicals that are present in aquatic environments that result from byproducts of industrial processes and disinfection products. As indirect and direct potable reuse increase, the presence of trace nitrosamines presents challenges to water infrastructures that incorporate effluent from wastewater treatment. Ultraviolet (UV photolysis or UV-based advanced oxidation processes that produce highly reactive hydroxyl radicals are promising technologies to remove nitrosamines from water. However, complex reaction mechanisms involving radicals limit our understandings of the elementary reaction pathways embedded in the overall reactions identified experimentally. In this study, we perform quantum mechanical calculations to identify the hydroxyl radical-induced initial elementary reactions with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA, N-nitrosomethylethylamine, and N-nitrosomethylbutylamine. We also investigate the UV-induced NDMA degradation mechanisms. Our calculations reveal that the alkyl side chains of nitrosamine affect the reaction mechanism of hydroxyl radicals with each nitrosamine investigated in this study. Nitrosamines with one- or two-carbon alkyl chains caused the delocalization of the electron density, leading to slower subsequent degradation. Additionally, three major initial elementary reactions and the subsequent radical-involved reaction pathways are identified in the UV-induced NDMA degradation process. This study provides mechanistic insight into the elementary reaction pathways, and a future study will combine these results with the kinetic information to predict the time-dependent concentration profiles of nitrosamines and their transformation products.

  9. Missing ecology: integrating ecological perspectives with the social-ecological system framework

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham Epstein

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The social-ecological systems framework was designed to provide a common research tool for interdisciplinary investigations of social-ecological systems. However, its origin in institutional studies of the commons belies its interdisciplinary ambitions and highlights its relatively limited attention to ecology and natural scientific knowledge. This paper considers the biophysical components of the framework and its epistemological foundations as it relates to the incorporation of knowledge from the natural sciences. It finds that the mixture of inductive and deductive reasoning associated with socially-oriented investigations of these systems is lacking on the ecological side, which relies upon induction alone. As a result the paper proposes the addition of a seventh core sub-system to the social-ecological systems framework, ecological rules, which would allow scholars to explicitly incorporate knowledge from the natural sciences for deductive reasoning. The paper shows, through an instructive case study, how the addition of ecological rules can provide a more nuanced description of the factors that contribute to outcomes in social-ecological systems.

  10. Deep Ecology Education: Learning from Its Vaisnava Roots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Deep ecology arises from the personal intuition that one's self is part of the world's environmental wholeness. This awareness may be constructed upon scientific foundations but it is more commonly thought a spiritual concept. Deep ecology pedagogy emerges from its three-step process of ecological Self-realization. This paper traces the roots of…

  11. Landscape ecology: what is the state of science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monica G. Turner

    2005-01-01

    Landscape ecology focuses on the reciprocal interactions between spatial pattern and ecological processes, and it is well integrated with ecology. The field has grown rapidly over the past 15 years. The persistent influence of land-use history and natural disturbance on contemporary ecosystems has become apparent Development of pattern metrics has largely stabilized,...

  12. Evaluation of mechanistic DNB models using HCLWR CHF data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwamura, Takamichi; Watanabe, Hironori; Okubo, Tsutomu; Araya, Fumimasa; Murao, Yoshio.

    1992-03-01

    An onset of departure from nucleate boiling (DNB) in light water reactor (LWR) has been generally predicted with empirical correlations. Since these correlations have less physical bases and contain adjustable empirical constants determined by best fitting of test data, applicable geometries and flow conditions are limited within the original experiment ranges. In order to obtain more universal prediction method, several mechanistic DNB models based on physical approaches have been proposed in recent years. However, the predictive capabilities of mechanistic DNB models have not been verified successfully especially for advanced LWR design purposes. In this report, typical DNB mechanistic models are reviewed and compared with critical heat flux (CHF) data for high conversion light water reactor (HCLWR). The experiments were performed using triangular 7-rods array with non-uniform axial heat flux distribution. Test pressure was 16 MPa, mass velocities ranged from 800 t0 3100 kg/s·m 2 and exit qualities from -0.07 to 0.19. The evaluated models are: 1) Wisman-Pei, 2) Chang-Lee, 3) Lee-Mudawwar, 4) Lin-Lee-Pei, and 5) Katto. The first two models are based on near-wall bubble crowding model and the other three models on sublayer dryout model. The comparison with experimental data indicated that the Weisman-Pei model agreed relatively well with the CHF data. Effects of empirical constants in each model on CHF calculation were clarified by sensitivity studies. It was also found that the magnitudes of physical quantities obtained in the course of calculation were significantly different for each model. Therefore, microscopic observation of the onset of DNB on heated surface is essential to clarify the DNB mechanism and establish a general DNB mechanistic model based on physical phenomenon. (author)

  13. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  14. Quality Enhancement of Environmental Aesthetics Experience Through Ecological Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Ali Reza Sadeghi; Mohammadreza Pourjafar; Ali Akbar Taghvaee; Parviz Azadfallah

    2014-01-01

    In this article by reviewing the environmental aesthetics experience, natural towns cape, and ecological assessment related concepts, ecological assessment is known as a process that pave the way for achieving a positive (pleasant) experience of natural aesthetics in natural towns cape. In fact, it seems that ecological assessment and evaluation of the natural context should be the fundamental part in the process of urban design of large scale projects, which are developed to improve the qual...

  15. Landscape ecology: Past, present, and future [Chapter 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel A. Cushman; Jeffrey S. Evans; Kevin McGarigal

    2010-01-01

    In the preceding chapters we discussed the central role that spatial and temporal variability play in ecological systems, the importance of addressing these explicitly within ecological analyses and the resulting need to carefully consider spatial and temporal scale and scaling. Landscape ecology is the science of linking patterns and processes across scale in both...

  16. A Social-Ecological Resilience Assessment and Governance Guide for Urbanization Processes in East China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Zhang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a social-ecological resilience assessment and attempts to explicitly examine the impacts of urbanization on resilience, with a view to explore how to strengthen social-ecological governance of the resilience of urban ecosystems. We use a combined Grey-Fuzzy evaluation model to discuss a case study of the Su-Xi-Chang city cluster, a metropolitan area in East China, in which total social-ecological resilience scores generally exhibited an upward trend, from 0.548 in 2001 to 0.760 in 2013. In the same period, resilience increased in relation to deterioration of environmental quality, pollution discharge, and landscape and ecological governance change, but decreased in relation to social-economic development. Besides, different contributions of indicators to their related resilience values reveal the heterogeneity of the resilience in terms of various disturbances. In addition, several scenarios are posited in an attempt to detect the relationship between social-ecological resilience and urbanization with the goal of improving urban governance. The results suggested that rapid urbanization under rigid and vertically organized forms of governance would cause the social-ecological system to lose resilience, or even to bring it near collapse. When the growth rate of urban land expansion reaches 16%, disturbances caused by urbanization would push the social-ecological system over a particular threshold, where the way it functions changes. However, it is found that adaptive and collaborative governance, incorporating increases in both public participation and the efficiency of environment administration, would strengthen social-ecological governance of resilience to provide the urban system with a wide operating space, and even with accelerated urbanization ratios.

  17. Seascape ecology in Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: Linking structure and ecological processes for management

    OpenAIRE

    Abadie, Arnaud; Pace, Matthew; Gobert, Sylvie; Borg, Joseph

    2018-01-01

    Seagrass meadows constitute marine habitats in shallow water temperate and tropical coastal areas worldwide that have a high ecological and economic importance. Amongst the 60 or so seagrass species, the endemic Mediterranean species Posidonia oceanica forms meadows that are arguably the most important shallow water coastal habitat in the region but which are subjected to high anthropogenic pressures. Because of the relatively large size of the plant, the meadows formed by this seagrass have ...

  18. Regulatory Technology Development Plan - Sodium Fast Reactor: Mechanistic Source Term - Trial Calculation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grabaskas, David

    2016-01-01

    The potential release of radioactive material during a plant incident, referred to as the source term, is a vital design metric and will be a major focus of advanced reactor licensing. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated an expectation for advanced reactor vendors to present a mechanistic assessment of the potential source term in their license applications. The mechanistic source term presents an opportunity for vendors to realistically assess the radiological consequences of an incident, and may allow reduced emergency planning zones and smaller plant sites. However, the development of a mechanistic source term for advanced reactors is not without challenges, as there are often numerous phenomena impacting the transportation and retention of radionuclides. This project sought to evaluate U.S. capabilities regarding the mechanistic assessment of radionuclide release from core damage incidents at metal fueled, pool-type sodium fast reactors (SFRs). The purpose of the analysis was to identify, and prioritize, any gaps regarding computational tools or data necessary for the modeling of radionuclide transport and retention phenomena. To accomplish this task, a parallel-path analysis approach was utilized. One path, led by Argonne and Sandia National Laboratories, sought to perform a mechanistic source term assessment using available codes, data, and models, with the goal to identify gaps in the current knowledge base. The second path, performed by an independent contractor, performed sensitivity analyses to determine the importance of particular radionuclides and transport phenomena in regards to offsite consequences. The results of the two pathways were combined to prioritize gaps in current capabilities.

  19. Generation of computationally predicted Adverse Outcome Pathway networks through integration of publicly available in vivo, in vitro, phenotype, and biological pathway data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) framework is becoming a widely used tool for organizing and summarizing the mechanistic information connecting molecular perturbations by environmental stressors with adverse ecological and human health outcomes. However, the conventional process...

  20. The Gradient Paradigm: A conceptual and analytical framework for landscape ecology [Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel A. Cushman; Kevin Gutzweiler; Jeffrey S. Evans; Kevin McGarigal

    2010-01-01

    Landscape ecology deals fundamentally with how, when, and why patterns of environmental factors influence the distribution of organisms and ecological processes, and reciprocally, how the actions of organisms and ecological processes influence ecological patterns (Urban et al. 1991; Turner 1989). The landscape ecologist's goal is to determine where and when...

  1. Forest economics, natural disturbances and the new ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Holmes; Robert J. Huggett; John M. Pye

    2008-01-01

    The major thesis of this chapter is that the economic analysis of forest disturbances will be enhanced by linking economic and ecologic models. Although we only review a limited number of concepts drawn generally from mathematical and empirical ecology, the overarching theme we present is that ecological models of forest disturbance processes are complex and not...

  2. Fetal programming of CVD and renal disease: animal models and mechanistic considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley-Evans, Simon C

    2013-08-01

    The developmental origins of health and disease hypothesis postulates that exposure to a less than optimal maternal environment during fetal development programmes physiological function, and determines risk of disease in adult life. Much evidence of such programming comes from retrospective epidemiological cohorts, which demonstrate associations between birth anthropometry and non-communicable diseases of adulthood. The assertion that variation in maternal nutrition drives these associations is supported by studies using animal models, which demonstrate that maternal under- or over-nutrition during pregnancy can programme offspring development. Typically, the offspring of animals that are undernourished in pregnancy exhibit a relatively narrow range of physiological phenotypes that includes higher blood pressure, glucose intolerance, renal insufficiency and increased adiposity. The observation that common phenotypes arise from very diverse maternal nutritional insults has led to the proposal that programming is driven by a small number of mechanistic processes. The remodelling of tissues during development as a consequence of maternal nutritional status being signalled by endocrine imbalance or key nutrients limiting processes in the fetus may lead to organs having irreversibly altered structures that may limit their function with ageing. It has been proposed that the maternal diet may impact upon epigenetic marks that determine gene expression in fetal tissues, and this may be an important mechanism connecting maternal nutrient intakes to long-term programming of offspring phenotype. The objective for this review is to provide an overview of the mechanistic basis of fetal programming, demonstrating the critical role of animal models as tools for the investigation of programming phenomena.

  3. The historical dynamics of social-ecological traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boonstra, Wiebren J; de Boer, Florianne W

    2014-04-01

    Environmental degradation is a typical unintended outcome of collective human behavior. Hardin's metaphor of the "tragedy of the commons" has become a conceived wisdom that captures the social dynamics leading to environmental degradation. Recently, "traps" has gained currency as an alternative concept to explain the rigidity of social and ecological processes that produce environmental degradation and livelihood impoverishment. The trap metaphor is, however, a great deal more complex compared to Hardin's insight. This paper takes stock of studies using the trap metaphor. It argues that the concept includes time and history in the analysis, but only as background conditions and not as a factor of causality. From a historical-sociological perspective this is remarkable since social-ecological traps are clearly path-dependent processes, which are causally produced through a conjunction of events. To prove this point the paper conceptualizes social-ecological traps as a process instead of a condition, and systematically compares history and timing in one classic and three recent studies of social-ecological traps. Based on this comparison it concludes that conjunction of social and environmental events contributes profoundly to the production of trap processes. The paper further discusses the implications of this conclusion for policy intervention and outlines how future research might generalize insights from historical-sociological studies of traps.

  4. Phenomenological and mechanistic modeling of melt-structure-water interactions in a light water reactor severe accident

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bui, V.A

    1998-10-01

    The objective of this work is to address the modeling of the thermal hydrodynamic phenomena and interactions occurring during the progression of reactor severe accidents. Integrated phenomenological models are developed to describe the accident scenarios, which consist of many processes, while mechanistic modeling, including direct numerical simulation, is carried out to describe separate effects and selected physical phenomena of particular importance 88 refs, 54 figs, 7 tabs

  5. Life after Newton: an ecological metaphysic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulanowicz, R E

    1999-05-01

    Ecology may indeed be 'deep', as some have maintained, but perhaps much of the mystery surrounding it owes more simply to the dissonance between ecological notions and the fundamentals of the modern synthesis. Comparison of the axioms supporting the Newtonian world view with those underlying the organicist and stochastic metaphors that motivate much of ecosystems science reveals strong disagreements--especially regarding the nature of the causes of events and the scalar domains over which these causes can operate. The late Karl Popper held that the causal closure forced by our mechanical perspective on nature frustrates our attempts to achieve an 'evolutionary theory of knowledge.' He suggested that the Newtonian concept of 'force' must be generalized to encompass the contingencies that arise in evolutionary processes. His reformulation of force as 'propensity' leads quite naturally to a generalization of Newton's laws for ecology. The revised tenets appear, however, to exhibit more scope and allow for change to arise from within a system. Although Newton's laws survive (albeit in altered form) within a coalescing ecological metaphysic, the axioms that Enlightenment thinkers appended to Newton's work seem ill-suited for ecology and perhaps should yield to a new and coherent set of assumptions on how to view the processes of nature.

  6. PERFORMANCE OF ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE IN ROMANIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CIPRIAN APOSTOL

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The term ecological agriculture has been attributed by the European Union of Romania to define this system of agriculture and is similar with terms organic agriculture or biological agriculture, which are used in other member states. One of the main goals of ecological agriculture is the production of agricultural and food products fresh and genuine through processes created to respect nature and its systems. Thus, it prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms, fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, stimulators and growth regulators, hormones, antibiotics for livestock and the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, drastic interventions on the soil, the introduction of genetically modified organisms, in the case of the cultivated soil. The study aims to highlight the main features of ecological agriculture and its impact on the national economy. Through a descriptive and comparative analysis of specific indicators are surprising the main aspects of ecological agriculture performance in Romania and are identified investment opportunities in this sector of the national economy. Following this study, it was found that ecological agriculture in Romania is quite performant and recorded a continuous development, but mainly in the production, not in the processing and trading of natural products, which is why investment in these areas would be welcome.

  7. Transition probabilities for general birth-death processes with applications in ecology, genetics, and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Forrest W.; Suchard, Marc A.

    2011-01-01

    A birth-death process is a continuous-time Markov chain that counts the number of particles in a system over time. In the general process with n current particles, a new particle is born with instantaneous rate λn and a particle dies with instantaneous rate μn. Currently no robust and efficient method exists to evaluate the finite-time transition probabilities in a general birth-death process with arbitrary birth and death rates. In this paper, we first revisit the theory of continued fractions to obtain expressions for the Laplace transforms of these transition probabilities and make explicit an important derivation connecting transition probabilities and continued fractions. We then develop an efficient algorithm for computing these probabilities that analyzes the error associated with approximations in the method. We demonstrate that this error-controlled method agrees with known solutions and outperforms previous approaches to computing these probabilities. Finally, we apply our novel method to several important problems in ecology, evolution, and genetics. PMID:21984359

  8. Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Griffiths, Sarah M; Harrison, Xavier A; Aranega-Bou, Paz; Arce, Andres; Bettridge, Aimee S; Brailsford, Francesca L; de Menezes, Alexandre; Devaynes, Andrew; Forbes, Kristian M; Fry, Ellen L; Goodhead, Ian; Haskell, Erin; Heys, Chloe; James, Chloe; Johnston, Sarah R; Lewis, Gillian R; Lewis, Zenobia; Macey, Michael C; McCarthy, Alan; McDonald, James E; Mejia-Florez, Nasmille L; O'Brien, David; Orland, Chloé; Pautasso, Marco; Reid, William D K; Robinson, Heather A; Wilson, Kenneth; Sutherland, William J

    2017-05-01

    Microbial ecology provides insights into the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities underpinning every ecosystem on Earth. Microbial communities can now be investigated in unprecedented detail, although there is still a wealth of open questions to be tackled. Here we identify 50 research questions of fundamental importance to the science or application of microbial ecology, with the intention of summarising the field and bringing focus to new research avenues. Questions are categorised into seven themes: host-microbiome interactions; health and infectious diseases; human health and food security; microbial ecology in a changing world; environmental processes; functional diversity; and evolutionary processes. Many questions recognise that microbes provide an extraordinary array of functional diversity that can be harnessed to solve real-world problems. Our limited knowledge of spatial and temporal variation in microbial diversity and function is also reflected, as is the need to integrate micro- and macro-ecological concepts, and knowledge derived from studies with humans and other diverse organisms. Although not exhaustive, the questions presented are intended to stimulate discussion and provide focus for researchers, funders and policy makers, informing the future research agenda in microbial ecology. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Descriptive and mechanistic models of crop–weed competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bastiaans, L.; Storkey, J.

    2017-01-01

    Crop-weed competitive relations are an important element of agroecosystems. Quantifying and understanding them helps to design appropriate weed management at operational, tactical and strategic level. This chapter presents and discusses simple descriptive and more mechanistic models for crop-weed

  10. Ecological Challenges for Closed Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

    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 and recycling nutrients and maintaining soil fertility, the sustaining of healthy air and water and preventing the loss of crucial 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 measures and options which may be necessary to ensure long-term operation of closed ecological systems.

  11. From single-substance evaluation to ecological process concept: the dilemma of processing gold with cyanide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korte, F; Coulston, F

    1995-10-01

    In the past decades, limit concentration values for environmentally dangerous synthetic and natural chemical substances have been established in industrialized countries. Depending on the range of application, state of aggregation, propagation velocity, specific action on living organisms, long- or short-time effect, etc., different terms are used to specify these limit concentrations (acceptable daily intakes, TLV, LD50, emission values, water quality standards, etc.). Several parameters (e.g., range of application, ethic and social valuation, environmental factors, scientific knowledge) have led to nationally and internationally varying values depending on the region and time. The accuracy of this system of evaluation cannot necessarily be improved by listing further analytical data, but rather by furnishing sufficiently secured scientific data for a serious discussion, with the public concepts influenced more and more by the mass media. The best-established scientific knowledge has been acquired by the chemical industry. National and international groups demand that ecological-chemical problems in other fields of industry be dealt with as well; this research should, without doubt, be intensified. The example of the mining industry, which must employ chemical methods to isolate small concentrations (ppm), demonstrates the environmental conflict caused by the increasing world population, requiring the adaptation of the process by industry to the modern environmental concept. This is illustrated by the evolution of the gold recovery process.

  12. A mechanistic ecohydrological model to investigate complex interactions in cold and warm water-controlled environments. 2. Spatiotemporal analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Fatichi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available An ecohydrological model Tethys-Chloris (T&C described in the companion paper is applied to two semiarid systems characterized by different climate and vegetation cover conditions. The Lucky Hills watershed in Arizona represents a typical small, ``unit-source'' catchment of a desert shrub system of the U.S. southwest. Two nested basins of the Reynolds Creek Experimental watershed (Idaho, U.S.A., the Reynolds Creek Mountain East and Tollgate catchments, are representative of a semiarid cold climate with seasonal snow cover. Both exhibit a highly non-uniform vegetation cover. A range of ecohydrological metrics of the long-term model performance is presented to highlight the model capabilities in reproducing hydrological and vegetation dynamics both at the plot and the watershed scales. A diverse set of observations is used to confirm the simulated dynamics. Highly satisfactory results are obtained without significant (or any calibration efforts despite the large phase-space dimensionality of the model, the uncertainty of imposed boundary conditions, and limited data availability. It is argued that a significant investment into the model design based on the description of physical, biophysical, and ecological processes leads to such a consistent simulation skill. The simulated patterns mimic the outcome of hydrological and vegetation dynamics with high realism, as confirmed from spatially distributed remote sensing data. Further community efforts are warranted to address the issue of thorough quantitative assessment. The current lack of appropriate data hampers the development and testing of process-based ecohydrological models. It is further argued that the mechanistic nature of the T&C model can be valuable for designing virtual experiments and developing questions of scientific inquiry at a range of spatiotemporal scales.

  13. Ecological Interface Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vicente, Kim J.; Rasmussen, Jens

    1992-01-01

    A theoretical framework for designing interfaces for complex human-machine systems is proposed. The framework, called ecological interface design (EID), is based on the skills, rules, knowledge taxonomy of cognitive control. The basic goal of EID is twofold: first, not to force processing...

  14. Modeling of the pyruvate production with Escherichia coli: comparison of mechanistic and neural networks-based models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelić, B; Bolf, N; Vasić-Racki, D

    2006-06-01

    Three different models: the unstructured mechanistic black-box model, the input-output neural network-based model and the externally recurrent neural network model were used to describe the pyruvate production process from glucose and acetate using the genetically modified Escherichia coli YYC202 ldhA::Kan strain. The experimental data were used from the recently described batch and fed-batch experiments [ Zelić B, Study of the process development for Escherichia coli-based pyruvate production. PhD Thesis, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Zagreb, Croatia, July 2003. (In English); Zelić et al. Bioproc Biosyst Eng 26:249-258 (2004); Zelić et al. Eng Life Sci 3:299-305 (2003); Zelić et al Biotechnol Bioeng 85:638-646 (2004)]. The neural networks were built out of the experimental data obtained in the fed-batch pyruvate production experiments with the constant glucose feed rate. The model validation was performed using the experimental results obtained from the batch and fed-batch pyruvate production experiments with the constant acetate feed rate. Dynamics of the substrate and product concentration changes was estimated using two neural network-based models for biomass and pyruvate. It was shown that neural networks could be used for the modeling of complex microbial fermentation processes, even in conditions in which mechanistic unstructured models cannot be applied.

  15. Four Mechanistic Models of Peer Influence on Adolescent Cannabis Use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caouette, Justin D; Feldstein Ewing, Sarah W

    2017-06-01

    Most adolescents begin exploring cannabis in peer contexts, but the neural mechanisms that underlie peer influence on adolescent cannabis use are still unknown. This theoretical overview elucidates the intersecting roles of neural function and peer factors in cannabis use in adolescents. Novel paradigms using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in adolescents have identified distinct neural mechanisms of risk decision-making and incentive processing in peer contexts, centered on reward-motivation and affect regulatory neural networks; these findings inform a theoretical model of peer-driven cannabis use decisions in adolescents. We propose four "mechanistic profiles" of social facilitation of cannabis use in adolescents: (1) peer influence as the primary driver of use; (2) cannabis exploration as the primary driver, which may be enhanced in peer contexts; (3) social anxiety; and (4) negative peer experiences. Identification of "neural targets" involved in motivating cannabis use may inform clinicians about which treatment strategies work best in adolescents with cannabis use problems, and via which social and neurocognitive processes.

  16. Mechanistic modeling of aberrant energy metabolism in human disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vineet eSangar

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Dysfunction in energy metabolism—including in pathways localized to the mitochondria—has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide array of disorders, ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases to type II diabetes. The inherent complexities of energy and mitochondrial metabolism present a significant obstacle in the effort to understand the role that these molecular processes play in the development of disease. To help unravel these complexities, systems biology methods have been applied to develop an array of computational metabolic models, ranging from mitochondria-specific processes to genome-scale cellular networks. These constraint-based models can efficiently simulate aspects of normal and aberrant metabolism in various genetic and environmental conditions. Development of these models leverages—and also provides a powerful means to integrate and interpret—information from a wide range of sources including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and enzyme kinetics. Here, we review a variety of mechanistic modeling studies that explore metabolic functions, deficiency disorders, and aberrant biochemical pathways in mitochondria and related regions in the cell.

  17. A Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) for synthesising high-frequency sensor data for validation of deterministic ecological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Hamilton P; Carey, Cayelan C.; Arvola, Lauri; Arzberger, Peter; Brewer, Carol A.; Cole, Jon J; Gaiser, Evelyn; Hanson, Paul C.; Ibelings, Bas W; Jennings, Eleanor; Kratz, Tim K; Lin, Fang-Pang; McBride, Christopher G.; de Motta Marques, David; Muraoka, Kohji; Nishri, Ami; Qin, Boqiang; Read, Jordan S.; Rose, Kevin C.; Ryder, Elizabeth; Weathers, Kathleen C.; Zhu, Guangwei; Trolle, Dennis; Brookes, Justin D

    2014-01-01

    A Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON; www.gleon.org) has formed to provide a coordinated response to the need for scientific understanding of lake processes, utilising technological advances available from autonomous sensors. The organisation embraces a grassroots approach to engage researchers from varying disciplines, sites spanning geographic and ecological gradients, and novel sensor and cyberinfrastructure to synthesise high-frequency lake data at scales ranging from local to global. The high-frequency data provide a platform to rigorously validate process- based ecological models because model simulation time steps are better aligned with sensor measurements than with lower-frequency, manual samples. Two case studies from Trout Bog, Wisconsin, USA, and Lake Rotoehu, North Island, New Zealand, are presented to demonstrate that in the past, ecological model outputs (e.g., temperature, chlorophyll) have been relatively poorly validated based on a limited number of directly comparable measurements, both in time and space. The case studies demonstrate some of the difficulties of mapping sensor measurements directly to model state variable outputs as well as the opportunities to use deviations between sensor measurements and model simulations to better inform process understanding. Well-validated ecological models provide a mechanism to extrapolate high-frequency sensor data in space and time, thereby potentially creating a fully 3-dimensional simulation of key variables of interest.

  18. Precision and accuracy of mechanistic-empirical pavement design

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Theyse, HL

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available are discussed in general. The effects of variability and error on the design accuracy and design risk are lastly illustrated at the hand of a simple mechanistic-empirical design problem, showing that the engineering models alone determine the accuracy...

  19. Bird Migration Under Climate Change - A Mechanistic Approach Using Remote Sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A.; Blattner, Tim; Messmer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    The broad-scale reductions and shifts that may be expected under climate change in the availability and quality of stopover habitat for long-distance migrants is an area of increasing concern for conservation biologists. Researchers generally have taken two broad approaches to the modeling of migration behaviour to understand the impact of these changes on migratory bird populations. These include models based on causal processes and their response to environmental stimulation, "mechanistic models", or models that primarily are based on observed animal distribution patterns and the correlation of these patterns with environmental variables, i.e. "data driven" models. Investigators have applied the latter technique to forecast changes in migration patterns with changes in the environment, for example, as might be expected under climate change, by forecasting how the underlying environmental data layers upon which the relationships are built will change over time. The learned geostatstical correlations are then applied to the modified data layers.. However, this is problematic. Even if the projections of how the underlying data layers will change are correct, it is not evident that the statistical relationships will remain the same, i.e. that the animal organism may not adapt its' behaviour to the changing conditions. Mechanistic models that explicitly take into account the physical, biological, and behaviour responses of an organism as well as the underlying changes in the landscape offer an alternative to address these shortcomings. The availability of satellite remote sensing observations at multiple spatial and temporal scales, coupled with advances in climate modeling and information technologies enable the application of the mechanistic models to predict how continental bird migration patterns may change in response to environmental change. In earlier work, we simulated the impact of effects of wetland loss and inter-annual variability on the fitness of

  20. Application of Thermoeconomics to Industrial Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia Valero

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Industrial Ecology involves the transformation of industrial processes from linear to closed loop systems: matter and energy flows which were initially considered as wastes become now resources for existing or new processes. In this paper, Thermoeconomics, commonly used for the optimization and diagnosis of energy systems, is proposed as a tool for the characterization of Industrial Ecology. Thermoeconomics is based on the exergy analysis (Thermodynamics but goes further by introducing the concepts of purpose and cost (Economics. It is presented in this study as a systematic and general approach for the analysis of waste flow integration. The formulation is based on extending the thermoeconomic process of the cost formation of wastes in order to consider their use as input for other processes. Consequently, it can be applied to important Industrial Ecology issues such as identification of integration possibilities and efficiency improvement, quantification of benefits obtained by integration, or determination of fair prices based on physical roots. The capability of the methodology is demonstrated by means of a case study based on the integration of a power plant, a cement kiln and a gas-fired boiler.

  1. Principles for ecologically based invasive plant management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy J. James; Brenda S. Smith; Edward A. Vasquez; Roger L. Sheley

    2010-01-01

    Land managers have long identified a critical need for a practical and effective framework for designing restoration strategies, especially where invasive plants dominate. A holistic, ecologically based, invasive plant management (EBIPM) framework that integrates ecosystem health assessment, knowledge of ecological processes, and adaptive management into a successional...

  2. Mechanistic modelling of genetic and epigenetic events in radiation carcinogenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreev, S. G.; Eidelman, Y. A.; Salnikov, I. V.; Khvostunov, I. K.

    2006-01-01

    Methodological problems arise on the way of radiation carcinogenesis modelling with the incorporation of radiobiological and cancer biology mechanistic data. The results of biophysical modelling of different endpoints [DNA DSB induction, repair, chromosome aberrations (CA) and cell proliferation] are presented and applied to the analysis of RBE-LET relationships for radiation-induced neoplastic transformation (RINT) of C3H/10T1/2 cells in culture. Predicted values for some endpoints correlate well with the data. It is concluded that slowly repaired DSB clusters, as well as some kind of CA, may be initiating events for RINT. As an alternative interpretation, it is possible that DNA damage can induce RINT indirectly via epigenetic process. A hypothetical epigenetic pathway for RINT is discussed. (authors)

  3. A Policy Analysis Perspective on Ecological Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Baker

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Using a simple stages model of the policy process, we explore the politics of ecological restoration using an array of examples drawn across sector, different size and scale, and from different countries. A policy analysis perspective reveals how, at both the program and project levels, ecological restoration operates within a complex and dynamic interplay between technical decision making, ideologies, and interest politics. Viewed through the stages model, restoration policy involves negotiating nature across stages in the policy making process, including agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. The stages model is a useful heuristic devise; however, this linear model assumes that policy makers approach the issue rationally. In practice, ecological restoration policy takes place in the context of different distributions of power between the various public and private actors involved at the different stages of restoration policy making. This allows us to reiterate the point that ecological restoration is best seen not only as a technical task but as a social and political project.

  4. Development of a mechanistic model for prediction of CO2 capture from gas mixtures by amine solutions in porous membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghadiri, Mehdi; Marjani, Azam; Shirazian, Saeed

    2017-06-01

    A mechanistic model was developed in order to predict capture and removal of CO 2 from air using membrane technology. The considered membrane was a hollow-fiber contactor module in which gas mixture containing CO 2 was assumed as feed while 2-amino-2-metyl-1-propanol (AMP) was used as an absorbent. The mechanistic model was developed according to transport phenomena taking into account mass transfer and chemical reaction between CO 2 and amine in the contactor module. The main aim of modeling was to track the composition and flux of CO 2 and AMP in the membrane module for process optimization. For modeling of the process, the governing equations were computed using finite element approach in which the whole model domain was discretized into small cells. To confirm the simulation findings, model outcomes were compared with experimental data and good consistency was revealed. The results showed that increasing temperature of AMP solution increases CO 2 removal in the hollow-fiber membrane contactor.

  5. 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.

  6. Biochemistry and Ecology of Novel Cytochromes Catalyzing Fe(II) Oxidation by an Acidophilic Microbial Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, S. W.; Jeans, C. J.; Thelen, M. P.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Hettich, R. C.; Chan, C. S.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    An acidophilic microbial community found in the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, CA forms abundant biofilms in extremely acidic (pHindicated that several variants of Cyt579 were present in Leptospirillum strains. Intact protein MS analysis identified the dominant variants in each biofilm and documented multiple N-terminal cleavage sites for Cyt579. By combining biochemical, geochemical and microbiological data, we established that the sequence variation and N-terminal processing of Cyt579 are selected by ecological conditions. In addition to the soluble Cyt579, the second cytochrome appears as a much larger protein complex of ~210 kDa predominant in the biofilm membrane fraction, and has an alpha-band absorption at 572 nm. The 60 kDa cytochrome subunit, Cyt572, resides in the outer membrane of LeptoII, and readily oxidizes Fe(II) at low pH (0.95 - 3.0). Several genes encoding Cyt572 were localized within a recombination hotspot between two strains of LeptoII, causing a large range of variation in the sequences. Genomic sequencing and MS proteomic studies established that the variants were also selected by ecological conditions. A general mechanistic model for Fe(II) oxidation has been developed from these studies. Initial Fe(II) oxidation by Cyt572 occurs at the outer membrane. Cyt572 then transfers electrons to Cyt579, perhaps representing an initial step in energy flow to the biofilm community. Amino acid variations and post-translational modifications of these unique cytochromes may represent fine-tuning of function in response to local environmental conditions.

  7. Synthetic and mechanistic aspects of titanium-mediated carbonyl olefinations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petasis, N.A.; Staszewski, J.P.; Hu, Yong-Han; Lu, Shao-Po [Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)

    1995-12-31

    A new method for the olefination of carbonyl compounds with dimethyl titanocene, and other related bishydrocarbyl titanocene derivatives has been recently developed in the author`s laboratories. This process is experimentally convenient and works with various types of carbonyl compounds, including aldehydes, ketones, esters, lactones, carbonates, anhydrides, amides, imides, lactams, thioesters, selenoesters, and acylsilanes. More recent studies have focused on the scope and utility of this reaction, including mechanistic studies and synthetic applications. In addition to varying the reaction conditions, the authors have examined several mixed titanocene derivatives and have found ways for carrying out this type of olefination at room temperature, such as the use of tris(trimethylsilyl) titanacyclobutene. The authors have also employed this reaction in the modification of carbohydrates and cyclobutenediones. This olefination was also followed-up with subsequent transformations to produce carbocycles and heterocycles, including tetrahydrofurans and tetrahydropyrans.

  8. Integrating evo-devo with ecology for a better understanding of phenotypic evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, M Emília; Berger, Chloé S; Refki, Peter N; Khila, Abderrahman

    2015-11-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has provided invaluable contributions to our understanding of the mechanistic relationship between genotypic and phenotypic change. Similarly, evolutionary ecology has greatly advanced our understanding of the relationship between the phenotype and the environment. To fully understand the evolution of organismal diversity, a thorough integration of these two fields is required. This integration remains highly challenging because model systems offering a rich ecological and evolutionary background, together with the availability of developmental genetic tools and genomic resources, are scarce. In this review, we introduce the semi-aquatic bugs (Gerromorpha, Heteroptera) as original models well suited to study why and how organisms diversify. The Gerromorpha invaded water surfaces over 200 mya and diversified into a range of remarkable new forms within this new ecological habitat. We summarize the biology and evolutionary history of this group of insects and highlight a set of characters associated with the habitat change and the diversification that followed. We further discuss the morphological, behavioral, molecular and genomic tools available that together make semi-aquatic bugs a prime model for integration across disciplines. We present case studies showing how the implementation and combination of these approaches can advance our understanding of how the interaction between genotypes, phenotypes and the environment drives the evolution of distinct morphologies. Finally, we explain how the same set of experimental designs can be applied in other systems to address similar biological questions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  9. Ecological relationship analysis of the urban metabolic system of Beijing, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Shengsheng; Zhang Yan; Yang Zhifeng; Liu Hong; Zhang Jinyun

    2012-01-01

    Cities can be modelled as giant organisms, with their own metabolic processes, and can therefore be studied using the same tools used for biological metabolic systems. The complicated distribution of compartments within these systems and the functional relationships among them define the system's network structure. Taking Beijing as an example, we divided the city's internal system into metabolic compartments, then used ecological network analysis to calculate a comprehensive utility matrix for the flows between compartments within Beijing's metabolic system from 1998 to 2007 and to identify the corresponding functional relationships among the system's compartments. Our results show how ecological network analysis, utility analysis, and relationship analysis can be used to discover the implied ecological relationships within a metabolic system, thereby providing insights into the system's internal metabolic processes. Such analyses provide scientific support for urban ecological management. - Highlights: ► Urban metabolic processes can be analyzed by treating cities as superorganisms. ► We developed an ecological network model for an urban system. ► We studied the system's network relationships using ecological network analysis. ► We developed indices for judging the system's synergism and degree of stability. - Using Beijing as an example of an urban superorganism, we used ecological network analysis to describe the ecological relationships among the urban metabolic system's compartments.

  10. Mechanistic model for void distribution in flashing flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Riznic, J.; Ishii, M.; Afgan, N.

    1987-01-01

    A problem of discharging of an initially subcooled liquid from a high pressure condition into a low pressure environment is quite important in several industrial systems such as nuclear reactors and chemical reactors. A new model for the flashing process is proposed here based on the wall nucleation theory, bubble growth model and drift-flux bubble transport model. In order to calculate the bubble number density, the bubble number transport equation with a distributed source from the wall nucleation sites is used. The model predictions in terms of the void fraction are compared to Moby Dick and BNL experimental data. It shows that satisfactory agreements could be obtained from the present model without any floating parameter to be adjusted with data. This result indicates that, at least for the experimental conditions considered here, the mechanistic prediction of the flashing phenomenon is possible based on the present wall nucleation based model. 43 refs., 4 figs

  11. Development of a mechanistic model for release of radionuclides from spent fuel in brines: Salt Repository Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reimus, P.W.; Windisch, C.F.

    1988-03-01

    At present there are no comprehensive mechanistic models describing the release of radionuclides from spent fuel in brine environments. This report provides a comprehensive review of the various factors that can affect radionuclide release from spent fuel, suggests a modeling approach, and discusses proposed experiments for obtaining a better mechanistic understanding of the radionuclide release processes. Factors affecting radionuclide release include the amount, location, and disposition of radionuclides in the fuel and environmental factors such as redox potential, pH, the presence of complexing anions, temperature, and radiolysis. It is concluded that a model describing the release of radionuclides from spent fuel should contain separate terms for release from the gap, grain boundaries, and grains of the fuel. Possible functional forms for these terms are discussed in the report. Experiments for assessing their validity and obtaining key model parameters are proposed. 71 refs., 4 figs., 6 tabs

  12. Delineating probabilistic species pools in ecology and biogeography

    OpenAIRE

    Karger, Dirk Nikolaus; Cord, Anna F; Kessler, Michael; Kreft, Holger; Kühn, Ingolf; Pompe, Sven; Sandel, Brody; Sarmento Cabral, Juliano; Smith, Adam B; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Tuomisto, Hanna; Weigelt, Patrick; Wesche, Karsten

    2016-01-01

    Aim To provide a mechanistic and probabilistic framework for defining the species pool based on species-specific probabilities of dispersal, environmental suitability and biotic interactions within a specific temporal extent, and to show how probabilistic species pools can help disentangle the geographical structure of different community assembly processes. Innovation Probabilistic species pools provide an improved species pool definition based on probabilities in conjuncti...

  13. Watersheds in Baltimore, Maryland: understanding and application of integrated ecological and social processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steward T.A. Pickett; Kenneth T. Belt; Michael F. Galvin; Peter M. Groffman; J. Morgan Grove; Donald C. Outen; Richard V. Pouyat; William P. Stack; Mary L. Cadenasso

    2007-01-01

    The Water and Watersheds program has made significant and lasting contributions to the basic understanding of the complex ecological system of Baltimore, MD. Funded at roughly the same time as the urban Long- Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in Baltimore, the Water and Watersheds grant and the LTER grant together established the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES)...

  14. Scale Mismatches in Social-Ecological Systems: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme S. Cumming

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Scale is a concept that transcends disciplinary boundaries. In ecology and geography, scale is usually defined in terms of spatial and temporal dimensions. Sociological scale also incorporates space and time, but adds ideas about representation and organization. Although spatial and temporal location determine the context for social and ecological dynamics, social-ecological interactions can create dynamic feedback loops in which humans both influence and are influenced by ecosystem processes. We hypothesize that many of the problems encountered by societies in managing natural resources arise because of a mismatch between the scale of management and the scale(s of the ecological processes being managed. We use examples from southern Africa and the southern United States to address four main questions: (1 What is a "scale mismatch?" (2 How are scale mismatches generated? (3 What are the consequences of scale mismatches? (4 How can scale mismatches be resolved? Scale mismatches occur when the scale of environmental variation and the scale of social organization in which the responsibility for management resides are aligned in such a way that one or more functions of the social-ecological system are disrupted, inefficiencies occur, and/or important components of the system are lost. They are generated by a wide range of social, ecological, and linked social-ecological processes. Mismatches between the scales of ecological processes and the institutions that are responsible for managing them can contribute to a decrease in social-ecological resilience, including the mismanagement of natural resources and a decrease in human well-being. Solutions to scale mismatches usually require institutional changes at more than one hierarchical level. Long-term solutions to scale mismatch problems will depend on social learning and the development of flexible institutions that can adjust and reorganize in response to changes in ecosystems. Further research is

  15. Mechanistic model for microbial growth on hydrocarbons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mallee, F M; Blanch, H W

    1977-12-01

    Based on available information describing the transport and consumption of insoluble alkanes, a mechanistic model is proposed for microbial growth on hydrocarbons. The model describes the atypical growth kinetics observed, and has implications in the design of large scale equipment for single cell protein (SCP) manufacture from hydrocarbons. The model presents a framework for comparison of the previously published experimental kinetic data.

  16. Double coupling: modeling subjectivity and asymmetric organization in social-ecological systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Manuel-Navarrete

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Social-ecological organization is a multidimensional phenomenon that combines material and symbolic processes. However, the coupling between social and ecological subsystem is often conceptualized as purely material, thus reducing the symbolic dimension to its behavioral and actionable expressions. In this paper I conceptualize social-ecological systems as doubly coupled. On the one hand, material expressions of socio-cultural processes affect and are affected by ecological dynamics. On the other hand, coupled social-ecological material dynamics are concurrently coupled with subjective dynamics via coding, decoding, personal experience, and human agency. This second coupling operates across two organizationally heterogeneous dimensions: material and symbolic. Although resilience thinking builds on the recognition of organizational asymmetry between living and nonliving systems, it has overlooked the equivalent asymmetry between ecological and socio-cultural subsystems. Three guiding concepts are proposed to formalize double coupling. The first one, social-ecological asymmetry, expands on past seminal work on ecological self-organization to incorporate reflexivity and subjectivity in social-ecological modeling. Organizational asymmetry is based in the distinction between social rules, which are symbolically produced and changed through human agents' reflexivity and purpose, and biophysical rules, which are determined by functional relations between ecological components. The second guiding concept, conscious power, brings to the fore human agents' distinctive capacity to produce our own subjective identity and the consequences of this capacity for social-ecological organization. The third concept, congruence between subjective and objective dynamics, redefines sustainability as contingent on congruent relations between material and symbolic processes. Social-ecological theories and analyses based on these three guiding concepts would support the

  17. Stochastic foundations in movement ecology anomalous diffusion, front propagation and random searches

    CERN Document Server

    Méndez, Vicenç; Bartumeus, Frederic

    2014-01-01

    This book presents the fundamental theory for non-standard diffusion problems in movement ecology. Lévy processes and anomalous diffusion have shown to be both powerful and useful tools for qualitatively and quantitatively describing a wide variety of spatial population ecological phenomena and dynamics, such as invasion fronts and search strategies. Adopting a self-contained, textbook-style approach, the authors provide the elements of statistical physics and stochastic processes on which the modeling of movement ecology is based and systematically introduce the physical characterization of ecological processes at the microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic levels. The explicit definition of these levels and their interrelations is particularly suitable to coping with the broad spectrum of space and time scales involved in bio-ecological problems.   Including numerous exercises (with solutions), this text is aimed at graduate students and newcomers in this field at the interface of theoretical ecology, mat...

  18. Ecology, Capital, and the Nature of Our Times: Accumulation & Crisis in the Capitalist World-Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason W. Moore

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In this essay, I elaborate the possibilities for a unified theory of historical capitalism - one thatviews the accumulation of capital and the production of nature (humans included! asdialectically constituted. In this view, the modern world-system is a capitalist world-ecology, aworld-historical matrix of human- and extra-human nature premised on endless commodification.The essay is organized in three movements. I begin by arguing for a reading of modernity's"interdependent master processes" (Tilly as irreducibly socio-ecological. Capitalism does notdevelop upon global nature so much as it emerges through the messy and contingent relations ofhumans with the rest of nature. Second, the paper engages Giovanni Arrighi's handling of time,space, and accumulation in The Long Twentieth Century. I highlight Arrighi 's arguments for a"structurally variant" capitalism, and the theory of organizational revolutions, as fruitful ways toconstruct a theory of capitalism as world-ecology. I conclude with a theory of accumulation andits crises as world-ecological process, building out from Marx's "general law" ofunderproduction. Historically, capitalism has been shaped by a dialectic of underproduction (toofew inputs and overproduction (too many commodities. Today, capitalism is poised for a re-emergence of underproduction crises, characterized by the insufficient flow of cheap food, fuel,labor, and energy to the productive circuit of capital. Far from the straightforward expression of"overshoot" and "peak everything," the likely resurgence of underproduction crises is anexpression of capitalism's longue duree tendency to undermine its conditions of reproduction.The world-ecological limit of capital, in other words, is capital itself

  19. Regulatory Technology Development Plan - Sodium Fast Reactor: Mechanistic Source Term – Trial Calculation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grabaskas, David [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Bucknor, Matthew [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Jerden, James [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Brunett, Acacia J. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Denman, Matthew [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Clark, Andrew [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division; Denning, Richard S. [Consultant, Columbus, OH (United States)

    2016-10-01

    The potential release of radioactive material during a plant incident, referred to as the source term, is a vital design metric and will be a major focus of advanced reactor licensing. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated an expectation for advanced reactor vendors to present a mechanistic assessment of the potential source term in their license applications. The mechanistic source term presents an opportunity for vendors to realistically assess the radiological consequences of an incident, and may allow reduced emergency planning zones and smaller plant sites. However, the development of a mechanistic source term for advanced reactors is not without challenges, as there are often numerous phenomena impacting the transportation and retention of radionuclides. This project sought to evaluate U.S. capabilities regarding the mechanistic assessment of radionuclide release from core damage incidents at metal fueled, pool-type sodium fast reactors (SFRs). The purpose of the analysis was to identify, and prioritize, any gaps regarding computational tools or data necessary for the modeling of radionuclide transport and retention phenomena. To accomplish this task, a parallel-path analysis approach was utilized. One path, led by Argonne and Sandia National Laboratories, sought to perform a mechanistic source term assessment using available codes, data, and models, with the goal to identify gaps in the current knowledge base. The second path, performed by an independent contractor, performed sensitivity analyses to determine the importance of particular radionuclides and transport phenomena in regards to offsite consequences. The results of the two pathways were combined to prioritize gaps in current capabilities.

  20. Biological invasions, ecological resilience and adaptive governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffin, Brian C; Garmestani, Ahjond S; Angeler, David G; Herrmann, Dustin L; Stow, Craig A; Nyström, Magnus; Sendzimir, Jan; Hopton, Matthew E; Kolasa, Jurek; Allen, Craig R

    2016-12-01

    In a world of increasing interconnections in global trade as well as rapid change in climate and land cover, the accelerating introduction and spread of invasive species is a critical concern due to associated negative social and ecological impacts, both real and perceived. Much of the societal response to invasive species to date has been associated with negative economic consequences of invasions. This response has shaped a war-like approach to addressing invasions, one with an agenda of eradications and intense ecological restoration efforts towards prior or more desirable ecological regimes. This trajectory often ignores the concept of ecological resilience and associated approaches of resilience-based governance. We argue that the relationship between ecological resilience and invasive species has been understudied to the detriment of attempts to govern invasions, and that most management actions fail, primarily because they do not incorporate adaptive, learning-based approaches. Invasive species can decrease resilience by reducing the biodiversity that underpins ecological functions and processes, making ecosystems more prone to regime shifts. However, invasions do not always result in a shift to an alternative regime; invasions can also increase resilience by introducing novelty, replacing lost ecological functions or adding redundancy that strengthens already existing structures and processes in an ecosystem. This paper examines the potential impacts of species invasions on the resilience of ecosystems and suggests that resilience-based approaches can inform policy by linking the governance of biological invasions to the negotiation of tradeoffs between ecosystem services. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Testing the molecular clock using mechanistic models of fossil preservation and molecular evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnock, Rachel C M; Yang, Ziheng; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2017-06-28

    Molecular sequence data provide information about relative times only, and fossil-based age constraints are the ultimate source of information about absolute times in molecular clock dating analyses. Thus, fossil calibrations are critical to molecular clock dating, but competing methods are difficult to evaluate empirically because the true evolutionary time scale is never known. Here, we combine mechanistic models of fossil preservation and sequence evolution in simulations to evaluate different approaches to constructing fossil calibrations and their impact on Bayesian molecular clock dating, and the relative impact of fossil versus molecular sampling. We show that divergence time estimation is impacted by the model of fossil preservation, sampling intensity and tree shape. The addition of sequence data may improve molecular clock estimates, but accuracy and precision is dominated by the quality of the fossil calibrations. Posterior means and medians are poor representatives of true divergence times; posterior intervals provide a much more accurate estimate of divergence times, though they may be wide and often do not have high coverage probability. Our results highlight the importance of increased fossil sampling and improved statistical approaches to generating calibrations, which should incorporate the non-uniform nature of ecological and temporal fossil species distributions. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. An Analysis of Trainers' Perspectives within an Ecological Framework: Factors that Influence Mine Safety Training Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Emily J; Hoebbel, Cassandra L; Rost, Kristen A

    2014-09-01

    Satisfactory completion of mine safety training is a prerequisite for being hired and for continued employment in the coal industry. Although training includes content to develop skills in a variety of mineworker competencies, research and recommendations continue to specify that specific limitations in the self-escape portion of training still exist and that mineworkers need to be better prepared to respond to emergencies that could occur in their mine. Ecological models are often used to inform the development of health promotion programs but have not been widely applied to occupational health and safety training programs. Nine mine safety trainers participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews. A theoretical analysis of the interviews was completed via an ecological lens. Each level of the social ecological model was used to examine factors that could be addressed both during and after mine safety training. The analysis suggests that problems surrounding communication and collaboration, leadership development, and responsibility and accountability at different levels within the mining industry contribute to deficiencies in mineworkers' mastery and maintenance of skills. This study offers a new technique to identify limitations in safety training systems and processes. The analysis suggests that training should be developed and disseminated with consideration of various levels-individual, interpersonal, organizational, and community-to promote skills. If factors identified within and between levels are addressed, it may be easier to sustain mineworker competencies that are established during safety training.

  3. Exploring the pros and cons of mechanistic case diagrams for problem-based learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minjeong Kim

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose Mechanistic case diagram (MCD was recommended for increasing the depth of understanding of disease, but with few articles on its specific methods. We address the experience of making MCD in the fullest depth to identify the pros and cons of using MCDs in such ways. Methods During problem-based learning, we gave guidelines of MCD for its mechanistic exploration from subcellular processes to clinical features, being laid out in as much detail as possible. To understand the students’ attitudes and depth of study using MCDs, we analyzed the results of a questionnaire in an open format about experiencing MCDs and examined the resulting products. Results Through the responses to questionnaire, we found several favorable outcomes, major of which was deeper insight and comprehensive understanding of disease facilitated by the process of making well-organized diagram. The main disadvantages of these guidelines were the feeling of too much workload and difficulty of finding mechanisms. Students gave suggestions to overcome these problems: cautious reading of comprehensive texts, additional guidance from staff about depth and focus of mechanisms, and cooperative group work. From the analysis of maps, we recognized there should be allowance of diversities in the appearance of maps and many hypothetical connections, which could be related to an insufficient understanding of mechanisms in nature. Conclusion The more detailed an MCD task is, the better students can become acquainted with deep knowledges. However, this advantage should be balanced by the results that there are many ensuing difficulties for the work and deliberate help plans should be prepared.

  4. A conception of ecological providing ground

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miroshkina, S.

    1995-01-01

    Full text: Ecological proving ground is a multifunctional intersectoral and interterritorial complex. The proving ground is created to organize the work of the Regional System of Ecological Safety, its structure and elements, and their unification and conversion into national system. It's also created for the working out of some questions of technical policy and normative-legal regulation in the field of ecology. The main task is the elaboration of mechanisms for the co-operation of the legislative executive bodies and their regional structure in the process of creation adoption and working of the Complex Regional System of Ecological Safety. The directions of polygon's activity: 1. Sanitary-epidemic protection of population. 2. Radiational Safety. 3. Chemical Safety. 4. Monitoring of Ecological situation and normalization of the environment. 4.1. Control of contamination of the waters. 4.2. Control of contamination of the air. 4.3. Ecological monitoring of soil. 4.4. State and protection of flora and fauna. 5. Ecologically pure agricultural production on the territory of the polygon. 5.1. Radiational and chemical control of agricultural areas and production. 5.2. Production of pure products. 6. The creation of normative, legal, informational, methodical and metrological supply of polygon's activity. 7. Optimization of the models of ecological situation. 8. Ecological informational-educational activity. The choice of territory for the polygon is based on the following statements: the intensity of ecological situation; the topography of the environment; the density of population; the availability of scientific base; the intensity of social movements. Some experience, that would allow to improve existing ecological legislation and spread some tried methods of supply of ecological safety on the territory of Russia, will be gained as a result. (author)

  5. Nutraceutical properties of flour and tortillas made with an ecological nixtamalization process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez, Lilia Irene Rodríguez; Cárdenas, Juan de Dios Figueroa; Gómez, Minerva Ramos; Lagunas, Lilia Leticia Méndez

    2013-10-01

    The traditional nixtamalization (TN) process, used for obtaining maize-based products, negatively affects bioactive compounds because of its highly alkaline pH. Recently, an ecological nixtamalization (EN) process has been developed that retains the pericarp and maintains the nejayote (wastewater) within the acidic-neutral range. This study examines the effect of pH on the nutraceutical compounds (NC) of maize, such as polyphenolics and anthocyanins (ANT), as well as the effect on the antioxidant capacity (AC). The highest concentration of total phenolics (TP) in the maize kernel was found in the black and yellow genotypes, the highest concentration of ANT in the black genotypes, and the highest concentration of AC in the red and white genotypes. In the flour, TP levels were between 206 to 400 mg GA/100 g, ANT levels were 141 to 4107 mg cyanidin-3 glucoside/kg, and AC levels were 2544 to 3001 mg AA/kg. In tortillas, TP levels were 255 to 319 mg GA/100 g, ANT levels were 32 to 3420 mg cyanidin-3 glucoside/kg, and AC levels were from 1513 to 2695 mg AA/kg. The reduced loss of soluble solids, the pH, and the formation of compounds with proteins and carbohydrates from the EN process positively affected NC retention. © 2013 Institute of Food Technologists®

  6. Some directions in ecological theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Bruce E

    2015-12-01

    The role of theory within ecology has changed dramatically in recent decades. Once primarily a source of qualitative conceptual framing, ecological theories and models are now often used to develop quantitative explanations of empirical patterns and to project future dynamics of specific ecological systems. In this essay, I recount my own experience of this transformation, in which accelerating computing power and the widespread incorporation of stochastic processes into ecological theory combined to create some novel integration of mathematical and statistical models. This stronger integration drives theory towards incorporating more biological realism, and I explore ways in which we can grapple with that realism to generate new general theoretical insights. This enhanced realism, in turn, may lead to frameworks for projecting ecological responses to anthropogenic change, which is, arguably, the central challenge for 21st-century ecology. In an era of big data and synthesis, ecologists are increasingly seeking to infer causality from observational data; but conventional biometry provides few tools for this project. This is a realm where theorists can and should play an important role, and I close by pointing towards some analytical and philosophical approaches developed in our sister discipline of economics that address this very problem. While I make no grand prognostications about the likely discoveries of ecological theory over the coming century, you will find in this essay a scattering of more or less far-fetched ideas that I, at least, think are interesting and (possibly) fruitful directions for our field.

  7. Emergence Unites Ecology and Society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald L. Trosper

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The effort to combine analysis of ecosystems and social systems requires a firm theoretical basis. When humans are present in an ecosystem, their actions affect emergent structures; this paper examines forms of emergence that account for the presence of humans. Humans monitor and regulate ecosystems based on their cultural systems. Cultural systems consist of concepts linked in complicated ways that can form consistent world views, can contain inconsistencies, and may or may not accurately model the properties of a social-ecological system. Consequently, human monitoring and regulating processes will differ, depending on cultural systems. Humans, as agents, change or maintain pre-existing material and cultural emergent structures. The presentation is illustrated with a case study of fire-prone forests. The paper shows that explicit attention to emergence serves very well in unifying the following requirements for social-ecological analysis: coherent and observable definitions of sustainability; ways to link ecological and social phenomena; ways to understand cultural reasons for stability and instability in dynamic social-ecological systems; and ways to include human self-evaluation and culture within dynamic models of social-ecological systems. Analysis of cultural emergent structures clarifies many differences in assumptions among the fields of economics, sociology, political science, ecology, and ecological economics. Because it can be readily applied to empirical questions, the framework provides a good way to organize policy analysis that is not dominated by one or another discipline.

  8. First-principles mechanistic studies of ammonia-related industrial processes

    OpenAIRE

    Gómez Díaz, Jaime

    2011-01-01

    In this dissertation, the mechanisms that govern four essential industrial processes have been studied by means of Density Functional Theory (DFT). The processes are the following: Ostwald (HNO3 production), Degussa and Andrussow (HCN production) and MacArthurForrest (gold recovery). In these processes, ammonia is the main raw material or a precursor of it.The KohnSham equations that describe the model systems have been solved by means of VASP and GPAW using the RPBE functional. These package...

  9. Mechanistic failure mode investigation and resolution of parvovirus retentive filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaCasse, Daniel; Lute, Scott; Fiadeiro, Marcus; Basha, Jonida; Stork, Matthew; Brorson, Kurt; Godavarti, Ranga; Gallo, Chris

    2016-07-08

    Virus retentive filters are a key product safety measure for biopharmaceuticals. A simplistic perception is that they function solely based on a size-based particle removal mechanism of mechanical sieving and retention of particles based on their hydrodynamic size. Recent observations have revealed a more nuanced picture, indicating that changes in viral particle retention can result from process pressure and/or flow interruptions. In this study, a mechanistic investigation was performed to help identify a potential mechanism leading to the reported reduced particle retention in small virus filters. Permeate flow rate or permeate driving force were varied and analyzed for their impact on particle retention in three commercially available small virus retentive filters. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:959-970, 2016. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skene, Keith R.

    2017-11-01

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

  11. Modeling Bird Migration under Climate Change: A Mechanistic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A.

    2009-01-01

    behavior can be maintained over increasing and sustained environmental change. Also, the problem is much more complex than described by the current processes captured in our model. We have taken some important and interesting steps, and our model does demonstrate how local scale information about individual stop-over sites can be linked into the migratory flyway as a whole. We are incorporating additional, species specific, mechanistic processes to better reflect different climate change scenarios

  12. Ecological geology environmental assessment of open-pit mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dong Shuangfa; Jiang Xue

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, there is a detail description of ecological geology environmental assessment of open-pit mines, including method, process and results. We took ecological geology environmental assessment work on the base of the results of some open-pit mines such as extremely low content magnetite in Hebei Province, inducted and summarized the ecological geology environment quality. The results are reasonable. It provides basic data for the second mines programming in Hebei Province. (authors)

  13. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Annual technical progress report of ecological research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, M.H.

    1996-01-01

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is a research unit of the University of Georgia (UGA). The overall mission of the Laboratory is to acquire and communicate knowledge of ecological processes and principles. SREL conducts basic and applied ecological research, as well as education and outreach programs, under a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, South Carolina. Significant accomplishments were made during the past year in the areas of research, education and service. The Laboratory's research mission was fulfilled with the publication of two books and 143 journal articles and book chapters by faculty, technical and students, and visiting scientists. An additional three books and about 80 journal articles currently are in press. Faculty, technician and students presented 193 lectures, scientific presentations, and posters to colleges and universities, including minority institutions. Dr. J Vaun McArthur organized and conducted the Third Annual SREL Symposium on the Environment: New Concepts in Strewn Ecology: An Integrative Approach. Dr. Michael Newman conducted a 5-day course titled Quantitative Methods in Ecotoxicology, and Dr. Brian Teppen of The Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences (AACES) taught a 3-day short course titled Introduction to Molecular Modeling of Environmental Systems. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin co-hosted a meeting of the Crocodile Special Interest Group. Dr. Rebecca Sharitz attended four symposia in Japan during May and June 1996 and conducted meetings of the Executive Committee and Board of the International Association for Ecology (ENTECOL)

  14. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Annual technical progress report of ecological research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, M.H.

    1996-07-31

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is a research unit of the University of Georgia (UGA). The overall mission of the Laboratory is to acquire and communicate knowledge of ecological processes and principles. SREL conducts basic and applied ecological research, as well as education and outreach programs, under a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, South Carolina. Significant accomplishments were made during the past year in the areas of research, education and service. The Laboratory`s research mission was fulfilled with the publication of two books and 143 journal articles and book chapters by faculty, technical and students, and visiting scientists. An additional three books and about 80 journal articles currently are in press. Faculty, technician and students presented 193 lectures, scientific presentations, and posters to colleges and universities, including minority institutions. Dr. J Vaun McArthur organized and conducted the Third Annual SREL Symposium on the Environment: New Concepts in Strewn Ecology: An Integrative Approach. Dr. Michael Newman conducted a 5-day course titled Quantitative Methods in Ecotoxicology, and Dr. Brian Teppen of The Advanced Analytical Center for Environmental Sciences (AACES) taught a 3-day short course titled Introduction to Molecular Modeling of Environmental Systems. Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin co-hosted a meeting of the Crocodile Special Interest Group. Dr. Rebecca Sharitz attended four symposia in Japan during May and June 1996 and conducted meetings of the Executive Committee and Board of the International Association for Ecology (ENTECOL).

  15. Ecological perspective: Linking ecology, GIS, and remote sensing to ecosystem management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig D.; Sample, V. Alaric

    1994-01-01

    Awareness of significant human impacts on the ecology of Earth's landscapes is not new (Thomas 1956). Over the past decade (Forman and Godron 1986, Urban et a1. 1987) applications of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies have supported a rapid rise in landscape.stale research. The heightened recognition within the research community of the ecological linkages between local sites and larger spatial scales has spawned increasing calls for more holistic management of landscapes (Noss 1983, Harris 1984, Risser 1985, Norse et al. 1986, Agee and Johnson 1988, Franklin 1989, Brooks and Grant 1992, Endangered Species Update-Special Issue 1993, Crow 1994, Grumbine 1994). As a result agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service are now converging on "ecosystem management" as a new paradigm to sustainably manage wildlands and maintain biodiversity. However, as this transition occurs, several impediments to implementation of this new paradigm persist, including(1) significant uncenainty among many land managers about the definition and goals of ecosystem management,(2) inadequate ecological information on the past and present processes and structural conditions of target ecosystems,(3) insufficient experience on the part of land managers with the rapidly diversifying array of GIS and remote sensing tools to effectively use them to support ecology-based land management, and(4) a paucity of intimate, long-term relationships between people (including land managers) and the particular landscape communities to which they belong.This chapter provides an ecological perspective on these issues as applied to ecosystem management in a southwestern U.S. landscape.

  16. Ecological economics - a special perspective? Preliminary reflections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2002-01-01

    This paper reports on some preliminary reflections from a research project concerning ecological economics as a special perspective. As Clive Spash noted in a presentation at the ESEE conference in Cambridge, July 2001, ecological economics has reached the age of puberty, looks into the glass...... and searches its own identity. The identity seeking processes are visible in the large number of publications discussing the characteristics of ecological economics as well as the similarities to and differences from environmental economics. The present paper is a part of this stream. The paper is work...

  17. BMC Ecology image competition: the winning images

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    BMC Ecology announces the winning entries in its inaugural Ecology Image Competition, open to anyone affiliated with a research institute. The competition, which received more than 200 entries from international researchers at all career levels and a wide variety of scientific disciplines, was looking for striking visual interpretations of ecological processes. In this Editorial, our academic Section Editors and guest judge Dr Yan Wong explain what they found most appealing about their chosen winning entries, and highlight a few of the outstanding images that didn’t quite make it to the top prize. PMID:23517630

  18. BMC Ecology image competition: the winning images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, Simon; Wong, Yan; Baguette, Michel; Bonsall, Michael B; Clobert, Jean; Royle, Nick J; Settele, Josef

    2013-03-22

    BMC Ecology announces the winning entries in its inaugural Ecology Image Competition, open to anyone affiliated with a research institute. The competition, which received more than 200 entries from international researchers at all career levels and a wide variety of scientific disciplines, was looking for striking visual interpretations of ecological processes. In this Editorial, our academic Section Editors and guest judge Dr Yan Wong explain what they found most appealing about their chosen winning entries, and highlight a few of the outstanding images that didn't quite make it to the top prize.

  19. The mechanistic bases of the power-time relationship

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vanhatalo, Anni; Black, Matthew I; DiMenna, Fred J

    2016-01-01

    .025) and inversely correlated with muscle type IIx fibre proportion (r = -0.76, P = 0.01). There was no relationship between W' (19.4 ± 6.3 kJ) and muscle fibre type. These data indicate a mechanistic link between the bioenergetic characteristics of different muscle fibre types and the power-duration relationship...

  20. EI: A Program for Ecological Inference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary King

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available The program EI provides a method of inferring individual behavior from aggregate data. It implements the statistical procedures, diagnostics, and graphics from the book A Solution to the Ecological Inference Problem: Reconstructing Individual Behavior from Aggregate Data (King 1997. Ecological inference, as traditionally defined, is the process of using aggregate (i.e., "ecological" data to infer discrete individual-level relationships of interest when individual-level data are not available. Ecological inferences are required in political science research when individual-level surveys are unavailable (e.g., local or comparative electoral politics, unreliable (racial politics, insufficient (political geography, or infeasible (political history. They are also required in numerous areas of ma jor significance in public policy (e.g., for applying the Voting Rights Act and other academic disciplines ranging from epidemiology and marketing to sociology and quantitative history.

  1. Carrying photosynthesis genes increases ecological fitness of cyanophage in silico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellweger, Ferdi L

    2009-06-01

    Several viruses infecting marine cyanobacteria carry photosynthesis genes (e.g. psbA, hli) that are expressed, yield proteins (D1, HLIP) and help maintain the cell's photosynthesis apparatus during the latent period. This increases energy and speeds up virus production, allowing for a reduced latent period (a fitness benefit), but it also increases the DNA size, which slows down new virus production and reduces burst size (a fitness cost). How do these genes affect the net ecological fitness of the virus? Here, this question is explored using a combined systems biology and systems ecology ('systems bioecology') approach. A novel agent-based model simulates individual cyanobacteria cells and virus particles, each with their own genes, transcripts, proteins and other properties. The effect of D1 and HLIP proteins is explicitly considered using a mechanistic photosynthesis component. The model is calibrated to the available database for Prochlorococcus ecotype MED4 and podovirus P-SSP7. Laboratory- and field-scale in silico survival, competition and evolution (gene packaging error) experiments with wild type and genetically engineered viruses are performed to develop vertical survival and fitness profiles, and to determine the optimal gene content. The results suggest that photosynthesis genes are nonessential, increase fitness in a manner correlated with irradiance, and that the wild type has an optimal gene content.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Marine fronts at the continental shelves of austral South America - Physical and ecological processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acha, Eduardo M.; Mianzan, Hermes W.; Guerrero, Raúl A.; Favero, Marco; Bava, José

    2004-01-01

    Neritic fronts are very abundant in austral South America, covering several scales of space and time. However, this region is poorly studied from a systemic point of view. Our main goal is to develop a holistic view of physical and ecological patterns and processes at austral South America, regarding frontal arrangements. Satellite information (sea surface temperature and chlorophyll concentration), and historical hydrographic data were employed to show fronts. We compiled all existing evidence (physical and biological) about fronts to identify regions defined by similar types of coastal fronts and to characterize them. Fronts in austral South America can be arranged in six zones according to their location, main forcing, key physical variables, seasonality, and enrichment mechanisms. Four zones, the Atlantic upwelling zone; the temperate estuarine zone; the Patagonian tidal zone and the Argentine shelf-break zone, occupy most of the Atlantic side. The Chile-Peru upwelling zone, on the Pacific, is the largest and best-known region. The Patagonian cold estuarine zone encompasses the tip of South America, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and remains poorly studied. When observed at a continental scale, the Pacific coast dominated by two large frontal zones appears simplest than the Atlantic coast in terms of frontal richness. The extension of the continental shelf in the Atlantic coast allows for the development of a great diversity of mesoscale fronts. Though frontal zones we defined are extensive areas of the continental shelves, fronts inside the zones are comparatively small areas. Even so, they play a paramount role in ecological processes, allowing for high biological production; offering feeding and/or reproductive habitats for fishes, squids, and birds; acting as retention areas for larvae of benthic species; and promoting establishment of benthic invertebrates that benefit from the organic production in the frontal area.

  4. 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.

  5. Long term socio-ecological research across temporal and spatial scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, S. J.; Haberl, H.

    2012-04-01

    Long term socio-ecological research across temporal and spatial scales Simron Jit Singh and Helmut Haberl Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna, Austria Understanding trajectories of change in coupled socio-ecological (or human-environment) systems requires monitoring and analysis at several spatial and temporal scales. Long-term ecosystem research (LTER) is a strand of research coupled with observation systems and infrastructures (LTER sites) aimed at understanding how global change affects ecosystems around the world. In recent years it has been increasingly recognized that sustainability concerns require extending this approach to long-term socio-ecological research, i.e. a more integrated perspective that focuses on interaction processes between society and ecosystems over longer time periods. Thus, Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research, abbreviated LTSER, aims at observing, analyzing, understanding and modelling of changes in coupled socio-ecological systems over long periods of time. Indeed, the magnitude of the problems we now face is an outcome of a much longer process, accelerated by industrialisation since the nineteenth century. The paper will provide an overview of a book (in press) on LTSER with particular emphasis on 'socio-ecological transitions' in terms of material, energy and land use dynamics across temporal and spatial scales.

  6. Mechanistic studies of carbon monoxide reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geoffroy, G.L.

    1990-06-12

    The progress made during the current grant period (1 January 1988--1 April 1990) in three different areas of research is summarized. The research areas are: (1) oxidatively-induced double carbonylation reactions to form {alpha}-ketoacyl complexes and studies of the reactivity of the resulting compounds, (2) mechanistic studies of the carbonylation of nitroaromatics to form isocyanates, carbamates, and ureas, and (3) studies of the formation and reactivity of unusual metallacycles and alkylidene ligands supported on binuclear iron carbonyl fragments. 18 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Advanced reach tool (ART) : Development of the mechanistic model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fransman, W.; Tongeren, M. van; Cherrie, J.W.; Tischer, M.; Schneider, T.; Schinkel, J.; Kromhout, H.; Warren, N.; Goede, H.; Tielemans, E.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the development of the mechanistic model within a collaborative project, referred to as the Advanced REACH Tool (ART) project, to develop a tool to model inhalation exposure for workers sharing similar operational conditions across different industries and locations in Europe.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponciano, José Miguel

    2017-11-22

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

  9. Influence of Reclamation Process on the Ecological Quality of Reclaim Sand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dereń M.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In this article, there were presented results of research on influence of reclamation process on the ecological quality of reclaim sand with furan resin used in nonferrous foundry. The quality of reclaimed sand is mainly define by two group of chemical substances from elution of reclaimed sand: Dissolves Organic Carbon (DOC and Total Dissolves Solids (TDS. Reclaimed sand used in test was prepared in experimental thermal reclaimer and mechanical vibration reclaimer REGMAS installed in Faculty of Foundry Engineering at University Of Science and Technology in Krakow. The reference point is molding sand shaking out and crumble in jaw crusher. Test of elution was made in accredited laboratory in Center For Research and Environmental Control in Katowice up to the standard with Dissolves Organic Carbon (DOC - PN-EN 1484:1999; Total Dissolves Solids (TDS - PN-EN 15216:2010. The standard for elution test is PN-EN 12457- 4:2006. Except that we were made loss of ignition test, to check how many resin was rest on sand grains.

  10. Trait plasticity in species interactions: a driving force of community dynamics.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berg, M.P.; Ellers, J.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary community ecology is an emerging field of study that includes evolutionary principles such as individual trait variation and plasticity of traits to provide a more mechanistic insight as to how species diversity is maintained and community processes are shaped across time and space. In

  11. Rewriting the Matrix of Life. Biomedia Between Ecological Crisis and Playful Actions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Neubert, Serjoscha Wiemer

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper discusses concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘life’ as subjected to historical changes. The 21st century seems to be obsessed with ‘life’ and ‘nature’, which are reconfigured as objects of simulation practices and of a multitude of technoscientific enterprises as well as of political struggle. The historical influences and epistemological shifts of systems thinking are significant within two distinctive and interwoven fields: On the one hand the discourse of environmentalism with the paradigm of ecological crises, centered around ideas of resource management, sustainability, the general idea of an ‘endangered nature’ and the interconnectedness of global politics and individual actions. On the other hand the optimistic promises of artificial life, with synthetic biology and digital cyborg technologies as its avantgarde, which are very much driven by the idea of technoscientific mastery to surpass natures ‘weakness’ and by desires to improve ‘life’ and to even refashion ‘life itself’. On the field of historical ecology, concepts of systems thinking are traced back to the middle of the 19th century, where ecological thought emerged at the intersections of biology and geography. Meandering between vitalistic, holistic, and mechanistic concepts, between living and non-living elements, systems ecology finally substitutes ‘nature’, which in turn is re-established in its new ‘gestalt’ as computer simulated world model since the early 1970s. Resurrected as an interrelation of system variables at the level of global simulations ‘nature’ strikes as a zombie. As a second turning point of the rewriting of the matrix, of life we will discuss the advance of ‘games’ since the early 1970ies, with the example of ‘Game of life’ (‘Life’ as a significant landmark. When ‘life’ becomes ‘Life’, it is by computerized modeling in terms of dynamic processes. Computer games can be thought of as instances of

  12. Bayesian change-point analyses in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Bekcage; Lawrence Joseph; Patrick Belisle; David B. Wolfson; William J. Platt

    2007-01-01

    Ecological and biological processes can change from one state to another once a threshold has been crossed in space or time. Threshold responses to incremental changes in underlying variables can characterize diverse processes from climate change to the desertification of arid lands from overgrazing.

  13. Synergistic selection between ecological niche and mate preference primes diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boughman, Janette W; Svanbäck, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The ecological niche and mate preferences have independently been shown to be important for the process of speciation. Here, we articulate a novel mechanism by which ecological niche use and mate preference can be linked to promote speciation. The degree to which individual niches are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent natural selection and population splitting. Similarly, the degree to which individual mate preferences are narrow and clustered affects the strength of divergent sexual selection and assortative mating between diverging forms. This novel perspective is inspired by the literature on ecological niches; it also explores mate preferences and how they may contribute to speciation. Unlike much comparative work, we do not search for evolutionary patterns using proxies for adaptation and sexual selection, but rather we elucidate how ideas from niche theory relate to mate preference, and how this relationship can foster speciation. Recognizing that individual and population niches are conceptually and ecologically linked to individual and population mate preference functions will significantly increase our understanding of rapid evolutionary diversification in nature. It has potential to help solve the difficult challenge of testing the role of sexual selection in the speciation process. We also identify ecological factors that are likely to affect individual niche and individual mate preference in synergistic ways and as a consequence to promote speciation. The ecological niche an individual occupies can directly affect its mate preference. Clusters of individuals with narrow, differentiated niches are likely to have narrow, differentiated mate preference functions. Our approach integrates ecological and sexual selection research to further our understanding of diversification processes. Such integration may be necessary for progress because these processes seem inextricably linked in the natural world. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution

  14. Ontogenetic diet shifts and their incidence on ecological processes: a case study using two morphologically similar stoneflies (Plecoptera)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Céréghino, Régis

    2006-07-01

    Most ecological studies consider conspecific individuals as ecologically equivalent, assuming that inter-instar variation is weak and has a limited influence on functional processes. To test this assumption, we investigated the life history and trophic basis of production in two predatory stoneflies, Perlodes microcephalus and Isoperla acicularis, in a mountain stream. The variety of prey types increased with predator size. However, larvae started their development with a strictly phytophagous diet (3 months), then ingested both vegetal material and animal prey (2-3 months). Finally, larvae were strictly carnivorous when head width reached 1.1 mm. Young (herbivorous) I. acicularis larvae occurred from June to August. Young P. microcephalus larvae hatched in October, and were herbivorous until December, when I. acicularis larvae were omnivorous. Competition for animal prey was likely to occur in the spring, but P. microcephalus grew faster and emerged earlier. The cohort productions were mostly based on carnivory (78.7-90.7%), because most production occurred in later instars. Ontogenetic diet shifts could play a role in the structuring of species assemblages by adjusting species' requirements to the temporal dynamics of environmental conditions, including food availability and biotic interactions. However, their incidence on global processes is quantitatively limited, large individuals having the greatest impacts on the way energy flows.

  15. Higher-order neural processing tunes motion neurons to visual ecology in three species of hawkmoths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stöckl, A L; O'Carroll, D; Warrant, E J

    2017-06-28

    To sample information optimally, sensory systems must adapt to the ecological demands of each animal species. These adaptations can occur peripherally, in the anatomical structures of sensory organs and their receptors; and centrally, as higher-order neural processing in the brain. While a rich body of investigations has focused on peripheral adaptations, our understanding is sparse when it comes to central mechanisms. We quantified how peripheral adaptations in the eyes, and central adaptations in the wide-field motion vision system, set the trade-off between resolution and sensitivity in three species of hawkmoths active at very different light levels: nocturnal Deilephila elpenor, crepuscular Manduca sexta , and diurnal Macroglossum stellatarum. Using optical measurements and physiological recordings from the photoreceptors and wide-field motion neurons in the lobula complex, we demonstrate that all three species use spatial and temporal summation to improve visual performance in dim light. The diurnal Macroglossum relies least on summation, but can only see at brighter intensities. Manduca, with large sensitive eyes, relies less on neural summation than the smaller eyed Deilephila , but both species attain similar visual performance at nocturnal light levels. Our results reveal how the visual systems of these three hawkmoth species are intimately matched to their visual ecologies. © 2017 The Author(s).

  16. A Mechanistic Beta-Binomial Probability Model for mRNA Sequencing Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Gregory R; Birtwistle, Marc R

    2016-01-01

    A main application for mRNA sequencing (mRNAseq) is determining lists of differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) between two or more conditions. Several software packages exist to produce DEGs from mRNAseq data, but they typically yield different DEGs, sometimes markedly so. The underlying probability model used to describe mRNAseq data is central to deriving DEGs, and not surprisingly most softwares use different models and assumptions to analyze mRNAseq data. Here, we propose a mechanistic justification to model mRNAseq as a binomial process, with data from technical replicates given by a binomial distribution, and data from biological replicates well-described by a beta-binomial distribution. We demonstrate good agreement of this model with two large datasets. We show that an emergent feature of the beta-binomial distribution, given parameter regimes typical for mRNAseq experiments, is the well-known quadratic polynomial scaling of variance with the mean. The so-called dispersion parameter controls this scaling, and our analysis suggests that the dispersion parameter is a continually decreasing function of the mean, as opposed to current approaches that impose an asymptotic value to the dispersion parameter at moderate mean read counts. We show how this leads to current approaches overestimating variance for moderately to highly expressed genes, which inflates false negative rates. Describing mRNAseq data with a beta-binomial distribution thus may be preferred since its parameters are relatable to the mechanistic underpinnings of the technique and may improve the consistency of DEG analysis across softwares, particularly for moderately to highly expressed genes.

  17. Intrinsic incompatibilities evolving as a by-product of divergent ecological selection: Considering them in empirical studies on divergence with gene flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulmuni, J; Westram, A M

    2017-06-01

    The possibility of intrinsic barriers to gene flow is often neglected in empirical research on local adaptation and speciation with gene flow, for example when interpreting patterns observed in genome scans. However, we draw attention to the fact that, even with gene flow, divergent ecological selection may generate intrinsic barriers involving both ecologically selected and other interacting loci. Mechanistically, the link between the two types of barriers may be generated by genes that have multiple functions (i.e., pleiotropy), and/or by gene interaction networks. Because most genes function in complex networks, and their evolution is not independent of other genes, changes evolving in response to ecological selection can generate intrinsic barriers as a by-product. A crucial question is to what extent such by-product barriers contribute to divergence and speciation-that is whether they stably reduce gene flow. We discuss under which conditions by-product barriers may increase isolation. However, we also highlight that, depending on the conditions (e.g., the amount of gene flow and the strength of selection acting on the intrinsic vs. the ecological barrier component), the intrinsic incompatibility may actually destabilize barriers to gene flow. In practice, intrinsic barriers generated as a by-product of divergent ecological selection may generate peaks in genome scans that cannot easily be interpreted. We argue that empirical studies on divergence with gene flow should consider the possibility of both ecological and intrinsic barriers. Future progress will likely come from work combining population genomic studies, experiments quantifying fitness and molecular studies on protein function and interactions. © 2017 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Toward a Rational and Mechanistic Account of Mental Effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenhav, Amitai; Musslick, Sebastian; Lieder, Falk; Kool, Wouter; Griffiths, Thomas L; Cohen, Jonathan D; Botvinick, Matthew M

    2017-07-25

    In spite of its familiar phenomenology, the mechanistic basis for mental effort remains poorly understood. Although most researchers agree that mental effort is aversive and stems from limitations in our capacity to exercise cognitive control, it is unclear what gives rise to those limitations and why they result in an experience of control as costly. The presence of these control costs also raises further questions regarding how best to allocate mental effort to minimize those costs and maximize the attendant benefits. This review explores recent advances in computational modeling and empirical research aimed at addressing these questions at the level of psychological process and neural mechanism, examining both the limitations to mental effort exertion and how we manage those limited cognitive resources. We conclude by identifying remaining challenges for theoretical accounts of mental effort as well as possible applications of the available findings to understanding the causes of and potential solutions for apparent failures to exert the mental effort required of us.

  19. The big data-big model (BDBM) challenges in ecological research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The field of ecology has become a big-data science in the past decades due to development of new sensors used in numerous studies in the ecological community. Many sensor networks have been established to collect data. For example, satellites, such as Terra and OCO-2 among others, have collected data relevant on global carbon cycle. Thousands of field manipulative experiments have been conducted to examine feedback of terrestrial carbon cycle to global changes. Networks of observations, such as FLUXNET, have measured land processes. In particular, the implementation of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), which is designed to network different kinds of sensors at many locations over the nation, will generate large volumes of ecological data every day. The raw data from sensors from those networks offer an unprecedented opportunity for accelerating advances in our knowledge of ecological processes, educating teachers and students, supporting decision-making, testing ecological theory, and forecasting changes in ecosystem services. Currently, ecologists do not have the infrastructure in place to synthesize massive yet heterogeneous data into resources for decision support. It is urgent to develop an ecological forecasting system that can make the best use of multiple sources of data to assess long-term biosphere change and anticipate future states of ecosystem services at regional and continental scales. Forecasting relies on big models that describe major processes that underlie complex system dynamics. Ecological system models, despite great simplification of the real systems, are still complex in order to address real-world problems. For example, Community Land Model (CLM) incorporates thousands of processes related to energy balance, hydrology, and biogeochemistry. Integration of massive data from multiple big data sources with complex models has to tackle Big Data-Big Model (BDBM) challenges. Those challenges include interoperability of multiple

  20. Guide for developing conceptual models for ecological risk assessments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W., II.

    1996-05-01

    Ecological conceptual models are the result of the problem formulation phase of an ecological risk assessment, which is an important component of the Remedial Investigation process. They present hypotheses of how the site contaminants might affect the site ecology. The contaminant sources, routes, media, routes, and endpoint receptors are presented in the form of a flow chart. This guide is for preparing the conceptual models; use of this guide will standardize the models so that they will be of high quality, useful to the assessment process, and sufficiently consistent so that connections between sources of exposure and receptors can be extended across operable units (OU). Generic conceptual models are presented for source, aquatic integrator, groundwater integrator, and terrestrial OUs

  1. Ecological networks: a spatial concept for multi-actor planning of sustainable landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Opdam, P.F.M.; Steingröver, E.G.; Rooij, van S.A.M.

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, we propose the ecological network concept as a suitable basis for inserting biodiversity conservation into sustainable landscape development. For landscapes to be ecologically sustainable, the landscape structure should support those ecological processes required for the landscape to

  2. Multiscale mechanistic modeling in pharmaceutical research and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuepfer, Lars; Lippert, Jörg; Eissing, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Discontinuation of drug development projects due to lack of efficacy or adverse events is one of the main cost drivers in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Investments have to be written-off and contribute to the total costs of a successful drug candidate receiving marketing authorization and allowing return on invest. A vital risk for pharmaceutical innovator companies is late stage clinical failure since costs for individual clinical trials may exceed the one billion Euro threshold. To guide investment decisions and to safeguard maximum medical benefit and safety for patients recruited in clinical trials, it is therefore essential to understand the clinical consequences of all information and data generated. The complexity of the physiological and pathophysiological processes and the sheer amount of information available overcharge the mental capacity of any human being and prevent a prediction of the success in clinical development. A rigorous integration of knowledge, assumption, and experimental data into computational models promises a significant improvement of the rationalization of decision making in pharmaceutical industry. We here give an overview of the current status of modeling and simulation in pharmaceutical R&D and outline the perspectives of more recent developments in mechanistic modeling. Specific modeling approaches for different biological scales ranging from intracellular processes to whole organism physiology are introduced and an example for integrative multiscale modeling of therapeutic efficiency in clinical oncology trials is showcased.

  3. Applications Research of Microbial Ecological Preparation in Sea Cucumber Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiahui; Wang, Guangyu

    2017-12-01

    At present, micro ecological preparation is widely applied in aquaculture with good effect. The application of micro ecological preparation in sea cucumber culture can effectively improve the economic benefits. The micro ecological preparation can play the role of inhibiting harmful bacteria, purifying water quality and saving culture cost in the process of sea cucumber culture. We should select appropriate bacteria, guarantee stable environment and use with long-term in the applications of microbial ecological preparation in sea cucumber culture to obtain good effects.

  4. Assessment and management of ecological integrity: Chapter 12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Thomas J.; Freeman, Mary C.

    2010-01-01

    Assessing and understanding the impacts of human activities on aquatic ecosystems has long been a focus of ecologists, water resources managers, and fisheries scientists. While traditional fisheries management focused on single-species approaches to enhance fish stocks, there is a growing emphasis on management approaches at community and ecosystem levels. Of course, as fisheries managers shift their attention from narrow (e.g., populations) to broad organizational scales (e.g., communities or ecosystems), ecological processes and management objectives become more complex. At the community level, fisheries managers may strive for a fish assemblage that is complex, persistent, and resilient to disturbance. Aquatic ecosystem level objectives may focus on management for habitat quality and ecological processes, such as nutrient dynamics, productivity, or trophic interactions, but a long-term goal of ecosystem management may be to maintain ecological integrity. However, human users and social, economic, and political demands of fisheries management often result in a reduction of ecological integrity in managed systems, and this conflict presents a principal challenge for the modern fisheries manager. The concepts of biotic integrity and ecological integrity are being applied in fisheries science, natural resource management, and environmental legislation, but explicit definitions of these terms are elusive. Biotic integrity of an ecosystem may be defined as the capability of supporting and maintaining an integrated, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to that of a natural habitat of the region (Karr and Dudley 1981). Following that, ecological integrity is the summation of chemical, physical, and biological integrity. Thus, the concept of ecological integrity extends beyond fish and represents a holistic approach for ecosystem management that is especially applicable to aquatic systems. The

  5. An ecological method to understand agricultural standardization in peach orchard ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Nian-Feng; Zhang, Ming-Yi; Jiang, Jie-Xian; Ji, Xiang-Yun; Hao-Zhang

    2016-02-22

    While the worldwide standardization of agricultural production has been advocated and recommended, relatively little research has focused on the ecological significance of such a shift. The ecological concerns stemming from the standardization of agricultural production may require new methodology. In this study, we concentrated on how ecological two-sidedness and ecological processes affect the standardization of agricultural production which was divided into three phrases (pre-, mid- and post-production), considering both the positive and negative effects of agricultural processes. We constructed evaluation indicator systems for the pre-, mid- and post-production phases and here we presented a Standardization of Green Production Index (SGPI) based on the Full Permutation Polygon Synthetic Indicator (FPPSI) method which we used to assess the superiority of three methods of standardized production for peaches. The values of SGPI for pre-, mid- and post-production were 0.121 (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), 0.379 (Level III, "Good" standard), and 0.769 × 10(-2) (Level IV, "Excellent" standard), respectively. Here we aimed to explore the integrated application of ecological two-sidedness and ecological process in agricultural production. Our results are of use to decision-makers and ecologists focusing on eco-agriculture and those farmers who hope to implement standardized agricultural production practices.

  6. A Physics-Inspired Mechanistic Model of Migratory Movement Patterns in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revell, Christopher; Somveille, Marius

    2017-08-29

    In this paper, we introduce a mechanistic model of migratory movement patterns in birds, inspired by ideas and methods from physics. Previous studies have shed light on the factors influencing bird migration but have mainly relied on statistical correlative analysis of tracking data. Our novel method offers a bottom up explanation of population-level migratory movement patterns. It differs from previous mechanistic models of animal migration and enables predictions of pathways and destinations from a given starting location. We define an environmental potential landscape from environmental data and simulate bird movement within this landscape based on simple decision rules drawn from statistical mechanics. We explore the capacity of the model by qualitatively comparing simulation results to the non-breeding migration patterns of a seabird species, the Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophris). This minimal, two-parameter model was able to capture remarkably well the previously documented migration patterns of the Black-browed Albatross, with the best combination of parameter values conserved across multiple geographically separate populations. Our physics-inspired mechanistic model could be applied to other bird and highly-mobile species, improving our understanding of the relative importance of various factors driving migration and making predictions that could be useful for conservation.

  7. Monitoring Ecological Resources within U.S. National Parks: Developing "Vital Signs" of Ecological Integrity for the Northeast Temperate Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Don Faber-Langendoen; Geraldine Tierney; James Gibbs; Greg Shriver; Fred Dieffenbach; Pam Lombard

    2006-01-01

    The National Park Service (NPS) initiated a new “Vital Signs” program in 1998 to develop comprehensive, long-term monitoring of ecological resources within U.S. national parks. Vital signs (VS) are indicators, and are defined as key elements, processes or features of the environment that can be measured or estimated and that indicate the ecological integrity of an...

  8. Overview of the South African mechanistic pavement design analysis method

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Theyse, HL

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available A historical overview of the South African mechanistic pavement design method, from its development in the early 1970s to the present, is presented. Material characterization, structural analysis, and pavement life prediction are discussed...

  9. Bringing an ecological view of change to Landsat-based remote sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Robert E.; Andrefouet, Serge; Cohen, Warren; Gomez, Cristina; Griffiths, Patrick; Hais, Martin; Healey, Sean; Helmer, Eileen H.; Hostert, Patrick; Lyons, Mitchell; Meigs, Garrett; Pflugmacher, Dirk; Phinn, Stuart; Powell, Scott; Scarth, Peter; Susmita, Sen; Schroeder, Todd A.; Schneider, Annemarie; Sonnenschein, Ruth; Vogelmann, James; Wulder, Michael A.; Zhu, Zhe

    2014-01-01

    When characterizing the processes that shape ecosystems, ecologists increasingly use the unique perspective offered by repeat observations of remotely sensed imagery. However, the concept of change embodied in much of the traditional remote-sensing literature was primarily limited to capturing large or extreme changes occurring in natural systems, omitting many more subtle processes of interest to ecologists. Recent technical advances have led to a fundamental shift toward an ecological view of change. Although this conceptual shift began with coarser-scale global imagery, it has now reached users of Landsat imagery, since these datasets have temporal and spatial characteristics appropriate to many ecological questions. We argue that this ecologically relevant perspective of change allows the novel characterization of important dynamic processes, including disturbances, long-term trends, cyclical functions, and feedbacks, and that these improvements are already facilitating our understanding of critical driving forces, such as climate change, ecological interactions, and economic pressures.

  10. Ecological partitioning and diversity in tropical planktonic foraminifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seears Heidi A

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ecological processes are increasingly being viewed as an important mode of diversification in the marine environment, where the high dispersal potential of pelagic organisms, and a lack of absolute barriers to gene flow may limit the occurrence of allopatric speciation through vicariance. Here we focus on the potential role of ecological partitioning in the diversification of a widely distributed group of marine protists, the planktonic foraminifera. Sampling was conducted in the tropical Arabian Sea, during the southwest (summer monsoon, when pronounced environmental conditions result in a strong disparity in temperature, salinity and productivity between distinct northern and southern water masses. Results We uncovered extensive genetic diversity within the Arabian Sea planktonic foraminifera, identifying 13 morphospecies, represented by 20 distinct SSU rRNA genetic types. Several morphospecies/genetic types displayed non-random biogeographical distributions, partitioning between the northern and southern water masses, giving a strong indication of independent ecological adaptations. Conclusions We propose sea-surface primary productivity as the main factor driving the geographical segregation of Arabian Sea planktonic foraminifera, during the SW monsoon, with variations in symbiotic associations possibly playing a role in the specific ecological adaptations observed. Our findings suggest that ecological partitioning could be contributing to the high levels of 'cryptic' genetic diversity observed within the planktonic foraminifera, and support the view that ecological processes may play a key role in the diversification of marine pelagic organisms.

  11. Annual report of ecological research at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1976-05-01

    Studies on mineral cycling are concerned with availability of stable elements and radionuclides to the biota of the southeastern coastal plain; the role of primary producers, consumers, and detritivores in cycling processes; the factors that limit or regulate rate processes in southeastern ecosystems; the importance of interactions among energy flow, thermal environments, and mineral cycling processes on rates of biomass buildup and transfer within southeastern ecosystems; the extent to which transfer coefficients are modified by population processes that influence the temporal or spatial turnover of compartmental standing crops; and the validation of models of cycling processes in southeastern ecosystems at various sites on the southeastern coastal plain. Research in thermal ecology is being conducted on macrophytes, snails, fishes, high parasites, shrimp, crayfish, turtles, and alligators

  12. Diversity spurs diversification in ecological communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, Vincent; Jarne, Philippe; Loreau, Michel; Mouquet, Nicolas; David, Patrice

    2017-06-01

    Diversity is a fundamental, yet threatened, property of ecological systems. The idea that diversity can itself favour diversification, in an autocatalytic process, is very appealing but remains controversial. Here, we study a generalized model of ecological communities and investigate how the level of initial diversity influences the possibility of evolutionary diversification. We show that even simple models of intra- and inter-specific ecological interactions can predict a positive effect of diversity on diversification: adaptive radiations may require a threshold number of species before kicking-off. We call this phenomenon DDAR (diversity-dependent adaptive radiations) and identify mathematically two distinct pathways connecting diversity to diversification, involving character displacement and the positive diversity-productivity relationship. Our results may explain observed delays in adaptive radiations at the macroscale and diversification patterns reported in experimental microbial communities, and shed new light on the dynamics of ecological diversity, the diversity-dependence of diversification rates, and the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  13. Diversity spurs diversification in ecological communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, Vincent; Jarne, Philippe; Loreau, Michel; Mouquet, Nicolas; David, Patrice

    2017-06-09

    Diversity is a fundamental, yet threatened, property of ecological systems. The idea that diversity can itself favour diversification, in an autocatalytic process, is very appealing but remains controversial. Here, we study a generalized model of ecological communities and investigate how the level of initial diversity influences the possibility of evolutionary diversification. We show that even simple models of intra- and inter-specific ecological interactions can predict a positive effect of diversity on diversification: adaptive radiations may require a threshold number of species before kicking-off. We call this phenomenon DDAR (diversity-dependent adaptive radiations) and identify mathematically two distinct pathways connecting diversity to diversification, involving character displacement and the positive diversity-productivity relationship. Our results may explain observed delays in adaptive radiations at the macroscale and diversification patterns reported in experimental microbial communities, and shed new light on the dynamics of ecological diversity, the diversity-dependence of diversification rates, and the consequences of biodiversity loss.

  14. Mechanistic applicability domain classification of a local lymph node assay dataset for skin sensitization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David W; Patlewicz, Grace; Kern, Petra S; Gerberick, Frank; Kimber, Ian; Dearman, Rebecca J; Ryan, Cindy A; Basketter, David A; Aptula, Aynur O

    2007-07-01

    The goal of eliminating animal testing in the predictive identification of chemicals with the intrinsic ability to cause skin sensitization is an important target, the attainment of which has recently been brought into even sharper relief by the EU Cosmetics Directive and the requirements of the REACH legislation. Development of alternative methods requires that the chemicals used to evaluate and validate novel approaches comprise not only confirmed skin sensitizers and non-sensitizers but also substances that span the full chemical mechanistic spectrum associated with skin sensitization. To this end, a recently published database of more than 200 chemicals tested in the mouse local lymph node assay (LLNA) has been examined in relation to various chemical reaction mechanistic domains known to be associated with sensitization. It is demonstrated here that the dataset does cover the main reaction mechanistic domains. In addition, it is shown that assignment to a reaction mechanistic domain is a critical first step in a strategic approach to understanding, ultimately on a quantitative basis, how chemical properties influence the potency of skin sensitizing chemicals. This understanding is necessary if reliable non-animal approaches, including (quantitative) structure-activity relationships (Q)SARs, read-across, and experimental chemistry based models, are to be developed.

  15. Mixed-Poisson Point Process with Partially-Observed Covariates: Ecological Momentary Assessment of Smoking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neustifter, Benjamin; Rathbun, Stephen L; Shiffman, Saul

    2012-01-01

    Ecological Momentary Assessment is an emerging method of data collection in behavioral research that may be used to capture the times of repeated behavioral events on electronic devices, and information on subjects' psychological states through the electronic administration of questionnaires at times selected from a probability-based design as well as the event times. A method for fitting a mixed Poisson point process model is proposed for the impact of partially-observed, time-varying covariates on the timing of repeated behavioral events. A random frailty is included in the point-process intensity to describe variation among subjects in baseline rates of event occurrence. Covariate coefficients are estimated using estimating equations constructed by replacing the integrated intensity in the Poisson score equations with a design-unbiased estimator. An estimator is also proposed for the variance of the random frailties. Our estimators are robust in the sense that no model assumptions are made regarding the distribution of the time-varying covariates or the distribution of the random effects. However, subject effects are estimated under gamma frailties using an approximate hierarchical likelihood. The proposed approach is illustrated using smoking data.

  16. Mechanistic Prediction of the Effect of Microstructural Coarsening on Creep Response of SnAgCu Solder Joints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, S.; Chauhan, P.; Osterman, M.; Dasgupta, A.; Pecht, M.

    2016-07-01

    Mechanistic microstructural models have been developed to capture the effect of isothermal aging on time dependent viscoplastic response of Sn3.0Ag0.5Cu (SAC305) solders. SnAgCu (SAC) solders undergo continuous microstructural coarsening during both storage and service because of their high homologous temperature. The microstructures of these low melting point alloys continuously evolve during service. This results in evolution of creep properties of the joint over time, thereby influencing the long term reliability of microelectronic packages. It is well documented that isothermal aging degrades the creep resistance of SAC solder. SAC305 alloy is aged for (24-1000) h at (25-100)°C (~0.6-0.8 × T melt). Cross-sectioning and image processing techniques were used to periodically quantify the effect of isothermal aging on phase coarsening and evolution. The parameters monitored during isothermal aging include size, area fraction, and inter-particle spacing of nanoscale Ag3Sn intermetallic compounds (IMCs) and the volume fraction of micronscale Cu6Sn5 IMCs, as well as the area fraction of pure tin dendrites. Effects of microstructural evolution on secondary creep constitutive response of SAC305 solder joints were then modeled using a mechanistic multiscale creep model. The mechanistic phenomena modeled include: (1) dispersion strengthening by coarsened nanoscale Ag3Sn IMCs in the eutectic phase; and (2) load sharing between pro-eutectic Sn dendrites and the surrounding coarsened eutectic Sn-Ag phase and microscale Cu6Sn5 IMCs. The coarse-grained polycrystalline Sn microstructure in SAC305 solder was not captured in the above model because isothermal aging does not cause any significant change in the initial grain size and orientation of SAC305 solder joints. The above mechanistic model can successfully capture the drop in creep resistance due to the influence of isothermal aging on SAC305 single crystals. Contribution of grain boundary sliding to the creep strain of

  17. Social Ecology, Deep Ecology and the Future of Green Political Thought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokar, Brian

    1988-01-01

    Describes the differences which divide the social ecology movement and the Deep Ecology Movement. Discusses how each views population ecology, politics, natural resources, and ecological living. Calls for a unified ecological movement. (CW)

  18. A rigorous mechanistic model for predicting gas hydrate formation kinetics: The case of CO2 recovery and sequestration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ZareNezhad, Bahman; Mottahedin, Mona

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► A mechanistic model for predicting gas hydrate formation kinetics is presented. ► A secondary nucleation rate model is proposed for the first time. ► Crystal–crystal collisions and crystal–impeller collisions are distinguished. ► Simultaneous determination of nucleation and growth kinetics are established. ► Important for design of gas hydrate based energy storage and CO 2 recovery systems. - Abstract: A rigorous mechanistic model for predicting gas hydrate formation crystallization kinetics is presented and the special case of CO 2 gas hydrate formation regarding CO 2 recovery and sequestration processes has been investigated by using the proposed model. A physical model for prediction of secondary nucleation rate is proposed for the first time and the formation rates of secondary nuclei by crystal–crystal collisions and crystal–impeller collisions are formulated. The objective functions for simultaneous determination of nucleation and growth kinetics are presented and a theoretical framework for predicting the dynamic behavior of gas hydrate formation is presented. Predicted time variations of CO 2 content, total number and surface area of produced hydrate crystals are in good agreement with the available experimental data. The proposed approach can have considerable application for design of gas hydrate converters regarding energy storage and CO 2 recovery processes.

  19. Deliberative Ecological Economics for Sustainability Governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard B. Howarth

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available We discuss the recent emergence of ‘deliberative ecological economics’, a field that highlights the potential of deliberation for improving environmental governance. We locate the emergence of this literature in the long concern in ecological economics over the policy implications of limited views of human action and its encounter with deliberative democracy scholarship and the model of communicative rationality as an alternative to utilitarianism. Considering criticisms over methods used and the focus of research in deliberative decision-making, we put forward a research agenda for deliberative ecological economics. Given the promising potential of deliberative processes for improving the effectiveness and legitimacy of environmental decision-making, work in this area could help advance both theory and practice in environmental governance.

  20. The Philosophy of Ecology and Sustainability: New Logical and Informational Dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E. Brenner

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecology and sustainability are current narratives about the behavior of humans toward themselves and the environment. Ecology is defined as a science, and a philosophy of ecology has become a recognized domain of the philosophy of science. For some, sustainability is an accepted, important moral goal. In 2013, a Special Issue of the journal Sustainability dealt with many of the relevant issues. Unfortunately, the economic, ideological, and psychological barriers to ethical behavior and corresponding social action remain great as well as obvious. In this paper, I propose that a new, non-standard and non-propositional logic of real processes, Logic in Reality (LIR grounded in physics applies to the science and philosophy of these narratives and helps to explicate them. Given the ecological role of organizations and institutions, reference is often made to organizational or institutional logics as guides to ecological practice. This paper suggests that these logics are either too abstract or too informal to have an impact in a conflictual world. Recognition of the suggested new, transdisciplinary logical dimension of ecological processes may provide credibility and support to new initiatives in ecology and its philosophy.

  1. 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.

  2. Organophotocatalysis: Insights into the Mechanistic Aspects of Thiourea-Mediated Intermolecular [2+2] Photocycloadditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallavoju, Nandini; Selvakumar, Sermadurai; Pemberton, Barry C; Jockusch, Steffen; Sibi, Mukund P; Sivaguru, Jayaraman

    2016-04-25

    Mechanistic investigations of the intermolecular [2+2] photocycloaddition of coumarin with tetramethylethylene mediated by thiourea catalysts reveal that the reaction is enabled by a combination of minimized aggregation, enhanced intersystem crossing, and altered excited-state lifetime(s). These results clarify how the excited-state reactivity can be manipulated through catalyst-substrate interactions and reveal a third mechanistic pathway for thiourea-mediated organo-photocatalysis. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. 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.

  4. Mechanistic and Economical Characteristics of Asphalt Rubber Mixtures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mena I. Souliman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Load associated fatigue cracking is one of the major distress types occurring in flexible pavement systems. Flexural bending beam fatigue laboratory test has been used for several decades and is considered to be an integral part of the new superpave advanced characterization procedure. One of the most significant solutions to prolong the fatigue life for an asphaltic mixture is to utilize flexible materials as rubber. A laboratory testing program was performed on a conventional and Asphalt Rubber- (AR- gap-graded mixtures to investigate the impact of added rubber on the mechanical, mechanistic, and economical attributes of asphaltic mixtures. Strain controlled fatigue tests were conducted according to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO procedures. The results from the beam fatigue tests indicated that the AR-gap-graded mixtures would have much longer fatigue life compared with the reference (conventional mixtures. In addition, a mechanistic analysis using 3D-Move software coupled with a cost analysis study based on the fatigue performance on the two mixtures was performed. Overall, analysis showed that AR modified asphalt mixtures exhibited significantly lower cost of pavement per 1000 cycles of fatigue life per mile compared to conventional HMA mixture.

  5. The potential of territory in ecological restoration. The use of GIS tools for ecological restoration prioritization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corzo Ramirez, Liliana; Jerena, Erik; Rubio Mendoza, Rodrigo

    2012-01-01

    This paper develops a proposal for interdisciplinary dialogue through the use of GIS (Geographic Information System) tools for the construction of a methodology to identify the ecological restoration potential ERP in urban edge areas that are part of the Main Ecological Structure of Bogota, according to land management plans. These areas subscribe their own socio-environmental problems particular to their own sign of the interaction between nature and culture. Methodological steps for identification of PER are described: biotic, physical and social characterization, identification and spatialization of variables and weighted overlay for the calculation of the final potential. Then, carry out the discussion on the scope and limitations of using GIS tools and methodological possibility for interaction between disciplines such as biology, physical geography and sociology during the process of ecological restoration.

  6. Understanding protected area resilience: a multi-scale, social-ecological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cumming, Graeme S.; Allen, Craig R.; Ban, Natalie C.; Biggs, Duan; Biggs, Harry C.; Cumming, David H.M; De Vos, Alta; Epstein, Graham; Etienne, Michel; Maciejewski, Kristine; Mathevet, Raphael; Moore, Christine; Nenadovic, Mateja; Schoon, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas (PAs) remain central to the conservation of biodiversity. Classical PAs were conceived as areas that would be set aside to maintain a natural state with minimal human influence. However, global environmental change and growing cross-scale anthropogenic influences mean that PAs can no longer be thought of as ecological islands that function independently of the broader social-ecological system in which they are located. For PAs to be resilient (and to contribute to broader social-ecological resilience), they must be able to adapt to changing social and ecological conditions over time in a way that supports the long-term persistence of populations, communities, and ecosystems of conservation concern. We extend Ostrom's social-ecological systems framework to consider the long-term persistence of PAs, as a form of land use embedded in social-ecological systems, with important cross-scale feedbacks. Most notably, we highlight the cross-scale influences and feedbacks on PAs that exist from the local to the global scale, contextualizing PAs within multi-scale social-ecological functional landscapes. Such functional landscapes are integral to understand and manage individual PAs for long-term sustainability. We illustrate our conceptual contribution with three case studies that highlight cross-scale feedbacks and social-ecological interactions in the functioning of PAs and in relation to regional resilience. Our analysis suggests that while ecological, economic, and social processes are often directly relevant to PAs at finer scales, at broader scales, the dominant processes that shape and alter PA resilience are primarily social and economic.

  7. The ecology of plant secondary metabolites : from genes to global processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iason, G.R.; Dicke, M.; Hartley, S.E.

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites (PSM) such as terpenes and phenolic compounds are known to have numerous ecological roles, notably in defence against herbivores, pathogens and abiotic stresses and in interactions with competitors and mutualists. This book reviews recent developments in the field to

  8. 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.

  9. Influencing adaptation processes on the Australian rangelands for social and ecological resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine A. Marshall

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Resource users require the capacity to cope and adapt to climate changes affecting resource condition if they, and their industries, are to remain viable. Understanding individual-scale responses to a changing climate will be an important component of designing well-targeted, broad-scale strategies and policies. Because of the interdependencies between people and ecosystems, understanding and supporting resilience of resource-dependent people may be as important an aspect of effective resource management as managing the resilience of ecological components. We refer to the northern Australian rangelands as an example of a system that is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and look for ways to enhance the resilience of the system. Vulnerability of the social system comprises elements of adaptive capacity and sensitivity to change (resource dependency as well as exposure, which is not examined here. We assessed the adaptive capacity of 240 cattle producers, using four established dimensions, and investigated the association between adaptive capacity and climate sensitivity (or resource dependency as measured through 14 established dimensions. We found that occupational identity, employability, networks, strategic approach, environmental awareness, dynamic resource use, and use of technology were all positively correlated with at least one dimension of adaptive capacity and that place attachment was negatively correlated with adaptive capacity. These results suggest that adaptation processes could be influenced by focusing on adaptive capacity and these aspects of climate sensitivity. Managing the resilience of individuals is critical to processes of adaptation at higher levels and needs greater attention if adaptation processes are to be shaped and influenced.

  10. Information Theory Broadens the Spectrum of Molecular Ecology and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwin, W B; Chao, A; Jost, L; Smouse, P E

    2017-12-01

    Information or entropy analysis of diversity is used extensively in community ecology, and has recently been exploited for prediction and analysis in molecular ecology and evolution. Information measures belong to a spectrum (or q profile) of measures whose contrasting properties provide a rich summary of diversity, including allelic richness (q=0), Shannon information (q=1), and heterozygosity (q=2). We present the merits of information measures for describing and forecasting molecular variation within and among groups, comparing forecasts with data, and evaluating underlying processes such as dispersal. Importantly, information measures directly link causal processes and divergence outcomes, have straightforward relationship to allele frequency differences (including monotonicity that q=2 lacks), and show additivity across hierarchical layers such as ecology, behaviour, cellular processes, and nongenetic inheritance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. [Ecological demonstration activity and eco-civilization construction mode: review and prospects].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Hui-ping; He, Xuan; He, Jia; Niu, Dong-jie; Bao, Cun-kuan

    2013-04-01

    Ecological civilization is to normalize human development behaviors to harmonize the relationships between social and ecological development and eco-environment protection. In this paper, a comparative analysis was made on the ecological demonstration activities of ecological demonstration areas led by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, exemplar cities of national environmental protection, and ecological provinces, cities, and counties. It was considered that all the ecological demonstration activities had the problems of lacking pertinence of construction goals, disordered construction subjects, inefficient construction processes, and lacking continuous incentive mechanisms of assessment. In the meantime, through the analysis of the connotations of eco-civilization, the relationships between eco-civilization and eco-demonstration constructions were approached, and the eco-civilization construction mode was put forward in terms of construction goal, construction subject, and construction processes and assessment. The construction mode included the construction goal based on regional characteristics; the synergistic cooperation of construction subjects, the expanding ways of public participation, and the establishment of evaluation system for comprehensively measuring the 'actions and results'.

  12. Ecological communities with Lotka-Volterra dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunin, Guy

    2017-04-01

    Ecological communities in heterogeneous environments assemble through the combined effect of species interaction and migration. Understanding the effect of these processes on the community properties is central to ecology. Here we study these processes for a single community subject to migration from a pool of species, with population dynamics described by the generalized Lotka-Volterra equations. We derive exact results for the phase diagram describing the dynamical behaviors, and for the diversity and species abundance distributions. A phase transition is found from a phase where a unique globally attractive fixed point exists to a phase where multiple dynamical attractors exist, leading to history-dependent community properties. The model is shown to possess a symmetry that also establishes a connection with other well-known models.

  13. An Integrated Framework for Process-Driven Model Construction in Disease Ecology and Animal Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Mancy

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Process models that focus on explicitly representing biological mechanisms are increasingly important in disease ecology and animal health research. However, the large number of process modelling approaches makes it difficult to decide which is most appropriate for a given disease system and research question. Here, we discuss different motivations for using process models and present an integrated conceptual analysis that can be used to guide the construction of infectious disease process models and comparisons between them. Our presentation complements existing work by clarifying the major differences between modelling approaches and their relationship with the biological characteristics of the epidemiological system. We first discuss distinct motivations for using process models in epidemiological research, identifying the key steps in model design and use associated with each. We then present a conceptual framework for guiding model construction and comparison, organised according to key aspects of epidemiological systems. Specifically, we discuss the number and type of disease states, whether to focus on individual hosts (e.g., cows or groups of hosts (e.g., herds or farms, how space or host connectivity affect disease transmission, whether demographic and epidemiological processes are periodic or can occur at any time, and the extent to which stochasticity is important. We use foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis in cattle to illustrate our discussion and support explanations of cases in which different models are used to address similar problems. The framework should help those constructing models to structure their approach to modelling decisions and facilitate comparisons between models in the literature.

  14. An Integrated Framework for Process-Driven Model Construction in Disease Ecology and Animal Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancy, Rebecca; Brock, Patrick M; Kao, Rowland R

    2017-01-01

    Process models that focus on explicitly representing biological mechanisms are increasingly important in disease ecology and animal health research. However, the large number of process modelling approaches makes it difficult to decide which is most appropriate for a given disease system and research question. Here, we discuss different motivations for using process models and present an integrated conceptual analysis that can be used to guide the construction of infectious disease process models and comparisons between them. Our presentation complements existing work by clarifying the major differences between modelling approaches and their relationship with the biological characteristics of the epidemiological system. We first discuss distinct motivations for using process models in epidemiological research, identifying the key steps in model design and use associated with each. We then present a conceptual framework for guiding model construction and comparison, organised according to key aspects of epidemiological systems. Specifically, we discuss the number and type of disease states, whether to focus on individual hosts (e.g., cows) or groups of hosts (e.g., herds or farms), how space or host connectivity affect disease transmission, whether demographic and epidemiological processes are periodic or can occur at any time, and the extent to which stochasticity is important. We use foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis in cattle to illustrate our discussion and support explanations of cases in which different models are used to address similar problems. The framework should help those constructing models to structure their approach to modelling decisions and facilitate comparisons between models in the literature.

  15. Photosynthesis, environmental change, and plant adaptation: Research topics in plant molecular ecology. Summary report of a workshop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-01

    As we approach the 21st Century, it is becoming increasingly clear that human activities, primarily related to energy extraction and use, will lead to marked environmental changes at the local, regional, and global levels. The realized and the potential photosynthetic performance of plants is determined by a combination of intrinsic genetic information and extrinsic environmental factors, especially climate. It is essential that the effects of environmental changes on the photosynthetic competence of individual species, communities, and ecosystems be accurately assessed. From October 24 to 26, 1993, a group of scientists specializing in various aspects of plant science met to discuss how our predictive capabilities could be improved by developing a more rational, mechanistic approach to relating photosynthetic processes to environmental factors. A consensus emerged that achieving this goal requires multidisciplinary research efforts that combine tools and techniques of genetics, molecular biology, biophysics, biochemistry, and physiology to understand the principles, mechanisms, and limitations of evolutional adaptation and physiological acclimation of photosynthetic processes. Many of these basic tools and techniques, often developed in other fields of science, already are available but have not been applied in a coherent, coordinated fashion to ecological research. The efforts of this research program are related to the broader efforts to develop more realistic prognostic models to forecast climate change that include photosynthetic responses and feedbacks at the regional and ecosystem levels.

  16. Towards improving the ethics of ecological research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozier, G K D; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I

    2015-06-01

    We argue that the ecological research community should develop a plan for improving the ethical consistency and moral robustness of the field. We propose a particular ethics strategy--specifically, an ongoing process of collective ethical reflection that the community of ecological researchers, with the cooperation of applied ethicists and philosophers of biology, can use to address the needs we identify. We suggest a particular set of conceptual (in the form of six core values--freedom, fairness, well being, replacement, reduction, and refinement) and analytic (in the forms of decision theoretic software, 1000Minds) tools that, we argue, collectively have the resources to provide an empirically grounded and conceptually complete foundation for an ethics strategy for ecological research. We illustrate our argument with information gathered from a survey of ecologists conducted at the 2013 meeting of the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution.

  17. Mechanistic Features of Nanodiamonds in the Lapping of Magnetic Heads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xionghua Jiang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Nanodiamonds, which are the main components of slurry in the precision lapping process of magnetic heads, play an important role in surface quality. This paper studies the mechanistic features of nanodiamond embedment into a Sn plate in the lapping process. This is the first study to develop mathematical models for nanodiamond embedment. Such models can predict the optimum parameters for particle embedment. From the modeling calculations, the embedded pressure satisfies p0=3/2·W/πa2 and the indentation depth satisfies δ=k1P/HV. Calculation results reveal that the largest embedded pressure is 731.48 GPa and the critical indentation depth δ is 7 nm. Atomic force microscopy (AFM, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES were used to carry out surface quality detection and analysis of the disk head. Both the formation of black spots on the surface and the removal rate have an important correlation with the size of nanodiamonds. The results demonstrate that an improved removal rate (21 nm·min−1 can be obtained with 100 nm diamonds embedded in the plate.

  18. Mechanistic features of nanodiamonds in the lapping of magnetic heads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Xionghua; Chen, Zhenxing; Wolfram, Joy; Yang, Zhizhou

    2014-01-01

    Nanodiamonds, which are the main components of slurry in the precision lapping process of magnetic heads, play an important role in surface quality. This paper studies the mechanistic features of nanodiamond embedment into a Sn plate in the lapping process. This is the first study to develop mathematical models for nanodiamond embedment. Such models can predict the optimum parameters for particle embedment. From the modeling calculations, the embedded pressure satisfies p 0 = (3/2) · (W/πa (2)) and the indentation depth satisfies δ = k1√P/HV. Calculation results reveal that the largest embedded pressure is 731.48 GPa and the critical indentation depth δ is 7 nm. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) were used to carry out surface quality detection and analysis of the disk head. Both the formation of black spots on the surface and the removal rate have an important correlation with the size of nanodiamonds. The results demonstrate that an improved removal rate (21 nm · min(-1)) can be obtained with 100 nm diamonds embedded in the plate.

  19. Targeted Acoustic Data Processing for Ocean Ecological Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidorovskaia, N.; Li, K.; Tiemann, C.; Ackleh, A. S.; Tang, T.; Ioup, G. E.; Ioup, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    The Gulf of Mexico is home to many species of deep diving marine mammals. In recent years several ecological studies have collected large volumes of Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) data to investigate the effects of anthropogenic activities on protected and endangered marine mammal species. To utilize these data to their fullest potential for abundance estimates and habitat preference studies, automated detection and classification algorithms are needed to extract species acoustic encounters from a continuous stream of data. The species which phonate in overlapping frequency bands represent a particular challenge. This paper analyzes the performance of a newly developed automated detector for the classification of beaked whale clicks in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Current used beaked whale classification algorithms rely heavily on experienced human operator involvement in manually associating potential events with a particular species of beaked whales. Our detection algorithm is two-stage: the detector is triggered when the species-representative phonation band energy exceeds the baseline detection threshold. Then multiple event attributes (temporal click duration, central frequency, frequency band, frequency sweep rate, Choi-Williams distribution shape indices) are measured. An attribute vector is then used to discriminate among different species of beaked whales present in the Gulf of Mexico and Risso's dolphins which were recognized to mask the detections of beaked whales in the case of widely used energy-band detectors. The detector is applied to the PAM data collected by the Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center to estimate abundance trends of beaked whales in the vicinity of the 2010 oil spill before and after the disaster. This algorithm will allow automated processing with minimal operator involvement for new and archival PAM data. [The research is supported by a BP/GOMRI 2015-2017 consortium grant.

  20. Mechanistic modelling of the corrosion behaviour of copper nuclear fuel waste containers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    King, F; Kolar, M

    1996-10-01

    A mechanistic model has been developed to predict the long-term corrosion behaviour of copper nuclear fuel waste containers in a Canadian disposal vault. The model is based on a detailed description of the electrochemical, chemical, adsorption and mass-transport processes involved in the uniform corrosion of copper, developed from the results of an extensive experimental program. Predictions from the model are compared with the results of some of these experiments and with observations from a bronze cannon submerged in seawater saturated clay sediments. Quantitative comparisons are made between the observed and predicted corrosion potential, corrosion rate and copper concentration profiles adjacent to the corroding surface, as a way of validating the long-term model predictions. (author). 12 refs., 5 figs.

  1. Blood-brain barrier disruption: mechanistic links between Western diet consumption and dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted Menghsiung Hsu

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Both obesity and Alzheimer’s disease are major health burdens in Western societies. While commonly viewed as having separate etiologies, this review highlights data suggesting that intake of Western diets, diets high in saturated fatty acids and simple carbohydrates, may pose a common environmental risk factor contributing to the development of both of these adverse pathologies. We discuss the effects of Western Diet intake on learning and memory processes that are dependent on the hippocampus, as well as the importance of this brain region in both obesity development and the onset of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. A putative mechanism is discussed that mechanistically links Western diet consumption, blood brain barrier degradation, and subsequent hippocampal damage and dementia pathology.

  2. Nutrition, ecology and nutritional ecology: towardan integrated framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Steven J.; Mayntz, David

    2009-01-01

    requirements: it should be nutritionally explicit, organismally explicit, and ecologically explicit. 4. We evaluate against these criteria four existing frameworks (Optimal Foraging Theory, Classical Insect Nutritional Ecology, the Geometric Framework for nutrition, and Ecological Stoichiometry), and conclude...... in its own right? 2. We suggest that the distinctive feature of nutritional ecology is its integrative nature, and that the field would benefit from more attention to formalizing a theoretical and quantitative framework for developing this. 3. Such a framework, we propose, should satisfy three minimal...

  3. [Dynamic changes of ecological footprint and ecological capacity in Fujian Province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Boqi; Wang, Yixiang; Huang, Yibin; Ying, Zhaoyang; Huang, Qinlou

    2006-11-01

    The analysis on the dynamic changes of ecological footprint and ecological capacity in Fujian Province showed that in 1999-2003, the ecological footprint per capita in the Province increased from 1.428 hm2 to 1.658 hm2, while the ecological capacity per capita decreased from 0.683 hm2 to 0.607 hm2, with an increased ecological deficit year after year. The contradiction between the ecological footprint and ecological capacity pricked up gradually, and the ecological environment was at risk. There existed a severe imbalance in the supply and demand of ecological footprint per capita. The main body of the demands was grassland and fossil fuel, accouting for 55.74% - 63.43% of the total, while their supply only occupied 0.77% - 0.82% and next to nothing of the ecological capacity per capita, respectively. As a whole, the ecological footprint per ten thousand yuan GDP declined in the five years, indicating that the resources use efficiency in the Province was improved gradually. Based on the analysis of the present situation of the economic development and resources distribution in the Province, the strategies on reducing ecological deficit were put forward.

  4. Using circuit theory to model connectivity in ecology, evolution, and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McRae, Brad H; Dickson, Brett G; Keitt, Timothy H; Shah, Viral B

    2008-10-01

    Connectivity among populations and habitats is important for a wide range of ecological processes. Understanding, preserving, and restoring connectivity in complex landscapes requires connectivity models and metrics that are reliable, efficient, and process based. We introduce a new class of ecological connectivity models based in electrical circuit theory. Although they have been applied in other disciplines, circuit-theoretic connectivity models are new to ecology. They offer distinct advantages over common analytic connectivity models, including a theoretical basis in random walk theory and an ability to evaluate contributions of multiple dispersal pathways. Resistance, current, and voltage calculated across graphs or raster grids can be related to ecological processes (such as individual movement and gene flow) that occur across large population networks or landscapes. Efficient algorithms can quickly solve networks with millions of nodes, or landscapes with millions of raster cells. Here we review basic circuit theory, discuss relationships between circuit and random walk theories, and describe applications in ecology, evolution, and conservation. We provide examples of how circuit models can be used to predict movement patterns and fates of random walkers in complex landscapes and to identify important habitat patches and movement corridors for conservation planning.

  5. Smartphones in ecology and evolution: a guide for the app-rehensive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teacher, Amber G F; Griffiths, David J; Hodgson, David J; Inger, Richard

    2013-12-01

    Smartphones and their apps (application software) are now used by millions of people worldwide and represent a powerful combination of sensors, information transfer, and computing power that deserves better exploitation by ecological and evolutionary researchers. We outline the development process for research apps, provide contrasting case studies for two new research apps, and scan the research horizon to suggest how apps can contribute to the rapid collection, interpretation, and dissemination of data in ecology and evolutionary biology. We emphasize that the usefulness of an app relies heavily on the development process, recommend that app developers are engaged with the process at the earliest possible stage, and commend efforts to create open-source software scaffolds on which customized apps can be built by nonexperts. We conclude that smartphones and their apps could replace many traditional handheld sensors, calculators, and data storage devices in ecological and evolutionary research. We identify their potential use in the high-throughput collection, analysis, and storage of complex ecological information.

  6. Towards the ecological dredger

    OpenAIRE

    Rodríguez, Sergio; Lago, Alberto; Villodas, Aritz; Picón, Artzai

    2010-01-01

    The dredging is a process that intrinsically damages the aquatic environment. Suctioning part of the aquatic bottom surface suppose not only change the ecosystem but it endanger the life of the animal and plant species. Nowadays, there is doing a lot of efforts to improve the ecological aspect of the dredging process. In this work, we propose the introduction of machine vision techniques to obtain this improvement, using hyperspectral imaging. The performed tests show that is p...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A Cognition-based View of Decision Processes in Complex Social-Ecological Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathi K. Beratan

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available This synthesis paper is intended to provide an overview of individual and collective decision-making processes that might serve as a theoretical foundation for a complexity-based approach to environmental policy design and natural resource management planning. Human activities are the primary drivers of change in the Earth's biosphere today, so efforts to shift the trajectory of social-ecological systems must focus on changes in individual and collective human behavior. Recent advances in understanding the biological basis of thought and memory offer insights of use in designing management and planning processes. The human brain has evolved ways of dealing with complexity and uncertainty, and is particularly attuned to social information. Changes in an individual's schemas, reflecting changes in the patterns of neural connections that are activated by particular stimuli, occur primarily through nonconsious processes in response to experiential learning during repeated exposure to novel situations, ideas, and relationships. Discourse is an important mechanism for schema modification, and thus for behavior change. Through discourse, groups of people construct a shared story - a collective model - that is useful for predicting likely outcomes of actions and events. In effect, good stories are models that filter and organize distributed knowledge about complex situations and relationships in ways that are readily absorbed by human cognitive processes. The importance of discourse supports the view that collaborative approaches are needed to effectively deal with environmental problems and natural resource management challenges. Methods derived from the field of mediation and dispute resolution can help us take advantage of the distinctly human ability to deal with complexity and uncertainty. This cognitive view of decision making supports fundamental elements of resilience management and adaptive co-management, including fostering social learning

  10. Interactions between global processes and local health problems. A human ecology approach to health among indigenous groups in the Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maj-Lis Follér

    Full Text Available This article deals with methodological issues and how to link global processes - social and ecological - with environmental changes and human health in local communities. The discussion concerns how interdisciplinary approaches can help us find tools to develop new knowledge. Scientific knowledge and local knowledge are not seen as opposite epistemological forms, but as socially and culturally constructed. Power and social legitimacy have to be included when analyzing how to deal with the interaction between global processes and local environmental change and the health/disease interface.

  11. Precision about the automatic emotional brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2015-01-01

    The question of automaticity in emotion processing has been debated under different perspectives in recent years. Satisfying answers to this issue will require a better definition of automaticity in terms of relevant behavioral phenomena, ecological conditions of occurrence, and a more precise mechanistic account of the underlying neural circuits.

  12. Modelling dendritic ecological networks in space: anintegrated network perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Erin E.; Ver Hoef, Jay M.; Isaak, Dan J.; Falke, Jeffrey A.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Jordon, Chris E.; McNyset, Kristina; Monestiez, Pascal; Ruesch, Aaron S.; Sengupta, Aritra; Som, Nicholas; Steel, E. Ashley; Theobald, David M.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Wenger, Seth J.

    2013-01-01

    Dendritic ecological networks (DENs) are a unique form of ecological networks that exhibit a dendritic network topology (e.g. stream and cave networks or plant architecture). DENs have a dual spatial representation; as points within the network and as points in geographical space. Consequently, some analytical methods used to quantify relationships in other types of ecological networks, or in 2-D space, may be inadequate for studying the influence of structure and connectivity on ecological processes within DENs. We propose a conceptual taxonomy of network analysis methods that account for DEN characteristics to varying degrees and provide a synthesis of the different approaches within

  13. Explanatory models for ecological response surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jager, H.I.; Overton, W.S.

    1991-01-01

    Understanding the spatial organization of ecological systems is a fundamental part of ecosystem study. While discovering the causal relationships of this organization is an important goal, our purpose of spatial description on a regional scale is best met by use of explanatory variables that are somewhat removed from the mechanistic causal level. Regional level understanding is best obtained from explanatory variables that reflect spatial gradients at the regional scale and from categorical variables that describe the discrete constituents of (statistical) populations, such as lakes. In this paper, we use a regression model to predict lake acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) based on environmental predictor variables over a large region. These predictions are used to produce model-based population estimates. Two key features of our modeling approach are that is honors the spatial context and the design of the sample data. The spatial context of the data are brought into the analysis of model residuals through the interpretation of residual maps and semivariograms. The sampling design is taken into account by including stratification variables from the design in the model. This ensures that the model applies to a real population of lakes (the target population), rather than whatever hypothetical population the sample is a random sample of

  14. Life and death of Picea abies after bark-beetle outbreak: ecological processes driving seedling recruitment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Macek, Martin; Wild, Jan; Kopecký, Martin; Červenka, J.; Svoboda, M.; Zenáhlíková, J.; Brůna, Josef; Mosandl, R.; Fischer, A.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 1 (2017), s. 156-167 ISSN 1051-0761 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP504/10/0843 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : advance regeneration * growth function * Ips typographus * mortality * norway spruce Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.314, year: 2016

  15. How National Culture and Parental Style Affect the Process of Adolescents’ Ecological Resocialization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie Gentina

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The role of adolescents as influencers on their families’ environmental behavior is potentially a catalyst for change towards increasing eco-friendly actions. In this paper, the authors report on a cross-cultural study of ecological resocialization in France and India. Using in-depth dyadic interviews, they investigated parental styles, cultural attributes and extent of adolescents’ influence over parental eco-behavior. The study reveals that ecological resocialization across countries differs substantially, according to a combination of national cultural values, parental style and influence strategy. French teens exhibit a greater impact than Indian teens on their parents’ eco-behavior and use bilateral influence strategies. In India, not all mothers engage in ecological resocialization, but those who do are susceptible to unilateral strategies. The role of environmental knowledge, and the context and effectiveness of each kind of strategy is discussed. The findings have implications for how public policy officials and agencies can encourage adolescents as key resocialization agents to influence their parents’ pro-environmental consumption by using the most adapted influence strategy across cultures.

  16. Development of mechanistic sorption model and treatment of uncertainties for Ni sorption on montmorillonite/bentonite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ochs, Michael; Ganter, Charlotte; Tachi, Yukio; Suyama, Tadahiro; Yui, Mikazu

    2011-02-01

    Sorption and diffusion of radionuclides in buffer materials (bentonite) are the key processes in the safe geological disposal of radioactive waste, because migration of radionuclides in this barrier is expected to be diffusion-controlled and retarded by sorption processes. It is therefore necessary to understand the detailed/coupled processes of sorption and diffusion in compacted bentonite and develop mechanistic /predictive models, so that reliable parameters can be set under a variety of geochemical conditions relevant to performance assessment (PA). For this purpose, JAEA has developed the integrated sorption and diffusion (ISD) model/database in montmorillonite/bentonite systems. The main goal of the mechanistic model/database development is to provide a tool for a consistent explanation, prediction, and uncertainty assessment of K d as well as diffusion parameters needed for the quantification of radionuclide transport. The present report focuses on developing the thermodynamic sorption model (TSM) and on the quantification and handling of model uncertainties in applications, based on illustrating by example of Ni sorption on montmorillonite/bentonite. This includes 1) a summary of the present state of the art of thermodynamic sorption modeling, 2) a discussion of the selection of surface species and model design appropriate for the present purpose, 3) possible sources and representations of TSM uncertainties, and 4) details of modeling, testing and uncertainty evaluation for Ni sorption. Two fundamentally different approaches are presented and compared for representing TSM uncertainties: 1) TSM parameter uncertainties calculated by FITEQL optimization routines and some statistical procedure, 2) overall error estimated by direct comparison of modeled and experimental K d values. The overall error in K d is viewed as the best representation of model uncertainty in ISD model/database development. (author)

  17. Creating multithemed ecological regions for macroscale ecology: Testing a flexible, repeatable, and accessible clustering method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Yuan, Shuai; Webster, Katherine E.; Tan, Pang-Ning; Lapierre, Jean-Francois; Collins, Sarah M.; Fergus, C. Emi; Scott, Caren E.; Norton Henry, Emily; Soranno, Patricia A.; Filstrup, Christopher T.; Wagner, Tyler

    2017-01-01

    Understanding broad-scale ecological patterns and processes often involves accounting for regional-scale heterogeneity. A common way to do so is to include ecological regions in sampling schemes and empirical models. However, most existing ecological regions were developed for specific purposes, using a limited set of geospatial features and irreproducible methods. Our study purpose was to: (1) describe a method that takes advantage of recent computational advances and increased availability of regional and global data sets to create customizable and reproducible ecological regions, (2) make this algorithm available for use and modification by others studying different ecosystems, variables of interest, study extents, and macroscale ecology research questions, and (3) demonstrate the power of this approach for the research question—How well do these regions capture regional-scale variation in lake water quality? To achieve our purpose we: (1) used a spatially constrained spectral clustering algorithm that balances geospatial homogeneity and region contiguity to create ecological regions using multiple terrestrial, climatic, and freshwater geospatial data for 17 northeastern U.S. states (~1,800,000 km2); (2) identified which of the 52 geospatial features were most influential in creating the resulting 100 regions; and (3) tested the ability of these ecological regions to capture regional variation in water nutrients and clarity for ~6,000 lakes. We found that: (1) a combination of terrestrial, climatic, and freshwater geospatial features influenced region creation, suggesting that the oft-ignored freshwater landscape provides novel information on landscape variability not captured by traditionally used climate and terrestrial metrics; and (2) the delineated regions captured macroscale heterogeneity in ecosystem properties not included in region delineation—approximately 40% of the variation in total phosphorus and water clarity among lakes was at the regional

  18. Effects of silvicultural activity on ecological processes in floodplain forests of the southern United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lockaby, B.G.; Stanturf, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    Activities associated with timber harvesting have occurred within floodplain forests in the southern United States for nearly two hundred years. However, it is only in the last ten years that any information has become available about the effects of harvesting on the ecological functions of this valuable resource. Hydrology is the driving influence behind all ecological processes in floodplains and, in most cases, timber harvesting alone has little long-term effect on hydroperiod. However, there may be some instances where logging roads, built in association with harvest sites , can alter hydroperiod to the extent that vegetation productivity is altered positively or negatively. There is no documentation that harvesting followed by natural regeneration represents a threat to ground or surface water quality on floodplain sites, as long as Best Management Practices are followed. Harvested floodplains may increase or have little effect on decomposition rates of surface organic matter. The nature of the effect seems to be controlled by site wetness. Data from recently harvested sites (i.e. within the last ten years) suggest that vegetation productivity is maintained at levels similar to that observed prior to harvests. During the early stages of stand development vegetation species composition is heavily influenced by harvest method. Similarly, amphibian populations (monitored as bioindicators of ecosystem recovery) seem to rebound rapidly following harvests, although species composition may be different. 40 refs, 3 figs

  19. Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

    Molecular ecology has become one of the key tools in the modern conservationist's kit. Here we review three areas where molecular ecology has been applied to amphibian conservation: genes on landscapes, within-population processes, and genes that matter. We summarize relevant analytical methods, recent important studies from the amphibian literature, and conservation implications for each section. Finally, we include five in-depth examples of how molecular ecology has been successfully applied to specific amphibian systems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. On the antibacterial effects of manuka honey: mechanistic insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberts AEL

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Aled Edward Lloyd Roberts,* Helen Louise Brown,* Rowena Eleri Jenkins Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales, UK *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR is an increasing clinical problem precipitated by the inappropriate use of antibiotics in the later parts of the 20th Century. This problem, coupled with the lack of novel therapeutics in the development pipeline, means AMR is reaching crisis point, with an expected annual death rate of ten million people worldwide by 2050. To reduce, and to potentially remedy this problem, many researchers are looking into natural compounds with antimicrobial and/or antivirulence activity. Manuka honey is an ancient antimicrobial remedy with a good track record against a wide range of nosocomial pathogens that have increased AMR. Its inhibitory effects are the result of its constituent components, which add varying degrees of antimicrobial efficacy to the overall activity of manuka honey. The antimicrobial efficacy of manuka honey and some of its constituent components (such as methylglyoxal and leptosperin are known to bestow some degree of antimicrobial efficacy to manuka honey. Despite growing in vitro evidence of its antimicrobial efficacy, the in vivo use of manuka honey (especially in a clinical environment has been unexpectedly slow, partly due to the lack of mechanistic data. The mechanism by which manuka honey achieves its inhibitory efficacy has recently been identified against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, with both of these contrasting organisms being inhibited through different mechanisms. Manuka honey inhibits S. aureus by interfering with the cell division process, whereas P. aeruginosa cells lyse in its presence due to the reduction of a key structural protein. In addition to these inhibitory effects, manuka honey is known to reduce virulence, motility, and biofilm formation. With this

  1. Fast charging technique for high power LiFePO4 batteries: A mechanistic analysis of aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anseán, D.; Dubarry, M.; Devie, A.; Liaw, B. Y.; García, V. M.; Viera, J. C.; González, M.

    2016-07-01

    One of the major issues hampering the acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) is the anxiety associated with long charging time. Hence, the ability to fast charging lithium-ion battery (LIB) systems is gaining notable interest. However, fast charging is not tolerated by all LIB chemistries because it affects battery functionality and accelerates its aging processes. Here, we investigate the long-term effects of multistage fast charging on a commercial high power LiFePO4-based cell and compare it to another cell tested under standard charging. Coupling incremental capacity (IC) and IC peak area analysis together with mechanistic model simulations ('Alawa' toolbox with harvested half-cell data), we quantify the degradation modes that cause aging of the tested cells. The results show that the proposed fast charging technique caused similar aging effects as standard charging. The degradation is caused by a linear loss of lithium inventory, coupled with a less degree of linear loss of active material on the negative electrode. This study validates fast charging as a feasible mean of operation for this particular LIB chemistry and cell architecture. It also illustrates the benefits of a mechanistic approach to understand cell degradation on commercial cells.

  2. 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.

  3. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Annual Technical Progress Report of Ecological Research, June 30, 2002

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul M. Bertsch, (Director)

    2002-06-30

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is a research unit of The University of Georgia (UGA) and has been conducting ecological research on the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, South Carolina for 50 years. The overall mission of the Laboratory is to acquire and communicate knowledge of ecological processes and principles. SREL conducts fundamental and applied ecological research, as well as education and outreach programs, under a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Laboratory's research mission during the 2002 fiscal year was fulfilled with the publication of 76 journal articles and book chapters by faculty, technical staff, students, and visiting scientists. An additional 50 journal articles have been submitted or are in press. Other noteworthy events took place as faculty members, staff, and graduate students received awards. These are described in the section titled Special Accomplishments of Faculty, Staff, Students, and Administration on page 51. Notable scientific accomplishments include work conducted on contaminant transport, stable isotopes, sandhills ecology, and phytoremediation: (1) A collaborative study between Dr. Tom Hinton at SREL and scientists at SRTC demonstrated the feasibility of using illite clay to sequester 137Cs in sediments along the P and R reactor cooling canal system, where approximately 3,000 acres of land are contaminated. Overall, the study showed significant decreases in cesium concentrations and bioavailability following the addition of illite with no sign of harm to the ecosystem. While the cesium remains sequestered from the biosphere, its radioactivity decays and the process progresses from contaminant immobilization to remediation. (2) SREL's stable isotope laboratory is now fully functional. Stable isotope distributions in nature can provide important insights into many historical and current environmental processes. Dr. Christopher Romanek is leading SREL's research

  4. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Annual Technical Progress Report of Ecological Research, June 30, 2002

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paul M. Bertsch,

    2002-01-01

    The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) is a research unit of The University of Georgia (UGA) and has been conducting ecological research on the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, South Carolina for 50 years. The overall mission of the Laboratory is to acquire and communicate knowledge of ecological processes and principles. SREL conducts fundamental and applied ecological research, as well as education and outreach programs, under a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Laboratory's research mission during the 2002 fiscal year was fulfilled with the publication of 76 journal articles and book chapters by faculty, technical staff, students, and visiting scientists. An additional 50 journal articles have been submitted or are in press. Other noteworthy events took place as faculty members, staff, and graduate students received awards. These are described in the section titled Special Accomplishments of Faculty, Staff, Students, and Administration on page 51. Notable scientific accomplishments include work conducted on contaminant transport, stable isotopes, sandhills ecology, and phytoremediation: (1) A collaborative study between Dr. Tom Hinton at SREL and scientists at SRTC demonstrated the feasibility of using illite clay to sequester 137Cs in sediments along the P and R reactor cooling canal system, where approximately 3, 000 acres of land are contaminated. Overall, the study showed significant decreases in cesium concentrations and bioavailability following the addition of illite with no sign of harm to the ecosystem. While the cesium remains sequestered from the biosphere, its radioactivity decays and the process progresses from contaminant immobilization to remediation. (2) SREL's stable isotope laboratory is now fully functional. Stable isotope distributions in nature can provide important insights into many historical and current environmental processes. Dr. Christopher Romanek is leading SREL's research in this area

  5. Can Evolution Supply What Ecology Demands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokko, Hanna; Chaturvedi, Anurag; Croll, Daniel; Fischer, Martin C; Guillaume, Frédéric; Karrenberg, Sophie; Kerr, Ben; Rolshausen, Gregor; Stapley, Jessica

    2017-03-01

    A simplistic view of the adaptive process pictures a hillside along which a population can climb: when ecological 'demands' change, evolution 'supplies' the variation needed for the population to climb to a new peak. Evolutionary ecologists point out that this simplistic view can be incomplete because the fitness landscape changes dynamically as the population evolves. Geneticists meanwhile have identified complexities relating to the nature of genetic variation and its architecture, and the importance of epigenetic variation is under debate. In this review, we highlight how complexity in both ecological 'demands' and the evolutionary 'supply' influences organisms' ability to climb fitness landscapes that themselves change dynamically as evolution proceeds, and encourage new synthetic effort across research disciplines towards ecologically realistic studies of adaptation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The information science of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Aria S; Konwar, Kishori M; Louca, Stilianos; Hanson, Niels W; Hallam, Steven J

    2016-06-01

    A revolution is unfolding in microbial ecology where petabytes of 'multi-omics' data are produced using next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. This cornucopia of biological information has enormous potential to reveal the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. However, to realize this potential, the development of new technologies and interpretative frameworks grounded in ecological design principles are needed to overcome computational and analytical bottlenecks. Here we explore the relationship between microbial ecology and information science in the era of cloud-based computation. We consider microorganisms as individual information processing units implementing a distributed metabolic algorithm and describe developments in ecoinformatics and ubiquitous computing with the potential to eliminate bottlenecks and empower knowledge creation and translation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Mechanistic Processes Controlling Gas Sorption in Shale Reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaef, T.; Loring, J.; Ilton, E. S.; Davidson, C. L.; Owen, T.; Hoyt, D.; Glezakou, V. A.; McGrail, B. P.; Thompson, C.

    2014-12-01

    Utilization of CO2 to stimulate natural gas production in previously fractured shale-dominated reservoirs where CO2 remains in place for long-term storage may be an attractive new strategy for reducing the cost of managing anthropogenic CO2. A preliminary analysis of capacities and potential revenues in US shale plays suggests nearly 390 tcf in additional gas recovery may be possible via CO2 driven enhanced gas recovery. However, reservoir transmissivity properties, optimum gas recovery rates, and ultimate fate of CO2 vary among reservoirs, potentially increasing operational costs and environmental risks. In this paper, we identify key mechanisms controlling the sorption of CH4 and CO2 onto phyllosilicates and processes occurring in mixed gas systems that have the potential of impacting fluid transfer and CO2 storage in shale dominated formations. Through a unique set of in situ experimental techniques coupled with molecular-level simulations, we identify structural transformations occurring to clay minerals, optimal CO2/CH4 gas exchange conditions, and distinguish between adsorbed and intercalated gases in a mixed gas system. For example, based on in situ measurements with magic angle spinning NMR, intercalation of CO2 within the montmorillonite structure occurs in CH4/CO2 gas mixtures containing low concentrations (hydrocarbon recovery processes.

  8. Existing pavement input information for the mechanistic-empirical pavement design guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

    The objective of this study is to systematically evaluate the Iowa Department of Transportations (DOTs) existing Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) with respect to the input information required for Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Des...

  9. Flow effects on benthic stream invertebrates and ecological processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koprivsek, Maja; Brilly, Mitja

    2010-05-01

    Flow is the main abiotic factor in the streams. Flow affects the organisms in many direct and indirect ways. The organisms are directly affected by various hydrodynamic forces and mass transfer processes like drag forces, drift, shear stress, food and gases supply and washing metabolites away. Indirect effects on the organisms are determining and distribution of the particle size and structure of the substrate and determining the morphology of riverbeds. Flow does not affect only on individual organism, but also on many ecological effects. To expose just the most important: dispersal of the organisms, habitat use, resource acquisition, competition and predator-prey interactions. Stream invertebrates are adapted to the various flow conditions in many kinds of way. Some of them are avoiding the high flow with living in a hyporeic zone, while the others are adapted to flow with physical adaptations (the way of feeding, respiration, osmoregulation and resistance to draught), morphological adaptations (dorsoventrally flattened shape of organism, streamlined shape of organism, heterogeneous suckers, silk, claws, swimming hair, bristles and ballast gravel) or with behaviour. As the flow characteristics in a particular stream vary over a broad range of space and time scales, it is necessary to measure accurately the velocity in places where the organisms are present to determine the actual impact of flow on aquatic organisms. By measuring the mean flow at individual vertical in a single cross-section, we cannot get any information about the velocity situation close to the bottom of the riverbed where the stream invertebrates are living. Just measuring the velocity near the bottom is a major problem, as technologies for measuring the velocity and flow of natural watercourses is not adapted to measure so close to the bottom. New researches in the last two decades has shown that the thickness of laminar border layer of stones in the stream is only a few 100 micrometers, what

  10. Ecological Processes and Contemporary Coral Reef Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Dikou

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Top-down controls of complex foodwebs maintain the balance among the critical groups of corals, algae, and herbivores, thus allowing the persistence of corals reefs as three-dimensional, biogenic structures with high biodiversity, heterogeneity, resistance, resilience and connectivity, and the delivery of essential goods and services to societies. On contemporary reefs world-wide, however, top-down controls have been weakened due to reduction in herbivory levels (overfishing or disease outbreak while bottom-up controls have increased due to water quality degradation (increase in sediment and nutrient load and climate forcing (seawater warming and acidification leading to algal-dominated alternate benthic states of coral reefs, which are indicative of a trajectory towards ecological extinction. Management to reverse common trajectories of degradation for coral reefs necessitates a shift from optimization in marine resource use and conservation towards building socio-economic resilience into coral reef systems while attending to the most manageable human impacts (fishing and water quality and the global-scale causes (climate change.

  11. Evolution in a Community Context: On Integrating Ecological Interactions and Macroevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Marjorie G; Wagner, Catherine E; Best, Rebecca J; Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake

    2017-04-01

    Despite a conceptual understanding that evolution and species interactions are inextricably linked, it remains challenging to study ecological and evolutionary dynamics together over long temporal scales. In this review, we argue that, despite inherent challenges associated with reconstructing historical processes, the interplay of ecology and evolution is central to our understanding of macroevolution and community coexistence, and cannot be safely ignored in community and comparative phylogenetic studies. We highlight new research avenues that foster greater consideration of both ecological and evolutionary dynamics as processes that occur along branches of phylogenetic trees. By promoting new ways forward using this perspective, we hope to inspire further integration that creatively co-utilizes phylogenies and ecological data to study eco-evolutionary dynamics over time and space. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The community ecology of pathogens: coinfection, coexistence and community composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Gross, Kevin; Kendig, Amy E; Lacroix, Christelle; Mitchell, Charles E; Mordecai, Erin A; Power, Alison G

    2015-04-01

    Disease and community ecology share conceptual and theoretical lineages, and there has been a resurgence of interest in strengthening links between these fields. Building on recent syntheses focused on the effects of host community composition on single pathogen systems, we examine pathogen (microparasite) communities using a stochastic metacommunity model as a starting point to bridge community and disease ecology perspectives. Such models incorporate the effects of core community processes, such as ecological drift, selection and dispersal, but have not been extended to incorporate host-pathogen interactions, such as immunosuppression or synergistic mortality, that are central to disease ecology. We use a two-pathogen susceptible-infected (SI) model to fill these gaps in the metacommunity approach; however, SI models can be intractable for examining species-diverse, spatially structured systems. By placing disease into a framework developed for community ecology, our synthesis highlights areas ripe for progress, including a theoretical framework that incorporates host dynamics, spatial structuring and evolutionary processes, as well as the data needed to test the predictions of such a model. Our synthesis points the way for this framework and demonstrates that a deeper understanding of pathogen community dynamics will emerge from approaches working at the interface of disease and community ecology. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  13. Principles and methods of ecological information science in the solution of ecological problems of the nuclear power industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vorob'ev, E.I.; Kokoreva, L.V.; Reznichenko, V.Y.

    1989-01-01

    The accident at Chernobyl' Atomic Power Plant has drawn attention to the ecological aspects of the development of the nuclear power industry. It has become clear that the stage of discussions of the importance of ecological problems and of the advisability of studying them further has passed. We now face the stage of carrying out specific tasks: the creation of regional and global monitoring systems; the collection and analysis of data on the effect of nuclear power on nature and humans; modeling and optimization of the strategy for developing the power industry with consideration for ecological aspects; ecological factoring in scientific and technical decisions related to atomic power plant design and siting; and so forth. Three main areas of application of ecological information science can be identified in the nuclear power industry: the creation of global data banks on the safety and reliability of enterprises involved in the nuclear fuel cycle; the development of standard tools for processing and analysis of ecological data; and the creation of tools to support decisions in the field of ecology. The authors' experience in working with information systems and various groups of untrained users (biologists, medical workers, ecologists, etc.) makes possible the conclusion that the most important requirement is a convenient interface that does not require a great deal of effort to master. In the systems discussed here, the authors used structured query languages and menus

  14. The long-term ecological research community metada standardisation project: a progress report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inigo San Gil; Karen Baker; John Campbell; Ellen G. Denny; Kristin Vanderbilt; Brian Riordan; Rebecca Koskela; Jason Downing; Sabine Grabner; Eda Melendez; Jonathan M. Walsh; Masib Kortz; James Conners; Lynn Yarmey; Nicole Kaplan; Emery R. Boose; Linda Powell; Corinna Gries; Robin Schroeder; Todd Ackerman; Ken Ramsey; Barbara Benson; Jonathan Chipman; James Laundre; Hap Garritt; Don Henshaw; Barrie Collins; Christopher Gardner; Sven Bohm; Margaret O' Brien; Jincheng Gao; Wade Sheldon; Stephanie Lyon; Dan Bahauddin; Mark Servilla; Duane Costa; James Brunt

    2009-01-01

    We describe the process by which the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network standardized their metadata through the adoption of the Ecological Metadata Language (EML). We describe the strategies developed to improve motivation and to complement the information technology resources available at the LTER sites. EML implementation is presented as a mapping process...

  15. Generative Mechanistic Explanation Building in Undergraduate Molecular and Cellular Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Katelyn M.; Espindola, Melissa R.; Zaepfel, Samantha D.; Bolger, Molly S.

    2017-01-01

    When conducting scientific research, experts in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) use specific reasoning strategies to construct mechanistic explanations for the underlying causal features of molecular phenomena. We explored how undergraduate students applied this scientific practice in MCB. Drawing from studies of explanation building among…

  16. Exergy method technical and ecological applications

    CERN Document Server

    Szargut, J

    2005-01-01

    The exergy method makes it possible to detect and quantify the possibilities of improving thermal and chemical processes and systems. The introduction of the concept ""thermo-ecological cost"" (cumulative consumption of non-renewable natural exergy resources) generated large application possibilities of exergy in ecology. This book contains a short presentation on the basic principles of exergy analysis and discusses new achievements in the field over the last 15 years. One of the most important issues considered by the distinguished author is the economy of non-renewable natural exergy.

  17. Melanie Klein's metapsychology: phenomenological and mechanistic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackay, N

    1981-01-01

    Freud's metapsychology is the subject of an important debate. This is over whether psychoanalysis is best construed as a science of the natural science type or as a special human science. The same debate applies to Melanie Klein's work. In Klein's metapsychology are two different and incompatible models of explanation. One is taken over from Freud's structural theory and appears to be similarly mechanistic. The other is clinically based and phenomenological. These two are discussed with special reference to the concepts of "phantasy" and "internal object".

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  19. Challenges for Social-Ecological Transformations: Contributions from Social and Political Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Görg

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Transformation has become a major topic of sustainability research. This opens up new perspectives, but at the same time, runs the danger to convert into a new critical orthodoxy which narrows down analytical perspectives. Most research is committed towards a political-strategic approach towards transformation. This focus, however, clashes with ongoing transformation processes towards un-sustainability. The paper presents cornerstones of an integrative approach to social-ecological transformations (SET, which builds upon empirical work and conceptual considerations from Social Ecology and Political Ecology. We argue that a critical understanding of the challenges for societal transformations can be advanced by focusing on the interdependencies between societies and the natural environment. This starting point provides a more realistic understanding of the societal and biophysical constraints of sustainability transformations by emphasising the crisis-driven and contested character of the appropriation of nature and the power relations involved. Moreover, it pursues a transdisciplinary mode of research, decisive for adequately understanding any strategy for transformations towards sustainability. Such a conceptual approach of SET is supposed to better integrate the analytical, normative and political-strategic dimension of transformation research. We use the examples of global land use patterns, neo-extractivism in Latin America and the global water crisis to clarify our approach.

  20. Ecological units: definitions and application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jax, Kurt

    2006-09-01

    Concepts of ecological units, such as population, community, and ecosystem, are at the basis of ecological theory and research and have increasingly become the focus of conservation strategies. Concepts of these units still suffer from inconsistencies and confusions over terminology. The different concepts are treated here together as a common "conceptual cluster," with similar ecological functions (roles) and similar problems in their definition and use. An analysis of the multitude of existing terms and concepts that have been developed for these units reveals that they differ with respect to at least four basic criteria: (i) the questions as to whether they are defined statistically or via a network of interactions; (ii) if their boundaries are drawn by topographical or process-related criteria; (iii) how high the required internal relationships are; and (iv) if they are perceived as "real" entities or abstractions by an observer The various definitions cannot be easily sorted into just a few types, but they can be characterized by several independent criteria. I argue that serious problems arise if the different possibilities of defining ecological units are not recognized and if the concepts are perceived as self-evident. The different concepts of ecological units should be defined and used in a philosophically informed manner I propose a dual approach to the use of ecological units. Generic meanings of the main concepts (especially population, community, and ecosystem) should be retained only as heuristically useful perspectives, while specific and "operational" definitions of the concepts as units should be developed, depending on specific purposes of their use. Some thoughts on the basic requirements for such definitions and the domains of their uses are briefly explained.

  1. PBS in the service of ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stiegel, J.

    1999-01-01

    In this paper the activities of PBS Banska Bystrica, Ltd., in the service ecology are presented. PBS is fundamentally oriented toward repairs to and maintenance of original products of Prvni brnenska strojirna, including spare parts, as well as modernization and ecologization of heat-energy operations using low-emission combustion equipment, cogeneration units for steam-gas processes and high efficient technological process control systems. In connection with company's profile the prospectus expressed with a sum of 80 million Slovak crowns in orders accepted for 1998 was exceed by 15 million Slovak crowns and despite a bad situation on the Slovak financial market the company is functioning in the first year of its activity without credits. In the perspective by 2000 PBS plans to obtain 200 million Slovak crowns worth orders

  2. Allelopathy in the tropical alga Lobophora variegata (Phaeophyceae): mechanistic basis for a phase shift on mesophotic coral reefs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slattery, Marc; Lesser, Michael P

    2014-06-01

    Macroalgal phase shifts on Caribbean reefs have been reported with increasing frequency, and recent reports of these changes on mesophotic coral reefs have raised questions regarding the mechanistic processes behind algal population expansions to deeper depths. The brown alga Lobophora variegata is a dominant species on many shallow and deep coral reefs of the Caribbean and Pacific, and it increased in percent cover (>50%) up to 61 m on Bahamian reefs following the invasion of the lionfish Pterois volitans. We examined the physiological and ecological constraints contributing to the spread of Lobophora on Bahamian reefs across a mesophotic depth gradient from 30 to 61 m, pre- and post-lionfish invasion. Results indicate that there were no physiological limitations to the depth distribution of Lobophora within this range prior to the lionfish invasion. Herbivory by acanthurids and scarids in algal recruitment plots at mesophotic depths was higher prior to the lionfish invasion, and Lobophora chemical defenses were ineffective against an omnivorous fish species. In contrast, Lobophora exhibited significant allelopathic activity against the coral Montastraea cavernosa and the sponge Agelas clathrodes in laboratory assays. These data indicate that when lionfish predation on herbivorous fish released Lobophora from grazing pressure at depth, Lobophora expanded its benthic cover to a depth of 61 m, where it replaced the dominant coral and sponge species. Our results suggest that this chemically defended alga may out-compete these species in situ, and that mesophotic reefs may be further impacted in the near future as Lobophora continues to expand to its compensation point. © 2013 Phycological Society of America.

  3. Transgenerational stress-adaption: an opportunity for ecological epigenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinhold, Arne

    2018-01-01

    In the recent years, there has been considerable interest to investigate the adaptive transgenerational plasticity of plants and how a "stress memory" can be transmitted to the following generation. Although, increasing evidence suggests that transgenerational adaptive responses have widespread ecological relevance, the underlying epigenetic processes have rarely been elucidated. On the other hand, model plant species have been deeply investigated in their genome-wide methylation landscape without connecting this to the ecological reality of the plant. What we need is the combination of an ecological understanding which plant species would benefit from transgenerational epigenetic stress-adaption in their natural habitat, combined with a deeper molecular analysis of non-model organisms. Only such interdisciplinary linkage in an ecological epigenetic study could unravel the full potential that epigenetics could play for the transgenerational stress-adaption of plants.

  4. Alpine treeline of western North America: linking organism-to-landscape dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George P. Malanson; David R. Butler; Daniel B. Fagre; Stephen J. Walsh; Diana F. Tomback; Lori D. Daniels; Lynn M. Resler; William K. Smith; Daniel J. Weiss; David L. Peterson; Andrew G. Bunn; Christopher A. Hiemstra; Daniel Liptzin; Patrick S. Bourgeron; Zehao Shen; Constance I. Millar

    2007-01-01

    Although the ecological dynamics of the alpine treeline ecotone are influenced by climate, it is an imperfect indicator of climate change. Mechanistic processes that shape the ecotone—seed rain, seed germination, seedling establishment and subsequent tree growth form, or, conversely tree diebackdepend on microsite patterns. Growth forms affect wind...

  5. Use of ecological exposure units in ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferenbaugh, R.; Myers, O.; Gallegos, A.; Breshears, D.; Ebinger, M.

    1995-01-01

    The traditional approach to ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites that are being evaluated for cleanup under CERCLA or RCRA requirements is to focus on the immediate impacts at or adjacent to a site. While this may be acceptable in some situations, it is not ecologically defensible in situations where there are numerous contaminated sites in proximity to each other. In the latter case, transport from the sites, potential cumulative effects, and wide-ranging receptors must be considered. The concept of the Ecological Exposure Unit (EEU) has been proposed to address this situation. Ecological Exposure Units are defined on the basis of ecological considerations and each EEU may contain several to many contaminated sites. The initial steps involved in performing ecological risk assessments using the EEU approach include (1) selection of appropriate receptors and assessment endpoints, and (2) geographical definition of EEUs. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, receptors have been identified and EEUs have been defined for these receptors. GIS is being used as a tool to map EEUs. Receptors include representatives from threatened or endangered species, species reflecting status of ecological health, species with social or cultural relevance, and other species of concern. After definition of EEUs, cumulative impacts of all stressors at all sites within each EEU must be evaluated. The two major advantages to performing ecological risk assessments using this approach are that risk assessments are performed in a more scientifically defensible manner because they are performed on ecologically defined units and that resources are used optimally by minimizing redundant remedial activities

  6. Transitioning a Chesapeake Bay Ecological Prediction System to Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, C.; Green, D. S.; Eco Forecasters

    2011-12-01

    Ecological prediction of the impacts of physical, chemical, biological, and human-induced change on ecosystems and their components, encompass a wide range of space and time scales, and subject matter. They vary from predicting the occurrence and/or transport of certain species, such harmful algal blooms, or biogeochemical constituents, such as dissolved oxygen concentrations, to large-scale ecosystem responses and higher trophic levels. The timescales of ecological prediction, including guidance and forecasts, range from nowcasts and short-term forecasts (days), to intraseasonal and interannual outlooks (weeks to months), to decadal and century projections in climate change scenarios. The spatial scales range from small coastal inlets to basin and global scale biogeochemical and ecological forecasts. The types of models that have been used include conceptual, empirical, mechanistic, and hybrid approaches. This presentation will identify the challenges and progress toward transitioning experimental model-based ecological prediction into operational guidance and forecasting. Recent efforts are targeting integration of regional ocean, hydrodynamic and hydrological models and leveraging weather and water service infrastructure to enable the prototyping of an operational ecological forecast capability for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries. A path finder demonstration predicts the probability of encountering sea nettles (Chrysaora quinquecirrha), a stinging jellyfish. These jellyfish can negatively impact safety and economic activities in the bay and an impact-based forecast that predicts where and when this biotic nuisance occurs may help management effects. The issuance of bay-wide nowcasts and three-day forecasts of sea nettle probability are generated daily by forcing an empirical habitat model (that predicts the probability of sea nettles) with real-time and 3-day forecasts of sea-surface temperature (SST) and salinity (SSS). In the first demonstration

  7. Microbial ecology of denitrification in biological wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Huijie; Chandran, Kartik; Stensel, David

    2014-11-01

    Globally, denitrification is commonly employed in biological nitrogen removal processes to enhance water quality. However, substantial knowledge gaps remain concerning the overall community structure, population dynamics and metabolism of different organic carbon sources. This systematic review provides a summary of current findings pertaining to the microbial ecology of denitrification in biological wastewater treatment processes. DNA fingerprinting-based analysis has revealed a high level of microbial diversity in denitrification reactors and highlighted the impacts of carbon sources in determining overall denitrifying community composition. Stable isotope probing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, microarrays and meta-omics further link community structure with function by identifying the functional populations and their gene regulatory patterns at the transcriptional and translational levels. This review stresses the need to integrate microbial ecology information into conventional denitrification design and operation at full-scale. Some emerging questions, from physiological mechanisms to practical solutions, for example, eliminating nitrous oxide emissions and supplementing more sustainable carbon sources than methanol, are also discussed. A combination of high-throughput approaches is next in line for thorough assessment of wastewater denitrifying community structure and function. Though denitrification is used as an example here, this synergy between microbial ecology and process engineering is applicable to other biological wastewater treatment processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Ascribing value to ecological processes: an economic view of environmental change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rex H. Schaberg; Thomas P. Holmes; Karen J. Lee; Robert C. Abt

    1999-01-01

    Decisions made by individual landowners and public land managers can have a significant impact on the rates of ecological change. Interdisciplinary cooperation is desirable if economists and ecologists are to correctly interpret the impacts of individual choices for landscape management. This paper reports results from two studies of the residents of North Carolina...

  9. Differentiation in the microbial ecology and activity of suspended and attached bacteria in a nitritation-anammox process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hongkeun; Sundar, Suneethi; Ma, Yiwei; Chandran, Kartik

    2015-02-01

    A directed differentiation between the biofilm and suspension was observed in the molecular microbial ecology and gene expression of different bacteria in a biofilm nitritation-anammox process operated at varying hydraulic residence times (HRT) and nitrogen loading rates (NLR). The highest degree of enrichment observed in the biofilm was of anaerobic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AMX) followed by that of Nitrospira spp. related nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB). For AMX, a major shift from Candidatus "Brocadia fulgida" to Candidatus "Kuenenia stuttgartiensis" in both suspension and biofilm was observed with progressively shorter HRT, using discriminatory biomarkers targeting the hydrazine synthase (hzsA) gene. In parallel, expression of the hydrazine oxidoreductase gene (hzo), a functional biomarker for AMX energy metabolism, became progressively prominent in the biofilm. A marginal but statistically significant enrichment in the biofilm was observed for Nitrosomonas europaea related ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB). In direct contrast to AMX, the gene expression of ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA), a functional biomarker for AOB energy metabolism, progressively increased in suspension. Using gene expression and biomass concentration measures in conjunction, it was determined that signatures of AOB metabolism were primarily present in the biofilm throughout the study. On the other hand, AMX metabolism gradually shifted from being uniformly distributed in both the biofilm and suspension to primarily the biofilm at shorter HRTs and higher NLRs. These results therefore highlight the complexity and key differences in the microbial ecology, gene expression and activity between the biofilm and suspension of a nitritation-anammox process and the biokinetic and metabolic drivers for such niche segregation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Soil pH controls the environmental availability of phosphorus: Experimental and mechanistic modelling approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devau, Nicolas; Cadre, Edith Le; Hinsinger, Philippe; Jaillard, Benoit; Gerard, Frederic

    2009-01-01

    Inorganic P is the least mobile major nutrient in most soils and is frequently the prime limiting factor for plant growth in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, the extraction of soil inorganic P with CaCl 2 (P-CaCl 2 ) and geochemical modelling were combined in order to unravel the processes controlling the environmentally available P (EAP) of a soil over a range of pH values (pH ∼ 4-10). Mechanistic descriptions of the adsorption of cations and anions by the soil constituents were used (1-pK Triple Plane, ion-exchange and NICA-Donnan models). These models are implemented into the geochemical code Visual MINTEQ. An additive approach was used for their application to the surface horizon of a Cambisol. The geochemical code accurately reproduced the concentration of extracted P at the different soil pH values (R 2 = 0.9, RMSE = 0.03 mg kg -1 ). Model parameters were either directly found in the literature or estimated by fitting published experimental results in single mineral systems. The strong agreement between measurements and modelling results demonstrated that adsorption processes exerted a major control on the EAP of the soil over a large range of pH values. An influence of the precipitation of P-containing mineral is discounted based on thermodynamic calculations. Modelling results indicated that the variations in P-CaCl 2 with soil pH were controlled by the deprotonation/protonation of the surface hydroxyl groups, the distribution of P surface complexes, and the adsorption of Ca and Cl from the electrolyte background. Iron-oxides and gibbsite were found to be the major P-adsorbing soil constituents at acidic and alkaline pHs, whereas P was mainly adsorbed by clay minerals at intermediate pH values. This study demonstrates the efficacy of geochemical modelling to understand soil processes, and the applicability of mechanistic adsorption models to a 'real' soil, with its mineralogical complexity and the additional contribution of soil organic matter.

  11. Soil pH controls the environmental availability of phosphorus: Experimental and mechanistic modelling approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devau, Nicolas [INRA, UMR 1222 Eco and Sols - Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Biogeochimie des Sols (INRA-IRD-SupAgro), Place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier (France); Cadre, Edith Le [Supagro, UMR 1222 Eco and Sols - Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Biogeochimie des Sols (INRA-IRD-SupAgro), Place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier (France); Hinsinger, Philippe; Jaillard, Benoit [INRA, UMR 1222 Eco and Sols - Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Biogeochimie des Sols (INRA-IRD-SupAgro), Place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier (France); Gerard, Frederic, E-mail: gerard@supagro.inra.fr [INRA, UMR 1222 Eco and Sols - Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Biogeochimie des Sols (INRA-IRD-SupAgro), Place Viala, F-34060 Montpellier (France)

    2009-11-15

    Inorganic P is the least mobile major nutrient in most soils and is frequently the prime limiting factor for plant growth in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, the extraction of soil inorganic P with CaCl{sub 2} (P-CaCl{sub 2}) and geochemical modelling were combined in order to unravel the processes controlling the environmentally available P (EAP) of a soil over a range of pH values (pH {approx} 4-10). Mechanistic descriptions of the adsorption of cations and anions by the soil constituents were used (1-pK Triple Plane, ion-exchange and NICA-Donnan models). These models are implemented into the geochemical code Visual MINTEQ. An additive approach was used for their application to the surface horizon of a Cambisol. The geochemical code accurately reproduced the concentration of extracted P at the different soil pH values (R{sup 2} = 0.9, RMSE = 0.03 mg kg{sup -1}). Model parameters were either directly found in the literature or estimated by fitting published experimental results in single mineral systems. The strong agreement between measurements and modelling results demonstrated that adsorption processes exerted a major control on the EAP of the soil over a large range of pH values. An influence of the precipitation of P-containing mineral is discounted based on thermodynamic calculations. Modelling results indicated that the variations in P-CaCl{sub 2} with soil pH were controlled by the deprotonation/protonation of the surface hydroxyl groups, the distribution of P surface complexes, and the adsorption of Ca and Cl from the electrolyte background. Iron-oxides and gibbsite were found to be the major P-adsorbing soil constituents at acidic and alkaline pHs, whereas P was mainly adsorbed by clay minerals at intermediate pH values. This study demonstrates the efficacy of geochemical modelling to understand soil processes, and the applicability of mechanistic adsorption models to a 'real' soil, with its mineralogical complexity and the additional

  12. Analysis of ecological environment impact of coal exploitation and utilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Baoliu; Luo, Hong; Lv, Lianhong; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Baoshi

    2018-02-01

    Based on the theory of life cycle assessment, the ecological and environmental impacts of coal mining, processing, utilization and transportation will be analyzed, with analysing the status of china’s coal exploitation and utilization as the basis, it will find out the ecological and environmental impact in the development and utilization of coal, mainly consist of ecological impact including land damage, water resource destructionand biodiversity loss, etc., while the environmental impact include air, water, solid waste pollutions. Finally with a summary of the ecological and environmental problems, to propose solutionsand countermeasures to promote the rational development and consumption of coal, as well as to reduce the impact of coal production and consumption on the ecological environment, finally to achieve the coordinated development of energy and the environment.

  13. Mechanistic approach to the sodium leakage and fire analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamaguchi, Akira; Muramatsu, Toshiharu; Ohira, Hiroaki; Ida, Masao

    1997-04-01

    In December 1995, a thermocouple well was broken and liquid sodium leaked out of the intermediate heat transport system of the prototype fast breeder reactor Monju. In the initiating process of the incident, liquid sodium flowed out through the hollow thermocouple well, nipple and connector. As a result, liquid sodium, following ignition and combustion, was dropping from the connector to colide with the duct and grating placed below. The collision may cause fragmentation and scattering of the sodium droplet that finally was piled up on the floor. This report deals with the development of computer programs for the phenomena based on mechanistics approach. Numerical analyses are also made for fundamental sodium leakage and combustion phenomenon, sodium combustion experiment, and Monju incident condition. The contents of this report is listed below: (1) Analysis of chemical reaction process based on molecular orbital method, (2) Thermalhy draulic analysis of the sodium combustion experiment II performed in 1996 at O-arai Engineering Center, PNC, (3) Thermalhy draulic analysis of room A-446 of Monju reactor when the sodium leakage took place, (4) Direct numerical simulation of sodium droplet, (5) Sodium leakage and scattering analysis using three dimensional particle method, (6) Multi-dimensional combustion analysis and multi-point approximation combustion analysis code. Subsequent to the development work of the programs, they are to be applied to the safety analysis of the Fast Breeder Reactor. (author)

  14. Improving ecosystem-scale modeling of evapotranspiration using ecological mechanisms that account for compensatory responses following disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, David J.; Ewers, Brent E.; Mackay, D. Scott; Peckham, Scott; Reed, David E.; Sekoni, Adewale

    2017-09-01

    Mountain pine beetle outbreaks in western North America have led to extensive forest mortality, justifiably generating interest in improving our understanding of how this type of ecological disturbance affects hydrological cycles. While observational studies and simulations have been used to elucidate the effects of mountain beetle mortality on hydrological fluxes, an ecologically mechanistic model of forest evapotranspiration (ET) evaluated against field data has yet to be developed. In this work, we use the Terrestrial Regional Ecosystem Exchange Simulator (TREES) to incorporate the ecohydrological impacts of mountain pine beetle disturbance on ET for a lodgepole pine-dominated forest equipped with an eddy covariance tower. An existing degree-day model was incorporated that predicted the life cycle of mountain pine beetles, along with an empirically derived submodel that allowed sap flux to decline as a function of temperature-dependent blue stain fungal growth. The eddy covariance footprint was divided into multiple cohorts for multiple growing seasons, including representations of recently attacked trees and the compensatory effects of regenerating understory, using two different spatial scaling methods. Our results showed that using a multiple cohort approach matched eddy covariance-measured ecosystem-scale ET fluxes well, and showed improved performance compared to model simulations assuming a binary framework of only areas of live and dead overstory. Cumulative growing season ecosystem-scale ET fluxes were 8 - 29% greater using the multicohort approach during years in which beetle attacks occurred, highlighting the importance of including compensatory ecological mechanism in ET models.

  15. Annual report 2015. Institute of Resource Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stumpf, Thorsten

    2016-01-01

    The Institute of Resource Ecology (IRE) is one of the eight institutes of the Helmholtz- Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). The research activities are mainly integrated into the program ''Nuclear Waste Management, Safety and Radiation Research (NUSAFE)'' of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and focused on the topics ''Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal'' and ''Safety Research for Nuclear Reactors''. Additionally, various activities have been started investigating chemical and environmental aspects of processing and recycling of strategic metals, namely rare earth elements. These activities are located in the HGF program ''Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources (EMR)''. Thus, all scientific work of the IRE belongs to the research field ''Energy'' of the HGF. The research objective is the protection of humans and the environment from hazards caused by pollutants resulting from technical processes that produce energy and raw materials. Treating technology and ecology as a unity is the major scientific challenge in assuring the safety of technical processes and gaining their public acceptance. We investigate the ecological risks ensued by radioactive and non-radioactive metals in the context of nuclear waste disposal, the production of energy in nuclear power plants and in processes along the value chain of metalliferous raw materials. A common goal is to generate better understanding about the dominating processes essential for metal mobilization and immobilization on the molecular level by using advanced spectroscopic methods. This in turn enables us to assess the macroscopic phenomena, including models, codes and data for predictive calculations, which determine the transport and distribution of contaminants in the environment.

  16. Annual report 2016. Institute of Resource Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stumpf, Thorsten; Foerstendorf, Harald; Bok, Frank; Richter, Anke

    2017-01-01

    The Institute of Resource Ecology (IRE) is one of the eight institutes of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf (HZDR). The research activities are mainly integrated into the program ''Nuclear Waste Management, Safety and Radiation Research (NUSAFE)'' of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and focused on the topics ''Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal'' and ''Safety Research for Nuclear Reactors''. Additionally, various activities have been started investigating chemical and environmental aspects of processing and recycling of strategic metals, namely rare earth elements. These activities are located in the HGF program ''Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources (EMR)''. Both programs, and therefore all work which is done at IRE, belong to the research sector ''Energy'' of the HGF. The research objectives are the protection of humans and the environment from hazards caused by pollutants resulting from technical processes that produce energy and raw materials. Treating technology and ecology as a unity is the major scientific challenge in assuring the safety of technical processes and gaining their public acceptance. We investigate the ecological risks exerted by radioactive and non-radioactive metals in the context of nuclear waste disposal, the production of energy in nuclear power plants and in processes along the value chain of metalliferous raw materials. A common goal is to generate better understanding about the dominating processes essential for metal mobilization and immobilization on the molecular level by using advanced spectroscopic methods. This in turn enables us to assess the macroscopic phenomena, including models, codes and data for predictive calculations, which determine the transport and distribution of contaminants in the environment.

  17. Mathematical Description and Mechanistic Reasoning: A Pathway toward STEM Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinberg, Paul J.

    2017-01-01

    Because reasoning about mechanism is critical to disciplined inquiry in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) domains, this study focuses on ways to support the development of this form of reasoning. This study attends to how mechanistic reasoning is constituted through mathematical description. This study draws upon Smith's…

  18. A Comparison of Microplastic Ecological Risk in Sediments of Shanghai and Hong Kong Based on the Ecological Risk Index and Plastic Hazard Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, P.; Li, D.

    2017-12-01

    Microplastic which refers to the plastic fragments and particles with diameters less than 5 mm has potential threatening impacts on various ambient medium. The shortage of knowledge of ecological risks from microplastics inhibits the scientific research process. Based on the research of the literature widely, this paper analyzed potential ecological risk of microplastic in sediment of Shanghai and Hong Kong by means of ecological risk index and hazard classes developed by UN Globally Harmonized System. Combining of the two assessment method, results showed that the order of microplastic pollution extents in sediments was Changjiang Estuary

  19. A metabonomic approach for mechanistic exploration of pre-clinical toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coen, Muireann

    2010-12-30

    Metabonomics involves the application of advanced analytical tools to profile the diverse metabolic complement of a given biofluid or tissue. Subsequent statistical modelling of the complex multivariate spectral profiles enables discrimination between phenotypes of interest and identifies panels of discriminatory metabolites that represent candidate biomarkers. This review article presents an overview of recent developments in the field of metabonomics with a focus on application to pre-clinical toxicology studies. Recent research investigations carried out as part of the international COMET 2 consortium project on the hepatotoxic action of the aminosugar, galactosamine (galN) are presented. The application of advanced, high-field NMR spectroscopy is demonstrated, together with complementary application of a targeted mass spectrometry platform coupled with ultra-performance liquid chromatography. Much novel mechanistic information has been gleaned on both the mechanism of galN hepatotoxicity in multiple biofluids and tissues, and on the protection afforded by co-administration of glycine and uridine. The simultaneous identification of both the metabolic fate of galN and its associated endogenous consequences in spectral profiles is demonstrated. Furthermore, metabonomic assessment of inter-animal variability in response to galN presents enhanced mechanistic insight on variable response phentoypes and is relevant to understanding wider aspects of individual variability in drug response. This exemplar highlights the analytical and statistical tools commonly applied in metabonomic studies and notably, the approach is applicable to the study of any toxin/drug or intervention of interest. The metabonomic approach holds considerable promise and potential to significantly advance our understanding of the mechanistic bases for adverse drug reactions. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

  1. Conceptual models for waste tank mechanistic analysis. Status report, January 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allemann, R. T.; Antoniak, Z. I.; Eyler, L. L.; Liljegren, L. M.; Roberts, J. S.

    1992-02-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is conducting a study for Westinghouse Hanford Company (Westinghouse Hanford), a contractor for the US Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the work is to study possible mechanisms and fluid dynamics contributing to the periodic release of gases from double-shell waste storage tanks at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. This interim report emphasizing the modeling work follows two other interim reports, Mechanistic Analysis of Double-Shell Tank Gas Release Progress Report -- November 1990 and Collection and Analysis of Existing Data for Waste Tank Mechanistic Analysis Progress Report -- December 1990, that emphasized data correlation and mechanisms. The approach in this study has been to assemble and compile data that are pertinent to the mechanisms, analyze the data, evaluate physical properties and parameters, evaluate hypothetical mechanisms, and develop mathematical models of mechanisms.

  2. Squamation and ecology of thelodonts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto G Ferrón

    Full Text Available Thelodonts are an enigmatic group of Paleozoic jawless vertebrates that have been well studied from taxonomical, biostratigraphic and paleogeographic points of view, although our knowledge of their ecology and mode of life is still scant. Their bodies were covered by micrometric scales whose morphology, histology and the developmental process are extremely similar to those of extant sharks. Based on these similarities and on the well-recognized relationship between squamation and ecology in sharks, here we explore the ecological diversity and lifestyles of thelodonts. For this we use classic morphometrics and discriminant analysis to characterize the squamation patterns of a significant number of extant shark species whose ecology is well known. Multivariate analyses have defined a characteristic squamation pattern for each ecological group, thus establishing a comparative framework for inferring lifestyles in thelodonts. We then use this information to study the squamation of the currently described 147 species of thelodonts, known from both articulated and disarticulated remains. Discriminant analysis has allowed recognizing squamation patterns comparable to those of sharks and links them to specific ecological groups. Our results suggest a remarkable ecological diversity in thelodonts. A large number of them were probably demersal species inhabiting hard substrates, within caves and crevices in rocky environments or reefs, taking advantage of the flexibility provided by their micromeric squamations. Contrary to classical interpretations, only few thelodonts were placed among demersal species inhabiting sandy and muddy substrates. Schooling species with defensive scales against ectoparasites could be also abundant suggesting that social interactions and pressure of ectoparasites were present in vertebrates as early the Silurian. The presence of species showing scales suggestive of low to moderate speed and a lifestyle presumably associated

  3. Ecological Networks and Community Attachment and Support Among Recently Resettled Refugees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soller, Brian; Goodkind, Jessica R; Greene, R Neil; Browning, Christopher R; Shantzek, Cece

    2018-03-25

    Interventions aimed at enhancing mental health are increasingly centered around promoting community attachment and support. However, few have examined and tested the specific ecological factors that give rise to these key community processes. Drawing from insights from the ecological network perspective, we tested whether spatial and social overlap in routine activity settings (e.g., work, school, childcare) with fellow ethnic community members is associated with individuals' attachment to their ethnic communities and access to social resources embedded in their communities. Data on routine activity locations drawn from the Refugee Well-Being Project (based in a city in the Southwestern United States) were used to reconstruct the ecological networks of recently resettled refugee communities, which were two-mode networks that comprise individuals and their routine activity locations. Results indicated that respondents' community attachment and support increased with their ecological network extensity-which taps the extent to which respondents share routine activity locations with other community members. Our study highlights a key ecological process that potentially enhances individuals' ethnic community attachment that extends beyond residential neighborhoods. © Society for Community Research and Action 2018.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. Guiding bioprocess design by microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volmer, Jan; Schmid, Andreas; Bühler, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Industrial bioprocess development is driven by profitability and eco-efficiency. It profits from an early stage definition of process and biocatalyst design objectives. Microbial bioprocess environments can be considered as synthetic technical microbial ecosystems. Natural systems follow Darwinian evolution principles aiming at survival and reproduction. Technical systems objectives are eco-efficiency, productivity, and profitable production. Deciphering technical microbial ecology reveals differences and similarities of natural and technical systems objectives, which are discussed in this review in view of biocatalyst and process design and engineering strategies. Strategies for handling opposing objectives of natural and technical systems and for exploiting and engineering natural properties of microorganisms for technical systems are reviewed based on examples. This illustrates the relevance of considering microbial ecology for bioprocess design and the potential for exploitation by synthetic biology strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

  9. Ecological literacy and beyond: Problem-based learning for future professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Attayde, José Luiz; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Ganade, Gislene; Jorge, Leonardo Ré; Kollmann, Johannes; Overbeck, Gerhard E; Prado, Paulo Inácio; Pillar, Valério D; Popp, Daniela; da Rocha, Pedro L B; Silva, Wesley Rodrigues; Spiekermann, Annette; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2015-03-01

    Ecological science contributes to solving a broad range of environmental problems. However, lack of ecological literacy in practice often limits application of this knowledge. In this paper, we highlight a critical but often overlooked demand on ecological literacy: to enable professionals of various careers to apply scientific knowledge when faced with environmental problems. Current university courses on ecology often fail to persuade students that ecological science provides important tools for environmental problem solving. We propose problem-based learning to improve the understanding of ecological science and its usefulness for real-world environmental issues that professionals in careers as diverse as engineering, public health, architecture, social sciences, or management will address. Courses should set clear learning objectives for cognitive skills they expect students to acquire. Thus, professionals in different fields will be enabled to improve environmental decision-making processes and to participate effectively in multidisciplinary work groups charged with tackling environmental issues.

  10. Ruthenium-Catalyzed Transformations of Alcohols: Mechanistic Investigations and Methodology Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Makarov, Ilya; Madsen, Robert; Fristrup, Peter

    with dimethoxyisopropylidene and pyridilidene ligands could be more active than RuCl2(IiPr)(p-cymene) used in the mechanistic investigation. Two analogs of the calculated complexes were synthesized but were not isolated in a pure form. The amidation reaction catalyzed by a mixture containing the N-ethyl pyridilidene...

  11. Mechanistic investigation on the oxidation of kinetin by Ag(III)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Chemical Sciences; Volume 122; Issue 6. Mechanistic investigation on the oxidation of kinetin by Ag(III) periodate complex in aqueous alkaline media: A kinetic approach. S D Lamani A M Tatagar S T Nandibewoor. Full Papers Volume 122 Issue 6 November 2010 pp 891-900 ...

  12. Mechanistic study on spraying of blended biodiesel using phase Doppler anemometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamrak, Juthamas; Kongsombut, Benjapol; Grehan, Gerard; Saengkaew, Sawitree; Kim, Kyo-Seon; Charinpanitkul, Tawatchai

    2009-01-01

    Droplet size and dynamics of blended palm oil-based fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) and diesel oil spray were mechanistically investigated using a phase Doppler anemometry. A two-fluid atomizer was applied for dispersing viscous blends of blended biodiesel oil with designated flow rates. It was experimentally found that the atomizer could generate a spray with large droplets with Sauter mean diameters of ca. 30 μm at low air injection pressure. Such large droplets traveled with a low velocity along their trajectory after emerging from the nozzle tip. The viscosity of blended biodiesel could significantly affect the atomizing process, resulting in the controlled droplet size distribution. Blended biodiesel with a certain fraction of palm oil-based FAME would be consistently atomized owing to its low viscosity. However, the viscosity could exert only a small effect on the droplet velocity profile with the air injection pressure higher than 0.2 MPa.

  13. Effect of coffee processing on ecological integrity of river systems in Jimma zone, southwestern Ethiopia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Legesse, W.

    2005-01-01

    Jimma Zone in Southwestern Ethiopia is known for its coffee production and the landscape is dotted by a number of coffee processing industries. In order to assess the effect of coffee wastewater on the ecological integrity of the receiving water bodies, a longitudinal study has been initiated in January 2003 and is still in progress. The preliminary results of physicochemical parameters such as BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) indicated that the coffee effluent is characterized by a remarkable polluting potential during the wet coffee-processing season. In general, a corresponding decline of bottom dwelling river fauna has been noted in many sampling locations. If business-as-usual scenario is followed, the economic gains accrued, as a result of coffee export, will be undone due to the ensuing water quality degradation and aquatic ecosystem disturbance. Although further study is required to fix the problem, provision of intervention strategies appear to be mandatory in order to avert quality deterioration of the rivers and streams flowing through the coffee producing region. (author)

  14. An approach to grouping species for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Combined In Situ Illumination-NMR-UV/Vis Spectroscopy: A New Mechanistic Tool in Photochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seegerer, Andreas; Nitschke, Philipp; Gschwind, Ruth M

    2018-06-18

    Synthetic applications in photochemistry are booming. Despite great progress in the development of new reactions, mechanistic investigations are still challenging. Therefore, we present a fully automated in situ combination of NMR spectroscopy, UV/Vis spectroscopy, and illumination to allow simultaneous and time-resolved detection of paramagnetic and diamagnetic species. This optical fiber-based setup enables the first acquisition of combined UV/Vis and NMR spectra in photocatalysis, as demonstrated on a conPET process. Furthermore, the broad applicability of combined UVNMR spectroscopy for light-induced processes is demonstrated on a structural and quantitative analysis of a photoswitch, including rate modulation and stabilization of transient species by temperature variation. Owing to the flexibility regarding the NMR hardware, temperature, and light sources, we expect wide-ranging applications of this setup in various research fields. © 2018 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.