WorldWideScience

Sample records for niche biotic interactions

  1. Asymmetric biotic interactions and abiotic niche differences revealed by a dynamic joint species distribution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lany, Nina K; Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Schliep, Erin M; Schaeffer, Robert N; Orians, Colin M; Orwig, David A; Preisser, Evan L

    2018-05-01

    A species' distribution and abundance are determined by abiotic conditions and biotic interactions with other species in the community. Most species distribution models correlate the occurrence of a single species with environmental variables only, and leave out biotic interactions. To test the importance of biotic interactions on occurrence and abundance, we compared a multivariate spatiotemporal model of the joint abundance of two invasive insects that share a host plant, hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA; Adelges tsugae) and elongate hemlock scale (EHS; Fiorina externa), to independent models that do not account for dependence among co-occurring species. The joint model revealed that HWA responded more strongly to abiotic conditions than EHS. Additionally, HWA appeared to predispose stands to subsequent increase of EHS, but HWA abundance was not strongly dependent on EHS abundance. This study demonstrates how incorporating spatial and temporal dependence into a species distribution model can reveal the dependence of a species' abundance on other species in the community. Accounting for dependence among co-occurring species with a joint distribution model can also improve estimation of the abiotic niche for species affected by interspecific interactions. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Integrating Biogeography with Contemporary Niche Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godsoe, William; Jankowski, Jill; Holt, Robert D; Gravel, Dominique

    2017-07-01

    There is no consensus on when biotic interactions impact the range limits of species. Starting from MacArthur's use of invasibility to understand how biotic interactions influence coexistence, here we examine how biotic interactions shape species distributions. Range limits emerge from how birth, death, and movement rates vary with the environment. We clarify some basic issues revolving around niche definitions, illustrated with simple resource-consumer theory. We then highlight two different avenues for linking community theory and range theory; the first based on calculating the effects of biotic interactions on range limits across scales and landscape configurations, and the second based on aggregate measures of diffuse interactions and network strength. We conclude with suggestions for a future research agenda. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Biotic and abiotic variables show little redundancy in explaining tree species distributions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meier, Elaine S.; Kienast, Felix; Pearman, Peter B.

    2010-01-01

    Abiotic factors such as climate and soil determine the species fundamental niche, which is further constrained by biotic interactions such as interspecific competition. To parameterize this realized niche, species distribution models (SDMs) most often relate species occurrence data to abiotic var...

  4. The interactions of ants with their biotic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomicki, Guillaume; Renner, Susanne S

    2017-03-15

    This s pecial feature results from the symposium 'Ants 2016: ant interactions with their biotic environments' held in Munich in May 2016 and deals with the interactions between ants and other insects, plants, microbes and fungi, studied at micro- and macroevolutionary levels with a wide range of approaches, from field ecology to next-generation sequencing, chemical ecology and molecular genetics. In this paper, we review key aspects of these biotic interactions to provide background information for the papers of this s pecial feature After listing the major types of biotic interactions that ants engage in, we present a brief overview of ant/ant communication, ant/plant interactions, ant/fungus symbioses, and recent insights about ants and their endosymbionts. Using a large molecular clock-dated Formicidae phylogeny, we map the evolutionary origins of different ant clades' interactions with plants, fungi and hemiptera. Ants' biotic interactions provide ideal systems to address fundamental ecological and evolutionary questions about mutualism, coevolution, adaptation and animal communication. © 2017 The Author(s).

  5. Experimental reduction in interaction intensity strongly affects biotic selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sletvold, Nina; Ågren, Jon

    2016-11-01

    The link between biotic interaction intensity and strength of selection is of fundamental interest for understanding biotically driven diversification and predicting the consequences of environmental change. The strength of selection resulting from biotic interactions is determined by the strength of the interaction and by the covariance between fitness and the trait under selection. When the relationship between trait and absolute fitness is constant, selection strength should be a direct function of mean population interaction intensity. To test this prediction, we excluded pollinators for intervals of different length to induce five levels of pollination intensity within a single plant population. Pollen limitation (PL) increased from 0 to 0.77 across treatments, accompanied by a fivefold increase in the opportunity for selection. Trait-fitness covariance declined with PL for number of flowers, but varied little for other traits. Pollinator-mediated selection on plant height, corolla size, and spur length increased by 91%, 34%, and 330%, respectively, in the most severely pollen-limited treatment compared to open-pollinated plants. The results indicate that realized biotic selection can be predicted from mean population interaction intensity when variation in trait-fitness covariance is limited, and that declines in pollination intensity will strongly increase selection on traits involved in the interaction. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Division within the North American boreal forest: Ecological niche divergence between the Bicknell's Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) and Gray-cheeked Thrush (C. minimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    FitzGerald, Alyssa M

    2017-07-01

    Sister species that diverged in allopatry in similar environments are expected to exhibit niche conservatism. Using ecological niche modeling and a multivariate analysis of climate and habitat data, I test the hypothesis that the Bicknell's Thrush ( Catharus bicknelli ) and Gray-cheeked Thrush ( C. mimimus ), sister species that breed in the North American boreal forest, show niche conservatism. Three tree species that are important components of breeding territories of both thrush species were combined with climatic variables to create niche models consisting of abiotic and biotic components. Abiotic-only, abiotic+biotic, and biotic-only models were evaluated using the area under the curve (AUC) criterion. Abiotic+biotic models had higher AUC scores and did not over-project thrush distributions compared to abiotic-only or biotic-only models. From the abiotic+biotic models, I tested for niche conservatism or divergence by accounting for the differences in the availability of niche components by calculating (1) niche overlap from ecological niche models and (2) mean niche differences of environmental values at occurrence points. Niche background similarity tests revealed significant niche divergence in 10 of 12 comparisons, and multivariate tests revealed niche divergence along 2 of 3 niche axes. The Bicknell's Thrush breeds in warmer and wetter regions with a high abundance of balsam fir ( Abies balsamea ), whereas Gray-cheeked Thrush often co-occurs with black spruce ( Picea mariana ). Niche divergence, rather than conservatism, was the predominant pattern for these species, suggesting that ecological divergence has played a role in the speciation of the Bicknell's Thrush and Gray-cheeked Thrush. Furthermore, because niche models were improved by the incorporation of biotic variables, this study validates the inclusion of relevant biotic factors in ecological niche modeling to increase model accuracy.

  7. Stem cell autotomy and niche interaction in different systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, David C; Dorn, August

    2015-07-26

    The best known cases of cell autotomy are the formation of erythrocytes and thrombocytes (platelets) from progenitor cells that reside in special niches. Recently, autotomy of stem cells and its enigmatic interaction with the niche has been reported from male germline stem cells (GSCs) in several insect species. First described in lepidopterans, the silkmoth, followed by the gipsy moth and consecutively in hemipterans, foremost the milkweed bug. In both, moths and the milkweed bug, GSCs form finger-like projections toward the niche, the apical cells (homologs of the hub cells in Drosophila). Whereas in the milkweed bug the projection terminals remain at the surface of the niche cells, in the gipsy moth they protrude deeply into the singular niche cell. In both cases, the projections undergo serial retrograde fragmentation with progressing signs of autophagy. In the gipsy moth, the autotomized vesicles are phagocytized and digested by the niche cell. In the milkweed bug the autotomized vesicles accumulate at the niche surface and disintegrate. Autotomy and sprouting of new projections appears to occur continuously. The significance of the GSC-niche interactions, however, remains enigmatic. Our concept on the signaling relationship between stem cell-niche in general and GSC and niche (hub cells and cyst stem cells) in particular has been greatly shaped by Drosophila melanogaster. In comparing the interactions of GSCs with their niche in Drosophila with those in species exhibiting GSC autotomy it is obvious that additional or alternative modes of stem cell-niche communication exist. Thus, essential signaling pathways, including niche-stem cell adhesion (E-cadherin) and the direction of asymmetrical GSC division - as they were found in Drosophila - can hardly be translated into the systems where GSC autotomy was reported. It is shown here that the serial autotomy of GSC projections shows remarkable similarities with Wallerian axonal destruction, developmental axon

  8. Stem cell autotomy and niche interaction in different systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, David C; Dorn, August

    2015-01-01

    The best known cases of cell autotomy are the formation of erythrocytes and thrombocytes (platelets) from progenitor cells that reside in special niches. Recently, autotomy of stem cells and its enigmatic interaction with the niche has been reported from male germline stem cells (GSCs) in several insect species. First described in lepidopterans, the silkmoth, followed by the gipsy moth and consecutively in hemipterans, foremost the milkweed bug. In both, moths and the milkweed bug, GSCs form finger-like projections toward the niche, the apical cells (homologs of the hub cells in Drosophila). Whereas in the milkweed bug the projection terminals remain at the surface of the niche cells, in the gipsy moth they protrude deeply into the singular niche cell. In both cases, the projections undergo serial retrograde fragmentation with progressing signs of autophagy. In the gipsy moth, the autotomized vesicles are phagocytized and digested by the niche cell. In the milkweed bug the autotomized vesicles accumulate at the niche surface and disintegrate. Autotomy and sprouting of new projections appears to occur continuously. The significance of the GSC-niche interactions, however, remains enigmatic. Our concept on the signaling relationship between stem cell-niche in general and GSC and niche (hub cells and cyst stem cells) in particular has been greatly shaped by Drosophila melanogaster. In comparing the interactions of GSCs with their niche in Drosophila with those in species exhibiting GSC autotomy it is obvious that additional or alternative modes of stem cell-niche communication exist. Thus, essential signaling pathways, including niche-stem cell adhesion (E-cadherin) and the direction of asymmetrical GSC division - as they were found in Drosophila - can hardly be translated into the systems where GSC autotomy was reported. It is shown here that the serial autotomy of GSC projections shows remarkable similarities with Wallerian axonal destruction, developmental axon

  9. Climate change and the past, present, and future of biotic interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blois, Jessica L; Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Fitzpatrick, Matthew C; Finnegan, Seth

    2013-08-02

    Biotic interactions drive key ecological and evolutionary processes and mediate ecosystem responses to climate change. The direction, frequency, and intensity of biotic interactions can in turn be altered by climate change. Understanding the complex interplay between climate and biotic interactions is thus essential for fully anticipating how ecosystems will respond to the fast rates of current warming, which are unprecedented since the end of the last glacial period. We highlight episodes of climate change that have disrupted ecosystems and trophic interactions over time scales ranging from years to millennia by changing species' relative abundances and geographic ranges, causing extinctions, and creating transient and novel communities dominated by generalist species and interactions. These patterns emerge repeatedly across disparate temporal and spatial scales, suggesting the possibility of similar underlying processes. Based on these findings, we identify knowledge gaps and fruitful areas for research that will further our understanding of the effects of climate change on ecosystems.

  10. Niche construction within riparian corridors. Part II: The unexplored role of positive intraspecific interactions in Salicaceae species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corenblit, Dov; Garófano-Gómez, Virginia; González, Eduardo; Hortobágyi, Borbála; Julien, Frédéric; Lambs, Luc; Otto, Thierry; Roussel, Erwan; Steiger, Johannes; Tabacchi, Eric; Till-Bottraud, Irène

    2018-03-01

    Within riparian corridors, Salicaceae trees and shrubs affect hydrogeomorphic processes and lead to the formation of wooded fluvial landforms. These trees form dense stands and enhance plant anchorage, as grouped plants are less prone to be uprooted than free-standing individuals. This also enhances their role as ecosystem engineers through the trapping of sediment, organic matter, and nutrients. The landform formation caused by these wooded biogeomorphic landforms probably represents a positive niche construction, which ultimately leads, through facilitative processes, to an improved capacity of the individual trees to survive, exploit resources, and reach sexual maturity in the interval between destructive floods. The facilitative effects of riparian vegetation are well established; however, the nature and intensity of biotic interactions among trees of the same species forming dense woody stands and constructing the niche remain unclear. Our hypothesis is that the niche construction process also comprises more direct intraspecific interactions, such as cooperation or altruism. Our aim in this paper is to propose an original theoretical framework for positive intraspecific interactions among riparian Salicaceae species operating from establishment to sexual maturity. Within this framework, we speculate that (i) positive intraspecific interactions among trees are maximized in dynamic river reaches; (ii) during establishment, intraspecific facilitation (or helping) occurs among trees and this leads to the maintenance of a dense stand that improves survival and growth because saplings protect each other from shear stress and scour; (iii) in addition to the improved capacity to trap mineral and organic matter, individuals that constitute the dense stand can cooperate to mutually support a mycorrhizal network that will connect plants, soil, and groundwater and influence nutrient transfer, cycling, and storage within the shared constructed niche; (iv) during post

  11. Enhanced effects of biotic interactions on predicting multispecies spatial distribution of submerged macrophytes after eutrophication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Kun; Cui, Yichong; Zhang, Xijin; Pan, Yingji; Xu, Junli; Xu, Kaiqin; Da, Liangjun

    2017-10-01

    Water eutrophication creates unfavorable environmental conditions for submerged macrophytes. In these situations, biotic interactions may be particularly important for explaining and predicting the submerged macrophytes occurrence. Here, we evaluate the roles of biotic interactions in predicting spatial occurrence of submerged macrophytes in 1959 and 2009 for Dianshan Lake in eastern China, which became eutrophic since the 1980s. For the four common species occurred in 1959 and 2009, null species distribution models based on abiotic variables and full models based on both abiotic and biotic variables were developed using generalized linear model (GLM) and boosted regression trees (BRT) to determine whether the biotic variables improved the model performance. Hierarchical Bayesian-based joint species distribution models capable of detecting paired biotic interactions were established for each species in both periods to evaluate the changes in the biotic interactions. In most of the GLM and BRT models, the full models showed better performance than the null models in predicting the species presence/absence, and the relative importance of the biotic variables in the full models increased from less than 50% in 1959 to more than 50% in 2009 for each species. Moreover, co-occurrence correlation of each paired species interaction was higher in 2009 than that in 1959. The findings suggest biotic interactions that tend to be positive play more important roles in the spatial distribution of multispecies assemblages of macrophytes and should be included in prediction models to improve prediction accuracy when forecasting macrophytes' distribution under eutrophication stress.

  12. Linking macroecology and community ecology: refining predictions of species distributions using biotic interaction networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staniczenko, Phillip P A; Sivasubramaniam, Prabu; Suttle, K Blake; Pearson, Richard G

    2017-06-01

    Macroecological models for predicting species distributions usually only include abiotic environmental conditions as explanatory variables, despite knowledge from community ecology that all species are linked to other species through biotic interactions. This disconnect is largely due to the different spatial scales considered by the two sub-disciplines: macroecologists study patterns at large extents and coarse resolutions, while community ecologists focus on small extents and fine resolutions. A general framework for including biotic interactions in macroecological models would help bridge this divide, as it would allow for rigorous testing of the role that biotic interactions play in determining species ranges. Here, we present an approach that combines species distribution models with Bayesian networks, which enables the direct and indirect effects of biotic interactions to be modelled as propagating conditional dependencies among species' presences. We show that including biotic interactions in distribution models for species from a California grassland community results in better range predictions across the western USA. This new approach will be important for improving estimates of species distributions and their dynamics under environmental change. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Biotic interactions overrule plant responses to climate, depending on the species' biogeography.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Welk

    Full Text Available This study presents an experimental approach to assess the relative importance of climatic and biotic factors as determinants of species' geographical distributions. We asked to what extent responses of grassland plant species to biotic interactions vary with climate, and to what degree this variation depends on the species' biogeography. Using a gradient from oceanic to continental climate represented by nine common garden transplant sites in Germany, we experimentally tested whether congeneric grassland species of different geographic distribution (oceanic vs. continental plant range type responded differently to combinations of climate, competition and mollusc herbivory. We found the relative importance of biotic interactions and climate to vary between the different components of plant performance. While survival and plant height increased with precipitation, temperature had no effect on plant performance. Additionally, species with continental plant range type increased their growth in more benign climatic conditions, while those with oceanic range type were largely unable to take a similar advantage of better climatic conditions. Competition generally caused strong reductions of aboveground biomass and growth. In contrast, herbivory had minor effects on survival and growth. Against expectation, these negative effects of competition and herbivory were not mitigated under more stressful continental climate conditions. In conclusion we suggest variation in relative importance of climate and biotic interactions on broader scales, mediated via species-specific sensitivities and factor-specific response patterns. Our results have important implications for species distribution models, as they emphasize the large-scale impact of biotic interactions on plant distribution patterns and the necessity to take plant range types into account.

  14. Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Crowther, T. W.; Thomas, S.M.; Maynard, D.S.; Baldrian, Petr; Covey, K.; Frey, S. D.; van Diepen, L. T. A.; Bradford, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 112, č. 22 (2015), s. 7033-7038 ISSN 0027-8424 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : global change * soil feedback * biotic interaction Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 9.423, year: 2015

  15. Biotic interactions in the face of climate change: a comparison of three modelling approaches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Jaeschke

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to alter biotic interactions, and may lead to temporal and spatial mismatches of interacting species. Although the importance of interactions for climate change risk assessments is increasingly acknowledged in observational and experimental studies, biotic interactions are still rarely incorporated in species distribution models. We assessed the potential impacts of climate change on the obligate interaction between Aeshna viridis and its egg-laying plant Stratiotes aloides in Europe, based on an ensemble modelling technique. We compared three different approaches for incorporating biotic interactions in distribution models: (1 We separately modelled each species based on climatic information, and intersected the future range overlap ('overlap approach'. (2 We modelled the potential future distribution of A. viridis with the projected occurrence probability of S. aloides as further predictor in addition to climate ('explanatory variable approach'. (3 We calibrated the model of A. viridis in the current range of S. aloides and multiplied the future occurrence probabilities of both species ('reference area approach'. Subsequently, all approaches were compared to a single species model of A. viridis without interactions. All approaches projected a range expansion for A. viridis. Model performance on test data and amount of range gain differed depending on the biotic interaction approach. All interaction approaches yielded lower range gains (up to 667% lower than the model without interaction. Regarding the contribution of algorithm and approach to the overall uncertainty, the main part of explained variation stems from the modelling algorithm, and only a small part is attributed to the modelling approach. The comparison of the no-interaction model with the three interaction approaches emphasizes the importance of including obligate biotic interactions in projective species distribution modelling. We recommend the use of

  16. The role of biotic interactions in plant community assembly: What is the community species pool?

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    Švamberková, Eva; Vítová, Alena; Lepš, Jan

    2017-11-01

    Differences in plant species composition between a community and its species pool are considered to reflect the effect of community filters. If we define the species pool as a set of species able to reach a site and form a viable population in a given abiotic environment (i.e. to pass the dispersal and abiotic filter), the difference in species composition should correspond to the effect of biotic interactions. However, most of the operational definitions of the species pool are based on co-occurrence patterns and thus also reflect the effect of biotic relationships, including definitions based on functional plant traits, Ellenberg indicator values or Beals index. We conducted two seed introduction experiments in an oligotrophic wet meadow with the aim of demonstrating that many species excluded, according to the above definitions, from a species pool are in fact able to establish there successfully if competition is removed. In sowing experiments, we studied the establishment and survival of species after the removal of competition (i.e. in artificial gaps) and in intact vegetation. We also investigated inter-annual variability of seed germination and seedling establishment and competitive exclusion of sown species. The investigated species also included those from very different habitats (i.e. species with very low corresponding Beals index or Ellenberg indicator values that were different from the target community weighted mean). Many of these species were able to grow in the focal wet meadow if competition was removed, but they did not establish and survive in the intact community. These species are thus not limited by abiotic conditions, but by the biotic filter. We also recorded a great inter-annual variability in seed germination and seedling establishment. Competitive exclusion of species with different ecological requirements could be quite fast (one and half seasons) in some species, but some non-resident species were able to survive several seasons; the

  17. Calcium Signalling in Plant Biotic Interactions

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    Didier Aldon

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Calcium (Ca2+ is a universal second messenger involved in various cellular processes, leading to plant development and to biotic and abiotic stress responses. Intracellular variation in free Ca2+ concentration is among the earliest events following the plant perception of environmental change. These Ca2+ variations differ in their spatio-temporal properties according to the nature, strength and duration of the stimulus. However, their conversion into biological responses requires Ca2+ sensors for decoding and relaying. The occurrence in plants of calmodulin (CaM but also of other sets of plant-specific Ca2+ sensors such as calmodulin-like proteins (CMLs, Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs and calcineurin B-like proteins (CBLs indicate that plants possess specific tools and machineries to convert Ca2+ signals into appropriate responses. Here, we focus on recent progress made in monitoring the generation of Ca2+ signals at the whole plant or cell level and their long distance propagation during biotic interactions. The contribution of CaM/CMLs and CDPKs in plant immune responses mounted against bacteria, fungi, viruses and insects are also presented.

  18. Local biotic adaptation of trees and shrubs to plant neighbors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grady, Kevin C.; Wood, Troy E.; Kolb, Thomas E.; Hersch-Green, Erika; Shuster, Stephen M.; Gehring, Catherine A.; Hart, Stephen C.; Allan, Gerard J.; Whitham, Thomas G.

    2017-01-01

    Natural selection as a result of plant–plant interactions can lead to local biotic adaptation. This may occur where species frequently interact and compete intensely for resources limiting growth, survival, and reproduction. Selection is demonstrated by comparing a genotype interacting with con- or hetero-specific sympatric neighbor genotypes with a shared site-level history (derived from the same source location), to the same genotype interacting with foreign neighbor genotypes (from different sources). Better genotype performance in sympatric than allopatric neighborhoods provides evidence of local biotic adaptation. This pattern might be explained by selection to avoid competition by shifting resource niches (differentiation) or by interactions benefitting one or more members (facilitation). We tested for local biotic adaptation among two riparian trees, Populus fremontii and Salix gooddingii, and the shrub Salix exigua by transplanting replicated genotypes from multiple source locations to a 17 000 tree common garden with sympatric and allopatric treatments along the Colorado River in California. Three major patterns were observed: 1) across species, 62 of 88 genotypes grew faster with sympatric neighbors than allopatric neighbors; 2) these growth rates, on an individual tree basis, were 44, 15 and 33% higher in sympatric than allopatric treatments for P. fremontii, S. exigua and S. gooddingii, respectively, and; 3) survivorship was higher in sympatric treatments for P. fremontiiand S. exigua. These results support the view that fitness of foundation species supporting diverse communities and dominating ecosystem processes is determined by adaptive interactions among multiple plant species with the outcome that performance depends on the genetic identity of plant neighbors. The occurrence of evolution in a plant-community context for trees and shrubs builds on ecological evolutionary research that has demonstrated co-evolution among herbaceous taxa, and

  19. Effects of biotic interactions and dispersal on the presence-absence of multiple species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohd, Mohd Hafiz; Murray, Rua; Plank, Michael J.; Godsoe, William

    2017-01-01

    One of the important issues in ecology is to predict which species will be present (or absent) across a geographical region. Dispersal is thought to have an important influence on the range limits of species, and understanding this problem in a multi-species community with priority effects (i.e. initial abundances determine species presence-absence) is a challenging task because dispersal also interacts with biotic and abiotic factors. Here, we propose a simple multi-species model to investigate the joint effects of biotic interactions and dispersal on species presence-absence. Our results show that dispersal can substantially expand species ranges when biotic and abiotic forces are present; consequently, coexistence of multiple species is possible. The model also exhibits ecologically interesting priority effects, mediated by intense biotic interactions. In the absence of dispersal, competitive exclusion of all but one species occurs. We find that dispersal reduces competitive exclusion effects that occur in no-dispersal case and promotes coexistence of multiple species. These results also show that priority effects are still prevalent in multi-species communities in the presence of dispersal process. We also illustrate the existence of threshold values of competitive strength (i.e. transcritical bifurcations), which results in different species presence-absence in multi-species communities with and without dispersal.

  20. Legumes affect alpine tundra community composition via multiple biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; Aksenova, A.A.; Makarov, M.I.; Onipchenko, V.G.; Logvinenko, O.A.; Braak, ter C.J.F.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.

    2012-01-01

    The soil engineering function of legumes in natural ecosystems is paramount but associated solely with soil nitrogen (N) subsidies, ignoring concomitant biotic interactions such as competitive or inhibitory effects and exchange between mycorrhizas and rhizobia. We aim to (1) disentangle legume

  1. The role of biotic interactions in shaping distributions and realised assemblages of species: implications for species distribution modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wisz, Mary Susanne; Pottier, Julien; Kissling, W Daniel; Pellissier, Loïc; Lenoir, Jonathan; Damgaard, Christian F; Dormann, Carsten F; Forchhammer, Mads C; Grytnes, John-Arvid; Guisan, Antoine; Heikkinen, Risto K; Høye, Toke T; Kühn, Ingolf; Luoto, Miska; Maiorano, Luigi; Nilsson, Marie-Charlotte; Normand, Signe; Öckinger, Erik; Schmidt, Niels M; Termansen, Mette; Timmermann, Allan; Wardle, David A; Aastrup, Peter; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-02-01

    Predicting which species will occur together in the future, and where, remains one of the greatest challenges in ecology, and requires a sound understanding of how the abiotic and biotic environments interact with dispersal processes and history across scales. Biotic interactions and their dynamics influence species' relationships to climate, and this also has important implications for predicting future distributions of species. It is already well accepted that biotic interactions shape species' spatial distributions at local spatial extents, but the role of these interactions beyond local extents (e.g. 10 km(2) to global extents) are usually dismissed as unimportant. In this review we consolidate evidence for how biotic interactions shape species distributions beyond local extents and review methods for integrating biotic interactions into species distribution modelling tools. Drawing upon evidence from contemporary and palaeoecological studies of individual species ranges, functional groups, and species richness patterns, we show that biotic interactions have clearly left their mark on species distributions and realised assemblages of species across all spatial extents. We demonstrate this with examples from within and across trophic groups. A range of species distribution modelling tools is available to quantify species environmental relationships and predict species occurrence, such as: (i) integrating pairwise dependencies, (ii) using integrative predictors, and (iii) hybridising species distribution models (SDMs) with dynamic models. These methods have typically only been applied to interacting pairs of species at a single time, require a priori ecological knowledge about which species interact, and due to data paucity must assume that biotic interactions are constant in space and time. To better inform the future development of these models across spatial scales, we call for accelerated collection of spatially and temporally explicit species data. Ideally

  2. Rainwater Harvesting and Social Networks: Visualising Interactions for Niche Governance, Resilience and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Ward

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Visualising interactions across urban water systems to explore transition and change processes requires the development of methods and models at different scales. This paper contributes a model representing the network interactions of rainwater harvesting (RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations in the UK RWH niche to identify how resilience and sustainability feature within niche governance in practice. The RWH network interaction model was constructed using a modified participatory social network analysis (SNA. The SNA was further analysed through the application of a two-part analytical framework based on niche management and the safe, resilient and sustainable (‘Safe and SuRe’ framework. Weak interactions between some RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations highlighted reliance on a limited number of persuaders to influence the regime and landscape, which were underrepresented. Features from niche creation and management were exhibited by the RWH network interaction model, though some observed characteristics were not represented. Additional Safe and SuRe features were identified covering diverse innovation, responsivity, no protection, unconverged expectations, primary influencers, polycentric or adaptive governance and multiple learning-types. These features enable RWH infrastructure innovators and other organisations to reflect on improving resilience and sustainability, though further research in other sectors would be useful to verify and validate observation of the seven features.

  3. Separating the role of biotic interactions and climate in determining adaptive response of plants to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomiolo, Sara; Van der Putten, Wim H; Tielbörger, Katja

    2015-05-01

    Altered rainfall regimes will greatly affect the response of plant species to climate change. However, little is known about how direct effects of changing precipitation on plant performance may depend on other abiotic factors and biotic interactions. We used reciprocal transplants between climatically very different sites with simultaneous manipulation of soil, plant population origin, and neighbor conditions to evaluate local adaptation and possible adaptive response of four Eastern Mediterranean annual plant species to climate change. The effect of site on plant performance was negligible, but soil origin had a strong effect on fecundity, most likely due to differential water retaining ability. Competition by neighbors strongly reduced fitness. We separated the effects of the abiotic and biotic soil properties on plant performance by repeating the field experiment in a greenhouse under homogenous environmental conditions and including a soil biota manipulation treatment. As in the field, plant performance differed among soil origins and neighbor treatments. Moreover, we found plant species-specific responses to soil biota that may be best explained by the differential sensitivity to negative and positive soil biota effects. Overall, under the conditions of our experiment with two contrasting sites, biotic interactions had a strong effect on plant fitness that interacted with and eventually overrode climate. Because climate and biotic interactions covary, reciprocal transplants and climate gradient studies should consider soil biotic interactions and abiotic conditions when evaluating climate change effects on plant performance.

  4. Interactions between structural and chemical biomimetism in synthetic stem cell niches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nava, Michele M; Raimondi, Manuela T; Credi, Caterina; De Marco, Carmela; Turri, Stefano; Cerullo, Giulio; Osellame, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Advancements in understanding stem cell functions and differentiation are of key importance for the clinical success of stem-cell-based therapies. 3D structural niches fabricated by two-photon polymerization are a powerful platform for controlling stem cell growth and differentiation. In this paper, we investigate the possibility of further controlling stem cell fate by tuning the mechanical properties of such niches through coating with thin layers of biomimetic hyaluronan-based and gelatin-based hydrogels. We first assess the biocompatibility of chemical coatings and then study the interactions between structural and chemical biomimetism on the response of MSCs in terms of proliferation and differentiation. We observed a clear effect of the hydrogel coating on otherwise identical 3D scaffolds. In particular, in gelatin-coated niches we observed a stronger metabolic activity and commitment toward the osteo-chondral lineage with respect to hyaluronan-coated niches. Conversely, a reduction in the homing effect was observed in all the coated niches, especially in gelatin-coated niches. This study demonstrates the feasibility of controlling independently different mechanical cues, in bioengineered stem cell niches, i.e. the 3D scaffold geometry and the surface stiffness. This will allow, on the one hand, understanding their specific role in stem cell proliferation and differentiation and, on the other hand, finely tuning their synergistic effect. (paper)

  5. Integrating life stages into ecological niche models: a case study on tiger beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taboada, Angela; von Wehrden, Henrik; Assmann, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    Detailed understanding of a species' natural history and environmental needs across spatial scales is a primary requisite for effective conservation planning, particularly for species with complex life cycles in which different life stages occupy different niches and respond to the environment at different scales. However, niche models applied to conservation often neglect early life stages and are mostly performed at broad spatial scales. Using the endangered heath tiger beetle (Cicindela sylvatica) as a model species, we relate presence/absence and abundance data of locally dispersing adults and sedentary larvae to abiotic and biotic variables measured in a multiscale approach within the geographic extent relevant to active conservation management. At the scale of hundreds of meters, fine-grained abiotic conditions (i.e., vegetation structure) are fundamental determinants of the occurrence of both life stages, whereas the effect of biotic factors is mostly contained in the abiotic signature. The combination of dense heath vegetation and bare ground areas is thus the first requirement for the species' preservation, provided that accessibility to the suitable habitat is ensured. At a smaller scale (centimetres), the influence of abiotic factors on larval occurrence becomes negligible, suggesting the existence of important additional variables acting within larval proximity. Sustained significant correlations between neighbouring larvae in the models provide an indication of the potential impact of neighbourhood crowding on the larval niche within a few centimetres. Since the species spends the majority of its life cycle in the larval stage, it is essential to consider the hierarchical abiotic and biotic processes affecting the larvae when designing practical conservation guidelines for the species. This underlines the necessity for a more critical evaluation of the consequences of disregarding niche variation between life stages when estimating niches and

  6. Interactive Biophysics with Microswimmers: Education, Cloud Experimentation, Programmed Swarms, and Biotic Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar

    Modern biotechnology gets increasingly powerful to manipulate and measure microscopic biophysical processes. Nevertheless, no platform exists to truly interact with these processes, certainly not with the convenience that we are accustomed to from our electronic smart devices. In my talk I will provide the rational for such Interactive Biotechnology and conceptualize its core component, the BPU (biotic processing unit), which is then connected to an according user interface. The biophysical phenomena currently featured on these platforms utilize the phototactic response of motile microorganisms, e.g., Euglena gracilis, resulting in spatio-temporal dynamics from the single cell to the self-organized multi-cellular scale. I will demonstrate multiple platforms, such as scalable biology cloud experimentation labs, tangible museum exhibits, biotic video games, low-cost interactive DIY kits using smartphones, and programming languages for swarm robotics. I will discuss applications for education as well as for professional and citizen science. Hence, we turn traditionally observational microscopy into an interactive experience. I was told that presenting in the educational section does not count against the ''one author - one talk policy'' - so I submit two abstracts. In case of conflict - please contact me: ingmar@stanford.edu.

  7. Biotic Interaction in Space and Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Andreas Kelager

    Myrmica host ants by using chemical and acoustic mimicry to coerce the ant workers to feed and nurture the caterpillar preferentially over their own brood. Maculinea alcon is thus an extreme dietary specialist as absence of just one of the hosts precludes presence of the butterfly and as a result...... further enhance the risk of extinction. Maculinea alcon is selected as an umbrella for conservation and numerous aspects of its biology has been studied extensively. This thesis explores the spatio-temporal impact of the tight biotic dependence in this tritrophic interaction system and integrates...... in host ant use as expected, and is an example of a genetic barrier operating on a temporal scale rather than spatial. In chapter II, we developed habitat suitability models for M. alcon and G. pneumonanthe potentially useful in locating undocumented populations and for improving management of them...

  8. Under niche construction: an operational bridge between ecology, evolution, and ecosystem science

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matthews, B.; De Meester, L.; Jones, C.G.; Ibelings, B.W.; Bouma, T.J.; Nuutinen, V.; van de Koppel, J.; Odling-Smee, J.

    2014-01-01

    All living organisms modify their biotic and abiotic environment. Niche construction theory posits that organism-mediated modifications to the environment can change selection pressures and influence the evolutionary trajectories of natural populations. While there is broad support for this

  9. Temperature, precipitation and biotic interactions as determinants of tree seedling recruitment across the tree line ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingstad, Lise; Olsen, Siri Lie; Klanderud, Kari; Vandvik, Vigdis; Ohlson, Mikael

    2015-10-01

    Seedling recruitment is a critical life history stage for trees, and successful recruitment is tightly linked to both abiotic factors and biotic interactions. In order to better understand how tree species' distributions may change in response to anticipated climate change, more knowledge of the effects of complex climate and biotic interactions is needed. We conducted a seed-sowing experiment to investigate how temperature, precipitation and biotic interactions impact recruitment of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings in southern Norway. Seeds were sown into intact vegetation and experimentally created gaps. To study the combined effects of temperature and precipitation, the experiment was replicated across 12 sites, spanning a natural climate gradient from boreal to alpine and from sub-continental to oceanic. Seedling emergence and survival were assessed 12 and 16 months after sowing, respectively, and above-ground biomass and height were determined at the end of the experiment. Interestingly, very few seedlings were detected in the boreal sites, and the highest number of seedlings emerged and established in the alpine sites, indicating that low temperature did not limit seedling recruitment. Site precipitation had an overall positive effect on seedling recruitment, especially at intermediate precipitation levels. Seedling emergence, establishment and biomass were higher in gap plots compared to intact vegetation at all temperature levels. These results suggest that biotic interactions in the form of competition may be more important than temperature as a limiting factor for tree seedling recruitment in the sub- and low-alpine zone of southern Norway.

  10. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  11. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important for the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread.

  12. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaume Terradas

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Classical approaches to niche in coexisting plants have undervalued temporal fluctuations. We propose that fluctuation niche is an important dimension of the total niche and interacts with habitat and life-history niches to provide a better understanding of the multidimensional niche space where ecological interactions occur. To scale a fluctuation niche, it is necessary to relate environmental constrictions or species performance not only to the absolute values of the usual environmental and ecophysiological variables but also to their variances or other measures of variability. We use Mediterranean plant communities as examples, because they present characteristic large seasonal and interannual fluctuations in water and nutrient availabilities, along an episodic-constant gradient, and because the plant responses include a number of syndromes coupled to this gradient.

  13. The Fluctuation Niche in Plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terradas, J.; Penuelas, J.; Lloret, F.; Penuelas, J.

    2009-01-01

    Classical approaches to niche in coexisting plants have undervalued temporal fluctuations. We propose that fluctuation niche is an important dimension of the total niche and interacts with habitat and life-history niches to provide a better understanding of the multidimensional niche space where ecological interactions occur. To scale a fluctuation niche, it is necessary to relate environmental constrictions or species performance not only to the absolute values of the usual environmental and eco physiological variables but also to their variances or other measures of variability. We use Mediterranean plant communities as examples, because they present characteristic large seasonal and inter annual fluctuations in water and nutrient availabilities, along an episodic-constant gradient, and because the plant responses include a number of syndromes coupled to this gradient.

  14. Bayesian Inference of Ecological Interactions from Spatial Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R. Stephens

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The characterization and quantification of ecological interactions and the construction of species’ distributions and their associated ecological niches are of fundamental theoretical and practical importance. In this paper, we discuss a Bayesian inference framework, which, using spatial data, offers a general formalism within which ecological interactions may be characterized and quantified. Interactions are identified through deviations of the spatial distribution of co-occurrences of spatial variables relative to a benchmark for the non-interacting system and based on a statistical ensemble of spatial cells. The formalism allows for the integration of both biotic and abiotic factors of arbitrary resolution. We concentrate on the conceptual and mathematical underpinnings of the formalism, showing how, using the naive Bayes approximation, it can be used to not only compare and contrast the relative contribution from each variable, but also to construct species’ distributions and ecological niches based on an arbitrary variable type. We also show how non-linear interactions between distinct niche variables can be identified and the degree of confounding between variables accounted for.

  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. Analysis of the U.S. forest tolerance patterns depending on current and future temperature and precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jean Lienard; John Harrison; Nikolay. Strigul

    2015-01-01

    Forested ecosystems are shaped by climate, soil and biotic interactions, resulting in constrained spatial distribution of species and biomes. Tolerance traits of species determine their fundamental ecological niche, while biotic interactions narrow tree distributions to the realized niche. In particular, shade, drought and waterlogging tolerances have been well-...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, F; Bergelson, J

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Local shifts in floral biotic interactions in habitat edges and their effect on quantity and quality of plant offspring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenu, Giuseppe; Bernardo, Liliana

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Spatial shifts in insect fauna due to ecological heterogeneity can severely constrain plant reproduction. Nonetheless, data showing effects of insect visit patterns and intensity of mutualistic and/or antagonistic plant–insect interactions on plant reproduction over structured ecological gradients remain scarce. We investigated how changes in flower-visitor abundance, identity and behaviour over a forest-open habitat gradient affect plant biotic interactions, and quantitative and qualitative fitness in the edge-specialist Dianthus balbisii. Composition and behaviour of the insects visiting flowers of D. balbisii strongly varied over the study gradient, influencing strength and patterns of plant biotic interactions (i.e. herbivory and pollination likelihood). Seed set comparison in free- and manually pollinated flowers suggested spatial variations in the extent of quantitative pollen limitation, which appeared more pronounced at the gradient extremes. Such variations were congruent to patterns of flower visit and plant biotic interactions. The analyses on seed and seedling viability evidenced that spatial variation in amount and type of pollinators, and frequency of herbivory affected qualitative fitness of D. balbisii by influencing selfing and outcrossing rates. Our work emphasizes the role of plant biotic interactions as a fine-scale mediator of plant fitness in ecotones, highlighting that optimal plant reproduction can take place into a restricted interval of the ecological gradients occurring at forest edges. Reducing the habitat complexity typical of such transition contexts can threat edge-adapted plants. PMID:28775831

  19. Biotic and Climatic Velocity Identify Contrasting Areas of Vulnerability to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Carlos; Lawler, Joshua J.; Roberts, David R.; Hamann, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Metrics that synthesize the complex effects of climate change are essential tools for mapping future threats to biodiversity and predicting which species are likely to adapt in place to new climatic conditions, disperse and establish in areas with newly suitable climate, or face the prospect of extirpation. The most commonly used of such metrics is the velocity of climate change, which estimates the speed at which species must migrate over the earth’s surface to maintain constant climatic conditions. However, “analog-based” velocities, which represent the actual distance to where analogous climates will be found in the future, may provide contrasting results to the more common form of velocity based on local climate gradients. Additionally, whereas climatic velocity reflects the exposure of organisms to climate change, resultant biotic effects are dependent on the sensitivity of individual species as reflected in part by their climatic niche width. This has motivated development of biotic velocity, a metric which uses data on projected species range shifts to estimate the velocity at which species must move to track their climatic niche. We calculated climatic and biotic velocity for the Western Hemisphere for 1961–2100, and applied the results to example ecological and conservation planning questions, to demonstrate the potential of such analog-based metrics to provide information on broad-scale patterns of exposure and sensitivity. Geographic patterns of biotic velocity for 2954 species of birds, mammals, and amphibians differed from climatic velocity in north temperate and boreal regions. However, both biotic and climatic velocities were greatest at low latitudes, implying that threats to equatorial species arise from both the future magnitude of climatic velocities and the narrow climatic tolerances of species in these regions, which currently experience low seasonal and interannual climatic variability. Biotic and climatic velocity, by approximating

  20. Biotic interactions reduce microbial carbon use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, M.; Maynard, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The efficiency by which microbes decompose organic matter governs the amount of carbon that is retained in microbial biomass versus lost to the atmosphere as respiration. This carbon use efficiency (CUE) is affected by various abiotic conditions, such as temperature and nutrient availability. In biogeochemical model simulations, CUE is a key variable regulating how much soil carbon is stored or lost from ecosystems under simulated global changes, such as climate warming. Theoretically, the physiological costs of biotic interactions such as competition should likewise alter CUE, yet the direction and magnitude of these costs are untested. Here we conduct a microcosm experiment to quantify how competitive interactions among saprotrophic fungi alter growth, respiration, and CUE. Free-living decomposer fungi representing a broad range of traits and phylogenies were grown alone, in pairwise competition, and in multi-species (up to 15) communities. By combing culturing and stable carbon isotope approaches, we could resolve the amount of carbon substrate allocated to fungal biomass versus respiration, and so estimate CUE. By then comparing individual performance to community-level outcomes, we show that species interactions induce consistent declines in CUE, regardless of abiotic conditions. Pairwise competition lowers CUE by as much as 25%, with the magnitude of these costs equal to or greater than the observed variation across abiotic conditions. However, depending on the competitive network structure, increasing species richness led to consistent gains or declines in CUE. Our results suggest that the extent to which microbial-mediated carbon fluxes respond to environmental change may be influenced strongly by competitive interactions. As such, knowledge of abiotic conditions and community composition is necessary to confidently project CUE and hence ecosystem carbon dynamics.

  1. Plant stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Yvonne; Simon, Rüdiger

    2005-01-01

    Stem cells are required to support the indeterminate growth style of plants. Meristems are a plants stem cell niches that foster stem cell survival and the production of descendants destined for differentiation. In shoot meristems, stem cell fate is decided at the populational level. The size of the stem cell domain at the meristem tip depends on signals that are exchanged with cells of the organizing centre underneath. In root meristems, individual stem cells are controlled by direct interaction with cells of the quiescent centre that lie in the immediate neighbourhood. Analysis of the interactions and signaling processes in the stem cell niches has delivered some insights into the molecules that are involved and revealed that the two major niches for plant stem cells are more similar than anticipated.

  2. Interaction between Digestive Strategy and Niche Specialization Predicts Speciation Rates across Herbivorous Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Lucy A P

    2016-04-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors often are treated as mutually exclusive drivers of diversification processes. In this framework, ecological specialists are expected to have higher speciation rates than generalists if abiotic factors are the primary controls on species diversity but lower rates if biotic interactions are more important. Speciation rate is therefore predicted to positively correlate with ecological specialization in the purely abiotic model but negatively correlate in the biotic model. In this study, I show that the positive relationship between ecological specialization and speciation expected from the purely abiotic model is recovered only when a species-specific trait, digestive strategy, is modeled in the terrestrial, herbivorous mammals (Mammalia). This result suggests a more nuanced model in which the response of specialized lineages to abiotic factors is dependent on a biological trait. I also demonstrate that the effect of digestive strategy on the ecological specialization-speciation rate relationship is not due to a difference in either the degree of ecological specialization or the speciation rate between foregut- and hindgut-fermenting mammals. Together, these findings suggest that a biological trait, alongside historical abiotic events, played an important role in shaping mammal speciation at long temporal and large geographic scales.

  3. Reciprocal interactions between endothelial cells and macrophages in angiogenic vascular niches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baer, Caroline; Squadrito, Mario Leonardo [The Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), School of Life Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne (Switzerland); Iruela-Arispe, M. Luisa, E-mail: arispe@mcdb.ucla.edu [The Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), School of Life Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne (Switzerland); Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and Molecular Biology Institute, University of California, Los Angeles 90095, CA (United States); De Palma, Michele, E-mail: michele.depalma@epfl.ch [The Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), School of Life Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne (Switzerland)

    2013-07-01

    The ability of macrophages to promote vascular growth has been associated with the secretion and local delivery of classic proangiogenic factors (e.g., VEGF-A and proteases). More recently, a series of studies have also revealed that physical contact of macrophages with growing blood vessels coordinates vascular fusion of emerging sprouts. Interestingly, the interactions between macrophages and vascular endothelial cells (ECs) appear to be bidirectional, such that activated ECs also support the expansion and differentiation of proangiogenic macrophages from myeloid progenitors. Here, we discuss recent findings suggesting that dynamic angiogenic vascular niches might also exist in vivo, e.g. in tumors, where sprouting blood vessels and immature myeloid cells like monocytes engage in heterotypic interactions that are required for angiogenesis. Finally, we provide an account of emerging mechanisms of cell-to-cell communication that rely on secreted microvesicles, such as exosomes, which can offer a vehicle for the rapid exchange of molecules and genetic information between macrophages and ECs engaged in angiogenesis. -- Highlights: • Macrophages promote angiogenesis by secreting proangiogenic factors. • Macrophages modulate angiogenesis via cell-to-cell contacts with endothelial cells. • Endothelial cells promote the differentiation of proangiogenic macrophages. • Macrophages and endothelial cells may cooperate to form angiogenic vascular niches.

  4. Reciprocal interactions between endothelial cells and macrophages in angiogenic vascular niches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, Caroline; Squadrito, Mario Leonardo; Iruela-Arispe, M. Luisa; De Palma, Michele

    2013-01-01

    The ability of macrophages to promote vascular growth has been associated with the secretion and local delivery of classic proangiogenic factors (e.g., VEGF-A and proteases). More recently, a series of studies have also revealed that physical contact of macrophages with growing blood vessels coordinates vascular fusion of emerging sprouts. Interestingly, the interactions between macrophages and vascular endothelial cells (ECs) appear to be bidirectional, such that activated ECs also support the expansion and differentiation of proangiogenic macrophages from myeloid progenitors. Here, we discuss recent findings suggesting that dynamic angiogenic vascular niches might also exist in vivo, e.g. in tumors, where sprouting blood vessels and immature myeloid cells like monocytes engage in heterotypic interactions that are required for angiogenesis. Finally, we provide an account of emerging mechanisms of cell-to-cell communication that rely on secreted microvesicles, such as exosomes, which can offer a vehicle for the rapid exchange of molecules and genetic information between macrophages and ECs engaged in angiogenesis. -- Highlights: • Macrophages promote angiogenesis by secreting proangiogenic factors. • Macrophages modulate angiogenesis via cell-to-cell contacts with endothelial cells. • Endothelial cells promote the differentiation of proangiogenic macrophages. • Macrophages and endothelial cells may cooperate to form angiogenic vascular niches

  5. Reproductive niche conservatism in the isolated New Zealand flora over 23 million years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conran, John G; Lee, William G; Lee, Daphne E; Bannister, Jennifer M; Kaulfuss, Uwe

    2014-10-01

    The temporal stability of plant reproductive features on islands has rarely been tested. Using flowers, fruits/cones and seeds from a well-dated (23 Ma) Miocene Lagerstätte in New Zealand, we show that across 23 families and 30 genera of forest angiosperms and conifers, reproductive features have remained constant for more than 20 Myr. Insect-, wind- and bird-pollinated flowers and wind- and bird-dispersed diaspores all indicate remarkable reproductive niche conservatism, despite widespread environmental and biotic change. In the past 10 Myr, declining temperatures and the absence of low-latitude refugia caused regional extinction of thermophiles, while orogenic processes steepened temperature, precipitation and nutrient gradients, limiting forest niches. Despite these changes, the palaeontological record provides empirical support for evidence from phylogeographical studies of strong niche conservatism within lineages and biomes. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Why developmental niche construction is not selective niche construction: and why it matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stotz, Karola

    2017-10-06

    In the last decade, niche construction has been heralded as the neglected process in evolution. But niche construction is just one way in which the organism's interaction with and construction of the environment can have potential evolutionary significance. The constructed environment does not just select for , it also produces new variation. Nearly 3 decades ago, and in parallel with Odling-Smee's article 'Niche-constructing phenotypes', West and King introduced the 'ontogenetic niche' to give the phenomena of exo genetic inheritance a formal name. Since then, a range of fields in the life sciences and medicine has amassed evidence that parents influence their offspring by means other than DNA (parental effects), and proposed mechanisms for how heritable variation can be environmentally induced and developmentally regulated. The concept of 'developmental niche construction' (DNC) elucidates how a diverse range of mechanisms contributes to the transgenerational transfer of developmental resources. My most central of claims is that whereas the selective niche of niche construction theory is primarily used to explain the active role of the organism in its selective environment, DNC is meant to indicate the active role of the organism in its developmental environment. The paper highlights the differences between the construction of the selective and the developmental niche, and explores the overall significance of DNC for evolutionary theory.

  7. A framework for evaluating the influence of climate, dispersal limitation, and biotic interactions using fossil pollen associations across the late Quaternary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blois, Jessica L.; Gotelli, Nicholas J.; Behrensmeyer, Anna K.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental conditions, dispersal lags, and interactions among species are major factors structuring communities through time and across space. Ecologists have emphasized the importance of biotic interactions in determining local patterns of species association. In contrast, abiotic limits, dis...

  8. Modulating the stem cell niche for tissue regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Steven W; Williams, David A; Watt, Fiona M

    2015-01-01

    The field of regenerative medicine holds considerable promise for treating diseases that are currently intractable. Although many researchers are adopting the strategy of cell transplantation for tissue repair, an alternative approach to therapy is to manipulate the stem cell microenvironment, or niche, to facilitate repair by endogenous stem cells. The niche is highly dynamic, with multiple opportunities for intervention. These include administration of small molecules, biologics or biomaterials that target specific aspects of the niche, such as cell-cell and cell–extracellular matrix interactions, to stimulate expansion or differentiation of stem cells, or to cause reversion of differentiated cells to stem cells. Nevertheless, there are several challenges in targeting the niche therapeutically, not least that of achieving specificity of delivery and responses. We envisage that successful treatments in regenerative medicine will involve different combinations of factors to target stem cells and niche cells, applied at different times to effect recovery according to the dynamics of stem cell–niche interactions. PMID:25093887

  9. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant–soil interactions and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  10. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  11. Process-Based Species Pools Reveal the Hidden Signature of Biotic Interactions Amid the Influence of Temperature Filtering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Weinstein, Ben G; Borregaard, Michael K; Marske, Katharine A; Martin, Danny R; McGuire, Jimmy A; Parra, Juan L; Rahbek, Carsten; Graham, Catherine H

    2016-01-01

    A persistent challenge in ecology is to tease apart the influence of multiple processes acting simultaneously and interacting in complex ways to shape the structure of species assemblages. We implement a heuristic approach that relies on explicitly defining species pools and permits assessment of the relative influence of the main processes thought to shape assemblage structure: environmental filtering, dispersal limitations, and biotic interactions. We illustrate our approach using data on the assemblage composition and geographic distribution of hummingbirds, a comprehensive phylogeny and morphological traits. The implementation of several process-based species pool definitions in null models suggests that temperature-but not precipitation or dispersal limitation-acts as the main regional filter of assemblage structure. Incorporating this environmental filter directly into the definition of assemblage-specific species pools revealed an otherwise hidden pattern of phylogenetic evenness, indicating that biotic interactions might further influence hummingbird assemblage structure. Such hidden patterns of assemblage structure call for a reexamination of a multitude of phylogenetic- and trait-based studies that did not explicitly consider potentially important processes in their definition of the species pool. Our heuristic approach provides a transparent way to explore patterns and refine interpretations of the underlying causes of assemblage structure.

  12. The community-level effect of light on germination timing in relation to seed mass: a source of regeneration niche differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunhui; Willis, Charles G; Burghardt, Liana T; Qi, Wei; Liu, Kun; Souza-Filho, Paulo Roberto de Moura; Ma, Zhen; Du, Guozhen

    2014-11-01

    Within a community, species may germinate at different times so as to mitigate competition and to take advantage of different aspects of the seasonal environment (temporal niche differentiation). We illustrated a hypothesis of the combined effects of abiotic and biotic competitive factors on germination timing and the subsequent upscale effects on community assembly. We estimated the germination timing (GT) for 476 angiosperm species of the eastern Tibetan Plateau grasslands under two light treatments in the field: high (i.e. natural) light and low light. We also measured the shift in germination timing (SGT) across treatments for all species. Furthermore, we used phylogenetic comparative methods to test if GT and SGT were associated with seed mass, an important factor in competitive interactions. We found a significant positive correlation between GT and seed mass in both light treatments. Additionally, small seeds (early germinating seeds) tended to germinate later and large seeds (late germinating seeds) tended to germinate earlier under low light vs high light conditions. Low light availability can reduce temporal niche differentiation by increasing the overlap in germination time between small and large seeds. In turn, reduced temporal niche differentiation may increase competition in the process of community assembly. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. Disentangling effects of abiotic factors and biotic interactions on cross-taxon congruence in species turnover patterns of plants, moths and beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Meichun; Liu, Yunhui; Yu, Zhenrong; Baudry, Jacques; Li, Liangtao; Wang, Changliu; Axmacher, Jan C

    2016-04-01

    High cross-taxon congruence in species diversity patterns is essential for the use of surrogate taxa in biodiversity conservation, but presence and strength of congruence in species turnover patterns, and the relative contributions of abiotic environmental factors and biotic interaction towards this congruence, remain poorly understood. In our study, we used variation partitioning in multiple regressions to quantify cross-taxon congruence in community dissimilarities of vascular plants, geometrid and arciinid moths and carabid beetles, subsequently investigating their respective underpinning by abiotic factors and biotic interactions. Significant cross-taxon congruence observed across all taxon pairs was linked to their similar responses towards elevation change. Changes in the vegetation composition were closely linked to carabid turnover, with vegetation structure and associated microclimatic conditions proposed causes of this link. In contrast, moth assemblages appeared to be dominated by generalist species whose turnover was weakly associated with vegetation changes. Overall, abiotic factors exerted a stronger influence on cross-taxon congruence across our study sites than biotic interactions. The weak congruence in turnover observed particularly between plants and moths highlights the importance of multi-taxon approaches based on groupings of taxa with similar turnovers, rather than the use of single surrogate taxa or environmental proxies, in biodiversity assessments.

  14. Loss of niche-satellite cell interactions in syndecan-3 null mice alters muscle progenitor cell homeostasis improving muscle regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisconti, Addolorata; Banks, Glen B; Babaeijandaghi, Farshad; Betta, Nicole Dalla; Rossi, Fabio M V; Chamberlain, Jeffrey S; Olwin, Bradley B

    2016-01-01

    The skeletal muscle stem cell niche provides an environment that maintains quiescent satellite cells, required for skeletal muscle homeostasis and regeneration. Syndecan-3, a transmembrane proteoglycan expressed in satellite cells, supports communication with the niche, providing cell interactions and signals to maintain quiescent satellite cells. Syndecan-3 ablation unexpectedly improves regeneration in repeatedly injured muscle and in dystrophic mice, accompanied by the persistence of sublaminar and interstitial, proliferating myoblasts. Additionally, muscle aging is improved in syndecan-3 null mice. Since syndecan-3 null myofiber-associated satellite cells downregulate Pax7 and migrate away from the niche more readily than wild type cells, syxndecan-3 appears to regulate satellite cell homeostasis and satellite cell homing to the niche. Manipulating syndecan-3 provides a promising target for development of therapies to enhance muscle regeneration in muscular dystrophies and in aged muscle.

  15. Spatial distributions of niche-constructing populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaozhuo Han

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Niche construction theory regards organisms not only as the object of natural selection but also an active subject that can change their own selective pressure through eco-evolutionary feedbacks. Through reviewing the existing works on the theoretical models of niche construction, here we present the progress made on how niche construction influences genetic structure of spatially structured populations and the spatial-temporal dynamics of metapopulations, with special focuses on mathematical models and simulation methods. The majority of results confirmed that niche construction can significantly alter the evolutionary trajectories of structured populations. Organism-environmental interactions induced by niche construction can have profound influence on the dynamics, competition and diversity of metapopulations. It can affect fine-scale spatially distribution of species and spatial heterogeneity of the environment. We further propose a few research directions with potentials, such as applying adaptive dynamics or spatial game theory to explore the effect of niche construction on phenotypic evolution and diversification.

  16. Past tree influence and prescribed fire mediate biotic interactions and community reassembly in a grassland-restoration experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Halpern; Joseph A. Antos; Donald McKenzie; Annette M. Olson; Lara Souza

    2016-01-01

    1. Woody plant encroachment of grasslands is occurring globally, with profound ecological consequences. Attempts to restore herbaceous dominance may fail if the woody state is resilient or if intervention leads to an alternate, undesirable state. Restoration outcomes often hinge on biotic interactions – particularly on priority effects that inhibit or promote community...

  17. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Marianne; Gompert, Zachariah; Jiggins, Chris; Willmott, Keith

    2008-12-02

    Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  18. Mutualistic interactions drive ecological niche convergence in a diverse butterfly community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Elias

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Ecological communities are structured in part by evolutionary interactions among their members. A number of recent studies incorporating phylogenetics into community ecology have upheld the paradigm that competition drives ecological divergence among species of the same guild. However, the role of other interspecific interactions, in particular positive interactions such as mutualism, remains poorly explored. We characterized the ecological niche and inferred phylogenetic relationships among members of a diverse community of neotropical Müllerian mimetic butterflies. Müllerian mimicry is one of the best studied examples of mutualism, in which unpalatable species converge in wing pattern locally to advertize their toxicity to predators. We provide evidence that mutualistic interactions can drive convergence along multiple ecological axes, outweighing both phylogeny and competition in shaping community structure. Our findings imply that ecological communities are adaptively assembled to a much greater degree than commonly suspected. In addition, our results show that phenotype and ecology are strongly linked and support the idea that mimicry can cause ecological speciation through multiple cascading effects on species' biology.

  19. Exploring crowded trophic niche space in a novel reservoir fish assemblage: how many predators is too many?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winters, Lisa K.; Budy, Phaedra

    2015-01-01

    In highly managed reservoir systems, species interactions within novel fish assemblages can be difficult to predict. In high-elevation Scofield Reservoir in Utah the unintentional introduction of Utah Chub Gila atraria and subsequent population expansion prompted a shift from stocking exclusively Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss to include tiger trout (female Brown Trout Salmo trutta × male Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis) and Bonneville Cutthroat Trout O. clarkii utah, which composed a novel suite of top predators and potential competitors. We examined the interspecific interactions among Scofield Reservoir piscivores using a multifaceted approach including gut analyses, stable isotopes, and gape limitation. Large Cutthroat Trout consumed 50–100% Utah Chub and tiger trout consumed 45–80%. In contrast, small and large Rainbow Trout consumed primarily invertebrate prey and exhibited significant overlap with small tiger trout, Cutthroat Trout, and Utah Chub. Large Cutthroat Trout and tiger trout occupy a top piscivore trophic niche and are more littoral, while Rainbow Trout occupy an omnivore niche space and are more pelagic. Both Cutthroat and tiger trout varied in niche space with respect to size-class, demonstrating an ontogenetic shift to piscivory at approximately 350 mm TL. Cutthroat Trout and tiger trout are capable of consuming prey up to 50% of their own size, which is larger than predicted based on their theoretical gape limit. Because it appears food resources (Utah Chub) are not limited, and performance metrics are high, competition is unlikely between Cutthroat Trout and tiger trout. In contrast, apparent survival of Rainbow Trout has recently declined significantly, potentially due to shared food resources with Utah Chub or negative behavioral interactions with other members of the community. Collectively, this research aids in understanding biotic interactions within a top-heavy and novel fish community and assists towards developing

  20. Cellular population dynamics control the robustness of the stem cell niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L. MacLean

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Within populations of cells, fate decisions are controlled by an indeterminate combination of cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic factors. In the case of stem cells, the stem cell niche is believed to maintain ‘stemness’ through communication and interactions between the stem cells and one or more other cell-types that contribute to the niche conditions. To investigate the robustness of cell fate decisions in the stem cell hierarchy and the role that the niche plays, we introduce simple mathematical models of stem and progenitor cells, their progeny and their interplay in the niche. These models capture the fundamental processes of proliferation and differentiation and allow us to consider alternative possibilities regarding how niche-mediated signalling feedback regulates the niche dynamics. Generalised stability analysis of these stem cell niche systems enables us to describe the stability properties of each model. We find that although the number of feasible states depends on the model, their probabilities of stability in general do not: stem cell–niche models are stable across a wide range of parameters. We demonstrate that niche-mediated feedback increases the number of stable steady states, and show how distinct cell states have distinct branching characteristics. The ecological feedback and interactions mediated by the stem cell niche thus lend (surprisingly high levels of robustness to the stem and progenitor cell population dynamics. Furthermore, cell–cell interactions are sufficient for populations of stem cells and their progeny to achieve stability and maintain homeostasis. We show that the robustness of the niche – and hence of the stem cell pool in the niche – depends only weakly, if at all, on the complexity of the niche make-up: simple as well as complicated niche systems are capable of supporting robust and stable stem cell dynamics.

  1. Is 30 years enough time to niche segregation between a non-native and a native congeneric fish species? Evidences from stable isotopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Henrique Zaia Alves

    2015-12-01

    resources from diverse food chains. Thus, the establishment of S. marginatus is probably driven by access to resources not used by the native species, by other niche dimensions not analyzed in this study (e.g., reproductive issues, competition among juveniles, etc., or by other biotic interactions.

  2. Regulation of abiotic and biotic stress responses by plant hormones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grosskinsky, Dominik Kilian; van der Graaff, Eric; Roitsch, Thomas Georg

    2016-01-01

    Plant hormones (phytohormones) are signal molecules produced within the plant, and occur in very low concentrations. In the present chapter, the current knowledge on the regulation of biotic and biotic stress responses by plant hormones is summarized with special focus on the novel insights...... into the complex hormonal crosstalk of classical growth stimulating plant hormones within the naturally occurring biotic and abiotic multistress environment of higher plants. The MAPK- and phytohormone-cascades which comprise a multitude of single molecules on different signalling levels, as well as interactions...

  3. STRESS ECOLOGY IN FUCUS : ABIOTIC, BIOTIC AND GENETIC INTERACTIONS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wahl, Martin; Jormalainen, Veijo; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Coyer, James A.; Molis, Markus; Schubert, Hendrik; Dethier, Megan; Karez, Rolf; Kruse, Inken; Lenz, Mark; Pearson, Gareth; Rohde, Sven; Wikstrom, Sofia A.; Olsen, Jeanine L.; Lesser, M

    2011-01-01

    Stress regimes defined as the synchronous or sequential action of abiotic and biotic stresses determine the performance and distribution of species. The natural patterns of stress to which species are more or less well adapted have recently started to shift and alter under the influence of global

  4. Interactions among biotic and abiotic factors affect the reliability of tungsten microneedles puncturing in vitro and in vivo peripheral nerves: A hybrid computational approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sergi, Pier Nicola, E-mail: p.sergi@sssup.it [Translational Neural Engineering Laboratory, The Biorobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, Pontedera, 56025 (Italy); Jensen, Winnie [Department of Health Science and Technology, Fredrik Bajers Vej 7, 9220 Aalborg (Denmark); Yoshida, Ken [Department of Biomedical Engineering, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, 723 W. Michigan St., SL220, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (United States)

    2016-02-01

    Tungsten is an elective material to produce slender and stiff microneedles able to enter soft tissues and minimize puncture wounds. In particular, tungsten microneedles are used to puncture peripheral nerves and insert neural interfaces, bridging the gap between the nervous system and robotic devices (e.g., hand prostheses). Unfortunately, microneedles fail during the puncture process and this failure is not dependent on stiffness or fracture toughness of the constituent material. In addition, the microneedles' performances decrease during in vivo trials with respect to the in vitro ones. This further effect is independent on internal biotic effects, while it seems to be related to external biotic causes. Since the exact synergy of phenomena decreasing the in vivo reliability is still not known, this work explored the connection between in vitro and in vivo behavior of tungsten microneedles through the study of interactions between biotic and abiotic factors. A hybrid computational approach, simultaneously using theoretical relationships and in silico models of nerves, was implemented to model the change of reliability varying the microneedle diameter, and to predict in vivo performances by using in vitro reliability and local differences between in vivo and in vitro mechanical response of nerves. - Highlights: • We provide phenomenological Finite Element (FE) models of peripheral nerves to study the interactions with W microneedles • We provide a general interaction-based approach to model the reliability of slender microneedles • We evaluate the reliability of W microneedels to puncture in vivo nerves • We provide a novel synergistic hybrid approach (theory + simulations) involving interactions among biotic and abiotic factors • We validate the hybrid approach by using experimental data from literature.

  5. Interactions among biotic and abiotic factors affect the reliability of tungsten microneedles puncturing in vitro and in vivo peripheral nerves: A hybrid computational approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sergi, Pier Nicola; Jensen, Winnie; Yoshida, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Tungsten is an elective material to produce slender and stiff microneedles able to enter soft tissues and minimize puncture wounds. In particular, tungsten microneedles are used to puncture peripheral nerves and insert neural interfaces, bridging the gap between the nervous system and robotic devices (e.g., hand prostheses). Unfortunately, microneedles fail during the puncture process and this failure is not dependent on stiffness or fracture toughness of the constituent material. In addition, the microneedles' performances decrease during in vivo trials with respect to the in vitro ones. This further effect is independent on internal biotic effects, while it seems to be related to external biotic causes. Since the exact synergy of phenomena decreasing the in vivo reliability is still not known, this work explored the connection between in vitro and in vivo behavior of tungsten microneedles through the study of interactions between biotic and abiotic factors. A hybrid computational approach, simultaneously using theoretical relationships and in silico models of nerves, was implemented to model the change of reliability varying the microneedle diameter, and to predict in vivo performances by using in vitro reliability and local differences between in vivo and in vitro mechanical response of nerves. - Highlights: • We provide phenomenological Finite Element (FE) models of peripheral nerves to study the interactions with W microneedles • We provide a general interaction-based approach to model the reliability of slender microneedles • We evaluate the reliability of W microneedels to puncture in vivo nerves • We provide a novel synergistic hybrid approach (theory + simulations) involving interactions among biotic and abiotic factors • We validate the hybrid approach by using experimental data from literature

  6. α6-Integrin alternative splicing: distinct cytoplasmic variants in stem cell fate specification and niche interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zijing; Qu, Jing; He, Li; Peng, Hong; Chen, Ping; Zhou, Yong

    2018-05-02

    α6-Integrin subunit (also known as CD49f) is a stemness signature that has been found on the plasma membrane of more than 30 stem cell populations. A growing body of studies have focused on the critical role of α6-containing integrins (α6β1 and α6β4) in the regulation of stem cell properties, lineage-specific differentiation, and niche interaction. α6-Integrin subunit can be alternatively spliced at the post-transcriptional level, giving rise to divergent isoforms which differ in the cytoplasmic and/or extracellular domains. The cytoplasmic domain of integrins is an important functional part of integrin-mediated signals. Structural changes in the cytoplasmic domain of α6 provide an efficient means for the regulation of stem cell responses to biochemical stimuli and/or biophysical cues in the stem cell niche, thus impacting stem cell fate determination. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the structural variants of the α6-integrin subunit and spatiotemporal expression of α6 cytoplasmic variants in embryonic and adult stem/progenitor cells. We highlight the roles of α6 cytoplasmic variants in stem cell fate decision and niche interaction, and discuss the potential mechanisms involved. Understanding of the distinct functions of α6 splicing variants in stem cell biology may inform the rational design of novel stem cell-based therapies for a range of human diseases.

  7. Rac1 GTPase Promotes Interaction of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cell with Niche and Participates in Leukemia Initiation and Maintenance in Mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Shuying; Li, Huan; Li, Shouyun; Yu, Jing; Wang, Min; Xing, Haiyan; Tang, Kejing; Tian, Zheng; Rao, Qing; Wang, Jianxiang

    2016-07-01

    Interaction between hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) with their niche is critical for HSPC function. The interaction also plays an important role in the multistep process of leukemogenesis. Rac1 GTPase has been found to be highly expressed and activated in leukemia patients. Here, by forced expression of constitutively active form of Rac1 (Rac1-V12) in HSPCs, we demonstrate that active Rac1 promotes interaction of HSPC with niche. We then established an active Rac1 associated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) model by expression of Rac1-V12 cooperated with AML1-ETO9a (AE9a) in mouse HSPCs. Compared with AE9a alone, Rac1-V12 cooperated with AE9a (AER) drives an AML with a short latency, demonstrating that activation of Rac1 GTPase in mice promotes AML development. The mechanism of this AML promotion is by a better homing and lodging of leukemia cells in niche, which further enhancing their colony formation, quiescence and preventing leukemia cells from apoptosis. Further study showed that an inhibitor targeting activated Rac1 can increase the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents to leukemia cells. This study provides evidence that activation of Rac1 promotes leukemia development through enhancing leukemia cells' homing and retention in niche, and suggests that inhibition of Rac1 GTPase could be an effective way of eliminating AML cells. Stem Cells 2016;34:1730-1741. © 2016 AlphaMed Press.

  8. Linking Spatial Structure and Community-Level Biotic Interactions through Cooccurrence and Time Series Modeling of the Human Intestinal Microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Muinck, Eric J; Lundin, Knut E A; Trosvik, Pål

    2017-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome is a densely populated ecosystem where dynamics are determined by interactions between microbial community members, as well as host factors. The spatial organization of this system is thought to be important in human health, yet this aspect of our resident microbiome is still poorly understood. In this study, we report significant spatial structure of the GI microbiota, and we identify general categories of spatial patterning in the distribution of microbial taxa along a healthy human GI tract. We further estimate the biotic interaction structure in the GI microbiota, both through time series and cooccurrence modeling of microbial community data derived from a large number of sequentially collected fecal samples. Comparison of these two approaches showed that species pairs involved in significant negative interactions had strong positive contemporaneous correlations and vice versa, while for species pairs without significant interactions, contemporaneous correlations were distributed around zero. We observed similar patterns when comparing these models to the spatial correlations between taxa identified in the adherent microbiota. This suggests that colocalization of microbial taxon pairs, and thus the spatial organization of the GI microbiota, is driven, at least in part, by direct or indirect biotic interactions. Thus, our study can provide a basis for an ecological interpretation of the biogeography of the human gut. IMPORTANCE The human gut microbiome is the subject of intense study due to its importance in health and disease. The majority of these studies have been based on the analysis of feces. However, little is known about how the microbial composition in fecal samples relates to the spatial distribution of microbial taxa along the gastrointestinal tract. By characterizing the microbial content both in intestinal tissue samples and in fecal samples obtained daily, we provide a conceptual framework for how the spatial

  9. The net effect of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in a semi-arid ecosystem NE Spain: implications for the management and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pueyo, Yolanda; Arroyo, Antonio I.; Saiz, Hugo; Alados, Concepción L.

    2014-05-01

    Degradation in arid and semiarid lands can be irreversible without human intervention, due to a positive plant-soil feedback where the loss of vegetation cover leads to soil degradation, which in turn hampers plant establishment. Human intervention in restoration actions usually involves the amendment of the degraded abiotic conditions, revegetation of bare areas, or both. However, abiotic amelioration is often expensive and too intrusive, and revegetation is not successful in many cases. Biotic interactions between plants, and more specifically facilitation by a "nurse" plant, have been proposed as a new via to take profit of improved abiotic conditions without intervention, and to increase the success rate of revegetation actions. But "nurse" plants can also interfere with others (i.e. by competition for resources or the release of allelopathic compounds), and the net balance between facilitation and interference could depend on plant types involved. We present recent observational and experimental studies performed in the semiarid ecosystems of the Middle Ebro Valley (NE Spain) about the role of abiotic conditions and biotic interactions in the productivity, dynamics and diversity of plant communities under different stress conditions (aridity and grazing). We found that all plant types studied (shrubs and perennial grasses) improved abiotic conditions (soil temperature and water availability for plants) with respect to open areas. However, only some shrubs (mainly Salsola vermiculata) had a positive net balance in the biotic interactions between plants, while other shrubs (Artemisia herba-alba) and perennial grasses (Lygeum spartum) showed interference with other plants. Moreover, the net balance between facilitation and interference among plants in the community shifted from competitive to neutral or from neutral to facilitative with increasing aridity. Grazing status did not strongly change the net biotic interactions between plants. Our results suggest that

  10. How do Humans interact with the Biotic Pump of South America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Ajar; Pande, Saket; Renata Cordeiro Ortigara, Angela; Uhlenbrook, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    The negative effects of the deforestation have been both advertised and down played. However, the effects are far more tangible than what they seem to be. It has been shown that the change in forest cover causes the rainfall patterns to change as the forests work as so-called Biotic Pumps. This changes the water availability in the area by modifying the water balance. Local water balances affect the changes that may take longer to be visible on the larger scales. The Amazon rain forest, one of the most bio-diverse areas worldwide, is an essential part of the biosphere of South America. However, there are clear links between deforestation carried out for agricultural purposes, specifically, Soybean and Sugarcane and the variability in global food prices. Here we analyse the anthropogenic actions that may influence the biotic pump. Variables such as volatility in commodity prices, risk taking capacities, land availability, government subsidies are used to drive the decision making of farmers. These variables are embedded in a lumped biotic pump model made for Brazil, utilizing data from different sources including MODIS, Centro de Previsão do Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The biotic pump model essentially transports atmospheric moisture downwind, part of which falls as rain. The atmospheric moisture 'upwind' accounts for evaporation, incorporating land cover changes in response to land use decisions made by farmers and rainfall. The model is run for scenarios to demonstrate how rain downwind is affected by upwind land cover and provides first insights in to how much rain and productivity (agriculture) downwind is caused by the Amazonian rain forest upwind We then discuss the value of environmental conservation based on marginal productivity analysis, i.e., finding harmony between the conservation of rainforest and the economic growth of the country.

  11. SEWAGE DECOMPOSITION IN AMBIENT WATER: INFLUENCE OF SOLARRADIATION AND BIOTIC INTERACTIONS ON MICROORGANISM COMMUNITIES AND BACTEROIDALES REAL-TIME QUANTITATIVE PCR MEASUREMENTS - poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    AIMS: Sewage and ambient water both consist of a highly complex array of bacteria and eukaryotic microbes. When these communities are mixed, solar radiation and biotic interactions (predation and competition) can influence pathogen decay based on experiments targeting indicator ...

  12. Interactive influence of biotic and abiotic cues on the plasticity of preferred body temperatures in a predator–prey system

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Smolinský, Radovan; Gvoždík, Lumír

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 170, č. 1 (2012), s. 47-55 ISSN 0029-8549 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/10/2170; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Aeshna * Biotic interactions * Preferred temperature * Reciprocal plasticity * Thermal acclimation * Triturus Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.011, year: 2012

  13. Microbial interactions: ecology in a molecular perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, Raíssa Mesquita; Dourado, Manuella Nóbrega; Araújo, Welington Luiz

    2016-12-01

    The microorganism-microorganism or microorganism-host interactions are the key strategy to colonize and establish in a variety of different environments. These interactions involve all ecological aspects, including physiochemical changes, metabolite exchange, metabolite conversion, signaling, chemotaxis and genetic exchange resulting in genotype selection. In addition, the establishment in the environment depends on the species diversity, since high functional redundancy in the microbial community increases the competitive ability of the community, decreasing the possibility of an invader to establish in this environment. Therefore, these associations are the result of a co-evolution process that leads to the adaptation and specialization, allowing the occupation of different niches, by reducing biotic and abiotic stress or exchanging growth factors and signaling. Microbial interactions occur by the transference of molecular and genetic information, and many mechanisms can be involved in this exchange, such as secondary metabolites, siderophores, quorum sensing system, biofilm formation, and cellular transduction signaling, among others. The ultimate unit of interaction is the gene expression of each organism in response to an environmental (biotic or abiotic) stimulus, which is responsible for the production of molecules involved in these interactions. Therefore, in the present review, we focused on some molecular mechanisms involved in the microbial interaction, not only in microbial-host interaction, which has been exploited by other reviews, but also in the molecular strategy used by different microorganisms in the environment that can modulate the establishment and structuration of the microbial community. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  14. Tug of war in the haematopoietic stem cell niche: do myeloma plasma cells compete for the HSC niche?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noll, J E; Williams, S A; Purton, L E; Zannettino, A C W

    2012-09-14

    In the adult mammal, normal haematopoiesis occurs predominantly in the bone marrow, where primitive haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and their progeny reside in specialised microenvironments. The bone marrow microenvironment contains specific anatomical areas (termed niches) that are highly specialised for the development of certain blood cell types, for example HSCs. The HSC niche provides important cell-cell interactions and signalling molecules that regulate HSC self-renewal and differentiation processes. These same signals and interactions are also important in the progression of haematological malignancies, such as multiple myeloma (MM). This review provides an overview of the bone marrow microenvironment and its involvement in normal, physiological HSC maintenance and plasma cell growth throughout MM disease progression.

  15. Identifying niche-mediated regulatory factors of stem cell phenotypic state: a systems biology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravichandran, Srikanth; Del Sol, Antonio

    2017-02-01

    Understanding how the cellular niche controls the stem cell phenotype is often hampered due to the complexity of variegated niche composition, its dynamics, and nonlinear stem cell-niche interactions. Here, we propose a systems biology view that considers stem cell-niche interactions as a many-body problem amenable to simplification by the concept of mean field approximation. This enables approximation of the niche effect on stem cells as a constant field that induces sustained activation/inhibition of specific stem cell signaling pathways in all stem cells within heterogeneous populations exhibiting the same phenotype (niche determinants). This view offers a new basis for the development of single cell-based computational approaches for identifying niche determinants, which has potential applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. © 2017 The Authors. FEBS Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  16. Niche construction and the evolution of leadership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spisak, B.R.; O'Brien, M.; Nicholson, N.; van Vugt, M.

    2015-01-01

    We use the concept of niche construction - the process whereby individuals, through their activities, interactions, and choices, modify their own and each other's environments - as an example of how biological evolution and cultural evolution interacted to form an integrative foundation of modern

  17. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin's theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of "counting as" and "standing for." I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude by reflecting on

  18. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris eSinha

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin’s theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of counting as and standing for. I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude

  19. The Importance of Biotic vs. Abiotic Drivers of Local Plant Community Composition Along Regional Bioclimatic Gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari Klanderud

    Full Text Available We assessed if the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors for plant community composition differs along environmental gradients and between functional groups, and asked which implications this may have in a warmer and wetter future. The study location is a unique grid of sites spanning regional-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in boreal and alpine grasslands in southern Norway. Within each site we sampled vegetation and associated biotic and abiotic factors, and combined broad- and fine-scale ordination analyses to assess the relative explanatory power of these factors for species composition. Although the community responses to biotic and abiotic factors did not consistently change as predicted along the bioclimatic gradients, abiotic variables tended to explain a larger proportion of the variation in species composition towards colder sites, whereas biotic variables explained more towards warmer sites, supporting the stress gradient hypothesis. Significant interactions with precipitation suggest that biotic variables explained more towards wetter climates in the sub alpine and boreal sites, but more towards drier climates in the colder alpine. Thus, we predict that biotic interactions may become more important in alpine and boreal grasslands in a warmer future, although more winter precipitation may counteract this trend in oceanic alpine climates. Our results show that both local and regional scales analyses are needed to disentangle the local vegetation-environment relationships and their regional-scale drivers, and biotic interactions and precipitation must be included when predicting future species assemblages.

  20. The niche construction of cultural complexity: interactions between innovations, population size and the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Laurel; Creanza, Nicole

    2017-12-05

    Niche construction is a process through which organisms alter their environments and, in doing so, influence or change the selective pressures to which they are subject. 'Cultural niche construction' refers specifically to the effect of cultural traits on the selective environments of other biological or cultural traits and may be especially important in human evolution. In addition, the relationship between population size and cultural accumulation has been the subject of extensive debate, in part because anthropological studies have demonstrated a significant association between population size and toolkit complexity in only a subset of studied cultures. Here, we review the role of cultural innovation in constructing human evolutionary niches and introduce a new model to describe the accumulation of human cultural traits that incorporates the effects of cultural niche construction. We consider the results of this model in light of available data on human toolkit sizes across populations to help elucidate the important differences between food-gathering societies and food-producing societies, in which niche construction may be a more potent force. These results support the idea that a population's relationship with its environment, represented here by cultural niche construction, should be considered alongside population size in studies of cultural complexity.This article is part of the themed issue 'Process and pattern in innovations from cells to societies'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Spontaneous Cognition and Epistemic Agency in the Cognitive Niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabry, Regina E.

    2018-01-01

    According to Thomas Metzinger, many human cognitive processes in the waking state are spontaneous and are deprived of the experience of epistemic agency. He considers mind wandering as a paradigm example of our recurring loss of epistemic agency. I will enrich this view by extending the scope of the concept of epistemic agency to include cases of depressive rumination and creative cognition, which are additional types of spontaneous cognition. Like mind wandering, they are characterized by unique phenomenal and functional properties that give rise to varying degrees of epistemic agency. The main claim of this paper will be that the experience of being an epistemic agent within a certain time frame is a relational phenomenon that emerges from the organism’s capacity to interact with its cognitive niche. To explore this relation, I develop a new framework that integrates phenomenological considerations on epistemic agency with a functional account of the reciprocal coupling of the embodied organism with its cognitive niche. This account rests upon dynamical accounts of strong embodied and embedded cognition and recent work on cognitive niche construction. Importantly, epistemic agency and organism-niche coupling are gradual phenomena ranging from weak to strong realizations. The emerging framework will be employed to analyze mind wandering, depressive rumination, and creative cognition as well as their commonalities and differences. Mind wandering and depressive rumination are cases of weak epistemic agency and organism-niche coupling. However, there are also important phenomenological, functional, and neuronal differences. In contrast, creative cognition is a case of strong epistemic agency and organism-niche coupling. By providing a phenomenological and functional analysis of these distinct types of spontaneous cognition, we can gain a better understanding of the importance of organism-niche interaction for the realization of epistemic agency.

  2. Language and other artifacts: socio-cultural dynamics of niche construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinha, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Niche construction theory is a relatively new approach in evolutionary biology that seeks to integrate an ecological dimension into the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection. It is regarded by many evolutionary biologists as providing a significant revision of the Neo-Darwinian modern synthesis that unified Darwin’s theory of natural and sexual selection with 20th century population genetics. Niche construction theory has been invoked as a processual mediator of social cognitive evolution and of the emergence and evolution of language. I argue that language itself can be considered as a biocultural niche and evolutionary artifact. I provide both a general analysis of the cognitive and semiotic status of artifacts, and a formal analysis of language as a social and semiotic institution, based upon a distinction between the fundamental semiotic relations of “counting as” and “standing for.” I explore the consequences for theories of language and language learning of viewing language as a biocultural niche. I suggest that not only do niches mediate organism-organism interactions, but also that organisms mediate niche-niche interactions in ways that affect evolutionary processes, with the evolution of human infancy and childhood as a key example. I argue that language as a social and semiotic system is not only grounded in embodied engagements with the material and social-interactional world, but also grounds a sub-class of artifacts of particular significance in the cultural history of human cognition. Symbolic cognitive artifacts materially and semiotically mediate human cognition, and are not merely informational repositories, but co-agentively constitutive of culturally and historically emergent cognitive domains. I provide examples of the constitutive cognitive role of symbolic cognitive artifacts drawn from my research with my colleagues on cultural and linguistic conceptualizations of time, and their cultural variability. I conclude by

  3. Jatropha Developments in Mozambique: Analysis of Structural Conditions Influencing Niche-Regime Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maja Slingerland

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This article investigates the transition dynamics related to Jatropha developments in Mozambique. The analysis focuses on how structural conditions (infrastructure, institutions, interaction and collaboration and capabilities and resources enable or constrain interactions between niche-level Jatropha experiments and incumbent energy, agriculture and rural development regimes in Mozambique. Investors in agro-industrial Jatropha projects focused on establishing projects in areas with relatively good infrastructure, rather than in remote rural areas. Furthermore, they predominantly focused on Jatropha production instead of investing in the entire Jatropha value chain, which turned out to be a challenge in itself, as growing a productive Jatropha crop was much more complex than initially anticipated. The development of institutions that could nurture and protect Jatropha projects from the prevailing regimes lagged behind Jatropha project establishment, leading to an insecure investment climate. Strong inter-ministerial collaboration and organized civil society interaction and representation contrasted with non-organized private sector and rather isolated smallholder Jatropha projects. The global financial crisis and limited adaptive capacity reduced the time and space for experimentation and learning to overcome disappointing crop performance. Together, this hampered Jatropha’s potential to challenge the energy, agricultural and rural development regimes. Nevertheless, the Jatropha experience did initiate the development of policy and regulation and stimulated interaction and collaboration between specific groups of stakeholders, which could provide the basis to capture future biofuel momentum in Mozambique.

  4. Toward a Periodic Table of Niches, or Exploring the Lizard Niche Hypervolume.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pianka, Eric R; Vitt, Laurie J; Pelegrin, Nicolás; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Winemiller, Kirk O

    2017-11-01

    Widespread niche convergence suggests that species can be organized according to functional trait combinations to create a framework analogous to a periodic table. We compiled ecological data for lizards to examine patterns of global and regional niche diversification, and we used multivariate statistical approaches to develop the beginnings for a periodic table of niches. Data (50+ variables) for five major niche dimensions (habitat, diet, life history, metabolism, defense) were compiled for 134 species of lizards representing 24 of the 38 extant families. Principal coordinates analyses were performed on niche dimensional data sets, and species scores for the first three axes were used as input for a principal components analysis to ordinate species in continuous niche space and for a regression tree analysis to separate species into discrete niche categories. Three-dimensional models facilitate exploration of species positions in relation to major gradients within the niche hypervolume. The first gradient loads on body size, foraging mode, and clutch size. The second was influenced by metabolism and terrestrial versus arboreal microhabitat. The third was influenced by activity time, life history, and diet. Natural dichotomies are activity time, foraging mode, parity mode, and habitat. Regression tree analysis identified 103 cases of extreme niche conservatism within clades and 100 convergences between clades. Extending this approach to other taxa should lead to a wider understanding of niche evolution.

  5. Framework for analyzing ecological trait-based models in multidimensional niche spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biancalani, Tommaso; DeVille, Lee; Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2015-05-01

    We develop a theoretical framework for analyzing ecological models with a multidimensional niche space. Our approach relies on the fact that ecological niches are described by sequences of symbols, which allows us to include multiple phenotypic traits. Ecological drivers, such as competitive exclusion, are modeled by introducing the Hamming distance between two sequences. We show that a suitable transform diagonalizes the community interaction matrix of these models, making it possible to predict the conditions for niche differentiation and, close to the instability onset, the asymptotically long time population distributions of niches. We exemplify our method using the Lotka-Volterra equations with an exponential competition kernel.

  6. Assessing Niche Separation among Coexisting Limnohabitans Strains through Interactions with a Competitor, Viruses, and a Bacterivore ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Šimek, Karel; Kasalický, Vojtěch; Horňák, Karel; Hahn, Martin W.; Weinbauer, Markus G.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated potential niche separation in two closely related (99.1% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity) syntopic bacterial strains affiliated with the R-BT065 cluster, which represents a subgroup of the genus Limnohabitans. The two strains, designated B4 and D5, were isolated concurrently from a freshwater reservoir. Differences between the strains were examined through monitoring interactions with a bacterial competitor, Flectobacillus sp. (FL), and virus- and predator-induced mortality....

  7. Socializing with the neighbors: stem cells and their niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, Elaine; Tumbar, Tudorita; Guasch, Geraldine

    2004-03-19

    The potential of stem cells in regenerative medicine relies upon removing them from their natural habitat, propagating them in culture, and placing them into a foreign tissue environment. To do so, it is essential to understand how stem cells interact with their microenvironment, the so-called stem cell niche, to establish and maintain their properties. In this review, we examine adult stem cell niches and their impact on stem cell biology.

  8. A practioner's view on Strategic Niche Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mourik, R.; Raven, R.P.J.M.

    2006-11-01

    Strategic Niche Management (SNM) is a tool to support the societal introduction of radical sustainable innovations. However, it has been mainly used in retrospective to analyse historical case studies. This report discusses SNM from a practioner's perspective with the main aim to articulate questions that should be addressed for translating SNM from an ex-post to an ex-ante tool. The main conclusion is that an SNM tool should focus on the level of 'niches' rather than single projects, i.e. SNM should aim to support (program) managers who aim at orchestrating the interaction between multiple experiments

  9. Environmental Maternal Effects Mediate the Resistance of Maritime Pine to Biotic Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivas, María; Zas, Rafael; Sampedro, Luis; Solla, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    The resistance to abiotic stress is increasingly recognised as being impacted by maternal effects, given that environmental conditions experienced by parent (mother) trees affect stress tolerance in offspring. We hypothesised that abiotic environmental maternal effects may also mediate the resistance of trees to biotic stress. The influence of maternal environment and maternal genotype and the interaction of these two factors on early resistance of Pinus pinaster half-sibs to the Fusarium circinatum pathogen was studied using 10 mother genotypes clonally replicated in two contrasting environments. Necrosis length of infected seedlings was 16% shorter in seedlings grown from favourable maternal environment seeds than in seedlings grown from unfavourable maternal environment seeds. Damage caused by F. circinatum was mediated by maternal environment and maternal genotype, but not by seed mass. Mechanisms unrelated to seed provisioning, perhaps of epigenetic nature, were probably involved in the transgenerational plasticity of P. pinaster, mediating its resistance to biotic stress. Our findings suggest that the transgenerational resistance of pines due to an abiotic stress may interact with the defensive response of pines to a biotic stress. PMID:23922944

  10. Environmental maternal effects mediate the resistance of maritime pine to biotic stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Vivas

    Full Text Available The resistance to abiotic stress is increasingly recognised as being impacted by maternal effects, given that environmental conditions experienced by parent (mother trees affect stress tolerance in offspring. We hypothesised that abiotic environmental maternal effects may also mediate the resistance of trees to biotic stress. The influence of maternal environment and maternal genotype and the interaction of these two factors on early resistance of Pinus pinaster half-sibs to the Fusarium circinatum pathogen was studied using 10 mother genotypes clonally replicated in two contrasting environments. Necrosis length of infected seedlings was 16% shorter in seedlings grown from favourable maternal environment seeds than in seedlings grown from unfavourable maternal environment seeds. Damage caused by F. circinatum was mediated by maternal environment and maternal genotype, but not by seed mass. Mechanisms unrelated to seed provisioning, perhaps of epigenetic nature, were probably involved in the transgenerational plasticity of P. pinaster, mediating its resistance to biotic stress. Our findings suggest that the transgenerational resistance of pines due to an abiotic stress may interact with the defensive response of pines to a biotic stress.

  11. Phenological shifts conserve thermal niches in North American birds and reshape expectations for climate-driven range shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolar, Jacob B; Epanchin, Peter N; Beissinger, Steven R; Tingley, Morgan W

    2017-12-05

    Species respond to climate change in two dominant ways: range shifts in latitude or elevation and phenological shifts of life-history events. Range shifts are widely viewed as the principal mechanism for thermal niche tracking, and phenological shifts in birds and other consumers are widely understood as the principal mechanism for tracking temporal peaks in biotic resources. However, phenological and range shifts each present simultaneous opportunities for temperature and resource tracking, although the possible role for phenological shifts in thermal niche tracking has been widely overlooked. Using a canonical dataset of Californian bird surveys and a detectability-based approach for quantifying phenological signal, we show that Californian bird communities advanced their breeding phenology by 5-12 d over the last century. This phenological shift might track shifting resource peaks, but it also reduces average temperatures during nesting by over 1 °C, approximately the same magnitude that average temperatures have warmed over the same period. We further show that early-summer temperature anomalies are correlated with nest success in a continental-scale database of bird nests, suggesting avian thermal niches might be broadly limited by temperatures during nesting. These findings outline an adaptation surface where geographic range and breeding phenology respond jointly to constraints imposed by temperature and resource phenology. By stabilizing temperatures during nesting, phenological shifts might mitigate the need for range shifts. Global change ecology will benefit from further exploring phenological adjustment as a potential mechanism for thermal niche tracking and vice versa.

  12. Above- and Belowground Trophic Interactions on Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) in High- and Low-Diversity Plant Communities: Potential for Biotic Resistance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Graça, O.; Rousseau, P.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    The capacity of local communities to control introduced plants is called biotic resistance. Biotic resistance has been almost exclusively tested for plant competition and aboveground herbivores and pathogens, while neglecting root herbivores and soil pathogens. Here, we present biotic resistance by

  13. Above- and Belowground Trophic Interactions on Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) in High- and Low-Diversity Plant Communities: Potential for Biotic Resistance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Graça, O.; Rousseau, P.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2004-01-01

    The capacity of local communities to control introduced plants is called biotic resistance. Biotic resistance has been almost exclusively tested for plant competition and above-ground herbivores and pathogens, while neglecting root herbivores and soil pathogens. Here, we present biotic resistance by

  14. Multifaceted Roles of Connexin 43 in Stem Cell Niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genet, Nafiisha; Bhatt, Neha; Bourdieu, Antonin; Hirschi, Karen K

    2018-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the field of stem cell research; nonetheless, the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine therapies, for either endogenous tissue repair or cellular grafts post injury, remains a challenge. To better understand how to maintain stem cell potential in vivo and promote differentiation ex vivo, it is fundamentally important to elucidate the interactions between stem cells and their surrounding partners within their distinct niches. Among the vast array of proteins depicted as mediators for cell-to-cell interactions, connexin-comprised gap junctions play pivotal roles in the regulation of stem cell fate both in vivo and in vitro. This review summarizes and illustrates the current knowledge regarding the multifaceted roles of Cx43, specifically, in various stem cell niches.

  15. Hydrologic, abiotic and biotic interactions: plant density, windspeed, leaf size and groundwater all affect oak water use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darin J. Law; Deborah M. Finch

    2011-01-01

    Plant water use in drylands can be complex due to variation in hydrologic, abiotic and biotic factors, particularly near ephemeral or intermittent streams. Plant use of groundwater may be important but is usually uncertain. Disturbances like fire contribute to complex spatiotemporal heterogeneity. Improved understanding of how such hydrologic, abiotic, and biotic...

  16. Stitch the niche - a practical philosophy and visual schematic for the niche concept

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McInerny, Greg J.; Etienne, Rampal S.

    2012-01-01

    By over-focusing on precise definitions, ecology has produced a confused idea of the niche concept. This, our second paper, develops a practical philosophy for the niche that approaches the concept at the correct level of abstraction. We deconstruct the niche into effect and response components and

  17. Periarteriolar Glioblastoma Stem Cell Niches Express Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche Proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hira, Vashendriya V. V.; Wormer, Jill R.; Kakar, Hala; Breznik, Barbara; van der Swaan, Britt; Hulsbos, Renske; Tigchelaar, Wikky; Tonar, Zbynek; Khurshed, Mohammed; Molenaar, Remco J.; van Noorden, Cornelis J. F.

    2018-01-01

    In glioblastoma, a fraction of malignant cells consists of therapy-resistant glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) residing in protective niches that recapitulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches in bone marrow. We have previously shown that HSC niche proteins stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α),

  18. A literature review on biotic homogenization

    OpenAIRE

    Guangmei Wang; Jingcheng Yang; Chuangdao Jiang; Hongtao Zhao; Zhidong Zhang

    2009-01-01

    Biotic homogenization is the process whereby the genetic, taxonomic and functional similarity of two or more biotas increases over time. As a new research agenda for conservation biogeography, biotic homogenization has become a rapidly emerging topic of interest in ecology and evolution over the past decade. However, research on this topic is rare in China. Herein, we introduce the development of the concept of biotic homogenization, and then discuss methods to quantify its three components (...

  19. Niche dimensions in fishes: an integrative view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pörtner, H O; Schulte, P M; Wood, C M; Schiemer, F

    2010-01-01

    Current shifts in ecosystem composition and function emphasize the need for an understanding of the links between environmental factors and organism fitness and tolerance. The examples discussed here illustrate how recent progress in the field of comparative physiology may provide a better mechanistic understanding of the ecological concepts of the fundamental and realized niches and thus provide insights into the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance. Here we argue that, as a link between physiological and ecological indicators of organismal performance, the mechanisms shaping aerobic scope and passive tolerance set the dimensions of an animal's niche, here defined as its capacity to survive, grow, behave, and interact with other species. We demonstrate how comparative studies of cod or killifish populations in a latitudinal cline have unraveled mitochondrial mechanisms involved in establishing a species' niche, performance, and energy budget. Riverine fish exemplify how the performance windows of various developmental stages follow the dynamic regimes of both seasonal temperatures and river hydrodynamics, as synergistic challenges. Finally, studies of species in extreme environments, such as the tilapia of Lake Magadi, illustrate how on evolutionary timescales functional and morphological shifts can occur, associated with new specializations. We conclude that research on the processes and time course of adaptations suitable to overcome current niche limits is urgently needed to assess the resilience of species and ecosystems to human impact, including the challenges of global climate change.

  20. The human and murine hematopoietic stem cell niches: are they comparable?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Pel, Melissa; Fibbe, Willem E; Schepers, Koen

    2016-04-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in specific niches that provide various instructive cues that regulate HSC self-renewal and their development into all mature cells of the peripheral blood. Progress in this research field has largely been guided by mouse studies. However, parallel studies with human subjects, tissues, and cells, in combination with xenotransplantation experiments in immunodeficient mice, have contributed to our increased understanding of the human HSC niche. Here, we summarize our current knowledge of the various specialized subsets of both stromal and hematopoietic cells that support HSCs through cell-cell interactions and secreted factors, and the many parallels between the murine and human HSC niches. Furthermore, we discuss recent technological advances that are likely to improve our understanding of the human HSC niche, a better understanding of which may allow further identification of unique molecular and cellular pathways in the HSC niche. This information may help to further improve the outcome of HSC transplantation and refine the treatment of hematopoietic diseases. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.

  1. An introduction to niche construction theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin; Matthews, Blake; Feldman, Marcus W

    Niche construction refers to the modification of selective environments by organisms. Theoretical and empirical studies of niche construction are increasing in importance as foci in evolutionary ecology. This special edition presents theoretical and empirical research that illustrates the significance of niche construction to the field. Here we set the scene for the following papers by (1) discussing the history of niche construction research, (2) providing clear definitions that distinguish niche construction from related concepts such as ecosystem engineering and the extended phenotype, (3) providing a brief summary of the findings of niche construction research, (4) discussing the contribution of niche construction and ecological inheritance to (a) expanded notions of inheritance, and (b) the extended evolutionary synthesis, and (5) briefly touching on some of the issues that underlie the controversies over niche construction.

  2. Ecological niche shifts and environmental space anisotropy: a cautionary note Desplazamientos en el nicho y la anisotropía del espacio ambiental: una nota precautoria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Soberón

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The anisotropic structure of climatic space may cause significant (and to a large extent unappreciated non-evolutionary niche shifts. This can be seen mostly in the context of spatial transferability of ecological niche models. We explore this effect using a virtual species in the United States. We created a simple virtual species by postulating its fundamental niche as an ellipse in a two-dimensional realistic climatic space. The climatic combinations defined by the ellipse were projected in the geography of the United States and 2 regions of equal area were selected. The structure of niche in the 2 areas is compared. It is shown that the 2 regions have differently positioned subsets of the environmental space, which creates "shifts" in the realized niches despite the fact that no evolution and no biotic interactions are present. The most parsimonious hypothesis when ecological niche modeling reveals shifts in the realized niche is that environmental space is heterogeneous. Without considering differences in the structure of environmental space no speculation about niche evolution or the role of competitors should be attempted.La estructura anisotrópica del espacio climático puede causar desplazamientos significativos no evolutivos en los nichos de las especies. Este efecto poco apreciado en la literatura se manifiesta con gran claridad cuando se realizan transferencias espaciales de modelos de nicho ecológico. Se explora este efecto utilizando una especie virtual en los Estados Unidos. Se creó una especie virtual simplificada postulando su nicho fundamental en forma de una elipse en un espacio realista de 2 dimensiones. Las combinaciones climáticas definidas por la elipse se proyectaron en la geografía de los Estados Unidos y se seleccionaron 2 regiones de igual superficie espacial. Se compara la estructura del nicho en las 2 regiones, mostrando que estas 2 regiones espaciales presentan subconjuntos distintos del espacio de variables

  3. How plants cope with biotic interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Dam, N.M.

    2009-01-01

    In their natural environment, plants interact with many different organisms. The nature of these interactions may range from positive, for example interactions with pollinators, to negative, such as interactions with pathogens and herbivores. In this special issue, the contributors provide several

  4. Intestinal Stem Cell Niche: The Extracellular Matrix and Cellular Components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laween Meran

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The intestinal epithelium comprises a monolayer of polarised columnar cells organised along the crypt-villus axis. Intestinal stem cells reside at the base of crypts and are constantly nourished by their surrounding niche for maintenance, self-renewal, and differentiation. The cellular microenvironment including the adjacent Paneth cells, stromal cells, smooth muscle cells, and neural cells as well as the extracellular matrix together constitute the intestinal stem cell niche. A dynamic regulatory network exists among the epithelium, stromal cells, and the matrix via complex signal transduction to maintain tissue homeostasis. Dysregulation of these biological or mechanical signals could potentially lead to intestinal injury and disease. In this review, we discuss the role of different intestinal stem cell niche components and dissect the interaction between dynamic matrix factors and regulatory signalling during intestinal stem cell homeostasis.

  5. Interactive biotic and abiotic regulators of soil carbon cycling: evidence from controlled climate experiments on peatland and boreal soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briones, María Jesús I; McNamara, Niall P; Poskitt, Jan; Crow, Susan E; Ostle, Nicholas J

    2014-09-01

    Partially decomposed plant and animal remains have been accumulating in organic soils (i.e. >40% C content) for millennia, making them the largest terrestrial carbon store. There is growing concern that, in a warming world, soil biotic processing will accelerate and release greenhouse gases that further exacerbate climate change. However, the magnitude of this response remains uncertain as the constraints are abiotic, biotic and interactive. Here, we examined the influence of resource quality and biological activity on the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration under different soil moisture regimes. Organic soils were sampled from 13 boreal and peatland ecosystems located in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Finland and Sweden, representing a natural resource quality range of C, N and P. They were incubated at four temperatures (4, 10, 15 and 20 °C) at either 60% or 100% water holding capacity (WHC). Our results showed that chemical and biological properties play an important role in determining soil respiration responses to temperature and moisture changes. High soil C : P and C : N ratios were symptomatic of slow C turnover and long-term C accumulation. In boreal soils, low bacterial to fungal ratios were related to greater temperature sensitivity of respiration, which was amplified in drier conditions. This contrasted with peatland soils which were dominated by bacterial communities and enchytraeid grazing, resulting in a more rapid C turnover under warmer and wetter conditions. The unexpected acceleration of C mineralization under high moisture contents was possibly linked to the primarily role of fermented organic matter, instead of oxygen, in mediating microbial decomposition. We conclude that to improve C model simulations of soil respiration, a better resolution of the interactions occurring between climate, resource quality and the decomposer community will be required. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Biotic interactions modify multiple-stressor effects on juvenile brown trout in an experimental stream food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruder, Andreas; Salis, Romana K; Jones, Peter E; Matthaei, Christoph D

    2017-09-01

    Agricultural land use results in multiple stressors affecting stream ecosystems. Flow reduction due to water abstraction, elevated levels of nutrients and chemical contaminants are common agricultural stressors worldwide. Concurrently, stream ecosystems are also increasingly affected by climate change. Interactions among multiple co-occurring stressors result in biological responses that cannot be predicted from single-stressor effects (i.e. synergisms and antagonisms). At the ecosystem level, multiple-stressor effects can be further modified by biotic interactions (e.g. trophic interactions). We conducted a field experiment using 128 flow-through stream mesocosms to examine the individual and combined effects of water abstraction, nutrient enrichment and elevated levels of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) on survival, condition and gut content of juvenile brown trout and on benthic abundance of their invertebrate prey. Flow velocity reduction decreased fish survival (-12% compared to controls) and condition (-8% compared to initial condition), whereas effects of nutrient and DCD additions and interactions among these stressors were not significant. Negative effects of flow velocity reduction on fish survival and condition were consistent with effects on fish gut content (-25% compared to controls) and abundance of dominant invertebrate prey (-30% compared to controls), suggesting a negative metabolic balance driving fish mortality and condition decline, which was confirmed by structural equation modelling. Fish mortality under reduced flow velocity increased as maximal daily water temperatures approached the upper limit of their tolerance range, reflecting synergistic interactions between these stressors. Our study highlights the importance of indirect stressor effects such as those transferred through trophic interactions, which need to be considered when assessing and managing fish populations and stream food webs in multiple-stressor situations

  7. Predicting species distribution and abundance responses to climate change: why it is essential to include biotic interactions across trophic levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Putten, Wim H; Macel, Mirka; Visser, Marcel E

    2010-07-12

    Current predictions on species responses to climate change strongly rely on projecting altered environmental conditions on species distributions. However, it is increasingly acknowledged that climate change also influences species interactions. We review and synthesize literature information on biotic interactions and use it to argue that the abundance of species and the direction of selection during climate change vary depending on how their trophic interactions become disrupted. Plant abundance can be controlled by aboveground and belowground multitrophic level interactions with herbivores, pathogens, symbionts and their enemies. We discuss how these interactions may alter during climate change and the resulting species range shifts. We suggest conceptual analogies between species responses to climate warming and exotic species introduced in new ranges. There are also important differences: the herbivores, pathogens and mutualistic symbionts of range-expanding species and their enemies may co-migrate, and the continuous gene flow under climate warming can make adaptation in the expansion zone of range expanders different from that of cross-continental exotic species. We conclude that under climate change, results of altered species interactions may vary, ranging from species becoming rare to disproportionately abundant. Taking these possibilities into account will provide a new perspective on predicting species distribution under climate change.

  8. Niche energy markets in rural areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, M.; McCarthy, S.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this project is the development of a standard methodology for integrating non-food crops in rural areas with niche energy markets. This has involved a number of steps including (i) identification of 3 niche markets for energy crops which are of common interest to the partners, (ii) application of the standard costing methodology to investigate these three niche markets and (iii) comparison of the results from this work in three workshops (one for each market). Three tightly defined niche markets were identified; these were chosen following an examination of the national energy marekts in each of the partners countries (Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Greece and Portugal). This paper gives an overview of the national energy markets which were examined. The three niche markets are introduced and the reasons for their selection given. The application of the methodology to each of the niche markets is presented along with the conclusions of the partners regarding the niche markets. (Author)

  9. 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.

  10. Bridging the Service Divide: Dual Labor Niches and Embedded Opportunities in Restaurant Work

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eli R. Wilson

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Restaurants and other interactive service workplaces in the United States serve as labor niches for two very different kinds of workers doing different tasks. Immigrant Latinos primarily work “back-of-the-house” jobs doing manual tasks, while class-privileged whites work “front-of-the-house” jobs performing customer-facing tasks. How do these social and structural cleavages between dual labor niches affect the workplace dynamic? Drawing on ethnographic research in upscale Los Angeles restaurants, I describe the closed boundaries between these distinct labor niches and the valuable bridging between them performed by certain workers who are able to ease social tensions and buffer the service labor process. I discuss the implications of these findings for the study of contemporary immigrant labor niches and the nature of the opportunities within them and between them.

  11. Inter-specific and seasonal comparison of the niches occupied by small cetaceans off north-west Iberia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez Garcia, Rut; MacLeod, C. D.; Pierce, G. J.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of species' ecological niches can be used to assess ecological interactions between different taxa. Sixteen species of cetaceans have been recorded in Galician waters and niche partitioning is expected to occur among these species in order to allow them to co-exist. In this study, the n...

  12. Co-niche construction between hosts and symbionts: ideas and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    RENEE M. BORGES

    2017-07-05

    Jul 5, 2017 ... Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru 560 012, India ... Symbiosis is a process that can generate evolutionary novelties and can extend the phenotypic niche ..... order to facilitate interactions with ants, plants provide ... of mutualistic pollinators develops within the pollinated ...

  13. Biotic elements of NPP techno-ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Protasov, A.A.; Silaeva, A.A.

    2013-01-01

    Specific features of biotic elements in the NPP techno-ecosystems were considered and compared with natural ecosystems. Relationships between biotic communities and environmental factors that are specific to the techno-ecosystems were discussed, and the problems of limitation of biological hindrances in operation of equipment, principles of hydrobiological and environmental monitoring were considered.

  14. Stem Cell Plasticity and Niche Dynamics in Cancer Progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picco, Noemi; Gatenby, Robert A; Anderson, Alexander R A

    2017-03-01

    Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been hypothesized to initiate and drive tumor growth and recurrence due to their self-renewal ability. If correct, this hypothesis implies that successful therapy must focus primarily on eradication of this CSC fraction. However, recent evidence suggests stemness is niche dependent and may represent one of many phenotypic states that can be accessed by many cancer genotypes when presented with specific environmental cues. A better understanding of the relationship of stemness to niche-related phenotypic plasticity could lead to alternative treatment strategies. Here, we investigate the role of environmental context in the expression of stem-like cell properties through in-silico simulation of ductal carcinoma. We develop a two-dimensional hybrid discrete-continuum cellular automata model to describe the single-cell scale dynamics of multicellular tissue formation. Through a suite of simulations, we investigate interactions between a phenotypically heterogeneous cancer cell population and a dynamic environment. We generate homeostatic ductal structures that consist of a mixture of stem and differentiated cells governed by both intracellular and environmental dynamics. We demonstrate that a wide spectrum of tumor-like histologies can result from these structures by varying microenvironmental parameters. Niche driven phenotypic plasticity offers a simple first-principle explanation for the diverse ductal structures observed in histological sections from breast cancer. Conventional models of carcinogenesis largely focus on mutational events. We demonstrate that variations in the environmental niche can produce intraductal cancers independent of genetic changes in the resident cells. Therapies targeting the microenvironmental niche may offer an alternative cancer prevention strategy.

  15. Niche players

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seandel, Marco; Falciatori, Ilaria; Shmelkov, Sergey V.; Kim, Jiyeon; James, Daylon; Rafii, Shahin

    2010-01-01

    The undifferentiated spermatogonia of adult mouse testes are composed of both true stem cells and committed progenitors. It is unclear what normally prevents these adult germ cells from manifesting multipotency. The critical elements of the spermatogonial stem cell niche, while poorly understood, are thought to be composed of Sertoli cells with several other somatic cell types in close proximity. We recently discovered a novel orphan G-protein coupled receptor (GPR125) that is restricted to undifferentiated spermatogonia within the testis. GPR125 expression was maintained when the progenitor cells were extracted from the in vivo niche and propagated under growth conditions that recapitulate key elements of the niche. Such conditions preserved the ability of the cells to generate multipotent derivatives, known as multipotent adult spermatogonial derived progenitor cells (MASCs). Upon differentiation, the latter produced a variety tissues including functional endothelium, illustrating the potential applications of such cells. Thus, GPR125 represents a novel target for purifying adult stem and progenitors from tissues, with the goal of developing autologous multipotent cell lines. PMID:18256534

  16. Investigation of road salts and biotic stressors on freshwater wetland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Devin K; Mattes, Brian M; Hintz, William D; Schuler, Matthew S; Stoler, Aaron B; Lind, Lovisa A; Cooper, Reilly O; Relyea, Rick A

    2017-02-01

    The application of road deicing salts has led to the salinization of freshwater ecosystems in northern regions worldwide. Increased chloride concentrations in lakes, streams, ponds, and wetlands may negatively affect freshwater biota, potentially threatening ecosystem services. In an effort to reduce the effects of road salt, operators have increased the use of salt alternatives, yet we lack an understanding of how these deicers affect aquatic communities. We examined the direct and indirect effects of the most commonly used road salt (NaCl) and a proprietary salt mixture (NaCl, KCl, MgCl 2 ), at three environmentally relevant concentrations (150, 470, and 780 mg Cl - /L) on freshwater wetland communities in combination with one of three biotic stressors (control, predator cues, and competitors). The communities contained periphyton, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and two tadpole species (American toads, Anaxyrus americanus; wood frogs, Lithobates sylvaticus). Overall, we found the two road salts did not interact with the natural stressors. Both salts decreased pH and reduced zooplankton abundance. The strong decrease in zooplankton abundance in the highest NaCl concentration caused a trophic cascade that resulted in increased phytoplankton abundance. The highest NaCl concentration also reduced toad activity. For the biotic stressors, predatory stress decreased whereas competitive stress increased the activity of both tadpole species. Wood frog survival, time to metamorphosis, and mass at metamorphosis all decreased under competitive stress whereas toad time to metamorphosis increased and mass at metamorphosis decreased. Road salts and biotic stressors can both affect freshwater communities, but their effects are not interactive. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Transcriptomic responses to biotic stresses in Malus x domestica: a meta-analysis study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balan, Bipin; Marra, Francesco Paolo; Caruso, Tiziano; Martinelli, Federico

    2018-01-31

    RNA-Seq analysis is a strong tool to gain insight into the molecular responses to biotic stresses in plants. The objective of this work is to identify specific and common molecular responses between different transcriptomic data related to fungi, virus and bacteria attacks in Malus x domestica. We analyzed seven transcriptomic datasets in Malus x domestica divided in responses to fungal pathogens, virus (Apple Stem Grooving Virus) and bacteria (Erwinia amylovora). Data were dissected using an integrated approach of pathway- and gene- set enrichment analysis, Mapman visualization tool, gene ontology analysis and inferred protein-protein interaction network. Our meta-analysis revealed that the bacterial infection enhanced specifically genes involved in sugar alcohol metabolism. Brassinosteroids were upregulated by fungal pathogens while ethylene was highly affected by Erwinia amylovora. Gibberellins and jasmonates were strongly repressed by fungal and viral infections. The protein-protein interaction network highlighted the role of WRKYs in responses to the studied pathogens. In summary, our meta-analysis provides a better understanding of the Malus X domestica transcriptome responses to different biotic stress conditions; we anticipate that these insights will assist in the development of genetic resistance and acute therapeutic strategies. This work would be an example for next meta-analysis works aiming at identifying specific common molecular features linked with biotic stress responses in other specialty crops.

  18. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delerue, Florian; Gonzalez, Maya; Michalet, Richard; Pellerin, Sylvain; Augusto, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation) due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development) as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se) and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat). PMID:26098877

  19. Weak Evidence of Regeneration Habitat but Strong Evidence of Regeneration Niche for a Leguminous Shrub.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Delerue

    Full Text Available The identification of an ecological niche specific to the regeneration phase has mobilised significant attention. However, the importance of the regeneration niche concept remains unclear. Our main objective was to study the existence of such a regeneration niche for a leguminous shrub, Ulex europaeus. This study was carried out in southwest France in the context of water and nutrient stresses (mainly phosphorus limitation due to the presence of nutrient-poor sandy soils. We analysed the regeneration of the species from the germination of seeds and emergence of new seedlings until the seedlings reached young shrub size. Our design included a P fertilisation treatment. We also investigated microsite characteristics (micro-topography and vegetation development as they can interact with meteorological conditions and determine water availability for seeds and seedlings. We found that P availability controlled seedling growth and the time necessary to reach young shrub size. Water availability appeared to impact the species germination and seedlings survival. We also found that P and water availability depended on the interactions between microsite characteristics and climatic variations. Finally we found evidence that P and water availability are important ecological factors shaping the regeneration niche of the species, but we found weak evidence that any microsite would be appropriate for the regeneration of the species in the long term. Future studies regarding regeneration niches need to distinguish more clearly the ecological factors important for regeneration (the regeneration niche per se and the physical world where the seedlings appear and develop (the regeneration habitat.

  20. Niche construction game cancer cells play.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

    Niche construction concept was originally defined in evolutionary biology as the continuous interplay between natural selection via environmental conditions and the modification of these conditions by the organism itself. Processes unraveling during cancer metastasis include construction of niches, which cancer cells use towards more efficient survival, transport into new environments and preparation of the remote sites for their arrival. Many elegant experiments were done lately illustrating, for example, the premetastatic niche construction, but there is practically no mathematical modeling done which would apply the niche construction framework. To create models useful for understanding niche construction role in cancer progression, we argue that a) genetic, b) phenotypic and c) ecological levels are to be included. While the model proposed here is phenomenological in its current form, it can be converted into a predictive outcome model via experimental measurement of the model parameters. Here we give an overview of an experimentally formulated problem in cancer metastasis and propose how niche construction framework can be utilized and broadened to model it. Other life science disciplines, such as host-parasite coevolution, may also benefit from niche construction framework adaptation, to satisfy growing need for theoretical considerations of data collected by experimental biology.

  1. Niche construction game cancer cells play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Aviv; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2015-10-01

    Niche construction concept was originally defined in evolutionary biology as the continuous interplay between natural selection via environmental conditions and the modification of these conditions by the organism itself. Processes unraveling during cancer metastasis include construction of niches, which cancer cells use towards more efficient survival, transport into new environments and preparation of the remote sites for their arrival. Many elegant experiments were done lately illustrating, for example, the premetastatic niche construction, but there is practically no mathematical modeling done which would apply the niche construction framework. To create models useful for understanding niche construction role in cancer progression, we argue that a) genetic, b) phenotypic and c) ecological levels are to be included. While the model proposed here is phenomenological in its current form, it can be converted into a predictive outcome model via experimental measurement of the model parameters. Here we give an overview of an experimentally formulated problem in cancer metastasis and propose how niche construction framework can be utilized and broadened to model it. Other life science disciplines, such as host-parasite coevolution, may also benefit from niche construction framework adaptation, to satisfy growing need for theoretical considerations of data collected by experimental biology.

  2. A biotic video game smart phone kit for formal and informal biophysics education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Honesty; Lee, Seung Ah; Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar

    2015-03-01

    Novel ways for formal and informal biophysics education are important. We present a low-cost biotic game design kit that incorporates microbial organisms into an interactive gaming experience: A 3D-printable microscope containing four LEDs controlled by a joystick enable human players to provide directional light stimuli to the motile single-celled organism Euglena gracilis. These cellular behaviors are displayed on the integrated smart phone. Real time cell-tracking couples these cells into interactive biotic video game play, i.e., the human player steers Euglena to play soccer with virtual balls and goals. The player's learning curve in mastering this fun game is intrinsically coupled to develop a deeper knowledge about Euglena's cell morphology and the biophysics of its phototactic behavior. This kit is dual educational - via construction and via play - and it provides an engaging theme for a formal biophysics devices class as well as to be presented in informal outreach activities; its low cost and open soft- and hardware should enable wide adoption.

  3. Dissection of niche competition between introduced and indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi with respect to soybean yield responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Rieko; Koyama, Takuya; Sato, Takumi; Adachi, Katsuki; Tawaraya, Keitaro; Sato, Shusei; Hirakawa, Hideki; Yoshida, Shigenobu; Ezawa, Tatsuhiro

    2018-05-09

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi associate with most land plants and deliver phosphorus to the host. Identification of biotic/abiotic factors that determine crop responses to AM fungal inoculation is an essential step for successful application of the fungi in sustainable agriculture. We conducted three field trials on soybean with a commercial inoculum and developed a new molecular tool to dissect interactions between the inoculum and indigenous fungi on the MiSeq sequencing platform. Regression analysis indicated that sequence read abundance of the inoculum fungus was the most significant factor that determined soybean yield responses to the inoculation, suggesting that dominance of the inoculum fungus is a necessary condition for positive yield responses. Agricultural practices (fallow/cropping in the previous year) greatly affected the colonization levels (i.e. read abundances) of the inoculum fungus via altering the propagule density of indigenous AM fungi. Analysis of niche competition revealed that the inoculum fungus competed mainly with the indigenous fungi that are commonly distributed in the trial sites, probably because their life-history strategy is the same as that of the inoculum fungus. In conclusion, we provide a new framework for evaluating the significance of environmental factors towards successful application of AM fungi in agriculture.

  4. Coevolutionary aesthetics in human and biotic artworlds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prum, Richard O

    2013-01-01

    This work proposes a coevolutionary theory of aesthetics that encompasses both biotic and human arts. Anthropocentric perspectives in aesthetics prevent the recognition of the ontological complexity of the aesthetics of nature, and the aesthetic agency of many non-human organisms. The process of evaluative coevolution is shared by all biotic advertisements. I propose that art consists of a form of communication that coevolves with its own evaluation. Art and art history are population phenomena. I expand Arthur Danto's Artworld concept to any aesthetic population of producers and evaluators. Current concepts of art cannot exclusively circumscribe the human arts from many forms of non-human biotic art. Without assuming an arbitrarily anthropocentric perspective, any concept of art will need to engage with biodiversity, and either recognize many instances of biotic advertisements as art, or exclude some instances of human art. Coevolutionary aesthetic theory provides a heuristic account of aesthetic change in both human and biotic artworlds, including the coevolutionary origin of aesthetic properties and aesthetic value within artworlds. Restructuring aesthetics, art criticism, and art history without human beings at the organizing centers of these disciplines stimulate new progress in our understanding of art, and the unique human contributions to aesthetics and aesthetic diversity.

  5. Design, engineering and utility of biotic games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar H; Chung, Alice M; Dura, Burak; Hamilton, Andrea L; Lee, Byung C

    2011-01-07

    Games are a significant and defining part of human culture, and their utility beyond pure entertainment has been demonstrated with so-called 'serious games'. Biotechnology--despite its recent advancements--has had no impact on gaming yet. Here we propose the concept of 'biotic games', i.e., games that operate on biological processes. Utilizing a variety of biological processes we designed and tested a collection of games: 'Enlightenment', 'Ciliaball', 'PAC-mecium', 'Microbash', 'Biotic Pinball', 'POND PONG', 'PolymerRace', and 'The Prisoner's Smellemma'. We found that biotic games exhibit unique features compared to existing game modalities, such as utilizing biological noise, providing a real-life experience rather than virtual reality, and integrating the chemical senses into play. Analogous to video games, biotic games could have significant conceptual and cost-reducing effects on biotechnology and eventually healthcare; enable volunteers to participate in crowd-sourcing to support medical research; and educate society at large to support personal medical decisions and the public discourse on bio-related issues.

  6. The role of biotic interactions in plant community assembly: What is the community species pool?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Švamberková, E.; Vítová, A.; Lepš, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 85, NOV 01 (2017), s. 150-156 ISSN 1146-609X Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : abiotic filter * biotic filter * competitive exclusion Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 1.652, year: 2016 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1146609X16303757

  7. Single-cell analyses identify bioengineered niches for enhanced maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roch, Aline; Giger, Sonja; Girotra, Mukul; Campos, Vasco; Vannini, Nicola; Naveiras, Olaia; Gobaa, Samy; Lutolf, Matthias P

    2017-08-09

    The in vitro expansion of long-term hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) remains a substantial challenge, largely because of our limited understanding of the mechanisms that control HSC fate choices. Using single-cell multigene expression analysis and time-lapse microscopy, here we define gene expression signatures and cell cycle hallmarks of murine HSCs and the earliest multipotent progenitors (MPPs), and analyze systematically single HSC fate choices in culture. Our analysis revealed twelve differentially expressed genes marking the quiescent HSC state, including four genes encoding cell-cell interaction signals in the niche. Under basal culture conditions, most HSCs rapidly commit to become early MPPs. In contrast, when we present ligands of the identified niche components such as JamC or Esam within artificial niches, HSC cycling is reduced and long-term multipotency in vivo is maintained. Our approach to bioengineer artificial niches should be useful in other stem cell systems.Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal is not sufficiently understood to recapitulate in vitro. Here, the authors generate gene signature and cell cycle hallmarks of single murine HSCs, and use identified endothelial receptors Esam and JamC as substrates to enhance HSC growth in engineered niches.

  8. Diagnosis of abiotic and biotic stress factors using the visible symptoms in foliage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vollenweider, P.; Guenthardt-Goerg, Madeleine S.

    2005-01-01

    Visible symptoms in the foliage of trees are recorded to monitor the effects of abiotic and biotic stress. Difficulties are reported in diagnosing the origin of stress. The present paper discusses several diagnostic criteria which are usable in different species for a better determination of the stress factor type. A new diagnosis scheme to differentiate between classes of abiotic and biotic stress factors is supplied. Abiotic stress generates gradients of symptoms. The symptom specificity is determined by the degree of interaction between the stress factor and plant defense system. Symptoms caused by abiotic stress and natural autumnal senescence can be morphologically different or undistinguishable according to the stress and plant species. With biotic stress, the class of parasitic is generally recognizable on the basis of the visible symptoms. Structurally and physiologically based explanations of the symptom morphology are still missing for many stress factors. - The morphology and distribution of visible stress symptoms in tree foliage provides diagnostic tools to identify plant defense responses and differentiate stress from natural senescence symptoms

  9. Can plant-natural enemy communication withstand disruption by biotic and abiotic factors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clavijo McCormick, Andrea

    2016-12-01

    The attraction of natural enemies towards herbivore-induced plant volatiles is a well-documented phenomenon. However, the majority of published studies are carried under optimal water and nutrient regimes and with just one herbivore. But what happens when additional levels of ecological complexity are added? Does the presence of a second herbivore, microorganisms, and abiotic stress interfere with plant-natural enemy communication? or is communication stable enough to withstand disruption by additional biotic and abiotic factors?Investigating the effects of these additional levels of ecological complexity is key to understanding the stability of tritrophic interactions in natural ecosystems and may aid to forecast the impact of environmental disturbances on these, especially in climate change scenarios, which are often associated with modifications in plant and arthropod species distribution and increased levels of abiotic stress.This review explores the literature on natural enemy attraction to herbivore-induced volatiles when, besides herbivory, plants are challenged by additional biotic and abiotic factors.The aim of this review was to establish the impact of different biotic and abiotic factors on plant-natural enemy communication and to highlight critical aspects to guide future research efforts.

  10. A variational approach to niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constant, Axel; Ramstead, Maxwell J D; Veissière, Samuel P L; Campbell, John O; Friston, Karl J

    2018-04-01

    In evolutionary biology, niche construction is sometimes described as a genuine evolutionary process whereby organisms, through their activities and regulatory mechanisms, modify their environment such as to steer their own evolutionary trajectory, and that of other species. There is ongoing debate, however, on the extent to which niche construction ought to be considered a bona fide evolutionary force, on a par with natural selection. Recent formulations of the variational free-energy principle as applied to the life sciences describe the properties of living systems, and their selection in evolution, in terms of variational inference. We argue that niche construction can be described using a variational approach. We propose new arguments to support the niche construction perspective, and to extend the variational approach to niche construction to current perspectives in various scientific fields. © 2018 The Authors.

  11. Beware batch culture: Seasonality and niche construction predicted to favor bacterial adaptive diversification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Rocabert

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic cross-feeding interactions between microbial strains are common in nature, and emerge during evolution experiments in the laboratory, even in homogeneous environments providing a single carbon source. In sympatry, when the environment is well-mixed, the reasons why emerging cross-feeding interactions may sometimes become stable and lead to monophyletic genotypic clusters occupying specific niches, named ecotypes, remain unclear. As an alternative to evolution experiments in the laboratory, we developed Evo2Sim, a multi-scale model of in silico experimental evolution, equipped with the whole tool case of experimental setups, competition assays, phylogenetic analysis, and, most importantly, allowing for evolvable ecological interactions. Digital organisms with an evolvable genome structure encoding an evolvable metabolic network evolved for tens of thousands of generations in environments mimicking the dynamics of real controlled environments, including chemostat or batch culture providing a single limiting resource. We show here that the evolution of stable cross-feeding interactions requires seasonal batch conditions. In this case, adaptive diversification events result in two stably co-existing ecotypes, with one feeding on the primary resource and the other on by-products. We show that the regularity of serial transfers is essential for the maintenance of the polymorphism, as it allows for at least two stable seasons and thus two temporal niches. A first season is externally generated by the transfer into fresh medium, while a second one is internally generated by niche construction as the provided nutrient is replaced by secreted by-products derived from bacterial growth. In chemostat conditions, even if cross-feeding interactions emerge, they are not stable on the long-term because fitter mutants eventually invade the whole population. We also show that the long-term evolution of the two stable ecotypes leads to character

  12. Niche restriction and conservatism in a neotropical psittacine: the case of the Puerto Rican parrot

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Thomas H.; Collazo, Jaime A.; Dinsmore, Stephen J.; Llerandi-Roman, I. C.

    2014-01-01

    The factors which govern species‘ distribution and abundance are myriad, and together constitute the ecological niche of a given species. Because abiotic factors are arguably the most profound of the factors influencing niche boundaries and thus, species distributions, substantial changes in either climatic or habitat-related parameters can be expected to produce interrelated and profound niche shifts. Habitat loss and degradation can also effectively induce a de facto climate change by forcing populations to relocate to environmentally suboptimal habitats. Populations experiencing niche shifts due to range restrictions and geographic isolation become subject to a suite of factors that may act synergistically to amplify deleterious ecological effects of habitat loss. These factors tend to exert a greater influence on populations of rare or endemic species with inherently restricted ranges. The Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) is an example of a tropical, insular, endemic and critically-endangered species that has suffered from extensive habitat loss and degradation over the past century, resulting in a single relict wild population restricted for more than 70 years to the montane rainforest of the Luquillo Mountains in northeastern Puerto Rico. In this chapter, we examine the current ecological situation of this geographically and demographically isolated parrot population by reviewing the history of landscape-level changes in and around the Luquillo Mountains, and concurrent biotic and abiotic limiting factors in relation to both historical population trajectory and current prognosis for species recovery. We used a decade (2000-2009) of empirical data on parrot fledgling survival together with long-term climatological data to model effects of local climate on fledgling survival and gain insights into its influence on population growth. We also modeled hypothetical survival of parrot fledglings in the lowlands surrounding the Luquillo Mountains, areas

  13. Secreted protein Del-1 regulates myelopoiesis in the hematopoietic stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitroulis, Ioannis; Chen, Lan-Sun; Singh, Rashim Pal; Kourtzelis, Ioannis; Economopoulou, Matina; Kajikawa, Tetsuhiro; Troullinaki, Maria; Ziogas, Athanasios; Ruppova, Klara; Hosur, Kavita; Maekawa, Tomoki; Wang, Baomei; Subramanian, Pallavi; Tonn, Torsten; Verginis, Panayotis; von Bonin, Malte; Wobus, Manja; Bornhäuser, Martin; Grinenko, Tatyana; Di Scala, Marianna; Hidalgo, Andres; Wielockx, Ben; Hajishengallis, George; Chavakis, Triantafyllos

    2017-10-02

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) remain mostly quiescent under steady-state conditions but switch to a proliferative state following hematopoietic stress, e.g., bone marrow (BM) injury, transplantation, or systemic infection and inflammation. The homeostatic balance between quiescence, self-renewal, and differentiation of HSCs is strongly dependent on their interactions with cells that constitute a specialized microanatomical environment in the BM known as the HSC niche. Here, we identified the secreted extracellular matrix protein Del-1 as a component and regulator of the HSC niche. Specifically, we found that Del-1 was expressed by several cellular components of the HSC niche, including arteriolar endothelial cells, CXCL12-abundant reticular (CAR) cells, and cells of the osteoblastic lineage. Del-1 promoted critical functions of the HSC niche, as it regulated long-term HSC (LT-HSC) proliferation and differentiation toward the myeloid lineage. Del-1 deficiency in mice resulted in reduced LT-HSC proliferation and infringed preferentially upon myelopoiesis under both steady-state and stressful conditions, such as hematopoietic cell transplantation and G-CSF- or inflammation-induced stress myelopoiesis. Del-1-induced HSC proliferation and myeloid lineage commitment were mediated by β3 integrin on hematopoietic progenitors. This hitherto unknown Del-1 function in the HSC niche represents a juxtacrine homeostatic adaptation of the hematopoietic system in stress myelopoiesis.

  14. The United States pork niche market phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeyman, M S; Pirog, R S; Huber, G H; Lammers, P J; Hermann, J R

    2006-08-01

    After the broad industrialization of the US pork industry, there has been a development of niche markets for export and domestic pork; that is, there is a pork niche market phenomenon. The US pork niche market phenomenon is characterized, and 2 of the major markets are explained in detail. With the Midwest's tradition of a diversified family-based agriculture and record low hog prices of the late 1990s, the conditions were conducive for this phenomenon to develop. Pork niche markets utilize various sales methods including Internet sales, local abattoir sales, direct marketing, farmer networks, and targeting to organized groups. In 2003, there were approximately 35 to 40 active pork niche marketing efforts in Iowa. The Berkshire breed is an example of a swine breed that has had a recent resurgence because of niche markets. Berkshire pork is known for tenderness and excellent quality. Berkshire registrations have increased 4-fold in the last 10 yr. One of the larger niche marketers of "natural pork" is Niman Ranch Pork, which has more than 400 farmer-producers and processes about 2,500 pigs weekly. Many US consumers of pork are interested in issues concerning the environment, food safety, pig welfare, and pig farm ownership and structure. These consumers may be willing to pay more for pork from farmers who are also concerned about these issues. Small- and medium-sized swine farmers are active in pork niche markets. Niche markets claim product differentiation by superior or unique product quality and social attributes. Quality attributes include certain swine breeds, and meat quality, freshness, taste or flavor, and tenderness. Social or credence attributes often are claimed and include freedom from antibiotics and growth promotants; local family farm production; natural, organic, outdoor, or bedded rearing; humane rearing; known origin; environmentally friendly production; and the absence of animal by-products in the feed. Niche pork markets and alternative swine

  15. Plant diversification promotes biocontrol services in peach orchards by shaping the ecological niches of insect herbivores and their natural enemies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wan, Nian Feng; Ji, Xiang Yun; Deng, Jian Yu

    2018-01-01

    Ecological niche indicators have been scarcely adopted to assess the biological control of insect herbivores by their natural enemies. We hypothesize that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by narrowing the niches of herbivores and broadening the niches of natural enemies....... Our study reveals that plant diversification promotes the biocontrol services by shaping the niche of herbivores and natural enemies, and provides a new assessment method to understand the biodiversity-niche-ecosystem management interactions........ In a large-scale experiment, we found that the abundance of natural enemies was increased by 38.1%, and the abundance of insect herbivores was decreased by 16.9% in peach orchards with plant diversification (treatment) compared to ones with monoculture (control). Stratified sampling indicated...

  16. Rodent seed predation as a biotic filter influencing exotic plant abundance and distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. E. Pearson; J. L. Hierro; M. Chiuffo; D. Villarreal

    2014-01-01

    Biotic resistance is commonly invoked to explain why many exotic plants fail to thrive in introduced ranges, but the role of seed predation as an invasion filter is understudied. Abiotic conditions may also influence plant populations and can interact with consumers to determine plant distributions, but how these factors jointly influence invasions is poorly understood...

  17. Assessing niche separation among coexisting Limnohabitans strains through interactions with a competitor, viruses, and a bacterivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simek, Karel; Kasalický, Vojtech; Hornák, Karel; Hahn, Martin W; Weinbauer, Markus G

    2010-03-01

    We investigated potential niche separation in two closely related (99.1% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity) syntopic bacterial strains affiliated with the R-BT065 cluster, which represents a subgroup of the genus Limnohabitans. The two strains, designated B4 and D5, were isolated concurrently from a freshwater reservoir. Differences between the strains were examined through monitoring interactions with a bacterial competitor, Flectobacillus sp. (FL), and virus- and predator-induced mortality. Batch-type cocultures, designated B4+FL and D5+FL, were initiated with a similar biomass ratio among the strains. The proportion of each cell type present in the cocultures was monitored based on clear differences in cell sizes. Following exponential growth for 28 h, the cocultures were amended by the addition of two different concentrations of live or heat-inactivated viruses concentrated from the reservoir. Half of virus-amended treatments were inoculated immediately with an axenic flagellate predator, Poterioochromonas sp. The presence of the predator, of live viruses, and of competition between the strains significantly affected their population dynamics in the experimentally manipulated treatments. While strains B4 and FL appeared vulnerable to environmental viruses, strain D5 did not. Predator-induced mortality had the greatest impact on FL, followed by that on D5 and then B4. The virus-vulnerable B4 strain had smaller cells and lower biomass yield, but it was less subject to grazing. In contrast, the seemingly virus-resistant D5, with slightly larger grazing-vulnerable cells, was competitive with FL. Overall, our data suggest contrasting ecophysiological capabilities and partial niche separation in two coexisting Limnohabitans strains.

  18. THE NICHE CONSTRUCTION PERSPECTIVE: A CRITICAL APPRAISAL*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Laland, Kevin N; Shuker, David M; Dickins, Thomas E; West, Stuart A

    2014-01-01

    Niche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of evolution, in which niche construction and its legacy over time (ecological inheritance) are described as evolutionary processes, equivalent in importance to natural selection. Here, we subject NCT to critical evaluation, in the form of a collaboration between one prominent advocate of NCT, and a team of skeptics. We discuss whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance. We also consider whether the literature that promotes NCT overstates the significance of niche construction, whether it is internally coherent, and whether it accurately portrays standard evolutionary theory. Our disagreements reflect a wider dispute within evolutionary theory over whether the neo-Darwinian synthesis is in need of reformulation, as well as different usages of some key terms (e.g., evolutionary process). PMID:24325256

  19. The niche party concept and its measurement

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Thomas M; Miller, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    The concept of the niche party has become increasingly popular in analyses of party competition. Yet, existing approaches vary in their definitions and their measurement approaches. We propose using a minimal definition that allows us to compare political parties in terms of their ?nicheness?. We argue that the conceptual core of the niche party concept is based on issue emphasis and that a niche party emphasizes policy areas neglected by its rivals. Based on this definition, we propose a con...

  20. Does niche divergence accompany allopatric divergence in Aphelocoma jays as predicted under ecological speciation? Insights from tests with niche models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, John E; Zellmer, Amanda J; Knowles, L Lacey

    2010-05-01

    The role of ecology in the origin of species has been the subject of long-standing interest to evolutionary biologists. New sources of spatially explicit ecological data allow for large-scale tests of whether speciation is associated with niche divergence or whether closely related species tend to be similar ecologically (niche conservatism). Because of the confounding effects of spatial autocorrelation of environmental variables, we generate null expectations for niche divergence for both an ecological-niche modeling and a multivariate approach to address the question: do allopatrically distributed taxa occupy similar niches? In a classic system for the study of niche evolution--the Aphelocoma jays--we show that there is little evidence for niche divergence among Mexican Jay (A. ultramarina) lineages in the process of speciation, contrary to previous results. In contrast, Aphelocoma species that exist in partial sympatry in some regions show evidence for niche divergence. Our approach is widely applicable to the many cases of allopatric lineages in the beginning stages of speciation. These results do not support an ecological speciation model for Mexican Jay lineages because, in most cases, the allopatric environments they occupy are not significantly more divergent than expected under a null model.

  1. Bone Marrow Vascular Niche: Home for Hematopoietic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ningning He

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Though discovered later than osteoblastic niche, vascular niche has been regarded as an alternative indispensable niche operating regulation on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs. As significant progresses gained on this type niche, it is gradually clear that the main work of vascular niche is undertaking to support hematopoiesis. However, compared to what have been defined in the mechanisms through which the osteoblastic niche regulates hematopoiesis, we know less in vascular niche. In this review, based on research data hitherto we will focus on component foundation and various functions of vascular niche that guarantee the normal hematopoiesis process within bone marrow microenvironments. And the possible pathways raised by various research results through which this environment undergoes its function will be discussed as well.

  2. Niche-specific cognitive strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulgard, K.; Ratcliffe, J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Related species with different diets are predicted to rely on different cognitive strategies: those best suited for locating available and appropriate foods. Here we tested two predictions of the niche-specific cognitive strategies hypothesis in bats, which suggests that predatory species should...... the niche-specific cognitive strategies hypothesis and suggest that for gleaning and clutter-resistant aerial hawking bats, learning to associate shape with food interferes with subsequent spatial memory learning....

  3. Adding Biotic Interactions into Paleodistribution Models: A Host-Cleptoparasite Complex of Neotropical Orchid Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Paiva Silva

    Full Text Available Orchid bees compose an exclusive Neotropical pollinators group, with bright body coloration. Several of those species build their own nests, while others are reported as nest cleptoparasites. Here, the objective was to evaluate whether the inclusion of a strong biotic interaction, such as the presence of a host species, improved the ability of species distribution models (SDMs to predict the geographic range of the cleptoparasite species. The target species were Aglae caerulea and its host species Eulaema nigrita. Additionally, since A. caerulea is more frequently found in the Amazon rather than the Cerrado areas, a secondary objective was to evaluate whether this species is increasing or decreasing its distribution given South American past and current climatic conditions. SDMs methods (Maxent and Bioclim, in addition with current and past South American climatic conditions, as well as the occurrences for A. caerulea and E. nigrita were used to generate the distribution models. The distribution of A. caerulea was generated with and without the inclusion of the distribution of E. nigrita as a predictor variable. The results indicate A. caerulea was barely affected by past climatic conditions and the populations from the Cerrado savanna could be at least 21,000 years old (the last glacial maximum, as well as the Amazonian ones. On the other hand, in this study, the inclusion of the host-cleptoparasite interaction complex did not statistically improve the quality of the produced models, which means that the geographic range of this cleptoparasite species is mainly constrained by climate and not by the presence of the host species. Nonetheless, this could also be caused by unknown complexes of other Euglossini hosts with A. caerulea, which still are still needed to be described by science.

  4. Functional traits, convergent evolution, and periodic tables of niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winemiller, Kirk O; Fitzgerald, Daniel B; Bower, Luke M; Pianka, Eric R

    2015-08-01

    Ecology is often said to lack general theories sufficiently predictive for applications. Here, we examine the concept of a periodic table of niches and feasibility of niche classification schemes from functional trait and performance data. Niche differences and their influence on ecological patterns and processes could be revealed effectively by first performing data reduction/ordination analyses separately on matrices of trait and performance data compiled according to logical associations with five basic niche 'dimensions', or aspects: habitat, life history, trophic, defence and metabolic. Resultant patterns then are integrated to produce interpretable niche gradients, ordinations and classifications. Degree of scheme periodicity would depend on degrees of niche conservatism and convergence causing species clustering across multiple niche dimensions. We analysed a sample data set containing trait and performance data to contrast two approaches for producing niche schemes: species ordination within niche gradient space, and niche categorisation according to trait-value thresholds. Creation of niche schemes useful for advancing ecological knowledge and its applications will depend on research that produces functional trait and performance datasets directly related to niche dimensions along with criteria for data standardisation and quality. As larger databases are compiled, opportunities will emerge to explore new methods for data reduction, ordination and classification. © 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Induced Systemic Tolerance to Multiple Stresses Including Biotic and Abiotic Factors by Rhizobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Je Yoo

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Recently, global warming and drastic climate change are the greatest threat to the world. The climate change can affect plant productivity by reducing plant adaptation to diverse environments including frequent high temperature; worsen drought condition and increased pathogen transmission and infection. Plants have to survive in this condition with a variety of biotic (pathogen/pest attack and abiotic stress (salt, high/low temperature, drought. Plants can interact with beneficial microbes including plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, which help plant mitigate biotic and abiotic stress. This overview presents that rhizobacteria plays an important role in induced systemic resistance (ISR to biotic stress or induced systemic tolerance (IST to abiotic stress condition; bacterial determinants related to ISR and/or IST. In addition, we describe effects of rhizobacteria on defense/tolerance related signal pathway in plants. We also review recent information including plant resistance or tolerance against multiple stresses (bioticabiotic. We desire that this review contribute to expand understanding and knowledge on the microbial application in a constantly varying agroecosystem, and suggest beneficial microbes as one of alternative environment-friendly application to alleviate multiple stresses.

  6. Malaria in Africa: vector species' niche models and relative risk maps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Moffett

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available A central theoretical goal of epidemiology is the construction of spatial models of disease prevalence and risk, including maps for the potential spread of infectious disease. We provide three continent-wide maps representing the relative risk of malaria in Africa based on ecological niche models of vector species and risk analysis at a spatial resolution of 1 arc-minute (9 185 275 cells of approximately 4 sq km. Using a maximum entropy method we construct niche models for 10 malaria vector species based on species occurrence records since 1980, 19 climatic variables, altitude, and land cover data (in 14 classes. For seven vectors (Anopheles coustani, A. funestus, A. melas, A. merus, A. moucheti, A. nili, and A. paludis these are the first published niche models. We predict that Central Africa has poor habitat for both A. arabiensis and A. gambiae, and that A. quadriannulatus and A. arabiensis have restricted habitats in Southern Africa as claimed by field experts in criticism of previous models. The results of the niche models are incorporated into three relative risk models which assume different ecological interactions between vector species. The "additive" model assumes no interaction; the "minimax" model assumes maximum relative risk due to any vector in a cell; and the "competitive exclusion" model assumes the relative risk that arises from the most suitable vector for a cell. All models include variable anthrophilicity of vectors and spatial variation in human population density. Relative risk maps are produced from these models. All models predict that human population density is the critical factor determining malaria risk. Our method of constructing relative risk maps is equally general. We discuss the limits of the relative risk maps reported here, and the additional data that are required for their improvement. The protocol developed here can be used for any other vector-borne disease.

  7. Biogeomorphic feedbacks within riparian corridors: the role of positive interactions between riparian plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corenblit, Dov; Steiger, Johannes; Till-Bottraud, Irène

    2017-04-01

    Riparian vegetation affects hydrogeomorphic processes and leads to the construction of wooded fluvial landforms within riparian corridors. Multiple plants form dense multi- and mono-specific stands that enhance plant resistance as grouped plants are less prone to be uprooted than free-standing individuals. Riparian plants which grow in dense stands also enhance their role as ecosystem engineers through the trapping of sediment, organic matter and nutrients. The wooded biogeomorphic landforms which originate from the effect of vegetation on geomorphology lead in return to an improved capacity of the plants to survive, exploit resources, and reach sexual maturity in the intervals between destructive floods. Thus, these vegetated biogeomorphic landforms likely represent a positive niche construction of riparian plants. The nature and intensity of biotic interactions between riparian plants of different species (inter-specific) or the same species (intra-specific) which form dense stands and construct together the niche remain unclear. We strongly suspect that indirect inter-specific positive interactions (facilitation) occur between plants but that more direct intra-specific interactions, such as cooperation and altruism, also operate during the niche construction process. Our aim is to propose an original theoretical framework of inter and intra-specific positive interactions between riparian plants. We suggest that positive interactions between riparian plants are maximized in river reaches with an intermediate level of hydrogeomorphic disturbance. During establishment, plants that grow within dense stands improve their survival and growth because individuals protect each other from shear stress. In addition to the improved capacity to trap mineral and organic matter, individuals which constitute the dense stand can cooperate to mutually support a mycorrhizal fungi network that will connect plants, soil and ground water and influence nutrient transfer, cycling and

  8. The niche construction perspective: a critical appraisal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott-Phillips, Thomas C; Laland, Kevin N; Shuker, David M; Dickins, Thomas E; West, Stuart A

    2014-05-01

    Niche construction refers to the activities of organisms that bring about changes in their environments, many of which are evolutionarily and ecologically consequential. Advocates of niche construction theory (NCT) believe that standard evolutionary theory fails to recognize the full importance of niche construction, and consequently propose a novel view of evolution, in which niche construction and its legacy over time (ecological inheritance) are described as evolutionary processes, equivalent in importance to natural selection. Here, we subject NCT to critical evaluation, in the form of a collaboration between one prominent advocate of NCT, and a team of skeptics. We discuss whether niche construction is an evolutionary process, whether NCT obscures or clarifies how natural selection leads to organismal adaptation, and whether niche construction and natural selection are of equivalent explanatory importance. We also consider whether the literature that promotes NCT overstates the significance of niche construction, whether it is internally coherent, and whether it accurately portrays standard evolutionary theory. Our disagreements reflect a wider dispute within evolutionary theory over whether the neo-Darwinian synthesis is in need of reformulation, as well as different usages of some key terms (e.g., evolutionary process). © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. The niche party concept and its measurement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Thomas M; Miller, Bernhard

    2015-03-01

    The concept of the niche party has become increasingly popular in analyses of party competition. Yet, existing approaches vary in their definitions and their measurement approaches. We propose using a minimal definition that allows us to compare political parties in terms of their 'nicheness'. We argue that the conceptual core of the niche party concept is based on issue emphasis and that a niche party emphasizes policy areas neglected by its rivals. Based on this definition, we propose a continuous measure that allows for more fine-grained measurement of a party's 'nicheness' than the dominant, dichotomous approaches and thereby limits the risk of measurement error. Drawing on data collected by the Comparative Manifesto Project, we show that (1) our measure has high face validity and (2) exposes differences among parties that are not captured by alternative, static or dichotomous measures.

  10. Plant stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aichinger, Ernst; Kornet, Noortje; Friedrich, Thomas; Laux, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Multicellular organisms possess pluripotent stem cells to form new organs, replenish the daily loss of cells, or regenerate organs after injury. Stem cells are maintained in specific environments, the stem cell niches, that provide signals to block differentiation. In plants, stem cell niches are situated in the shoot, root, and vascular meristems-self-perpetuating units of organ formation. Plants' lifelong activity-which, as in the case of trees, can extend over more than a thousand years-requires that a robust regulatory network keep the balance between pluripotent stem cells and differentiating descendants. In this review, we focus on current models in plant stem cell research elaborated during the past two decades, mainly in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We address the roles of mobile signals on transcriptional modules involved in balancing cell fates. In addition, we discuss shared features of and differences between the distinct stem cell niches of Arabidopsis.

  11. The evolution of climatic niches in squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pie, Marcio R; Campos, Leonardo L F; Meyer, Andreas L S; Duran, Andressa

    2017-07-12

    Despite the remarkable diversity found in squamate reptiles, most of their species tend to be found in warm/dry environments, suggesting that climatic requirements played a crucial role in their diversification, yet little is known about the evolution of their climatic niches. In this study, we integrate climatic information associated with the geographical distribution of 1882 squamate species and their phylogenetic relationships to investigate the tempo and mode of climatic niche evolution in squamates, both over time and among lineages. We found that changes in climatic niche dynamics were pronounced over their recent squamate evolutionary history, and we identified extensive evidence for rate heterogeneity in squamate climatic niche evolution. Most rate shifts involved accelerations, particularly over the past 50 Myr. Most squamates occupy similar regions of the climatic niche space, with only a few lineages diversifying into colder and humid climatic conditions. The changes from arid to mesic conditions in some regions of the globe may have provided opportunities for climatic niche evolution, although most lineages tended to remain near their ancestral niche. Variation in rates of climatic niche evolution seems common, particularly in response to the availability of new climatic conditions over evolutionary time. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Affordances and Landscapes: Overcoming the Nature-Culture Dichotomy through Niche Construction Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heras-Escribano, Manuel; De Pinedo-García, Manuel

    2017-01-01

    In this paper we reject the nature-culture dichotomy by means of the idea of affordance or possibility for action, which has important implications for landscape theory. Our hypothesis is that, just as the idea of affordance can serve to overcome the subjective-objective dichotomy, the ideas of landscape and ecological niche, properly defined, would allow us to also transcend the nature-culture dichotomy. First, we introduce an overview of landscape theory, emphasizing processual landscape theory as the most suitable approach for satisfying both cultural and naturalist approaches. After that, we introduce the idea of affordance and we analyze a tension between sociocultural and transcultural affordances (affordances that depend on cultural conventions and affordances that depend on lawful information and bodily aspects of agents). This tension has various implications for landscape theory and ecological niches. Our proposal is that sociocultural and transcultural aspects of affordances could be systematically accommodated if we apply niche construction theory (the theory that explains the process by which organisms modify their selective environments) as a methodological framework for explaining the emergence of ecological niches. This approach will lead us to an integrative account of landscapes as the products of the interaction between human and environmental elements, making it a clear example of a concept that transcends the nature-culture dichotomy.

  13. The HysNiche trial: hysteroscopic resection of uterine caesarean scar defect (niche) in patients with abnormal bleeding, a randomised controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vervoort, A J M W; Van der Voet, L F; Witmer, M; Thurkow, A L; Radder, C M; van Kesteren, P J M; Quartero, H W P; Kuchenbecker, W K H; Bongers, M Y; Geomini, P M A J; de Vleeschouwer, L H M; van Hooff, M H A; van Vliet, H A A M; Veersema, S; Renes, W B; van Meurs, H S; Bosmans, J; Oude Rengerink, K; Brölmann, H A M; Mol, B W J; Huirne, J A F

    2015-11-12

    A caesarean section (CS) can cause a defect or disruption of the myometrium at the site of the uterine scar, called a niche. In recent years, an association between a niche and postmenstrual spotting after a CS has been demonstrated. Hysteroscopic resection of these niches is thought to reduce spotting and menstrual pain. However, there are no randomised trials assessing the effectiveness of a hysteroscopic niche resection. We planned a multicentre randomised trial comparing hysteroscopic niche resection to no intervention. We study women with postmenstrual spotting after a CS and a niche with a residual myometrium of at least 3 mm during sonohysterography. After informed consent is obtained, eligible women will be randomly allocated to hysteroscopic resection of the niche or expectant management for 6 months. The primary outcome is the number of days with postmenstrual spotting during one menstrual cycle 6 months after randomisation. Secondary outcomes are menstrual characteristics, menstruation related pain and experienced discomfort due to spotting or menstrual pain, quality of life, patient satisfaction, sexual function, urological symptoms, medical consultations, medication use, complications, lost productivity and medical costs. Measurements will be performed at baseline and at 3 and 6 months after randomisation. A cost-effectiveness analysis will be performed from a societal perspective at 6 months after randomisation. This trial will provide insight in the (cost)effectiveness of hysteroscopic resection of a niche versus expectant management in women who have postmenstrual spotting and a niche with sufficient residual myometrium to perform a hysteroscopic niche resection. Dutch Trial Register NTR3269 . Registered 1 February 2012. ZonMw Grant number 80-82305-97-12030.

  14. Individual diet variation in a marine fish assemblage: Optimal Foraging Theory, Niche Variation Hypothesis and functional identity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cachera, M.; Ernande, B.; Villanueva, M. C.; Lefebvre, S.

    2017-02-01

    Individual diet variation (i.e. diet variation among individuals) impacts intra- and inter-specific interactions. Investigating its sources and relationship with species trophic niche organization is important for understanding community structure and dynamics. Individual diet variation may increase with intra-specific phenotypic (or "individual state") variation and habitat variability, according to Optimal Foraging Theory (OFT), and with species trophic niche width, according to the Niche Variation Hypothesis (NVH). OFT proposes "proximate sources" of individual diet variation such as variations in habitat or size whereas NVH relies on "ultimate sources" related to the competitive balance between intra- and inter-specific competitions. The latter implies as a corollary that species trophic niche overlap, taken as inter-specific competition measure, decreases as species niche width and individual niche variation increase. We tested the complementary predictions of OFT and NVH in a marine fish assemblage using stomach content data and associated trophic niche metrics. The NVH predictions were tested between species of the assemblage and decomposed into a between- and a within-functional group component to assess the potential influence of species' ecological function. For most species, individual diet variation and niche overlap were consistently larger than expected. Individual diet variation increased with intra-specific variability in individual state and habitat, as expected from OFT. It also increased with species niche width but in compliance with the null expectation, thus not supporting the NVH. In contrast, species niche overlap increased significantly less than null expectation with both species niche width and individual diet variation, supporting NVH corollary. The between- and within-functional group components of the NVH relationships were consistent with those between species at the assemblage level. Changing the number of prey categories used to

  15. Structural ECM components in the premetastatic and metastatic niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høye, Anette M; Erler, Janine T

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this review is to give an overview of the extracellular matrix (ECM) components that are important for creating structural changes in the premetastatic and metastatic niche. The successful arrival and survival of cancer cells that have left the primary tumor and colonized distant sites...... aimed at targeting cell-ECM interactions may well be one of the best viable approaches to combat metastasis and thus improve patient care....

  16. Pivoting from Arabidopsis to wheat to understand how agricultural plants integrate responses to biotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Here we argue for a research initiative on gene-for-gene (g-f-g) interactions between wheat and its parasites. One aim is to begin a conversation between the disparate communities of plant pathology and entomology. Another is to understand how responses to biotic stress are integrated in an import...

  17. The extraocular muscle stem cell niche is resistant to ageing and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi eFormicola

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Specific muscles are spared in many degenerative myopathies. Most notably, the extraocular muscles (EOMs do not show clinical signs of late stage myopathies including the accumulation of fibrosis and fat. It has been proposed that an altered stem cell niche underlies the resistance of EOMs in these pathologies, however, to date, no reports have provided a detailed characterization of the EOM stem cell niche. PW1/Peg3 is expressed in progenitor cells in all adult tissues including satellite cells and a subset of interstitial non-satellite cell progenitors in muscle. These PW1-positive interstitial cells (PICs include a fibroadipogenic progenitor population (FAPs that give rise to fat and fibrosis in late stage myopathies. PICs/FAPs are mobilized following injury and FAPs exert a promyogenic role upon myoblasts in vitro but require the presence of a minimal population of satellite cells in vivo. We and others recently described that FAPs express promyogenic factors while satellite cells express antimyogenic factors suggesting that PICs/FAPs act as support niche cells in skeletal muscle through paracrine interactions. We analyzed the EOM stem cell niche in young adult and aged wild-type mice and found that the balance between PICs and satellite cells within the EOM stem cell niche is maintained throughout life. Moreover, in the adult mdx mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the EOM stem cell niche is unperturbed compared to normal mice, in contrast to Tibialis Anterior (TA muscle, which displays signs of ongoing degeneration/regeneration. Regenerating mdx TA shows increased levels of both PICs and satellite cells, comparable to normal unaffected EOMs. We propose that the increase in PICs that we observe in normal EOMs contributes to preserving the integrity of the myofibers and satellite cells. Our data suggest that molecular cues regulating muscle regeneration are intrinsic properties of EOMs.

  18. Different Motile Behaviors of Human Hematopoietic Stem versus Progenitor Cells at the Osteoblastic Niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie Foster

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Despite advances in our understanding of interactions between mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs and their niche, little is known about communication between human HSCs and the microenvironment. Using a xenotransplantation model and intravital imaging, we demonstrate that human HSCs display distinct motile behaviors to their hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC counterparts, and the same pattern can be found between mouse HSCs and HPCs. HSCs become significantly less motile after transplantation, while progenitor cells remain motile. We show that human HSCs take longer to find their niche than previously expected and suggest that the niche be defined as the position where HSCs stop moving. Intravital imaging is the only technique to determine where in the bone marrow stem cells stop moving, and future analyses should focus on the environment surrounding the HSC at this point.

  19. Control of germline stem cell self-renewal and differentiation in the Drosophila ovary: concerted actions of niche signals and intrinsic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Ting

    2013-01-01

    In the Drosophila ovary, germline stem cells (GSCs) physically interact with their niche composed of terminal filament cells, cap cells, and possibly GSC-contacting escort cells (ECs). A GSC divides to generate a self-renewing stem cell that remains in the niche and a differentiating daughter that moves away from the niche. The GSC niche provides a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signal that maintains GSC self-renewal by preventing stem cell differentiation via repression of the differentiation-promoting gene bag of marbles (bam). In addition, it expresses E-cadherin, which mediates cell adhesion for anchoring GSCs in the niche, enabling continuous self-renewal. GSCs themselves also express different classes of intrinsic factors, including signal transducers, transcription factors, chromatin remodeling factors, translation regulators, and miRNAs, which control self-renewal by strengthening interactions with the niche and repressing various differentiation pathways. Differentiated GSC daughters, known as cystoblasts (CBs), also express distinct classes of intrinsic factors to inhibit self-renewal and promote germ cell differentiation. Surprisingly, GSC progeny are also dependent on their surrounding ECs for proper differentiation at least partly by preventing BMP from diffusing to the differentiated germ cell zone and by repressing ectopic BMP expression. Therefore, both GSC self-renewal and CB differentiation are controlled by collaborative actions of extrinsic signals and intrinsic factors. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. [Mesenchymal stroma cells and their niche].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, R K

    2013-11-01

    Stem cells reside in a highly specialized, complex microenvironment that is known as the stem cell niche. The stem cell niche can be described as an anatomically defined space where the stem cell is localized and nourished and stem cell quiescence, proliferation and differentiation are maintained. Tissue engineering aims to imitate the stem cell niche to (I) induce a directed differentiation, (II) maintain the self-renewal capacity or (III) find a regulated balance between self-renewal and differentiation. Mesenchymal stem or stromal cells (MSC) can differentiate in three-dimensional collagen gels into functional osteoblasts when subjected to a phosphate-rich cultivation medium. Furthermore, they acquire a prosynthetic, matrix remodeling, contractile phenotype. Medial artery calcification in patients with chronic kidney disease also proceeds through intramembranous ossification resulting from osteoblast-induced calcification of the collagen extracellular matrix. Thus, the influence of uremic cultivation conditions as a pathophysiological stimulus on MSC and endothelial cells was analyzed with special regards to matrix remodeling, vascularization and calcification. The results showed that BMP-2/4 mediated MSC (mal)differentiation into osteoblasts with acquired matrix remodeling phenotype and loss of proangiogenic capacity. These studies have led to the conclusion that uremia has detrimental effects on the stem cell niche and promotes the continuous calcification by osteogenic (mal)differentiation. In summary, recent studies have shown the conducting and regulating effect of the stem cell niche under physiological conditions that can be applied and mimicked for tissue engineering applications. However, under pathological conditions the stem cell niche can have detrimental effects on stem cell function and can promote disease progression.

  1. Niche as a determinant of word fate in online groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo G Altmann

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Patterns of word use both reflect and influence a myriad of human activities and interactions. Like other entities that are reproduced and evolve, words rise or decline depending upon a complex interplay between their intrinsic properties and the environments in which they function. Using Internet discussion communities as model systems, we define the concept of a word niche as the relationship between the word and the characteristic features of the environments in which it is used. We develop a method to quantify two important aspects of the size of the word niche: the range of individuals using the word and the range of topics it is used to discuss. Controlling for word frequency, we show that these aspects of the word niche are strong determinants of changes in word frequency. Previous studies have already indicated that word frequency itself is a correlate of word success at historical time scales. Our analysis of changes in word frequencies over time reveals that the relative sizes of word niches are far more important than word frequencies in the dynamics of the entire vocabulary at shorter time scales, as the language adapts to new concepts and social groupings. We also distinguish endogenous versus exogenous factors as additional contributors to the fates of words, and demonstrate the force of this distinction in the rise of novel words. Our results indicate that short-term nonstationarity in word statistics is strongly driven by individual proclivities, including inclinations to provide novel information and to project a distinctive social identity.

  2. Citizen-science, Geoethics and Human Niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohle, Martin

    2017-04-01

    The anthropogenic biogeosphere or 'human niche' is the intersection of the biogeosphere and the sphere of human activities of social, economic, cultural and political nature. The application case for geoethics, namely "appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system" [1], is about niche building. Geoethics is about the conduct of people and geoscientists, respectively their ordinary lifestyles and professional activities. Geoscience professionals notice the diverse economic, social and cultural living conditions of people, and the application cases of geosciences mirror the diversity of the global social sphere. Subsequently it is argued: A) when considering the ethical dimensions of global niche building then geosciences should feature 'citizen geoscience'; and B) when considering the functioning of a knowledge-based society under conditions of anthropogenic global change then 'citizen geoscience' facilitates applying that knowledge base. (A) Regarding 'niche building': The design of production systems and consumption patterns embeds geoscience know-how and relates it to the everyday life. Any citizen's activities purposefully interconnect to the biogeosphere for well-being, care-taking, and reproduction, although habitually without involving a geoscientist in professional capacity. In that implicit manner the everyday behaviours and practices of people influence Earth system dynamic. This renders their inherent geoscience know-how a public good as it makes their ignorance a public risk. A comfortable human niche for billions of people requires a global biogeosphere that is disrupted little by citizens' activities and exposes them to hazards that can be tamed. Quite the reverse, anthropogenic global change will disturb living conditions for many citizen. Much geoscience know-how will have to be deployed to tame disturbances in a socially sustainable manner. Sustainability in turn needs involvement of citizens in

  3. When does it pay to invest in a patch? The evolution of intentional niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohlenhoff, Kathryn A; Codding, Brian F

    2017-09-01

    Humans modify their environments in ways that significantly transform the earth's ecosystems. Recent research suggests that such niche-constructing behaviors are not passive human responses to environmental variation, but instead should be seen as active and intentional management of the environment. Although such research is useful in highlighting the interactive dynamics between humans and their natural world, the niche-construction framework, as currently applied, fails to explain why people would decide to modify their environments in the first place. To help resolve this problem, we use a model of technological intensification to analyze the cost-benefit trade-offs associated with niche construction as a form of patch investment. We use this model to assess the costs and benefits of three paradigmatic cases of intentional niche construction in Western North America: the application of fire in acorn groves, the manufacture of fishing weirs, and the adoption of maize agriculture. Intensification models predict that investing in patch modification (niche construction) only provides a net benefit when the amount of resources needed crosses a critical threshold that makes the initial investment worthwhile. From this, it follows that low-cost investments, such as burning in oak groves, should be quite common, while more costly investments, such as maize agriculture, should be less common and depend on the alternatives available in the local environment. We examine how patterns of mobility, risk management, territoriality, and private property also co-evolve with the costs and benefits of niche construction. This approach illustrates that explaining niche-constructing behavior requires understanding the economic trade-offs involved in patch investment. Integrating concepts from niche construction and technological intensification models within a behavioral ecological framework provides insights into the coevolution and active feedback between adaptive behaviors and

  4. β3-Adrenergic Regulation of EPC Features Through Manipulation of the Bone Marrow MSC Niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vafaei, Rana; Nassiri, Seyed Mahdi; Siavashi, Vahid

    2017-12-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) reside in a specific niche in the bone marrow, however, biological features of this niche are still not fully understood. Given the interactions of MSCs with endothelial cells in different tissues, bone marrow MSC niche may influence the biological features of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). To understand the role of the sympathetic nervous system in regulation of the MSC niche, we examined whether the manipulation of the MSC niche via β3-adrenergic signals will affect EPC features. A selective β3 agonist (BRL37344) or a β3 antagonist (SR59230A) was administered in mice for 2 weeks to determine the potential effects of these regimens on the population of CD133 + stem cells in the bone marrow. Then, bone marrow-derived MSCs and EPCs were harvested and expanded from the mice to examine the effect of changes in the MSC niche on EPC features. Improved MSC colony forming potency with increased bone marrow stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) (also known as C-X-C motif chemokine 12 [CXCL12]) expression was shown as a result of intensification of the bone marrow adrenergic signals through BRL37344 injection. On the other hand, the blockage of these signals limited the expression level of SDF-1 and resulted in bone marrow enrichment of CD133 + cells. Manipulation of the MSC niche and decreased SDF-1 expression via SR59230A injection also prompted EPCs to form more colonies with augmented proliferation and differentiation capacity. Overall, our results indicate that the β3-adrenergic signals regulate the MSC niche, thereby resulting in modulation of EPC biological features. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 4753-4761, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Vascular and perivascular niches, but not the osteoblastic niche, are numerically restored following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with aplastic anemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Liangliang; Mo, Wenjian; Zhang, Yuping; Zhou, Ming; Li, Yumiao; Zhou, Ruiqing; Xu, Shiling; Pan, Shiyi; Deng, Hui; Mao, Ping; Wang, Shunqing

    2017-07-01

    Bone marrow (BM) niches, including the osteoblastic, vascular, and perivascular niches, are numerically impaired in patients with aplastic anemia (AA). It remains unclear whether these niches are numerically restored in AA patients after allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). To investigate changes in BM niches, we monitored 52 patients with AA who had undergone allo-HSCT and performed immunohistochemical studies of BM niches using antibodies against CD34, CD146, and osteopontin. After allo-HSCT, patients with AA exhibited a remarkable increase in the number of cellular elements in the BM niches, including the vascular and perivascular cells. However, no significant differences in endosteal cells were detected. We explored the cause of this restoration by analyzing the origin of BM mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) and the expression of cytokines in BM plasma. STR-PCR revealed that the BM-MSCs were derived from the host, not the donor. In addition, significantly elevated levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were found after allo-HSCT. Our data indicates that vascular and perivascular niches are numerically restored, but the endosteal niche remains numerically impaired in patients with AA after allo-HSCT, and that levels of VEGF, but not donor-derived BM-MSCs, may correlate with the restoration of BM niches.

  6. The HysNiche trial: hysteroscopic resection of uterine caesarean scar defect (niche) in patients with abnormal bleeding, a randomised controlled trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vervoort, A. J. M. W.; van der Voet, L. F.; Witmer, M.; Thurkow, A. L.; Radder, C. M.; van Kesteren, P. J. M.; Quartero, H. W. P.; Kuchenbecker, W. K. H.; Bongers, M. Y.; Geomini, P. M. A. J.; de Vleeschouwer, L. H. M.; van Hooff, M. H. A.; van Vliet, H. A. A. M.; Veersema, S.; Renes, W. B.; van Meurs, H. S.; Bosmans, J.; Oude Rengerink, K.; Brölmann, H. A. M.; Mol, B. W. J.; Huirne, J. A. F.

    2015-01-01

    A caesarean section (CS) can cause a defect or disruption of the myometrium at the site of the uterine scar, called a niche. In recent years, an association between a niche and postmenstrual spotting after a CS has been demonstrated. Hysteroscopic resection of these niches is thought to reduce

  7. Biotic games and cloud experimentation as novel media for biophysics education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar; Blikstein, Paulo

    2014-03-01

    First-hand, open-ended experimentation is key for effective formal and informal biophysics education. We developed, tested and assessed multiple new platforms that enable students and children to directly interact with and learn about microscopic biophysical processes: (1) Biotic games that enable local and online play using galvano- and photo-tactic stimulation of micro-swimmers, illustrating concepts such as biased random walks, Low Reynolds number hydrodynamics, and Brownian motion; (2) an undergraduate course where students learn optics, electronics, micro-fluidics, real time image analysis, and instrument control by building biotic games; and (3) a graduate class on the biophysics of multi-cellular systems that contains a cloud experimentation lab enabling students to execute open-ended chemotaxis experiments on slimemolds online, analyze their data, and build biophysical models. Our work aims to generate the equivalent excitement and educational impact for biophysics as robotics and video games have had for mechatronics and computer science, respectively. We also discuss how scaled-up cloud experimentation systems can support MOOCs with true lab components and life-science research in general.

  8. Diet and trophic niche of Lithobates catesbeianus (Amphibia: Anura

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peterson T. Leivas

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Lithobates catesbeianus (Shaw, 1802 is an invasive anuran introduced in Brazil that is associated with the displacement and the decline of populations of native species worldwide. There is evidence that biological invasions are facilitated by certain attributes of the invading species, for instance niche breath, and that invasive species have a broader ecological niche with respect to native ones. We designed a study to ascertain the temporal, ontogenetic, and sex differences in the niche dynamics of the American bullfrog. We sampled monthly from June 2008 to May 2009 in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. For each individual, we gathered biometric and stomach content data. We then estimated the niche breath of the juveniles and adults, and compared it between the sexes. A total of 104 females and 77 males were sampled. Lithobates catesbeianus has a generalist diet, preying upon invertebrates and vertebrates. Even though the diet of the studied population varied seasonally, it did not differ between the sexes nor did it respond to biometric variables. Niche breadth was more restricted in the winter than in the autumn. The trophic niche of juveniles and adults did not overlap much when compared with the trophic niche overlap between males and females. Adult males and females had a considerable niche overlap, but females had a broader trophic niche than males in the winter and in the spring. These niche characteristics point to an opportunistic predation strategy that may have facilitated the process of invasion and establishment of this species in the study area.

  9. Seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers act synergistically as biotic filters in a mosaic landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regino Zamora

    Full Text Available In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees.

  10. Affordances and Landscapes: Overcoming the Nature–Culture Dichotomy through Niche Construction Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heras-Escribano, Manuel; De Pinedo-García, Manuel

    2018-01-01

    In this paper we reject the nature–culture dichotomy by means of the idea of affordance or possibility for action, which has important implications for landscape theory. Our hypothesis is that, just as the idea of affordance can serve to overcome the subjective–objective dichotomy, the ideas of landscape and ecological niche, properly defined, would allow us to also transcend the nature–culture dichotomy. First, we introduce an overview of landscape theory, emphasizing processual landscape theory as the most suitable approach for satisfying both cultural and naturalist approaches. After that, we introduce the idea of affordance and we analyze a tension between sociocultural and transcultural affordances (affordances that depend on cultural conventions and affordances that depend on lawful information and bodily aspects of agents). This tension has various implications for landscape theory and ecological niches. Our proposal is that sociocultural and transcultural aspects of affordances could be systematically accommodated if we apply niche construction theory (the theory that explains the process by which organisms modify their selective environments) as a methodological framework for explaining the emergence of ecological niches. This approach will lead us to an integrative account of landscapes as the products of the interaction between human and environmental elements, making it a clear example of a concept that transcends the nature–culture dichotomy. PMID:29375426

  11. Introducing MERGANSER: A Flexible Framework for Ecological Niche Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klawonn, M.; Dow, E. M.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) is a collection of techniques to find a "fundamental niche", the range of environmental conditions suitable for a species' survival in the absence of inter-species interactions, given a set of environmental parameters. Traditional approaches to ENM face a number of obstacles including limited data accessibility, data management problems, computational costs, interface usability, and model validation. The MERGANSER system, which stands for Modeling Ecological Residency Given A Normalized Set of Environmental Records, addresses these issues through powerful data persistence and flexible data access, coupled with a clear presentation of results and fine-tuned control over model parameters. MERGANSER leverages data measuring 72 weather related phenomena, land cover, soil type, population, species occurrence, general species information, and elevation, totaling over 1.5 TB of data. To the best of the authors' knowledge, MERGANSER uses higher-resolution spatial data sets than previously published models. Since MERGANSER stores data in an instance of Apache SOLR, layers generated in support of niche models are accessible to users via simplified Apache Lucene queries. This is made even simpler via an HTTP front end that generates Lucene queries automatically. Specifically, a user need only enter the name of a place and a species to run a model. Using this approach to synthesizing model layers, the MERGANSER system has successfully reproduced previously published niche model results with a simplified user experience. Input layers for the model are generated dynamically using OpenStreetMap and SOLR's spatial search functionality. Models are then run using either user-specified or automatically determined parameters after normalizing them into a common grid. Finally, results are visualized in the web interface, which allows for quick validation. Model results and all surrounding metadata are also accessible to the user for further study.

  12. Ecological and evolutionary consequences of niche construction for its agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kylafis, Grigoris; Loreau, Michel

    2008-10-01

    Niche construction can generate ecological and evolutionary feedbacks that have been underinvestigated so far. We present an eco-evolutionary model that incorporates the process of niche construction to reveal its effects on the ecology and evolution of the niche-constructing agent. We consider a simple plant-soil nutrient ecosystem in which plants have the ability to increase the input of inorganic nutrient as an example of positive niche construction. On an ecological time scale, the model shows that niche construction allows the persistence of plants under infertile soil conditions that would otherwise lead to their extinction. This expansion of plants' niche, however, requires a high enough rate of niche construction and a high enough initial plant biomass to fuel the positive ecological feedback between plants and their soil environment. On an evolutionary time scale, we consider that the rates of niche construction and nutrient uptake coevolve in plants while a trade-off constrains their values. Different evolutionary outcomes are possible depending on the shape of the trade-off. We show that niche construction results in an evolutionary feedback between plants and their soil environment such that plants partially regulate soil nutrient content. The direct benefit accruing to plants, however, plays a crucial role in the evolutionary advantage of niche construction.

  13. Market niche analysis in the casino gaming industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dandurand, L

    1990-03-01

    This article discusses the nature of market niche analysis in the casino gaming industry. It presents four approaches for conducting market niche analysis. An an example of one approach, the Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study is used to identify a premium niche in the Las Vegas Slot Target Market. A detailed examination of the premium niche profile provides a description of the typical premium slot player. The description of the typical premium player leads to hypotheses regarding needs (the unique preference set) of the premium player. An analysis of the unique preference set suggests an appropriate enhanced marketing program.

  14. THE GERMLINE STEM CELL NICHE UNIT IN MAMMALIAN TESTES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oatley, Jon M.; Brinster, Ralph L.

    2014-01-01

    This review addresses current understanding of the germline stem cell niche unit in mammalian testes. Spermatogenesis is a classic model of tissue-specific stem cell function relying on self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). These fate decisions are influenced by a niche microenvironment composed of a growth factor milieu that is provided by several testis somatic support cell populations. Investigations over the last two decades have identified key determinants of the SSC niche including cytokines that regulate SSC functions and support cells providing these factors, adhesion molecules that influence SSC homing, and developmental heterogeneity of the niche during postnatal aging. Emerging evidence suggests that Sertoli cells are a key support cell population influencing the formation and function of niches by secreting soluble factors and possibly orchestrating contributions of other support cells. Investigations with mice have shown that niche influence on SSC proliferation differs during early postnatal development and adulthood. Moreover, there is mounting evidence of an age-related decline in niche function, which is likely influenced by systemic factors. Defining the attributes of stem cell niches is key to developing methods to utilize these cells for regenerative medicine. The SSC population and associated niche comprise a valuable model system for study that provides fundamental knowledge about the biology of tissue-specific stem cells and their capacity to sustain homeostasis of regenerating tissue lineages. While the stem cell is essential for maintenance of all self-renewing tissues and has received considerable attention, the role of niche cells is at least as important and may prove to be more receptive to modification in regenerative medicine. PMID:22535892

  15. Primer and interviews: The dynamic stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Julie C

    2011-03-01

    A stem cell niche is a microenvironment that supports self-renewal of a population of stem cells, and their production of differentiated cells. While the definition evokes images of a stem cell Shangri-La-where a serene stem cell pool nestles within a niche that shelters and sustains it-the reality is much more tumultuous. Niches are subject to an ever-changing maelstrom of environmental factors, the ravages of old age, and the sly tactics of disease. Presented here is a basic overview of the different ways in which stem cell niches respond to local and systemic environments, and their impact on stem cell behavior. The primer culminates with a discussion of the topic with stem cell and niche biologists D. Leanne Jones, Ph.D., and Tudorita Tumbar, Ph.D. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Invasion by nonnative brook trout in Panther Creek, Idaho: Roles of habitat quality, connectivity, and biotic resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph R. Benjamin

    2006-01-01

    Theoretical models suggest the invasion of nonnative freshwater species is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: biotic resistance, habitat quality, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each component to determine which were associated with small (150 mm) brook trout occurrence in Panther Creek, a tributary...

  17. The crosstalk between hematopoietic stem cells and their niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Charles; Charbord, Pierre; Jaffredo, Thierry

    2018-07-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in specific microenvironments also called niches that regulate HSC functions. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the crosstalk between HSCs and niche cells is a major issue in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent advances in this field with particular emphasis on the transcriptional landscape of HSC niche cells and the roles of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the dialog between HSCs and their microenvironments. The development of high-throughput technologies combined with computational methods has considerably improved our knowledge on the molecular identity of HSC niche cells. Accumulating evidence strongly suggest that the dialog between HSCs and their niches is bidirectional and that EVs play an important role in this process. These advances bring a unique conceptual and methodological framework for understanding the molecular complexity of the HSC niche and identifying novel HSC regulators. They are also promising for exploring the reciprocal influence of HSCs on niche cells and delivering specific molecules to HSCs in regenerative medicine.

  18. Molecular Analysis of Rice CIPKs Involved in Both Biotic and Abiotic Stress Responses

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Xi-feng; Gu Zhi-min; LIU Feng; MA Bo-jun; ZHANG Hong-sheng

    2011-01-01

    Plant calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins have been proposed as important Ca2+ sensors and specifically interact with CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs) in plant-specific calcium signaling.Here,we identified and isolated 15 CIPK genes in a japonica rice variety Nipponbare based on the predicted sequences of rice CIPK gene family.Gene structure analysis showed that these 15 genes were divided into intron-less and intron-rich groups,and OsCIPK3 and OsCIPK24 exhibited alternative splicing in their mature process.The phylogenetic analyses indicated that rice CIPKs shared an ancestor with Arabidopsis and poplar CIPKs.Analyses of gene expression showed that these OsCIPK genes were differentially induced by biotic stresses such as bacterial blight and abiotic stresses (heavy metal such as Hg2+,high salinity,cold and ABA).Interestingly,five OsCIPK genes,OsCIPK1,2,10,11 and 12,were transcriptionally up-regulated after bacterial blight infection whereas four OsCIPK genes,OsCIPK2,10,11 and 14,were induced by all treatments,indicating that some of OsCIPK genes are involved in multiple stress response pathways in plants.Our finding suggests that CIPKs play a key role in both biotic and abiotic stress responses.

  19. Scaled biotic disruption during early Eocene global warming events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Gibbs

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Late Paleocene and early Eocene hyperthermals are transient warming events associated with massive perturbations of the global carbon cycle, and are considered partial analogues for current anthropogenic climate change. Because the magnitude of carbon release varied between the events, they are natural experiments ideal for exploring the relationship between carbon cycle perturbations, climate change and biotic response. Here we quantify marine biotic variability through three million years of the early Eocene that include five hyperthermals, utilizing a method that allows us to integrate the records of different plankton groups through scenarios ranging from background to major extinction events. Our long time-series calcareous nannoplankton record indicates a scaling of biotic disruption to climate change associated with the amount of carbon released during the various hyperthermals. Critically, only the three largest hyperthermals, the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (ETM2 and the I1 event, show above-background variance, suggesting that the magnitude of carbon input and associated climate change needs to surpass a threshold value to cause significant biotic disruption.

  20. Astrocitary niches in human adult medulla oblongata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusu, Mugurel Constantin; Dermengiu, Dan; Loreto, Carla; Motoc, Andrei Gheorghe Marius; Pop, Elena

    2013-04-01

    Astrocytes are considered as neuromodulators of the CNS. Whereas experimental studies on astrocitary functions are gaining importance, the anatomy of the astrocitary niches in the human CNS has been overlooked. The study was performed on the brainstem of 10 adult cadavers. We aimed to determine astrocitary niches in the human medulla oblongata using immunohistochemical labeling with vimentin and also CD34 immunostaining to accurately diagnose associated microvessels. Niches rich in astrocytes were identified as follows: (a) the superficial layer of astrocytes, ventral and ventrolateral, in the rostral medulla oblongata; (b) the median raphe; (c) medullary nuclei: arcuate nucleus, area postrema, nucleus of the solitary tract; (d) the subependymal zone (SEZ, caudal medulla) and subventricular zone (SVZ, rostral medulla). Astrocytes were scarce in the ventrolateral medulla, and mostly present within the pyramidal tract and the olivary nucleus. Apart from the SEZ and SVZ, the brainstem niches of astrocytes mostly overlap those regions known to perform roles as central respiratory chemoreceptors. The astrocytes of the SEZ and SVZ, which are known as stem cell niches, are related to an increased microvascular density. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Abiotic/biotic coupling in the rhizosphere: a reactive transport modeling analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Corey R.; Steefel, Carl; Maher, Kate

    2014-01-01

    A new generation of models is needed to adequately simulate patterns of soil biogeochemical cycling in response changing global environmental drivers. For example, predicting the influence of climate change on soil organic matter storage and stability requires models capable of addressing complex biotic/abiotic interactions of rhizosphere and weathering processes. Reactive transport modeling provides a powerful framework simulating these interactions and the resulting influence on soil physical and chemical characteristics. Incorporation of organic reactions in an existing reactive transport model framework has yielded novel insights into soil weathering and development but much more work is required to adequately capture root and microbial dynamics in the rhizosphere. This endeavor provides many advantages over traditional soil biogeochemical models but also many challenges.

  2. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winck, Gisele R; Hatano, Fabio; Vrcibradic, Davor; VAN Sluys, Monique; Rocha, Carlos F D

    2016-01-01

    Communities are structured by interactions of historical and ecological factors, which influence the use of different resources in time and space. We acquired data on time of activity, microhabitat use and diet of a lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat in a coastal area, southeastern Brazil (Restinga de Jurubatiba). We analyzed the data of niche overlap among species in these three axes (temporal, spatial and trophic) using null models. We found a significant overlap within the trophic niche, whereas the overlap for the other axes did not differ from the expected. Based on this result, we discuss the factors acting on the structure of the local lizard community.

  3. Glioblastoma niches: from the concept to the phenotypical reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, Davide; Mellai, Marta; Bovio, Enrica; Bisogno, Ilaria; Casalone, Cristina; Annovazzi, Laura

    2018-05-08

    Recently, the concept of niches as sites of tumor progression, invasion, and angiogenesis in glioblastoma (GB) has been extensively debated. Niches, considered the sites in which glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) reside, have been classified as perivascular, perinecrotic, and invasive. However, from a neuropathological point of view, it is not easy to establish when a tumor structure can be considered a niche. The relevant literature has been reviewed in the light of our recent experience on the subject. As for perinecrotic niches, the occurrence of GSCs around necrosis is interpreted as triggered by hypoxia through HIF-1α. Our alternative hypothesis is that, together with progenitors, they are the cell constituents of hyper-proliferative areas of GB, where perinecrotic niches have developed, and they would, therefore, represent the remnants of GSCs/progenitors spared by the developing necrosis. Perivascular structures originate from both transport vessels and exchange vessels, i.e., venules, arterioles, or the undefinable neo-formed small vessels, but only those in which a direct contact between GSCs/progenitors and endothelial cells occurs can be called niches. Both pericytes and microglia/macrophages play a role in niche function: Macrophages of blood origin invade GB only after the appearance of "mother vessels" with consequent blood-brain barrier disruption. Not all vessel/tumor cell structures can be considered niches, that is, crucial sites of tumor progression, invasion, and angiogenesis.

  4. Habitat niche breadth predicts invasiveness in solitary ascidians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granot, Itai; Shenkar, Noa; Belmaker, Jonathan

    2017-10-01

    A major focus of invasion biology is understanding the traits associated with introduction success. Most studies assess these traits in the invaded region, while only few compare nonindigenous species to the pool of potential invaders in their native region. We focused on the niche breadth hypothesis , commonly evoked but seldom tested, which states that generalist species are more likely to become introduced as they are capable of thriving under a wide set of conditions. Based on the massive introduction of tropical species into the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal (Lessepsian migration), we defined ascidians in the Red Sea as the pool of potential invaders. We constructed unique settlement plates, each representing six different niches, to assess ascidian niche breadth, and deployed them in similar habitats in the native and invaded regions. For each species found on plates, we evaluated its abundance, relative abundance across successional stages, and niche breadth, and then compared (1) species in the Red Sea known to have been introduced into the Mediterranean (Lessepsian species) and those not known from the Mediterranean (non-Lessepsian); and (2) nonindigenous and indigenous species in the Mediterranean. Lessepsian species identified on plates in the Red Sea demonstrated wider niche breadth than non-Lessepsian species, supporting the niche breadth hypothesis within the native region. No differences were found between Lessepsian and non-Lessepsian species in species abundance and successional stages. In the Mediterranean, nonindigenous species numerically dominated the settlement plates. This precluded robust comparisons of niche breadth between nonindigenous and indigenous species in the invaded region. In conclusion, using Red Sea ascidians as the pool of potential invaders, we found clear evidence supporting the niche breadth hypothesis in the native region. We suggest that such patterns may often be obscured when conducting trait-based studies in the

  5. Niche conservatism and the invasive potential of the wild boar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Lilian Patrícia; Ribeiro, Bruno R; Hayward, Matt Warrington; Paglia, Adriano; Passamani, Marcelo; Loyola, Rafael

    2017-09-01

    Niche conservatism, i.e. the retention of a species' fundamental niche through evolutionary time, is cornerstone for biological invasion assessments. The fact that species tend to maintain their original climate niche allows predictive maps of invasion risk to anticipate potential invadable areas. Unravelling the mechanisms driving niche shifts can shed light on the management of invasive species. Here, we assessed niche shifts in one of the world's worst invasive species: the wild boar Sus scrofa. We also predicted potential invadable areas based on an ensemble of three ecological niche modelling methods, and evaluated the performance of models calibrated with native vs. pooled (native plus invaded) species records. By disentangling the drivers of change on the exotic wild boar population's niches, we found strong evidence for niche conservatism during biological invasion. Ecological niche models calibrated with both native and pooled range records predicted convergent areas. Also, observed niche shifts are mostly explained by niche unfilling, i.e. there are unoccupied areas in the exotic range where climate is analogous to the native range. Niche unfilling is expected as result of recent colonization and ongoing dispersal, and was potentially stronger for the Neotropics, where a recent wave of introductions for pig-farming and game-hunting has led to high wild boar population growth rates. The invasive potential of wild boar in the Neotropics is probably higher than in other regions, which has profound management implications if we are to prevent their invasion into species-rich areas, such as Amazonia, coupled with expansion of African swine fever and possibly great economic losses. Although the originally Eurasian-wide distribution suggests a pre-adaptation to a wide array of climates, the wild boar world-wide invasion does not exhibit evidence of niche evolution. The invasive potential of the wild boar therefore probably lies on the reproductive, dietary and

  6. Manipulation of signaling thresholds in "engineered stem cell niches" identifies design criteria for pluripotent stem cell screens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raheem Peerani

    Full Text Available In vivo, stem cell fate is regulated by local microenvironmental parameters. Governing parameters in this stem cell niche include soluble factors, extra-cellular matrix, and cell-cell interactions. The complexity of this in vivo niche limits analyses into how individual niche parameters regulate stem cell fate. Herein we use mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC and micro-contact printing (microCP to investigate how niche size controls endogenous signaling thresholds. microCP is used to restrict colony diameter, separation, and degree of clustering. We show, for the first time, spatial control over the activation of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription pathway (Jak-Stat. The functional consequences of this niche-size-dependent signaling control are confirmed by demonstrating that direct and indirect transcriptional targets of Stat3, including members of the Jak-Stat pathway and pluripotency-associated genes, are regulated by colony size. Modeling results and empirical observations demonstrate that colonies less than 100 microm in diameter are too small to maximize endogenous Stat3 activation and that colonies separated by more than 400 microm can be considered independent from each other. These results define parameter boundaries for the use of ESCs in screening studies, demonstrate the importance of context in stem cell responsiveness to exogenous cues, and suggest that niche size is an important parameter in stem cell fate control.

  7. Ecological niches of open ocean phytoplankton taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brun, Philipp Georg; Vogt, Meike; Payne, Mark

    2015-01-01

    We characterize the realized ecological niches of 133 phytoplankton taxa in the open ocean based on observations from the MAREDAT initiative and a statistical species distribution model (MaxEnt). The models find that the physical conditions (mixed layer depth, temperature, light) govern large...... conditions in the open ocean. Our estimates of the realized niches roughly match the predictions of Reynolds' C-S-R model for the global ocean, namely that taxa classified as nutrient stress tolerant have niches at lower nutrient and higher irradiance conditions than light stress tolerant taxa. Yet...

  8. Engineering the hematopoietic stem cell niche: Frontiers in biomaterial science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Ji Sun; Mahadik, Bhushan P.; Harley, Brendan A. C.

    2016-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) play a crucial role in the generation of the body’s blood and immune cells. This process takes place primarily in the bone marrow in specialized ‘niche’ microenvironments, which provide signals responsible for maintaining a balance between HSC quiescence, self-renewal, and lineage specification required for life-long hematopoiesis. While our understanding of these signaling mechanisms continues to improve, our ability to engineer them in vitro for the expansion of clinically relevant HSC populations is still lacking. In this review, we focus on development of biomaterials-based culture platforms for in vitro study of interactions between HSCs and their local microenvironment. The tools and techniques used for both examining HSC-niche interactions as well as applying these findings towards controlled HSC expansion or directed differentiation in 2D and 3D platforms are discussed. These novel techniques hold the potential to push the existing boundaries of HSC cultures towards high-throughput, real-time, and single-cell level biomimetic approaches that enable a more nuanced understanding of HSC regulation and function. Their application in conjunction with innovative biomaterial platforms can pave the way for engineering artificial bone marrow niches for clinical applications as well as elucidating the pathology of blood-related cancers and disorders. PMID:26356030

  9. A direct-gradient multivariate index of biotic condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Leandro E.; Aycock, J.N.; Killgore, K. J.

    2012-01-01

    Multimetric indexes constructed by summing metric scores have been criticized despite many of their merits. A leading criticism is the potential for investigator bias involved in metric selection and scoring. Often there is a large number of competing metrics equally well correlated with environmental stressors, requiring a judgment call by the investigator to select the most suitable metrics to include in the index and how to score them. Data-driven procedures for multimetric index formulation published during the last decade have reduced this limitation, yet apprehension remains. Multivariate approaches that select metrics with statistical algorithms may reduce the level of investigator bias and alleviate a weakness of multimetric indexes. We investigated the suitability of a direct-gradient multivariate procedure to derive an index of biotic condition for fish assemblages in oxbow lakes in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Although this multivariate procedure also requires that the investigator identify a set of suitable metrics potentially associated with a set of environmental stressors, it is different from multimetric procedures because it limits investigator judgment in selecting a subset of biotic metrics to include in the index and because it produces metric weights suitable for computation of index scores. The procedure, applied to a sample of 35 competing biotic metrics measured at 50 oxbow lakes distributed over a wide geographical region in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, selected 11 metrics that adequately indexed the biotic condition of five test lakes. Because the multivariate index includes only metrics that explain the maximum variability in the stressor variables rather than a balanced set of metrics chosen to reflect various fish assemblage attributes, it is fundamentally different from multimetric indexes of biotic integrity with advantages and disadvantages. As such, it provides an alternative to multimetric procedures.

  10. The nutritional nexus: linking niche, habitat variability and prey composition in a generalist marine predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machovsky-Capuska, Gabriel E; Miller, Mark G R; Silva, Fabiola R O; Amiot, Christophe; Stockin, Karen A; Senior, Alistair M; Schuckard, Rob; Melville, David; Raubenheimer, David

    2018-06-05

    1.Our understanding of the niche concept will remain limited while the quantity and range of different food types eaten remains a dominant proxy for niche breadth, as this does not account for the broad ecological context that governs diet. Linking nutrition, physiology and behaviour are critical to predict the extent to which a species adjusts its nutritional niche breadth at the levels of prey ("prey composition niche", defined as the range of prey compositions eaten), and diet ("realized nutritional niche" is the range of diets composed through feeding on the prey). 2.Here we studied adult-chick rearing Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) to propose an integrative approach using sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTa), geographic location and bathymetry over different years, to explore their relationship with the nutritional composition of prey and diets (i.e., prey composition and nutritional niche breadth), habitat use and foraging behavior. 3.We found that gannets feed on prey that varied widely in their nutritional composition (have a broad prey composition niche), and composed diets from these prey that likewise varied in composition (have a broad realized nutritional niche), suggesting generalism at two levels of macronutrient selection. 4.Across seasons, we established "nutritional landscapes" (hereafter nutriscapes), linking the nutritional content of prey (wet mass protein to-lipid ratio -P:L-) to the most likely geographic area of capture and bathymetry. Nutriscapes varied in their P:L from 6.06 to 15.28, over time, space and bathymetry (0 to 150 m). 5.During warm water events (strong positive SSTa), gannets expanded their foraging habitat, increased their foraging trip duration and consumed prey and diets with low macronutrient content (wet mass proportions of P and L). They were also constrained to the smallest prey composition and realized nutritional niche breadths. 6.Our findings are consistent with previous suggestions that dietary generalism

  11. Ten Niche Strategies To Commercialize New High-Tech Products

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ortt, J.R.; Langley, D.J.; Pals, N.

    2013-01-01

    There are serious gaps in the scientific literature relating to niche strategies as a means for commercializing new high-tech products. In particular, there is no clarity about what types of niche strategies can be distinguished, or how a niche strategy can be selected to suit a certain ituation. In

  12. Niche conservatism in Gynandropaa frogs on the southeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Junhua; Broennimann, Olivier; Guisan, Antoine; Wang, Bin; Huang, Yan; Jiang, Jianping

    2016-09-07

    The role of ecological niche in lineage diversification has been the subject of long-standing interest of ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Gynandropaa frogs diversified into three independent clades endemic to the southeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Here, we address the question whether these clades kept the same niche after separation, and what it tells us about possible diversification processes. We applied predictions in geographical (G)-space and tests of niche conservatism in environmental (E)-space. Niche models in G-space indicate separate regions with high suitability for the different clades, with some potential areas of sympatry. While the pair of central and eastern clades displayed the largest niche overlap for most variables, and strict niche equivalency was rejected for all clade-pairs, we found no strong evidence for niche divergence, but rather the signature of niche conservatism compared to null models in E-space. These results suggest a common ancestral ecological niche, and as such give good support to divergence through allopatric speciation, but alternative explanations are also possible. Our findings illustrate how testing for niche conservatism in lineage diversification can provide insights into underlying speciation processes, and how this information may guide further research and conservation practices, as illustrated here for amphibians on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

  13. Pro biotic as Alternative to Antibiotic for Broiler Chicken fed Food Industrial Residual Oil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    EL-Faramawy, A.A.; El-Maghraby, A.F.; El-Danasoury, M.M.; Hussien, H.A.; Hegazy, E.S.

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of pro biotic (some lactic acid bacteria) with different levels of food industrial residual oil in broiler commercial diets on growth performance, meat yield, internal organs, economical efficiency and performance index. One hundred and eighty one day old Cobb chicks (45 ± 0.4 g) were equally and randomly divided into 6 groups namely; the antibiotic with fresh oil (FO), the antibiotic with mixed oil (MO) [FO+RO ( 1:1 w/w)], the antibiotic with food industrial residual oil (RO), the pro biotic with FO, the pro biotic with MO and the pro biotic with RO. Virginiamycin, Phibro, USA (15 ppm), was the antibiotic, while a mixture of lactic acid bacteria is chosen as pro biotic. Both were added to the water. During the experiment which lasted for 42 days, the body weight, the feed intake and the mortality rate were recorded at 2, 4 and 6 weeks of age then the body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, economical efficiency and performance index were calculated. The results revealed that the average body weight, body weight gain and feed consumption significantly (P 0.05) while liver increased significantly (P<0.05) in pro biotic FO and gizzard in all pro biotic group and antibiotic MO. The highest performance index was observed in groups of birds treated with pro biotic with MO followed by birds treated with pro biotic FO without significant difference. It could be concluded that supplementation of pro biotic in broiler diet containing different levels of RO was economically more beneficial than antibiotic

  14. Intraspecies Competition for Niches in the Distal Gut Dictate Transmission during Persistent Salmonella Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Lilian H.; Monack, Denise M.

    2014-01-01

    In order to be transmitted, a pathogen must first successfully colonize and multiply within a host. Ecological principles can be applied to study host-pathogen interactions to predict transmission dynamics. Little is known about the population biology of Salmonella during persistent infection. To define Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium population structure in this context, 129SvJ mice were oral gavaged with a mixture of eight wild-type isogenic tagged Salmonella (WITS) strains. Distinct subpopulations arose within intestinal and systemic tissues after 35 days, and clonal expansion of the cecal and colonic subpopulation was responsible for increases in Salmonella fecal shedding. A co-infection system utilizing differentially marked isogenic strains was developed in which each mouse received one strain orally and the other systemically by intraperitoneal (IP) injection. Co-infections demonstrated that the intestinal subpopulation exerted intraspecies priority effects by excluding systemic S. Typhimurium from colonizing an extracellular niche within the cecum and colon. Importantly, the systemic strain was excluded from these distal gut sites and was not transmitted to naïve hosts. In addition, S. Typhimurium required hydrogenase, an enzyme that mediates acquisition of hydrogen from the gut microbiota, during the first week of infection to exert priority effects in the gut. Thus, early inhibitory priority effects are facilitated by the acquisition of nutrients, which allow S. Typhimurium to successfully compete for a nutritional niche in the distal gut. We also show that intraspecies colonization resistance is maintained by Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands SPI1 and SPI2 during persistent distal gut infection. Thus, important virulence effectors not only modulate interactions with host cells, but are crucial for Salmonella colonization of an extracellular intestinal niche and thereby also shape intraspecies dynamics. We conclude that priority effects and

  15. Exosomes as novel regulators of adult neurogenic niches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Federico Batiz

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Adult neurogenesis has been convincingly demonstrated in two regions of the mammalian brain: the sub-granular zone (SGZ of the dentate gyrus (DG in the hippocampus, and the sub-ventricular zone (SVZ of the lateral ventricles. SGZ newborn neurons are destined to the granular cell layer of the DG, while new neurons from the SVZ neurons migrate rostrally into the olfactory bulb. The process of adult neurogenesis persists throughout life and is supported by a pool of neural stem cells (NSCs, which reside in a unique and specialized microenvironment known as neurogenic niche. Neurogenic niches are structured by a complex organization of different cell types, including the NSC-neuron lineage, glial cells and vascular cells. Thus, cell-to-cell communication plays a key role in the dynamic modulation of homeostasis and plasticity of the adult neurogenic process. Specific cell-cell contacts and extracellular signals originated locally provide the necessary support and regulate the balance between self-renewal and differentiation of NSCs. Furthermore, extracellular signals originated at distant locations, including other brain regions or systemic organs, may reach the niche through the cerebrospinal fluid or the vasculature and influence its nature. The role of several secreted molecules, such as cytokines, growth factors, neurotransmitters, and hormones, in the biology of adult NSCs, has been systematically addressed. Interestingly, in addition to these well-recognized signals, a novel type of intercellular messengers has been identified recently: the extracellular vesicles (EVs. EVs, and particularly exosomes, are implicated in the transfer of mRNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs, proteins and lipids between cells and thus are able to modify the function of recipient cells. Exosomes appear to play a significant role in different stem cell niches such as the mesenchymal stem cell niche, cancer stem cell niche and pre-metastatic niche; however, their roles in adult

  16. Abiotic and biotic controls on local spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KUSUM J NAITHANI

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the relative influence of biotic and abiotic factors on community dynamics using an integrated approach and highlights the influence of space on genotypic and phenotypic traits in plant community structure. We examined the relative influence of topography, environment, spatial distance, and intra- and interspecific interactions on spatial distribution and performance of Boechera stricta (rockcress, a close perennial relative of model plant Arabidopsis. First, using Bayesian kriging, we mapped the topography and environmental gradients and explored the spatial distribution of naturally occurring rockcress plants and two neighbors, Taraxacum officinale (dandelion and Solidago missouriensis (goldenrod found in close proximity within a typical diverse meadow community across topographic and environmental gradients. We then evaluated direct and indirect relationships among variables using Mantel path analysis and developed a network displaying abiotic and biotic interactions in this community. We found significant spatial autocorrelation among rockcress individuals, either because of common microhabitats as displayed by high density of individuals at lower elevation and high soil moisture area, or limited dispersal as shown by significant spatial autocorrelation of naturally occurring inbred lines, or a combination of both. Goldenrod and dandelion density around rockcress does not show any direct relationship with rockcress fecundity, possibly due to spatial segregation of resources. However, dandelion density around rockcress shows an indirect negative influence on rockcress fecundity via herbivory, indicating interspecific competition. Overall, we suggest that common microhabitat preference and limited dispersal are the main drivers for spatial distribution. However, intra-specific interactions and insect herbivory are the main drivers of rockcress performance in the meadow community.

  17. Niche construction, sources of selection and trait coevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin; Odling-Smee, John; Endler, John

    2017-10-06

    Organisms modify and choose components of their local environments. This 'niche construction' can alter ecological processes, modify natural selection and contribute to inheritance through ecological legacies. Here, we propose that niche construction initiates and modifies the selection directly affecting the constructor, and on other species, in an orderly, directed and sustained manner. By dependably generating specific environmental states, niche construction co-directs adaptive evolution by imposing a consistent statistical bias on selection. We illustrate how niche construction can generate this evolutionary bias by comparing it with artificial selection. We suggest that it occupies the middle ground between artificial and natural selection. We show how the perspective leads to testable predictions related to: (i) reduced variance in measures of responses to natural selection in the wild; (ii) multiple trait coevolution, including the evolution of sequences of traits and patterns of parallel evolution; and (iii) a positive association between niche construction and biodiversity. More generally, we submit that evolutionary biology would benefit from greater attention to the diverse properties of all sources of selection.

  18. Ecological niche transferability using invasive species as a case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Fernández

    Full Text Available Species distribution modeling is widely applied to predict invasive species distributions and species range shifts under climate change. Accurate predictions depend upon meeting the assumption that ecological niches are conserved, i.e., spatially or temporally transferable. Here we present a multi-taxon comparative analysis of niche conservatism using biological invasion events well documented in natural history museum collections. Our goal is to assess spatial transferability of the climatic niche of a range of noxious terrestrial invasive species using two complementary approaches. First we compare species' native versus invasive ranges in environmental space using two distinct methods, Principal Components Analysis and Mahalanobis distance. Second we compare species' native versus invaded ranges in geographic space as estimated using the species distribution modeling technique Maxent and the comparative index Hellinger's I. We find that species exhibit a range of responses, from almost complete transferability, in which the invaded niches completely overlap with the native niches, to a complete dissociation between native and invaded ranges. Intermediate responses included expansion of dimension attributable to either temperature or precipitation derived variables, as well as niche expansion in multiple dimensions. We conclude that the ecological niche in the native range is generally a poor predictor of invaded range and, by analogy, the ecological niche may be a poor predictor of range shifts under climate change. We suggest that assessing dimensions of niche transferability prior to standard species distribution modeling may improve the understanding of species' dynamics in the invaded range.

  19. Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GISELE R. WINCK

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Communities are structured by interactions of historical and ecological factors, which influence the use of different resources in time and space. We acquired data on time of activity, microhabitat use and diet of a lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat in a coastal area, southeastern Brazil (Restinga de Jurubatiba. We analyzed the data of niche overlap among species in these three axes (temporal, spatial and trophic using null models. We found a significant overlap within the trophic niche, whereas the overlap for the other axes did not differ from the expected. Based on this result, we discuss the factors acting on the structure of the local lizard community.

  20. Target Article with Commentaries: Developmental Niche Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Emma G.; Laland, Kevin N.; Kendal, Rachel L.; Kendal, Jeremy R.

    2013-01-01

    Niche construction is the modification of components of the environment through an organism's activities. Humans modify their environments mainly through ontogenetic and cultural processes, and it is this reliance on learning, plasticity and culture that lends human niche construction a special potency. In this paper we aim to facilitate…

  1. The bone marrow niche, stem cells, and leukemia: impact of drugs, chemicals, and the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greim, Helmut; Kaden, Debra A.; Larson, Richard A.; Palermo, Christine M.; Rice, Jerry M.; Ross, David; Snyder, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are a unique population of somatic stem cells that can both self-renew for long-term reconstitution of HSCs and differentiate into hematopoietic progenitor cells, which in turn give rise, in a hierarchical manner, to the entire myeloid and lymphoid lineages. The differentiation and maturation of these lineages occurs in the bone marrow niche, a microenvironment that regulates self-renewal, survival, differentiation, and proliferation, with interactions among signaling pathways in the HSCs and the niche required to establish and maintain homeostasis. The accumulation of genetic mutations and cytogenetic abnormalities within cells of the partially differentiated myeloid lineage, particularly as a result of exposure to benzene or cytotoxic anticancer drugs, can give rise to malignancies like acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. Better understanding of the mechanisms driving these malignancies and susceptibility factors, both within hematopoietic progenitor cells and cells within the bone marrow niche, may lead to the development of strategies for prevention of occupational and cancer therapy–induced disease. PMID:24495159

  2. Stem Cell Interaction with Somatic Niche May Hold the Key to Fertility Restoration in Cancer Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deepa Bhartiya

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The spontaneous return of fertility after bone marrow transplantation or heterotopic grafting of cryopreserved ovarian cortical tissue has surprised many, and a possible link with stem cells has been proposed. We have reviewed the available literature on ovarian stem cells in adult mammalian ovaries and presented a model that proposes that the ovary harbors two distinct populations of stem cells, namely, pluripotent, quiescent, very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs, and slightly larger “progenitor” ovarian germ stem cells (OGSCs. Besides compromising the somatic niche, oncotherapy destroys OGSCs since, like tumor cells, they are actively dividing; however VSELs persist since they are relatively quiescent. BMT or transplanted ovarian cortical tissue may help rejuvenate the ovarian niche, which possibly supports differentiation of persisting VSELs resulting in neo-oogenesis and follicular development responsible for successful pregnancies. Postnatal oogenesis in mammalian ovary from VSELs may be exploited for fertility restoration in cancer survivors including those who were earlier deprived of gametes and/or gonadal tissue cryopreservation options.

  3. Transgenic crops with an improved resistance to biotic stresses. A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tohidfar, M.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Pests, diseases and weeds (biotic stresses are significant limiting factors for crop yield and production. However, the limitations associated with conventional breeding methods necessitated the development of alternative methods for improving new varieties with higher resistance to biotic stresses. Molecular techniques have developed applicable methods for genetic transformation of a wide range of plants. Genetic engineering approach has been demonstrated to provide enormous options for the selection of the resistance genes from different sources to introduce them into plants to provide resistance against different biotic stresses. Literature. In this review, we focus on strategies to achieve the above mentioned objectives including expression of insecticidal, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral resistance and herbicide detoxification for herbicide resistance. Conclusion. Regardless of the concerns about commercialization of products from genetically modified (GM crops resistant to biotic stresses, it is observed that the cultivation area of these crops is growing fast each year. Considering this trend, it is expected that production and commercialization of GM crops resistant to biotic stresses will continue to increase but will also extend to production of crops resistant to abiotic stresses (e.g. drought, salinity, etc. in a near future.

  4. Considerations in forecasting the demand for carbon sequestration and biotic storage technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trexler, M.C. [Trexler and Associates, Inc., Portland, OR (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified forestry and other land-use based mitigation measures as possible sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. An overview of sequestration and biotic storage is presented, and the potential impacts of the use of carbon sequestration as a mitigation technology are briefly noted. Carbon sequestration is also compare to other mitigation technologies. Biotic mitigation technologies are concluded to be a legitimate and potentially important part of greenhouse gas mitigation due to their relatively low costs, ancillary benefits, and climate impact. However, not all biotic mitigation techniques perfectly match the idealized definition of a mitigation measure, and policies are becoming increasingly biased against biotic technologies.

  5. Aggressiveness Niche: Can It Be the Foster Ground for Cancer Metastasis Precursors?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wael M. ElShamy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between tumor initiation and tumor progression can follow a linear projection in which all tumor cells are equally endowed with the ability to progress into metastasis. Alternatively, not all tumor cells are equal genetically and/or epigenetically, and only few cells are induced to become metastatic tumor cells. The location of these cells within the tumor can also impact the fate of these cells. The most inner core of a tumor where an elevated pressure of adverse conditions forms, such as necrosis-induced inflammation and hypoxia-induced immunosuppressive environment, seems to be the most fertile ground to generate such tumor cells with metastatic potential. Here we will call this necrotic/hypoxic core the “aggressiveness niche” and will present data to support its involvement in generating these metastatic precursors. Within this niche, interaction of hypoxia-surviving cells with the inflammatory microenvironment influenced by newly recruited mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs, and other types of cells and the establishment of bidirectional interactions between them elevate the aggressiveness of these tumor cells. Additionally, immune evasion properties induced in these cells most likely contribute in the formation and maintenance of such aggressiveness niche.

  6. Chironomidae larvae (Diptera) of Neotropical floodplain: overlap niche in different habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butakka, C M M; Ragonha, F H; Takeda, A M

    2014-05-01

    The niche overlap between trophic groups of Chironomidae larvae in different habitats was observed between trophic groups and between different environments in Neotropical floodplain. For the evaluation we used the index of niche overlap (CXY) and analysis of trophic networks, both from the types and amount of food items identified in the larval alimentary canal. In all environments, the larvae fed on mainly organic matter such as plants fragments and algae, but there were many omnivore larvae. Species that have high values of food items occurred in diverse environments as generalists with great overlap niche and those with a low amount of food items with less overlap niche were classified as specialists. The largest number of trophic niche overlap was observed among collector-gatherers in connected floodplain lakes. The lower values of index niche overlap were predators. The similarity in the diet of different taxa in the same niche does not necessarily imply competition between them, but coexistence when the food resource is not scarce in the environment even in partially overlapping niches.

  7. Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonetti, Maria Fernanda; Wiens, John J

    2014-11-22

    The evolution of climatic niche specialization has important implications for many topics in ecology, evolution and conservation. The climatic niche reflects the set of temperature and precipitation conditions where a species can occur. Thus, specialization to a limited set of climatic conditions can be important for understanding patterns of biogeography, species richness, community structure, allopatric speciation, spread of invasive species and responses to climate change. Nevertheless, the factors that determine climatic niche width (level of specialization) remain poorly explored. Here, we test whether species that occur in more extreme climates are more highly specialized for those conditions, and whether there are trade-offs between niche widths on different climatic niche axes (e.g. do species that tolerate a broad range of temperatures tolerate only a limited range of precipitation regimes?). We test these hypotheses in amphibians, using phylogenetic comparative methods and global-scale datasets, including 2712 species with both climatic and phylogenetic data. Our results do not support either hypothesis. Rather than finding narrower niches in more extreme environments, niches tend to be narrower on one end of a climatic gradient but wider on the other. We also find that temperature and precipitation niche breadths are positively related, rather than showing trade-offs. Finally, our results suggest that most amphibian species occur in relatively warm and dry environments and have relatively narrow climatic niche widths on both of these axes. Thus, they may be especially imperilled by anthropogenic climate change. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. c-Kit-mediated functional positioning of stem cells to their niches is essential for maintenance and regeneration of adult hematopoiesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Kimura

    Full Text Available The mechanism by which hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs through interaction with their niches maintain and reconstitute adult hematopoietic cells is unknown. To functionally and genetically track localization of HSPCs with their niches, we employed novel mutant loxPs, lox66 and lox71 and Cre-recombinase technology to conditionally delete c-Kit in adult mice, while simultaneously enabling GFP expression in the c-Kit-deficient cells. Conditional deletion of c-Kit resulted in hematopoietic failure and splenic atrophy both at steady state and after marrow ablation leading to the demise of the treated adult mice. Within the marrow, the c-Kit-expressing GFP(+ cells were positioned to Kit ligand (KL-expressing niche cells. This c-Kit-mediated cellular adhesion was essential for long-term maintenance and expansion of HSPCs. These results lay the foundation for delivering KL within specific niches to maintain and restore hematopoiesis.

  9. A Model of Continental Growth and Mantle Degassing Comparing Biotic and Abiotic Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höning, D.; Hansen-Goos, H.; Spohn, T.

    2012-12-01

    While examples for interaction of the biosphere with the atmosphere can be easily cited (e.g., production and consumption of O2), interaction between the biosphere and the solid planet and its interior is much less established. It has been argued (e.g., Rosing et al. 2006; Sleep et al, 2012) that the formation of continents could be a consequence of bioactivity harvesting solar energy through photosynthesis to help build the continents and that the mantle should carry a chemical biosignature. We present an interaction model that includes mantle convection, mantle water vapor degassing at mid-oceanic ridges and regassing through subduction zones, continental crust formation and erosion and water storage and transport in a porous oceanic crust that includes hydrous mineral phases. The mantle viscosity in this model depends on the water concentration in the mantle. We use boundary layer theory of mantle convection to parameterize the mantle convection flow rate and assume that the plate speed equals the mantle flow rate. The biosphere enters the calculation through the assumption that the continental erosion rate is enhanced by a factor of several through bioactivity and through an assumed reduction of the kinetic barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions (e.g., Kim et al. 2004) in the sedimentary basins in subduction zones that would lead to increased water storage capacities. We further include a stochastic model of continent-to-continent interactions that limits the effective total length of subduction zones. We use present day parameters of the Earth and explore a phase plane spanned by the percentage of surface coverage of the Earth by continents and the total water content of the mantle. We vary the ratio of the erosion rate in a postulated abiotic Earth to the present Earth, as well as the activation barrier to diagenetic and metamorphic reactions that affect the water storage capacity of the subducting crust. We find stable and unstable fixed points in

  10. Abiotic and Biotic Factors Regulating Inter-Kingdom Engagement between Insects and Microbe Activity on Vertebrate Remains

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    Jordan, Heather R.; Tomberlin, Jeffery K.

    2017-01-01

    A number of abiotic and biotic factors are known to regulate arthropod attraction, colonization, and utilization of decomposing vertebrate remains. Such information is critical when assessing arthropod evidence associated with said remains in terms of forensic relevance. Interactions are not limited to just between the resource and arthropods. There is another biotic factor that has been historically overlooked; however, with the advent of high-throughput sequencing, and other molecular techniques, the curtain has been pulled back to reveal a microscopic world that is playing a major role with regards to carrion decomposition patterns in association with arthropods. The objective of this publication is to review many of these factors and draw attention to their impact on microbial, specifically bacteria, activity associated with these remains as it is our contention that microbes serve as a primary mechanism regulating associated arthropod behavior. PMID:28538664

  11. Early biotic stress detection in tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) by BVOC emissions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kasal-Slavik, Tina; Eschweiler, Julia; Kleist, Einhard; Mumm, Roland; Goldbach, Heiner E.; Schouten, Sander; Wildt, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    We investigated impacts of early and mild biotic stress on Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOC) emissions from tomato in order to test their potential for early (biotic) stress detection. Tomato plants were exposed to two common fungal pathogens, Botrytis cinerea and Oidium neolycopesici and

  12. Potential role of biotic transport models in low-level-waste management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Soldat, J.K.; Cadwell, L.L.; McKenzie, D.H.

    1982-01-01

    This paper is a summary of the initial results of a study being conducted for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to determine the relevance of biotic pathways to the regulation of nuclear waste disposal. Biotic transport is defined as the actions of plants and animals that result in the transport of radioactive materials from a LLW burial ground to a location where they can enter exposure pathways to man. A critical review of the role of modeling in evaluating biotic transport is given. Both current applications and the need for future modeling development are discussed

  13. Influence of Solar Radiation and Biotic Interactions on Bacterial and Eukaryotic Communities Associated with Sewage Decomposition in Ambient Water - Poster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sewage and ambient water both consist of a highly complex array of bacteria and eukaryotic microbes. When these communities are mixed, the persistence of sewage-derived pathogens in environmental waters can represent a significant public health concern. Solar radiation and biotic...

  14. Influence of exercise and aging on extracellular matrix composition in the skeletal muscle stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Koyal; Boppart, Marni D

    2016-11-01

    Skeletal muscle is endowed with a remarkable capacity for regeneration, primarily due to the reserve pool of muscle resident satellite cells. The satellite cell is the physiologically quiescent muscle stem cell that resides beneath the basal lamina and adjacent to the sarcolemma. The anatomic location of satellite cells is in close proximity to vasculature where they interact with other muscle resident stem/stromal cells (e.g., mesenchymal stem cells and pericytes) through paracrine mechanisms. This mini-review describes the components of the muscle stem cell niche, as well as the influence of exercise and aging on the muscle stem cell niche. Although exercise promotes ECM reorganization and stem cell accumulation, aging is associated with dense ECM deposition and loss of stem cell function resulting in reduced regenerative capacity and strength. An improved understanding of the niche elements will be valuable to inform the development of therapeutic interventions aimed at improving skeletal muscle regeneration and adaptation over the life span. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  15. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J.

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment. PMID:25136323

  16. Niche partitioning of feeding microhabitats produces a unique function for herbivorous rabbitfishes (Perciformes, Siganidae) on coral reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, R. J.; Bellwood, D. R.

    2013-03-01

    Niche theory predicts that coexisting species minimise competition by evolving morphological or behavioural specialisations that allow them to spread out along resource axes such as space, diet and temporal activity. These specialisations define how a species interacts with its environment and, by extension, determine its functional role. Here, we examine the feeding niche of three species of coral reef-dwelling rabbitfishes (Siganidae, Siganus). By comparing aspects of their feeding behaviour (bite location, bite rate, foraging distance) with that of representative species from two other abundant herbivorous fish families, the parrotfishes (Labridae, Scarus) and surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae, Acanthurus), we examine whether rabbitfishes have a feeding niche distinct from other members of the herbivore guild. Measurements of the penetration of the fishes' snouts and bodies into reef concavities when feeding revealed that rabbitfish fed to a greater degree from reef crevices and interstices than other herbivores. There was just a 40 % overlap in the penetration-depth niche between rabbitfish and surgeonfish and a 45 % overlap between rabbitfish and parrotfish, compared with the almost complete niche overlap (95 %) recorded for parrotfish and surgeonfish along this spatial niche axis. Aspects of the morphology of rabbitfish which may contribute to this niche segregation include a comparatively longer, narrower snout and narrower head. Our results suggest that sympatric coexistence of rabbitfish and other reef herbivores is facilitated by segregation along a spatial (and potentially dietary) axis. This segregation results in a unique functional role for rabbitfishes among roving herbivores that of "crevice-browser": a group that specifically feeds on crevice-dwelling algal or benthic organisms. This functional trait may have implications for reef ecosystem processes in terms of controlling the successional development of crevice-based algal communities, reducing their

  17. Niche construction drives social dependence in hermit crabs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, Mark E

    2012-10-23

    Organisms can receive not only a genetic inheritance from their ancestors but also an ecological inheritance, involving modifications their ancestors made to the environment through niche construction. Ecological inheritances may persist as a legacy, potentially generating selection pressures that favor sociality. Yet, most proposed cases of sociality being impacted by an ecological inheritance come from organisms that live among close kin and were highly social before their niche construction began. Here, I show that in terrestrial hermit crabs (Coenobita compressus)--organisms that do not live with kin and reside alone, each in its own shell--niche-construction drives social dependence, such that individuals can only survive in remodeled shells handed down from conspecifics. These results suggest that niche construction can be an important initiator of evolutionary pressures to socialize, even among unrelated and otherwise asocial organisms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Stem cell dynamics in the hair follicle niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rompolas, Panteleimon; Greco, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    Hair follicles are skin appendages of the mammalian skin that have the ability to periodically and stereotypically regenerate in order to continuously produce new hair over our lifetime. The ability of the hair follicle to regenerate is due to the presence of stem cells that along with other cell populations and non-cellular components, including molecular signals and extracellular material, make up a niche microenvironment. Mounting evidence suggests that the niche is critical for regulating stem cell behavior and thus the process of regeneration. Here we review the literature concerning past and current studies that have utilized mouse genetic models, combined with other approaches to dissect the molecular and cellular composition of the hair follicle niche. We also discuss our current understanding of how stem cells operate within the niche during the process of tissue regeneration and the factors that regulate their behavior. PMID:24361866

  19. Niches for the Long-Term Maintenance of Tissue-Resident Memory T Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takamura, Shiki

    2018-01-01

    Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) are a population of immune cells that reside in the lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs without recirculation through the blood. These important cells occupy and utilize unique anatomical and physiological niches that are distinct from those for other memory T cell populations, such as central memory T cells in the secondary lymphoid organs and effector memory T cells that circulate through the tissues. CD8+ TRM cells typically localize in the epithelial layers of barrier tissues where they are optimally positioned to act as sentinels to trigger antigen-specific protection against reinfection. CD4+ TRM cells typically localize below the epithelial layers, such as below the basement membrane, and cluster in lymphoid structures designed to optimize interactions with antigen-presenting cells upon reinfection. A key feature of TRM populations is their ability to be maintained in barrier tissues for prolonged periods of time. For example, skin CD8+ TRM cells displace epidermal niches originally occupied by γδ T cells, thereby enabling their stable persistence for years. It is also clear that the long-term maintenance of TRM cells in different microenvironments is dependent on multiple tissue-specific survival cues, although the specific details are poorly understood. However, not all TRM persist over the long term. Recently, we identified a new spatial niche for the maintenance of CD8+ TRM cells in the lung, which is created at the site of tissue regeneration after injury [termed repair-associated memory depots (RAMD)]. The short-lived nature of RAMD potentially explains the short lifespans of CD8+ TRM cells in this particular tissue. Clearly, a better understanding of the niche-dependent maintenance of TRM cells will be important for the development of vaccines designed to promote barrier immunity. In this review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the properties and nature of tissue-specific niches that

  20. Reconstitution of bone-like matrix in osteogenically differentiated mesenchymal stem cell–collagen constructs: A three-dimensional in vitro model to study hematopoietic stem cell niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    WY Lai

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs and osteoblasts are important niche cells for hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs in bone marrow osteoblastic niche. Here, we aim to partially reconstitute the bone marrow HSC niche in vitro using collagen microencapsulation for investigation of the interactions between HSCs and MSCs. Mouse MSCs (mMSCs microencapsulated in collagen were osteogenically differentiated to derive a bone-like matrix consisting of osteocalcin, osteopontin, and calcium deposits and secreted bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP2. Decellularized bone-like matrix was seeded with fluorescence-labeled human MSCs and HSCs. Comparing with pure collagen scaffold, significantly more HSCs and HSC–MSC pairs per unit area were found in the decellularized bone-like matrix. Moreover, incubation with excess neutralizing antibody of BMP2 resulted in a significantly higher number of HSC per unit area than that without in the decellularized matrix. This work suggests that the osteogenic differentiated MSC–collagen microsphere is a valuable three-dimensional in vitro model to elucidate cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions in HSC niche.

  1. 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

  2. Reproductive Interference and Niche Partitioning in Aphidophagous Insects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzuki Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The range and quality of prey species differ greatly among closely related species of predators. However, the factors responsible for this diversified niche utilization are unclear. This is because the predation and resource competition do not always prevent species coexistence. In this paper, we present evidence in support of reproductive interference as a driver of niche partitioning, focusing on aphidophagous insect. Firstly, we present closely related generalist and specialist species pairs in aphidophagous lacewings to compare the reproductive interference hypothesis with two other hypotheses that have been proposed to explain niche partitioning in lacewings and sympatric speciation through host race formation and sexual selection. Secondly, we present a case study that shows how reproductive interference can drive niche partitioning in sibling ladybird species. Thirdly, we show that many ladybird genera include species inhabiting the same region but having different food and habitat preferences, raising the possibility that reproductive interference might occur in these groups. Finally, we show that intraguild predation cannot always explain the niche partitioning in aphidophagous insects including hoverflies and parasitoids. On the basis of the evidence presented, we urge that future studies investigating predator communities should take account of the role of reproductive interference.

  3. Partitioning controls on Amazon forest photosynthesis between environmental and biotic factors at hourly to interannual timescales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jin; Guan, Kaiyu; Hayek, Matthew; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Wiedemann, Kenia T; Xu, Xiangtao; Wehr, Richard; Christoffersen, Bradley O; Miao, Guofang; da Silva, Rodrigo; de Araujo, Alessandro C; Oliviera, Raimundo C; Camargo, Plinio B; Monson, Russell K; Huete, Alfredo R; Saleska, Scott R

    2017-03-01

    Gross ecosystem productivity (GEP) in tropical forests varies both with the environment and with biotic changes in photosynthetic infrastructure, but our understanding of the relative effects of these factors across timescales is limited. Here, we used a statistical model to partition the variability of seven years of eddy covariance-derived GEP in a central Amazon evergreen forest into two main causes: variation in environmental drivers (solar radiation, diffuse light fraction, and vapor pressure deficit) that interact with model parameters that govern photosynthesis and biotic variation in canopy photosynthetic light-use efficiency associated with changes in the parameters themselves. Our fitted model was able to explain most of the variability in GEP at hourly (R 2  = 0.77) to interannual (R 2  = 0.80) timescales. At hourly timescales, we found that 75% of observed GEP variability could be attributed to environmental variability. When aggregating GEP to the longer timescales (daily, monthly, and yearly), however, environmental variation explained progressively less GEP variability: At monthly timescales, it explained only 3%, much less than biotic variation in canopy photosynthetic light-use efficiency, which accounted for 63%. These results challenge modeling approaches that assume GEP is primarily controlled by the environment at both short and long timescales. Our approach distinguishing biotic from environmental variability can help to resolve debates about environmental limitations to tropical forest photosynthesis. For example, we found that biotically regulated canopy photosynthetic light-use efficiency (associated with leaf phenology) increased with sunlight during dry seasons (consistent with light but not water limitation of canopy development) but that realized GEP was nonetheless lower relative to its potential efficiency during dry than wet seasons (consistent with water limitation of photosynthesis in given assemblages of leaves). This work

  4. Are species' responses to global change predicted by past niche evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, Sébastien; Evans, Margaret E. K.; Burfield, Ian J.; Jiguet, Frederic; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Predicting how and when adaptive evolution might rescue species from global change, and integrating this process into tools of biodiversity forecasting, has now become an urgent task. Here, we explored whether recent population trends of species can be explained by their past rate of niche evolution, which can be inferred from increasingly available phylogenetic and niche data. We examined the assemblage of 409 European bird species for which estimates of demographic trends between 1970 and 2000 are available, along with a species-level phylogeny and data on climatic, habitat and trophic niches. We found that species' proneness to demographic decline is associated with slow evolution of the habitat niche in the past, in addition to certain current-day life-history and ecological traits. A similar result was found at a higher taxonomic level, where families prone to decline have had a history of slower evolution of climatic and habitat niches. Our results support the view that niche conservatism can prevent some species from coping with environmental change. Thus, linking patterns of past niche evolution and contemporary species dynamics for large species samples may provide insights into how niche evolution may rescue certain lineages in the face of global change. PMID:23209172

  5. Haematopoietic stem cell niches: new insights inspire new questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugarte, Fernando; Forsberg, E Camilla

    2013-01-01

    Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches provide an environment essential for life-long HSC function. Intense investigation of HSC niches both feed off and drive technology development to increase our capability to assay functionally defined cells with high resolution. A major driving force behind the desire to understand the basic biology of HSC niches is the clear implications for clinical therapies. Here, with particular emphasis on cell type-specific deletion of SCL and CXCL12, we focus on unresolved issues on HSC niches, framed around some very recent advances and novel discoveries on the extrinsic regulation of HSC maintenance. We also provide ideas for possible paths forward, some of which are clearly within reach while others will require both novel tools and vision. PMID:24022369

  6. Effects of global changes on the climatic niche of the tick Ixodes ricinus inferred by species distribution modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porretta, Daniele; Mastrantonio, Valentina; Amendolia, Sara; Gaiarsa, Stefano; Epis, Sara; Genchi, Claudio; Bandi, Claudio; Otranto, Domenico; Urbanelli, Sandra

    2013-09-19

    Global climate change can seriously impact on the epidemiological dynamics of vector-borne diseases. In this study we investigated how future climatic changes could affect the climatic niche of Ixodes ricinus (Acari, Ixodida), among the most important vectors of pathogens of medical and veterinary concern in Europe. Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) was used to reconstruct the climatic niche of I. ricinus, and to project it into the future conditions for 2050 and 2080, under two scenarios: a continuous human demographic growth and a severe increase of gas emissions (scenario A2), and a scenario that proposes lower human demographic growth than A2, and a more sustainable gas emissions (scenario B2). Models were reconstructed using the algorithm of "maximum entropy", as implemented in the software Maxent 3.3.3e; 4,544 occurrence points and 15 bioclimatic variables were used. In both scenarios an increase of climatic niche of about two times greater than the current area was predicted as well as a higher climatic suitability under the scenario B2 than A2. Such an increase occurred both in a latitudinal and longitudinal way, including northern Eurasian regions (e.g. Sweden and Russia), that were previously unsuitable for the species. Our models are congruent with the predictions of range expansion already observed in I. ricinus at a regional scale and provide a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the future climatically suitable areas for I. ricinus at a continental scale. Although the use of SDM at a higher resolution should be integrated by a more refined analysis of further abiotic and biotic data, the results presented here suggest that under future climatic scenarios most of the current distribution area of I. ricinus could remain suitable and significantly increase at a continental geographic scale. Therefore disease outbreaks of pathogens transmitted by this tick species could emerge in previous non-endemic geographic areas. Further studies will

  7. Time- and depth-wise trophic niche shifts in Antarctic benthos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calizza, Edoardo; Careddu, Giulio; Sporta Caputi, Simona; Rossi, Loreto; Costantini, Maria Letizia

    2018-01-01

    Climate change is expected to affect resource-consumer interactions underlying stability in polar food webs. Polar benthic organisms have adapted to the marked seasonality characterising their habitats by concentrating foraging and reproductive activity in summer months, when inputs from sympagic and pelagic producers increase. While this enables the persistence of biodiverse food webs, the mechanisms underlying changes in resource use and nutrient transfer are poorly understood. Thus, our understanding of how temporal and spatial variations in the supply of resources may affect food web structure and functioning is limited. By means of C and N isotopic analyses of two key Antarctic benthic consumers (Adamussium colbecki, Bivalvia, and Sterechinus neumayeri, Echinoidea) and Bayesian mixing models, we describe changes in trophic niche and nutrient transfer across trophic levels associated with the long- and short-term diet and body size of specimens sampled in midsummer in both shallow and deep waters. Samplings occurred soon after the sea-ice broke up at Tethys Bay, an area characterised by extreme seasonality in sea-ice coverage and productivity in the Ross Sea. In the long term, the trophic niche was broader and variation between specimens was greater, with intermediate-size specimens generally consuming a higher number of resources than small and large specimens. The coupling of energy channels in the food web was consequently more direct than in the short term. Sediment and benthic algae were more frequently consumed in the long term, before the sea-ice broke up, while consumers specialised on sympagic algae and plankton in the short term. Regardless of the time scale, sympagic algae were more frequently consumed in shallow waters, while plankton was more frequently consumed in deep waters. Our results suggest a strong temporal relationship between resource availability and the trophic niche of benthic consumers in Antarctica. Potential climate-driven changes

  8. Epimorphin Regulates the Intestinal Stem Cell Niche via Effects on the Stromal Microenvironment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vishy, Courtney E; Swietlicki, Elzbieta A; Gazit, Vered; Amara, Suneetha; Heslop, Gabriela; Lu, Jianyun; Levin, Marc S; Rubin, Deborah C

    2018-04-06

    Stem cell therapy is a potential therapeutic approach for disorders characterized by intestinal injury or loss of functional surface area. Stem cell function and proliferation are mediated by the stem cell niche. Stromal cells such as intestinal subepithelial myofibroblasts (ISEMFs) are important but poorly studied components of the stem cell niche. To examine the role of ISEMFs, we have previously generated mice with deletion of epimorphin (Epim), an ISEMF protein and member of the syntaxin family of intracellular vesicle docking proteins that regulate cell secretion. Herein we explore the mechanisms for previous observations that Epim deletion increases gut crypt cell proliferation, crypt fission and small bowel length in vivo. Stem cell derived crypt culture techniques were used to explore the interaction between enteroids and myofibroblasts from Epim -/- and WT mice. Enteroids co-cultured with ISEMFS had increased growth and crypt-like budding compared to enteroids cultured without stromal support. Epim deletion in ISEMFs resulted in increased enteroid budding and surface area compared to co-cultures with WT ISEMFs. In primary crypt cultures, Epim -/- enteroids had significantly increased surface area and budding compared WTs. However stem cell assays comparing the number of Epim -/- vs WT colony forming units after first passage showed no differences in the absence of ISEMF support. Epim -/- vs. WT ISEMFs had increased Wnt4 expression and addition of Wnt4 to WT co-cultures enhanced budding. We conclude that ISEMFs play an important role in the stem cell niche. Epim regulates stem cell proliferation and differentiation via stromal contributions to the niche microenvironment.

  9. A hypothesis-testing framework for studies investigating ontogenetic niche shifts using stable isotope ratios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline M Hammerschlag-Peyer

    Full Text Available Ontogenetic niche shifts occur across diverse taxonomic groups, and can have critical implications for population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem function. In this study, we provide a hypothesis-testing framework combining univariate and multivariate analyses to examine ontogenetic niche shifts using stable isotope ratios. This framework is based on three distinct ontogenetic niche shift scenarios, i.e., (1 no niche shift, (2 niche expansion/reduction, and (3 discrete niche shift between size classes. We developed criteria for identifying each scenario, as based on three important resource use characteristics, i.e., niche width, niche position, and niche overlap. We provide an empirical example for each ontogenetic niche shift scenario, illustrating differences in resource use characteristics among different organisms. The present framework provides a foundation for future studies on ontogenetic niche shifts, and also can be applied to examine resource variability among other population sub-groupings (e.g., by sex or phenotype.

  10. Niche evolution and diversification in a Neotropical radiation of birds (Aves: Furnariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeholzer, Glenn F; Claramunt, Santiago; Brumfield, Robb T

    2017-03-01

    Rapid diversification may be caused by ecological adaptive radiation via niche divergence. In this model, speciation is coupled with niche divergence and lineage diversification is predicted to be correlated with rates of niche evolution. Studies of the role of niche evolution in diversification have generally focused on ecomorphological diversification but climatic-niche evolution may also be important. We tested these alternatives using a phylogeny of 298 species of ovenbirds (Aves: Furnariidae). We found that within Furnariidae, variation in species richness and diversification rates of subclades were best predicted by rate of climatic-niche evolution than ecomorphological evolution. Although both are clearly important, univariate regression and multivariate model averaging more consistently supported the climatic-niche as the best predictor of lineage diversification. Our study adds to the growing body of evidence, suggesting that climatic-niche divergence may be an important driver of rapid diversification in addition to ecomorphological evolution. However, this pattern may depend on the phylogenetic scale at which rate heterogeneity is examined. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. Biotic turnover rates during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stivrins, Normunds; Soininen, Janne; Amon, Leeli; Fontana, Sonia L.; Gryguc, Gražyna; Heikkilä, Maija; Heiri, Oliver; Kisielienė, Dalia; Reitalu, Triin; Stančikaitė, Miglė; Veski, Siim; Seppä, Heikki

    2016-11-01

    The Northern Hemisphere is currently warming at the rate which is unprecedented during the Holocene. Quantitative palaeoclimatic records show that the most recent time in the geological history with comparable warming rates was during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (PHT) about 14,000 to 11,000 years ago. To better understand the biotic response to rapid temperature change, we explore the community turnover rates during the PHT by focusing on the Baltic region in the southeastern sector of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet, where an exceptionally dense network on microfossil and macrofossil data that reflect the biotic community history are available. We further use a composite chironomid-based summer temperature reconstruction compiled specifically for our study region to calculate the rate of temperature change during the PHT. The fastest biotic turnover in the terrestrial and aquatic communities occurred during the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift at 11,700 years ago. This general shift in species composition was accompanied by regional extinctions, including disappearance of mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and many arctic-alpine plant taxa, such as Dryas octopetala, Salix polaris and Saxifraga aizoides, from the region. This rapid biotic turnover rate occurred when the rate of warming was 0.17 °C/decade, thus slightly lower than the current Northern Hemisphere warming of 0.2 °C/decade. We therefore conclude that the Younger Dryas-Holocene shift with its rapid turnover rates and associated regional extinctions represents an important palaeoanalogue to the current high latitude warming and gives insights about the probable future turnover rates and patterns of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem change.

  12. Natural biotic resources in LCA: Towards an impact assessment model for sustainable supply chain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crenna, Eleonora; Sozzo, Sara; Sala, Serenella

    2018-01-20

    Natural resources, biotic and abiotic, are fundamental from both the ecological and socio-economic point of view, being at the basis of life-support. However, since the demand for finite resources continues to increase, the sustainability of current production and consumption patterns is questioned both in developed and developing countries. A transition towards an economy based on biotic renewable resources (bio-economy) is considered necessary in order to support a steady provision of resources, representing an alternative to an economy based on fossil and abiotic resources. However, to ensure a sustainable use of biotic resources, there is the need of properly accounting for their use along supply chains as well as defining a robust and comprehensive impact assessment model. Since so far naturally occurring biotic resources have gained little attention in impact assessment methods, such as life cycle assessment, the aim of this study is to enable the inclusion of biotic resources in the assessment of products and supply chains. This paper puts forward a framework for biotic resources assessment, including: i) the definition of system boundaries between ecosphere and technosphere, namely between naturally occurring and man-made biotic resources; ii) a list of naturally occurring biotic resources which have a commercial value, as basis for building life cycle inventories (NOBR, e.g. wild animals, plants etc); iii) an impact pathway to identify potential impacts on both resource provision and ecosystem quality; iv) a renewability-based indicator (NOBRri) for the impact assessment of naturally occurring biotic resources, including a list of associated characterization factors. The study, building on a solid review of literature and of available statistical data, highlights and discusses the critical aspects and paradoxes related to biotic resource inclusion in LCA: from the system boundaries definition up to the resource characterization.

  13. Trophic specialization influences the rate of environmental niche evolution in damselfishes (Pomacentridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litsios, Glenn; Pellissier, Loïc; Forest, Félix; Lexer, Christian; Pearman, Peter B; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Salamin, Nicolas

    2012-09-22

    The rate of environmental niche evolution describes the capability of species to explore the available environmental space and is known to vary among species owing to lineage-specific factors. Trophic specialization is a main force driving species evolution and is responsible for classical examples of adaptive radiations in fishes. We investigate the effect of trophic specialization on the rate of environmental niche evolution in the damselfish, Pomacentridae, which is an important family of tropical reef fishes. First, phylogenetic niche conservatism is not detected in the family using a standard test of phylogenetic signal, and we demonstrate that the environmental niches of damselfishes that differ in trophic specialization are not equivalent while they still overlap at their mean values. Second, we estimate the relative rates of niche evolution on the phylogenetic tree and show the heterogeneity among rates of environmental niche evolution of the three trophic groups. We suggest that behavioural characteristics related to trophic specialization can constrain the evolution of the environmental niche and lead to conserved niches in specialist lineages. Our results show the extent of influence of several traits on the evolution of the environmental niche and shed new light on the evolution of damselfishes, which is a key lineage in current efforts to conserve biodiversity in coral reefs.

  14. Probabilistic and spatially variable niches inferred from demography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey M. Diez; Itamar Giladi; Robert Warren; H. Ronald. Pulliam

    2014-01-01

    Summary 1. Mismatches between species distributions and habitat suitability are predicted by niche theory and have important implications for forecasting how species may respond to environmental changes. Quantifying these mismatches is challenging, however, due to the high dimensionality of species niches and the large spatial and temporal variability in population...

  15. Niche conservatism of Eulophia alta, a trans-Atlantic orchid species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Kolanowska

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The genus Eulophia embraces over 230 species distributed through the tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. In Neotropics it is represented by a sole species – E. alta. The aim of the presented study was to evaluate the difference between ecological niches occupied by American and African populations of this species based on the ecological niche modeling. The similarity between the glacial and present niches occupied by E. alta was calculated and the factors limiting the species occurrence were identified. Areas of seasonal tropical forest, tropical savanna and woodland served as refugia for the studied species during last glacial maximum and they were more widespread in Neotropics than in Africa. No significant niche shift after last glacial maximum was observed. The distribution of E. alta in its whole range is restricted mainly by temperature seasonality. The differences in the niches occupied by African and Neotropical populations of E. alta suggest preglacial disjunction of the species range and independent adaptation of both groups. Despite the significant range disjunction of E. alta the species is characterized by relatively high degree of niche conservatism.

  16. Niche Marketing Potentials for Farm Entrepreneurs in Nigeria https ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    . Niche marketing involves targetting a product or service to a small but specific well ... Table 1: Examples of possible niche markets for entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Farm Business .... Concepts, Principles and Decisions, 2nd Edition. Afritowers ...

  17. Targeting Cancer Stem Cells and Their Niche: Current Therapeutic Implications and Challenges in Pancreatic Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangang Zhao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Cancer stem cells (CSCs have been identified as a subpopulation of stem-like cancer cells with the ability of self-renewal and differentiation in hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide. CSCs are thought to be responsible for cancer initiation, progression, metastasis, chemoresistance, and recurrence in pancreatic cancer. In this review, we summarize the characteristics of pancreatic CSCs and discuss the mechanisms involved in resistance to chemotherapy, the interactions with the niche, and the potential role in cancer immunoediting. We propose that immunotherapy targeting pancreatic CSCs, in combination with targeting the niche components, may provide a novel treatment strategy to eradicate pancreatic CSCs and hence improve outcomes in pancreatic cancer.

  18. Embodied Niche Construction in the Hominin Lineage: Semiotic Structure and Sustained Attention in Human Embodied Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Jonas Stutz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment.

  19. In a niche of time: do specialty hospitals outperform general services hospitals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, LeJon; Davis, Jullet A; Gunby, Norris W

    2013-01-01

    Niche hospitals represent a growing segment in the health care industry. Niche facilities are primarily engaged in the treatment of cardiac or orthopedic conditions. The effectiveness of this strategy is of interest because niche hospitals focus on only the most profitable services. The purpose of this research was to assess the financial effectiveness of the niche strategy. We theorize that firm and market-level factors concomitantly with the strategy of the hospital-niche versus traditional-are associated with financial performance. This research used 2 data sources, the 2003 Medicare Cost Report and the 2003 Area Resource File. The sample was limited to only for-profit, urban, nongovernmental hospitals (n = 995). The data were analyzed using hierarchical least squares regression. Financial performance was operationalized using the hospital's return on assets. The principal finding of this project is that niche hospitals had significantly higher performance than traditional facilities. From the organizational perspective, the niche strategy leads to better financial performance. From a societal perspective, the niche strategy provides increased focus and efficiencies through repetition. Despite the limited focus of this strategy, patients who can access these providers may experience better outcomes than patients in more traditional hospitals.

  20. Climatic niche conservatism and the evolutionary dynamics in species range boundaries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olalla-Tárraga1, Miguel Á.; McInnes, Linsey; Bini, Luis M.

    2011-01-01

    Aim Comparative evidence for phylogenetic niche conservatism – the tendency for lineages to retain their ancestral niches over long time scales – has so far been mixed, depending on spatial and taxonomic scale. We quantify and compare conservatism in the climatic factors defining range boundaries...... conservatism, as expected from their greater physiological sensitivity and lower dispersal abilities. Location Global; continental land masses excluding Antarctica. Methods We used nearly complete global distributional databases to estimate the climatic niche conservatism in extant continental mammals...... and amphibians. We characterized the climatic niche of each species by using a suite of variables and separately investigate conservatism in each variable using both taxonomic and phylogenetic approaches. Finally, we explored the spatial, taxonomic and phylogenetic patterns in recent climatic niche evolution...

  1. Development of a laboratory niche Web site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimenstein, Izak B; Dimenstein, Simon I

    2013-10-01

    This technical note presents the development of a methodological laboratory niche Web site. The "Grossing Technology in Surgical Pathology" (www.grossing-technology.com) Web site is used as an example. Although common steps in creation of most Web sites are followed, there are particular requirements for structuring the template's menu on methodological laboratory Web sites. The "nested doll principle," in which one object is placed inside another, most adequately describes the methodological approach to laboratory Web site design. Fragmentation in presenting the Web site's material highlights the discrete parts of the laboratory procedure. An optimally minimal triad of components can be recommended for the creation of a laboratory niche Web site: a main set of media, a blog, and an ancillary component (host, contact, and links). The inclusion of a blog makes the Web site a dynamic forum for professional communication. By forming links and portals, cloud computing opens opportunities for connecting a niche Web site with other Web sites and professional organizations. As an additional source of information exchange, methodological laboratory niche Web sites are destined to parallel both traditional and new forms, such as books, journals, seminars, webinars, and internal educational materials. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Widespread correlations between climatic niche evolution and species diversification in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooney, Christopher R; Seddon, Nathalie; Tobias, Joseph A

    2016-07-01

    The adaptability of species' climatic niches can influence the dynamics of colonization and gene flow across climatic gradients, potentially increasing the likelihood of speciation or reducing extinction in the face of environmental change. However, previous comparative studies have tested these ideas using geographically, taxonomically and ecologically restricted samples, yielding mixed results, and thus the processes linking climatic niche evolution with diversification remain poorly understood. Focusing on birds, the largest and most widespread class of terrestrial vertebrates, we test whether variation in species diversification among clades is correlated with rates of climatic niche evolution and the extent to which these patterns are modified by underlying gradients in biogeography and species' ecology. We quantified climatic niches, latitudinal distribution and ecological traits for 7657 (˜75%) bird species based on geographical range polygons and then used Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to test whether niche evolution was related to species richness and rates of diversification across genus- and family-level clades. We found that the rate of climatic niche evolution has a positive linear relationship with both species richness and diversification rate at two different taxonomic levels (genus and family). Furthermore, this positive association between labile climatic niches and diversification was detected regardless of variation in clade latitude or key ecological traits. Our findings suggest either that rapid adaptation to unoccupied areas of climatic niche space promotes avian diversification, or that diversification promotes adaptation. Either way, we propose that climatic niche evolution is a fundamental process regulating the link between climate and biodiversity at global scales, irrespective of the geographical and ecological context of speciation and extinction. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  3. Geographical parthenogenesis: General purpose genotypes and frozen niche variation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vrijenhoek, Robert C.; Parker, Dave

    2009-01-01

    hypotheses concerning the evolution of niche breadth in asexual species - the "general-purpose genotype" (GPG) and "frozen niche-variation" (FNV) models. The two models are often portrayed as mutually exclusive, respectively viewing clonal lineages as generalists versus specialists. Nonetheless...

  4. A family business: stem cell progeny join the niche to regulate homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Ya-Chieh; Fuchs, Elaine

    2012-01-23

    Stem cell niches, the discrete microenvironments in which the stem cells reside, play a dominant part in regulating stem cell activity and behaviours. Recent studies suggest that committed stem cell progeny become indispensable components of the niche in a wide range of stem cell systems. These unexpected niche inhabitants provide versatile feedback signals to their stem cell parents. Together with other heterologous cell types that constitute the niche, they contribute to the dynamics of the microenvironment. As progeny are often located in close proximity to stem cell niches, similar feedback regulations may be the underlying principles shared by different stem cell systems.

  5. A niche marketing guide for lamb cooperatives

    OpenAIRE

    Kazmierczak, Tamra Kirkpatrick; Bell, James B.

    1995-01-01

    The two types of niche markets targeted by lamb marketing cooperatives are described in this guide. The first type includes specialty middlemen outlets that cooperatives used to market lamb to specialized niches within the traditional meat marketing system of retail food stores, restaurants, food service outlets, and specialty distributors. The second type includes those outlets that cooperatives used to market lamb directly to the consumer, such as freezer markets, farmers' markets, mobile m...

  6. Compatible ecological niche signals between biological and archaeological datasets for late-surviving Neandertals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bible, Rachael C; Peterson, A Townsend

    2018-04-17

    To assess ecological niche similarity for biological and archaeological samples representing late-surviving Neandertals in Europe to evaluate the validity of combining these two types of data in ecological niche modeling analyses. Tests of niche conservatism were used to assess niche similarity and niche identity of samples of morphologically diagnostic Neandertal remains and Middle Paleolithic (MP) archaeological sites dating to the time period leading up to Neandertal extinction. Paleoenvironmental reconstructions for the Pre-H4 (43.3-40.2 ky cal BP) were used as environmental space analyses. Null hypotheses of niche similarity and identity of the two types of samples could not be rejected. As primary and secondary evidence of Neandertal occurrence during the Pre-H4 show high levels of niche similarity and identity, combining the two types of occurrence data to create larger samples for niche analyses is justified without the concern that different environmental signals could complicate future research. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Insights from ecological niche modeling on the taxonomic distinction and niche differentiation between the black-spotted and red-spotted tokay geckoes (Gekko gecko).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yueyun; Chen, Chongtao; Li, Li; Zhao, Chengjian; Chen, Weicai; Huang, Yong

    2014-09-01

    The black-spotted tokay and the red-spotted tokay are morphologically distinct and have largely allopatric distributions. The black-spotted tokay is characterized by a small body size and dark skin with sundry spots, while the red-spotted tokay has a relatively large body size and red spots. Based on morphological, karyotypic, genetic, and distribution differences, recent studies suggested their species status; however, their classifications remain controversial, and additional data such as ecological niches are necessary to establish firm hypotheses regarding their taxonomic status. We reconstructed their ecological niches models using climatic and geographic data. We then performed niche similarity tests (niche identity and background tests) and point-based analyses to explore whether ecological differentiation has occurred, and whether such differences are sufficient to explain the maintenance of their separate segments of environmental ranges. We found that both niche models of the black- and the red-spotted tokay had a good fit and a robust performance, as indicated by the high area under the curve (AUC) values ("black" = 0.982, SD = ± 0.002, "red" = 0.966 ± 0.02). Significant ecological differentiation across the entire geographic range was found, indicating that the involvement of ecological differentiation is important for species differentiation. Divergence along the environmental axes is highly associated with climatic conditions, with isothermality being important for the "black" form, while temperature seasonality, precipitation of warmest quarter, and annual temperature range together being important for the "red" form. These factors are likely important factors in niche differentiation between the two forms, which result in morphological replacement. Overall, beside morphological and genetic differentiation information, our results contribute to additional insights into taxonomic distinction and niche differentiation between the black- and the red

  8. Behavioural manipulation of insect hosts by Baculoviridae as a process of niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamblin, Steven; Tanaka, Mark M

    2013-08-16

    Niche construction has received increasing attention in recent years as a vital force in evolution and examples of niche construction have been identified in a wide variety of taxa, but viruses are conspicuously absent. In this study we explore how niche construction can lead to viruses engineering their hosts (including behavioural manipulation) with feedback on selective pressures for viral transmission and virulence. To illustrate this concept we focus on Baculoviridae, a family of invertebrate viruses that have evolved to modify the feeding behaviour of their lepidopteran hosts and liquefy their cadavers as part of the course of infection. We present a mathematical model showing how niche construction leads to feedback from the behavioural manipulation to the liquefaction of the host, linking the evolution of both of these traits, and show how this association arises from the action of niche construction. Model results show that niche construction is plausible in this system and delineates the conditions under which niche construction will occur. Niche construction in this system is also shown to be sensitive to parameter values that reflect ecological forces. Our model demonstrates that niche construction can be a potent force in viral evolution and can lead to the acquisition and maintenance of the behavioural manipulation and liquefaction traits in Baculoviridae via the niche constructing effects on the host. These results show the potential for niche construction theory to provide new insights into viral evolution.

  9. The Role of Silicon under Biotic and Abiotic Stress Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İlkay YAVAŞ

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Biotic and abiotic stress factors can adversely affect the agricultural productivity leading to physiological and biochemical damage to crops. Therefore, the most effective way is to increase the resistance to stresses. Silicon plays a ro le in reducing the effects of abiotic and biotic stresses (drought, salt stress, disease and insect stress etc. on plants. Silicon is accumulated in the cell walls and intercellular spaces and thus it has beneficial effects on disease infestations in especially small grains. The application of silicon may reduce the effects of environmental stresses on plants while making effective use of plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. Also, silicon may reduce the toxic effects of heavy metals in soil. I t may protect the foliage and increase light uptake and reduce respiration. Therefore, in this review, we discussed the effects of silicon on abiotic and biotic stresses in especially field crops.

  10. Invasion by non-native brook trout in Panther Creek, Idaho: Roles of habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity to source habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph R. Benjamin; Jason B. Dunham; Matthew R. Dare

    2007-01-01

    Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that the invasion of nonnative species in freshwaters is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each factor to determine which were associated with the occurrence of nonnative brook trout Salvelinus...

  11. Spatial variability of biotic and abiotic tree establishment constraints across a treeline ecotone in the Alaska range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stueve, Kirk M; Isaacs, Rachel E; Tyrrell, Lucy E; Densmore, Roseann V

    2011-02-01

    Throughout interior Alaska (U.S.A.), a gradual warming trend in mean monthly temperatures occurred over the last few decades (approximatlely 2-4 degrees C). The accompanying increases in woody vegetation at many alpine treeline (hereafter treeline) locations provided an opportunity to examine how biotic and abiotic local site conditions interact to control tree establishment patterns during warming. We devised a landscape ecological approach to investigate these relationships at an undisturbed treeline in the Alaska Range. We identified treeline changes between 1953 (aerial photography) and 2005 (satellite imagery) in a geographic information system (GIS) and linked them with corresponding local site conditions derived from digital terrain data, ancillary climate data, and distance to 1953 trees. Logistic regressions enabled us to rank the importance of local site conditions in controlling tree establishment. We discovered a spatial transition in the importance of tree establishment controls. The biotic variable (proximity to 1953 trees) was the most important tree establishment predictor below the upper tree limit, providing evidence of response lags with the abiotic setting and suggesting that tree establishment is rarely in equilibrium with the physical environment or responding directly to warming. Elevation and winter sun exposure were important predictors of tree establishment at the upper tree limit, but proximity to trees persisted as an important tertiary predictor, indicating that tree establishment may achieve equilibrium with the physical environment. However, even here, influences from the biotic variable may obscure unequivocal correlations with the abiotic setting (including temperature). Future treeline expansion will likely be patchy and challenging to predict without considering the spatial variability of influences from biotic and abiotic local site conditions.

  12. Does prescribed burning result in biotic homogenization of coastal heathlands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velle, Liv Guri; Nilsen, Liv Sigrid; Norderhaug, Ann; Vandvik, Vigdis

    2014-05-01

    Biotic homogenization due to replacement of native biodiversity by widespread generalist species has been demonstrated in a number of ecosystems and taxonomic groups worldwide, causing growing conservation concern. Human disturbance is a key driver of biotic homogenization, suggesting potential conservation challenges in seminatural ecosystems, where anthropogenic disturbances such as grazing and burning are necessary for maintaining ecological dynamics and functioning. We test whether prescribed burning results in biotic homogenization in the coastal heathlands of north-western Europe, a seminatural landscape where extensive grazing and burning has constituted the traditional land-use practice over the past 6000 years. We compare the beta-diversity before and after fire at three ecological scales: within local vegetation patches, between wet and dry heathland patches within landscapes, and along a 470 km bioclimatic gradient. Within local patches, we found no evidence of homogenization after fire; species richness increased, and the species that entered the burnt Calluna stands were not widespread specialists but native grasses and herbs characteristic of the heathland system. At the landscapes scale, we saw a weak homogenization as wet and dry heathland patches become more compositionally similar after fire. This was because of a decrease in habitat-specific species unique to either wet or dry habitats and postfire colonization by a set of heathland specialists that established in both habitat types. Along the bioclimatic gradient, species that increased after fire generally had more specific environmental requirements and narrower geographical distributions than the prefire flora, resulting in a biotic 'heterogenisation' after fire. Our study demonstrates that human disturbance does not necessarily cause biotic homogenization, but that continuation of traditional land-use practices can instead be crucial for the maintenance of the diversity and ecological

  13. Niche evolution and adaptive radiation: Testing the order of trait divergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, D.D.; Schwilk, D.W.; Webb, C.O.

    2006-01-01

    In the course of an adaptive radiation, the evolution of niche parameters is of particular interest for understanding modes of speciation and the consequences for coexistence of related species within communities. We pose a general question: In the course of an evolutionary radiation, do traits related to within-community niche differences (?? niche) evolve before or after differentiation of macrohabitat affinity or climatic tolerances (?? niche)? Here we introduce a new test to address this question, based on a modification of the method of independent contrasts. The divergence order test (DOT) is based on the average age of the nodes on a tree, weighted by the absolute magnitude of the contrast at each node for a particular trait. The comparison of these weighted averages reveals whether large divergences for one trait have occurred earlier or later in the course of diversification, relative to a second trait; significance is determined by bootstrapping from maximum-likelihood ancestral state reconstructions. The method is applied to the evolution of Ceanothus, a woody plant group in California, in which co-occurring species exhibit significant differences in a key leaf trait (specific leaf area) associated with contrasting physiological and life history strategies. Co-occurring species differ more for this trait than expected under a null model of community assembly. This ?? niche difference evolved early in the divergence of two major subclades within Ceanothus, whereas climatic distributions (?? niche traits) diversified later within each of the subclades. However, rapid evolution of climate parameters makes inferences of early divergence events highly uncertain, and differentiation of the ?? niche might have taken place throughout the evolution of the group, without leaving a clear phylogenetic signal. Similar patterns observed in several plant and animal groups suggest that early divergence of ?? niche traits might be a common feature of niche evolution in

  14. Socio-technical transition as a co-evolutionary process: Innovation and the role of niche markets in the transition to motor vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birky, Alicia K.

    2008-10-01

    Significant reductions in greenhouse emissions from personal transportation will require a transition to an alternative technology regime based on renewable energy sources. Two bodies of research, the quasi-evolutionary (QE) model and the multi-level perspective (MLP) assert that processes within niches play a fundamental role in such transitions. This research asks whether the description of transitions based on this niche hypothesis and its underlying assumptions is consistent with the historical U.S. transition to motor vehicles at the beginning of the 20th century. Unique to this dissertation is the combination of the perspective of the entrepreneur with co-evolutionary approaches to socio-technical transitions. This approach is augmented with concepts from the industry life-cycle model and with a taxonomy of mechanisms of learning. Using this analytic framework, I examine specifically the role of entrepreneurial behavior and processes within and among firms in the co-evolution of technologies and institutions during the transition to motor vehicles. I find that niche markets played an important role in the development of the technology, institutions, and the industry. However, I also find that the diffusion of the automobile is not consistent with the niche hypothesis in the following ways: (1) product improvements and cost reductions were not realized in niche markets, but were achieved simultaneously with diffusion into mass markets; (2) in addition to learning-by-doing and learning-by-interacting with users, knowledge spillovers and interacting with suppliers were critical in this process; (3) cost reductions were not automatic results of expanding markets, but rather arose from the strategies of entrepreneurs based on personal perspectives and values. This finding supports the use of a behavioral approach with a micro-focus in the analysis of socio-technical change. I also find that the emergence and diffusion of the motor vehicle can only be understood by

  15. Microhabitat and Climatic Niche Change Explain Patterns of Diversification among Frog Families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Wiens, John J

    2017-07-01

    A major goal of ecology and evolutionary biology is to explain patterns of species richness among clades. Differences in rates of net diversification (speciation minus extinction over time) may often explain these patterns, but the factors that drive variation in diversification rates remain uncertain. Three important candidates are climatic niche position (e.g., whether clades are primarily temperate or tropical), rates of climatic niche change among species within clades, and microhabitat (e.g., aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal). The first two factors have been tested separately in several studies, but the relative importance of all three is largely unknown. Here we explore the correlates of diversification among families of frogs, which collectively represent ∼88% of amphibian species. We assemble and analyze data on phylogeny, climate, and microhabitat for thousands of species. We find that the best-fitting phylogenetic multiple regression model includes all three types of variables: microhabitat, rates of climatic niche change, and climatic niche position. This model explains 67% of the variation in diversification rates among frog families, with arboreal microhabitat explaining ∼31%, niche rates ∼25%, and climatic niche position ∼11%. Surprisingly, we show that microhabitat can have a much stronger influence on diversification than climatic niche position or rates of climatic niche change.

  16. Regulatory System for Stem/Progenitor Cell Niches in the Adult Rodent Pituitary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Saishu; Kato, Takako; Kato, Yukio

    2016-01-01

    The anterior lobe of the pituitary gland is a master endocrine tissue composed of five types of endocrine cells. Although the turnover rate of pituitary endocrine cells is as low as about 1.6% per day, recent studies have demonstrated that Sex-determining region Y-box 2 (SOX2)+-cells exist as pituitary stem/progenitor cells in the adult anterior lobe and contribute to cell regeneration. Notably, SOX2+-pituitary stem/progenitor cells form two types of niches in this tissue: the marginal cell layer (MCL-niche) and the dense cell clusters scattering in the parenchyma (parenchymal-niche). However, little is known about the mechanisms and factors for regulating the pituitary stem/progenitor cell niches, as well as the functional differences between the two types of niches. Elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms in the niches might enable us to understand the cell regeneration system that acts in accordance with physiological demands in the adult pituitary. In this review, so as to reveal the regulatory mechanisms of the two types of niche, we summarize the regulatory factors and their roles in the adult rodent pituitary niches by focusing on three components: soluble factors, cell surface proteins and extracellular matrixes. PMID:26761002

  17. Regulatory System for Stem/Progenitor Cell Niches in the Adult Rodent Pituitary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saishu Yoshida

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The anterior lobe of the pituitary gland is a master endocrine tissue composed of five types of endocrine cells. Although the turnover rate of pituitary endocrine cells is as low as about 1.6% per day, recent studies have demonstrated that Sex-determining region Y-box 2 (SOX2+-cells exist as pituitary stem/progenitor cells in the adult anterior lobe and contribute to cell regeneration. Notably, SOX2+-pituitary stem/progenitor cells form two types of niches in this tissue: the marginal cell layer (MCL-niche and the dense cell clusters scattering in the parenchyma (parenchymal-niche. However, little is known about the mechanisms and factors for regulating the pituitary stem/progenitor cell niches, as well as the functional differences between the two types of niches. Elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms in the niches might enable us to understand the cell regeneration system that acts in accordance with physiological demands in the adult pituitary. In this review, so as to reveal the regulatory mechanisms of the two types of niche, we summarize the regulatory factors and their roles in the adult rodent pituitary niches by focusing on three components: soluble factors, cell surface proteins and extracellular matrixes.

  18. The making of an immigrant niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldinger, R

    1994-01-01

    "This article speaks to the conceptual and methodological issues in research on the making of an immigrant niche through a case study of immigrant professionals in New York City government." The author argues that "the growth of this immigrant niche resulted from changes in the relative supply of native workers and in the structure of employment, which opened the bureaucracy to immigrants and reduced native/immigrant competition. These shifts opened hiring portals; given the advantages of network hiring for workers and managers, and an immigrant propensity for government employment, network recruitment led to a rapid buildup in immigrant ranks." excerpt

  19. Compartment specific importance of glutathione during abiotic and biotic stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernd eZechmann

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The tripeptide thiol glutathione (γ-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinyl-glycine is the most important sulfur containing antioxidant in plants and essential for plant defense against abiotic and biotic stress conditions. It is involved in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species, redox signaling, the modulation of defense gene expression and important for the regulation of enzymatic activities. Even though changes in glutathione contents are well documented in plants and its roles in plant defense are well established, still too little is known about its compartment specific importance during abiotic and biotic stress conditions. Due to technical advances in the visualization of glutathione and the redox state of plants through microscopical methods some progress was made in the last few years in studying the importance of subcellular glutathione contents during stress conditions in plants. This review summarizes the data available on compartment specific importance of glutathione in the protection against abiotic and biotic stress conditions such as high light stress, exposure to cadmium, drought, and pathogen attack (Pseudomonas, Botrytis, Tobacco Mosaic Virus. The data will be discussed in connection with the subcellular accumulation of ROS during these conditions and glutathione synthesis which are both highly compartment specific (e.g. glutathione synthesis takes place in chloroplasts and the cytosol. Thus this review will reveal the compartment specific importance of glutathione during abiotic and biotic stress conditions.

  20. Stem cell niche-specific Ebf3 maintains the bone marrow cavity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seike, Masanari; Omatsu, Yoshiki; Watanabe, Hitomi; Kondoh, Gen; Nagasawa, Takashi

    2018-03-01

    Bone marrow is the tissue filling the space between bone surfaces. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are maintained by special microenvironments known as niches within bone marrow cavities. Mesenchymal cells, termed CXC chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12)-abundant reticular (CAR) cells or leptin receptor-positive (LepR + ) cells, are a major cellular component of HSC niches that gives rise to osteoblasts in bone marrow. However, it remains unclear how osteogenesis is prevented in most CAR/LepR + cells to maintain HSC niches and marrow cavities. Here, using lineage tracing, we found that the transcription factor early B-cell factor 3 (Ebf3) is preferentially expressed in CAR/LepR + cells and that Ebf3-expressing cells are self-renewing mesenchymal stem cells in adult marrow. When Ebf3 is deleted in CAR/LepR + cells, HSC niche function is severely impaired, and bone marrow is osteosclerotic with increased bone in aged mice. In mice lacking Ebf1 and Ebf3 , CAR/LepR + cells exhibiting a normal morphology are abundantly present, but their niche function is markedly impaired with depleted HSCs in infant marrow. Subsequently, the mutants become progressively more osteosclerotic, leading to the complete occlusion of marrow cavities in early adulthood. CAR/LepR + cells differentiate into bone-producing cells with reduced HSC niche factor expression in the absence of Ebf1/Ebf3 Thus, HSC cellular niches express Ebf3 that is required to create HSC niches, to inhibit their osteoblast differentiation, and to maintain spaces for HSCs. © 2018 Seike et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  1. Erythroblastic Islands: Specialized Mircoenvironmental Niches forErythropoiesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chasis, Joel Anne

    2006-01-06

    This review focuses on current understanding of molecular mechanisms operating within erythroblastic islands including cell-cell adhesion, regulatory feedback, and central macrophage function. RECENT FINDINGS: Erythroblasts express a variety of adhesion molecules and recently two interactions have been identified that appear to be critical for island integrity. Erythroblast macrophage protein, expressed on erythroblasts and macrophages, mediates cell-cell attachments via homophilic binding. Erythroblast intercellular adhesion molecule-4 links erythroblasts to macrophages through interaction with macrophage alphav integrin. In intercellular adhesion molecule-4 knockout mice, erythroblastic islands are markedly reduced, whereas the erythroblast macrophage protein null phenotype is severely anemic and embryonic lethal. Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (Rb) protein stimulates macrophage differentiation by counteracting inhibition of Id2 on PU.1, a transcription factor that is a crucial regulator of macrophage differentiation. Rb-deficient macrophages do not bind Rb null erythroblasts and the Rb null phenotype is anemic and embryonic lethal. Lastly, extruded nuclei rapidly expose phosphatidylserine on their surface, providing a recognition signal similar to apoptotic cells. SUMMARY: Although understanding of molecular mechanisms operating within islands is at an early stage, tantalizing evidence suggests that erythroblastic islands are specialized niches where intercellular interactions in concert with cytokines play critical roles in regulating erythropoiesis.

  2. Neural Crossroads in the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwala, Sobhika; Tamplin, Owen J

    2018-05-29

    The hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche supports steady-state hematopoiesis and responds to changing needs during stress and disease. The nervous system is an important regulator of the niche, and its influence is established early in development when stem cells are specified. Most research has focused on direct innervation of the niche, however recent findings show there are different modes of neural control, including globally by the central nervous system (CNS) and hormone release, locally by neural crest-derived mesenchymal stem cells, and intrinsically by hematopoietic cells that express neural receptors and neurotransmitters. Dysregulation between neural and hematopoietic systems can contribute to disease, however new therapeutic opportunities may be found among neuroregulator drugs repurposed to support hematopoiesis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Fibrocytes and the tissue niche in lung repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjermer Leif

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Human fibrocytes are bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells that express a variety of markers related to leukocytes, hematopoietic stem cells and a diverse set of fibroblast phenotypes. Fibrocytes can be recruited from the circulation to the tissue where they further can differentiate and proliferate into various mesenchymal cell types depending on the tissue niche. This local tissue niche is important because it modulates the fibrocytes and coordinates their role in tissue behaviour and repair. However, plasticity of a niche may be co-opted in chronic airway diseases such as asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and obliterative bronchiolitis. This review will therefore focus on a possible role of fibrocytes in pathological tissue repair processes in those diseases.

  4. Stochastic dynamics for two biological species and ecological niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruziska, Flávia M.; Arashiro, Everaldo; Tomé, Tânia

    2018-01-01

    We consider an ecological system in which two species interact with two niches. To this end we introduce a stochastic model with four states. Our analysis is founded in three approaches: Monte Carlo simulations of the model on a square lattice, mean-field approximation, and birth and death master equation. From this last approach we obtain a description in terms of Langevin equations which show in an explicit way the role of noise in population biology. We focus mainly on the description of time oscillations of the species population and the alternating dominance between them. The model treated here may provide insights on these properties.

  5. Ecological niche partitioning of the invasive dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum and its native congeners in the Baltic Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telesh, Irena V; Schubert, Hendrik; Skarlato, Sergei O

    2016-11-01

    This study analyses three decades of the peculiar bloom-formation history of the potentially toxic invasive planktonic dinoflagellates Prorocentrum minimum (Pavillard) Schiller in the SW Baltic Sea. We tested a research hypothesis that the unexpectedly long delay (nearly two decades) in population development of P. minimum prior to its first bloom was caused by competition with one or several closely related native dinoflagellate species due to ecological niche partitioning which hampered the spread and bloom-forming potential of the invader. We applied the ecological niche concept to a large, long-term phytoplankton database and analysed the invasion history and population dynamics of P. minimum in the SW Baltic Sea coastal waters using the data on phytoplankton composition, abundance and biomass. The ecological niche dimensions of P. minimum and its congener P. balticum were identified as the optimum environmental conditions for the species during the bloom events based on water temperature, salinity, pH, concentration of nutrients (PO 4 3- ; total phosphorus, TP; total nitrogen, TN; SiO 4 4- ), TN/TP-ratio and habitat type. The data on spatial distribution and ecological niche dimensions of P. minimum have contributed to the development of the "protistan species maximum concept". High microplankton diversity at critical salinities in the Baltic Sea may be considered as a possible reason for the significant niche overlap and strong competitive interactions among congeners leading to prolonged delay in population growth of P. minimum preceding its first bloom in the highly variable brackishwater environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Do Karst Rivers “deserve” their own biotic index? A ten years study on macrozoobenthos in Croatia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rađa Biljana

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study we present the results of a ten year survey of the aquatic macroinvertebrate fauna along four karst rivers: Jadro, Žrnovnica, Grab and Ruda, all of them situated in the Middle Dalmatia region of Croatia, in an attempt to construct the Iliric Biotic Index, which will be more applicable for the water quality analysis than the most frequently applied biotic index in Croatia, the Italian Modification of Extended Biotic Index. The rivers geologically belong to the Dinaric karst, unique geological phenomena in Europe. Benthic macroinvertebrates were collected along each river at 15 sites by standard methods of sampling along with several physicochemical parameters, including: temperature, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, alkalinity, hardness and pH. Univariate and multivariate techniques revealed differences in the macroinvertebrate community structure as well as in physicochemical parameters between the Karst rivers and continental rivers. Based on those differences, the Iliric Biotic Index was proposed as the standard of karst river water quality in Croatia in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive. Differences between the Iliric Biotic Index and the most commonly used biotic indices in the European Community and the USA (The Biological Monitoring Working Party (B.M.W.P. scores, i.e. Extended Biotic Index, Indice Biotique, Family Biotic Index suggest that karst rivers need a new biotic index.

  7. Phylogenetic signals in the climatic niches of the world's amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2010-01-01

    amphibian orders and across biogeographical regions. To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic signal in species climatic niches for an entire clade across the world. Even though our results do not provide a strong test of the niche conservatism......The question of whether closely related species share similar ecological requirements has attracted increasing attention, because of its importance for understanding global diversity gradients and the impacts of climate change on species distributions. In fact, the assumption that related species...... are also ecologically similar has often been made, although the prevalence of such a phylogenetic signal in ecological niches remains heavily debated. Here, we provide a global analysis of phylogenetic niche relatedness for the world's amphibians. In particular, we assess which proportion of the variance...

  8. Time- and depth-wise trophic niche shifts in Antarctic benthos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edoardo Calizza

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to affect resource-consumer interactions underlying stability in polar food webs. Polar benthic organisms have adapted to the marked seasonality characterising their habitats by concentrating foraging and reproductive activity in summer months, when inputs from sympagic and pelagic producers increase. While this enables the persistence of biodiverse food webs, the mechanisms underlying changes in resource use and nutrient transfer are poorly understood. Thus, our understanding of how temporal and spatial variations in the supply of resources may affect food web structure and functioning is limited. By means of C and N isotopic analyses of two key Antarctic benthic consumers (Adamussium colbecki, Bivalvia, and Sterechinus neumayeri, Echinoidea and Bayesian mixing models, we describe changes in trophic niche and nutrient transfer across trophic levels associated with the long- and short-term diet and body size of specimens sampled in midsummer in both shallow and deep waters. Samplings occurred soon after the sea-ice broke up at Tethys Bay, an area characterised by extreme seasonality in sea-ice coverage and productivity in the Ross Sea. In the long term, the trophic niche was broader and variation between specimens was greater, with intermediate-size specimens generally consuming a higher number of resources than small and large specimens. The coupling of energy channels in the food web was consequently more direct than in the short term. Sediment and benthic algae were more frequently consumed in the long term, before the sea-ice broke up, while consumers specialised on sympagic algae and plankton in the short term. Regardless of the time scale, sympagic algae were more frequently consumed in shallow waters, while plankton was more frequently consumed in deep waters. Our results suggest a strong temporal relationship between resource availability and the trophic niche of benthic consumers in Antarctica. Potential

  9. Invasion of an occupied niche by the crayfish Orconectes rusticus: potential importance of growth and mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Anna M; Sinars, Damon M; Lodge, David M

    1993-06-01

    We are exploring mechanisms of an invasion that contradicts the oft-cited generalization that species invade vacant niches. In northern Wisconsin lakes, the introduced crayfish Orconectes rusticus is replacing two ecologically similar resident congeners, O. virilis and O. propinquus. In laboratory experiments, we compared growth and mortality of individually maintained crayfish offered one of five ad libitum diets: invertebrates, macrophytes, dentritus, periphyton or all items combined. Mortality was highest for O. virilis and lowest for O. rusticus. Macrophyte diets yielded the highest mortality. All three species grew best on invertebrate and combination diets but grew little or not at all on diets of periphyton, detritus or macrophytes. O. rusticus and O. virilis grew more than O. propinquus. O. rusticus grew more quickly and/or was better able to survive overall than its congeners. Therefore, O. rusticus would probably have advantages over O. virilis and O. propinquus in competitive interactions, reproductive success and avoiding size-selective fish predation. Subtle interspecific differences may interact strongly with other ecological factors and contribute to the displacement of resident species from a well-occupied niche.

  10. The Evolution and Fossil History of Sensory Perception in Amniote Vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Johannes; Bickelmann, Constanze; Sobral, Gabriela

    2018-05-01

    Sensory perception is of crucial importance for animals to interact with their biotic and abiotic environment. In amniotes, the clade including modern mammals (Synapsida), modern reptiles (Reptilia), and their fossil relatives, the evolution of sensory perception took place in a stepwise manner after amniotes appeared in the Carboniferous. Fossil evidence suggests that Paleozoic taxa had only a limited amount of sensory capacities relative to later forms, with the majority of more sophisticated types of sensing evolving during the Triassic and Jurassic. Alongside the evolution of improved sensory capacities, various types of social communication evolved across different groups. At present there is no definitive evidence for a relationship between sensory evolution and species diversification. It cannot be excluded, however, that selection for improved sensing was partially triggered by biotic interactions, e.g., in the context of niche competition, whereas ecospace expansion, especially during the Mesozoic, might also have played an important role.

  11. Plant Hormesis Management with Biostimulants of Biotic Origin in Agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas-Hernandez, Marcela; Macias-Bobadilla, Israel; Guevara-Gonzalez, Ramon G; Romero-Gomez, Sergio de J; Rico-Garcia, Enrique; Ocampo-Velazquez, Rosalia V; Alvarez-Arquieta, Luz de L; Torres-Pacheco, Irineo

    2017-01-01

    Over time plants developed complex mechanisms in order to adapt themselves to the environment. Plant innate immunity is one of the most important mechanisms for the environmental adaptation. A myriad of secondary metabolites with nutraceutical features are produced by the plant immune system in order to get adaptation to new environments that provoke stress (stressors). Hormesis is a phenomenon by which a stressor (i.e., toxins, herbicides, etc.) stimulates the cellular stress response, including secondary metabolites production, in order to help organisms to establish adaptive responses. Hormetins of biotic origin (i.e., biostimulants or biological control compounds), in certain doses might enhance plant performance, however, in excessive doses they are commonly deleterious. Biostimulants or biological control compounds of biotic origin are called "elicitors" that have widely been studied as inducers of plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The plant response toward elicitors is reminiscent of hormetic responses toward toxins in several organisms. Thus, controlled management of hormetic responses in plants using these types of compounds is expected to be an important tool to increase nutraceutical quality of plant food and trying to minimize negative effects on yields. The aim of this review is to analyze the potential for agriculture that the use of biostimulants and biological control compounds of biotic origin could have in the management of the plant hormesis. The use of homolog DNA as biostimulant or biological control compound in crop production is also discussed.

  12. Physico-chemical and biotic factors influencing microalgal seed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Physico-chemical and biotic factors influencing microalgal seed culture propagation for inoculation of a ... African Journal of Biotechnology ... used to inoculate an open raceway pond for large scale biomass production for biodiesel production.

  13. The importance of biotic factors in predicting global change effects on decomposition of temperate forest leaf litter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouifed, Soraya; Handa, I Tanya; David, Jean-François; Hättenschwiler, Stephan

    2010-05-01

    Increasing atmospheric CO(2) and temperature are predicted to alter litter decomposition via changes in litter chemistry and environmental conditions. The extent to which these predictions are influenced by biotic factors such as litter species composition or decomposer activity, and in particular how these different factors interact, is not well understood. In a 5-week laboratory experiment we compared the decomposition of leaf litter from four temperate tree species (Fagus sylvatica, Quercus petraea, Carpinus betulus and Tilia platyphyllos) in response to four interacting factors: elevated CO(2)-induced changes in litter quality, a 3 degrees C warmer environment during decomposition, changes in litter species composition, and presence/absence of a litter-feeding millipede (Glomeris marginata). Elevated CO(2) and temperature had much weaker effects on decomposition than litter species composition and the presence of Glomeris. Mass loss of elevated CO(2)-grown leaf litter was reduced in Fagus and increased in Fagus/Tilia mixtures, but was not affected in any other leaf litter treatment. Warming increased litter mass loss in Carpinus and Tilia, but not in the other two litter species and in none of the mixtures. The CO(2)- and temperature-related differences in decomposition disappeared completely when Glomeris was present. Overall, fauna activity stimulated litter mass loss, but to different degrees depending on litter species composition, with a particularly strong effect on Fagus/Tilia mixtures (+58%). Higher fauna-driven mass loss was not followed by higher C mineralization over the relatively short experimental period. Apart from a strong interaction between litter species composition and fauna, the tested factors had little or no interactive effects on decomposition. We conclude that if global change were to result in substantial shifts in plant community composition and macrofauna abundance in forest ecosystems, these interacting biotic factors could have

  14. Niche entrepreneurs in urban systems integration : On the role of individuals in niche formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pesch, U.; Vernay, A.L.; van Bueren, E.M.; Pandis Iveroth, S

    2017-01-01

    In many sustainable urban innovation projects, the efforts, endurance and enthusiasm of individuals at key positions are considered a crucial factor for success. This article studies the role of individual agency in sociotechnical niches by using Kingdon’s agenda-setting model. Although strategic

  15. Advances and Limitations of Disease Biogeography Using Ecological Niche Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Luis E; Craft, Meggan E

    2016-01-01

    Mapping disease transmission risk is crucial in public and animal health for evidence based decision-making. Ecology and epidemiology are highly related disciplines that may contribute to improvements in mapping disease, which can be used to answer health related questions. Ecological niche modeling is increasingly used for understanding the biogeography of diseases in plants, animals, and humans. However, epidemiological applications of niche modeling approaches for disease mapping can fail to generate robust study designs, producing incomplete or incorrect inferences. This manuscript is an overview of the history and conceptual bases behind ecological niche modeling, specifically as applied to epidemiology and public health; it does not pretend to be an exhaustive and detailed description of ecological niche modeling literature and methods. Instead, this review includes selected state-of-the-science approaches and tools, providing a short guide to designing studies incorporating information on the type and quality of the input data (i.e., occurrences and environmental variables), identification and justification of the extent of the study area, and encourages users to explore and test diverse algorithms for more informed conclusions. We provide a friendly introduction to the field of disease biogeography presenting an updated guide for researchers looking to use ecological niche modeling for disease mapping. We anticipate that ecological niche modeling will soon be a critical tool for epidemiologists aiming to map disease transmission risk, forecast disease distribution under climate change scenarios, and identify landscape factors triggering outbreaks.

  16. Specialization of mutualistic interaction networks decreases toward tropical latitudes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schleuning, M.; Fründ, J.; Klein, A.-M.

    2012-01-01

    that current conditions have a stronger effect on biotic specialization than historical community stability. Biotic specialization decreased with increasing local and regional plant diversity. This suggests that high specialization of mutualistic interactions is a response of pollinators and seed dispersers......] or differences in plant diversity [10, 11]. Thus, the direction of the latitudinal specialization gradient remains contentious. With an unprecedented global data set, we investigated how biotic specialization between plants and animal pollinators or seed dispersers is associated with latitude, past...... and contemporary climate, and plant diversity. We show that in contrast to expectation, biotic specialization of mutualistic networks is significantly lower at tropical than at temperate latitudes. Specialization was more closely related to contemporary climate than to past climate stability, suggesting...

  17. A practical guideline for examining a uterine niche using ultrasonography in non-pregnant women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jordans, I P M; de Leeuw, R; Stegwee, S I

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To generate a uniform, internationally recognized guideline for detailed uterine niche evaluation by ultrasonography in non-pregnant women using a modified Delphi method amongst international experts. METHODS: Fifteen international gynecological experts were recruited...... definitions, relevance, method of measurement and tips for visualization of the niche. All experts agreed on the proposed guideline for niche evaluation in non-pregnant women as presented in this paper. CONCLUSION: Consensus between niche experts was achieved on all items regarding ultrasonographic niche...

  18. Pre-procambial cells are niches for pluripotent and totipotent stem-like cells for organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis in the peach palm: a histological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Almeida, Marcilio; de Almeida, Cristina Vieira; Mendes Graner, Erika; Ebling Brondani, Gilvano; Fiori de Abreu-Tarazi, Monita

    2012-08-01

    The direct induction of adventitious buds and somatic embryos from explants is a morphogenetic process that is under the influence of exogenous plant growth regulators and its interactions with endogenous phytohormones. We performed an in vitro histological analysis in peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth) shoot apexes and determined that the positioning of competent cells and their interaction with neighboring cells, under the influence of combinations of exogenously applied growth regulators (NAA/BAP and NAA/TDZ), allows the pre-procambial cells (PPCs) to act in different morphogenic pathways to establish niche competent cells. It is likely that there has been a habituation phenomenon during the regeneration and development of the microplants. This includes promoting the tillering of primary or secondary buds due to culturing in the absence of NAA/BAP or NAA/TDZ after a period in the presence of these growth regulators. Histological analyses determined that the adventitious roots were derived from the dedifferentiation of the parenchymal cells located in the basal region of the adventitious buds, with the establishment of rooting pole, due to an auxin gradient. Furthermore, histological and histochemical analyses allowed us to characterize how the PPCs provide niches for multipotent, pluripotent and totipotent stem-like cells for vascular differentiation, organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis in the peach palm. The histological and histochemical analyses also allowed us to detect the unicellular or multicellular origin of somatic embryogenesis. Therefore, our results indicate that the use of growth regulators in microplants can lead to habituation and to different morphogenic pathways leading to potential niche establishment, depending on the positioning of the competent cells and their interaction with neighboring cells. Our results indicate that the use of growth regulators in microplants can lead to habituation and to different morphogenic pathways leading to

  19. Correlated evolution of thermal niches and functional physiology in tropical freshwater fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culumber, Zachary W; Tobler, Michael

    2018-05-01

    The role of ecology in phenotypic and species diversification is widely documented. Nonetheless, numerous nonadaptive processes can shape realized niches and phenotypic variation in natural populations, complicating inferences about adaptive evolution at macroevolutionary scales. We tested for evolved differences in thermal tolerances and their association with the realized thermal niche (including metrics describing diurnal and seasonal patterns of temperature extremes and variability) across a genus of tropical freshwater fishes reared in a standardized environment. There was limited evolution along the thermal niche axis associated with variation in maximum temperature and in upper thermal limits. In contrast, there was considerable diversification along the first major axis of the thermal niche associated with minimum temperatures and in lower thermal limits. Across our adaptive landscape analyses, 70% of species exhibited evidence of divergence in thermal niches. Most importantly, the first two major axes of thermal niche variation were significantly correlated with variation in lower thermal limits. Our results indicate adaptation to divergent thermal niches and adaptive evolution of related functional traits, and highlight the importance of divergence in lower thermal limits for the evolution of tropical biodiversity. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  20. Ontogenetic niche shifts and evolutionary branching in size-structured populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Claessen, D.; Dieckmann, U.

    2002-01-01

    There are many examples of size-structured populations where individuals sequentially exploit several niches in the course of their life history. Efficient exploitation of such ontogenetic niches generally requires specific morphological adaptations. Here, we study the evolutionary implications of

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Quantitative patterns between plant volatile emissions induced by biotic stresses and the degree of damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ülo eNiinemets

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Plants have to cope with a plethora of biotic stresses such as herbivory and pathogen attacks throughout their life cycle. The biotic stresses typically trigger rapid emissions of volatile products of lipoxygenase pathway (LOX products, various C6 aldehydes, alcohols and derivatives, also called green leaf volatiles associated with oxidative burst. Further a variety of defense pathways is activated, leading to induction of synthesis and emission of a complex blend of volatiles, often including methyl salicylate, indole, mono-, homo- and sesquiterpenes. The airborne volatiles are involved in systemic responses leading to elicitation of emissions from non-damaged plant parts. For several abiotic stresses, it has been demonstrated that volatile emissions are quantitatively related to the stress dose. The biotic impacts under natural conditions vary in severity from mild to severe, but it is unclear whether volatile emissions also scale with the severity of biotic stresses in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, biotic impacts are typically recurrent, but it is poorly understood how direct stress-triggered and systemic emission responses are silenced during periods intervening sequential stress events. Here we review the information on induced emissions elicited in response to biotic attacks, and argue that biotic stress severity vs. emission rate relationships should follow principally the same dose-response relationships as previously demonstrated for several abiotic stresses. Analysis of several case studies investigating the elicitation of emissions in response to chewing herbivores, aphids, rust fungi, powdery mildew and Botrytis, suggests that induced emissions do respond to stress severity in dose-dependent manner. Bi-phasic emission kinetics of several induced volatiles have been demonstrated in these experiments, suggesting that next to immediate stress-triggered emissions, biotic stress elicited emissions typically have a secondary

  4. Mammalian niche conservation through deep time.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available Climate change alters species distributions, causing plants and animals to move north or to higher elevations with current warming. Bioclimatic models predict species distributions based on extant realized niches and assume niche conservation. Here, we evaluate if proxies for niches (i.e., range areas are conserved at the family level through deep time, from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. We analyze the occurrence of all mammalian families in the continental USA, calculating range area, percent range area occupied, range area rank, and range polygon centroids during each epoch. Percent range area occupied significantly increases from the Oligocene to the Miocene and again from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene; however, mammalian families maintain statistical concordance between rank orders across time. Families with greater taxonomic diversity occupy a greater percent of available range area during each epoch and net changes in taxonomic diversity are significantly positively related to changes in percent range area occupied from the Eocene to the Pleistocene. Furthermore, gains and losses in generic and species diversity are remarkably consistent with ~2.3 species gained per generic increase. Centroids demonstrate southeastern shifts from the Eocene through the Pleistocene that may correspond to major environmental events and/or climate changes during the Cenozoic. These results demonstrate range conservation at the family level and support the idea that niche conservation at higher taxonomic levels operates over deep time and may be controlled by life history traits. Furthermore, families containing megafauna and/or terminal Pleistocene extinction victims do not incur significantly greater declines in range area rank than families containing only smaller taxa and/or only survivors, from the Pliocene to Pleistocene. Collectively, these data evince the resilience of families to climate and/or environmental change in deep time, the absence of

  5. Food-web dynamics and isotopic niches in deep-sea communities residing in a submarine canyon and on the adjacent open slopes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Demopoulos, A.W.J.; McClain-Counts, J.; Ross, S.W.; Brooke, S.; Mienis, F.

    2017-01-01

    Examination of food webs and trophic niches provide insights into organisms’ functionalecology, yet few studies have examined trophodynamics within submarine canyons, wherethe interaction of canyon morphology and oceanography influences habitat provision and fooddeposition. Using stable isotope

  6. Evidence of niche partitioning under ontogenetic influences among three morphologically similar siluriformes in small subtropical streams.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karine Orlandi Bonato

    Full Text Available Ontogenetic influences in patterns of niche breadth and feeding overlap were investigated in three species of Siluriformes (Heptapterus sp., Rhamdia quelen and Trichomycterus poikilos aiming at understanding the species coexistence. Samplings were conducted bimonthly by electrofishing technique from June/2012 to June/2013 in ten streams of the northwestern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The stomach contents of 1,948 individuals were analyzed by volumetric method, with 59 food items identified. In general Heptapterus sp. consumed a high proportion of Aegla sp., terrestrial plant remains and Megaloptera; R. quelen consumed fish, and Oligochaeta, followed by Aegla sp.; while the diet of T. poikilos was based on Simuliidae, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera. Specie segregation was observed in the NMDS. Through PERMANOVA analysis feeding differences among species, and between a combination of species plus size classes were observed. IndVal showed which items were indicators of these differences. Niche breadth values were high for all species. The niche breadth values were low only for the larger size of R. quelen and Heptapterus sp. while T. poikilos values were more similar. Overall the species were a low feeding overlap values. The higher frequency of high feeding overlap was observed for interaction between Heptapterus sp. and T. poikilos. The null model confirmed the niche partitioning between the species. The higher frequency of high and intermediate feeding overlap values were reported to smaller size classes. The null model showed resource sharing between the species/size class. Therefore, overall species showed a resource partitioning because of the use of occasional items. However, these species share resources mainly in the early ontogenetic stages until the emphasized change of morphological characteristics leading to trophic niche expansion and the apparent segregation observed.

  7. Radiation effects on haematopoietic stem cells in vitro: possible role of stromal niches in the stem cell hierarchy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharp, J.G.; Crouse, D.A.; Jackson, J.D.; Schmidt, C.M.; Ritter, E.K.; Udeaja, G.C.; Mann, S.L.

    1986-01-01

    The authors describe experiments which attempt to elucidate the nature of haemopoietic stem cell and microenvironmental stromal cell interactions which might explain anomalies in explanations of the differential effects of radiation on HSC versus MSC. In particular, there is an attempt to demonstrate the existence of stromal niches. (UK)

  8. Biogeographic ranges do not support niche theory in radiating Canary Island plant clades

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steinbauer, Manuel; Field, Richard; Fernández-Palacios, José María

    2016-01-01

    in allopatry. Main conclusions: The expectations from niche conservatism were frequently not met; instead our results suggest considerable climatic niche lability. All significant differences in climatic niche differentiation were opposite to the predictions from competitive displacement. These forces may...

  9. Changes in biotic and abiotic processes following mangrove clearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granek, Elise; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.

    2008-12-01

    Mangrove forests, important tropical coastal habitats, are in decline worldwide primarily due to removal by humans. Changes to mangrove systems can alter ecosystem properties through direct effects on abiotic factors such as temperature, light and nutrient supply or through changes in biotic factors such as primary productivity or species composition. Despite the importance of mangroves as transitional habitats between land and sea, little research has examined changes that occur when they are cleared. We examined changes in a number of biotic and abiotic factors following the anthropogenic removal of red mangroves ( Rhizophora mangle) in the Panamanian Caribbean, including algal biomass, algal diversity, algal grazing rates, light penetration, temperature, sedimentation rates and sediment organic content. In this first study examining multiple ecosystem-level effects of mangrove disturbance, we found that areas cleared of mangroves had higher algal biomass and richness than intact mangrove areas. This increase in algal biomass and richness was likely due to changes in abiotic factors (e.g. light intensity, temperature), but not biotic factors (fish herbivory). Additionally the algal and cyanobacterial genera dominating mangrove-cleared areas were rare in intact mangroves and included a number of genera that compete with coral for space on reefs. Interestingly, sedimentation rates did not differ between intact and cleared areas, but the sediments that accumulated in intact mangroves had higher organic content. These findings are the first to demonstrate that anthropogenic clearing of mangroves changes multiple biotic and abiotic processes in mangrove forests and that some of these changes may influence adjacent habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Additional research is needed to further explore the community and ecosystem-level effects of mangrove clearing and their influence on adjacent habitats, but it is clear that mangrove conservation is an

  10. Overlap and partitioning of the ecological and isotopic niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elizabeth A. Flaherty; Merav Ben-David

    2010-01-01

    Recently, it was proposed that stable isotope patterns can be used to quantify the width of the ecological niche of animals. However, the potential effects of habitat use on isotopic patterns of consumers have not been fully explored and consequently isotopic patterns may yield deceptive estimates of niche width. Here, we simulated four different scenarios of a...

  11. Development of a new biotic index to assess freshwater pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Jianguo

    2006-01-01

    We developed a new biotic index of species pollution value (SPV) and community pollution value (CPV) based on the correlation of protozoan communities with chemical water quality to assess freshwater pollution. Five hundred and twenty-three species of protozoa SPV were established based on the data of River Hangjiang and Lake Donghu. The present research was conducted in order to further consummate the biotic index. Protozoa of the water system in Changde City were collected from 16 stations using the PFU method and the water chemical parameters of the stations were analyzed. The results showed that CPV calculated from SPV had a close correlation with the degree of water pollution (p < 0.00001), which indicated that the method is reliable. By combining the data of River Hangjiang, Lake Donghu and Changde City, the final form of SPV was accomplished and the SPV list increased to 757. The ultimate water standard evaluated by CPV calculated from SPV was proposed. - A new biotic index of water quality based on protozoa is described

  12. Development of a new biotic index to assess freshwater pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang Jianguo [College of Food and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640 (China)]. E-mail: jgjiang@scut.edu.cn

    2006-01-15

    We developed a new biotic index of species pollution value (SPV) and community pollution value (CPV) based on the correlation of protozoan communities with chemical water quality to assess freshwater pollution. Five hundred and twenty-three species of protozoa SPV were established based on the data of River Hangjiang and Lake Donghu. The present research was conducted in order to further consummate the biotic index. Protozoa of the water system in Changde City were collected from 16 stations using the PFU method and the water chemical parameters of the stations were analyzed. The results showed that CPV calculated from SPV had a close correlation with the degree of water pollution (p < 0.00001), which indicated that the method is reliable. By combining the data of River Hangjiang, Lake Donghu and Changde City, the final form of SPV was accomplished and the SPV list increased to 757. The ultimate water standard evaluated by CPV calculated from SPV was proposed. - A new biotic index of water quality based on protozoa is described.

  13. Competition and niche separation of pelagic bacteria in freshwater habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pernthaler, Jakob

    2017-06-01

    Freshwater bacterioplankton assemblages are composed of sympatric populations that can be delineated, for example, by ribosomal RNA gene relatedness and that differ in key ecophysiological properties. They may be free-living or attached, specialized for particular concentrations or subsets of substrates, or invest a variable amount of their resources in defence traits against protistan predators and viruses. Some may be motile and tactic whereas others are not, with far-reaching implications for their respective life styles and niche partitioning. The co-occurrence of competitors with overlapping growth requirements has profound consequences for the stability of community functions; it can to some extent be explained by habitat factors such as the microscale complexity and spatiotemporal variability of the lacustrine environments. On the other hand, the composition and diversity of freshwater microbial assemblages also reflects non-equilibrium states, dispersal and the stochasticity of community assembly processes. This review synoptically discusses the competition and niche separation of heterotrophic bacterial populations (defined at various levels of phylogenetic resolution) in the pelagic zone of inland surface waters from a variety of angles, focusing on habitat heterogeneity and the resulting biogeographic distribution patterns, the ecophysiological adaptations to the substrate field and the interactions of prokaryotes with predators and viruses. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Human niche, human behaviour, human nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin

    2017-10-06

    The concept of a 'human nature' or 'human natures' retains a central role in theorizing about the human experience. In Homo sapiens it is clear that we have a suite of capacities generated via our evolutionary past, and present, and a flexible capacity to create and sustain particular kinds of cultures and to be shaped by them. Regardless of whether we label these capacities 'human natures' or not, humans occupy a distinctive niche and an evolutionary approach to examining it is critical. At present we are faced with a few different narratives as to exactly what such an evolutionary approach entails. There is a need for a robust and dynamic theoretical toolkit in order to develop a richer, and more nuanced, understanding of the cognitively sophisticated genus Homo and the diverse sorts of niches humans constructed and occupied across the Pleistocene, Holocene, and into the Anthropocene. Here I review current evolutionary approaches to 'human nature', arguing that we benefit from re-framing our investigations via the concept of the human niche and in the context of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES). While not a replacement of standard evolutionary approaches, this is an expansion and enhancement of our toolkit. I offer brief examples from human evolution in support of these assertions.

  15. Environmental niche conservatism explains the accumulation of species richness in Mediterranean-hotspot plant genera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skeels, Alexander; Cardillo, Marcel

    2017-03-01

    The causes of exceptionally high plant diversity in Mediterranean-climate biodiversity hotspots are not fully understood. We asked whether a mechanism similar to the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis could explain the diversity of four large genera (Protea, Moraea, Banksia, and Hakea) with distributions within and adjacent to the Greater Cape Floristic Region (South Africa) or the Southwest Floristic Region (Australia). Using phylogenetic and spatial data we estimated the environmental niche of each species, and reconstructed the mode and dynamics of niche evolution, and the geographic history, of each genus. For three genera, there were strong positive relationships between the diversity of clades within a region and their inferred length of occupation of that region. Within genera, there was evidence for strong evolutionary constraint on niche axes associated with climatic seasonality and aridity, with different niche optima for hotspot and nonhotspot clades. Evolutionary transitions away from hotspots were associated with increases in niche breadth and elevated rates of niche evolution. Our results point to a process of "hotspot niche conservatism" whereby the accumulation of plant diversity in Mediterranean-type ecosystems results from longer time for speciation, with dispersal away from hotspots limited by narrow and phylogenetically conserved environmental niches. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  16. Not all renal stem cell niches are the same: anatomy of an evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara Gerosa

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The renal stem cell niche represents the most important structure of the developing kidney, responsible for nephrogenesis. Recently, some Authors have reported, at ultrastructural level, a previously unknown complexity of the architecture of renal stem cell niche in experimental models. This study was aimed at studying, at histological level, the anatomy of renal stem cell niches in the human fetal kidney. To this end, ten fetal kidneys, whose gestational ages ranged from 11 up to 24 weeks, were studied. H&E-stained sections were observed at high power. The study of the anatomy of renal stem cell niches in the human kidney revealed a previously unreported complexity: some niches appeared as a roundish arrangement of mesenchymal cells; others showed the initial phases of induction by ureteric buds; in other niches the process of mesenchymal epithelial transition was more evident; finally, in other stem cell niches the first signs of nephron origin were detectable. These findings suggest the existence of niches with different anatomy in the same kidney, indicating different stages of evolution even in adjacent niches. All stem cell niches were in strict contact with the capsular cells, suggesting a major role of the renal capsule in nephrogenesis. Finally, our study confirms the existence of a strict contact between the bud tip cells and the surrounding mesenchyme in the human developing kidney, giving a morphological support to the theory of intercellular channels allowing the passage of transcription factors from the epithelial to the mesenchymal stem/progenitors cells.Proceedings of the 2nd International Course on Perinatal Pathology (part of the 11th International Workshop on Neonatology · October 26th-31st, 2015 · Cagliari (Italy · October 31st, 2015 · Stem cells: present and future Guest Editors: Gavino Faa, Vassilios Fanos, Antonio Giordano

  17. Early biotic stress detection in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) by BVOC emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasal-Slavik, Tina; Eschweiler, Julia; Kleist, Einhard; Mumm, Roland; Goldbach, Heiner E; Schouten, Alexander; Wildt, Jürgen

    2017-12-01

    We investigated impacts of early and mild biotic stress on Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOC) emissions from tomato in order to test their potential for early (biotic) stress detection. Tomato plants were exposed to two common fungal pathogens, Botrytis cinerea and Oidium neolycopesici and the sap-sucking aphid Myzus persicae. Furthermore, plants were exposed to methyl jasmonate (MeJA) in order to identify BVOC emissions related to activation of jasmonic acid (JA) signalling pathway. These emissions where then used as a reference for identifying active JA signalling pathway in plants at early stages of biotic stress. After infection by the necrotrophic fungus B. cinerea, changes in BVOC emissions indicated that tomato plants had predominantly activated the jasmonic acid (JA) signalling pathway. The plants were able to modify their defence pathways in order to overcome fungal infection. When tomato plants were infected with the biotrophic fungus O. neolycopersici, only minor changes in BVOC emissions were observed with additional emissions of the sesquiterpene α-copaene. α-copaene emissions allowed the identification of general biotic stress in the plants, without pinpointing the actual triggered defence pathway. BVOC emissions during M. persicae attack had changed before the occurrence of visual symptoms. Despite low infestation rates, plants emitted methyl salicylate indicating activation of the SA-mediated defence pathway. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Range bagging: a new method for ecological niche modelling from presence-only data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, John M

    2015-06-06

    The ecological niche is the set of environments in which a population of a species can persist without introduction of individuals from other locations. A good mathematical or computational representation of the niche is a prerequisite to addressing many questions in ecology, biogeography, evolutionary biology and conservation. A particularly challenging question for ecological niche modelling is the problem of presence-only modelling. That is, can an ecological niche be identified from records drawn only from the set of niche environments without records from non-niche environments for comparison? Here, I introduce a new method for ecological niche modelling from presence-only data called range bagging. Range bagging draws on the concept of a species' environmental range, but was inspired by the empirical performance of ensemble learning algorithms in other areas of ecological research. This paper extends the concept of environmental range to multiple dimensions and shows that range bagging is computationally feasible even when the number of environmental dimensions is large. The target of the range bagging base learner is an environmental tolerance of the species in a projection of its niche and is therefore an ecologically interpretable property of a species' biological requirements. The computational complexity of range bagging is linear in the number of examples, which compares favourably with the main alternative, Qhull. In conclusion, range bagging appears to be a reasonable choice for niche modelling in applications in which a presence-only method is desired and may provide a solution to problems in other disciplines where one-class classification is required, such as outlier detection and concept learning.

  19. Biodiversity influences plant productivity through niche-efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jingjing; Zhou, Mo; Tobin, Patrick C; McGuire, A David; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-05

    The loss of biodiversity is threatening ecosystem productivity and services worldwide, spurring efforts to quantify its effects on the functioning of natural ecosystems. Previous research has focused on the positive role of biodiversity on resource acquisition (i.e., niche complementarity), but a lack of study on resource utilization efficiency, a link between resource and productivity, has rendered it difficult to quantify the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. Here we demonstrate that biodiversity loss reduces plant productivity, other things held constant, through theory, empirical evidence, and simulations under gradually relaxed assumptions. We developed a theoretical model named niche-efficiency to integrate niche complementarity and a heretofore-ignored mechanism of diminishing marginal productivity in quantifying the effects of biodiversity loss on plant productivity. Based on niche-efficiency, we created a relative productivity metric and a productivity impact index (PII) to assist in biological conservation and resource management. Relative productivity provides a standardized measure of the influence of biodiversity on individual productivity, and PII is a functionally based taxonomic index to assess individual species' inherent value in maintaining current ecosystem productivity. Empirical evidence from the Alaska boreal forest suggests that every 1% reduction in overall plant diversity could render an average of 0.23% decline in individual tree productivity. Out of the 283 plant species of the region, we found that large woody plants generally have greater PII values than other species. This theoretical model would facilitate the integration of biological conservation in the international campaign against several pressing global issues involving energy use, climate change, and poverty.

  20. Effect of Temperature on the Biotic Potential of Honeybee Microsporidia▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; García-Palencia, Pilar; Marín, Pilar; Botías, Cristina; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Barrios, Laura; Higes, Mariano

    2009-01-01

    The biological cycle of Nosema spp. in honeybees depends on temperature. When expressed as total spore counts per day after infection, the biotic potentials of Nosema apis and N. ceranae at 33°C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37°C, the biotic potential of N. ceranae was higher than that of N. apis. The better adaptation of N. ceranae to complete its endogenous cycle at different temperatures clearly supports the observation of the different epidemiological patterns. PMID:19233948

  1. Macrophytes shape trophic niche variation among generalist fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivana Vejříková

    Full Text Available Generalist species commonly have a fundamental role in ecosystems as they can integrate spatially distinct habitats and food-web compartments, as well as control the composition, abundance and behavior of organisms at different trophic levels. Generalist populations typically consist of specialized individuals, but the potential for and hence degree of individual niche variation can be largely determined by habitat complexity. We compared individual niche variation within three generalist fishes between two comparable lakes in the Czech Republic differing in macrophyte cover, i.e. macrophyte-rich Milada and macrophyte-poor Most. We tested the hypothesis that large individual niche variation among generalist fishes is facilitated by the presence of macrophytes, which provides niches and predation shelter for fish and their prey items. Based on results from stable nitrogen (δ15N and carbon (δ13C isotopic mixing models, perch (Perca fluviatilis L. and rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus (L. showed larger individual variation (i.e., variance in trophic position in Milada as compared to Most, whereas no significant between-lake differences were observed for roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.. Contrary to our hypothesis, all the three species showed significantly lower individual variation in the relative reliance on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most. Rudd relied significantly more whereas perch and roach relied less on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most, likely due to prevalent herbivory by rudd and prevalent zooplanktivory by perch and roach in the macrophyte-rich Milada as compared to macrophyte-poor Most. Our study demonstrates how the succession of macrophyte vegetation, via its effects on the physical and biological complexity of the littoral zone and on the availability of small prey fish and zooplankton, can strongly influence individual niche variation among generalist fishes with different ontogenetic trajectories, and hence

  2. Macrophytes shape trophic niche variation among generalist fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vejřík, Lukáš; Šmejkal, Marek; Čech, Martin; Sajdlová, Zuzana; Frouzová, Jaroslava; Kiljunen, Mikko; Peterka, Jiří

    2017-01-01

    Generalist species commonly have a fundamental role in ecosystems as they can integrate spatially distinct habitats and food-web compartments, as well as control the composition, abundance and behavior of organisms at different trophic levels. Generalist populations typically consist of specialized individuals, but the potential for and hence degree of individual niche variation can be largely determined by habitat complexity. We compared individual niche variation within three generalist fishes between two comparable lakes in the Czech Republic differing in macrophyte cover, i.e. macrophyte-rich Milada and macrophyte-poor Most. We tested the hypothesis that large individual niche variation among generalist fishes is facilitated by the presence of macrophytes, which provides niches and predation shelter for fish and their prey items. Based on results from stable nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) isotopic mixing models, perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) and rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus (L.)) showed larger individual variation (i.e., variance) in trophic position in Milada as compared to Most, whereas no significant between-lake differences were observed for roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.)). Contrary to our hypothesis, all the three species showed significantly lower individual variation in the relative reliance on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most. Rudd relied significantly more whereas perch and roach relied less on littoral food resources in Milada than in Most, likely due to prevalent herbivory by rudd and prevalent zooplanktivory by perch and roach in the macrophyte-rich Milada as compared to macrophyte-poor Most. Our study demonstrates how the succession of macrophyte vegetation, via its effects on the physical and biological complexity of the littoral zone and on the availability of small prey fish and zooplankton, can strongly influence individual niche variation among generalist fishes with different ontogenetic trajectories, and hence the overall

  3. Differential phytosociological interactions involving male and female atriplex bonnevillensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, J.; Emlen, J.M.; Rinella, M.; Snelgrove, J.; Freeman, D.C.

    2009-01-01

    Wind-pollinated dioecious plants often exhibit spatial segregation of the sexes. This partial niche separation has most often been explored using abiotic niche axes. However, if the sexes are truly separated in space, then they are apt to encounter different plant species that may heavily affect growth and reproduction. Also, to the extent that their niches differ, the sexes may respond differently to the same co-occurring species. Here we examine interspecific interactions that influence male and female reproductive potential in Atriplex bonnevillensis. Using Emlen's interaction assessment, a technique which assesses species interactions based on cover classes, we show that Salsola species compete significantly with females but not males, while Halogeton glomeratus competes with males but not females. The effect of competition only became apparent when we corrected for site-specific fertility. These results imply that differential competition must be considered when studying dioecious plants that display spatial segregation of the sexes.

  4. Optimization of Femtosecond Laser Polymerized Structural Niches to Control Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Fate in Culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela T. Raimondi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We applied two-photon polymerization to fabricate 3D synthetic niches arranged in complex patterns to study the effect of mechano-topological parameters on morphology, renewal and differentiation of rat mesenchymal stromal cells. Niches were formed in a photoresist with low auto-fluorescence, which enabled the clear visualization of the fluorescence emission of the markers used for biological diagnostics within the internal niche structure. The niches were structurally stable in culture up to three weeks. At three weeks of expansion in the niches, cell density increased by almost 10-fold and was 67% greater than in monolayer culture. Evidence of lineage commitment was observed in monolayer culture surrounding the structural niches, and within cell aggregates, but not inside the niches. Thus, structural niches were able not only to direct stem cell homing and colony formation, but also to guide aggregate formation, providing increased surface-to-volume ratios and space for stem cells to adhere and renew, respectively.

  5. Application of Irradiated Pro biotic Microorganism in Black Tiger Shrimp (Penaeus monodon Fabricius) Culture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Areechon, Nontawith; Purivrojkul, Watchariya; Srisapoome, Prapansak; Piadiang, Nattaya

    2006-09-01

    Marine shrimp culture in Thailand has been developed continuously for the past two decades. This development will ensure the highest level of shrimp quality that will be suitable for the consumption of the people in the country and also aboard. The trend of culture system emphasizes on disease prevention more than treatment which will consequently limit the application of drug and chemicals. Application of pro biotic has been one means of this prevention that are commonly practiced by shrimp farmers. This research was conducted to compare the efficacy of normal Bacillus subtilis isolate from shrimp intestine and an irradiated B. subtilis as a pro biotic in shrimp feed. It was found that overall results were quite the same. These included the broth Co-culture assay. Effects on immune functions were conducted with Penaeus monodon with initial average weight of 17 gms by feeding with 3 gms/kg feed of spore of these two pro biotic for two mouths. The results indicated that both pro biotic caused significant improvement on percent phagocytosis only at the forth week of feeding trial and the overall enhancement of bactericidal activity. However, total haemocyte count and phenoloxidase activity were not altered. Total bacterial count in shrimp intestine was also conducted during the two month trial. the results indicated significant reduction of Vibrio spp. of both pro biotic groups when compared with the control. Number of Bacillus spp. in intestine were continuously high even after pro biotic treatment had been stopped Growth rate of experiment and control shrimp was not significantly different.

  6. Effect of abiotic and biotic stress factors analysis using machine learning methods in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutha, Rajasekar; Yarrappagaari, Suresh; Thopireddy, Lavanya; Reddy, Kesireddy Sathyavelu; Saddala, Rajeswara Reddy

    2018-03-01

    In order to understand the mechanisms underlying stress responses, meta-analysis of transcriptome is made to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and their biological, molecular and cellular mechanisms in response to stressors. The present study is aimed at identifying the effect of abiotic and biotic stress factors, and it is found that several stress responsive genes are common for both abiotic and biotic stress factors in zebrafish. The meta-analysis of micro-array studies revealed that almost 4.7% i.e., 108 common DEGs are differentially regulated between abiotic and biotic stresses. This shows that there is a global coordination and fine-tuning of gene regulation in response to these two types of challenges. We also performed dimension reduction methods, principal component analysis, and partial least squares discriminant analysis which are able to segregate abiotic and biotic stresses into separate entities. The supervised machine learning model, recursive-support vector machine, could classify abiotic and biotic stresses with 100% accuracy using a subset of DEGs. Beside these methods, the random forests decision tree model classified five out of 8 stress conditions with high accuracy. Finally, Functional enrichment analysis revealed the different gene ontology terms, transcription factors and miRNAs factors in the regulation of stress responses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriki, Atsushi; Taoka, Miki

    2012-01-12

    Hominin evolution has involved a continuous process of addition of new kinds of cognitive capacity, including those relating to manufacture and use of tools and to the establishment of linguistic faculties. The dramatic expansion of the brain that accompanied additions of new functional areas would have supported such continuous evolution. Extended brain functions would have driven rapid and drastic changes in the hominin ecological niche, which in turn demanded further brain resources to adapt to it. In this way, humans have constructed a novel niche in each of the ecological, cognitive and neural domains, whose interactions accelerated their individual evolution through a process of triadic niche construction. Human higher cognitive activity can therefore be viewed holistically as one component in a terrestrial ecosystem. The brain's functional characteristics seem to play a key role in this triadic interaction. We advance a speculative argument about the origins of its neurobiological mechanisms, as an extension (with wider scope) of the evolutionary principles of adaptive function in the animal nervous system. The brain mechanisms that subserve tool use may bridge the gap between gesture and language--the site of such integration seems to be the parietal and extending opercular cortices.

  8. Competition in a technological niche: the cars of the future

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, S.; Lente, H. van; Engels, R.

    2012-01-01

    The notion of ‘niche’has proved to be useful to account for the emergence of radical innovations. Most studies, however, deal with the development of single emerging technologies. In this paper we address the competition between multiple niche technologies.Within the niche of the ‘car of the future’

  9. Testing the niche variation hypothesis with a measure of body condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Individual variation and fitness are cornerstones of evolution by natural selection. The niche variation hypothesis (NVH) posits that when interspecific competition is relaxed, intraspecific competition should drive niche expansion by selection favoring use of novel resources. Po...

  10. Evidence of niche shift and invasion potential of Lithobates catesbeianus in the habitat of Mexican endemic frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra López

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species are one of most severe threats to biodiversity and natural resources. These biological invasions have been studied from the niche conservatism and niche shifts perspective. Niche differentiation may result from changes in fundamental niche or realized niche or both; in biological invasions, niche differences between native and non-native ranges can appear through niche expansion, niche unfilling and niche stability. The American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus is an invasive species that can have negative impacts on native amphibian populations. This research examines the climate niche shifts of this frog, its potential range of expansion in Mexico and the risk of invasion by bullfrog in the habitats of 82 frog species endemic to Mexico, that based on their climatic niche similarity were divided in four ecological groups. The results indicate that species in two ecological groups were the most vulnerable to invasion by bullfrog. However, the climate niche shifts of L. catesbeianus may allow it to adapt to new environmental conditions, so species from the two remaining groups cannot be dismissed as not vulnerable. This information is valuable for decision making in prioritizing areas for conservation of Mexican endemic frogs.

  11. Nonlinear disruption of ecological interactions in response to nitrogen deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl

    2016-10-01

    Global environmental change (GEC) is affecting species interactions and causing a rapid decline in biodiversity. In this study, I present a new Ecosystem Disruption Index to quantify the impacts of simulated nitrogen (N) deposition (0, 10, 20, and 50 kg N·ha -1 ·yr -1  + 6-7 kg N·ha -1 ·yr -1 background) on abiotic and biotic ecological interactions. This comparative index is based on pairwise linear and quadratic regression matrices. These matrices, calculated at the N treatment level, were constructed using a range of abiotic and biotic ecosystem constituents: soil pH, shrub cover, and the first component of several separate principal component analyses using soil fertility data (total carbon and N) and community data (annual plants, microorganisms, biocrusts, edaphic fauna) for a total of seven ecosystem constituents. Four years of N fertilization in a semiarid shrubland completely disrupted the network of ecological interactions, with a greater proportional increase in ecosystem disruption at low N addition levels. Biotic interactions, particularly those involving microbes, shrubs, and edaphic fauna, were more prone to be lost in response to N, whereas interactions involving soil properties were more resilient. In contrast, edaphic fauna was the only group directly affected by N addition, with mites and collembolans increasing their abundance with up to 20 kg N·ha -1 ·yr -1 and then decreasing, which supports the idea of higher-trophic-level organisms being more sensitive to disturbance due to more complex links with other ecosystem constituents. Future experimental studies evaluating the impacts of N deposition, and possibly other GEC drivers, on biodiversity and biotic and abiotic interactions may be able to explain results more effectively in the context of ecological networks as a key feature of ecosystem sensitivity. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enrique G. de la Riva

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-occurring species may reduce competition, promoting different functional niches. Different functional habits associated with leaf life-span or growth forms are associated with different strategies for resource uptake, which could promote niche partitioning. In the present study, based on the biogeochemical niche concept and the use of resources in different proportions, we have focused on leaf traits (morphological and chemical associated with resource uptake, and explored the niche partitioning among functional habits: leaf life-span (deciduous, evergreen, and semideciduous and growth (tree, shrub, and arborescent-shrub. To this end, we have quantified the hypervolume of the leaf functional trait space (both structure and chemical composition in a sample of 45 Mediterranean woody species from Sierra Morena Mountains (Spain growing along a local soil resource gradient. Our results show consistent variation in functional space for woody communities distributed along the environmental gradient. Thus, communities dominated by deciduous trees with faster growth and a predominant acquisitive strategy were characteristic of bottom forests and showed highest leaf biogeochemical space. While semideciduous shrubs and evergreen (arborescent, trees species, characterized by a conservative strategy, dominated ridge forests and showed smaller functional space. In addition, within each topographical zone or environment type, the foliar biogeochemical niche partitioning

  13. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Riva, Enrique G; Marañón, Teodoro; Violle, Cyrille; Villar, Rafael; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio M

    2017-01-01

    According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-occurring species may reduce competition, promoting different functional niches. Different functional habits associated with leaf life-span or growth forms are associated with different strategies for resource uptake, which could promote niche partitioning. In the present study, based on the biogeochemical niche concept and the use of resources in different proportions, we have focused on leaf traits (morphological and chemical) associated with resource uptake, and explored the niche partitioning among functional habits: leaf life-span (deciduous, evergreen, and semideciduous) and growth (tree, shrub, and arborescent-shrub). To this end, we have quantified the hypervolume of the leaf functional trait space (both structure and chemical composition) in a sample of 45 Mediterranean woody species from Sierra Morena Mountains (Spain) growing along a local soil resource gradient. Our results show consistent variation in functional space for woody communities distributed along the environmental gradient. Thus, communities dominated by deciduous trees with faster growth and a predominant acquisitive strategy were characteristic of bottom forests and showed highest leaf biogeochemical space. While semideciduous shrubs and evergreen (arborescent, trees) species, characterized by a conservative strategy, dominated ridge forests and showed smaller functional space. In addition, within each topographical zone or environment type, the foliar biogeochemical niche partitioning would underlie the

  14. Intersexual trophic niche partitioning in an ant-eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stano Pekár

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Divergence in trophic niche between the sexes may function to reduce competition between the sexes ("intersexual niche partitioning hypothesis", or may be result from differential selection among the sexes on maximizing reproductive output ("sexual selection hypothesis". The latter may lead to higher energy demands in females driven by fecundity selection, while males invest in mate searching. We tested predictions of the two hypotheses underlying intersexual trophic niche partitioning in a natural population of spiders. Zodarion jozefienae spiders specialize on Messor barbarus ants that are polymorphic in body size and hence comprise potential trophic niches for the spider, making this system well-suited to study intersexual trophic niche partitioning.Comparative analysis of trophic morphology (the chelicerae and body size of males, females and juveniles demonstrated highly female biased SSD (Sexual Size Dimorphism in body size, body weight, and in the size of chelicerae, the latter arising from sex-specific growth patterns in trophic morphology. In the field, female spiders actively selected ant sub-castes that were larger than the average prey size, and larger than ants captured by juveniles and males. Female fecundity was highly positively correlated with female body mass, which reflects foraging success during the adult stage. Females in laboratory experiments preferred the large ant sub-castes and displayed higher capture efficiency. In contrast, males occupied a different trophic niche and showed reduced foraging effort and reduced prey capture and feeding efficiency compared with females and juveniles.Our data indicate that female-biased dimorphism in trophic morphology and body size correlate with sex-specific reproductive strategies. We propose that intersexual trophic niche partitioning is shaped primarily by fecundity selection in females, and results from sex-differences in the route to successful reproduction where females are

  15. Trophic Niche Differentiation in Rodents and Marsupials Revealed by Stable Isotopes.

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    Mauro Galetti

    Full Text Available Tropical rainforests support the greatest diversity of small mammals in the world, yet we have little understanding about the mechanisms that promote the coexistence of species. Diet partitioning can favor coexistence by lessening competition, and interspecific differences in body size and habitat use are usually proposed to be associated with trophic divergence. However, the use of classic dietary methods (e.g. stomach contents is challenging in small mammals, particularly in community-level studies, thus we used stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N to infer about trophic niche. We investigated i how trophic niche is partitioned among rodent and marsupial species in three Atlantic forest sites and ii if interspecific body size and locomotor habit inequalities can constitute mechanisms underlying the isotopic niche partitioning. We found that rodents occupied a broad isotopic niche space with species distributed in different trophic levels and relying on diverse basal carbon sources (C3 and C4 plants. Surprisingly, on the other hand, marsupials showed a narrow isotopic niche, both in δ13C and δ15N dimensions, which is partially overlapped with rodents, contradicting their description as omnivores and generalists proposed classic dietary studies. Although body mass differences did not explained the divergence in isotopic values among species, groups of species with different locomotor habit presented clear differences in the position of the isotopic niche space, indicating that the use of different forest strata can favor trophic niche partitioning in small mammals communities. We suggest that anthropogenic impacts, such as habitat modification (logging, harvesting, can simplify the vertical structure of ecosystems and collapse the diversity of basal resources, which might affect negatively small mammals communities in Atlantic forests.

  16. Accounting for biotic spatial variability in fields: Case of resistance screening against sunflower Verticillium wilt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Missonnier, Hélène; Jacques, Alban; Bang, JiSu; Daydé, Jean; Mirleau-Thebaud, Virginie

    2017-01-01

    In breeding for disease resistance, the magnitude of the genetic response is difficult to appreciate because of environmental stresses that interact with the plant genotype. We discuss herein the fundamental problems in breeding for disease resistance with the aim being to better understand the interactions between plant, pathogen, and spatial patterns. The goal of this study is to fine tune breeding decisions by incorporating spatial patterns of such biotic factors into the definition of disease-occurrence probability. We use a preexisting statistics method based on geostatistics for a descriptive analysis of biotic factors for trial quality control. The plant-population structure used for spatial-pattern analysis consists of two F1-hybrid cultivars, defined as symptomatic and asymptomatic controls with respect to the studied pathogen. The controls are inserted at specific locations to establish a grid arrangement over the field that include the F1-hybrid cultivars under evaluation. We characterize the spatial structure of the pathogen population and of the general plant environment-with undetermined but present abiotic constraints-not by using direct notation such as flower time or rainfall but by using plant behavior (i.e., leaf symptom severity, indirect notation). The analysis indicates areas with higher or lower risk of disease and reveals a correlation between the symptomatic control and the effective level of disease for sunflowers. This result suggests that the pathogen and/or abiotic components are major factors in determining the probability that a plant develops the disease, which could lead to a misinterpretation of plant resistance.

  17. Commodifying snow, taming the waters. Socio-ecological niche construction in an Alpine village.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Robert; Winiwarter, Verena

    White belts of snow clad mountains all over the world each winter. Even if there is no snow, the tourism industry is able to produce the white finery at the push of the button, thereby consuming large amounts of water. Studying Damüls, a well-known ski resort in Austria's westernmost province Vorarlberg, we can show that the development of a service sector within agro-pastoral landscapes was connected with novel water uses and massive interventions into Alpine landscapes. Human niche construction theory offers a unique avenue for studying the development of Alpine communities, but also highlights side effects accompanying the change from agrarian to tourism livelihoods. One aim of this paper is to broaden the scope of human niche construction theory. Inceptive, counteractive and relocational niche construction activities were coupled to the differentiation of actor groups. To incorporate social dynamics, indispensable for studies in environmental history, we propose the concept of socio-ecological niche construction. The paper investigates how villagers balanced resource limitations typical for an agrarian society with the differentiation of sub-niches, mediating selective forces on the population. When the valleys were industrialized, Damüls was almost given up as a permanent settlement. Then, tourists entered the stage, by and by turning the wheel of local development into a different direction. A tourism niche based on natural snow evolved from the 1930s onwards. While the socio-ecological niches of agriculture and tourism coexisted in the interwar years, this changed when ski lifts were built, embedded into a debt-based economy that made the tourism niche vulnerable to snow availability. Snow-dependency became a powerful selective force. It was mediated by the ski lift companies through a range of niche construction activities that turned water into an important resource of snowmaking systems.

  18. Improved Predictions of the Geographic Distribution of Invasive Plants Using Climatic Niche Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Albores, Jorge E.; Bustamante, Ramiro O.

    2016-01-01

    Climatic niche models for invasive plants are usually constructed with occurrence records taken from literature and collections. Because these data neither discriminate among life-cycle stages of plants (adult or juvenile) nor the origin of individuals (naturally established or man-planted), the resulting models may mispredict the distribution ranges of these species. We propose that more accurate predictions could be obtained by modelling climatic niches with data of naturally established individuals, particularly with occurrence records of juvenile plants because this would restrict the predictions of models to those sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of the species. To test this proposal, we focused on the Peruvian peppertree (Schinus molle), a South American species that has largely invaded Mexico. Three climatic niche models were constructed for this species using high-resolution dataset gathered in the field. The first model included all occurrence records, irrespective of the life-cycle stage or origin of peppertrees (generalized niche model). The second model only included occurrence records of naturally established mature individuals (adult niche model), while the third model was constructed with occurrence records of naturally established juvenile plants (regeneration niche model). When models were compared, the generalized climatic niche model predicted the presence of peppertrees in sites located farther beyond the climatic thresholds that naturally established individuals can tolerate, suggesting that human activities influence the distribution of this invasive species. The adult and regeneration climatic niche models concurred in their predictions about the distribution of peppertrees, suggesting that naturally established adult trees only occur in sites where climatic conditions allow the recruitment of juvenile stages. These results support the proposal that climatic niches of invasive plants should be modelled with data of

  19. Characterization of the bone marrow adipocyte niche with three-dimensional electron microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles, Hero; Park, SungJae; Joens, Matthew S; Fitzpatrick, James A J; Craft, Clarissa S; Scheller, Erica L

    2018-01-27

    Unlike white and brown adipose tissues, the bone marrow adipocyte (BMA) exists in a microenvironment containing unique populations of hematopoietic and skeletal cells. To study this microenvironment at the sub-cellular level, we performed a three-dimensional analysis of the ultrastructure of the BMA niche with focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM). This revealed that BMAs display hallmarks of metabolically active cells including polarized lipid deposits, a dense mitochondrial network, and areas of endoplasmic reticulum. The distinct orientations of the triacylglycerol droplets suggest that fatty acids are taken up and/or released in three key areas - at the endothelial interface, into the hematopoietic milieu, and at the bone surface. Near the sinusoidal vasculature, endothelial cells send finger-like projections into the surface of the BMA which terminate near regions of lipid within the BMA cytoplasm. In some regions, perivascular cells encase the BMA with their flattened cellular projections, limiting contacts with other cells in the niche. In the hematopoietic milieu, BMAT adipocytes of the proximal tibia interact extensively with maturing cells of the myeloid/granulocyte lineage. Associations with erythroblast islands are also prominent. At the bone surface, the BMA extends organelle and lipid-rich cytoplasmic regions toward areas of active osteoblasts. This suggests that the BMA may serve to partition nutrient utilization between diverse cellular compartments, serving as an energy-rich hub of the stromal-reticular network. Lastly, though immuno-EM, we've identified a subset of bone marrow adipocytes that are innervated by the sympathetic nervous system, providing an additional mechanism for regulation of the BMA. In summary, this work reveals that the bone marrow adipocyte is a dynamic cell with substantial capacity for interactions with the diverse components of its surrounding microenvironment. These local interactions likely contribute to

  20. Different foraging preferences of hummingbirds on artificial and natural flowers reveal mechanisms structuring plant-pollinator interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maglianesi, María A; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Schleuning, Matthias

    2015-05-01

    In plant-pollinator networks, the floral morphology of food plants is an important determinant of the interaction niche of pollinators. Studies on foraging preferences of pollinators combining experimental and observational approaches may help to understand the mechanisms behind patterns of interactions and niche partitioning within pollinator communities. In this study, we tested whether morphological floral traits were associated with foraging preferences of hummingbirds for artificial and natural flower types in Costa Rica. We performed field experiments with artificial feeders, differing in length and curvature of flower types, to quantify the hummingbirds' interaction niche under unlimited nectar resources. To quantify the interaction niche under real-world conditions of limited nectar resources, we measured foraging preferences of hummingbirds for a total of 34 plant species. Artificial feeders were visited by Eupherusa nigriventris and Phaethornis guy in the pre-montane forest, and Lampornis calolaemus in the lower montane forest. Under experimental conditions, all three hummingbird species overlapped their interaction niches and showed a preference for the short artificial flower type over the long-straight and the long-curved flower types. Under natural conditions, the two co-occurring hummingbird species preferred to feed on plant species with floral traits corresponding to their bill morphology. The short-billed hummingbird E. nigriventris preferred to feed on short and straight flowers, whereas the long- and curved-billed P. guy preferred long and curved natural flowers. The medium-size billed species L. calolaemus preferred to feed on flowers of medium length and did not show preferences for plant species with specific corolla curvature. Our results show that floral morphological traits constrain access by short-billed hummingbird species to nectar resources. Morphological constraints, therefore, represent one important mechanism structuring trophic

  1. The Role of Tomato WRKY Genes in Plant Responses to Combined Abiotic and Biotic Stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuling Bai

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In the field, plants constantly face a plethora of abiotic and biotic stresses that can impart detrimental effects on plants. In response to multiple stresses, plants can rapidly reprogram their transcriptome through a tightly regulated and highly dynamic regulatory network where WRKY transcription factors can act as activators or repressors. WRKY transcription factors have diverse biological functions in plants, but most notably are key players in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In tomato there are 83 WRKY genes identified. Here we review recent progress on functions of these tomato WRKY genes and their homologs in other plant species, such as Arabidopsis and rice, with a special focus on their involvement in responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. In particular, we highlight WRKY genes that play a role in plant responses to a combination of abiotic and biotic stresses.

  2. Predator-prey interactions as macro-scale drivers of species diversity in mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Sandel, Brody Steven; Dalby, Lars

    Background/Question/Methods Understanding the importance of predator-prey interactions for species diversity is a central theme in ecology, with fundamental consequences for predicting the responses of ecosystems to land use and climate change. We assessed the relative support for different...... mechanistic drivers of mammal species richness at macro-scales for two trophic levels: predators and prey. To disentangle biotic (i.e. functional predator-prey interactions) from abiotic (i.e. environmental) and bottom-up from top-down determinants we considered three hypotheses: 1) environmental factors...... that determine ecosystem productivity drive prey and predator richness (the productivity hypothesis, abiotic, bottom-up), 2) consumer richness is driven by resource diversity (the resource diversity hypothesis, biotic, bottom-up) and 3) consumers drive richness of their prey (the top-down hypothesis, biotic, top...

  3. The influence of social niche on cultural niche construction: modelling changes in belief about marriage form in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatov, Mikhail; Brown, Melissa J.; Feldman, Marcus W.

    2011-01-01

    With introduction of social niche effects into a model of cultural change, the frequency of a practice cannot predict the frequency of its underlying belief. The combination of a general model with empirical data from a specific case illustrates the importance of collaboration between modellers and field researchers, and identifies the type of quantitative data necessary for analysing case studies. Demographic data from colonial-period household registers in Taiwan document a shift in marriage form within 40 years, from a mixture of uxorilocal marriages and virilocal marriages to the latter's dominance. Ethnographic data indicate marriage-related beliefs, costs, ethnic effects and colonial policies as well as the importance of horizontal cultural transmission. We present a formal model for the effects of moral beliefs about marriage and a population economic index on the decline of uxorilocal marriage. We integrate empirical marriage rates and an estimated economic index to produce five projections of the historical frequencies of one belief. These projections demonstrate how economic development may affect a cultural niche. They also indicate the need for future research on the relationship between wealth and cultural variability, the motivational force of cultural versus social factors, and the process of cultural niche construction. PMID:21320903

  4. A promising niche: waste to energy project in the Indian dairy sector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patankar, Mahesh; Patwardhan, Anand; Verbong, Geert

    2010-01-01

    The dairy sector is known to have significant local and global environmental impacts; but it also has proven renewable-energy generation potential. This paper analyzes a specific niche experiment in the Indian dairy industry, wherein cattle waste management is carried out by a multitude of stakeholders. These include the waste collectors, local technology adopters, research institutions, multilateral donor agencies, the Indian government, technology suppliers and operation and maintenance teams who have managed an uninterrupted 1 MWe energy production over the past 4 years. This analysis uses the sociotechnical regime framework to study the interaction of social, technological, economic and policy-related aspects relevant to the niche experiment. The analysis shows a potential to contribute to the development of two complementing regimes-one related to cooperative waste management and the other related to grid-connected renewable-energy-based electricity generation. Key factors for a successful development are not only a long-term financing protection through government subsidies to cover higher capital cost and a preferential tariff related to energy throughput, but also the adaptation of technology, the embedding in the local cooperative structure and the removal of regulatory barriers.

  5. Consumer-resource theory predicts dynamic transitions between outcomes of interspecific interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, J. Nathaniel; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2009-01-01

    Interactions between two populations are often defined by their interaction outcomes; that is, the positive, neutral, or negative effects of species on one another. Yet, signs of outcomes are not absolute, but vary with the biotic and abiotic contexts of interactions. Here, we develop a general theory for transitions between outcomes based on consumer-resource (C-R) interactions in which one or both species exploit the other as a resource. Simple models of C-R interactions revealed multiple equilibria, including one for species coexistence and others for extinction of one or both species, indicating that species densities alone could determine the fate of interactions. All possible outcomes (+ +), (+ -), (- -), (+ 0), (- 0), (0 0) of species coexistence emerged merely through changes in parameter values of C-R interactions, indicating that variation in C-R interactions resulting from biotic and abiotic conditions could determine shifts in outcomes. These results suggest that C-R interactions can provide a broad mechanism for understanding context- and density-dependent transitions between interaction outcomes.

  6. Pre-metastatic niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peinado, Héctor; Zhang, Haiying; Matei, Irina R.

    2017-01-01

    It is well established that organs of future metastasis are not passive receivers of circulating tumour cells, but are instead selectively and actively modified by the primary tumour before metastatic spread has even occurred. Sowing the 'seeds' of metastasis requires the action of tumour......-secreted factors and tumour-shed extracellular vesicles that enable the 'soil' at distant metastatic sites to encourage the outgrowth of incoming cancer cells. In this Review, we summarize the main processes and new mechanisms involved in the formation of the pre-metastatic niche....

  7. The WRKY transcription factors in the diploid woodland strawberry Fragaria vesca: Identification and expression analysis under biotic and abiotic stresses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Hu, Yang; Han, Yong-Tao; Zhang, Kai; Zhao, Feng-Li; Feng, Jia-Yue

    2016-08-01

    WRKY proteins comprise a large family of transcription factors that play important roles in response to biotic and abiotic stresses and in plant growth and development. To date, little is known about the WRKY gene family in strawberry. In this study, we identified 62 WRKY genes (FvWRKYs) in the wild diploid woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca, 2n = 2x = 14) accession Heilongjiang-3. According to the phylogenetic analysis and structural features, these identified strawberry FvWRKY genes were classified into three main groups. In addition, eight FvWRKY-GFP fusion proteins showed distinct subcellular localizations in Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts. Furthermore, we examined the expression of the 62 FvWRKY genes in 'Heilongjiang-3' under various conditions, including biotic stress (Podosphaera aphanis), abiotic stresses (drought, salt, cold, and heat), and hormone treatments (abscisic acid, ethephon, methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid). The expression levels of 33 FvWRKY genes were upregulated, while 12 FvWRKY genes were downregulated during powdery mildew infection. FvWRKY genes responded to drought and salt treatment to a greater extent than to temperature stress. Expression profiles derived from quantitative real-time PCR suggested that 11 FvWRKY genes responded dramatically to various stimuli at the transcriptional level, indicating versatile roles in responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Interaction networks revealed that the crucial pathways controlled by WRKY proteins may be involved in the differential response to biotic stress. Taken together, the present work may provide the basis for future studies of the genetic modification of WRKY genes for pathogen resistance and stress tolerance in strawberry. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. The multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm: Analysis and applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cedeno, Walter [Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)

    1995-09-01

    The ability of organisms to evolve and adapt to the environment has provided mother nature with a rich and diverse set of species. Only organisms well adapted to their environment can survive from one generation to the next, transferring on the traits, that made them successful, to their offspring. Competition for resources and the ever changing environment drives some species to extinction and at the same time others evolve to maintain the delicate balance in nature. In this disertation we present the multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm, a computational metaphor to the survival of species in ecological niches in the face of competition. The multi-niche crowding genetic algorithm maintains stable subpopulations of solutions in multiple niches in multimodal landscapes. The algorithm introduces the concept of crowding selection to promote mating among members with qirnilar traits while allowing many members of the population to participate in mating. The algorithm uses worst among most similar replacement policy to promote competition among members with similar traits while allowing competition among members of different niches as well. We present empirical and theoretical results for the success of the multiniche crowding genetic algorithm for multimodal function optimization. The properties of the algorithm using different parameters are examined. We test the performance of the algorithm on problems of DNA Mapping, Aquifer Management, and the File Design Problem. Applications that combine the use of heuristics and special operators to solve problems in the areas of combinatorial optimization, grouping, and multi-objective optimization. We conclude by presenting the advantages and disadvantages of the algorithm and describing avenues for future investigation to answer other questions raised by this study.

  9. Loss of quiescence and self-renewal capacity of hematopoietic stem cell in an in vitro leukemic niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanegas, Natalia-Del Pilar; Vernot, Jean-Paul

    2017-01-01

    Leukemic and mesenchymal stem cells interact in the leukemic microenvironment and affect each other differently. This interplay has also important implications for the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) biology and function. This study evaluated human HSC self-renewal potential and quiescence in an in vitro leukemic niche without leukemic cells. A leukemic niche was established by co-culturing mesenchymal stem cells with a fresh conditioned medium obtained from a leukemic (REH) cell line. After 3 days, the REH-conditioned medium was removed and freshly isolated CD34+ at a density of up to 100,000 cells/ml were added to the leukemic niche. CD34+ cell evaluations (cell cycle, self-renewal gene expression and migration capacity) were performed after 3 further days of co-culture. Additionally, we preliminary investigated the soluble factors present in the leukemic niche and their effect on the mesenchymal stem cells. Statistical significance was assessed by Student's t test or the nonparametric test Kolmogorov-Smirnov. By co-culturing normal mesenchymal stem cells with the REH-conditioned medium we showed that hematopoietic stem cells, normally in a quiescent state, enter cell cycle and proliferate. This loss of quiescence was accompanied by an increased expression of Ki-67 and c-Myc, two well-known cell proliferation-associated markers. Two central regulators of quiescence GATA2 and p53 were also down regulated. Importantly, two genes involved in HSC self-renewal, Klf4 and the histone-lysine N -methyltransferase enzyme Ezh2, were severely affected. On the contrary, c-Kit expression, the stem cell factor receptor, was upregulated in hematopoietic stem cells when compared to the normal niche. Interestingly, mesenchymal stem cells incubated with the REH-conditioned medium stopped growing, showed a flattened morphology with the appearance of small vacuoles, and importantly, became positive for the senescence-associated beta-galactosidase activity. Evaluation of the leukemic

  10. Renewable energies and the poor: niche or nexus?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharyya, Subhes C.

    2006-01-01

    Renewable energies are considered as an essential element of any strategy for sustainable energy development. The poor in the developing world without access to modern energies are regarded as a major market for renewable energies. This short paper attempts to analyse whether such a niche is backed by any economic logic and whether renewable energy and the poor nexus could be a strategy for success. The paper suggests that contrary to the common belief, the economic logic behind the niche is unsound and that the nexus is not a recipe for success

  11. Evolution of the Jatropha Biofuel Niche in Ghana

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nygaard, Ivan; Bolwig, Simon

    spanning the period 1995–2004 and including detailed company case studies. Relating to the MLP framework the factors analysed influencing internal niche processes are alignment of expectations, network formation, and learning and knowledge sharing, while those relating to the GVC framework are value chain......, which contributed to the collapse of the jatropha sector in Ghana and thus to the failure to capitalise on the initially high expectations of biofuel production. We also found a low level of learning and knowledgesharing between jatropha niche actors in Ghana, which, alongside weak public R&D support...

  12. Assembly and phylogenetic structure of Neotropical palm communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Balslev, Henrik

    Diversity, composition and dynamics of Neotropical palm communities are receiving an increasing amount of attention due to their economic importance, but also because their high species richness and functional diversity render them valuable model systems for overall forest biodiversity. However......, to better understand these palm communities, it is crucial to gain insight into the mechanisms responsible for their assembly. These can be dispersal limitation, environmental filtering, or biotic interactions. If the degree of niche conservatism is known for a group of organisms, patterns of community...... an unspecific assumption of “general niche conservatism”, phylogenetic signal will be analysed for Neotropical palms. Moreover, as an example for evolutionary mechanisms disrupting phylogenetic signal, speciation modes will be examined in selected genera. With the combined results we aim to show the relative...

  13. AN ANALYSIS OF FUNDING DECISIONS FOR NICHE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

    OpenAIRE

    HOWARD VAN AUKEN; SHAWN CARRAHER

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines the flow of funds from providers of capital to niche agricultural users of capital. Various programs through the US government, state/local economic development and private agencies work to improve the flow of capital to the niche agricultural sector. However, despite the expansion of programs aimed at providing financial resources to the agricultural sector, many sectors remain poorly served. Previous studies have suggested that agencies need to facilitate the flow of cap...

  14. Assessment of derelict soil quality: Abiotic, biotic and functional approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Quentin; Auclerc, Apolline; Beguiristain, Thierry; Leyval, Corinne

    2018-02-01

    The intensification and subsequent closing down of industrial activities during the last century has left behind large surfaces of derelict lands. Derelict soils have low fertility, can be contaminated, and many of them remain unused. However, with the increasing demand of soil surfaces, they might be considered as a resource, for example for non-food biomass production. The study of their physico-chemical properties and of their biodiversity and biological activity may provide indications for their potential re-use. The objective of our study was to investigate the quality of six derelict soils, considering abiotic, biotic, and functional parameters. We studied (i) the soil bacteria, fungi, meso- and macro-fauna and plant communities of six different derelict soils (two from coking plants, one from a settling pond, two constructed ones made from different substrates and remediated soil, and an inert waste storage one), and (ii) their decomposition function based on the decomposer trophic network, enzyme activities, mineralization activity, and organic pollutant degradation. Biodiversity levels in these soils were high, but all biotic parameters, except the mycorrhizal colonization level, discriminated them. Multivariate analysis showed that biotic parameters co-varied more with fertility proxies than with soil contamination parameters. Similarly, functional parameters significantly co-varied with abiotic parameters. Among functional parameters, macro-decomposer proportion, enzyme activity, average mineralization capacity, and microbial polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degraders were useful to discriminate the soils. We assessed their quality by combining abiotic, biotic, and functional parameters: the compost-amended constructed soil displayed the highest quality, while the settling pond soil and the contaminated constructed soil displayed the lowest. Although differences among the soils were highlighted, this study shows that derelict soils may provide a

  15. Potential for biotic resistance from herbivores to tropical and subtropical plant invasions in aquatic ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petruzella, A.; Grutters, B.M.C.; Thomaz, S.M.; Bakker, E.S.

    2017-01-01

    Invasions of tropical and subtropical aquatic plants threaten biodiversity and cause ecological and economic impacts worldwide. An urgent question is whether native herbivores are able to inhibit the spread of these alien species thus providing biotic resistance. The potential for biotic resistance

  16. Ontogenetic specialism in predators with multiple niche shifts prevents predator population recovery and establishment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, A.; Huss, M.; Gårdmark, A.; de Roos, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of ontogenetic niche shifts on community structure and dynamics are underexplored, despite the occurrence of such shifts in the majority of animal species. We studied the form of niche shifts in a predator that exhibits multiple ontogenetic niche shifts, and analyzed how this life

  17. Niche conservatism and phylogenetic clustering in a tribe of arid-adapted marsupial mice, the Sminthopsini.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Navas, Vicente; Westerman, Michael

    2018-05-28

    The progressive expansion of the Australian arid zone during the last 20 Ma appears to have spurred the diversification of several families of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, yet such taxonomic groups appear to show limited niche radiation. Here, we test whether speciation is associated with niche conservatism (constraints on ecological divergence) or niche divergence in a tribe of marsupial mice (Sminthopsini; 23 taxa) that includes the most speciose genus of living dasyurids, the sminthopsins. To that end, we integrated phylogenetic data with ecological niche modelling, to enable us to reconstruct the evolution of climatic suitability within Sminthopsini. Niche overlap among species was low-moderate (but generally higher than expected given environmental background similarity), and the degree of phylogenetic clustering increased with aridity. Climatic niche reconstruction illustrates that there has been little apparent evolution of climatic tolerance within clades. Accordingly, climatic disparity tends to be accumulated among clades, suggesting considerable niche conservatism. Our results also indicate that evolution of climatic tolerances has been heterogeneous across different dimensions of climate (temperature vs. precipitation) and across phylogenetic clusters (Sminthopsis murina group vs. other groups). Although some results point to the existence of shifts in climatic niches during the speciation of sminthopsins, our study provides evidence for substantial phylogenetic niche conservatism in the group. We conclude that niche diversification had a low impact on the speciation of this tribe of small, but highly mobile marsupials. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Environmental niche models for riverine desert fishes and their similarity according to phylogeny and functionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, James E.; Whittier, Joanna B.; Paukert, Craig P.

    2017-01-01

    Environmental filtering and competitive exclusion are hypotheses frequently invoked in explaining species' environmental niches (i.e., geographic distributions). A key assumption in both hypotheses is that the functional niche (i.e., species traits) governs the environmental niche, but few studies have rigorously evaluated this assumption. Furthermore, phylogeny could be associated with these hypotheses if it is predictive of functional niche similarity via phylogenetic signal or convergent evolution, or of environmental niche similarity through phylogenetic attraction or repulsion. The objectives of this study were to investigate relationships between environmental niches, functional niches, and phylogenies of fishes of the Upper (UCRB) and Lower (LCRB) Colorado River Basins of southwestern North America. We predicted that functionally similar species would have similar environmental niches (i.e., environmental filtering) and that closely related species would be functionally similar (i.e., phylogenetic signal) and possess similar environmental niches (i.e., phylogenetic attraction). Environmental niches were quantified using environmental niche modeling, and functional similarity was determined using functional trait data. Nonnatives in the UCRB provided the only support for environmental filtering, which resulted from several warmwater nonnatives having dam number as a common predictor of their distributions, whereas several cool- and coldwater nonnatives shared mean annual air temperature as an important distributional predictor. Phylogenetic signal was supported for both natives and nonnatives in both basins. Lastly, phylogenetic attraction was only supported for native fishes in the LCRB and for nonnative fishes in the UCRB. Our results indicated that functional similarity was heavily influenced by evolutionary history, but that phylogenetic relationships and functional traits may not always predict the environmental distribution of species. However, the

  19. Comparison of Hematopoietic and Spermatogonial Stem Cell Niches from the Regenerative Medicine Aspect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köse, Sevil; Yersal, Nilgün; Önen, Selin; Korkusuz, Petek

    2018-06-08

    Recent advances require a dual evaluation of germ and somatic stem cell niches with a regenerative medicine perspective. For a better point of view of the niche concept, it is needed to compare the microenvironments of those niches in respect to several components. The cellular environment of spermatogonial stem cells' niche consists of Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, vascular endothelial cells, epididymal fat cells, peritubular myoid cells while hematopoietic stem cells have mesenchymal stem cells, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, megacaryocytes, macrophages, vascular endothelial cells, pericytes and adipocytes in their microenvironment. Not only those cells', but also the effect of the other factors such as hormones, growth factors, chemokines, cytokines, extracellular matrix components, biomechanical forces (like shear stress, tension or compression) and physical environmental elements such as temperature, oxygen level and pH will be clarified during the chapter. Because it is known that the microenvironment has an important role in the stem cell homeostasis and disease conditions, it is crucial to understand the details of the microenvironment and to be able to compare the niche concepts of the different types of stem cells from each other, for the regenerative interventions. Indeed, the purpose of this chapter is to point out the usage of niche engineering within the further studies in the regenerative medicine field. Decellularized, synthetic or non-synthetic scaffolds may help to mimic the stem cell niche. However, the shared or different characteristics of germ and somatic stem cell microenvironments are necessary to constitute a proper niche model. When considered from this aspect, it is possible to produce some strategies on the personalized medicine by using those artificial models of stem cell microenvironment.

  20. Long term patterns in the late summer trophic niche of the invasive pumpkinseed sunfish Lepomis gibbosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gkenas C.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the trophic dynamics of invasive species in novel habitats is important for predicting the success of potential invaders and evaluating their ecological effects. The North American pumpkinseed sunfish Lepomis gibbosus is a successful invader in Europe, where it has caused negative ecological effects primarily through trophic interactions. Here, we quantified variations in the late summer trophic niche of pumpkinseed during establishment and integration in the mainstem of the Guadiana river, using stomach content analyses over a period of 40 years. Pumpkinseed showed a shift from trophic specialization during establishment to trophic generalism during integration. These results were concomitant with an increase in diet breadth that was accompanied by higher individual diet specialization particularly in large individuals. Irrespective of their drivers, these changes in trophic niche suggest that the potential ecological effects of pumpkinseed on recipient ecosystems can vary temporally along the invasion process.

  1. Electrode impedance analysis of chronic tungsten microwire neural implants: understanding abiotic vs. biotic contributions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viswanath eSankar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Changes in biotic and abiotic factors can be reflected in the complex impedance spectrum of the microelectrodes chronically implanted into the neural tissue. The recording surface of the tungsten electrode in vivo undergoes abiotic changes due to recording site corrosion and insulation delamination as well as biotic changes due to tissue encapsulation as a result of the foreign body immune response. We reported earlier that large changes in electrode impedance measured at 1 kHz were correlated with poor electrode functional performance, quantified through electrophysiological recordings during the chronic lifetime of the electrode. There is a need to identity the factors that contribute to the chronic impedance variation. In this work, we use numerical simulation and regression to equivalent circuit models to evaluate both the abiotic and biotic contributions to the impedance response over chronic implant duration. COMSOL® simulation of abiotic electrode morphology changes provide a possible explanation for the decrease in the electrode impedance at long implant duration while biotic changes play an important role in the large increase in impedance observed initially.

  2. The muscle stem cell niche : regulation of satellite cells during regeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boonen, K.J.M.; Post, M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Satellite cells are considered to be adult skeletal muscle stem cells. Their ability to regenerate large muscle defects is highly dependent on their specific niche. When these cells are cultured in vitro, the loss of this niche leads to a loss of proliferative capacity and defective regeneration

  3. CROSS DRIFT ALCOVE/NICHE UTILITIES ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    S. Goodin

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of this analysis is to provide the design basis and general arrangement requirements of the non-potable water, waste water, compressed air and ventilation (post excavation) utilities required in support of the Cross Drift alcoves and niches

  4. Making Blood: The Haematopoietic Niche throughout Ontogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad A. Al-Drees

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Approximately one-quarter of all cells in the adult human body are blood cells. The haematopoietic system is therefore massive in scale and requires exquisite regulation to be maintained under homeostatic conditions. It must also be able to respond when needed, such as during infection or following blood loss, to produce more blood cells. Supporting cells serve to maintain haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells during homeostatic and pathological conditions. This coalition of supportive cell types, organised in specific tissues, is termed the haematopoietic niche. Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells are generated in a number of distinct locations during mammalian embryogenesis. These stem and progenitor cells migrate to a variety of anatomical locations through the conceptus until finally homing to the bone marrow shortly before birth. Under stress, extramedullary haematopoiesis can take place in regions that are typically lacking in blood-producing activity. Our aim in this review is to examine blood production throughout the embryo and adult, under normal and pathological conditions, to identify commonalities and distinctions between each niche. A clearer understanding of the mechanism underlying each haematopoietic niche can be applied to improving ex vivo cultures of haematopoietic stem cells and potentially lead to new directions for transplantation medicine.

  5. Coprolites reveal ecological interactions lost with the extinction of New Zealand birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boast, Alexander P; Weyrich, Laura S; Wood, Jamie R; Metcalf, Jessica L; Knight, Rob; Cooper, Alan

    2018-02-13

    Over the past 50,000 y, biotic extinctions and declines have left a legacy of vacant niches and broken ecological interactions across global terrestrial ecosystems. Reconstructing the natural, unmodified ecosystems that preceded these events relies on high-resolution analyses of paleoecological deposits. Coprolites are a source of uniquely detailed information about trophic interactions and the behaviors, gut parasite communities, and microbiotas of prehistoric animal species. Such insights are critical for understanding the legacy effects of extinctions on ecosystems, and can help guide contemporary conservation and ecosystem restoration efforts. Here we use high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of ancient eukaryotic DNA from coprolites to reconstruct aspects of the biology and ecology of four species of extinct moa and the critically endangered kakapo parrot from New Zealand (NZ). Importantly, we provide evidence that moa and prehistoric kakapo consumed ectomycorrhizal fungi, suggesting these birds played a role in dispersing fungi that are key to NZ's natural forest ecosystems. We also provide the first DNA-based evidence that moa frequently supplemented their broad diets with ferns and mosses. Finally, we also find parasite taxa that provide insight into moa behavior, and present data supporting the hypothesis of coextinction between moa and several parasite species. Our study demonstrates that HTS sequencing of coprolites provides a powerful tool for resolving key aspects of ancient ecosystems and may rapidly provide information not obtainable by conventional paleoecological techniques, such as fossil analyses.

  6. Column study of enhanced Cr(VI) removal and longevity by coupled abiotic and biotic processes using Fe0 and mixed anaerobic culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Jiawei; Yin, Weizhao; Li, Yongtao; Li, Ping; Wu, Jinhua; Jiang, Gangbiao; Gu, Jingjing; Liang, Hao

    2017-10-01

    In this study, Fe 0 and mixed anaerobic culture were integrated in one column to investigate the coupled abiotic and biotic effects on hexa-valent chromium (Cr(VI)) removal and column longevity with an abiotic Fe 0 column in the control experiments. According to the breakthrough study, a slower Cr(VI) breakthrough rate of 0.19 cm/PV was observed in the biotic Fe 0 column whereas the value in the abiotic Fe 0 column was 0.30 cm/PV, resulting in 64% longer life-span and 62% higher Cr(VI) removal capacity in the biotic Fe 0 column than the abiotic one. The solid phase characterization by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed that this enhancement was attributed to the higher consumption of iron and greater production of diverse reactive minerals (e.g., green rust, magnetite and lepidocrocite) induced by the synergistic interaction of Fe 0 and anaerobic culture, providing more reactive sites for Cr(VI) adsorption, reduction and co-precipitation. Furthermore, the decreasing breakthrough rates and growing iron corrosion along the biotic Fe 0 column demonstrated an inhomogeneous distribution of reactive zones in the column and its latter 3/5 section was considered to be the most reactive area for Cr(VI) removal. These results indicate that the inoculation of microorganisms in Fe 0 -based permeable reactive barriers will enable this technology a higher removal capacity and longer life-span for the remediation of Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Ecological Niche Modelling of Bank Voles in Western Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Amirpour Haredasht

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The bank vole (Myodes glareolus is the natural host of Puumala virus (PUUV in vast areas of Europe. PUUV is one of the hantaviruses which are transmitted to humans by infected rodents. PUUV causes a general mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS called nephropathia epidemica (NE. Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases generally display clear spatial patterns due to different space-dependent factors. Land cover influences disease transmission by controlling both the spatial distribution of vectors or hosts, as well as by facilitating the human contact with them. In this study the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM for predicting the geographical distribution of bank vole population on the basis of spatial climate information is tested. The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP is used to model the ecological niche of bank voles in Western Europe. The meteorological data, land cover types and geo-referenced points representing the locations of the bank voles (latitude/longitude in the study area are used as the primary model input value. The predictive accuracy of the bank vole ecologic niche model was significant (training accuracy of 86%. The output of the GARP models based on the 50% subsets of points used for testing the model showed an accuracy of 75%. Compared with random models, the probability of such high predictivity was low (χ2 tests, p < 10−6. As such, the GARP models were predictive and the used ecologic niche model indeed indicates the ecologic requirements of bank voles. This approach successfully identified the areas of infection risk across the study area. The result suggests that the niche modelling approach can be implemented in a next step towards the development of new tools for monitoring the bank vole’s population.

  8. Ecological niche modelling of bank voles in Western Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amirpour Haredasht, Sara; Barrios, Miguel; Farifteh, Jamshid; Maes, Piet; Clement, Jan; Verstraeten, Willem W; Tersago, Katrien; Van Ranst, Marc; Coppin, Pol; Berckmans, Daniel; Aerts, Jean-Marie

    2013-01-28

    The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is the natural host of Puumala virus (PUUV) in vast areas of Europe. PUUV is one of the hantaviruses which are transmitted to humans by infected rodents. PUUV causes a general mild form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) called nephropathia epidemica (NE). Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases generally display clear spatial patterns due to different space-dependent factors. Land cover influences disease transmission by controlling both the spatial distribution of vectors or hosts, as well as by facilitating the human contact with them. In this study the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM) for predicting the geographical distribution of bank vole population on the basis of spatial climate information is tested. The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) is used to model the ecological niche of bank voles in Western Europe. The meteorological data, land cover types and geo-referenced points representing the locations of the bank voles (latitude/longitude) in the study area are used as the primary model input value. The predictive accuracy of the bank vole ecologic niche model was significant (training accuracy of 86%). The output of the GARP models based on the 50% subsets of points used for testing the model showed an accuracy of 75%. Compared with random models, the probability of such high predictivity was low (χ(2) tests, p < 10(-6)). As such, the GARP models were predictive and the used ecologic niche model indeed indicates the ecologic requirements of bank voles. This approach successfully identified the areas of infection risk across the study area. The result suggests that the niche modelling approach can be implemented in a next step towards the development of new tools for monitoring the bank vole's population.

  9. Development of the Fetal Bone Marrow Niche and Regulation of HSC Quiescence and Homing Ability by Emerging Osteolineage Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Süleyman Coşkun

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs reside within a specialized niche where interactions with vasculature, osteoblasts, and stromal components regulate their self-renewal and differentiation. Little is known about bone marrow niche formation or the role of its cellular components in HSC development; therefore, we established the timing of murine fetal long bone vascularization and ossification relative to the onset of HSC activity. Adult-repopulating HSCs emerged at embryonic day 16.5 (E16.5, coincident with marrow vascularization, and were contained within the c-Kit+Sca-1+Lin− (KSL population. We used Osterix-null (Osx−/− mice that form vascularized marrow but lack osteolineage cells to dissect the role(s of these cellular components in HSC development. Osx−/− fetal bone marrow cells formed multilineage colonies in vitro but were hyperproliferative and failed to home to and/or engraft transplant recipients. Thus, in developing bone marrow, the vasculature can sustain multilineage progenitors, but interactions with osteolineage cells are needed to regulate long-term HSC proliferation and potential.

  10. Development of the fetal bone marrow niche and regulation of HSC quiescence and homing ability by emerging osteolineage cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coşkun, Süleyman; Chao, Hsu; Vasavada, Hema; Heydari, Kartoosh; Gonzales, Naomi; Zhou, Xin; de Crombrugghe, Benoit; Hirschi, Karen K

    2014-10-23

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside within a specialized niche where interactions with vasculature, osteoblasts, and stromal components regulate their self-renewal and differentiation. Little is known about bone marrow niche formation or the role of its cellular components in HSC development; therefore, we established the timing of murine fetal long bone vascularization and ossification relative to the onset of HSC activity. Adult-repopulating HSCs emerged at embryonic day 16.5 (E16.5), coincident with marrow vascularization, and were contained within the c-Kit(+)Sca-1(+)Lin(-) (KSL) population. We used Osterix-null (Osx(-/-)) mice that form vascularized marrow but lack osteolineage cells to dissect the role(s) of these cellular components in HSC development. Osx(-/-) fetal bone marrow cells formed multilineage colonies in vitro but were hyperproliferative and failed to home to and/or engraft transplant recipients. Thus, in developing bone marrow, the vasculature can sustain multilineage progenitors, but interactions with osteolineage cells are needed to regulate long-term HSC proliferation and potential. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Novel therapeutic strategies to target leukemic cells that hijack compartmentalized continuous hematopoietic stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hira, Vashendriya V V; Van Noorden, Cornelis J F; Carraway, Hetty E; Maciejewski, Jaroslaw P; Molenaar, Remco J

    2017-08-01

    Acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells hijack hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches in the bone marrow and become leukemic stem cells (LSCs) at the expense of normal HSCs. LSCs are quiescent and resistant to chemotherapy and can cause relapse of the disease. HSCs in niches are needed to generate blood cell precursors that are committed to unilineage differentiation and eventually production of mature blood cells, including red blood cells, megakaryocytes, myeloid cells and lymphocytes. Thus far, three types of HSC niches are recognized: endosteal, reticular and perivascular niches. However, we argue here that there is only one type of HSC niche, which consists of a periarteriolar compartment and a perisinusoidal compartment. In the periarteriolar compartment, hypoxia and low levels of reactive oxygen species preserve the HSC pool. In the perisinusoidal compartment, hypoxia in combination with higher levels of reactive oxygen species enables proliferation of progenitor cells and their mobilization into the circulation. Because HSC niches offer protection to LSCs against chemotherapy, we review novel therapeutic strategies to inhibit homing of LSCs in niches for the prevention of dedifferentiation of leukemic cells into LSCs and to stimulate migration of leukemic cells out of niches. These strategies enhance differentiation and proliferation and thus sensitize leukemic cells to chemotherapy. Finally, we list clinical trials of therapies that tackle LSCs in HSC niches to circumvent their protection against chemotherapy. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. The lake foodweb: modelling predation and abiotic/biotic interactions

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hakanson, L; Boulion, V.V

    2002-01-01

    .... The model is based on many new approaches of structuring lake foodweb interactions. It uses ordinary differential equations and gives weekly variations in production and biomass for its nine groups of organisms...

  13. Drosophila Glypicans Regulate Follicle Stem Cell Maintenance and Niche Competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Tsu-Yi; Nakato, Eriko; Choi, Pui Yee; Nakato, Hiroshi

    2018-04-09

    Adult stem cells reside in specialized microenvironments, called niches, which provide signals for stem cells to maintain their undifferentiated and self-renewing state. To maintain stem cell quality, several types of stem cells are known to be regularly replaced by progenitor cells through niche competition. However, the cellular and molecular bases for stem cell competition for niche occupancy are largely unknown. Here, we show that two Drosophila members of the glypican family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), Dally and Dally-like (Dlp), differentially regulate follicle stem cell (FSC) maintenance and FSC competitiveness for niche occupancy. Lineage analyses of glypican mutant FSC clones showed that dally is essential for normal FSC maintenance. In contrast, dlp is a hyper-competitive mutation: dlp mutant FSC progenitors often eventually occupy the entire epithelial sheet. RNAi knockdown experiments showed that Dally and Dlp play both partially redundant and distinct roles in regulating Jak/Stat, Wg and Hh signaling in FSCs. The Drosophila FSC system offers a powerful genetic model to study the mechanisms by which HSPGs exert specific functions in stem cell replacement and competition. Copyright © 2018, Genetics.

  14. Environmental filtering drives the shape and breadth of the seed germination niche in coastal plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Pascual, Eduardo; Pérez-Arcoiza, Adrián; Prieto, José Alberto; Díaz, Tomás E

    2017-05-01

    A phylogenetic comparative analysis of the seed germination niche was conducted in coastal plant communities of western Europe. Two hypotheses were tested, that (1) the germination niche shape (i.e. the preference for a set of germination cues as opposed to another) would differ between beaches and cliffs to prevent seedling emergence in the less favourable season (winter and summer, respectively); and (2) the germination niche breadth (i.e. the amplitude of germination cues) would be narrower in the seawards communities, where environmental filtering is stronger. Seeds of 30 specialist species of coastal plant communities were collected in natural populations of northern Spain. Their germination was measured in six laboratory treatments based on field temperatures. Germination niche shape was estimated as the best germination temperature. Germination niche breadth was calculated using Pielou's evenness index. Differences between plant communities in their germination niche shape and breadth were tested using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression (PGLS). Germination niche shape differed between communities, being warm-cued in beaches (best germination temperature = 20 °C) and cold-cued in cliffs (14 °C). Germination niche was narrowest in seawards beaches (Pielou's index = 0·89) and broadest in landwards beaches (0·99). Cliffs had an intermediate germination niche breadth (0·95). The relationship between niche and plant community had a positive phylogenetic signal for shape (Pagel's λ = 0·64) and a negative one for breadth (Pagel's λ = -1·71). Environmental filters shape the germination niche to prevent emergence in the season of highest threat for seedling establishment. The germination niche breadth is narrower in the communities with stronger environmental filters, but only in beaches. This study provides empirical support to a community-level generalization of the hypotheses about the environmental drivers of the germination

  15. Mapping the Fundamental Niches of Two Freshwater Microalgae, Chlorella vulgaris (Trebouxiophyceae and Peridinium cinctum (Dinophyceae, in 5-Dimensional Ion Space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terence J. Evens

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The fundamental niche defined by five ions, NO3 −, PO4 3−, K+, Na+, and Cl−, was mapped for Chlorella vulgaris (Trebouxiophyceae and Peridinium cinctum (Dinophyceae growth rates and maximum cell densities in batch cultures. A five dimensional ion-mixture experimental design was projected across a total ion concentration gradient of 1 to 30 mM to delineate the ion-based, “potential” niche space, defined as the entire n-dimensional hypervolume demarcated by the feasible ranges of the independent factors under consideration. The growth rate-based, fundamental niche volumes overlapped for ca. 94% of the ion mixtures, although the regions of maximal growth rates and cell densities were different for each alga. Both C. vulgaris and P. cinctum exhibited similar positive responses to cations and negative responses to anions. It was determined that total ion concentration for these five ions, from 1 to 30 mM, did not directly affect either growth rate or maximal cell density for either alga, although it did play an interactive role with several ions. This study is the first that we are aware of to attempt the mapping of a multivariate, ion-based, fundamental niche volume. The implications of the experimental design utilized and the potential utility of this type of approach are discussed.

  16. Dissolved and labile concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in the South Fork Coeur d'Alene River, Idaho: Comparisons among chemical equilibrium models and implications for biotic ligand models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balistrieri, L.S.; Blank, R.G.

    2008-01-01

    In order to evaluate thermodynamic speciation calculations inherent in biotic ligand models, the speciation of dissolved Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in aquatic systems influenced by historical mining activities is examined using equilibrium computer models and the diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) technique. Several metal/organic-matter complexation models, including WHAM VI, NICA-Donnan, and Stockholm Humic model (SHM), are used in combination with inorganic speciation models to calculate the thermodynamic speciation of dissolved metals and concentrations of metal associated with biotic ligands (e.g., fish gills). Maximum dynamic metal concentrations, determined from total dissolved metal concentrations and thermodynamic speciation calculations, are compared with labile metal concentrations measured by DGT to assess which metal/organic-matter complexation model best describes metal speciation and, thereby, biotic ligand speciation, in the studied systems. Results indicate that the choice of model that defines metal/organic-matter interactions does not affect calculated concentrations of Cd and Zn associated with biotic ligands for geochemical conditions in the study area, whereas concentrations of Cu and Pb associated with biotic ligands depend on whether the speciation calculations use WHAM VI, NICA-Donnan, or SHM. Agreement between labile metal concentrations and dynamic metal concentrations occurs when WHAM VI is used to calculate Cu speciation and SHM is used to calculate Pb speciation. Additional work in systems that contain wide ranges in concentrations of multiple metals should incorporate analytical speciation methods, such as DGT, to constrain the speciation component of biotic ligand models. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Species co-occurrence networks: Can they reveal trophic and non-trophic interactions in ecological communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freilich, Mara A; Wieters, Evie; Broitman, Bernardo R; Marquet, Pablo A; Navarrete, Sergio A

    2018-03-01

    Co-occurrence methods are increasingly utilized in ecology to infer networks of species interactions where detailed knowledge based on empirical studies is difficult to obtain. Their use is particularly common, but not restricted to, microbial networks constructed from metagenomic analyses. In this study, we test the efficacy of this procedure by comparing an inferred network constructed using spatially intensive co-occurrence data from the rocky intertidal zone in central Chile to a well-resolved, empirically based, species interaction network from the same region. We evaluated the overlap in the information provided by each network and the extent to which there is a bias for co-occurrence data to better detect known trophic or non-trophic, positive or negative interactions. We found a poor correspondence between the co-occurrence network and the known species interactions with overall sensitivity (probability of true link detection) equal to 0.469, and specificity (true non-interaction) equal to 0.527. The ability to detect interactions varied with interaction type. Positive non-trophic interactions such as commensalism and facilitation were detected at the highest rates. These results demonstrate that co-occurrence networks do not represent classical ecological networks in which interactions are defined by direct observations or experimental manipulations. Co-occurrence networks provide information about the joint spatial effects of environmental conditions, recruitment, and, to some extent, biotic interactions, and among the latter, they tend to better detect niche-expanding positive non-trophic interactions. Detection of links (sensitivity or specificity) was not higher for well-known intertidal keystone species than for the rest of consumers in the community. Thus, as observed in previous empirical and theoretical studies, patterns of interactions in co-occurrence networks must be interpreted with caution, especially when extending interaction

  18. Evolution is a cooperative process: the biodiversity-related niches differentiation theory (BNDT) can explain why.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, Roberto Cazzolla

    2011-01-01

    A. McFayden and G.E. Hutchinson defined a niche as a multidimensional space or hypervolume within the environment that allows an individual or a species to survive, we consider niches as a fundamental ecological variable that regulate species' composition and relation in ecosystems. Successively the niche concept has been associated to the genetic term "phenotype" by MacArthurstressing the importance on what a species or a genome can show outside, either in the environmental functions or in body characteristics. Several indexes have been developed to evaluate the grade of overlapping and similarities of species' niches, even utilizing the theory of information. However, which are the factors that determine the number of species that can coexist in a determinate environment and why a generalist species do not compete until the exclusion of the remaining species to maximize its fitness, is still quite unknown. Moreover, there are few studies and theories that clearly explain why the number of niches is so variable through ecosystems and how can several species live in the same basal niche, intended in a comprehensive sense as the range of basic conditions (temperature, humidity, food-guild, etc.). Here I show that the number of niches in an ecosystem depends on the number of species present in a particular moment and that the species themselves allow the enhancement of niches in terms of space and number. I found that using a three-dimensional model as hypervolume and testing the theory on a Mediterranean, temperate and tropical forest ecosystem it is possible to demonstrate that each species plays a fundamental role in facilitating the colonization by other species by simply modifying the environment and exponentially increasing the available niches' space and number. I resumed these hypothesis, after some preliminary empiric tests, in the Biodiversity-related Niches Differentiation Theory (BNDT), stressing with these definition that the process of niches

  19. Differential cytokine contributions of perivascular haematopoietic stem cell niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asada, Noboru; Kunisaki, Yuya; Pierce, Halley; Wang, Zichen; Fernandez, Nicolas F; Birbrair, Alexander; Ma'ayan, Avi; Frenette, Paul S

    2017-03-01

    Arterioles and sinusoids of the bone marrow (BM) are accompanied by stromal cells that express nerve/glial antigen 2 (NG2) and leptin receptor (LepR), and constitute specialized niches that regulate quiescence and proliferation of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). However, how niche cells differentially regulate HSC functions remains unknown. Here, we show that the effects of cytokines regulating HSC functions are dependent on the producing cell sources. Deletion of chemokine C-X-C motif ligand 12 (Cxcl12) or stem cell factor (Scf) from all perivascular cells marked by nestin-GFP dramatically depleted BM HSCs. Selective Cxcl12 deletion from arteriolar NG2 + cells, but not from sinusoidal LepR + cells, caused HSC reductions and altered HSC localization in BM. By contrast, deletion of Scf in LepR + cells, but not NG2 + cells, led to reductions in BM HSC numbers. These results uncover distinct contributions of cytokines derived from perivascular cells in separate vascular niches to HSC maintenance.

  20. Biogeochemical and Ecomorphological Niche Segregation of Mediterranean Woody Species along a Local Gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Enrique G. de la Riva; Enrique G. de la Riva; Teodoro Marañón; Cyrille Violle; Rafael Villar; Ignacio M. Pérez-Ramos

    2017-01-01

    According with niche theory the species are specialized in different ecological niches, being able to coexist as result of a differential use of resources. In this context, the biogeochemical niche hypothesis proposes that species have an optimal elemental composition which results from the link between the chemical and morphological traits for the optimum plant functioning. Thus, and attending to the limiting similarity concept, different elemental composition and plant structure among co-oc...

  1. Protection from UV light is an evolutionarily conserved feature of the haematopoietic niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapp, Friedrich G.; Perlin, Julie R.; Hagedorn, Elliott J.; Gansner, John M.; Schwarz, Daniel E.; O'Connell, Lauren A.; Johnson, Nicholas; Amemiya, Chris; Fisher, David E.; Wolfle, Ute; Trompouki, Eirini; Niemeyer, Charlotte M.; Driever, Wolfgang; Zon, Leonard I.

    2018-01-01

    Haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) require a specific microenvironment, the haematopoietic niche, which regulates HSPC behaviour. The location of this niche varies across species, but the evolutionary pressures that drive HSPCs to different microenvironments remain unknown. The niche is located in the bone marrow in adult mammals, whereas it is found in other locations in non-mammalian vertebrates, for example, in the kidney marrow in teleost fish. Here we show that a melanocyte umbrella above the kidney marrow protects HSPCs against ultraviolet light in zebrafish. Because mutants that lack melanocytes have normal steady-state haematopoiesis under standard laboratory conditions, we hypothesized that melanocytes above the stem cell niche protect HSPCs against ultraviolet-light-induced DNA damage. Indeed, after ultraviolet-light irradiation, unpigmented larvae show higher levels of DNA damage in HSPCs, as indicated by staining of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and have reduced numbers of HSPCs, as shown by cmyb (also known as myb) expression. The umbrella of melanocytes associated with the haematopoietic niche is highly evolutionarily conserved in aquatic animals, including the sea lamprey, a basal vertebrate. During the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial environment, HSPCs relocated into the bone marrow, which is protected from ultraviolet light by the cortical bone around the marrow. Our studies reveal that melanocytes above the haematopoietic niche protect HSPCs from ultraviolet-light-induced DNA damage in aquatic vertebrates and suggest that during the transition to terrestrial life, ultraviolet light was an evolutionary pressure affecting the location of the haematopoietic niche.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Notch signaling mediates the age-associated decrease in adhesion of germline stem cells to the niche.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen-Yuan Tseng

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Stem cells have an innate ability to occupy their stem cell niche, which in turn, is optimized to house stem cells. Organ aging is associated with reduced stem cell occupancy in the niche, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Here, we report that Notch signaling is increased with age in Drosophila female germline stem cells (GSCs, and this results in their removal from the niche. Clonal analysis revealed that GSCs with low levels of Notch signaling exhibit increased adhesiveness to the niche, thereby out-competing their neighbors with higher levels of Notch; adhesiveness is altered through regulation of E-cadherin expression. Experimental enhancement of Notch signaling in GSCs hastens their age-dependent loss from the niche, and such loss is at least partially mediated by Sex lethal. However, disruption of Notch signaling in GSCs does not delay GSC loss during aging, and nor does it affect BMP signaling, which promotes self-renewal of GSCs. Finally, we show that in contrast to GSCs, Notch activation in the niche (which maintains niche integrity, and thus mediates GSC retention is reduced with age, indicating that Notch signaling regulates GSC niche occupancy both intrinsically and extrinsically. Our findings expose a novel role of Notch signaling in controlling GSC-niche adhesion in response to aging, and are also of relevance to metastatic cancer cells, in which Notch signaling suppresses cell adhesion.

  4. Individual and species-specific traits explain niche size and functional role in spiders as generalist predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Vogel, Esther; Knop, Eva

    2015-01-01

    The function of a predator within a community is greatly based on its trophic niche, that is the number and the strength of feeding links. In generalist predators, which feed on a wide range of prey, the size and position of the trophic niche is likely determined by traits such as hunting mode, the stratum they occur in, their body size and age. We used stable isotope analyses ((13)C and (15)N) to measure the trophic niche size of nine spider species within a forest hedge community and tested for species traits and individual traits that influence stable isotope enrichment, niche size and resource use. The spiders Enoplognatha, Philodromus, Floronia, and Heliophanus had large isotopic niches, which correspond to a more generalistic feeding behaviour. In contrast, Araneus, Metellina and Agelena, as top predators in the system, had rather narrow niches. We found a negative correlation between trophic position and niche size. Differences in trophic position in spiders were explained by body size, hunting modes and stratum, while niche size was influenced by hunting mode. In Philodromus, the size of the trophic niche increased significantly with age. Fitting spiders to functional groups according to their mean body size, hunting mode and their habitat domain resulted in largely separated niches, which indicates that these traits are meaningful for separating functional entities in spiders. Functional groups based on habitat domain (stratum) caught the essential functional differences between the species with species higher up in the vegetation feeding on flying insects and herb and ground species also preying on forest floor decomposers. Interestingly, we found a gradient from large species using a higher habitat domain and having a smaller niche to smaller species foraging closer to the ground and having a larger niche. This shows that even within generalist predators, such as spiders, there is a gradient of specialism that can be predicted by functional traits.

  5. Pattern and process of biotic homogenization in the New Pangaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baiser, Benjamin; Olden, Julian D; Record, Sydne; Lockwood, Julie L; McKinney, Michael L

    2012-12-07

    Human activities have reorganized the earth's biota resulting in spatially disparate locales becoming more or less similar in species composition over time through the processes of biotic homogenization and biotic differentiation, respectively. Despite mounting evidence suggesting that this process may be widespread in both aquatic and terrestrial systems, past studies have predominantly focused on single taxonomic groups at a single spatial scale. Furthermore, change in pairwise similarity is itself dependent on two distinct processes, spatial turnover in species composition and changes in gradients of species richness. Most past research has failed to disentangle the effect of these two mechanisms on homogenization patterns. Here, we use recent statistical advances and collate a global database of homogenization studies (20 studies, 50 datasets) to provide the first global investigation of the homogenization process across major faunal and floral groups and elucidate the relative role of changes in species richness and turnover. We found evidence of homogenization (change in similarity ranging from -0.02 to 0.09) across nearly all taxonomic groups, spatial extent and grain sizes. Partitioning of change in pairwise similarity shows that overall change in community similarity is driven by changes in species richness. Our results show that biotic homogenization is truly a global phenomenon and put into question many of the ecological mechanisms invoked in previous studies to explain patterns of homogenization.

  6. Quantitative XRD analysis of {110} twin density in biotic aragonites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Michio; Kim, Hyejin; Mukai, Hiroki; Nagasawa, Hiromichi; Kogure, Toshihiro

    2012-12-01

    {110} Twin densities in biotic aragonite have been estimated quantitatively from the peak widths of specific reflections in powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, as well as direct confirmation of the twins using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Influence of the twin density on the peak widths in the XRD pattern was simulated using DIFFaX program, regarding (110) twin as interstratification of two types of aragonite unit layers with mirrored relationship. The simulation suggested that the twin density can be estimated from the difference of the peak widths between 111 and 021, or between 221 and 211 reflections. Biotic aragonite in the crossed-lamellar microstructure (three species) and nacreous microstructure (four species) of molluscan shells, fish otoliths (two species), and a coral were investigated. The XRD analyses indicated that aragonite crystals in the crossed-lamellar microstructure of the three species contain high density of the twins, which is consistent with the TEM examination. On the other hand, aragonite in the nacre of the four species showed almost no difference of the peak widths between the paired reflections, indicating low twin densities. The results for the fish otoliths were varied between the species. Such variation of the twin density in biotic aragonites may reflect different schemes of crystal growth in biomineralization. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Convergent and divergent learning in photovoltaic pilot projects and subsequent niche development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mierlo, van B.

    2012-01-01

    A proposed strategy to facilitate the use and development of radical new sustainable technologies is the creation of niches. Learning in these niches and the social embedding of learning experiences can stimulate changes in existing sociotechnological regimes. Pilot projects in which new

  8. Niche construction through phenological plasticity: life history dynamics and ecological consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donohue, Kathleen

    2005-04-01

    The ability of an organism to alter the environment that it experiences has been termed 'niche construction'. Plants have several ways whereby they can determine the environment to which they are exposed at different life stages. This paper discusses three of these: plasticity in dispersal, flowering timing and germination timing. It reviews pathways through which niche construction alters evolutionary and ecological trajectories by altering the selective environment to which organisms are exposed, the phenotypic expression of plastic characters, and the expression of genetic variation. It provides examples whereby niche construction creates positive or negative feedbacks between phenotypes and environments, which in turn cause novel evolutionary constraints and novel life-history expression. Copyright New Phytologist (2005).

  9. Fuel cells niche market applications and design studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-07-01

    Mainstream fuel cell markets such as stationary power and transport propulsion have already received considerable attention. However, the niche areas considered in this report also offer considerable markets that are considered potentially ready for exploitation. This report examines those markets and considers the broad issues for exploitation. This programme of work has been funded under the DTI's Advanced Fuel Cell Programme. The overall aim of this project was to identify and evaluate niche market applications that have the potential to provide early commercially competitive market opportunities for fuel cell systems. Battery replacement, portable, mobile auxiliary power and stationary applications for non-standard generation are covered. (author)

  10. Are neural crest stem cells the missing link between hematopoietic and neurogenic niches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile eCoste

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Hematopoietic niches are defined as cellular and molecular microenvironments that regulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC function together with stem cell autonomous mechanisms. Many different cell types have been characterized as contributors to the formation of HSC niches, such as osteoblasts, endothelial cells, Schwann cells, and mesenchymal progenitors. These mesenchymal progenitors have themselves been classified as CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL12-abundant reticular (CAR cells, stem cell factor expressing cells, or nestin-positive mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs, which have been recently identified as neural crest-derived cells (NCSCs. Together, these cells are spatially associated with HSCs and believed to provide appropriate microenvironments for HSC self-renewal, differentiation, mobilization and hibernation both by cell-to-cell contact and soluble factors. Interestingly, it appears that regulatory pathways governing the hematopoietic niche homeostasis are operating in the neurogenic niche as well. Therefore, this review paper aims to compare both the regulation of hematopoietic and neurogenic niches, in order to highlight the role of NCSCs and nervous system components in the development and the regulation of the hematopoietic system.

  11. Are neural crest stem cells the missing link between hematopoietic and neurogenic niches?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coste, Cécile; Neirinckx, Virginie; Gothot, André; Wislet, Sabine; Rogister, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Hematopoietic niches are defined as cellular and molecular microenvironments that regulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function together with stem cell autonomous mechanisms. Many different cell types have been characterized as contributors to the formation of HSC niches, such as osteoblasts, endothelial cells, Schwann cells, and mesenchymal progenitors. These mesenchymal progenitors have themselves been classified as CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL) 12-abundant reticular (CAR) cells, stem cell factor expressing cells, or nestin-positive mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which have been recently identified as neural crest-derived cells (NCSCs). Together, these cells are spatially associated with HSCs and believed to provide appropriate microenvironments for HSC self-renewal, differentiation, mobilization and hibernation both by cell-cell contact and soluble factors. Interestingly, it appears that regulatory pathways governing the hematopoietic niche homeostasis are operating in the neurogenic niche as well. Therefore, this review paper aims to compare both the regulation of hematopoietic and neurogenic niches, in order to highlight the role of NCSCs and nervous system components in the development and the regulation of the hematopoietic system.

  12. Biotic and abiotic catalysis of nitrate reduction in alkaline environment of repository storage cell for long-lived intermediate-level radioactive wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertron, A.; Jacquemet, N.; Escadeillas, G.; Erable, B.; Alquier, M.; Kassim, C.; Albasi, C.; Basseguy, R.; Strehaiano, P.; Sablayrolles, C.; Vignoles, M.; Albrecht, A.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the reactivity of nitrates at the bitumen-concrete interface with the aim of determining redox conditions inside a repository storage cell for long-lived intermediate-level radioactive wastes. The first part of the work aimed to identify, under abiotic conditions, the interactions between two components of the system: concrete (introduced as cement pastes in the system) and bitumen (represented by leachates composed of organic acids and nitrates). The second part of the study was conducted under biotic conditions with selected denitrifying heterotrophic bacteria (Pseudomonas stutzeri - Ps and Halomonas desiderata - Hd) and aimed to analyse the microbial reaction of nitrate reduction (kinetics, by-products, role of the organic matter) under neutral to alkaline pH conditions (i.e. imposed by a concrete environment). Results showed that strong interactions occurred between cementitious matrices and acetic and oxalic organic acids, likely reducing the bio-availability of this organic matter (oxalate in particular). Results also confirmed the stability of nitrates under these conditions. Under biotic conditions, nitrates were reduced by both Ps and Hd following an anaerobic denitrification metabolic pathway. Reduction kinetics was higher with Ps but the reaction was inhibited for pH ≥ 9. Hd was capable of denitrification at least up to pH 11. (authors)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Nosil

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

  14. Megakaryocytes promote murine osteoblastic HSC niche expansion and stem cell engraftment after radioablative conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Timothy S; Caselli, Anna; Otsuru, Satoru; Hofmann, Ted J; Williams, Richard; Paolucci, Paolo; Dominici, Massimo; Horwitz, Edwin M

    2013-06-27

    Successful hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation requires donor HSC engraftment within specialized bone marrow microenvironments known as HSC niches. We have previously reported a profound remodeling of the endosteal osteoblastic HSC niche after total body irradiation (TBI), defined as relocalization of surviving megakaryocytes to the niche site and marked expansion of endosteal osteoblasts. We now demonstrate that host megakaryocytes function critically in expansion of the endosteal niche after preparative radioablation and in the engraftment of donor HSC. We show that TBI-induced migration of megakaryocytes to the endosteal niche depends on thrombopoietin signaling through the c-MPL receptor on megakaryocytes, as well as CD41 integrin-mediated adhesion. Moreover, niche osteoblast proliferation post-TBI required megakaryocyte-secreted platelet-derived growth factor-BB. Furthermore, blockade of c-MPL-dependent megakaryocyte migration and function after TBI resulted in a significant decrease in donor HSC engraftment in primary and competitive secondary transplantation assays. Finally, we administered thrombopoietin to mice beginning 5 days before marrow radioablation and ending 24 hours before transplant to enhance megakaryocyte function post-TBI, and found that this strategy significantly enhanced donor HSC engraftment, providing a rationale for improving hematopoietic recovery and perhaps overall outcome after clinical HSC transplantation.

  15. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels Martin; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they ...... that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems....

  16. Ecological divergence and conservatism: spatiotemporal patterns of niche evolution in a genus of livebearing fishes (Poeciliidae: Xiphophorus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culumber, Zachary W; Tobler, Michael

    2016-02-19

    Ecological factors often have a strong impact on spatiotemporal patterns of biodiversity. The integration of spatial ecology and phylogenetics allows for rigorous tests of whether speciation is associated with niche conservatism (constraints on ecological divergence) or niche divergence. We address this question in a genus of livebearing fishes for which the role of sexual selection in speciation has long been studied, but in which the potential role of ecological divergence during speciation has not been tested. By combining reconstruction of ancestral climate tolerances and disparity indices, we show that the earliest evolutionary split in Xiphophorus was associated with significant divergence for temperature variables. Niche evolution and present day niches were most closely associated with each species' geographic distribution relative to a biogeographic barrier, the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Tests for similarity of the environmental backgrounds of closely related species suggested that the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence during speciation varied among the primary clades of Xiphophorus. Closely related species in the two swordtail clades exhibited higher levels of niche overlap than expected given environmental background similarity indicative of niche conservatism. In contrast, almost all species of platyfish had significantly divergent niches compared to environmental backgrounds, which is indicative of niche divergence. The results suggest that the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence differed among the clades of Xiphophorus and that traits associated with niche evolution may be more evolutionarily labile in the platyfishes. Our results ultimately suggest that the taxonomic scale of tests for conservatism and divergence could greatly influence inferences of their relative importance in the speciation process.

  17. Development and aging of a brain neural stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conover, Joanne C; Todd, Krysti L

    2017-08-01

    In the anterior forebrain, along the lateral wall of the lateral ventricles, a neurogenic stem cell niche is found in a region referred to as the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). In rodents, robust V-SVZ neurogenesis provides new neurons to the olfactory bulb throughout adulthood; however, with increasing age stem cell numbers are reduced and neurogenic capacity is significantly diminished, but new olfactory bulb neurons continue to be produced even in old age. Humans, in contrast, show little to no new neurogenesis after two years of age and whether V-SVZ neural stem cells persist in the adult human brain remains unclear. Here, we review functional and organizational differences in the V-SVZ stem cell niche of mice and humans, and examine how aging affects the V-SVZ niche and its associated functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Niche differentiation and expansion of plant species are associated with mycorrhizal symbiosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerz, Maret; Guillermo Bueno, C.; Ozinga, Wim A.; Zobel, Martin; Moora, Mari

    2018-01-01

    Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a widespread association between plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi, which is thought to contribute to plant niche differentiation and expansion. However, this has so far not been explicitly tested. To address the effect of mycorrhizal symbiosis on plants’ realized niches, we

  19. Disjunct populations of European vascular plant species keep the same climatic niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wasof, Safaa; Lenoir, Jonathan; Aarrestad, Per Arild

    2015-01-01

    separated for thousands of years. Location: European Alps and Fennoscandia. Methods: Of the studied pool of 888 terrestrial vascular plant species occurring in both the Alps and Fennoscandia, we used two complementary approaches to test and quantify climatic-niche shifts for 31 species having strictly......Aim: Previous research on how climatic niches vary across species ranges has focused on a limited number of species, mostly invasive, and has not, to date, been very conclusive. Here we assess the degree of niche conservatism between distant populations of native alpine plant species that have been...... to be largely valid for arctic-alpine plants....

  20. Food-web dynamics and isotopic niches in deep-sea communities residing in a submarine canyon and on the adjacent open slopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; McClain-Counts, Jennifer; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra; Mienis, Furu

    2017-01-01

    Examination of food webs and trophic niches provide insights into organisms' functional ecology, yet few studies have examined trophodynamics within submarine canyons, where the interaction of canyon morphology and oceanography influences habitat provision and food deposition. Using stable isotope analysis and Bayesian ellipses, we documented deep-sea food-web structure and trophic niches in Baltimore Canyon and the adjacent open slopes in the US Mid-Atlantic Region. Results revealed isotopically diverse feeding groups, comprising approximately 5 trophic levels. Regression analysis indicated that consumer isotope data are structured by habitat (canyon vs. slope), feeding group, and depth. Benthic feeders were enriched in 13C and 15N relative to suspension feeders, consistent with consuming older, more refractory organic matter. In contrast, canyon suspension feeders had the largest and more distinct isotopic niche, indicating they consume an isotopically discrete food source, possibly fresher organic material. The wider isotopic niche observed for canyon consumers indicated the presence of feeding specialists and generalists. High dispersion in δ13C values for canyon consumers suggests that the isotopic composition of particulate organic matter changes, which is linked to depositional dynamics, resulting in discrete zones of organic matter accumulation or resuspension. Heterogeneity in habitat and food availability likely enhances trophic diversity in canyons. Given their abundance in the world's oceans, our results from Baltimore Canyon suggest that submarine canyons may represent important havens for trophic diversity.

  1. Doctoral education in a successful ecological niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Mette Krogh; Lund, Ole

    2014-01-01

    Scholarly communities are dependent on and often measured by their ability to attract and develop doctoral students. Recent literature suggests that most scholarly communities entail ecological niches in which the doctoral students learn the codes and practices of research. In this article, we...... successful doctoral education because it: 1) fleshes out the professional attitude that is necessary for becoming a successful researcher in the department, 2) shapes and adapts the doctoral students’ desires to grasp and identify with the department’s practices, and 3) provides the doctoral students...... explore the microclimate in an ecological niche of doctoral education. Based on a theoretical definition of microclimate as the emotional atmosphere that ties group members together and affects their actions, we conducted a case study that aimed to describe the key features of the microclimate...

  2. Classification and comparison of niche services for developing strategy of medical tourism in Asian countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hung-chi; Kuo, Hsin-chih; Chung, Kuo-Piao; Chang, Sophia; Su, Syi; Yang, Ming-chin

    2010-01-01

    Medical tourism is a new trend in medical service. It is booming not only in Asian countries but also in European and South American countries. Worldwide competition of medical service is expected in the future, and niche service will be a "trademark" for the promotion of global medicine. Niche service also functions for market segmentation. Niche services are usually surgical procedures. A study was carried out to compare different strategies for developing medical tourism in Asian countries. The role of a niche service is evaluated in the initiation and further development of medical tourism for individual countries. From this study, a general classification was proposed in terms of treatment procedures. It can be used as a useful guideline for additional studies in medical tourism. Niche service plays the following roles in the development of medical tourism: (1) It attracts attention in the mass media and helps in subsequent promotion of business, (2) it exerts pressure on the hospital, which must improve the quality of health care provided in treating foreign patients, especially the niche services, and (3) it is a tool for setting up the business model. E-Da Hospital is an example for developing medical tourism in Taiwan. A side effect is that niche service brings additional foreign patients, which will contribute to the benefit of the hospital, but this leaves less room for treating domestic patients. A niche service is a means of introduction for entry into the market of medical tourism. How to create a successful story is important for the development of a niche service. When a good reputation has been established, the information provided on the Internet can last for a long time and can spread internationally to form a distinguished mark for further development. Niche services can be classified into 3 categories: (1) Low-risk procedures with large price differences and long stay after retirement; (2) high-risk procedures with less of a price difference

  3. Engineering Hydrogel Microenvironments to Recapitulate the Stem Cell Niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madl, Christopher M; Heilshorn, Sarah C

    2018-06-04

    Stem cells are a powerful resource for many applications including regenerative medicine, patient-specific disease modeling, and toxicology screening. However, eliciting the desired behavior from stem cells, such as expansion in a naïve state or differentiation into a particular mature lineage, remains challenging. Drawing inspiration from the native stem cell niche, hydrogel platforms have been developed to regulate stem cell fate by controlling microenvironmental parameters including matrix mechanics, degradability, cell-adhesive ligand presentation, local microstructure, and cell-cell interactions. We survey techniques for modulating hydrogel properties and review the effects of microenvironmental parameters on maintaining stemness and controlling differentiation for a variety of stem cell types. Looking forward, we envision future hydrogel designs spanning a spectrum of complexity, ranging from simple, fully defined materials for industrial expansion of stem cells to complex, biomimetic systems for organotypic cell culture models.

  4. Stem Cell Spheroids and Ex Vivo Niche Modeling: Rationalization and Scaling-Up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimenti, Isotta; Massai, Diana; Morbiducci, Umberto; Beltrami, Antonio Paolo; Pesce, Maurizio; Messina, Elisa

    2017-04-01

    Improved protocols/devices for in vitro culture of 3D cell spheroids may provide essential cues for proper growth and differentiation of stem/progenitor cells (S/PCs) in their niche, allowing preservation of specific features, such as multi-lineage potential and paracrine activity. Several platforms have been employed to replicate these conditions and to generate S/PC spheroids for therapeutic applications. However, they incompletely reproduce the niche environment, with partial loss of its highly regulated network, with additional hurdles in the field of cardiac biology, due to debated resident S/PCs therapeutic potential and clinical translation. In this contribution, the essential niche conditions (metabolic, geometric, mechanical) that allow S/PCs maintenance/commitment will be discussed. In particular, we will focus on both existing bioreactor-based platforms for the culture of S/PC as spheroids, and on possible criteria for the scaling-up of niche-like spheroids, which could be envisaged as promising tools for personalized cardiac regenerative medicine, as well as for high-throughput drug screening.

  5. Source pool geometry and the assembly of continental avifaunas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graves, Gary R; Rahbek, Carsten

    2005-01-01

    Classical niche-assembly models propose that the composition of biotic communities in continental landscapes is determined chiefly by the autecology of species, interspecific competition, and the diversity of resources and habitats within a region. In contrast, stochastic models propose that simu......Classical niche-assembly models propose that the composition of biotic communities in continental landscapes is determined chiefly by the autecology of species, interspecific competition, and the diversity of resources and habitats within a region. In contrast, stochastic models propose...... on the assembly of avian communities with an analysis of assemblage dispersion fields, which can be visualized by overlaying the geographic ranges of all species that occur in an assemblage. Contours of species richness surrounding focal quadrats illustrate the decay rate of assemblage similarity with distance...... and exhibited complex geographical patterns that were associated with the distribution of biomes. These results are broadly consistent with the predictions of niche-assembly models but offer little support for stochastic assembly models....

  6. The thermal niche of Neotropical nectar-feeding bats: Its evolution and application to predict responses to global warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-García, Stephanie; Guevara, Lázaro; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquín; Lindig-Cisneros, Roberto; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique; Vega, Ernesto; Schondube, Jorge E

    2017-09-01

    The thermal niche of a species is one of the main determinants of its ecology and biogeography. In this study, we determined the thermal niche of 23 species of Neotropical nectar-feeding bats of the subfamily Glossophaginae (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae). We calculated their thermal niches using temperature data obtained from collection records, by generating a distribution curve of the maximum and minimum temperatures per locality, and using the inflection points of the temperature distributions to estimate the species optimal (STZ) and suboptimal (SRZ) zones of the thermal niche. Additionally, by mapping the values of the STZ and SRZ on a phylogeny of the group, we generated a hypothesis of the evolution of the thermal niches of this clade of nectar-feeding bats. Finally, we used the characteristics of their thermal niches to predict the responses of these organisms to climate change. We found a large variation in the width and limits of the thermal niches of nectar-feeding bats. Additionally, while the upper limits of the thermal niches varied little among species, their lower limits differ wildly. The ancestral reconstruction of the thermal niche indicated that this group of Neotropical bats evolved under cooler temperatures. The two clades inside the Glossophaginae differ in the evolution of their thermal niches, with most members of the clade Choeronycterines evolving "colder" thermal niches, while the majority of the species in the clade Glossophagines evolving "warmer" thermal niches. By comparing thermal niches with climate change models, we found that all species could be affected by an increase of 1°C in temperature at the end of this century. This suggests that even nocturnal species could suffer important physiological costs from global warming. Our study highlights the value of scientific collections to obtain ecologically significant physiological data for a large number of species.

  7. Niche Extracellular Matrix Components and Their Influence on HSC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domingues, Mélanie J; Cao, Huimin; Heazlewood, Shen Y; Cao, Benjamin; Nilsson, Susan K

    2017-08-01

    Maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) takes place in a highly specialized microenvironment within the bone marrow. Technological improvements, especially in the field of in vivo imaging, have helped unravel the complexity of the niche microenvironment and have completely changed the classical concept from what was previously believed to be a static supportive platform, to a dynamic microenvironment tightly regulating HSC homeostasis through the complex interplay between diverse cell types, secreted factors, extracellular matrix molecules, and the expression of different transmembrane receptors. To add to the complexity, non-protein based metabolites have also been recognized as a component of the bone marrow niche. The objective of this review is to discuss the current understanding on how the different extracellular matrix components of the niche regulate HSC fate, both during embryonic development and in adulthood. Special attention will be provided to the description of non-protein metabolites, such as lipids and metal ions, which contribute to the regulation of HSC behavior. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1984-1993, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. 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

  9. [Niche and interspecific association of the dominant fish in the south coastal waters of Wenzhou, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Jing Rui; Shui, Bo Nian; Hu, Cheng Ye; Shui, Yu Yue; DU, Xiao; Tian, Kuo

    2017-05-18

    The studies about the niche and interspecific association in China were mainly focused on the plants, birds and marine animals, and seldom on fish. Based on the fishery resources survey in spring (May) and autumn (September) in 2015, the associations among major fish species in south coastal waters of Wenzhou were investigated. The methods including niche breadth, niche overlap, variance ratio (VR), Χ 2 -test, association coefficient (AC), percentage of co-occurrence (PC) and point correlation coefficients (Ф) were used. The results showed that 47 fish species were identified, including 9 orders, 27 families and 41 genera. Four species were dominant species and 9 were important species, which together accounted for 17%. The niche breadth cluster analysis demonstrated two clearly identifiable ecological niches. The first one referred to wide niche that included Harpodon nehereus, Collichthys lucidus, Engraulis japonicas, Pampus echinogaster, Argyrosomus argentatus, Polynemus sextarius, Decapterus maruadsi and Trichiurus haumela, and the second one was narrow niche that included Muraenesox cinereus, Amblychaeturichthys hexanema, Cunoglossus robustus, Pseudosciaena polyactis and Ilisha elongate. The niche overlap value of the main fish was 0-0.90, indicating that there was difference in the resource utilization among the species. The ecological niche widths of C. robustus and M. cinereus were narrow, and the overlap values were high. This indicated that there was competition between these two species. The VR analysis revealed significant positive correlation among the main fish species. In view of the advantages of Ф value, which could reduce the impact of the analysis results of Χ 2 -test, AC and PC to the interspecific association, the Ф value method was selected in this study, and the association of 63 couples were positive. Both the interspecific association and ecological niche had different degrees of correlation with the stability of community structure

  10. Divergence is not enough: the use of ecological niche models for the validation of taxon boundaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino, D; Minuto, L; Casazza, G

    2017-11-01

    Delimiting taxon boundaries is crucial for any evolutionary research and conservation regulation. In order to avoid mistaken description of species, the approach of integrative taxonomy recommends considering multidisciplinary lines of evidence, including ecology. Unfortunately, ecological data are often difficult to quantify objectively. Here we test and discuss the potential use of ecological niche models for validating taxon boundaries, using three pairs of closely related plant taxa endemic to the south-western Alps as a case study. We also discuss the application of ecological niche models for species delimitation and the implementation of different approaches. Niche overlap, niche equivalency and niche similarity were assessed both in multidimensional environmental space and in geographic space to look for differences in the niche of three pairs of closely related plant taxa. We detected a high degree of niche differentiation between taxa although this result seems not due to differences in habitat selection. The different statistical tests gave contrasting outcomes between environmental and geographic spaces. According to our results, niche divergence does not seem to support taxon boundaries at species level, but may have had important consequences for local adaptation and in generating phenotypic diversity at intraspecific level. Environmental space analysis should be preferred to geographic space as it provides more clear results. Even if the different analyses widely disagree in their conclusions about taxon boundaries, our study suggests that ecological niche models may help taxonomists to reach a decision. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  11. A hybrid niched-island genetic algorithm applied to a nuclear core optimization problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pereira, Claudio M.N.A.

    2005-01-01

    Diversity maintenance is a key-feature in most genetic-based optimization processes. The quest for such characteristic, has been motivating improvements in the original genetic algorithm (GA). The use of multiple populations (called islands) has demonstrating to increase diversity, delaying the genetic drift. Island Genetic Algorithms (IGA) lead to better results, however, the drift is only delayed, but not avoided. An important advantage of this approach is the simplicity and efficiency for parallel processing. Diversity can also be improved by the use of niching techniques. Niched Genetic Algorithms (NGA) are able to avoid the genetic drift, by containing evolution in niches of a single-population GA, however computational cost is increased. In this work it is investigated the use of a hybrid Niched-Island Genetic Algorithm (NIGA) in a nuclear core optimization problem found in literature. Computational experiments demonstrate that it is possible to take advantage of both, performance enhancement due to the parallelism and drift avoidance due to the use of niches. Comparative results shown that the proposed NIGA demonstrated to be more efficient and robust than an IGA and a NGA for solving the proposed optimization problem. (author)

  12. Urban niche dynamics of Kaifeng city%开封市的城市生态位变化分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁圣彦; 李志恒

    2007-01-01

    Niche theory is one of the most important ecological theories. It is widely applied to analyzing such phenomena as competition among, and evolution of, urban ecosystem functional modules. This paper describes a study concerningdifferent functional modules of Kaifeng city urban ecosystem. Niche theory and techniques were used to analyze the changes of these functional modules in the period 1994-2003. The results showed that, in the period 1994-2003: (1) Niche value of the atmospheric environment and urban virescence modules increased, while niche value of the water environment and sound environment modules decreased; (2) niche value of the tertiary industry module increased, niche value of the secondary industry module decreased, while niche value of the primary industry module showed little change; and (3) niche value of the infrastructure, resource distribution, and production & social security modules increased, while niche value of the population module decreased. This study may contribute to macroscopic planning of urban functional modules,economic development, and environmental protection.

  13. Ecological allometries and niche use dynamics across Komodo dragon ontogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purwandana, Deni; Ariefiandy, Achmad; Imansyah, M. Jeri; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Letnic, Mike; Jessop, Tim S.

    2016-04-01

    Ontogenetic allometries in ecological habits and niche use are key responses by which individuals maximize lifetime fitness. Moreover, such allometries have significant implications for how individuals influence population and community dynamics. Here, we examined how body size variation in Komodo dragons ( Varanus komodoensis) influenced ecological allometries in their: (1) prey size preference, (2) daily movement rates, (3) home range area, and (4) subsequent niche use across ontogeny. With increased body mass, Komodo dragons increased prey size with a dramatic switch from small (≤10 kg) to large prey (≥50 kg) in lizards heavier than 20 kg. Rates of foraging movement were described by a non-linear concave down response with lizard increasing hourly movement rates up until ˜20 kg body mass before decreasing daily movement suggesting reduced foraging effort in larger lizards. In contrast, home range area exhibited a sigmoid response with increased body mass. Intrapopulation ecological niche use and overlap were also strongly structured by body size. Thus, ontogenetic allometries suggest Komodo dragon's transition from a highly active foraging mode exploiting small prey through to a less active sit and wait feeding strategy focused on killing large ungulates. Further, our results suggest that as body size increases across ontogeny, the Komodo dragon exhibited marked ontogenetic niche shifts that enabled it to function as an entire vertebrate predator guild by exploiting prey across multiple trophic levels.

  14. Identification of hepatic niche harboring human acute lymphoblastic leukemic cells via the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itaru Kato

    Full Text Available In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL patients, the bone marrow niche is widely known to be an important element of treatment response and relapse. Furthermore, a characteristic liver pathology observed in ALL patients implies that the hepatic microenvironment provides an extramedullary niche for leukemic cells. However, it remains unclear whether the liver actually provides a specific niche. The mechanism underlying this pathology is also poorly understood. Here, to answer these questions, we reconstituted the histopathology of leukemic liver by using patients-derived primary ALL cells into NOD/SCID/Yc (null mice. The liver pathology in this model was similar to that observed in the patients. By using this model, we clearly demonstrated that bile duct epithelial cells form a hepatic niche that supports infiltration and proliferation of ALL cells in the liver. Furthermore, we showed that functions of the niche are maintained by the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis, proposing a novel therapeutic approach targeting the extramedullary niche by inhibition of the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the liver dissemination of leukemia is not due to nonselective infiltration, but rather systematic invasion and proliferation of leukemic cells in hepatic niche. Although the contribution of SDF-1/CXCR4 axis is reported in some cancer cells or leukemic niches such as bone marrow, we demonstrated that this axis works even in the extramedullary niche of leukemic cells. Our findings form the basis for therapeutic approaches that target the extramedullary niche by inhibiting the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis.

  15. The genotypic structure of a multi-host bumblebee parasite suggests a role for ecological niche overlap.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahel M Salathé

    Full Text Available The genotypic structure of parasite populations is an important determinant of ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite interactions with consequences for pest management and disease control. Genotypic structure is especially interesting where multiple hosts co-exist and share parasites. We here analyze the natural genotypic distribution of Crithidia bombi, a trypanosomatid parasite of bumblebees (Bombus spp., in two ecologically different habitats over a time period of three years. Using an algorithm to reconstruct genotypes in cases of multiple infections, and combining these with directly identified genotypes from single infections, we find a striking diversity of infection for both data sets, with almost all multi-locus genotypes being unique, and are inferring that around half of the total infections are resulting from multiple strains. Our analyses further suggest a mixture of clonality and sexuality in natural populations of this parasite species. Finally, we ask whether parasite genotypes are associated with host species (the phylogenetic hypothesis or whether ecological factors (niche overlap in flower choice shape the distribution of parasite genotypes (the ecological hypothesis. Redundancy analysis demonstrates that in the region with relatively high parasite prevalence, both host species identity and niche overlap are equally important factors shaping the distribution of parasite strains, whereas in the region with lower parasite prevalence, niche overlap more strongly contributes to the distribution observed. Overall, our study underlines the importance of ecological factors in shaping the natural dynamics of host-parasite systems.

  16. Niche conservatism and dispersal limitation cause large-scale phylogenetic structure in the New World palm flora

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eiserhardt, Wolf L.; Svenning, J.-C.; Baker, William J.

    similarity decays after speciation depends on the rates of niche evolution and dispersal. If dispersal is slow compared to the tempo of lineage diversification, distributions change little during clade diversification. Phylogenetic niche conservatism precludes distributional shifts in environmental space......, and to the degree that distributions are limited by the niche, also in geographic space. Using phylogenetic turnover methods, we simultaneously analysed the distributions of all New World palms (n=547) and inferred to which degree phylogenetic niche conservatism and dispersal limitation, respectively, caused...

  17. Current and future niche of North and Central American sand flies (Diptera: psychodidae in climate change scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Moo-Llanes

    Full Text Available Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i potential change in niche breadth, ii direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3, for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%, while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases.

  18. Current and Future Niche of North and Central American Sand Flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Climate Change Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, David; Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N.; Rebollar-Téllez, Eduardo A.; Ibáñez-Bernal, Sergio; González, Camila; Ramsey, Janine M.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological niche models are useful tools to infer potential spatial and temporal distributions in vector species and to measure epidemiological risk for infectious diseases such as the Leishmaniases. The ecological niche of 28 North and Central American sand fly species, including those with epidemiological relevance, can be used to analyze the vector's ecology and its association with transmission risk, and plan integrated regional vector surveillance and control programs. In this study, we model the environmental requirements of the principal North and Central American phlebotomine species and analyze three niche characteristics over future climate change scenarios: i) potential change in niche breadth, ii) direction and magnitude of niche centroid shifts, iii) shifts in elevation range. Niche identity between confirmed or incriminated Leishmania vector sand flies in Mexico, and human cases were analyzed. Niche models were constructed using sand fly occurrence datapoints from Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Nine non-correlated bioclimatic and four topographic data layers were used as niche components using GARP in OpenModeller. Both B2 and A2 climate change scenarios were used with two general circulation models for each scenario (CSIRO and HadCM3), for 2020, 2050 and 2080. There was an increase in niche breadth to 2080 in both scenarios for all species with the exception of Lutzomyia vexator. The principal direction of niche centroid displacement was to the northwest (64%), while the elevation range decreased greatest for tropical, and least for broad-range species. Lutzomyia cruciata is the only epidemiologically important species with high niche identity with that of Leishmania spp. in Mexico. Continued landscape modification in future climate change will provide an increased opportunity for the geographic expansion of NCA sand flys' ENM and human exposure to vectors of Leishmaniases. PMID:24069478

  19. Strategic niche management and sustainable innovation journeys : theory, findings, research agenda, and policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schot, J.W.; Geels, F.W.

    2008-01-01

    This article discusses empirical findings and conceptual elaborations of the last 10 years in strategic niche management research (SNM). The SNM approach suggests that sustainable innovation journeys can be facilitated by creating technological niches, i.e. protected spaces that allow the

  20. Niche-driven evolution of metabolic and life-history strategies in natural and domesticated populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sicard Delphine

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Variation of resource supply is one of the key factors that drive the evolution of life-history strategies, and hence the interactions between individuals. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, two life-history strategies related to different resource utilization have been previously described in strains from different industrial origins. In this work, we analyzed metabolic traits and life-history strategies in a broader collection of yeast strains sampled in various ecological niches (forest, human body, fruits, laboratory and industrial environments. Results By analysing the genetic and plastic variation of six life-history and three metabolic traits, we showed that S. cerevisiae populations harbour different strategies depending on their ecological niches. On one hand, the forest and laboratory strains, referred to as extreme "ants", reproduce quickly, reach a large carrying capacity and a small cell size in fermentation, but have a low reproduction rate in respiration. On the other hand, the industrial strains, referred to as extreme "grasshoppers", reproduce slowly, reach a small carrying capacity but have a big cell size in fermentation and a high reproduction rate in respiration. "Grasshoppers" have usually higher glucose consumption rate than "ants", while they produce lower quantities of ethanol, suggesting that they store cell resources rather than secreting secondary products to cross-feed or poison competitors. The clinical and fruit strains are intermediate between these two groups. Conclusions Altogether, these results are consistent with a niche-driven evolution of S. cerevisiae, with phenotypic convergence of populations living in similar habitat. They also revealed that competition between strains having contrasted life-history strategies ("ants" and "grasshoppers" seems to occur at low frequency or be unstable since opposite life-history strategies appeared to be maintained in distinct ecological niches.

  1. Biotic Iron Precipitation in Sand Filtration Systems by Gallionella ferruginea: Morphology and content of Exopolymers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søgaard, Erik Gydesen; Simonsen, Charlotte

    conditions for principally biotic or abiotic iron precipitation is not well defined. An rH2 greater than 14 e.g. corresponding to an Eh a little above zero at slightly acidic pH is stated to be the best condition for biotic iron precipitation (Degremont, 1991). Abiotic iron precipitation is performed at a p...... are built with the purpose of biotic iron precipitation in order to reduce frequency of backwashing filtration systems. This is possibly due to the fact that biologically precipitated iron has a much denser structure than the corresponding abiotic precipitates (Søgaard et al. 2000). Both kinds of iron......-Peskir J. (2000) Conditions and rates of biotic and abiotic iron precipitation in selected Danish freshwater plants and microscopic analysis of precipitate morphology. Water Research, 34, 10, 2675-2682 Søgaard E.G., Aruna R., Abraham-Peskir, J. and Bender Koch, C. (2001) Conditions for iron precipitation...

  2. Characterization and comparison of iron oxyhydroxide precipitates from biotic and abiotic groundwater treatments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arturi, Katarzyna R.; Bender Koch, Christian; Søgaard, Erik G.

    2017-01-01

    Removal of iron is an important step in groundwater treatment for drinking water production. It is performed to prevent organoleptic issues and clogging in water supply systems. Iron can be eliminated with a purely physico-chemical (abiotic) method or biotically with the help of iron......-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB). Each of the purification methods requires different operating conditions and results in formation of iron oxyhydroxide (FeOOH) precipitates. Knowledge about the differences in composition and properties of the biotic and abiotic precipitates is desirable from a technical, but also...

  3. Intersexual Trophic Niche Partitioning in an Ant-Eating spider (Araneae: Zodariidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pekár, Stanislav; Martisová, Martina; Bilde, T.

    2011-01-01

    lead to higher energy demands in females driven by fecundity selection, while males invest in mate searching. We tested predictions of the two hypotheses underlying intersexual trophic niche partitioning in a natural population of spiders. Zodarion jozefienae spiders specialize on Messor barbarus ants...... that are polymorphic in body size and hence comprise potential trophic niches for the spider, making this system well-suited to study intersexual trophic niche partitioning. Methodology/Principal Findings Comparative analysis of trophic morphology (the chelicerae) and body size of males, females and juveniles...... demonstrated highly female biased SSD (Sexual Size Dimorphism) in body size, body weight, and in the size of chelicerae, the latter arising from sex-specific growth patterns in trophic morphology. In the field, female spiders actively selected ant sub-castes that were larger than the average prey size...

  4. Application of radiation processing to produce biotic elicitor for sugarcane in Vietnam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen, Quoc Hien; Tran, Tich Canh; Truong, Thi Hanh; Vo, Thi Kim Lang; Dang, Van Phu; Cao, Anh Duong

    2007-01-01

    Sugarcane is the main raw material for production of sugar and ethanol. In Vietnam, it was reported in 1998 that the area for sugarcane growth was about 257,000ha. Up to now, the biotic elicitor, oligosaccharide has not been used for sugarcane yet. This study has been carried out to investigate the elicitation and the growth promotion effect of irradiated chitosan (oligochitosan) for sugarcane. The field test results indicated that alpha chitosan (shrimp shell) and beta chitosan (squid pen) samples with the content of water soluble oligomer of about 70% were the most effective. The disease ratio of sugarcane tree-trunk treated with irradiated chitosan before harvesting time decreased to 30-40% compared to non-treated one (100%). In addition, the productivity of sugarcane increased to about 20%. The combination of metal ion (Zn ++ , Cu ++ ) with oligochitosan did not show the synergic elicitation effect. The results revealed that biotic elicitor made from chitosan by radiation degradation method is very promising for field application not only for protection of disease infection but also for growth promotion of plants. It is believed that this biotic elicitor could be largely used for safe and sustainable development of agriculture. (author)

  5. Benefits of Biotic Pollination for Non-Timber Forest Products and Cultivated Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rehel Shiny

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity supplies multiple goods and services to society and is critical for the support of livelihoods across the globe. Many indigenous people depend upon non-timber forest products (NTFP and crops for a range of goods including food, medicine, fibre and construction materials. However, the dependency of these products on biotic pollination services is poorly understood. We used the biologically and culturally diverse Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in India to characterise the types of NTFP and crop products of 213 plant species and asses their degree of dependency on animal pollination. We found that 80 per cent of all species benefited from animal pollination in their reproduction, and that 62 per cent of crop products and 40 per cent of NTFP benefited from biotic pollination in their production. Further we identified the likely pollinating taxa documented as responsible for the production of these products, mainly bees and other insects. A lower proportion of indigenous plant products (39 per cent benefited from biotic pollination than products from introduced plants (61 per cent. We conclude that pollinators play an important role in the livelihoods of people in this region.

  6. SGH: stress or strain gradient hypothesis? Insights from an elevation gradient on the roof of the world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liancourt, Pierre; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann; Rixen, Christian; Dolezal, Jiri

    2017-07-01

    The stress gradient hypothesis (SGH), the view that competition prevails in undisturbed and productive environments, and shifts to facilitation in disturbed or stressful environments, has become a central paradigm in ecology. However, an alternative view proposes that the relationship between biotic interactions and environmental severity should be unimodal instead of monotonic. Possible causes of discrepancies between these two views were examined in the high elevation desert of the arid Trans-Himalayas. A putative nurse species and its associated plant community was surveyed over its entire elevation range, spanning from alpine to desert vegetation belts. The results were analysed at the community level (vegetation cover and species richness), considering the distinction between the intensity and the importance of biotic interactions. Interactions at the species level (pairwise interactions) were also considered, i.e. the variation of biotic interactions within the niche of a species, for which the abundance (species cover) and probability of occurrence (presence/absence) for the most widespread species along the gradient were distinguished. Overall, facilitation was infrequent in our study system; however, it was observed for the two most widespread species. At the community level, the intensity and importance of biotic interactions showed a unimodal pattern. The departure from the prediction of the SGH happened abruptly where the nurse species entered the desert vegetation belt at the lowest elevation. This abrupt shift was attributed to the turnover of species with contrasting tolerances. At the species level, however, facilitation increased consistently as the level of stress increases and individuals deviate from their optimum (increasing strain). While the stress gradient hypothesis was not supported along our elevation gradient at the community level, the strain gradient hypothesis, considering how species perceive the ambient level of stress and deviate

  7. Physiological and molecular implications of plant polyamine metabolism during biotic interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Jiménez Bremont

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available During ontogeny, plants interact with a wide variety of microorganisms. The association with mutualistic microbes results in benefits for the plant. By contrast, pathogens may cause a remarkable impairment of plant growth and development. Both types of plant-microbe interactions provoke notable changes in the polyamine (PA metabolism of the host and/or the microbe, being each interaction a complex and dynamic process. It has been well documented that the levels of free and conjugated PAs undergo profound changes in plant tissues during the interaction with microorganisms. In general, this is correlated with a precise and coordinated regulation of PA biosynthetic and catabolic enzymes. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that the relative importance of these metabolic pathways may depend on the nature of the microorganism, a concept that stems from the fact that these amines mediate the activation of plant defense mechanisms. This effect is mediated mostly through PA oxidation, even though part of the response is activated by non-oxidized PAs. In the last years, a great deal of effort has been devoted to profile plant gene expression following microorganism recognition. In addition, the phenotypes of transgenic and mutant plants in PA metabolism genes have been assessed. In this review, we integrated the current knowledge on this field and analyze the possible roles of these amines during the interaction of plants with microbes.

  8. River Quality Investigations, Part 1: Some Diversity and Biotic Indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, G.

    1991-01-01

    The following indices for assessing river water quality are described: Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index, Sorenson Quotient of Similarity, Czekanowski's Index of Similarity, Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score, and Biological Monitoring Working Party Score. Their advantages and disadvantages are outlined. (Author)

  9. Relevance of biotic pathways to the long-term regulation of nuclear-waste disposal. Topical report on reference western arid low-level sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Cadwell, L.L.; Eberhardt, L.E.; Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Peloquin, R.A.; Simmons, M.A.

    1982-10-01

    The purpose of the work reported here was to develop an order of magnitude estimate for the potential dose to man resulting from biotic transport mechanisms at a reference western arid low-level waste site. A description of the reference site is presented that includes the waste inventories, site characteristics and biological communities. Parameter values for biotic transport processes are based on data reported in current literature. Transport and exposure scenarios are developed for assessing biotic transport during 100 years following site closure. Calculations of radionuclide decay and waste container decomposition are made to estimate the quantities available for biotic transport. Dose to a man occupying the reference site following the 100 years of biotic transport are calculated. These dose estimates are compared to dose estimates for the intruder-agricultural scenario reported in the DEIS for 10 CFR 61 (NRC). Dose to man estimates as a result of biotic transport are estimated to be of the same order of magnitude as the dose resulting from the more commonly evaluated human intrusion scenario. The reported lack of potential importance of biotic transport at low-level waste sites in earlier assessment studies is not confirmed by the findings presented in this report. These results indicate that biotic transport has the potential to influence low-level waste site performance. Through biotic transport, radionuclides may be moved to locations where they can enter exposure pathways to man

  10. Macrophages Contribute to the Spermatogonial Niche in the Adult Testis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony DeFalco

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The testis produces sperm throughout the male reproductive lifespan by balancing self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs. Part of the SSC niche is thought to lie outside the seminiferous tubules of the testis; however, specific interstitial components of the niche that regulate spermatogonial divisions and differentiation remain undefined. We identified distinct populations of testicular macrophages, one of which lies on the surface of seminiferous tubules, in close apposition to areas of tubules enriched for undifferentiated spermatogonia. These macrophages express spermatogonial proliferation- and differentiation-inducing factors, such as colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1 and enzymes involved in retinoic acid (RA biosynthesis. We show that transient depletion of macrophages leads to a disruption in spermatogonial differentiation. These findings reveal an unexpected role for macrophages in the spermatogonial niche in the testis and raise the possibility that macrophages play previously unappreciated roles in stem/progenitor cell regulation in other tissues.

  11. Niche versus neutrality: a dynamical analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael Kalyuzhny; Efrat Seri; Rachel Chocron; Curtis H. Flather; Ronen Kadmon; Nadav M. Shnerb

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the forces shaping ecological communities is of crucial importance for basic science and conservation. After 50 years in which ecological theory has focused on either stable communities driven by niche-based forces or nonstable “neutral” communities driven by demographic stochasticity, contemporary theories suggest that ecological communities are driven...

  12. The malignant niche: safe spaces for toxic stem cell marketing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipp, Douglas

    2017-01-01

    Many tumors are sustained by microenvironments, or niches, that support and protect malignant cells, thus conferring a competitive advantage against both healthy cells and therapeutic interventions (for a brief review, see Yao and Link (Stem Cells 35: 3-8, 2017)). The global industry engaged in the commercial promotion of unproven and scientifically implausible cell-based "regenerative" therapies has developed a number of self-protective strategies that support its survival and growth in ways that are broadly analogous to the functions of the malignant niche.

  13. Development and molecular composition of the hepatic progenitor cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vestentoft, Peter Siig

    2013-05-01

    End-stage liver diseases represent major health problems that are currently treated by liver transplantation. However, given the world-wide shortage of donor livers novel strategies are needed for therapeutic treatment. Adult stem cells have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into the more specialized cell types of a given organ and are found in tissues throughout the body. These cells, whose progeny are termed progenitor cells in human liver and oval cells in rodents, have the potential to treat patients through the generation of hepatic parenchymal cells, even from the patient's own tissue. Little is known regarding the nature of the hepatic progenitor cells. Though they are suggested to reside in the most distal part of the biliary tree, the canal of Hering, the lack of unique surface markers for these cells has hindered their isolation and characterization. Upon activation, they proliferate and form ductular structures, termed "ductular reactions", which radiate into the hepatic parenchyma. The ductular reactions contain activated progenitor cells that not only acquire a phenotype resembling that observed in developing liver but also display markers of differentiation shared with the cholangiocytic or hepatocytic lineages, the two parenchymal hepatic cell types. Interactions between the putative progenitor cells, the surrounding support cells and the extracellular matrix scaffold, all constituting the progenitor cell niche, are likely to be important for regulating progenitor cell activity and differentiation. Therefore, identifying novel progenitor cell markers and deciphering their microenvironment could facilitate clinical use. The aims of the present PhD thesis were to expand knowledge of the hepatic progenitor cell niche and characterize it both during development and in disease. Several animal models of hepatic injury are known to induce activation of the progenitor cells. In order to identify possible progenitor cell markers and niche components

  14. Niche tracking and rapid establishment of distributional equilibrium in the house sparrow show potential responsiveness of species to climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William B Monahan

    Full Text Available The ability of species to respond to novel future climates is determined in part by their physiological capacity to tolerate climate change and the degree to which they have reached and continue to maintain distributional equilibrium with the environment. While broad-scale correlative climatic measurements of a species' niche are often described as estimating the fundamental niche, it is unclear how well these occupied portions actually approximate the fundamental niche per se, versus the fundamental niche that exists in environmental space, and what fitness values bounding the niche are necessary to maintain distributional equilibrium. Here, we investigate these questions by comparing physiological and correlative estimates of the thermal niche in the introduced North American house sparrow (Passer domesticus. Our results indicate that occupied portions of the fundamental niche derived from temperature correlations closely approximate the centroid of the existing fundamental niche calculated on a fitness threshold of 50% population mortality. Using these niche measures, a 75-year time series analysis (1930-2004 further shows that: (i existing fundamental and occupied niche centroids did not undergo directional change, (ii interannual changes in the two niche centroids were correlated, (iii temperatures in North America moved through niche space in a net centripetal fashion, and consequently, (iv most areas throughout the range of the house sparrow tracked the existing fundamental niche centroid with respect to at least one temperature gradient. Following introduction to a new continent, the house sparrow rapidly tracked its thermal niche and established continent-wide distributional equilibrium with respect to major temperature gradients. These dynamics were mediated in large part by the species' broad thermal physiological tolerances, high dispersal potential, competitive advantage in human-dominated landscapes, and climatically induced

  15. 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.

  16. Ecological allometries and niche use dynamics across Komodo dragon ontogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purwandana, Deni; Ariefiandy, Achmad; Imansyah, M Jeri; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Letnic, Mike; Jessop, Tim S

    2016-04-01

    Ontogenetic allometries in ecological habits and niche use are key responses by which individuals maximize lifetime fitness. Moreover, such allometries have significant implications for how individuals influence population and community dynamics. Here, we examined how body size variation in Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) influenced ecological allometries in their: (1) prey size preference, (2) daily movement rates, (3) home range area, and (4) subsequent niche use across ontogeny. With increased body mass, Komodo dragons increased prey size with a dramatic switch from small (≤10 kg) to large prey (≥50 kg) in lizards heavier than 20 kg. Rates of foraging movement were described by a non-linear concave down response with lizard increasing hourly movement rates up until ∼20 kg body mass before decreasing daily movement suggesting reduced foraging effort in larger lizards. In contrast, home range area exhibited a sigmoid response with increased body mass. Intrapopulation ecological niche use and overlap were also strongly structured by body size. Thus, ontogenetic allometries suggest Komodo dragon's transition from a highly active foraging mode exploiting small prey through to a less active sit and wait feeding strategy focused on killing large ungulates. Further, our results suggest that as body size increases across ontogeny, the Komodo dragon exhibited marked ontogenetic niche shifts that enabled it to function as an entire vertebrate predator guild by exploiting prey across multiple trophic levels.

  17. Mesenchymal stem cells in human placental chorionic villi reside in a vascular Niche

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Castrechini, N. M.; Murthi, P.; Gude, N. M.; Erwich, J. J. H. M.; Gronthos, S.; Zannettino, A.; Brennecke, S. R.; Kalionis, B.; Brennecke, S.P.

    The chorionic villi of human term placentae are a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (PMSCs) The stem cell "niche" within the chorionic villi regulates how PMSCs participate in placental tissue generation, maintenance and repair, but the anatomic location of the niche has not been defined A

  18. Linking biotic homogenization to habitat type, invasiveness and growth form of naturalized alien plants in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong Qian; Qinfeng. Guo

    2010-01-01

    Aim Biotic homogenization is a growing phenomenon and has recently attracted much attention. Here, we analyse a large dataset of native and alien plants in North America to examine whether biotic homogenization is related to several ecological and biological attributes. Location North America (north of Mexico). Methods We assembled...

  19. A Stromal Cell Niche for Human and Mouse Type 3 Innate Lymphoid Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoorweg, Kerim; Narang, Priyanka; Li, Zhi; Thuery, Anne; Papazian, Natalie; Withers, David R; Coles, Mark C; Cupedo, Tom

    2015-11-01

    Adaptive immunity critically depends on the functional compartmentalization of secondary lymphoid organs. Mesenchymal stromal cells create and maintain specialized niches that support survival, activation, and expansion of T and B cells, and integrated analysis of lymphocytes and their niche has been instrumental in understanding adaptive immunity. Lymphoid organs are also home to type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3), innate effector cells essential for barrier immunity. However, a specialized stromal niche for ILC3 has not been identified. A novel lineage-tracing approach now identifies a subset of murine fetal lymphoid tissue organizer cells that gives rise exclusively to adult marginal reticular cells. Moreover, both cell types are conserved from mice to humans and colocalize with ILC3 in secondary lymphoid tissues throughout life. In sum, we provide evidence that fetal stromal organizers give rise to adult marginal reticular cells and form a dedicated stromal niche for innate ILC3 in adaptive lymphoid organs. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  20. Evolution of niche preference in Sphagnum peat mosses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matthew G; Granath, Gustaf; Tahvanainen, Teemu; Pouliot, Remy; Stenøien, Hans K; Rochefort, Line; Rydin, Håkan; Shaw, A Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Peat mosses (Sphagnum) are ecosystem engineers-species in boreal peatlands simultaneously create and inhabit narrow habitat preferences along two microhabitat gradients: an ionic gradient and a hydrological hummock-hollow gradient. In this article, we demonstrate the connections between microhabitat preference and phylogeny in Sphagnum. Using a dataset of 39 species of Sphagnum, with an 18-locus DNA alignment and an ecological dataset encompassing three large published studies, we tested for phylogenetic signal and within-genus changes in evolutionary rate of eight niche descriptors and two multivariate niche gradients. We find little to no evidence for phylogenetic signal in most component descriptors of the ionic gradient, but interspecific variation along the hummock-hollow gradient shows considerable phylogenetic signal. We find support for a change in the rate of niche evolution within the genus-the hummock-forming subgenus Acutifolia has evolved along the multivariate hummock-hollow gradient faster than the hollow-inhabiting subgenus Cuspidata. Because peat mosses themselves create some of the ecological gradients constituting their own habitats, the classic microtopography of Sphagnum-dominated peatlands is maintained by evolutionary constraints and the biological properties of related Sphagnum species. The patterns of phylogenetic signal observed here will instruct future study on the role of functional traits in peatland growth and reconstruction. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. Hydrolysis and biotic transformation in water in the pesticide model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horst, ter M.M.S.; Beltman, W.H.J.; Adriaanse, P.I.; Mulder, H.M.

    2017-01-01

    The TOXSWA model has been extended with the functionality to simulate hydrolysis and biotic transformation in water. TOXSWA simulates the fate of pesticides in water bodies to calculate exposure calculations for aquatic organisms or sediment-dwelling organisms as part of the aquatic risk assessment

  2. Variation in the effectiveness of biotic defence: the case of an opportunistic ant-plant protection mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusto, Bruno; Anstett, Marie-Charlotte; Dounias, Edmond; McKey, Doyle B

    2001-11-01

    Benefits to plants in facultative ant protection mutualisms are highly variable. This allows examination of the sources of this variation and the mechanisms by which ants protect plants. We studied opportunistic interactions between ants and an extrafloral nectary-bearing vine, Dioscorea praehensilis, during 3 different years. Variation in plant protection among years was striking. Several factors affected the effectiveness of the biotic defence. Stems recently emerged from the underground tuber were self-supporting, contacting no other plants and encountering few foraging ants. Stems then became lianescent, and contact with supporting plants greatly increased ant recruitment. Both species and number of ant workers influenced the effect of ants on the major herbivore, the chrysomelid beetle Lilioceris latipennis. Protective actions included limitation of oviposition (reduction in the number of eggs laid on the plant) and predation, leading to increased larval mortality. The probability of successful predation was strongly dependent on larval size. If temporarily low ant-patrolling activity allows larvae to grow beyond a critical size, their mechanical (thick integument) or chemical (plant-derived compounds in a fecal shield) defences become more effective against ants. Secondary metabolites derived from the host plant thus appear to be important for the anti-predator mechanisms of this beetle, being necessary for its survival and reproduction on a host plant that actively recruits ants as a biotic defence against herbivores.

  3. Relevance of biotic pathways to the long-term regulation of nuclear waste disposal. Phase I. Final report. Vol. 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Cadwell, L.L.; Eberhardt, L.E.; Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Peloquin, R.A.; Simmons, M.A.

    1984-05-01

    Licensing and regulation of commercial low-level waste (CLLW) burial facilities require that anticipated risks associated with burial sites be evaluated for the life of the facility. This work reviewed the existing capability to evaluate dose to man resulting from the potential redistribution of buried radionuclides by plants and animals that we have termed biotic transport. Through biotic transport, radionuclides can be moved to locations where they can enter exposure pathways to man. We found that predictive models currently in use did not address the long-term risks resulting from the cumulative transport of radionuclides. Although reports in the literature confirm that biotic transport phenomena are common, assessments routinely ignore the associated risks or dismiss them as insignificant without quantitative evaluation. To determine the potential impacts of biotic transport, we made order-of-magnitude estimates of the dose to man for biotic transport processes at reference arid and humid CLLW disposal sites. Estimated doses to site residents after assumed loss of institutional control were comparable to dose estimates for the intruder-agricultural scenario defined in the DEIS for 10 CFR 61 (NRC). The reported lack of potential importance of biotic transport at low-level waste sites in earlier assessment studies is not confirmed by order of magnitude estimates presented in this study. 17 references, 10 figures, 8 tables

  4. Landscape heterogeneity drives intra-population niche variation and reproduction in an arctic top predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'hérault, Vincent; Franke, Alastair; Lecomte, Nicolas; Alogut, Adam; Bêty, Joël

    2013-09-01

    While intra-population variability in resource use is ubiquitous, little is known of how this measure of niche diversity varies in space and its role in population dynamics. Here we examined how heterogeneous breeding environments can structure intra-population niche variation in both resource use and reproductive output. We investigated intra-population niche variation in the Arctic tundra ecosystem, studying peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus tundrius, White) breeding within a terrestrial-marine gradient near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada. Using stable isotope analysis, we found that intra-population niches varied at the individual level; we examined within-nest and among-nest variation, though only the latter varied along the terrestrial-marine gradient (i.e., increased among-nest variability among birds nesting within the marine environment, indicating higher degree of specialization). Terrestrial prey species (small herbivores and insectivores) were consumed by virtually all falcons. Falcons nesting within the marine environment made use of marine prey (sea birds), but depended heavily on terrestrial prey (up to 90% of the diet). Using 28-years of peregrine falcon nesting data, we found a positive relationship between the proportion of terrestrial habitat surrounding nest sites and annual nestling production, but no relationship with the likelihood of successfully rearing at least one nestling reaching 25 days old. Annually, successful inland breeders raised 0.47 more young on average compared to offshore breeders, which yields potential fitness consequences for this long-living species. The analyses of niche and reproductive success suggest a potential breeding cost for accessing distant terrestrial prey, perhaps due to additional traveling costs, for those individuals with marine nest site locations. Our study indicates how landscape heterogeneity can generate proximate (niche variation) and ultimate (reproduction) consequences on a population of generalist

  5. Development of biomass power plant technologies in Malaysia: niche development and the formation of innovative capabilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ulrich Elmer

    The objective of this thesis is to contribute to advance further the emerging research agenda on the transfer and diffusion of low-carbon technologies in developing countries by adopting a study of the development of biomass power plant technologies in Malaysia. The main research question addresses...... successive periods of fieldwork in Malaysia. The thesis conceptualises the diffusion of biomass technologies in Malaysia as a niche development process and finds that the development of a palm oil biomass waste-to-energy niche in Malaysia has only made limited progress despite a period of twenty years...... of niche formation. The thesis identifies the reluctance to implement an efficient energy policy as the main limiting factor for niche development in this case. Although a number of donor programs have advocated the introduction of a stronger enabling framework for niche development, they have generally...

  6. Untangling the relationships among regional occupancy, species traits, and niche characteristics in stream invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heino, Jani; Grönroos, Mira

    2014-01-01

    The regional occupancy and local abundance of species are affected by various species traits, but their relative effects are poorly understood. We studied the relationships between species traits and occupancy (i.e., proportion of sites occupied) or abundance (i.e., mean local abundance at occupied sites) of stream invertebrates using small-grained data (i.e., local stream sites) across a large spatial extent (i.e., three drainage basins). We found a significant, yet rather weak, linear relationship between occupancy and abundance. However, occupancy was strongly related to niche position (NP), but it showed a weaker relationship with niche breadth (NB). Abundance was at best weakly related to these explanatory niche-based variables. Biological traits, including feeding modes, habit traits, dispersal modes and body size classes, were generally less important in accounting for variation in occupancy and abundance. Our findings showed that the regional occupancy of stream invertebrate species is mostly related to niche characteristics, in particular, NP. However, the effects of NB on occupancy were affected by the measure itself. We conclude that niche characteristics determine the regional occupancy of species at relatively large spatial extents, suggesting that species distributions are determined by environmental variation among sites. PMID:24963387

  7. Relevance of biotic pathways to the long-term regulation of nuclear waste disposal. A report on Tasks 1 and 2 of Phase I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Cadwell, L.L.; Cushing, C.E. Jr.; Harty, R.; Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Simmons, M.A.; Soldat, J.K.; Swartzman, B.

    1982-07-01

    The purpose of the work reported here was to evaluate the relevance of biotic transport to the assessment of impacts and licensing of low-level waste disposal sites. Available computer models and their recent applications at low-level waste disposal sites are considered. Biotic transport mechanisms and processes for both terrestrial and aquatic systems are presented with examples from existing waste disposal sites. Following a proposed system for ranking radionuclides by their potential for biotic transport, recommendations for completing Phase I research are presented. To evaluate the long-term importance of biotic transport at low-level waste sites, scenarios for biotic pathways and mechanisms need to be developed. Scenarios should begin with a description of the waste form and should include a description of biotic processes and mechanisms, approximations of the magnitude of materials transported, and a linkage to processes or mechanisms in existing models. Once these scenarios are in place, existing models could be used to evaluate impacts resulting from biotic transport and to assess the relevance to site selection and licensing of low-level waste disposal sites

  8. Alternative stable states generated by ontogenetic niche shift in the presence of multiple resource use.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takefumi Nakazawa

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available It has been suggested that when juveniles and adults use different resources or habitats, alternative stable states (ASS may exist in systems coupled by an ontogenetic niche shift. However, mainly the simplest system, i.e., the one-consumer-two-resource system, has been studied previously, and little is known about the development of ASS existing in more complex systems. Here, I theoretically investigated the development of ASS caused by an ontogenetic niche shift in the presence of multiple resource use. I considered three independent scenarios; (i additional resources, (ii multiple habitats, and (iii interstage resource sharing. The model analyses illustrate that relative balance between the total resource availability in the juvenile and adult habitats is crucial for the development of ASS. This balance is determined by factors such as local habitat productivity, subsidy inputs, colonization area, and foraging mobility. Furthermore, it is also shown that interstage resource sharing generally suppresses ASS. These results suggest that the anthropogenic impacts of habitat modifications (e.g., fragmentation and destruction or interaction modifications (e.g., changes in ontogeny and foraging behavior propagate through space and may cause or prevent regime shifts in the regional community structure.

  9. Synergistic interactions of biotic and abiotic environmental stressors on gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altshuler, Ianina; McLeod, Anne M; Colbourne, John K; Yan, Norman D; Cristescu, Melania E

    2015-03-01

    Understanding the response of organisms to multiple stressors is critical for predicting if populations can adapt to rapid environmental change. Natural and anthropogenic stressors often interact, complicating general predictions. In this study, we examined the interactive and cumulative effects of two common environmental stressors, lowered calcium concentration, an anthropogenic stressor, and predator presence, a natural stressor, on the water flea Daphnia pulex. We analyzed expression changes of five genes involved in calcium homeostasis - cuticle proteins (Cutie, Icp2), calbindin (Calb), and calcium pump and channel (Serca and Ip3R) - using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) in a full factorial experiment. We observed strong synergistic interactions between low calcium concentration and predator presence. While the Ip3R gene was not affected by the stressors, the other four genes were affected in their transcriptional levels by the combination of the stressors. Transcriptional patterns of genes that code for cuticle proteins (Cutie and Icp2) and a sarcoplasmic calcium pump (Serca) only responded to the combination of stressors, changing their relative expression levels in a synergistic response, while a calcium-binding protein (Calb) responded to low calcium stress and the combination of both stressors. The expression pattern of these genes (Cutie, Icp2, and Serca) were nonlinear, yet they were dose dependent across the calcium gradient. Multiple stressors can have complex, often unexpected effects on ecosystems. This study demonstrates that the dominant interaction for the set of tested genes appears to be synergism. We argue that gene expression patterns can be used to understand and predict the type of interaction expected when organisms are exposed simultaneously to natural and anthropogenic stressors.

  10. The hidden Niemann-Pick type C patient: clinical niches for a rare inherited metabolic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendriksz, Christian J; Anheim, Mathieu; Bauer, Peter; Bonnot, Olivier; Chakrapani, Anupam; Corvol, Jean-Christophe; de Koning, Tom J; Degtyareva, Anna; Dionisi-Vici, Carlo; Doss, Sarah; Duning, Thomas; Giunti, Paola; Iodice, Rosa; Johnston, Tracy; Kelly, Dierdre; Klünemann, Hans-Hermann; Lorenzl, Stefan; Padovani, Alessandro; Pocovi, Miguel; Synofzik, Matthis; Terblanche, Alta; Then Bergh, Florian; Topçu, Meral; Tranchant, Christine; Walterfang, Mark; Velten, Christian; Kolb, Stefan A

    2017-05-01

    Niemann-Pick disease type C (NP-C) is a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease of impaired intracellular lipid trafficking. Clinical symptoms are highly heterogeneous, including neurological, visceral, or psychiatric manifestations. The incidence of NP-C is under-estimated due to under-recognition or misdiagnosis across a wide range of medical fields. New screening and diagnostic methods provide an opportunity to improve detection of unrecognized cases in clinical sub-populations associated with a higher risk of NP-C. Patients in these at-risk groups ("clinical niches") have symptoms that are potentially related to NP-C, but go unrecognized due to other, more prevalent clinical features, and lack of awareness regarding underlying metabolic causes. Twelve potential clinical niches identified by clinical experts were evaluated based on a comprehensive, non-systematic review of literature published to date. Relevant publications were identified by targeted literature searches of EMBASE and PubMed using key search terms specific to each niche. Articles published in English or other European languages up to 2016 were included. Several niches were found to be relevant based on available data: movement disorders (early-onset ataxia and dystonia), organic psychosis, early-onset cholestasis/(hepato)splenomegaly, cases with relevant antenatal findings or fetal abnormalities, and patients affected by family history, consanguinity, and endogamy. Potentially relevant niches requiring further supportive data included: early-onset cognitive decline, frontotemporal dementia, parkinsonism, and chronic inflammatory CNS disease. There was relatively weak evidence to suggest amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or progressive supranuclear gaze palsy as potential niches. Several clinical niches have been identified that harbor patients at increased risk of NP-C.

  11. Re-establishing the pecking order: Niche models reliably predict suitable habitats for the reintroduction of red-billed oxpeckers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalle, Riddhika; Combrink, Leigh; Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Distributions of avian mutualists are affected by changes in biotic interactions and environmental conditions driven directly/indirectly by human actions. The range contraction of red-billed oxpeckers ( Buphagus erythrorhynchus ) in South Africa is partly a result of the widespread use of acaracides (i.e., mainly cattle dips), toxic to both ticks and oxpeckers. We predicted the habitat suitability of red-billed oxpeckers in South Africa using ensemble models to assist the ongoing reintroduction efforts and to identify new reintroduction sites for population recovery. The distribution of red-billed oxpeckers was influenced by moderate to high tree cover, woodland habitats, and starling density (a proxy for cavity-nesting birds) with regard to nest-site characteristics. Consumable resources (host and tick density), bioclimate, surface water body density, and proximity to protected areas were other influential predictors. Our models estimated 42,576.88-98,506.98 km 2 of highly suitable habitat (0.5-1) covering the majority of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, a substantial portion of northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Gauteng Province. Niche models reliably predicted suitable habitat in 40%-61% of the reintroduction sites where breeding is currently successful. Ensemble, boosted regression trees and generalized additive models predicted few suitable areas in the Eastern Cape and south of KZN that are part of the historic range. A few southern areas in the Northern Cape, outside the historic range, also had suitable sites predicted. Our models are a promising decision support tool for guiding reintroduction programs at macroscales. Apart from active reintroductions, conservation programs should encourage farmers and/or landowners to use oxpecker-compatible agrochemicals and set up adequate nest boxes to facilitate the population recovery of the red-billed oxpecker, particularly in human-modified landscapes. To ensure long-term conservation success, we suggest that

  12. Exploring biotic vs. abiotic controls on syngenetic carbonate and clay mineral precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nascimento, Gabriela S.; McKenzie, Judith A.; Martinez Ruiz, Francisca; Bontognali, Tomaso R. R.; Vasconcelos, Crisogono

    2016-04-01

    A possible syngenetic relationship between carbonate and clay mineral precipitation has been reported for sedimentary rocks deposited in both lacustrine and marine sedimentary environments throughout the geological record. In particular, the mineral dolomite is often found associated with Mg-rich clays, such as stevensite. It is notable that this carbonate/clay association has been recorded in numerous samples taken from modern dolomite precipitating environments; for example, the Coorong lakes, South Australia, coastal sabkhas, Abu Dhabi, UAE and coastal hypersaline lagoons (Lagoa Vermelha and Brejo do Espinho) east of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An HRTEM study of samples from these three locations indicates a possible physical/chemical association between the Ca-dolomite and Mg-rich clays, demonstrating a probable co-precipitation. To test this hypothesis, we have conducted a series of biotic and abiotic laboratory experiments. If this syngenesis actually occurs in nature, what, if any, are the biogeochemical processes controlling these precipitation reactions? Our experiments were designed to determine the extent of the biotic versus abiotic component influencing the mineral precipitation and, in the case of a biotic influence, to understand the mechanism through which microorganisms might mediate the formation of clay minerals. The experiments were carried out in the Geomicrobiology Laboratory of ETH Zürich using cultures of living microbes and artificial organic compounds that simulate functional groups present in natural biofilms formed under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. In addition, pure inorganic experiments were designed to understand possible physico-chemical conditions for diagenetic processes that could induce dissolution of Mg-carbonates and precipitation of Mg-rich clays. Our results show a remarkable biotic influence during the formation of clay minerals. Specifically, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), released by microbes in their

  13. A practical guideline for examining a uterine niche using ultrasonography in non-pregnant women: a modified Delphi method amongst European experts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordans, I P M; de Leeuw, R; Stegwee, S I; Amso, N N; Barri-Soldevila, P N; van den Bosch, T; Bourne, T; Brolmann, H A M; Donnez, O; Dueholm, M; Hehenkamp, W J K; Jastrow, N; Jurkovic, D; Mashiach, R; Naji, O; Streuli, I; Timmerman, D; Vd Voet, L F; Huirne, J A F

    2018-03-14

    To generate a uniform, internationally recognized guideline for detailed uterine niche evaluation by ultrasonography in non-pregnant women using a modified Delphi method amongst international experts. Fifteen international gynecological experts were recruited by their membership of the European niche taskforce group. All experts were physicians with extensive experience in niche evaluation in clinical practice and/or authors of niche studies. Relevant items for niche measurement were determined based on the results of a literature search and recommendations of a focus group. Two online questionnaires were sent to the expert panel and one group meeting was organized. Consensus was predefined as a consensus rate of at least 70%. In total 15 experts participated in this study. Consensus was reached for a total of 42 items on niche evaluation, including definitions, relevance, method of measurement and tips for visualization of the niche. All experts agreed on the proposed guideline for niche evaluation in non-pregnant women as presented in this paper. Consensus between niche experts was achieved on all items regarding ultrasonographic niche measurement. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. Co-niche construction between hosts and symbionts

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Symbiosis is a process that can generate evolutionary novelties and can extend the phenotypic niche space of organisms. Symbionts can act together with their hosts to co-construct host organs, within which symbionts are housed. Once established within hosts, symbionts can also influence various aspects of host ...

  15. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Andrew D; Newton, Jason; Ávila-Arcos, María C; Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Samaniego, Jose A; Post, Klaas; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S; Gilbert, M Thomas P

    2013-10-07

    Niche variation owing to individual differences in ecology has been hypothesized to be an early stage of sympatric speciation. Yet to date, no study has tracked niche width over more than a few generations. In this study, we show the presence of isotopic niche variation over millennial timescales and investigate the evolutionary outcomes. Isotopic ratios were measured from tissue samples of sympatric killer whale Orcinus orca lineages from the North Sea, spanning over 10 000 years. Isotopic ratios spanned a range similar to the difference in isotopic values of two known prey items, herring Clupea harengus and harbour seal Phoca vitulina. Two proxies of the stage of speciation, lineage sorting of mitogenomes and genotypic clustering, were both weak to intermediate indicating that speciation has made little progress. Thus, our study confirms that even with the necessary ecological conditions, i.e. among-individual variation in ecology, it is difficult for sympatric speciation to progress in the face of gene flow. In contrast to some theoretical models, our empirical results suggest that sympatric speciation driven by among-individual differences in ecological niche is a slow process and may not reach completion. We argue that sympatric speciation is constrained in this system owing to the plastic nature of the behavioural traits under selection when hunting either mammals or fish.

  16. Trophic niche shifts driven by phytoplankton in sandy beach ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergamino, Leandro; Martínez, Ana; Han, Eunah; Lercari, Diego; Defeo, Omar

    2016-10-01

    Stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) together with chlorophyll a and densities of surf diatoms were used to analyze changes in trophic niches of species in two sandy beaches of Uruguay with contrasting morphodynamics (i.e. dissipative vs. reflective). Consumers and food sources were collected over four seasons, including sediment organic matter (SOM), suspended particulate organic matter (POM) and the surf zone diatom Asterionellopsis guyunusae. Circular statistics and a Bayesian isotope mixing model were used to quantify food web differences between beaches. Consumers changed their trophic niche between beaches in the same direction of the food web space towards higher reliance on surf diatoms in the dissipative beach. Mixing models indicated that A. guyunusae was the primary nutrition source for suspension feeders in the dissipative beach, explaining their change in dietary niche compared to the reflective beach where the proportional contribution of surf diatoms was low. The high C/N ratios in A. guyunusae indicated its high nutritional value and N content, and may help to explain the high assimilation by suspension feeders at the dissipative beach. Furthermore, density of A. guyunusae was higher in the dissipative than in the reflective beach, and cell density was positively correlated with chlorophyll a only in the dissipative beach. Therefore, surf diatoms are important drivers in the dynamics of sandy beach food webs, determining the trophic niche space and productivity. Our study provides valuable insights on shifting foraging behavior by beach fauna in response to changes in resource availability.

  17. Targeting of the pulmonary capillary vascular niche promotes lung alveolar repair and ameliorates fibrosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zhongwei; Lis, Raphael; Ginsberg, Michael; Chavez, Deebly; Shido, Koji; Rabbany, Sina Y; Fong, Guo-Hua; Sakmar, Thomas P; Rafii, Shahin; Ding, Bi-Sen

    2016-02-01

    Although the lung can undergo self-repair after injury, fibrosis in chronically injured or diseased lungs can occur at the expense of regeneration. Here we study how a hematopoietic-vascular niche regulates alveolar repair and lung fibrosis. Using intratracheal injection of bleomycin or hydrochloric acid in mice, we show that repetitive lung injury activates pulmonary capillary endothelial cells (PCECs) and perivascular macrophages, impeding alveolar repair and promoting fibrosis. Whereas the chemokine receptor CXCR7, expressed on PCECs, acts to prevent epithelial damage and ameliorate fibrosis after a single round of treatment with bleomycin or hydrochloric acid, repeated injury leads to suppression of CXCR7 expression and recruitment of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR1)-expressing perivascular macrophages. This recruitment stimulates Wnt/β-catenin-dependent persistent upregulation of the Notch ligand Jagged1 (encoded by Jag1) in PCECs, which in turn stimulates exuberant Notch signaling in perivascular fibroblasts and enhances fibrosis. Administration of a CXCR7 agonist or PCEC-targeted Jag1 shRNA after lung injury promotes alveolar repair and reduces fibrosis. Thus, targeting of a maladapted hematopoietic-vascular niche, in which macrophages, PCECs and perivascular fibroblasts interact, may help to develop therapy to spur lung regeneration and alleviate fibrosis.

  18. Targeting of the pulmonary capillary vascular niche promotes lung alveolar repair and ameliorates fibrosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Zhongwei; Lis, Raphael; Ginsberg, Michael; Chavez, Deebly; Shido, Koji; Rabbany, Sina Y.; Fong, Guo-Hua; Sakmar, Thomas P.; Rafii, Shahin; Ding, Bi-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Although the lung can undergo self-repair after injury, fibrosis in chronically injured or diseased lungs can occur at the expense of regeneration. Here we study how a hematopoietic-vascular niche regulates alveolar repair and lung fibrosis. Using intratracheal injection of bleomycin or hydrochloric acid in mice, we show that repetitive lung injury activates pulmonary capillary endothelial cells (PCECs) and perivascular macrophages, impeding alveolar repair and promoting fibrosis. Whereas the chemokine receptor CXCR7, expressed on PCECs, acts to prevent epithelial damage and ameliorate fibrosis after a single round of treatment with bleomycin or hydrochloric acid, repeated injury leads to suppression of CXCR7 expression and recruitment of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR1)-expressing perivascular macrophages. This recruitment stimulates Wnt/β-catenin–dependent persistent upregulation of the Notch ligand Jagged1 (encoded by Jag1) in PCECs, which in turn stimulates exuberant Notch signaling in perivascular fibroblasts and enhances fibrosis. Administration of a CXCR7 agonist or PCEC-targeted Jag1 shRNA after lung injury promotes alveolar repair and reduces fibrosis. Thus, targeting of a maladaptbed hematopoietic-vascular niche, in which macrophages, PCECs and perivascular fibroblasts interact, may help to develop therapy to spur lung regeneration and alleviate fibrosis. PMID:26779814

  19. Bifurcation into functional niches in adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Justin S; Adami, Christoph

    2004-01-01

    One of the central questions in evolutionary biology concerns the dynamics of adaptation and diversification. This issue can be addressed experimentally if replicate populations adapting to identical environments can be investigated in detail. We have studied 501 such replicas using digital organisms adapting to at least two fundamentally different functional niches (survival strategies) present in the same environment: one in which fast replication is the way to live, and another where exploitation of the environment's complexity leads to complex organisms with longer life spans and smaller replication rates. While these two modes of survival are closely analogous to those expected to emerge in so-called r and K selection scenarios respectively, the bifurcation of evolutionary histories according to these functional niches occurs in identical environments, under identical selective pressures. We find that the branching occurs early, and leads to drastic phenotypic differences (in fitness, sequence length, and gestation time) that are permanent and irreversible. This study confirms an earlier experimental effort using microorganisms, in that diversification can be understood at least in part in terms of bifurcations on saddle points leading to peak shifts, as in the picture drawn by Sewall Wright.

  20. The exploitation of the niche market through innovation and marketing : the case of Japanese small businesses

    OpenAIRE

    Sato, Yoshio

    1992-01-01

    Japan's economic growth brought many business oportunities and niche markets for small business, where new entrepreneurs entered. Competition and self-revolutionalizing efforts made the level of their technology and management highly specialized. Various examples of niche marketing strategies in Japan by several types of smaller businesses are followed. Recent new ventures' strategies, typical "venture businesses" activities, niche marketing by diversification strategies and self revolutional...

  1. Invasion by nonnative brook trout in Panther Creek, Idaho: Roles of local habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity to source habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Joseph R.; Dunham, Jason B.; Dare, M.R.

    2007-01-01

    Theoretical models and empirical evidence suggest that the invasion of nonnative species in freshwaters is facilitated through the interaction of three factors: habitat quality, biotic resistance, and connectivity. We measured variables that represented each factor to determine which were associated with the occurrence of nonnative brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in Panther Creek, a tributary to the Salmon River, Idaho. Habitat variables included measures of summer and winter temperature, instream cover, and channel size. The abundance of native rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss within sampled sites was used as a measure of biotic resistance. We also considered the connectivity of sample sites to unconfined valley bottoms, which were considered habitats that may serve as sources for the spread of established populations of brook trout. We analyzed the occurrence of small (<150‐mm [fork length]) and large (≥150‐mm) brook trout separately, assuming that the former represents an established invasion while accounting for the higher potential mobility of the latter. The occurrence of small brook trout was strongly associated with the proximity of sites to large, unconstrained valley bottoms, providing evidence that such habitats may serve as sources for the spread of brook trout invasion. Within sites, winter degree‐days and maximum summer temperature were positively associated with the occurrence of small brook trout. The occurrence of large brook trout was not related to any of the variables considered, perhaps due to the difficulty of linking site‐specific habitat factors to larger and more mobile individuals. The abundance of rainbow trout was not conclusively associated with the occurrence of either small or large brook trout, providing little support for the role of biotic resistance. Overall, our results suggest that source connectivity and local habitat characteristics, but not biotic resistance, influence the establishment and spread of

  2. The human socio-cognitive niche and its evolutionary origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiten, Andrew; Erdal, David

    2012-01-01

    Hominin evolution took a remarkable pathway, as the foraging strategy extended to large mammalian prey already hunted by a guild of specialist carnivores. How was this possible for a moderately sized ape lacking the formidable anatomical adaptations of these competing ‘professional hunters’? The long-standing answer that this was achieved through the elaboration of a new ‘cognitive niche’ reliant on intelligence and technology is compelling, yet insufficient. Here we present evidence from a diversity of sources supporting the hypothesis that a fuller answer lies in the evolution of a new socio-cognitive niche, the principal components of which include forms of cooperation, egalitarianism, mindreading (also known as ‘theory of mind’), language and cultural transmission, that go far beyond the most comparable phenomena in other primates. This cognitive and behavioural complex allows a human hunter–gatherer band to function as a unique and highly competitive predatory organism. Each of these core components of the socio-cognitive niche is distinctive to humans, but primate research has increasingly identified related capacities that permit inferences about significant ancestral cognitive foundations to the five pillars of the human social cognitive niche listed earlier. The principal focus of the present study was to review and integrate this range of recent comparative discoveries. PMID:22734055

  3. The inverse niche model for food webs with parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Christopher P.; Pascual, Mercedes; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2010-01-01

    Although parasites represent an important component of ecosystems, few field and theoretical studies have addressed the structure of parasites in food webs. We evaluate the structure of parasitic links in an extensive salt marsh food web, with a new model distinguishing parasitic links from non-parasitic links among free-living species. The proposed model is an extension of the niche model for food web structure, motivated by the potential role of size (and related metabolic rates) in structuring food webs. The proposed extension captures several properties observed in the data, including patterns of clustering and nestedness, better than does a random model. By relaxing specific assumptions, we demonstrate that two essential elements of the proposed model are the similarity of a parasite's hosts and the increasing degree of parasite specialization, along a one-dimensional niche axis. Thus, inverting one of the basic rules of the original model, the one determining consumers' generality appears critical. Our results support the role of size as one of the organizing principles underlying niche space and food web topology. They also strengthen the evidence for the non-random structure of parasitic links in food webs and open the door to addressing questions concerning the consequences and origins of this structure.

  4. Wnt ligand presentation and reception: from the stem cell niche to tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Kate M; Szczerkowski, James L A; Habib, Shukry J

    2017-08-01

    Stem cells reside in niches where spatially restricted signals maintain a delicate balance between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Wnt family proteins are particularly suited for this role as they are modified by lipids, which constrain and spatially regulate their signalling range. In recent years, Wnt/β-catenin signalling has been shown to be essential for the self-renewal of a variety of mammalian stem cells. In this review, we discuss Wnt-responsive stem cells in their niche, and mechanisms by which Wnt ligands are presented to responsive cells. We also highlight recent progress in molecular visualization that has allowed for the monitoring of Wnt signalling within the stem cell compartment and new approaches to recapitulate this niche signalling in vitro Indeed, new technologies that present Wnt in a localized manner and mimic the three-dimensional microenvironment of stem cells will advance our understanding of Wnt signalling in the stem cell niche. These advances will expand current horizons to exploit Wnt ligands in the rapidly evolving fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. © 2017 The Authors.

  5. Climatic niche evolution is faster in sympatric than allopatric lineages of the butterfly genus Pyrgus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitteloud, Camille; Arrigo, Nils; Suchan, Tomasz; Mastretta-Yanes, Alicia; Vila, Roger; Dincă, Vlad; Hernández-Roldán, Juan; Brockmann, Ernst; Chittaro, Yannick; Kleckova, Irena; Fumagalli, Luca; Buerki, Sven; Pellissier, Loïc; Alvarez, Nadir

    2017-04-12

    Understanding how speciation relates to ecological divergence has long fascinated biologists. It is assumed that ecological divergence is essential to sympatric speciation, as a mechanism to avoid competition and eventually lead to reproductive isolation, while divergence in allopatry is not necessarily associated with niche differentiation. The impact of the spatial context of divergence on the evolutionary rates of abiotic dimensions of the ecological niche has rarely been explored for an entire clade. Here, we compare the magnitude of climatic niche shifts between sympatric versus allopatric divergence of lineages in butterflies. By combining next-generation sequencing, parametric biogeography and ecological niche analyses applied to a genus-wide phylogeny of Palaearctic Pyrgus butterflies, we compare evolutionary rates along eight climatic dimensions across sister lineages that diverged in large-scale sympatry versus allopatry. In order to examine the possible effects of the spatial scale at which sympatry is defined, we considered three sets of biogeographic assignments, ranging from narrow to broad definition. Our findings suggest higher rates of niche evolution along all climatic dimensions for sister lineages that diverge in sympatry, when using a narrow delineation of biogeographic areas. This result contrasts with significantly lower rates of climatic niche evolution found in cases of allopatric speciation, despite the biogeographic regions defined here being characterized by significantly different climates. Higher rates in allopatry are retrieved when biogeographic areas are too widely defined-in such a case allopatric events may be recorded as sympatric. Our results reveal the macro-evolutionary significance of abiotic niche differentiation involved in speciation processes within biogeographic regions, and illustrate the importance of the spatial scale chosen to define areas when applying parametric biogeographic analyses. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. The interactive biotic and abiotic processes of DDT transformation under dissimilatory iron-reducing conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xin; Wang, Fang; Gu, Chenggang; Yang, Xinglun; Kengara, Fredrick O; Bian, Yongrong; Song, Yang; Jiang, Xin

    2015-11-01

    The objective of the study was to elucidate the biotic and abiotic processes under dissimilatory iron reducing conditions involved in reductive dechlorination and iron reduction. DDT transformation was investigated in cultures of Shewanella putrefaciens 200 with/without α-FeOOH. A modified first-order kinetics model was developed and described DDT transformation well. Both the α-FeOOH reduction rate and the dechlorination rate of DDT were positively correlated to the biomass. Addition of α-FeOOH enhanced reductive dechlorination of DDT by favoring the cell survival and generating Fe(II) which was absorbed on the surface of bacteria and iron oxide. 92% of the absorbed Fe(II) was Na-acetate (1M) extractable. However, α-FeOOH also played a negative role of competing for electrons as reflected by the dechlorination rate of DDT was inhibited when increasing the α-FeOOH from 1 g L(-1) to 5 g L(-1). DDT was measured to be toxic to S. putrefaciens 200. The metabolites DDD, DDE and DDMU were recalcitrant to S. putrefaciens 200. The results suggested that iron oxide was not the key factor to promote the dissipation of DDX (DDT and the metabolites), whereas the one-electron reduction potential (E1) of certain organochlorines is the main factor and that the E1 higher than the threshold of the reductive driving forces of DIRB probably ensures the occur of reductive dechlorination. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Adopting Strategic Niche Management to Evaluate EV Demonstration Projects in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixi Xue

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Electric Vehicles (EVs are considered to be a potential viable technology to address the persistent unsustainable problems in transport sector. In this paper, we focus on analyzing the transition processes of EVs in China because the sustainability of developing countries is essential for the worldwide sustainability. The two-round demonstration programs of EVs in China were analyzed by adopting the strategic niche management (SNM approach so as to find out what niche protection has been provided and which obstacles hamper the further development of EVs. The results show that the financial subsidy is the most important protective measure. However, the diffusion results of EVs in different pilot cities are greatly different. The main reason lies in the uneven geographical landscape. In addition, some obstacles were exposed during the niche internal processes including low quality of expectations and poor alignment within the network. Based on the analysis results, we develop a list of suggestions that are important to consider when developing EVs.

  8. Mutualism and Antagonism: Ecological Interactions Among Bark Beetles, Mite and Fungi

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; J.C. Moser; M.J. Lombardero; M.P. Ayres; R.W. Hofstetter; C.J. Walkinshaw

    2001-01-01

    Insect-fungal complexes provide challenging and fascinating systems for the study of biotic interactions between plants. plant pathogens, insect vectors and other associated organisms. The types of interactions among these organisms (mutualism. antagonism. parasitism. phoresy. etc.) are as variable as the range of organisms involved (plants, fungi, insects. mites. etc...

  9. Green Power Marketing - from Niches to Mass Markets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wuestenhagen, Rolf

    2000-01-01

    In the process of liberalization of the electricity market the customers are now in a position to participate in the decision on how their electricity is produced. In particular, many consumers have a preference for renewable energies. For the producers, marketing of 'eco-power' is an opportunity to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. However, the market share of these products is still quite small today, and 'eco-power' is usually marketed as an expensive niche product. From the perspective of sustainable development these niches are a necessary but not sufficient step. In this book, ways are discussed which could lead to a mass-market penetration of eco-power products. A theoretical analysis is combined with empirical evidence derived from the eco-power market in Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain and the U.S. as well as with a comparison with other market segments [de

  10. Role of the Stem Cell Niche in Hormone-induced Tumorigenesis in Fetal Mouse Mammary Epithelium

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chepko, Gloria; Hilakivi-Clarke, Leena

    2006-01-01

    Develop an immunohistochemical method for identifying stem cells and stem cell niches, and to use this to determine if in utero estrogenic overstimulation causes changes in the number of stem cells or their niches...

  11. Effects of prey size and foraging mode on the ontogenetic change in feeding niche ofColostethus stepheni (Anura: Dendrobatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Albertina P; Moreira, Gloria

    1993-03-01

    The feeding niche ofColostethus stepheni changes during ontogeny. Small individuals eat small arthropods, principally mites and collembolans, and larger frogs eat bigger prey of other types. The shift in prey types is not a passive effect of selection for bigger prey. There is a strong relationship between electivity for prey types and frog size, independent of electivity for prey size. Four indices of general activity during foraging (number of movements, velocity, total area utilized and time spent moving), which are associated with electivity for prey types in adult frogs and lizards, did not predict the ontogenetic change in the diet ofC. stepheni. Apparently, the behavioral changes that cause the ontogenetic change inC. stepheni are more subtle than shifts in general activity during foraging. Studies of niche partitioning in communities of anurans that do not take into consideration ontogenetic changes in diet and seasonal changes in the size structures of populations present a partial and possibly erroneous picture of the potential interactions among species.

  12. Phylogeny and niche conservatism in North and Central American triatomine bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae), vectors of Chagas' disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra-Cerdeña, Carlos N; Zaldívar-Riverón, Alejandro; Peterson, A Townsend; Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; Ramsey, Janine M

    2014-10-01

    The niche conservatism hypothesis states that related species diverge in niche characteristics at lower rates than expected, given their lineage divergence. Here we analyze whether niche conservatism is a common pattern among vector species (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) of Trypanosoma cruzi that inhabit North and Central America, a highly heterogeneous landmass in terms of environmental gradients. Mitochondrial and nuclear loci were used in a multi-locus phylogenetic framework to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among species and estimate time of divergence of selected clades to draw biogeographic inferences. Then, we estimated similarity between the ecological niche of sister species and tested the niche conservatism hypothesis using our best estimate of phylogeny. Triatoma is not monophyletic. A primary clade with all North and Central American (NCA) triatomine species from the genera Triatoma, Dipetalogaster, and Panstrongylus, was consistently recovered. Nearctic species within the NCA clade (T. p. protracta, T. r. rubida) diverged during the Pliocene, whereas the Neotropical species (T. phyllosoma, T. longipennis, T. dimidiata complex) are estimated to have diverged more recently, during the Pleistocene. The hypothesis of niche conservatism could not be rejected for any of six sister species pairs. Niche similarity between sister species best fits a retention model. While this framework is used here to infer niche evolution, it has a direct impact on spatial vector dynamics driven by human population movements, expansion of transportation networks and climate change scenarios.

  13. Regulation of Translation Initiation under Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B. Castro-Sanz

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants have developed versatile strategies to deal with the great variety of challenging conditions they are exposed to. Among them, the regulation of translation is a common target to finely modulate gene expression both under biotic and abiotic stress situations. Upon environmental challenges, translation is regulated to reduce the consumption of energy and to selectively synthesize proteins involved in the proper establishment of the tolerance response. In the case of viral infections, the situation is more complex, as viruses have evolved unconventional mechanisms to regulate translation in order to ensure the production of the viral encoded proteins using the plant machinery. Although the final purpose is different, in some cases, both plants and viruses share common mechanisms to modulate translation. In others, the mechanisms leading to the control of translation are viral- or stress-specific. In this paper, we review the different mechanisms involved in the regulation of translation initiation under virus infection and under environmental stress in plants. In addition, we describe the main features within the viral RNAs and the cellular mRNAs that promote their selective translation in plants undergoing biotic and abiotic stress situations.

  14. Food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores-Flores, Rocío Vianey; Aguirre, Armando; Anjos, Diego V.; Neves, Frederico S.; Campos, Ricardo I.; Dáttilo, Wesley

    2018-02-01

    In this study, we conducted a series of experiments in a population of Vachellia constricta (Fabaceae) in the arid Tehuacan-Cuicatláan valley, Mexico, in order to evaluate if the food source quality and ant dominance hierarchy influence the outcomes of ant-plant interactions. Using an experiment with artificial nectaries, we observed that ants foraging on food sources with higher concentration of sugar are quicker in finding and attacking potential herbivorous insects. More specifically, we found that the same ant species may increase their defence effectiveness according to the quality of food available. These findings indicate that ant effectiveness in plant protection is context-dependent and may vary according to specific individual characteristics of plants. In addition, we showed that competitively superior ant species tend to dominate plants in periods with high nectar activity, emphasizing the role of the dominance hierarchy structuring ant-plant interactions. However, when high sugar food sources were experimentally available ad libitum, the nocturnal and competitively superior ant species, Camponotus atriceps, did not dominate the artificial nectaries during the day possibly due to limitation of its thermal tolerance. Therefore, temporal niche partitioning may be allowing the coexistence of two dominant ant species (Camponotus rubritorax during the day and C. atriceps at night) on V. constricta. Our findings indicate that the quality of the food source, and temporal shifts in ant dominance are key factors which structure the biotic plant defences in an arid environment.

  15. Ecology: a niche for cyanobacteria containing chlorophyll d

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kühl, Michael; Chen, Min; Ralph, Peter J

    2005-01-01

    we demonstrate photosynthetic activity in Acaryochloris-like phototrophs that live underneath minute coral-reef invertebrates (didemnid ascidians) in a shaded niche enriched in near-infrared light. This discovery clarifies how these cyanobacteria are able to thrive as free-living organisms...

  16. Average niche breadths of species in lake macrophyte communities respond to ecological gradients variably in four regions on two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alahuhta, Janne; Virtala, Antti; Hjort, Jan; Ecke, Frauke; Johnson, Lucinda B; Sass, Laura; Heino, Jani

    2017-05-01

    Different species' niche breadths in relation to ecological gradients are infrequently examined within the same study and, moreover, species niche breadths have rarely been averaged to account for variation in entire ecological communities. We investigated how average environmental niche breadths (climate, water quality and climate-water quality niches) in aquatic macrophyte communities are related to ecological gradients (latitude, longitude, altitude, species richness and lake area) among four distinct regions (Finland, Sweden and US states of Minnesota and Wisconsin) on two continents. We found that correlations between the three different measures of average niche breadths and ecological gradients varied considerably among the study regions, with average climate and average water quality niche breadth models often showing opposite trends. However, consistent patterns were also found, such as widening of average climate niche breadths and narrowing of average water quality niche breadths of aquatic macrophytes along increasing latitudinal and altitudinal gradients. This result suggests that macrophyte species are generalists in relation to temperature variations at higher latitudes and altitudes, whereas species in southern, lowland lakes are more specialised. In contrast, aquatic macrophytes growing in more southern nutrient-rich lakes were generalists in relation to water quality, while specialist species are adapted to low-productivity conditions and are found in highland lakes. Our results emphasise that species niche breadths should not be studied using only coarse-scale data of species distributions and corresponding environmental conditions, but that investigations on different kinds of niche breadths (e.g., climate vs. local niches) also require finer resolution data at broad spatial extents.

  17. Foxl1-Expressing Mesenchymal Cells Constitute the Intestinal Stem Cell NicheSummary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina Aoki

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Background & Aims: Intestinal epithelial stem cells that express leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5 and/or B cell specific Moloney murine leukemia virus integration site 1 (Bmi1 continuously replicate and generate differentiated cells throughout life. Previously, Paneth cells were suggested to constitute an epithelium-intrinsic niche that regulates the behavior of these stem cells. However, ablating Paneth cells has no effect on the maintenance of functional stem cells. Here, we show definitively that a small subset of mesenchymal subepithelial cells expressing the winged-helix transcription factor forkhead box l1 (Foxl1 are a critical component of the intestinal stem cell niche. Methods: We genetically ablated Foxl1+ mesenchymal cells in adult mice using 2 separate models by expressing either the human or simian diphtheria toxin receptor under Foxl1 promoter control. Conclusions: Killing Foxl1+ cells by diphtheria toxin administration led to an abrupt cessation of proliferation of both epithelial stem- and transit-amplifying progenitor cell populations that was associated with a loss of active Wnt signaling to the intestinal epithelium. Therefore, Foxl1-expressing mesenchymal cells constitute the fundamental niche for intestinal stem cells. Keywords: Intestinal Stem Cell Niche, Wnt, Mesenchyme

  18. Cellular players of hematopoietic stem cell mobilization in the bone marrow niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, Joshua; Levesque, Jean-Pierre; Winkler, Ingrid G

    2017-02-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) reside in perivascular regions of the bone marrow (BM) embedded within a complex regulatory unit called the niche. Cellular components of HSC niches include vascular endothelial cells, mesenchymal stromal progenitor cells and a variety of mature hematopoietic cells such as macrophages, neutrophils, and megakaryocytes-further regulated by sympathetic nerves and complement components as described in this review. Three decades ago the discovery that cytokines induce a large number of HSC to mobilize from the BM into the blood where they are easily harvested, revolutionised the field of HSC transplantation-curative for immune-deficiencies and some malignancies. However, despite now routine use of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to mobilise HSC for transplant, only in last 15 years has research on the mechanisms behind why and how HSC can be induced to move into the blood began. These studies have revealed the complexity of the niche that retains HSC in the BM. This review describes how BM niches and HSC themselves change during administration of G-CSF-or in the recovery phase of chemotherapy-to facilitate movement of HSC into the blood, and research now leading to development of novel therapeutics to further boost HSC mobilization and transplant success.

  19. Elucidating the Role of Carbon Sources on Abiotic and Biotic Release of Arsenic into Cambodian Aquifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koeneke, M.

    2017-12-01

    Arsenic (As) is a naturally occurring contaminant in Cambodia that has been contaminating well-water sources of millions of people. Commonly, studies look into the biotic factors that cause the arsenic to be released from aquifer sediments to groundwater. However, abiotic release of As from sediments, though little studied, may also play key roles in As contamination of well water. The goal of this research is to quantitatively compare organic-carbon mediated abiotic and biotic release of arsenic from sediments to groundwater. Batch anaerobic incubation experiments under abiotic (sodium azide used to immobilize microbes) and biotic conditions were conducted using Cambodian aquifer sediments, four different organic carbon sources (sodium lactate, sodium citrate, sodium oxalate, and humic acid), and six different carbon concentrations (0, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25mg C/L). Dissolved arsenic, iron(Fe), and manganese(Mn) concentrations in the treatments were measured 112 days . In addition, sediment and solution carbon solution was measured . Collectively, these show how different carbon sources, different carbon concentrations, and how abiotic and biotic factors impact the release of arsenic from Cambodian sediments into aquifers. Overall, an introduction of organic carbon to the soil increases the amount of As released from the sediment. The biotic + abiotic and abiotic conditions seemed to play a minimal role in the amount of As released. Dissolved species analysis showed us that 100% of the As was As(V), Our ICP-MS results vary due to the heterogeneity of samples, but when high levels are Fe are seen in solution, we also see high levels of As. We also see higher As concentrations when there is a smaller amount of Mn in solution.

  20. Prediction of the niche effect for single flat panels with or without attached sound absorbing materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgard, Franck; Atalla, Noureddine; Nélisse, Hugues

    2015-01-01

    The sound transmission loss (STL) of a test sample measured in sound transmission facilities is affected by the opening in which it is located. This is called the niche effect. This paper uses a modal approach to study the STL of a rectangular plate with or without an attached porous material located inside a box-shaped niche. The porous material is modeled as a limp equivalent fluid. The proposed model is validated by comparison with finite element/boundary element computations. Using a condensation of the pressure fields in the niche, the niche effect is interpreted in terms of a modification of the modal blocked pressure fields acting on the panel induced by the front cavity and by a modification of the radiation efficiency of the panel modes due to the presence of the back cavity. The modal approach is then used to investigate the impact of (1) the presence of a porous material attached to the panel on the niche effect and (2) the niche effect on the assessment of the porous material insertion loss. A simplified model for the porous material based on a transfer matrix approach is also proposed to predict the STL of the system and its validity is discussed.

  1. Relevance of biotic pathways to the long-term regulation of nuclear waste disposal. Topical report on reference eastern humid low-level sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Cadwell, L.L.; Eberhardt, L.E.; Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Peloquin, R.A.; Simmons, M.A.

    1983-01-01

    The purpose of the work reported here was to develop an order-of-magnitude estimate for the potential dose to man resulting from biotic transport mechanisms at a humid reference low-level waste site in the eastern US. A description of the reference site is presented that includes the waste inventories, site characteristics and biological communites. Parameter values for biotic transport processes are based on data reported in current literature. Transport and exposure scenarios are developed for assessing biotic transport during 500 years following site closure. Calculations of radionuclide decay and waste container decomposition are made to estimate the quantities available for biotic transport. Doses to man are calculated for the biological transport of radionucludes at the reference site after loss of institutional control. These dose estimates are compared to dose estimates we calculated for the intruder-agricultural scenarios reported in the DEIS for 10 CFR 61 (NRC). Dose to man estimates as a result of cumulative biotic transport are calculated to be of the same order-of-magnitude as the dose resulting from the more commonly evaluated human intrusion scenario. The reported lack of potential importance of biotic transport at low-level waste sites in earlier assessment studies is not confirmed by findings presented in this report. Through biotic transport, radionuclides can be moved to locations where they can enter exposure pathways to man

  2. Cross-tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants: a focus on resistance to aphid infestation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foyer, Christine H; Rasool, Brwa; Davey, Jack W; Hancock, Robert D

    2016-03-01

    Plants co-evolved with an enormous variety of microbial pathogens and insect herbivores under daily and seasonal variations in abiotic environmental conditions. Hence, plant cells display a high capacity to respond to diverse stresses through a flexible and finely balanced response network that involves components such as reduction-oxidation (redox) signalling pathways, stress hormones and growth regulators, as well as calcium and protein kinase cascades. Biotic and abiotic stress responses use common signals, pathways and triggers leading to cross-tolerance phenomena, whereby exposure to one type of stress can activate plant responses that facilitate tolerance to several different types of stress. While the acclimation mechanisms and adaptive responses that facilitate responses to single biotic and abiotic stresses have been extensively characterized, relatively little information is available on the dynamic aspects of combined biotic/abiotic stress response. In this review, we consider how the abiotic environment influences plant responses to attack by phloem-feeding aphids. Unravelling the signalling cascades that underpin cross-tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses will allow the identification of new targets for increasing environmental resilience in crops. © The Author 2016. 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. The impact of failure: unsuccessful bacterial invasions steer the soil microbial community away from the invader's niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mallon, C A; Le Roux, X; van Doorn, G S; Dini-Andreote, F; Poly, F; Salles, J F

    2018-03-01

    Although many environments like soils are constantly subjected to invasion by alien microbes, invaders usually fail to succeed, succumbing to the robust diversity often found in nature. So far, only successful invasions have been explored, and it remains unknown to what extent an unsuccessful invasion can impact resident communities. Here we hypothesized that unsuccessful invasions can cause impacts to soil functioning by decreasing the diversity and niche breadth of resident bacterial communities, which could cause shifts to community composition and niche structure-an effect that is likely exacerbated when diversity is compromised. To examine this question, diversity gradients of soil microbial communities were subjected to invasion by the frequent, yet oft-unsuccessful soil invader, Escherichia coli, and evaluated for changes to diversity, bacterial community composition, niche breadth, and niche structure. Contrary to expectations, diversity and niche breadth increased across treatments upon invasion. Community composition and niche structure were also altered, with shifts of niche structure revealing an escape by the resident community away from the invader's resources. Importantly, the extent of the escape varied in response to the community's diversity, where less diverse communities experienced larger shifts. Thus, although transient and unsuccessful, the invader competed for resources with resident species and caused tangible impacts that modified both the diversity and functioning of resident communities, which can likely generate a legacy effect that influences future invasion attempts.

  4. Environmental conditions and biotic communities in Foz de Almargem and Salgados coastal lagoons, Algarve (South Portugal)

    OpenAIRE

    Coelho, Susana Isabel Eusébio

    2013-01-01

    The present study intended to compare environmental conditions and biotic communities of two choked coastal lagoons located in the Algarve region, Foz de Almargem and Salgados, with the purpose of evaluating the effects of organic pollution from wastewater discharges in water quality and biotic communities from different levels of the food chain, namely phytoplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates. Both lagoons were seasonally connected to the sea, but most of the year they were isolated r...

  5. Relevance of biotic pathways to the long-term regulation of nuclear waste disposal: Phase 2, Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Cadwell, L.L.; Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Prohammer, L.A.; Simmons, M.A.

    1986-11-01

    The results reported here establish the relevance and propose a method for including biotic transport in the assessment and licensing process for commercial low-level waste disposal sites. Earlier work identified the biotic transport mechanisms and process scenarios linking biotic transport with dose to man, and developed models for assessment of impacts. Model modification and improvement efforts in enhancing the ability to represent soil erosion and soil transport within the trench cover. Two alternative hypotheses on plant root uptake were incorporated into the model to represent transport of radionuclides by roots that penetrate the buried waste. Enhancements were also made to the scenario for future site intruder activities. Representation of waste package decomposition in the model was confirmed as the best available alternative. Results from sensitivity analyses indicate that additional information is needed to evaluate the alternative hypotheses for plant root uptake of buried wastes. Site-specific evaluations of the contribution from biotic transport to the potential dose to man establish the relevance in the assessment process. The BIOPORT/MAXI1 computer software package is proposed for dose assessments of commercial low-level waste disposal sites

  6. Relevance of biotic pathways to the long-term regulation of nuclear waste disposal: Phase 2, Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKenzie, D.H.; Cadwell, L.L.; Kennedy, W.E. Jr.; Prohammer, L.A.; Simmons, M.A.

    1986-11-01

    The results reported here establish the relevance and propose a method for including biotic transport in the assessment and licensing process for commercial low-level waste disposal sites. Earlier work identified the biotic transport mechanisms and process scenarios linking biotic transport with dose to man, and developed models for assessment of impacts. Model modification and improvement efforts in enhancing the ability to represent soil erosion and soil transport within the trench cover. Two alternative hypotheses on plant root uptake were incorporated into the model to represent transport of radionuclides by roots that penetrate the buried waste. Enhancements were also made to the scenario for future site intruder activities. Representation of waste package decomposition in the model was confirmed as the best available alternative. Results from sensitivity analyses indicate that additional information is needed to evaluate the alternative hypotheses for plant root uptake of buried wastes. Site-specific evaluations of the contribution from biotic transport to the potential dose to man establi