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Sample records for niche variation hypothesis

  1. 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...

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

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    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

  3. Macrophytes shape trophic niche variation among generalist fishes.

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    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

  4. Macrophytes shape trophic niche variation among generalist fishes

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    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

  5. A variational approach to niche construction.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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...

  8. Landscape heterogeneity drives intra-population niche variation and reproduction in an arctic top predator.

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    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

  9. Tracking niche variation over millennial timescales in sympatric killer whale lineages.

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    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.

  10. 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....

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

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    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.

  12. Habitat niche breadth predicts invasiveness in solitary ascidians.

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    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

  13. Geographic variation in chin shape challenges the universal facial attractiveness hypothesis.

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    Zaneta M Thayer

    Full Text Available The universal facial attractiveness (UFA hypothesis proposes that some facial features are universally preferred because they are reliable signals of mate quality. The primary evidence for this hypothesis comes from cross-cultural studies of perceived attractiveness. However, these studies do not directly address patterns of morphological variation at the population level. An unanswered question is therefore: Are universally preferred facial phenotypes geographically invariant, as the UFA hypothesis implies? The purpose of our study is to evaluate this often overlooked aspect of the UFA hypothesis by examining patterns of geographic variation in chin shape. We collected symphyseal outlines from 180 recent human mandibles (90 male, 90 female representing nine geographic regions. Elliptical Fourier functions analysis was used to quantify chin shape, and principle components analysis was used to compute shape descriptors. In contrast to the expectations of the UFA hypothesis, we found significant geographic differences in male and female chin shape. These findings are consistent with region-specific sexual selection and/or random genetic drift, but not universal sexual selection. We recommend that future studies of facial attractiveness take into consideration patterns of morphological variation within and between diverse human populations.

  14. Isotopic niche variation in a higher trophic level ectotherm: highlighting the role of succulent plants in desert food webs.

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    Miguel Delibes

    Full Text Available Stable isotope analysis of animal tissues allows description of isotopic niches, whose axes in an n-dimensional space are the isotopic ratios, compared to a standard, of different isotope systems (e.g. δ(13C, δ(15N. Isotopic niches are informative about where an animal, population or species lives and about what it consumes. Here we describe inter- and intrapopulation isotopic niche (bidimensional δ(13C-δ(15N space of the Orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra, an arthropodivorous small lizard, in ten localities of Baja California Sur (Mexico. These localities range from extreme arid to subtropical conditions. Between 13 and 20 individuals were sampled at each locality and 1 cm of tail-tip was collected for isotope analysis. As expected, interpopulation niche width variation was much larger than intrapopulation one. Besides, isotopic variation was not related to age, sex or individual size of lizards. This suggests geographic variation of the isotopic niche was related to changes in the basal resources that fuel the trophic web at each locality. The position of Bayesian isotope ellipses in the δ-space indicated that whiptails in more arid localities were enriched in 13C, suggesting most of the carbon they ingested came from CAM succulent plants (cacti, agaves and in minor degree in C4 grasses. Contrarily, whiptails in subtropical areas were depleted in 13C, as they received more carbon from C3 scrubs and trees. Localities closer to sea-level tended to be enriched in 15N, but a clear influence of marine subsidies was detected only at individual level. The study contributes to identify the origin and pathways through which energy flows across the trophic webs of North American deserts.

  15. Isotopic Niche Variation in a Higher Trophic Level Ectotherm: Highlighting the Role of Succulent Plants in Desert Food Webs

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    Delibes, Miguel; Blazquez, Ma Carmen; Fedriani, Jose Maria; Granados, Arsenio; Soriano, Laura; Delgado, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope analysis of animal tissues allows description of isotopic niches, whose axes in an n-dimensional space are the isotopic ratios, compared to a standard, of different isotope systems (e.g. δ13C, δ15N). Isotopic niches are informative about where an animal, population or species lives and about what it consumes. Here we describe inter- and intrapopulation isotopic niche (bidimensional δ13C-δ15N space) of the Orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra), an arthropodivorous small lizard, in ten localities of Baja California Sur (Mexico). These localities range from extreme arid to subtropical conditions. Between 13 and 20 individuals were sampled at each locality and 1 cm of tail-tip was collected for isotope analysis. As expected, interpopulation niche width variation was much larger than intrapopulation one. Besides, isotopic variation was not related to age, sex or individual size of lizards. This suggests geographic variation of the isotopic niche was related to changes in the basal resources that fuel the trophic web at each locality. The position of Bayesian isotope ellipses in the δ-space indicated that whiptails in more arid localities were enriched in 13C, suggesting most of the carbon they ingested came from CAM succulent plants (cacti, agaves) and in minor degree in C4 grasses. Contrarily, whiptails in subtropical areas were depleted in 13C, as they received more carbon from C3 scrubs and trees. Localities closer to sea-level tended to be enriched in 15N, but a clear influence of marine subsidies was detected only at individual level. The study contributes to identify the origin and pathways through which energy flows across the trophic webs of North American deserts. PMID:25973609

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

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    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.

  17. Within-population isotopic niche variability in savanna mammals: disparity between carnivores and herbivores

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    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Large mammal ecosystems have relatively simple food webs, usually comprising three – and sometimes only two – trophic links. Since many syntopic species from the same trophic level therefore share resources, dietary niche partitioning features prominently within these systems. In African and other subtropical savannas, stable carbon isotopes readily distinguish between herbivore species for which foliage and other parts of dicot plants (13C-depleted C3 vegetation are the primary resource (browsers and those for which grasses (13C-enriched C4 vegetation are staples (grazers. Similarly, carbon isotopes distinguish between carnivore diets that may be richer in either browser, grazer, or intermediate-feeding prey. Here, we investigate levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopic niche variation and niche partitioning within populations (or species of carnivores and herbivores from South African savannas. We emphasize predictable differences in within-population trends across trophic levels: we expect that herbivore populations, which require more foraging effort due to higher intake requirements, are far less likely to display within-population resource partitioning than carnivore populations. Our results reveal generally narrower isotopic niche breadths in herbivore than carnivore populations, but more importantly we find lower levels of isotopic differentiation across individuals within herbivore species. While these results offer some support for our general hypothesis, the current paucity of isotopic data for African carnivores limits our ability to test the complete set of predictions arising from our hypothesis. Nevertheless, given the different ecological and ecophysiological constraints to foraging behaviour within each trophic level, comparisons across carnivores and herbivores, which are possible within such simplified foodwebs, make these systems ideal for developing a process-based understanding of conditions underlying the evolution of

  18. Surfaces and spaces: troubleshooting the study of dietary niche space overlap between North American stem primates and rodents

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    Prufrock, Kristen A.; López-Torres, Sergi; Silcox, Mary T.; Boyer, Doug M.

    2016-06-01

    Dental topographic metrics provide quantitative, biologically meaningful data on the three-dimensional (3D) form of teeth. In this study, three dental topographic metrics (Dirichlet normal energy (DNE), relief index (RFI), and orientation patch count rotated (OPCR)) are used to evaluate the presence of dietary niche overlap between North American plesiadapoid primates (Plesiadapidae, Carpolestidae, and Saxonellidae) and early rodents. Calculation of these metrics requires researchers to modify the 3D surface models of the teeth by cropping them to a region of interest and/or orienting them. The current study therefore also examines the error introduced by cropping and orientation, and evaluates the contribution of these metrics to the niche overlap hypothesis. Our results indicate that cropping creates significantly more variation in RFI than DNE. Furthermore, orientation is an even larger source of variation in the calculation of RFI than cropping. Orientation does not strongly influence OPCR values. However, none of these sources of error are significant enough to undermine the extent to which these metrics can speak to the niche overlap hypothesis. The DNE and RFI results suggest that carpolestids and saxonellids had very different molar morphologies from early rodents, and thus these groups were not adapted to consume the same resources. Some plesiadapids show similar levels of occlusal curvature, relief, and complexity to early rodents. The plesiadapid Chiromyoides, which has distinctively low cusps and weak shearing crest development, has molars that are the most rodent-like of all taxa compared. This suggests that Chiromyoides had a dietary niche that overlapped with early rodents and would have been the most likely to be competing over food resources. Results from the plesiadapoid-rodent dental topographic analysis highlight the utility of DNE for detecting more fine-scaled differences in occlusal surface morphology than OPCR, whereas RFI provided valuable

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

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

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    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

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

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    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

  2. The thermal niche of Neotropical nectar-feeding bats: Its evolution and application to predict responses to global warming.

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    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.

  3. Phylogeny and niche conservatism in North and Central American triatomine bugs (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae), vectors of Chagas' disease.

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    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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

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

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    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

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. The marine side of a terrestrial carnivore: intra-population variation in use of allochthonous resources by arctic foxes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnaud Tarroux

    Full Text Available Inter-individual variation in diet within generalist animal populations is thought to be a widespread phenomenon but its potential causes are poorly known. Inter-individual variation can be amplified by the availability and use of allochthonous resources, i.e., resources coming from spatially distinct ecosystems. Using a wild population of arctic fox as a study model, we tested hypotheses that could explain variation in both population and individual isotopic niches, used here as proxy for the trophic niche. The arctic fox is an opportunistic forager, dwelling in terrestrial and marine environments characterized by strong spatial (arctic-nesting birds and temporal (cyclic lemmings fluctuations in resource abundance. First, we tested the hypothesis that generalist foraging habits, in association with temporal variation in prey accessibility, should induce temporal changes in isotopic niche width and diet. Second, we investigated whether within-population variation in the isotopic niche could be explained by individual characteristics (sex and breeding status and environmental factors (spatiotemporal variation in prey availability. We addressed these questions using isotopic analysis and bayesian mixing models in conjunction with linear mixed-effects models. We found that: i arctic fox populations can simultaneously undergo short-term (i.e., within a few months reduction in both isotopic niche width and inter-individual variability in isotopic ratios, ii individual isotopic ratios were higher and more representative of a marine-based diet for non-breeding than breeding foxes early in spring, and iii lemming population cycles did not appear to directly influence the diet of individual foxes after taking their breeding status into account. However, lemming abundance was correlated to proportion of breeding foxes, and could thus indirectly affect the diet at the population scale.

  13. 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.

  14. Pleistocene niche stability and lineage diversification in the subtropical spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae.

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    Elen A Peres

    Full Text Available The influence of Quaternary climate oscillations on the diversification of the South American fauna is being increasingly explored. However, most of these studies have focused on taxa that are endemic to tropical environments, and relatively few have treated organisms restricted to subtropical biomes. Here we used an integrative phylogeographical framework to investigate the effects of these climate events on the ecological niche and genetic patterns of the subtropical orb-weaver spider Araneus omnicolor (Araneidae. We analyzed the mitochondrial (Cytochrome Oxidase I, COI and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Subunit II, ITS2 DNA of 130 individuals throughout the species' range, and generated distribution models in three different climate scenarios [present, Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, and Last Interglacial Maximum (LIG]. Additionally, we used an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC approach to compare possible demographic scenarios and select the hypothesis that better explains the genetic patterns of A. omnicolor. We obtained high haplotype diversity but low nucleotide variation among sequences. The population structure and demographic analyses showed discrepancies between markers, suggesting male-biased dispersal in the species. The time-calibrated COI phylogenetic inference showed a recent diversification of lineages (Middle/Late Pleistocene, while the paleoclimate modeling indicated niche stability since ~120 Kya. The ABC results agreed with the niche models, supporting a panmictic population as the most likely historical scenario for the species. These results indicate that A. omnicolor experienced no niche or population reductions during the Late Pleistocene, despite the intense landscape modifications that occurred in the subtropical region, and that other factors beside LGM and LIG climate oscillations might have contributed to the demographic history of this species. This pattern may be related to the high dispersal ability and wide

  15. 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

  16. Climate, niche evolution, and diversification of the "bird-cage" evening primroses (Oenothera, sections Anogra and Kleinia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Margaret E K; Smith, Stephen A; Flynn, Rachel S; Donoghue, Michael J

    2009-02-01

    We integrate climatic niche models and dated phylogenies to characterize the evolution of climatic niches in Oenothera sections Anogra and Kleinia (Onagraceae), and from that we make inferences on diversification in relation to climate. The evolution of climatic tolerances in Anogra + Kleinia has been heterogeneous, across phylogenetic groups and across different dimensions of climate. All the extant taxa occur in semiarid to arid conditions (annual precipitation of 10.1-49.1 cm and high temperatures in the warmest month of 28.5 degrees-40.1 degrees C), but there is striking variation among taxa in their climatic tolerances, especially temperature (minimum temperatures in the coldest month of -14.0 degrees to 5.3 degrees C) and summer versus winter precipitation (precipitation in the warmest quarter of 0.6-19.4 cm). Climatic disparity is especially pronounced in two subclades (californica, deltoides) that radiated in the southwestern United States and California, apparently including both divergent and convergent evolution of climatic tolerances. This niche evolution is remarkable, given the probable timescale of the radiation (approximately 1 million years). We suggest that the spatiotemporal climatic heterogeneity of western North America has served as a driver of diversification. Our data are also consistent with Axelrod's hypothesis that the spread of arid conditions in western North America stimulated diversification of arid-adapted lineages.

  17. 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.

  18. Testing inter-regional variation in pH niches of fen mosses

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Plesková, Z.; Jiroušek, M.; Peterka, T.; Hájek, Tomáš; Dítě, D.; Hájková, Petra; Navrátilová, Jana; Šímová, A.; Syrovátka, V.; Hájek, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 2 (2016), s. 352-364 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/0638 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : calcium tolerance * realized niche * Sphagnum Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.924, year: 2016

  19. Individual variation in ontogenetic niche shifts in habitat use and movement patterns of a large estuarine predator (Carcharhinus leucas).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matich, Philip; Heithaus, Michael R

    2015-06-01

    Ontogenetic niche shifts are common among animals, yet most studies only investigate niche shifts at the population level, which may overlook considerable differences among individuals in the timing and dynamics of these shifts. Such divergent behaviors within size-/age-classes have important implications for the roles a population-and specific age-classes-play in their respective ecosystem(s). Using acoustic telemetry, we tracked the movements of juvenile bull sharks in the Shark River Estuary of Everglades National Park, Florida, and found that sharks increased their use of marine microhabitats with age to take advantage of more abundant resources, but continued to use freshwater and estuarine microhabitats as refuges from marine predators. Within this population-level ontogenetic niche shift, however, movement patterns varied among individual sharks, with 47 % of sharks exhibiting condition-dependent habitat use and 53 % appearing risk-averse regardless of body condition. Among sharks older than age 0, fifty percent made regular movements between adjacent regions of the estuary, while the other half made less predictable movements that often featured long-term residence in specific regions. Individual differences were apparently shaped by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including individual responses to food-risk trade-offs and body condition. These differences appear to develop early in the lives of bull sharks, and persist throughout their residencies in nursery habitats. The widespread occurrence of intraspecific variation in behavior among mobile taxa suggests it is important in shaping population dynamics of at least some species, and elucidating the contexts and timing in which it develops and persists is important for understanding its role within communities.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Intraclutch variation in avian eggshell pigmentation: the anaemia hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Coster, Greet; De Neve, Liesbeth; Lens, Luc

    2012-10-01

    Many passerine species lay eggs that are speckled with dark protoporphyrin pigmentation. Because protoporphyrin is mainly derived from the blood, we here formulate and test a new hypothesis that links an increase in anaemia along the laying sequence to within-clutch variation in egg pigmentation. More intense pigmentation is expected if pigments accumulate during enhanced red blood cell production in response to anaemia. Reduced pigmentation is expected if pigments are derived from the degradation of red blood cells that circulate in smaller numbers due to blood loss. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated anaemia in great tit (Parus major) females by infesting the nests with hen fleas (Ceratophyllus gallinae) prior to egg laying. Polychromatophil (i.e., immature red blood cells) percentage, as a measure of blood cell production, was positively correlated with parasite load confirming that female great tits experienced stronger anaemia when infested with haematophagous parasites during egg laying. We found a positive relationship between spot darkness and laying order that weakened under high parasite load. This result suggests that anaemia in females due to blood-sucking parasites led to diminished protoporphyrin from disintegrated red blood cells and hence a decreased deposition of protoporphyrin. However, the overall increase in pigment darkness along the laying sequence suggests that pigments also accumulate by enhanced red blood cell production caused by anaemia due to egg production itself.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, David C; Dorn, August

    2015-07-26

    pruning and dying-back degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases. Especially the hypothesis of an existing evolutionary conserved "autodestruction program" in axons that might also be active in GSC projections appears attractive. Investigations on the underlying signaling pathways have to be carried out. There are two other well known cases of programmed cell autotomy: the enucleation of erythroblasts in the process of erythrocyte maturation and the segregation of thousands of thrombocytes (platelets) from one megakaryocyte. Both progenitor cell types - erythroblasts and megakaryocytes - are associated with a niche in the bone marrow, erythroblasts with a macrophage, which they surround, and the megakaryocytes with the endothelial cells of sinusoids and their extracellular matrix. Although the regulatory mechanisms may be specific in each case, there is one aspect that connects all described processes of programmed cell autotomy and neuronal autodestruction: apoptotic pathways play always a prominent role. Studies on the role of male GSC autotomy in stem cell-niche interaction have just started but are expected to reveal hitherto unknown ways of signal exchange. Spermatogenesis in mammals advance our understanding of insect spermatogenesis. Mammal and insect spermatogenesis share some broad principles, but a comparison of the signaling pathways is difficult. We have intimate knowledge from Drosophila, but of almost no other insect, and we have only limited knowledge from mammals. The discovery of stem cell autotomy as part of the interaction with the niche promises new general insights into the complicated stem cell-niche interdependence.

  6. Stem cell autotomy and niche interaction in different systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, David C; Dorn, August

    2015-01-01

    pruning and dying-back degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases. Especially the hypothesis of an existing evolutionary conserved “autodestruction program” in axons that might also be active in GSC projections appears attractive. Investigations on the underlying signaling pathways have to be carried out. There are two other well known cases of programmed cell autotomy: the enucleation of erythroblasts in the process of erythrocyte maturation and the segregation of thousands of thrombocytes (platelets) from one megakaryocyte. Both progenitor cell types - erythroblasts and megakaryocytes - are associated with a niche in the bone marrow, erythroblasts with a macrophage, which they surround, and the megakaryocytes with the endothelial cells of sinusoids and their extracellular matrix. Although the regulatory mechanisms may be specific in each case, there is one aspect that connects all described processes of programmed cell autotomy and neuronal autodestruction: apoptotic pathways play always a prominent role. Studies on the role of male GSC autotomy in stem cell-niche interaction have just started but are expected to reveal hitherto unknown ways of signal exchange. Spermatogenesis in mammals advance our understanding of insect spermatogenesis. Mammal and insect spermatogenesis share some broad principles, but a comparison of the signaling pathways is difficult. We have intimate knowledge from Drosophila, but of almost no other insect, and we have only limited knowledge from mammals. The discovery of stem cell autotomy as part of the interaction with the niche promises new general insights into the complicated stem cell-niche interdependence. PMID:26240680

  7. Darwin's naturalization hypothesis up-close: Intermountain grassland invaders differ morphologically and phenologically from native community dominants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Yvette K. Ortega; Samantha J. Sears

    2012-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis predicts that successful invaders will tend to differ taxonomically from native species in recipient communities because less related species exhibit lower niche overlap and experience reduced biotic resistance. This hypothesis has garnered substantial support at coarse scales. However, at finer scales, the influence of traits...

  8. The use of climatic niches in screening procedures for introduced species to evaluate risk of spread: a case with the American Eastern grey squirrel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirko Di Febbraro

    Full Text Available Species introduction represents one of the most serious threats for biodiversity. The realized climatic niche of an invasive species can be used to predict its potential distribution in new areas, providing a basis for screening procedures in the compilation of black and white lists to prevent new introductions. We tested this assertion by modeling the realized climatic niche of the Eastern grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis. Maxent was used to develop three models: one considering only records from the native range (NRM, a second including records from native and invasive range (NIRM, a third calibrated with invasive occurrences and projected in the native range (RCM. Niche conservatism was tested considering both a niche equivalency and a niche similarity test. NRM failed to predict suitable parts of the currently invaded range in Europe, while RCM underestimated the suitability in the native range. NIRM accurately predicted both the native and invasive range. The niche equivalency hypothesis was rejected due to a significant difference between the grey squirrel's niche in native and invasive ranges. The niche similarity test yielded no significant results. Our analyses support the hypothesis of a shift in the species' climatic niche in the area of introductions. Species Distribution Models (SDMs appear to be a useful tool in the compilation of black lists, allowing identifying areas vulnerable to invasions. We advise caution in the use of SDMs based only on the native range of a species for the compilation of white lists for other geographic areas, due to the significant risk of underestimating its potential invasive range.

  9. How do habitat filtering and niche conservatism affect community composition at different taxonomic resolutions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz, François; Ramesh, B R; Couteron, Pierre

    2014-08-01

    Understanding how local species assembly depends on the regional biogeographic and environmental context is a challenging task in community ecology. In spatially implicit neutral models, a single immigration parameter, I(k), represents the flux of immigrants from a regional pool that compete with local offspring for establishment in communities. This flux counterbalances the effect of local stochastic extinctions to maintain local species diversity. If some species within the regional pool are not adapted to the local environment (habitat filtering), the migrant flux is reduced beyond that of the neutral model, such that habitat filtering influences the value of I(k) in non-neutral situations. Here, we propose a novel model in which immigrants from the regional pool are filtered according to their habitat preferences and the local environment, while taxa potentially retain habitat preferences from their ancestors (niche conservatism). Using both analytical reasoning and simulations, we demonstrate that I(k) is expected to be constant when estimated based on the community composition at several taxonomic levels, not only under neutral assumptions, but also when habitat filtering occurs, unless there is substantial niche conservatism. In the latter case, I(k) is expected to decrease when estimated based on the composition at species to genus and family levels, thus allowing a signature of niche conservatism to be detected by simply comparing I(k) estimates across taxonomic levels. We applied this approach to three rain forest data sets from South India and Central America and found no significant signature of niche conservatism when I(k) was compared across taxonomic levels, except at the family level in South India. We further observed more limited immigration in South Indian forests, supporting the hypothesis of a greater impact of habitat filtering and heterogeneity there than in Central America. Our results highlight the relevance of studying variations of I

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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),

  16. Adaptation and niche construction in human prehistory: a case study from the southern Scandinavian Late Glacial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Felix

    2011-03-27

    The niche construction model postulates that human bio-social evolution is composed of three inheritance domains, genetic, cultural and ecological, linked by feedback selection. This paper argues that many kinds of archaeological data can serve as proxies for human niche construction processes, and presents a method for investigating specific niche construction hypotheses. To illustrate this method, the repeated emergence of specialized reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) hunting/herding economies during the Late Palaeolithic (ca 14.7-11.5 kyr BP) in southern Scandinavia is analysed from a niche construction/triple-inheritance perspective. This economic relationship resulted in the eventual domestication of Rangifer. The hypothesis of whether domestication was achieved as early as the Late Palaeolithic, and whether this required the use of domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris) as hunting, herding or transport aids, is tested via a comparative analysis using material culture-based phylogenies and ecological datasets in relation to demographic/genetic proxies. Only weak evidence for sustained niche construction behaviours by prehistoric hunter-gatherer in southern Scandinavia is found, but this study nonetheless provides interesting insights into the likely processes of dog and reindeer domestication, and into processes of adaptation in Late Glacial foragers.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Testing the Sensory Drive Hypothesis: Geographic variation in echolocation frequencies of Geoffroy's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophidae: Rhinolophus clivosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, David S; Catto, Sarah; Mutumi, Gregory L; Finger, Nikita; Webala, Paul W

    2017-01-01

    Geographic variation in sensory traits is usually influenced by adaptive processes because these traits are involved in crucial life-history aspects including orientation, communication, lineage recognition and mate choice. Studying this variation can therefore provide insights into lineage diversification. According to the Sensory Drive Hypothesis, lineage diversification may be driven by adaptation of sensory systems to local environments. It predicts that acoustic signals vary in association with local climatic conditions so that atmospheric attenuation is minimized and transmission of the signals maximized. To test this prediction, we investigated the influence of climatic factors (specifically relative humidity and temperature) on geographic variation in the resting frequencies of the echolocation pulses of Geoffroy's horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus clivosus. If the evolution of phenotypic variation in this lineage tracks climate variation, human induced climate change may lead to decreases in detection volumes and a reduction in foraging efficiency. A complex non-linear interaction between relative humidity and temperature affects atmospheric attenuation of sound and principal components composed of these correlated variables were, therefore, used in a linear mixed effects model to assess their contribution to observed variation in resting frequencies. A principal component composed predominantly of mean annual temperature (factor loading of -0.8455) significantly explained a proportion of the variation in resting frequency across sites (P < 0.05). Specifically, at higher relative humidity (around 60%) prevalent across the distribution of R. clivosus, increasing temperature had a strong negative effect on resting frequency. Climatic factors thus strongly influence acoustic signal divergence in this lineage, supporting the prediction of the Sensory Drive Hypothesis. The predicted future increase in temperature due to climate change is likely to decrease the

  2. Testing the Sensory Drive Hypothesis: Geographic variation in echolocation frequencies of Geoffroy's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophidae: Rhinolophus clivosus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Jacobs

    Full Text Available Geographic variation in sensory traits is usually influenced by adaptive processes because these traits are involved in crucial life-history aspects including orientation, communication, lineage recognition and mate choice. Studying this variation can therefore provide insights into lineage diversification. According to the Sensory Drive Hypothesis, lineage diversification may be driven by adaptation of sensory systems to local environments. It predicts that acoustic signals vary in association with local climatic conditions so that atmospheric attenuation is minimized and transmission of the signals maximized. To test this prediction, we investigated the influence of climatic factors (specifically relative humidity and temperature on geographic variation in the resting frequencies of the echolocation pulses of Geoffroy's horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus clivosus. If the evolution of phenotypic variation in this lineage tracks climate variation, human induced climate change may lead to decreases in detection volumes and a reduction in foraging efficiency. A complex non-linear interaction between relative humidity and temperature affects atmospheric attenuation of sound and principal components composed of these correlated variables were, therefore, used in a linear mixed effects model to assess their contribution to observed variation in resting frequencies. A principal component composed predominantly of mean annual temperature (factor loading of -0.8455 significantly explained a proportion of the variation in resting frequency across sites (P < 0.05. Specifically, at higher relative humidity (around 60% prevalent across the distribution of R. clivosus, increasing temperature had a strong negative effect on resting frequency. Climatic factors thus strongly influence acoustic signal divergence in this lineage, supporting the prediction of the Sensory Drive Hypothesis. The predicted future increase in temperature due to climate change is likely to

  3. Global variations in health: evaluating Wilkinson's income inequality hypothesis using the World Values Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jen, Min Hua; Jones, Kelvyn; Johnston, Ron

    2009-02-01

    This international comparative study analyses individual-level data derived from the World Values Survey to evaluate Wilkinson's [(1996). Unhealthy societies: The afflictions of inequality. London: Routledge; (1998). Mortality and distribution of income. Low relative income affects mortality [letter; comment]. British Medical Journal, 316, 1611-1612] income inequality hypothesis regarding variations in health status. Random-coefficient, multilevel modelling provides a direct test of Wilkinson's hypothesis using micro-data on individuals and macro-data on income inequalities analysed simultaneously. This overcomes the ecological fallacy that has troubled previous research into links between individual self-rated health, individual income, country income and income inequality data. Logic regression analysis reveals that there are substantial differences between countries in self-rated health after taking account of age and gender, and individual income has a clear effect in that poorer people report experiencing worse health. The Wilkinson hypothesis is not supported, however, since there is no significant relationship between health and income inequality when individual factors are taken into account. Substantial differences between countries remain even after taking account of micro- and macro-variables; in particular the former communist countries report high levels of poor health.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. When do plant radiations influence community assembly? The importance of historical contingency in the race for niche space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanentzap, Andrew J; Brandt, Angela J; Smissen, Rob D; Heenan, Peter B; Fukami, Tadashi; Lee, William G

    2015-07-01

    Plant radiations are widespread but their influence on community assembly has rarely been investigated. Theory and some evidence suggest that radiations can allow lineages to monopolize niche space when founding species arrive early into new bioclimatic regions and exploit ecological opportunities. These early radiations may subsequently reduce niche availability and dampen diversification of later arrivals. We tested this hypothesis of time-dependent lineage diversification and community dominance using the alpine flora of New Zealand. We estimated ages of 16 genera from published phylogenies and determined their relative occurrence across climatic and physical gradients in the alpine zone. We used these data to reconstruct occupancy of environmental space through time, integrating palaeoclimatic and palaeogeological changes. Our analysis suggested that earlier-colonizing lineages encountered a greater availability of environmental space, which promoted greater species diversity and occupancy of niche space. Genera that occupied broader niches were subsequently more dominant in local communities. An earlier time of arrival also contributed to greater diversity independently of its influence in accessing niche space. We suggest that plant radiations influence community assembly when they arise early in the occupancy of environmental space, allowing them to exclude later-arriving colonists from ecological communities by niche preemption. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. 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)

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. The genotypic structure of a multi-host bumblebee parasite suggests a role for ecological niche overlap.

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    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Niche construction game cancer cells play.

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Spatial distributions of niche-constructing populations

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. The use of ecological niche modeling to infer potential risk areas of snakebite in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

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    Carlos Yañez-Arenas

    Full Text Available Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico.Ecological niche modeling (ENM was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC; this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper, explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence.Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low.

  19. The use of ecological niche modeling to infer potential risk areas of snakebite in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yañez-Arenas, Carlos; Peterson, A Townsend; Mokondoko, Pierre; Rojas-Soto, Octavio; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Many authors have claimed that snakebite risk is associated with human population density, human activities, and snake behavior. Here we analyzed whether environmental suitability of vipers can be used as an indicator of snakebite risk. We tested several hypotheses to explain snakebite incidence, through the construction of models incorporating both environmental suitability and socioeconomic variables in Veracruz, Mexico. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) was used to estimate potential geographic and ecological distributions of nine viper species' in Veracruz. We calculated the distance to the species' niche centroid (DNC); this distance may be associated with a prediction of abundance. We found significant inverse relationships between snakebites and DNCs of common vipers (Crotalus simus and Bothrops asper), explaining respectively 15% and almost 35% of variation in snakebite incidence. Additionally, DNCs for these two vipers, in combination with marginalization of human populations, accounted for 76% of variation in incidence. Our results suggest that niche modeling and niche-centroid distance approaches can be used to mapping distributions of environmental suitability for venomous snakes; combining this ecological information with socioeconomic factors may help with inferring potential risk areas for snakebites, since hospital data are often biased (especially when incidences are low).

  20. Phylogenetic niche conservatism explains an inverse latitudinal diversity gradient in freshwater arthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morinière, Jérôme; van Dam, Matthew H.; Hawlitschek, Oliver; Bergsten, Johannes; Michat, Mariano C.; Hendrich, Lars; Ribera, Ignacio; Toussaint, Emmanuel F. A.; Balke, Michael

    2016-05-01

    The underlying mechanisms responsible for the general increase in species richness from temperate regions to the tropics remain equivocal. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain this astonishing pattern but additional empirical studies are needed to shed light on the drivers at work. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the cosmopolitan diving beetle subfamily Colymbetinae, the majority of which are found in the Northern hemisphere, hence exhibiting an inversed latitudinal diversity gradient. We reconstructed a dated phylogeny using 12 genes, to investigate the biogeographical history and diversification dynamics in the Colymbetinae. We aimed to identify the role that phylogenetic niche conservatism plays in the inversed diversification pattern seen in this group. Our results suggest that Colymbetinae originated in temperate climates, which supports the hypothesis that their distribution is the result of an ancestral adaptation to temperate environmental conditions rather than tropical origins, and that temperate niche conservatism can generate and/or maintain inverse latitudinal diversity gradients.

  1. 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

  2. Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Kaitlin C.; Shinneman, Douglas; Potter, Kevin M.; Hipkins, Valerie D.

    2018-01-01

    Unique responses to climate change can occur across intraspecific levels, resulting in individualistic adaptation or movement patterns among populations within a given species. Thus, the need to model potential responses among genetically distinct populations within a species is increasingly recognized. However, predictive models of future distributions are regularly fit at the species level, often because intraspecific variation is unknown or is identified only within limited sample locations. In this study, we considered the role of intraspecific variation to shape the geographic distribution of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), an ecologically and economically important tree species in North America. Morphological and genetic variation across the distribution of ponderosa pine suggest the need to model intraspecific populations: the two varieties (var. ponderosa and var. scopulorum) and several haplotype groups within each variety have been shown to occupy unique climatic niches, suggesting populations have distinct evolutionary lineages adapted to different environmental conditions. We utilized a recently-available, geographically-widespread dataset of intraspecific variation (haplotypes) for ponderosa pine and a recently-devised lineage distance modeling approach to derive additional, likely intraspecific occurrence locations. We confirmed the relative uniqueness of each haplotype-climate relationship using a niche-overlap analysis, and developed ecological niche models (ENMs) to project the distribution for two varieties and eight haplotypes under future climate forecasts. Future projections of haplotype niche distributions generally revealed greater potential range loss than predicted for the varieties. This difference may reflect intraspecific responses of distinct evolutionary lineages. However, directional trends are generally consistent across intraspecific levels, and include a loss of distributional area and an upward shift in elevation. Our results

  3. Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguire, Kaitlin C; Shinneman, Douglas J; Potter, Kevin M; Hipkins, Valerie D

    2018-03-14

    Unique responses to climate change can occur across intraspecific levels, resulting in individualistic adaptation or movement patterns among populations within a given species. Thus, the need to model potential responses among genetically distinct populations within a species is increasingly recognized. However, predictive models of future distributions are regularly fit at the species level, often because intraspecific variation is unknown or is identified only within limited sample locations. In this study, we considered the role of intraspecific variation to shape the geographic distribution of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), an ecologically and economically important tree species in North America. Morphological and genetic variation across the distribution of ponderosa pine suggest the need to model intraspecific populations: the two varieties (var. ponderosa and var. scopulorum) and several haplotype groups within each variety have been shown to occupy unique climatic niches, suggesting populations have distinct evolutionary lineages adapted to different environmental conditions. We utilized a recently-available, geographically-widespread dataset of intraspecific variation (haplotypes) for ponderosa pine and a recently-devised lineage distance modeling approach to derive additional, likely intraspecific occurrence locations. We confirmed the relative uniqueness of each haplotype-climate relationship using a niche-overlap analysis, and developed ecological niche models (ENMs) to project the distribution for two varieties and eight haplotypes under future climate forecasts. Future projections of haplotype niche distributions generally revealed greater potential range loss than predicted for the varieties. This difference may reflect intraspecific responses of distinct evolutionary lineages. However, directional trends are generally consistent across intraspecific levels, and include a loss of distributional area and an upward shift in elevation. Our results

  4. 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

  5. Interspecific variation in prey capture behavior by co-occurring Nepenthes pitcher plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Lijin; Chung, Arthur YC; Clarke, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes capture a wide range of arthropod prey for nutritional benefit, using complex combinations of visual and olfactory signals and gravity-driven pitfall trapping mechanisms. In many localities throughout Southeast Asia, several Nepenthes different species occur in mixed populations. Often, the species present at any given location have strongly divergent trap structures and preliminary surveys indicate that different species trap different combinations of arthropod prey, even when growing at the same locality. On this basis, it has been proposed that co-existing Nepenthes species may be engaged in niche segregation with regards to arthropod prey, avoiding direct competition with congeners by deploying traps that have modifications that enable them to target specific prey types. We examined prey capture among 3 multi-species Nepenthes populations in Borneo, finding that co-existing Nepenthes species do capture different combinations of prey, but that significant interspecific variations in arthropod prey combinations can often be detected only at sub-ordinal taxonomic ranks. In all lowland Nepenthes species examined, the dominant prey taxon is Formicidae, but montane Nepenthes trap few (or no) ants and 2 of the 3 species studied have evolved to target alternative sources of nutrition, such as tree shrew feces. Using similarity and null model analyses, we detected evidence for niche segregation with regards to formicid prey among 5 lowland, sympatric Nepenthes species in Sarawak. However, we were unable to determine whether these results provide support for the niche segregation hypothesis, or whether they simply reflect unquantified variation in heterogeneous habitats and/or ant communities in the study sites. These findings are used to propose improvements to the design of field experiments that seek to test hypotheses about targeted prey capture patterns in Nepenthes. PMID:24481246

  6. Ecological niche differentiation of polyploidization is not supported by environmental differences among species in a cosmopolitan grass genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, Vernon; Molofsky, Jane

    2015-01-01

    • Polyploidization frequently results in the creation of new plant species, the establishment of which is thought to often be facilitated by ecological niche differentiation from the diploid species. We tested this hypothesis using the cosmopolitan grass genus Phalaris (Poaceae), consisting of 19 species that range from diploid to tetraploid to hexaploid. Specifically, we tested whether (1) polyploids occupy more extreme environments and/or (2) have broader niche breadths and/or (3) whether the polyploid species' distributions indicate a niche shift from diploid species.• We employed a bootstrapping approach using distribution data for each species and eight environmental variables to investigate differences between species in the means, extremes, and breadths of each environmental variable. We used a kernel smoothing technique to quantify niche overlap between species.• Although we found some support for the three hypotheses for a few diploid-polyploid pairs and for specific environmental variables, none of these hypotheses were generally supported.• Our results suggest that these commonly held hypotheses about the effects of polyploidization on ecological distributions are not universally applicable. Correlative biogeographic studies like ours provide a necessary first step for suggesting specific hypotheses that require experimental verification. A combination of genetic, physiological, and ecological studies will be required to achieve a better understanding of the role of polyploidization in niche evolution. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

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

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    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

  8. 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

  9. Intra- and interspecific trait variations reveal functional relationships between specific leaf area and soil niche within a subtropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Dong; Chen, Yongfa; Zhao, Kangning; Cornelissen, J H C; Chu, Chengjin

    2018-02-03

    predominance of species with ever-decreasing SLA towards less fertile habitats. Intraspecific variability in SLA is positively connected to species' niche breadth, suggesting that low-variability species may play a more deterministic role in structuring plant assemblages than high-variability species. This study highlights the importance of quantifying intraspecific trait variation to improve our understanding of species distributions across a vegetated landscape. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. UNTANGLING THE FUNGAL NICHE: A TRAIT-BASED APPROACH

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    Thomas W Crowther

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Fungi are prominent components of most terrestrial ecosystems, both in terms of biomass and ecosystem functioning, but the hyper-diverse nature of most communities has obscured the search for unifying principles governing community organization. In particular, unlike plants and animals, observational studies provide little evidence for the existence of niche processes in structuring fungal communities at broad spatial scales. This limits our capacity to predict how communities, and their functioning, vary across landscapes. We outline how a shift in focus, from taxonomy towards functional traits, might prove to be valuable in the search for general patterns in fungal ecology. We build on theoretical advances in plant and animal ecology to provide an empirical framework for a trait-based approach in fungal community ecology. Drawing upon specific characteristics of the fungal system, we highlight the significance of drought stress and combat in structuring free-living fungal communities. We propose a conceptual model to formalize how trade-offs between stress-tolerance and combative dominance are likely to organize communities across environmental gradients. Given that the survival of a fungus in a given environment is contingent on its ability to tolerate antagonistic competitors, measuring variation in combat trait expression along environmental gradients provides a means of elucidating realized, from fundamental niche spaces. We conclude that, using a trait-based understanding of how niche processes structure fungal communities across time and space, we can ultimately link communities with ecosystem functioning. Our trait-based framework highlights fundamental uncertainties that require testing in the fungal system, given their potential to uncover general mechanisms in fungal ecology.

  19. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

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    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. 

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Cladistic analyses of behavioural variation in wild Pan troglodytes: exploring the chimpanzee culture hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lycett, Stephen J; Collard, Mark; McGrew, William C

    2009-10-01

    Long-term field studies have revealed considerable behavioural differences among groups of wild Pan troglodytes. Here, we report three sets of cladistic analyses that were designed to shed light on issues relating to this interpopulation variation that are of particular relevance to palaeoanthropology. In the first set of analyses, we focused on the proximate cause of the variation. Some researchers have argued that it is cultural, while others have suggested that it is the result of genetic differences. Because the eastern and western subspecies of P. troglodytes are well differentiated genetically while groups within the subspecies are not, we reasoned that if the genetic hypothesis is correct, the phylogenetic signal should be stronger when data from the eastern and western subspecies are analysed together compared to when data from only the eastern subspecies are analysed. Using randomisation procedures, we found that the phylogenetic signal was substantially stronger with in a single subspecies rather than with two. The results of the first sets of analyses, therefore, were inconsistent with the predictions of the genetic hypothesis. The other two sets of analyses built on the results of the first and assumed that the intergroup behavioural variation is cultural in nature. Recent work has shown that, contrary to what anthropologists and archaeologists have long believed, vertical intergroup transmission is often more important than horizontal intergroup transmission in human cultural evolution. In the second set of analyses, we sought to determine how important vertical transmission has been in the evolution of chimpanzee cultural diversity. The first analysis we carried out indicated that the intergroup similarities and differences in behaviour are consistent with the divergence of the western and eastern subspecies, which is what would be expected if vertical intergroup transmission has been the dominant process. In the second analysis, we found that the

  3. The evolution of polyandry: patterns of genotypic variation in female mating frequency, male fertilization success and a test of the sexy-sperm hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, L W

    2003-07-01

    The sexy-sperm hypothesis predicts that females obtain indirect benefits for their offspring via polyandy, in the form of increased fertilization success for their sons. I use a quantitative genetic approach to test the sexy-sperm hypothesis using the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus. Previous studies of this species have shown considerable phenotypic variation in fertilization success when two or more males compete. There were high broad-sense heritabilities for both paternity and polyandry. Patterns of genotypic variance were consistent with X-linked inheritance and/or maternal effects on these traits. The genetic architecture therefore precludes the evolution of polyandry via a sexy-sperm process. Thus the positive genetic correlation between paternity in sons and polyandry in daughters predicted by the sexy-sperm hypothesis was absent. There was significant heritable variation in the investment by females in ovaries and by males in the accessory gland. Surprisingly there was a very strong genetic correlation between these two traits. The significance of this genetic correlation for the coevolution of male seminal products and polyandry is discussed.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Trophic niche partitioning between two native and two exotic carnivores in SW Portugal

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    M. J. Santos

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of exotic species is one of the most pervasive consequences of the increased human mobility. The most known negative effects are the decrease or extinction of natives. The common-genet, Genetta genetta, and the Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, were introduced in the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th and 19th centuries, respectively. The competitive exclusion principle defines that two ecologically similar species cannot coexist. Thus, some degree of partitioning has to occur in species realized niche, which can occur at the trophic level. To test this hypothesis of partitioning we compared the diet of these two exotic species with that of two native species (stone marten, Martes foina, and red fox, Vulpes vulpes. The results show a high degree of overlap (>45% between the diets of species similar in their feeding strategies (arboreal and ground feeding. Nonetheless, at the finer scale of prey consumed at the species level some differences are found between the native and exotic species. These results suggest that if coexistence is due to trophic niche partitioning it only occurs at the level of the consumed species. However, coexistence may also be due to a combination of different strategies (home-range size, time and space use that structured the different realized niches of each species.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Sexual selection on land snail shell ornamentation: a hypothesis that may explain shell diversity

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    Schilthuizen Menno

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many groups of land snails show great interspecific diversity in shell ornamentation, which may include spines on the shell and flanges on the aperture. Such structures have been explained as camouflage or defence, but the possibility that they might be under sexual selection has not previously been explored. Presentation of the hypothesis The hypothesis that is presented consists of two parts. First, that shell ornamentation is the result of sexual selection. Second, that such sexual selection has caused the divergence in shell shape in different species. Testing the hypothesis The first part of the hypothesis may be tested by searching for sexual dimorphism in shell ornamentation in gonochoristic snails, by searching for increased variance in shell ornamentation relative to other shell traits, and by mate choice experiments using individuals with experimentally enhanced ornamentation. The second part of the hypothesis may be tested by comparing sister groups and correlating shell diversity with degree of polygamy. Implications of the hypothesis If the hypothesis were true, it would provide an explanation for the many cases of allopatric evolutionary radiation in snails, where shell diversity cannot be related to any niche differentiation or environmental differences.

  11. Mastery Learning and the Decreasing Variability Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingston, Jennifer A.; Gentile, J. Ronald

    1996-01-01

    This report results from studies that tested two variations of Bloom's decreasing variability hypothesis using performance on successive units of achievement in four graduate classrooms that used mastery learning procedures. Data do not support the decreasing variability hypothesis; rather, they show no change over time. (SM)

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. [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.

  15. Social intelligence, human intelligence and niche construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterelny, Kim

    2007-04-29

    This paper is about the evolution of hominin intelligence. I agree with defenders of the social intelligence hypothesis in thinking that externalist models of hominin intelligence are not plausible: such models cannot explain the unique cognition and cooperation explosion in our lineage, for changes in the external environment (e.g. increasing environmental unpredictability) affect many lineages. Both the social intelligence hypothesis and the social intelligence-ecological complexity hybrid I outline here are niche construction models. Hominin evolution is hominin response to selective environments that earlier hominins have made. In contrast to social intelligence models, I argue that hominins have both created and responded to a unique foraging mode; a mode that is both social in itself and which has further effects on hominin social environments. In contrast to some social intelligence models, on this view, hominin encounters with their ecological environments continue to have profound selective effects. However, though the ecological environment selects, it does not select on its own. Accidents and their consequences, differential success and failure, result from the combination of the ecological environment an agent faces and the social features that enhance some opportunities and suppress others and that exacerbate some dangers and lessen others. Individuals do not face the ecological filters on their environment alone, but with others, and with the technology, information and misinformation that their social world provides.

  16. Latitudinal diversity gradients in New World bats: are they a consequence of niche conservatism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos Pereira, Maria João; Palmeirim, Jorge M

    2013-01-01

    The increase in species diversity from the Poles to the Equator is a major biogeographic pattern, but the mechanisms underlying it remain obscure. Our aim is to contribute to their clarification by describing the latitudinal gradients in species richness and in evolutionary age of species of New World bats, and testing if those patterns may be explained by the niche conservatism hypothesis. Maps of species ranges were used to estimate species richness in a 100 x 100 km grid. Root distances in a molecular phylogeny were used as a proxy for the age of species, and the mean root distance of the species in each cell of the grid was estimated. Generalised additive models were used to relate latitude with both species richness and mean root distance. This was done for each of the three most specious bat families and for all Chiroptera combined. Species richness increases towards the Equator in the whole of the Chiroptera and in the Phyllostomidae and Molossidae, families that radiated in the tropics, but the opposite trend is observed in the Vespertilionidae, which has a presumed temperate origin. In the whole of the Chiroptera, and in the three main families, there were more basal species in the higher latitudes, and more derived species in tropical areas. In general, our results were not consistent with the predictions of niche conservatism. Tropical niche conservatism seems to keep bat clades of tropical origin from colonizing temperate zones, as they lack adaptations to survive cold winters, such as the capacity to hibernate. However, the lower diversity of Vespertilionidae in the Neotropics is better explained by competition with a diverse pre-existing community of bats than by niche conservatism.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Hemopoietic stem cell niches, recovery from radiation and bone marrow transfusions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cronkite, E.P.; Carsten, A.L.; Brecher, G.

    1979-01-01

    The long term hematologic effects of single whole body sublethal X-ray exposure, 525 rad, and the low level chronic exposure from 137 Cs gamma ray and ingested HTO were investigated in mice. The single X-ray exposure had early severe effect on bone marrows both in terms of total cellularity and the number of pluripotent stem cells. How do animals maintain normal cellularity in the absence of a normal number of the pluripotent stem cells[ The following 3 different mechanisms may be involved: additional division in the cytologically identifiable divisible pool of bone marrows; shortening of cycle time allowing more divisions in the same time with great amplification of a small number of colony-forming unit spleens; and the recruitment of G 0 stem cells into proliferation. The reduction in the number of bone marrow stem cells might be attributed to stromal injury in the marrows such that they cannot support as many stem cells as those before the radiation exposure. As an alternate to the ''niche'' hypothesis, the injury to the stem cell pool such that self-replication was not sufficient to restore normal cell concentration is a possibility. The time sequence of the transfusion of marrows may be important to the ultimate effect. Attempts to fill empty niches 10 and 12 weeks after a single and severe radiation injury may be impossible due to stromal changes which in effect have eliminated the niches. The bone marrows of animals rescued by the transfusion of 4 x 10 6 bone marrow cells will accept 0 to 25% of the second transfusion of 4 x 10 7 cells. (Yamashita, S.)

  1. Understanding the value of plant diversity for ecosystem functioning through niche theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Purves, Drew W.; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity experiments have generated robust empirical results supporting the hypothesis that ecosystems function better when they contain more species. Given that ecosystems provide services that are valued by humans, this inevitably suggests that the loss of species from natural ecosystems could diminish their value. This raises two important questions. First, will experimental results translate into the real world, where species are being lost at an alarming rate? And second, what are the benefits and pitfalls of such valuation exercises? We argue that the empirical results obtained in experiments are entirely consistent with well-established theories of species coexistence. We then examine the current body of work through the lens of niche theory and highlight where closer links with theory could open up opportunities for future research. We argue that niche theory predicts that diversity–functioning relationships are likely to be stronger (and require more species) in the field than in simplified experimental settings. However, we caution that while many of the biological processes that promote coexistence can also generate diversity–function relationships, there is no simple mapping between the two. This implies that valuation exercises need to proceed with care. PMID:27928043

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Epsodic paroxysmal hemicrania with seasonal variation: case report and the EPH-cluster headache continuum hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veloso Germany Gonçalves

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Episodic paroxysmal hemicrania (EPH is a rare disorder characterized by frequent, daily attacks of short-lived, unilateral headache with accompanying ipsilateral autonomic features. EPH has attack periods which last weeks to months separated by remission intervals lasting months to years, however, a seasonal variation has never been reported in EPH. We report a new case of EPH with a clear seasonal pattern: a 32-year-old woman with a right-sided headache for 17 years. Pain occurred with a seasonal variation, with bouts lasting one month (usually in the first months of the year and remission periods lasting around 11 months. During these periods she had headache from three to five times per day, lasting from 15 to 30 minutes, without any particular period preference. There were no precipitating or aggravating factors. Tearing and conjunctival injection accompanied ipsilaterally the pain. Previous treatments provided no pain relief. She completely responded to indomethacin 75 mg daily. After three years, the pain recurred with longer attack duration and was just relieved with prednisone. We also propose a new hypothesis: the EPH-cluster headache continuum.

  8. 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.

  9. Coexistence of fish species in a large lowland river: food niche partitioning between small-sized percids, cyprinids and sticklebacks in submersed macrophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dukowska, Małgorzata; Grzybkowska, Maria

    2014-01-01

    In the spring and summer of each year, large patches of submersed aquatic macrophytes overgrow the bottom of the alluvial Warta River downstream of a large dam reservoir owing to water management practices. Environmental variables, macroinvertebrates (zoobenthos and epiphytic fauna, zooplankton) and fish abundance and biomass were assessed at this biologically productive habitat to learn intraseasonal dynamics of food types, and their occurrence in the gut contents of small-sized roach, dace, perch, ruffe and three-spined stickleback. Gut fullness coefficient, niche breadth and niche overlap indicated how the fishes coexist in the macrophytes. Chironomidae dominated in the diet of the percids. However, ruffe consumed mostly benthic chironomids, while perch epiphytic chironomids and zooplankton. The diet of dace resembled that in fast flowing water although this rheophilic species occurred at unusual density there. The generalist roach displayed the lowest gut fullness coefficient values and widest niche breadth; consequently, intraspecific rather than interspecific competition decided the fate of roach. Three-spined stickleback differed from the other fishes by consuming epiphytic simuliids and fish eggs. The diet overlap between fishes reaching higher gut fullness coefficient values was rather low when the food associated with the submersed aquatic macrophytes was most abundant; this is congruent with the niche overlap hypothesis that maximal tolerable niche overlap can be higher in less intensely competitive conditions.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Ecological niche models reveal the importance of climate variability for the biogeography of protosteloid amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, María; Lado, Carlos

    2012-08-01

    Habitat availability and environmental preferences of species are among the most important factors in determining the success of dispersal processes and therefore in shaping the distribution of protists. We explored the differences in fundamental niches and potential distributions of an ecological guild of slime moulds-protosteloid amoebae-in the Iberian Peninsula. A large set of samples collected in a north-east to south-west transect of approximately 1000 km along the peninsula was used to test the hypothesis that, together with the existence of suitable microhabitats, climate conditions may determine the probability of survival of species. Although protosteloid amoebae share similar morphologies and life history strategies, canonical correspondence analyses showed that they have varied ecological optima, and that climate conditions have an important effect in niche differentiation. Maxent environmental niche models provided consistent predictions of the probability of presence of the species based on climate data, and they were used to generate maps of potential distribution in an 'everything is everywhere' scenario. The most important climatic factors were, in both analyses, variables that measure changes in conditions throughout the year, confirming that the alternation of fruiting bodies, cysts and amoeboid stages in the life cycles of protosteloid amoebae constitutes an advantage for surviving in a changing environment. Microhabitat affinity seems to be influenced by climatic conditions, which suggests that the micro-environment may vary at a local scale and change together with the external climate at a larger scale.

  3. 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.

  4. Local negotiation and alignment of expectations and transfer of lessons in niche development trajectories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raven, R.P.J.M. [ECN Policy Studies, Petten (Netherlands); Heiskanen, E. [National Consumer Research Centre, Helsinki (Finland); Lovio, R. [Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki (Finland); Hodson, M. [Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures, Manchester (United Kingdom)

    2007-09-15

    This paper examines the tension between the need to maintain diversity and the need to support path creation in the promotion of emerging sustainable technologies. The analysis is framed within the niche development literature and in particular the dynamics of socio-cognitive technology evolution as elaborated elsewhere. This literature offers a framework for analyzing the relation between individual projects in local contexts and the transfer of local experiences into generally applicable rules on the 'global niche level'. We address this question by examining two case studies drawn from a meta-analysis of 22 new energy projects throughout Europe. These two case studies, both pertaining to biogas projects for local municipalities, illustrate the diversity of applications introduced into a generic technology through processes of local variation and selection. We examine the diversity of expectations, and the negotiation and alignment of these expectations, underlying the diversity of local solutions. Moreover, we identify the types of generally applicable rules that the projects produced for the 'global niche level', and suggest that the transfer of lessons from individual local experiments can follow different pathways, but always requires due attention to the social and cultural limits to the transferability of solutions.

  5. Interspecific variation in prey capture behavior by co-occurring Nepenthes pitcher plants: evidence for resource partitioning or sampling-scheme artifacts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Lijin; Chung, Arthur Y C; Clarke, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes capture a wide range of arthropod prey for nutritional benefit, using complex combinations of visual and olfactory signals and gravity-driven pitfall trapping mechanisms. In many localities throughout Southeast Asia, several Nepenthes different species occur in mixed populations. Often, the species present at any given location have strongly divergent trap structures and preliminary surveys indicate that different species trap different combinations of arthropod prey, even when growing at the same locality. On this basis, it has been proposed that co-existing Nepenthes species may be engaged in niche segregation with regards to arthropod prey, avoiding direct competition with congeners by deploying traps that have modifications that enable them to target specific prey types. We examined prey capture among 3 multi-species Nepenthes populations in Borneo, finding that co-existing Nepenthes species do capture different combinations of prey, but that significant interspecific variations in arthropod prey combinations can often be detected only at sub-ordinal taxonomic ranks. In all lowland Nepenthes species examined, the dominant prey taxon is Formicidae, but montane Nepenthes trap few (or no) ants and 2 of the 3 species studied have evolved to target alternative sources of nutrition, such as tree shrew feces. Using similarity and null model analyses, we detected evidence for niche segregation with regards to formicid prey among 5 lowland, sympatric Nepenthes species in Sarawak. However, we were unable to determine whether these results provide support for the niche segregation hypothesis, or whether they simply reflect unquantified variation in heterogeneous habitats and/or ant communities in the study sites. These findings are used to propose improvements to the design of field experiments that seek to test hypotheses about targeted prey capture patterns in Nepenthes.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. The influence of coastal access on isotope variation in Icelandic arctic foxes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fredrik Dalerum

    Full Text Available To quantify the ecological effects of predator populations, it is important to evaluate how population-level specializations are dictated by intra- versus inter-individual dietary variation. Coastal habitats contain prey from the terrestrial biome, the marine biome and prey confined to the coastal region. Such habitats have therefore been suggested to better support predator populations compared to habitats without coastal access. We used stable isotope data on a small generalist predator, the arctic fox, to infer dietary strategies between adult and juvenile individuals with and without coastal access on Iceland. Our results suggest that foxes in coastal habitats exhibited a broader isotope niche breadth compared to foxes in inland habitats. This broader niche was related to a greater diversity of individual strategies rather than to a uniform increase in individual niche breadth or by individuals retaining their specialization but increasing their niche differentiation. Juveniles in coastal habitats exhibited a narrower isotope niche breadth compared to both adults and juveniles in inland habitats, and juveniles in inland habitats inhabited a lower proportion of their total isotope niche compared to adults and juveniles from coastal habitats. Juveniles in both habitats exhibited lower intra-individual variation compared to adults. Based on these results, we suggest that foxes in both habitats were highly selective with respect to the resources they used to feed offspring, but that foxes in coastal habitats preferentially utilized marine resources for this purpose. We stress that coastal habitats should be regarded as high priority areas for conservation of generalist predators as they appear to offer a wide variety of dietary options that allow for greater flexibility in dietary strategies.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. The atomic hypothesis: physical consequences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rivas, Martin

    2008-01-01

    The hypothesis that matter is made of some ultimate and indivisible objects, together with the restricted relativity principle, establishes a constraint on the kind of variables we are allowed to use for the variational description of elementary particles. We consider that the atomic hypothesis not only states the indivisibility of elementary particles, but also that these ultimate objects, if not annihilated, cannot be modified by any interaction so that all allowed states of an elementary particle are only kinematical modifications of any one of them. Therefore, an elementary particle cannot have excited states. In this way, the kinematical group of spacetime symmetries not only defines the symmetries of the system, but also the variables in terms of which the mathematical description of the elementary particles can be expressed in either the classical or the quantum mechanical description. When considering the interaction of two Dirac particles, the atomic hypothesis restricts the interaction Lagrangian to a kind of minimal coupling interaction

  16. Trophic niche overlap between flatfishes in a nursery area on the Portuguese coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrique N. Cabral

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available The diets and the trophic niche overlap between seven flatfish species were studied in a coastal nursery adjoining to the Tagus estuary (Portugal. Fish were sampled monthly, from March to November 1999, using a beach seine. Arnoglossus imperialis (Rafinesque, 1810, Arnoglossus laterna (Walbaum, 1792 and Arnoglossus thori Kyle, 1913, fed mainly on crustaceans. The diets of Buglossidium luteum (Risso, 1810 and Dicologoglossa cuneata (Moreau, 1881 were mainly composed of Bivalvia and Polychaeta, while for Scophthalmus rhombus (Linnaeus, 1758 the main food items were Mysidacea and Teleostei. The diet of Pegusa lascaris (Risso, 1810 was mainly composed by Cumacea, Bivalvia, Decapoda and Amphipoda. Based on diet similarities two main groups were identified: one composed of A. imperialis, A. laterna, A. thori and S. rhombus, and the other grouping B. luteum, P. lascaris and D. cuneata. For the most common flatfishes, a similar pattern of diet seasonal variation was found, such that Amphipoda presented higher indices values in the period from March to June, while from July to November, Decapoda were more abundant. Although high values of diet overlap were obtained among some of the species, the main items in the diet of flatfishes are probably the most abundant prey in this coastal area, which suggests a generalist and opportunistic utilization of these food resources. Furthermore, niche overlap between these species is probably minimized by differences in resource use in other niche dimensions, namely time and space.

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    currently deforested but previously occupied by parrots, to illustrate both quantitative and qualitative losses of reproductive habitat for the species. We illustrate and systematically discuss how progressive and sustained changes in landscape composition and associated limiting factors have effectively shifted and restricted the ecological niche of this species, and how this complex suite of ecological processes affects the Puerto Rican parrot in the Luquillo Mountains. Our niche restriction hypothesis is supported by the demographic response of Puerto Rican parrots recently (2006-2009) reintroduced in the lower elevation karst forest of northwestern Puerto Rico. Based on our findings, we present conservation strategies aimed at promoting the recovery of the species both in the Luquillo Mountains and elsewhere in Puerto Rico. Finally, we address the relevance of our findings to conservation of other endangered species, particularly those threatened by both habitat loss and climate change. 

  20. Cryptococcus gattii: Emergence in Western North America: Exploitation of a Novel Ecological Niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kausik Datta

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The relatively uncommon fungal pathogen Cryptococcus gattii recently emerged as a significant cause of cryptococcal disease in human and animals in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Although genetic studies indicated its possible presence in the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years, C. gattii as an etiological agent was largely unknown in this region prior to 1999. The recent emergence may have been encouraged by changing conditions of climate or land use and/or host susceptibility, and predictive ecological niche modeling indicates a potentially wider spread. C. gattii can survive wide climatic variations and colonize the environment in tropical, subtropical, temperate, and dry climates. Long-term climate changes, such as the significantly elevated global temperature in the last 100 years, influence patterns of disease among plants and animals and create niche microclimates habitable by emerging pathogens. C. gattii may have exploited such a hitherto unrecognized but clement environment in the Pacific Northwest to provide a wider exposure and risk of infection to human and animal populations.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Is there much variation in variation? Revisiting statistics of small area variation in health services research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ibáñez Berta

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The importance of Small Area Variation Analysis for policy-making contrasts with the scarcity of work on the validity of the statistics used in these studies. Our study aims at 1 determining whether variation in utilization rates between health areas is higher than would be expected by chance, 2 estimating the statistical power of the variation statistics; and 3 evaluating the ability of different statistics to compare the variability among different procedures regardless of their rates. Methods Parametric bootstrap techniques were used to derive the empirical distribution for each statistic under the hypothesis of homogeneity across areas. Non-parametric procedures were used to analyze the empirical distribution for the observed statistics and compare the results in six situations (low/medium/high utilization rates and low/high variability. A small scale simulation study was conducted to assess the capacity of each statistic to discriminate between different scenarios with different degrees of variation. Results Bootstrap techniques proved to be good at quantifying the difference between the null hypothesis and the variation observed in each situation, and to construct reliable tests and confidence intervals for each of the variation statistics analyzed. Although the good performance of Systematic Component of Variation (SCV, Empirical Bayes (EB statistic shows better behaviour under the null hypothesis, it is able to detect variability if present, it is not influenced by the procedure rate and it is best able to discriminate between different degrees of heterogeneity. Conclusion The EB statistics seems to be a good alternative to more conventional statistics used in small-area variation analysis in health service research because of its robustness.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Geographic variation in genetic and demographic performance: new insights from an old biogeographical paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pironon, Samuel; Papuga, Guillaume; Villellas, Jesús; Angert, Amy L; García, María B; Thompson, John D

    2017-11-01

    The 'centre-periphery hypothesis' (CPH) is a long-standing postulate in ecology that states that genetic variation and demographic performance of a species decrease from the centre to the edge of its geographic range. This hypothesis is based on an assumed concordance between geographical peripherality and ecological marginality such that environmental conditions become harsher towards the limits of a species range. In this way, the CPH sets the stage for understanding the causes of distribution limits. To date, no study has examined conjointly the consistency of these postulates. In an extensive literature review we discuss the birth and development of the CPH and provide an assessment of the CPH by reviewing 248 empirical studies in the context of three main themes. First, a decrease in species occurrence towards their range limits was observed in 81% of studies, while only 51% demonstrated reduced abundance of individuals. A decline in genetic variation, increased differentiation among populations and higher rates of inbreeding were demonstrated by roughly one in two studies (47, 45 and 48%, respectively). However, demographic rates, size and population performance less often followed CPH expectations (20-30% of studies). We highlight the impact of important methodological, taxonomic, and biogeographical biases on such validation rates. Second, we found that geographic and ecological marginality gradients are not systematically concordant, which casts doubt on the reliability of a main assumption of the CPH. Finally, we attempt to disentangle the relative contribution of geographical, ecological and historical processes on the spatial distribution of genetic and demographic parameters. While ecological marginality gradients explain variation in species' demographic performance better than geographic gradients, contemporary and historical factors may contribute interactively to spatial patterns of genetic variation. We thereby propose a framework that integrates

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Confidence bounds and hypothesis tests for normal distribution coefficients of variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve Verrill; Richard A. Johnson

    2007-01-01

    For normally distributed populations, we obtain confidence bounds on a ratio of two coefficients of variation, provide a test for the equality of k coefficients of variation, and provide confidence bounds on a coefficient of variation shared by k populations.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Confidence bounds and hypothesis tests for normal distribution coefficients of variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve P. Verrill; Richard A. Johnson

    2007-01-01

    For normally distributed populations, we obtain confidence bounds on a ratio of two coefficients of variation, provide a test for the equality of k coefficients of variation, and provide confidence bounds on a coefficient of variation shared by k populations. To develop these confidence bounds and test, we first establish that estimators based on Newton steps from n-...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Revisiting the two-layer hypothesis: coexistence of alternative functional rooting strategies in savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holdo, Ricardo M

    2013-01-01

    The two-layer hypothesis of tree-grass coexistence posits that trees and grasses differ in rooting depth, with grasses exploiting soil moisture in shallow layers while trees have exclusive access to deep water. The lack of clear differences in maximum rooting depth between these two functional groups, however, has caused this model to fall out of favor. The alternative model, the demographic bottleneck hypothesis, suggests that trees and grasses occupy overlapping rooting niches, and that stochastic events such as fires and droughts result in episodic tree mortality at various life stages, thus preventing trees from otherwise displacing grasses, at least in mesic savannas. Two potential problems with this view are: 1) we lack data on functional rooting profiles in trees and grasses, and these profiles are not necessarily reflected by differences in maximum or physical rooting depth, and 2) subtle, difficult-to-detect differences in rooting profiles between the two functional groups may be sufficient to result in coexistence in many situations. To tackle this question, I coupled a plant uptake model with a soil moisture dynamics model to explore the environmental conditions under which functional rooting profiles with equal rooting depth but different depth distributions (i.e., shapes) can coexist when competing for water. I show that, as long as rainfall inputs are stochastic, coexistence based on rooting differences is viable under a wide range of conditions, even when these differences are subtle. The results also indicate that coexistence mechanisms based on rooting niche differentiation are more viable under some climatic and edaphic conditions than others. This suggests that the two-layer model is both viable and stochastic in nature, and that a full understanding of tree-grass coexistence and dynamics may require incorporating fine-scale rooting differences between these functional groups and realistic stochastic climate drivers into future models.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. A Global Stem Cell Niche – Need of the Hour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Editorial

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available A Global Stem Cell Niche – Need of the Hour The time, this issue is online, most of us would be aware of the world’s first induced pluripotent stem (iPS cell based clinical trial for age-related macular degeneration which is underway in Japan. The first patient in the trial has been transplanted with the cell sheets of retinal pigment epithelium derived from the patient's own iPS cells in September 2014 [1] and is under follow-up. As we are overwhelmed with this scientific feat, an analysis of the trends of stem cell based clinical trials globally [2] makes us realize that there is a wide variation in the clinical trials between the nations, with differences being observed in diseases that are given priority, cell sources that are being chosen, principles of ethics, regulatory frameworks etc,. A realization dawns that the scientific communities in each group or country have their own niche of cell based research leading to the above mentioned variations. While in Japan, a hi-tech iPS trial has started, Mazini et al from Morocco, describe the hurdles in creating a public cord blood bank in their country with a background of the regulatory guidelines existing there while Lee et al's work from the United States of America (USA focuses on microencapsulation of adipose derived stem cells. While each of the above subject are equally important, a global consortium is the need of the hour, where interactions among all the stake holders of cell based therapies can be established for enabling exchange of information, technology, solutions and products, thereby avoiding repetition of the same work, while gaining the insight of different viewpoints into solving an issue which could be of significance either to a local community or the entire global society. References: Reardon S, Cyranoski D. Japan stem-cell trial stirs envy. Nature. 2014 ;513(7518:287-8. Li MD, Atkins H, Bubela T. The global landscape of stem cell clinical trials. Regen Med. 2014;9(1:27-39.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. Direct Measurements of Human Colon Crypt Stem Cell Niche Genetic Fidelity: The Role of Chance in Non-Darwinian Mutation Selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haeyoun eKang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Perfect human stem cell genetic fidelity would prevent aging and cancer. However, perfection would be difficult to achieve, and aging is universal and cancers common. A hypothesis is that because mutations are inevitable over a human lifetime, downstream mechanisms have evolved to manage the deleterious effects of beneficial and lethal mutations. In the colon, a crypt stem cell architecture reduces the number of mitotic cells at risk for mutation accumulation, and multiple niche stem cells ensure that a lethal mutation within any single stem cell does not lead to crypt death. In addition, the architecture of the colon crypt stem cell niche may harness probability or chance to randomly discard many beneficial mutations that might lead to cancer. An analysis of somatic chromosome copy number alterations (CNAs reveals a lack of perfect fidelity in individual normal human crypts, with age-related increases and higher frequencies in ulcerative colitis, a proliferative, inflammatory disease. The age-related increase in somatic CNAs appears consistent with relatively normal replication error and cell division rates. Surprisingly, and similar to point mutations in cancer genomes, the types of crypt mutations were more consistent with random fixation rather than selection. In theory, a simple non-Darwinian way to nullify selection is to reduce the size of the reproducing population. Fates are more determined by chance rather than selection in very small populations, and therefore selection may be minimized within small crypt niches. The desired effect is that many beneficial mutations that might lead to cancer are randomly lost by drift rather than fixed by selection. The subdivision of the colon into multiple very small stem cell niches may trade Darwinian evolution for non-Darwinian somatic cell evolution, capitulating to aging but reducing cancer risks.

  7. 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

  8. [Dilemma of null hypothesis in ecological hypothesis's experiment test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ji

    2016-06-01

    Experimental test is one of the major test methods of ecological hypothesis, though there are many arguments due to null hypothesis. Quinn and Dunham (1983) analyzed the hypothesis deduction model from Platt (1964) and thus stated that there is no null hypothesis in ecology that can be strictly tested by experiments. Fisher's falsificationism and Neyman-Pearson (N-P)'s non-decisivity inhibit statistical null hypothesis from being strictly tested. Moreover, since the null hypothesis H 0 (α=1, β=0) and alternative hypothesis H 1 '(α'=1, β'=0) in ecological progresses are diffe-rent from classic physics, the ecological null hypothesis can neither be strictly tested experimentally. These dilemmas of null hypothesis could be relieved via the reduction of P value, careful selection of null hypothesis, non-centralization of non-null hypothesis, and two-tailed test. However, the statistical null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) should not to be equivalent to the causality logistical test in ecological hypothesis. Hence, the findings and conclusions about methodological studies and experimental tests based on NHST are not always logically reliable.

  9. 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

  10. 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’

  11. 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.

  12. Using modern human cortical bone distribution to test the systemic robusticity hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baab, Karen L; Copes, Lynn E; Ward, Devin L; Wells, Nora; Grine, Frederick E

    2018-06-01

    The systemic robusticity hypothesis links the thickness of cortical bone in both the cranium and limb bones. This hypothesis posits that thick cortical bone is in part a systemic response to circulating hormones, such as growth hormone and thyroid hormone, possibly related to physical activity or cold climates. Although this hypothesis has gained popular traction, only rarely has robusticity of the cranium and postcranial skeleton been considered jointly. We acquired computed tomographic scans from associated crania, femora and humeri from single individuals representing 11 populations in Africa and North America (n = 228). Cortical thickness in the parietal, frontal and occipital bones and cortical bone area in limb bone diaphyses were analyzed using correlation, multiple regression and general linear models to test the hypothesis. Absolute thickness values from the crania were not correlated with cortical bone area of the femur or humerus, which is at odds with the systemic robusticity hypothesis. However, measures of cortical bone scaled by total vault thickness and limb cross-sectional area were positively correlated between the cranium and postcranium. When accounting for a range of potential confounding variables, including sex, age and body mass, variation in relative postcranial cortical bone area explained ∼20% of variation in the proportion of cortical cranial bone thickness. While these findings provide limited support for the systemic robusticity hypothesis, cranial cortical thickness did not track climate or physical activity across populations. Thus, some of the variation in cranial cortical bone thickness in modern humans is attributable to systemic effects, but the driving force behind this effect remains obscure. Moreover, neither absolute nor proportional measures of cranial cortical bone thickness are positively correlated with total cranial bone thickness, complicating the extrapolation of these findings to extinct species where only cranial

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Realized niches explain spatial gradients in seasonal abundance of phytoplankton groups in the South China Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Wupeng; Wang, Lei; Laws, Edward; Xie, Yuyuan; Chen, Jixin; Liu, Xin; Chen, Bingzhang; Huang, Bangqin

    2018-03-01

    A basic albeit elusive goal of ocean science is to predict the structure of biological communities from the multitude of environmental conditions they experience. Estimates of the realized niche-based traits (realized traits) of phytoplankton species or functional groups in temperate seas have shown that response traits can help reveal the mechanisms responsible for structuring phytoplankton communities, but such approaches have not been tested in tropical and subtropical marginal seas. Here, we used decadal-scale studies of pigment-based phytoplankton groups and environmental conditions in the South China Sea to test whether realized traits could explain the biogeographic patterns of phytoplankton variability. We estimated the mean and breadth of the phytoplankton realized niches based on responses of the group-specific phytoplankton composition to key environmental factors, and we showed that variations of major phytoplankton groups in this system can be explained by different adaptive trade-offs to constraints imposed by temperature, irradiance, and nutrient concentrations. Differences in the patterns of trade-offs clearly separated the dominant groups from one another and generated four sets of realized traits that mirrored the observed biogeographic distribution patterns. The phytoplankton realized niches and their associated traits that we characterized in the present study could help to predict responses of phytoplankton to changes in environmental conditions in the South China Sea and could be incorporated into global biogeochemical models to anticipate shifts in community structure under future climate scenarios.

  18. 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.

  19. Quantitative variation in natural populations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parsons, P.A.

    1975-01-01

    Quantitative variation is considered in natural populations using Drosophila as the example. A knowledge of such variation enables its rapid exploitation in directional selection experiments as shown for scutellar chaeta number. Where evidence has been obtained, genetic architectures are in qualitative agreement with Mather's concept of balance for traits under stabilizing selection. Additive genetic control is found for acute environmental stresses, but not for less acute stresses as shown by exposure to 60 Co-γ rays. D. simulans probably has a narrower ecological niche than its sibling species D. melanogaster associated with lower genetic heterogeneity. One specific environmental stress to which D. simulans is sensitive in nature is ethyl alcohol as shown by winery data. (U.S.)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Exploring heterogeneous market hypothesis using realized volatility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Wen Cheong; Isa, Zaidi; Mohd Nor, Abu Hassan Shaari

    2013-04-01

    This study investigates the heterogeneous market hypothesis using high frequency data. The cascaded heterogeneous trading activities with different time durations are modelled by the heterogeneous autoregressive framework. The empirical study indicated the presence of long memory behaviour and predictability elements in the financial time series which supported heterogeneous market hypothesis. Besides the common sum-of-square intraday realized volatility, we also advocated two power variation realized volatilities in forecast evaluation and risk measurement in order to overcome the possible abrupt jumps during the credit crisis. Finally, the empirical results are used in determining the market risk using the value-at-risk approach. The findings of this study have implications for informationally market efficiency analysis, portfolio strategies and risk managements.

  3. 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....

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. Rethinking the starch digestion hypothesis for AMY1 copy number variation in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Catalina I; Wiley, Andrea S

    2017-08-01

    Alpha-amylase exists across taxonomic kingdoms with a deep evolutionary history of gene duplications that resulted in several α-amylase paralogs. Copy number variation (CNV) in the salivary α-amylase gene (AMY1) exists in many taxa, but among primates, humans appear to have higher average AMY1 copies than nonhuman primates. Additionally, AMY1 CNV in humans has been associated with starch content of diets, and one known function of α-amylase is its involvement in starch digestion. Thus high AMY1 CNV is considered to result from selection favoring more efficient starch digestion in the Homo lineage. Here, we present several lines of evidence that challenge the hypothesis that increased AMY1 CNV is an adaptation to starch consumption. We observe that α- amylase plays a very limited role in starch digestion, with additional steps required for starch digestion and glucose metabolism. Specifically, we note that α-amylase hydrolysis only produces a minute amount of free glucose with further enzymatic digestion and glucose absorption being rate-limiting steps for glucose availability. Indeed α-amylase is nonessential for starch digestion since sucrase-isomaltase and maltase-glucoamylase can hydrolyze whole starch granules while releasing glucose. While higher AMY1 CN and CNV among human populations may result from natural selection, existing evidence does not support starch digestion as the major selective force. We report that in humans α-amylase is expressed in several other tissues where it may have potential roles of evolutionary significance. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. Hypothesis analysis methods, hypothesis analysis devices, and articles of manufacture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanfilippo, Antonio P [Richland, WA; Cowell, Andrew J [Kennewick, WA; Gregory, Michelle L [Richland, WA; Baddeley, Robert L [Richland, WA; Paulson, Patrick R [Pasco, WA; Tratz, Stephen C [Richland, WA; Hohimer, Ryan E [West Richland, WA

    2012-03-20

    Hypothesis analysis methods, hypothesis analysis devices, and articles of manufacture are described according to some aspects. In one aspect, a hypothesis analysis method includes providing a hypothesis, providing an indicator which at least one of supports and refutes the hypothesis, using the indicator, associating evidence with the hypothesis, weighting the association of the evidence with the hypothesis, and using the weighting, providing information regarding the accuracy of the hypothesis.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. On the variation of the gravitational constant G

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Sabbata, V.

    1980-01-01

    We consider the variation of the gravitational constant G starting from Dirac's large number hypothesis. After a brief description of the various gravitational theories which, other than General Relativity, incorporate the variation of G, we consider the geophysical and astrophysical consequences of the variation of G and the present status of the performed experiments. Finally, a short account on strong gravity is given which seems to provide a basis for Dirac's large number hypothesis. (author)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Disease and community structure: white-nose syndrome alters spatial and temporal niche partitioning in sympatric bat species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jachowski, David S.; Dobony, Christopher A.; Coleman, Laci S.; Ford, W. Mark; Britzke, Eric R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.

    2014-01-01

    AimEmerging infectious diseases present a major perturbation with apparent direct effects such as reduced population density, extirpation and/or extinction. Comparatively less is known about the potential indirect effects of disease that likely alter community structure and larger ecosystem function. Since 2006, white-nose syndrome (WNS) has resulted in the loss of over 6 million hibernating bats in eastern North America. Considerable evidence exists concerning niche partitioning in sympatric bat species in this region, and the unprecedented, rapid decline in multiple species following WNS may provide an opportunity to observe a dramatic restructuring of the bat community.LocationWe conducted our study at Fort Drum Army Installation in Jefferson and Lewis counties, New York, USA, where WNS first impacted extant bat species in winter 2007–2008.MethodsAcoustical monitoring during 2003–2011 allowed us to test the hypothesis that spatial and temporal niche partitioning by bats was relaxed post-WNS.ResultsWe detected nine bat species pre- and post-WNS. Activity for most bat species declined post-WNS. Dramatic post-WNS declines in activity of little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus, MYLU), formerly the most abundant bat species in the region, were associated with complex, often species-specific responses by other species that generally favoured increased spatial and temporal overlap with MYLU.Main conclusionsIn addition to the obvious direct effects of disease on bat populations and activity levels, our results provide evidence that disease can have cascading indirect effects on community structure. Recent occurrence of WNS in North America, combined with multiple existing stressors, is resulting in dramatic shifts in temporal and spatial niche partitioning within bat communities. These changes might influence long-term population viability of some bat species as well as broader scale ecosystem structure and function.

  4. Social learning and evolution: the cultural intelligence hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schaik, Carel P.; Burkart, Judith M.

    2011-01-01

    If social learning is more efficient than independent individual exploration, animals should learn vital cultural skills exclusively, and routine skills faster, through social learning, provided they actually use social learning preferentially. Animals with opportunities for social learning indeed do so. Moreover, more frequent opportunities for social learning should boost an individual's repertoire of learned skills. This prediction is confirmed by comparisons among wild great ape populations and by social deprivation and enculturation experiments. These findings shaped the cultural intelligence hypothesis, which complements the traditional benefit hypotheses for the evolution of intelligence by specifying the conditions in which these benefits can be reaped. The evolutionary version of the hypothesis argues that species with frequent opportunities for social learning should more readily respond to selection for a greater number of learned skills. Because improved social learning also improves asocial learning, the hypothesis predicts a positive interspecific correlation between social-learning performance and individual learning ability. Variation among primates supports this prediction. The hypothesis also predicts that more heavily cultural species should be more intelligent. Preliminary tests involving birds and mammals support this prediction too. The cultural intelligence hypothesis can also account for the unusual cognitive abilities of humans, as well as our unique mechanisms of skill transfer. PMID:21357223

  5. Social learning and evolution: the cultural intelligence hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schaik, Carel P; Burkart, Judith M

    2011-04-12

    If social learning is more efficient than independent individual exploration, animals should learn vital cultural skills exclusively, and routine skills faster, through social learning, provided they actually use social learning preferentially. Animals with opportunities for social learning indeed do so. Moreover, more frequent opportunities for social learning should boost an individual's repertoire of learned skills. This prediction is confirmed by comparisons among wild great ape populations and by social deprivation and enculturation experiments. These findings shaped the cultural intelligence hypothesis, which complements the traditional benefit hypotheses for the evolution of intelligence by specifying the conditions in which these benefits can be reaped. The evolutionary version of the hypothesis argues that species with frequent opportunities for social learning should more readily respond to selection for a greater number of learned skills. Because improved social learning also improves asocial learning, the hypothesis predicts a positive interspecific correlation between social-learning performance and individual learning ability. Variation among primates supports this prediction. The hypothesis also predicts that more heavily cultural species should be more intelligent. Preliminary tests involving birds and mammals support this prediction too. The cultural intelligence hypothesis can also account for the unusual cognitive abilities of humans, as well as our unique mechanisms of skill transfer.

  6. Synergies in the space of control variables within the equilibrium-point hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambike, S; Mattos, D; Zatsiorsky, V M; Latash, M L

    2016-02-19

    We use an approach rooted in the recent theory of synergies to analyze possible co-variation between two hypothetical control variables involved in finger force production based on the equilibrium-point (EP) hypothesis. These control variables are the referent coordinate (R) and apparent stiffness (C) of the finger. We tested a hypothesis that inter-trial co-variation in the {R; C} space during repeated, accurate force production trials stabilizes the fingertip force. This was expected to correspond to a relatively low amount of inter-trial variability affecting force and a high amount of variability keeping the force unchanged. We used the "inverse piano" apparatus to apply small and smooth positional perturbations to fingers during force production tasks. Across trials, R and C showed strong co-variation with the data points lying close to a hyperbolic curve. Hyperbolic regressions accounted for over 99% of the variance in the {R; C} space. Another analysis was conducted by randomizing the original {R; C} data sets and creating surrogate data sets that were then used to compute predicted force values. The surrogate sets always showed much higher force variance compared to the actual data, thus reinforcing the conclusion that finger force control was organized in the {R; C} space, as predicted by the EP hypothesis, and involved co-variation in that space stabilizing total force. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Spectral shifts of mammalian ultraviolet-sensitive pigments (short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1) are associated with eye length and photic niche evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerling, Christopher A; Huynh, Hieu T; Nguyen, Minh A; Meredith, Robert W; Springer, Mark S

    2015-11-22

    Retinal opsin photopigments initiate mammalian vision when stimulated by light. Most mammals possess a short wavelength-sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1) pigment that is primarily sensitive to either ultraviolet or violet light, leading to variation in colour perception across species. Despite knowledge of both ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive SWS1 classes in mammals for 25 years, the adaptive significance of this variation has not been subjected to hypothesis testing, resulting in minimal understanding of the basis for mammalian SWS1 spectral tuning evolution. Here, we gathered data on SWS1 for 403 mammal species, including novel SWS1 sequences for 97 species. Ancestral sequence reconstructions suggest that the most recent common ancestor of Theria possessed an ultraviolet SWS1 pigment, and that violet-sensitive pigments evolved at least 12 times in mammalian history. We also observed that ultraviolet pigments, previously considered to be a rarity, are common in mammals. We then used phylogenetic comparative methods to test the hypotheses that the evolution of violet-sensitive SWS1 is associated with increased light exposure, extended longevity and longer eye length. We discovered that diurnal mammals and species with longer eyes are more likely to have violet-sensitive pigments and less likely to possess UV-sensitive pigments. We hypothesize that (i) as mammals evolved larger body sizes, they evolved longer eyes, which limited transmittance of ultraviolet light to the retina due to an increase in Rayleigh scattering, and (ii) as mammals began to invade diurnal temporal niches, they evolved lenses with low UV transmittance to reduce chromatic aberration and/or photo-oxidative damage. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Testing the Processing Hypothesis of word order variation using a probabilistic language model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloem, J.

    2016-01-01

    This work investigates the application of a measure of surprisal to modeling a grammatical variation phenomenon between near-synonymous constructions. We investigate a particular variation phenomenon, word order variation in Dutch two-verb clusters, where it has been established that word order

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Revisiting Darwin's hypothesis: Does greater intraspecific variability increase species' ecological breadth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sides, Colby B; Enquist, Brian J; Ebersole, James J; Smith, Marielle N; Henderson, Amanda N; Sloat, Lindsey L

    2014-01-01

    Darwin first proposed that species with larger ecological breadth have greater phenotypic variation. We tested this hypothesis by comparing intraspecific variation in specific leaf area (SLA) to species' local elevational range and by assessing how external (abiotic) filters may influence observed differences in ecological breadth among species. Understanding the patterns of individual variation within and between populations will help evaluate differing hypotheses for structuring of communities and distribution of species. We selected 21 species with varying elevational ranges and compared the coefficient of variation of SLA for each species against its local elevational range. We examined the influence of external filters on local trait composition by determining if intraspecific changes in SLA with elevation have the same direction and similar rates of change as the change in community mean SLA value. In support of Darwin's hypothesis, we found a positive relationship between species' coefficient of variation for SLA with species' local elevational range. Intraspecific changes in SLA had the same sign, but generally lower magnitude than the community mean SLA. The results indicate that wide-ranging species are indeed characterized by greater intraspecific variation and that species' phenotypes shift along environmental gradients in the same direction as the community phenotypes. However, across species, the rate of intraspecific trait change, reflecting plastic and/or adaptive changes across populations, is limited and prevents species from adjusting to environmental gradients as quickly as interspecific changes resulting from community assembly.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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....

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. The Drosophila BCL6 homolog Ken and Barbie promotes somatic stem cell self-renewal in the testis niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Issigonis, Melanie; Matunis, Erika

    2012-08-15

    Stem cells sustain tissue regeneration by their remarkable ability to replenish the stem cell pool and to generate differentiating progeny. Signals from local microenvironments, or niches, control stem cell behavior. In the Drosophila testis, a group of somatic support cells called the hub creates a stem cell niche by locally activating the Janus Kinase-Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK-STAT) pathway in two adjacent types of stem cells: germline stem cells (GSCs) and somatic cyst stem cells (CySCs). Here, we find that ken and barbie (ken) is autonomously required for the self-renewal of CySCs but not GSCs. Furthermore, Ken misexpression in the CySC lineage induces the cell-autonomous self-renewal of somatic cells as well as the nonautonomous self-renewal of germ cells outside the niche. Thus, Ken, like Stat92E and its targets ZFH1 (Leatherman and Dinardo, 2008) and Chinmo (Flaherty et al., 2010), is necessary and sufficient for CySC renewal. However, ken is not a JAK-STAT target in the testis, but instead acts in parallel to Stat92E to ensure CySC self-renewal. Ken represses a subset of Stat92E targets in the embryo (Arbouzova et al., 2006) suggesting that Ken maintains CySCs by repressing differentiation factors. In support of this hypothesis, we find that the global JAK-STAT inhibitor Protein tyrosine phosphatase 61F (Ptp61F) is a JAK-STAT target in the testis that is repressed by Ken. Together, our work demonstrates that Ken has an important role in the inhibition of CySC differentiation. Studies of ken may inform our understanding of its vertebrate orthologue B-Cell Lymphoma 6 (BCL6) and how misregulation of this oncogene leads to human lymphomas. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Exploring Climate Niches of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) Haplotypes in the Western United States: Implications for Evolutionary History and Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinneman, Douglas J; Means, Robert E; Potter, Kevin M; Hipkins, Valerie D

    2016-01-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum) varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM), ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated with discrete

  11. Exploring Climate Niches of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson Haplotypes in the Western United States: Implications for Evolutionary History and Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J Shinneman

    Full Text Available Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM, ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated

  12. [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

  13. 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.

  14. Postglacial species displacement in Triturus newts deduced from asymmetrically introgressed mitochondrial DNA and ecological niche models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wielstra Ben

    2012-08-01

    introgressed mitochondrial DNA and the signal derived from ecological niche modeling, we do not favor the hypothesis that foreign mitochondrial DNA was pulled into the T. macedonicus range by natural selection.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. An experimental test of fitness variation across a hydrologic gradient predicts willow and poplar species distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiaojing; Savage, Jessica A; Riggs, Charlotte E; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine

    2017-05-01

    Environmental filtering is an important community assembly process influencing species distributions. Contrasting species abundance patterns along environmental gradients are commonly used to provide evidence for environmental filtering. However, the same abundance patterns may result from alternative or concurrent assembly processes. Experimental tests are an important means to decipher whether species fitness varies with environment, in the absence of dispersal constraints and biotic interactions, and to draw conclusions about the importance of environmental filtering in community assembly. We performed an experimental test of environmental filtering in 14 closely related willow and poplar species (family Salicaceae) by transplanting cuttings of each species into 40 common gardens established along a natural hydrologic gradient in the field, where competition was minimized and herbivory was controlled. We analyzed species fitness responses to the hydrologic environment based on cumulative growth and survival over two years using aster fitness models. We also examined variation in nine drought and flooding tolerance traits expected to contribute to performance based on a priori understanding of plant function in relation to water availability and stress. We found substantial evidence that environmental filtering along the hydrologic gradient played a critical role in determining species distributions. Fitness variation of each species in the field experiment was used to model their water table depth optima. These optima predicted 68% of the variation in species realized hydrologic niches based on peak abundance in naturally assembled communities in the surrounding region. Multiple traits associated with water transport efficiency and water stress tolerance were correlated with species hydrologic niches, but they did not necessarily covary with each other. As a consequence, species occupying similar hydrologic niches had different combinations of trait values

  7. Agriculture shapes the trophic niche of a bat preying on multiple pest arthropods across Europe: Evidence from DNA metabarcoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aizpurua, Ostaizka; Budinski, Ivana; Georgiakakis, Panagiotis; Gopalakrishnan, Shyam; Ibañez, Carlos; Mata, Vanessa; Rebelo, Hugo; Russo, Danilo; Szodoray-Parádi, Farkas; Zhelyazkova, Violeta; Zrncic, Vida; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Alberdi, Antton

    2018-02-01

    The interaction between agricultural production and wildlife can shape, and even condition, the functioning of both systems. In this study, we i) explored the degree to which a widespread European bat, namely the common bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii, consumes crop-damaging insects at a continental scale, and ii) tested whether its dietary niche is shaped by the extension and type of agricultural fields. We employed a dual-primer DNA metabarcoding approach to characterize arthropod 16S and COI DNA sequences within bat faecal pellets collected across 16 Southern European localities, to first characterize the bat species' dietary niche, second measure the incidence of agricultural pests across their ranges and third assess whether geographical dietary variation responds to climatic, landscape diversity, agriculture type and vegetation productivity factors. We detected 12 arthropod orders, among which lepidopterans were predominant. We identified >200 species, 44 of which are known to cause agricultural damage. Pest species were detected at all but one sampling site and in 94% of the analysed samples. Furthermore, the dietary diversity of M. schreibersii exhibited a negative linear relation with the area of intensive agricultural fields, thus suggesting crops restrict the dietary niche of bats to prey taxa associated with agricultural production within their foraging range. Overall, our results imply that M. schreibersii might be a valuable asset for biological pest suppression in a variety of agricultural productions and highlight the dynamic interplay between wildlife and agricultural systems. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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).

  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. 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

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Zooplankton trophic niches respond to different water types of the western Tasman Sea: A stable isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henschke, Natasha; Everett, Jason D.; Suthers, Iain M.; Smith, James A.; Hunt, Brian P. V.; Doblin, Martina A.; Taylor, Matthew D.

    2015-10-01

    The trophic relationships of 21 species from an oceanic zooplankton community were studied using stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. Zooplankton and suspended particulate organic matter (POM) were sampled in three different water types in the western Tasman Sea: inner shelf (IS), a cold core eddy (CCE) and a warm core eddy (WCE). δ15N values ranged from 3.9‰ for the parasitic copepod Sapphirina augusta to 10.2‰ for the euphausiid, Euphausia spinifera. δ13C varied from -22.6 to -19.4‰ as a result of the copepod Euchirella curticauda and E. spinifera. The isotopic composition of POM varied significantly among water types; as did the trophic enrichment of zooplankton over POM, with the lowest enrichment in the recently upwelled IS water type (0.5‰) compared to the warm core eddy (1.6‰) and cold core eddy (2.7‰). The WCE was an oligotrophic environment and was associated with an increased trophic level for omnivorous zooplankton (copepods and euphausiids) to a similar level as carnivorous zooplankton (chaetognaths). Therefore carnivory in zooplankton can increase in response to lower abundance and reduced diversity in their phytoplankton and protozoan prey. Trophic niche width comparisons across three zooplankton species: the salp Thalia democratica, the copepod Eucalanus elongatus and the euphausiid Thysanoessa gregaria, indicated that both niche partitioning and competition can occur within the zooplankton community. We have shown that trophic relationships among the zooplankton are dynamic and respond to different water types. The changes to the zooplankton isotopic niche, however, were still highly variable as result of oceanographic variation within water types.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Phylogeography and Ecological Niche Modeling of the Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis, Baird & Girard 1852) in the Baja California Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdivia-Carrillo, Tania; García-De León, Francisco J; Blázquez, Ma Carmen; Gutiérrez-Flores, Carina; González Zamorano, Patricia

    2017-09-01

    Understanding the factors that explain the patterns of genetic structure or phylogeographic breaks at an intraspecific level is key to inferring the mechanisms of population differentiation in its early stages. These topics have been well studied in the Baja California region, with vicariance and the dispersal ability of individuals being the prevailing hypothesis for phylogeographic breaks. In this study, we evaluated the phylogeographic patterns in the desert iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis), a species with a recent history in the region and spatial variation in life history traits. We analyzed a total of 307 individuals collected throughout 19 localities across the Baja California Peninsula with 15 microsatellite DNA markers. Our data reveal the existence of 3 geographically discrete genetic populations with moderate gene flow and an isolation-by-distance pattern presumably produced by the occurrence of a refugium in the Cape region during the Pleistocene Last Glacial Maximum. Bayesian methods and ecological niche modeling were used to assess the relationship between population genetic structure and present and past climatic preferences of the desert iguana. We found that the present climatic heterogeneity of the Baja California Peninsula has a marked influence on the population genetic structure of the species, suggesting that there are alternative explanations besides vicariance. The information obtained in this study provides data allowing a better understanding of how historical population processes in the Baja California Peninsula can be understood from an ecological perspective. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. The Stem Cell Hypothesis of Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Meiliana

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There is probably no single way to age. Indeed, so far there is no single accepted explanation or mechanisms of aging (although more than 300 theories have been proposed. There is an overall decline in tissue regenerative potential with age, and the question arises as to whether this is due to the intrinsic aging of stem cells or rather to the impairment of stem cell function in the aged tissue environment. CONTENT: Recent data suggest that we age, in part, because our self-renewing stem cells grow old as a result of heritable intrinsic events, such as DNA damage, as well as extrinsic forces, such as changes in their supporting niches. Mechanisms that suppress the development of cancer, such as senescence and apoptosis, which rely on telomere shortening and the activities of p53 and p16INK4a may also induce an unwanted consequence: a decline in the replicative function of certain stem cells types with advancing age. This decrease regenerative capacity appears to pointing to the stem cell hypothesis of aging. SUMMARY: Recent evidence suggested that we grow old partly because of our stem cells grow old as a result of mechanisms that suppress the development of cancer over a lifetime. We believe that a further, more precise mechanistic understanding of this process will be required before this knowledge can be translated into human anti-aging therapies. KEYWORDS: stem cells, senescence, telomere, DNA damage, epigenetic, aging.

  15. Contrasting responses in the niches of two coral reef herbivores along a gradient of habitat disturbance in the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plass-Johnson, Jeremiah Grahm; Bednarz, Vanessa N.; Hill, Jaclyn M.

    2018-01-01

    Habitat modification of coral reefs is becoming increasingly common due to increases in coastal urban populations. Coral reef fish are highly dependent on benthic habitat; however, information on species-specific responses to habitat change, in particular with regard to trophic strategies, remains...... scarce. This study identifies variation in the trophic niches of two herbivorous coral reef fishes with contrasting trophic strategies, using Stable Isotopes Bayesian Ellipses in R, along a spatial gradient of changing coral reef habitats. In the parrotfish Chlorurus bleekeri, a roving consumer...

  16. 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.

  17. Host specialist clownfishes are environmental niche generalists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litsios, Glenn; Kostikova, Anna; Salamin, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Why generalist and specialist species coexist in nature is a question that has interested evolutionary biologists for a long time. While the coexistence of specialists and generalists exploiting resources on a single ecological dimension has been theoretically and empirically explored, biological systems with multiple resource dimensions (e.g. trophic, ecological) are less well understood. Yet, such systems may provide an alternative to the classical theory of stable evolutionary coexistence of generalist and specialist species on a single resource dimension. We explore such systems and the potential trade-offs between different resource dimensions in clownfishes. All species of this iconic clade are obligate mutualists with sea anemones yet show interspecific variation in anemone host specificity. Moreover, clownfishes developed variable environmental specialization across their distribution. In this study, we test for the existence of a relationship between host-specificity (number of anemones associated with a clownfish species) and environmental-specificity (expressed as the size of the ecological niche breadth across climatic gradients). We find a negative correlation between host range and environmental specificities in temperature, salinity and pH, probably indicating a trade-off between both types of specialization forcing species to specialize only in a single direction. Trade-offs in a multi-dimensional resource space could be a novel way of explaining the coexistence of generalist and specialists. PMID:25274370

  18. 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

  19. Exploring climate niches of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) haplotypes in the western United States: Implications for evolutionary history and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinneman, Douglas; Means, Robert E.; Potter, Kevin M.; Hipkins, Valerie D.

    2016-01-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum) varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM), ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated with

  20. 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...

  1. Ecomorphology and use of food resources: inter- and intraspecific relationships of fish fauna associated with macrophyte stands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline V. R. Prado

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Based on the form-function interaction and its consequence to niche exploitation by fish species, the study aimed to identify ecomorphological patterns and to investigate the possibility of explaining the trophic niche breadth using the pattern of intraspecific ecomorphological diversity. We tested the following hypotheses: i the morphology explains variations in diet among fish species; ii the intraspecific ecomorphological diversity is related to the breadth of the trophic niche explored by the species, so that species that feed on a wider range of resources have greater variation in body shape compared to those specialized in resource consumption. Fish were collected in stands of the aquatic macrophytes Eichhornia azurea and Eichhornia crassipes in lentic environments of the Upper Paraná River floodplain, Brazil. Two major trends were observed in the morphological space: fish with body shapes adapted to explore the substrate and others with a design that facilitates the capture of food items in more structured habitats. The relationship of diet with body shape was confirmed by significant relationships between matrices of trophic and morphological distances, providing evidence that morphology is related to interspecific variations in the use of trophic resources. However, the ranges of morphological and intraspecific trophic variations were not significantly related, rejecting the second hypothesis about the relationship between intraspecific ecomorphological diversity and trophic niche breadth. The morphological characteristics often have multiple ecological roles, which could result in trade-off among these functions. Thus, fish with highly specialized morphology may show specialist feeding or even generalist habit, because in this case some resources may be difficult to exploit, even by a specialist. Species with low and high morphological diversity demonstrated narrow trophic niche and the availability of resources may have been

  2. Beyond hormones: a novel hypothesis for the biological basis of male sexual orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocklandt, S; Hamer, D H

    2003-01-01

    For the past several decades, research on the development of human sexual orientation has focused on the role of pre- or peri-natal androgen levels on brain development. However, there is no evidence that physiologically occurring variations in androgen exposure influence differences in sexual orientation. In this review, we discuss an alternative hypothesis involving genomic imprinting in the regulation of sex specific expression of genes regulating sexually dimorphic traits, including sexual orientation. A possible experiment to test this hypothesis is discussed.

  3. To predict the niche, model colonization and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yackulic, Charles B.; Nichols, James D.; Reid, Janice; Der, Ricky

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists frequently try to predict the future geographic distributions of species. Most studies assume that the current distribution of a species reflects its environmental requirements (i.e., the species' niche). However, the current distributions of many species are unlikely to be at equilibrium with the current distribution of environmental conditions, both because of ongoing invasions and because the distribution of suitable environmental conditions is always changing. This mismatch between the equilibrium assumptions inherent in many analyses and the disequilibrium conditions in the real world leads to inaccurate predictions of species' geographic distributions and suggests the need for theory and analytical tools that avoid equilibrium assumptions. Here, we develop a general theory of environmental associations during periods of transient dynamics. We show that time-invariant relationships between environmental conditions and rates of local colonization and extinction can produce substantial temporal variation in occupancy–environment relationships. We then estimate occupancy–environment relationships during three avian invasions. Changes in occupancy–environment relationships over time differ among species but are predicted by dynamic occupancy models. Since estimates of the occupancy–environment relationships themselves are frequently poor predictors of future occupancy patterns, research should increasingly focus on characterizing how rates of local colonization and extinction vary with environmental conditions.

  4. COREMIC: a web-tool to search for a niche associated CORE MICrobiome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R. Rodrigues

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Microbial diversity on earth is extraordinary, and soils alone harbor thousands of species per gram of soil. Understanding how this diversity is sorted and selected into habitat niches is a major focus of ecology and biotechnology, but remains only vaguely understood. A systems-biology approach was used to mine information from databases to show how it can be used to answer questions related to the core microbiome of habitat-microbe relationships. By making use of the burgeoning growth of information from databases, our tool “COREMIC” meets a great need in the search for understanding niche partitioning and habitat-function relationships. The work is unique, furthermore, because it provides a user-friendly statistically robust web-tool (http://coremic2.appspot.com or http://core-mic.com, developed using Google App Engine, to help in the process of database mining to identify the “core microbiome” associated with a given habitat. A case study is presented using data from 31 switchgrass rhizosphere community habitats across a diverse set of soil and sampling environments. The methodology utilizes an outgroup of 28 non-switchgrass (other grasses and forbs to identify a core switchgrass microbiome. Even across a diverse set of soils (five environments, and conservative statistical criteria (presence in more than 90% samples and FDR q-val <0.05% for Fisher’s exact test a core set of bacteria associated with switchgrass was observed. These included, among others, closely related taxa from Lysobacter spp., Mesorhizobium spp, and Chitinophagaceae. These bacteria have been shown to have functions related to the production of bacterial and fungal antibiotics and plant growth promotion. COREMIC can be used as a hypothesis generating or confirmatory tool that shows great potential for identifying taxa that may be important to the functioning of a habitat (e.g. host plant. The case study, in conclusion, shows that COREMIC can identify key habitat

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Hypothesis Designs for Three-Hypothesis Test Problems

    OpenAIRE

    Yan Li; Xiaolong Pu

    2010-01-01

    As a helpful guide for applications, the alternative hypotheses of the three-hypothesis test problems are designed under the required error probabilities and average sample number in this paper. The asymptotic formulas and the proposed numerical quadrature formulas are adopted, respectively, to obtain the hypothesis designs and the corresponding sequential test schemes under the Koopman-Darmois distributions. The example of the normal mean test shows that our methods are qu...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Widespread range expansions shape latitudinal variation in insect thermal limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancaster, Lesley T.

    2016-06-01

    Current anthropogenic impacts, including habitat modification and climate change, may contribute to a sixth mass extinction. To mitigate these impacts and slow further losses of biodiversity, we need to understand which species are most at risk and identify the factors contributing to current and future declines. Such information is often obtained through large-scale, comparative and biogeographic analysis of lineages or traits that are potentially sensitive to ongoing anthropogenic change--for instance to predict which regions are most susceptible to climate change-induced biodiversity loss. However, for this approach to be generally successful, the underlying causes of identified geographical trends need to be carefully considered. Here, I augment and reanalyse a global data set of insect thermal tolerances, evaluating the contribution of recent and contemporary range expansions to latitudinal variation in thermal niche breadth. Previous indications that high-latitude ectotherms exhibit broad thermal niches and high warming tolerances held only for species undergoing range expansions or invasions. In contrast, species with stable or declining geographic ranges exhibit latitudinally decreasing absolute thermal tolerances and no latitudinal variation in tolerance breadths. Thus, non-range-expanding species, particularly insular or endemic species, which are often of highest conservation priority, are unlikely to tolerate future climatic warming at high latitudes.

  13. A Comparative Pan-Genome Perspective of Niche-Adaptable Cell-Surface Protein Phenotypes in Lactobacillus rhamnosus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kant, Ravi; Sigvart-Mattila, Pia; Paulin, Lars; Mecklin, Jukka-Pekka; Saarela, Maria; Palva, Airi; von Ossowski, Ingemar

    2014-01-01

    Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a ubiquitously adaptable Gram-positive bacterium and as a typical commensal can be recovered from various microbe-accessible bodily orifices and cavities. Then again, other isolates are food-borne, with some of these having been long associated with naturally fermented cheeses and yogurts. Additionally, because of perceived health benefits to humans and animals, numerous L. rhamnosus strains have been selected for use as so-called probiotics and are often taken in the form of dietary supplements and functional foods. At the genome level, it is anticipated that certain genetic variances will have provided the niche-related phenotypes that augment the flexible adaptiveness of this species, thus enabling its strains to grow and survive in their respective host environments. For this present study, we considered it functionally informative to examine and catalogue the genotype-phenotype variation existing at the cell surface between different L. rhamnosus strains, with the presumption that this might be relatable to habitat preferences and ecological adaptability. Here, we conducted a pan-genomic study involving 13 genomes from L. rhamnosus isolates with various origins. In using a benchmark strain (gut-adapted L. rhamnosus GG) for our pan-genome comparison, we had focused our efforts on a detailed examination and description of gene products for certain functionally relevant surface-exposed proteins, each of which in effect might also play a part in niche adaptability among the other strains. Perhaps most significantly of the surface protein loci we had analyzed, it would appear that the spaCBA operon (known to encode SpaCBA-called pili having a mucoadhesive phenotype) is a genomic rarity and an uncommon occurrence in L. rhamnosus. However, for any of the so-piliated L. rhamnosus strains, they will likely possess an increased niche-specific fitness, which functionally might presumably be manifested by a protracted transient colonization of

  14. Life Origination Hydrate Hypothesis (LOH-Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Ostrovskii

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper develops the Life Origination Hydrate Hypothesis (LOH-hypothesis, according to which living-matter simplest elements (LMSEs, which are N-bases, riboses, nucleosides, nucleotides, DNA- and RNA-like molecules, amino-acids, and proto-cells repeatedly originated on the basis of thermodynamically controlled, natural, and inevitable processes governed by universal physical and chemical laws from CH4, niters, and phosphates under the Earth's surface or seabed within the crystal cavities of the honeycomb methane-hydrate structure at low temperatures; the chemical processes passed slowly through all successive chemical steps in the direction that is determined by a gradual decrease in the Gibbs free energy of reacting systems. The hypothesis formulation method is based on the thermodynamic directedness of natural movement and consists ofan attempt to mentally backtrack on the progression of nature and thus reveal principal milestones alongits route. The changes in Gibbs free energy are estimated for different steps of the living-matter origination process; special attention is paid to the processes of proto-cell formation. Just the occurrence of the gas-hydrate periodic honeycomb matrix filled with LMSEs almost completely in its final state accounts for size limitation in the DNA functional groups and the nonrandom location of N-bases in the DNA chains. The slowness of the low-temperature chemical transformations and their “thermodynamic front” guide the gross process of living matter origination and its successive steps. It is shown that the hypothesis is thermodynamically justified and testable and that many observed natural phenomena count in its favor.

  15. Ontogenetic niche shifts in three Vaccinium species on a sub-alpine mountain side

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Auffret, Alistair G.; Meineri, Eric; Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2010-01-01

    Background: Climate warming in arctic and alpine regions is expected to result in the altitudinal migration of plant species, but current predictions neglect differences between species' regeneration niche and established niche. Aims: To examine potential recruitment of Vaccinium myrtillus, V. ul...

  16. Geographic variation in resource use by specialist versus generalist butterflyfishes

    KAUST Repository

    Lawton, Rebecca J.; Cole, Andrew J.; Berumen, Michael L.; Pratchett, Morgan S.

    2011-01-01

    Localised patterns of resource use can be constrained by multiple factors. Comparison of resource use at multiple locations with differing resource availability can allow fundamental specialists to be distinguished from species that simply feed predominantly on prey types that are locally abundant. This study investigates geographic variation in the feeding ecology of coral-feeding butterflyfishes to examine whether patterns of resource use and levels of dietary specialisation vary among distinct locations, corresponding with changes in resource availability. Our specific aims were to investigate whether the dietary niche breadth of four butterflyfishes varies among five geographically separated locations and assess whether each species utilises similar resources in each location. Resource availability and dietary composition of four butterflyfishes were quantified at three sites across each of five geographic locations throughout the Pacific. Niche breadth, niche overlap, and resource selection functions were calculated for each species at each site and compared among locations. Availability of dietary resources varied significantly among locations and sites. Chaetodon vagabundus, C. citrinellus and C. lunulatus had low levels of dietary specialisation and used different resources in each location. Chaetodon trifascialis had high levels of dietary specialisation and used the same few resources in each location. Our results indicate that relative levels of dietary specialisation among different butterflyfishes do hold at larger spatial scales, however, geographical variation in the dietary composition of all butterflyfishes indicates that prey availability has a fundamental influence on dietary composition. Highly specialised species such as C. trifascialis will be highly vulnerable to coral loss as they appear to be largely inflexible in their dietary composition. However, the increased feeding plasticity observed here for C. trifascialis suggests this species may

  17. Geographic variation in resource use by specialist versus generalist butterflyfishes

    KAUST Repository

    Lawton, Rebecca J.

    2011-11-14

    Localised patterns of resource use can be constrained by multiple factors. Comparison of resource use at multiple locations with differing resource availability can allow fundamental specialists to be distinguished from species that simply feed predominantly on prey types that are locally abundant. This study investigates geographic variation in the feeding ecology of coral-feeding butterflyfishes to examine whether patterns of resource use and levels of dietary specialisation vary among distinct locations, corresponding with changes in resource availability. Our specific aims were to investigate whether the dietary niche breadth of four butterflyfishes varies among five geographically separated locations and assess whether each species utilises similar resources in each location. Resource availability and dietary composition of four butterflyfishes were quantified at three sites across each of five geographic locations throughout the Pacific. Niche breadth, niche overlap, and resource selection functions were calculated for each species at each site and compared among locations. Availability of dietary resources varied significantly among locations and sites. Chaetodon vagabundus, C. citrinellus and C. lunulatus had low levels of dietary specialisation and used different resources in each location. Chaetodon trifascialis had high levels of dietary specialisation and used the same few resources in each location. Our results indicate that relative levels of dietary specialisation among different butterflyfishes do hold at larger spatial scales, however, geographical variation in the dietary composition of all butterflyfishes indicates that prey availability has a fundamental influence on dietary composition. Highly specialised species such as C. trifascialis will be highly vulnerable to coral loss as they appear to be largely inflexible in their dietary composition. However, the increased feeding plasticity observed here for C. trifascialis suggests this species may

  18. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Saiful Mansor

    Full Text Available Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause' law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist.

  19. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i) how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii) how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause' law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist.

  20. Spermatogonial stem cell markers and niche in equids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilherme M J Costa

    Full Text Available Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs are the foundation of spermatogenesis and are located in a highly dynamic microenvironment called "niche" that influences all aspects of stem cell function, including homing, self-renewal and differentiation. Several studies have recently identified specific proteins that regulate the fate of SSCs. These studies also aimed at identifying surface markers that would facilitate the isolation of these cells in different vertebrate species. The present study is the first to investigate SSC physiology and niche in stallions and to offer a comparative evaluation of undifferentiated type A spermatogonia (Aund markers (GFRA1, PLZF and CSF1R in three different domestic equid species (stallions, donkeys, and mules. Aund were first characterized according to their morphology and expression of the GFRA1 receptor. Our findings strongly suggest that in stallions these cells were preferentially located in the areas facing the interstitium, particularly those nearby blood vessels. This distribution is similar to what has been observed in other vertebrate species. In addition, all three Aund markers were expressed in the equid species evaluated in this study. These markers have been well characterized in other mammalian species, which suggests that the molecular mechanisms that maintain the niche and Aund/SSCs physiology are conserved among mammals. We hope that our findings will help future studies needing isolation and cryopreservation of equids SSCs. In addition, our data will be very useful for studies that aim at preserving the germplasm of valuable animals, and involve germ cell transplantation or xenografts of equids testis fragments/germ cells suspensions.

  1. Foraging niche segregation in Malaysian babblers (Family: Timaliidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-01-01

    Tropical rainforests are considered as hotspots for bird diversity, yet little is known about the system that upholds the coexistence of species. Differences in body size that are associated with foraging strategies and spatial distribution are believed to promote the coexistence of closely related species by reducing competition. However, the fact that many babbler species do not differ significantly in their morphology has challenged this view. We studied the foraging ecology of nine sympatric babbler species (i.e., Pellorneum capistratum, P. bicolor, P. malaccense, Malacopteron cinereum, M. magnum, Stachyris nigriceps, S. nigricollis, S. maculata, and Cyanoderma erythropterum) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated; i) how these babblers forage in the wild and use vegetation to obtain food, and ii) how these trophically similar species differ in spatial distribution and foraging tactics. Results indicated that most babblers foraged predominantly on aerial leaf litter and used gleaning manoeuvre in intermediate-density foliage but exhibited wide ranges of vertical strata usage, thus reducing interspecific competition. The principal component analysis indicated that two components, i.e., foraging height and substrate are important as mechanisms to allow the coexistence of sympatric babblers. The present findings revealed that these bird species have unique foraging niches that are distinct from each other, and this may apply to other insectivorous birds inhabiting tropical forests. This suggests that niche separation does occur among coexisting birds, thus following Gause’ law of competitive exclusion, which states two species occupying the same niche will not stably coexist. PMID:28253284

  2. ECRB ALCOVE AND NICHE GROUND SUPPORT ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.W. Keifer

    1999-01-01

    The purpose of the analysis is to provide design bases for Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) alcove and niche ground support drawings. The objective is to evaluate the ESF Alcove Ground Support Analysis (Ref 5.1) to determine if the calculations technically bound the ECRB alcoves and to address specific differences in the conditions and constraints

  3. Studying Basin Water Balance Variations at Inter- and Intra-annual Time Scales Based On the Budyko Hypothesis and GRACE Gravimetry Satellite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, H.

    2017-12-01

    Increasing intensity in global warming and anthropogenic activities has triggered significant changes over regional climates and landscapes, which, in turn, drive the basin water cycle and hydrological balance into a complex and unstable state. Budyko hypothesis is a powerful tool to characterize basin water balance and hydrological variations at long-term average scale. However, due to the absence of basin water storage change, applications of Budyko theory to the inter-annual and intra-annual time scales has been prohibited. The launch of GRACE gavimetry satellites provides a great opportunity to quantify terrestrial water storage change, which can be further introduced into the Budyko hypothesis to reveal the inter- and intra-annual response of basin water components under impacts of climate variability and/or human activities. This research targeted Hai River Basin (in China) and Murray-Darling Basin (in Australia), which have been identified with a continuous groundwater depletion trend as well as impacts by extreme climates in the past decade. This can help us to explore how annual or seasonal precipitation were redistributed to evapotranspiration and runoff via changing basin water storage. Moreover, the impacts of vegetation on annual basin water balance will be re-examined. Our results are expected to provide deep insights about the water cycle and hydrological behaviors for the targeted basins, as well as a proof for a consideration of basin water storage change into the Budyko model at inter- or intra-annual time steps.

  4. Isotopic niche partitioning between two apex predators over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drago, Massimiliano; Cardona, Luis; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Crespo, Enrique A; Vales, Damián G; Borella, Florencia; Zenteno, Lisette; Gonzáles, Enrique M; Inchausti, Pablo

    2017-07-01

    Stable isotope analyses have become an important tool in reconstructing diets, analysing resource use patterns, elucidating trophic relations among predators and understanding the structure of food webs. Here, we use stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in bone collagen to reconstruct and compare the isotopic niches of adult South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis; n = 86) and sea lions (Otaria flavescens; n = 49) - two otariid species with marked morphological differences - in the Río de la Plata estuary (Argentina - Uruguay) and the adjacent Atlantic Ocean during the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. Samples from the middle Holocene (n = 7 fur seals and n = 5 sea lions) are also included in order to provide a reference point for characterizing resource partitioning before major anthropogenic modifications of the environment. We found that the South American fur seals and South American sea lions had distinct isotopic niches during the middle Holocene. Isotopic niche segregation was similar at the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, but has diminished over time. The progressive convergence of the isotopic niches of these two otariids during the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century is most likely due to the increased reliance of South American fur seals on demersal prey. This recent dietary change in South American fur seals can be explained by at least two non-mutually exclusive mechanisms: (i) the decrease in the abundance of sympatric South American sea lions as a consequence of small colony size and high pup mortality resulting from commercial sealing; and (ii) the decrease in the average size of demersal fishes due to intense fishing of the larger class sizes, which may have increased their accessibility to those eared seals with a smaller mouth gape, that is, South American fur seals of both sexes and female South American sea lions. © 2017 The Authors

  5. Combgap Promotes Ovarian Niche Development and Chromatin Association of EcR-Binding Regions in BR-C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitrik, Anna; Popliker, Malka; Gancz, Dana; Mukamel, Zohar; Lifshitz, Aviezer; Schwartzman, Omer; Tanay, Amos; Gilboa, Lilach

    2016-11-01

    The development of niches for tissue-specific stem cells is an important aspect of stem cell biology. Determination of niche size and niche numbers during organogenesis involves precise control of gene expression. How this is achieved in the context of a complex chromatin landscape is largely unknown. Here we show that the nuclear protein Combgap (Cg) supports correct ovarian niche formation in Drosophila by controlling ecdysone-Receptor (EcR)- mediated transcription and long-range chromatin contacts in the broad locus (BR-C). Both cg and BR-C promote ovarian growth and the development of niches for germ line stem cells. BR-C levels were lower when Combgap was either reduced or over-expressed, indicating an intricate regulation of the BR-C locus by Combgap. Polytene chromosome stains showed that Cg co-localizes with EcR, the major regulator of BR-C, at the BR-C locus and that EcR binding to chromatin was sensitive to changes in Cg levels. Proximity ligation assay indicated that the two proteins could reside in the same complex. Finally, chromatin conformation analysis revealed that EcR-bound regions within BR-C, which span ~30 KBs, contacted each other. Significantly, these contacts were stabilized in an ecdysone- and Combgap-dependent manner. Together, these results highlight Combgap as a novel regulator of chromatin structure that promotes transcription of ecdysone target genes and ovarian niche formation.

  6. Replacement of harmful animal use in life science education: the approach and activities of InterNICHE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jukes, Nick

    2004-06-01

    Harmful animal use in undergraduate education is increasingly being replaced by alternatives, such as computer software, manikins and simulators, ethically sourced animal cadavers, apprentice work with animal patients, and student self-experimentation. Combinations of such alternatives can better meet teaching objectives, reduce costs and avoid the negative pedagogical and social impact of animal experimentation. Since 1988, the International Network for Humane Education (InterNICHE, formerly EuroNICHE) has been working with teachers to replace harmful animal use and has been supporting students' right to conscientious objection. This paper presents the approach, history and current activities of InterNICHE. With a vision of 100% replacement, the network aims for empowerment by networking information and providing support. It works with the belief that most teachers want investment in the best quality and most humane education possible. The forthcoming second edition of the InterNICHE book, from Guinea Pig to Computer Mouse,1 includes practical details of progressive teaching aids and approaches, as well as case studies from teachers who employ such alternatives. In 1999, InterNICHE produced the film Alternatives in Education, now available in 20 languages. Such resources are complemented by outreach trips and conferences and an Alternatives Loan System, which offers products for familiarisation and assessment. The InterNICHE website (www.interniche.org) was launched in 2001.

  7. Climatic niche conservatism and biogeographical non-equilibrium in Eschscholzia californica (Papaveraceae), an invasive plant in the Chilean Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña-Gómez, Francisco T; Guerrero, Pablo C; Bizama, Gustavo; Duarte, Milén; Bustamante, Ramiro O

    2014-01-01

    Species climate requirements are useful for predicting their geographic distribution. It is often assumed that the niche requirements for invasive plants are conserved during invasion, especially when the invaded regions share similar climate conditions. California and central Chile have a remarkable degree of convergence in their vegetation structure, and a similar Mediterranean climate. Such similarities make these geographic areas an interesting natural experiment for testing climatic niche dynamics and the equilibrium of invasive species in a new environment. We tested to see if the climatic niche of Eschscholzia californica is conserved in the invaded range (central Chile), and we assessed whether the invasion process has reached a biogeographical equilibrium, i.e., occupy all the suitable geographic locations that have suitable conditions under native niche requirements. We compared the climatic niche in the native and invaded ranges as well as the projected potential geographic distribution in the invaded range. In order to compare climatic niches, we conducted a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Species Distribution Models (SDMs), to estimate E. californica's potential geographic distribution. We also used SDMs to predict altitudinal distribution limits in central Chile. Our results indicated that the climatic niche occupied by E. californica in the invaded range is firmly conserved, occupying a subset of the native climatic niche but leaving a substantial fraction of it unfilled. Comparisons of projected SDMs for central Chile indicate a similarity, yet the projection from native range predicted a larger geographic distribution in central Chile compared to the prediction of the model constructed for central Chile. The projected niche occupancy profile from California predicted a higher mean elevation than that projected from central Chile. We concluded that the invasion process of E. californica in central Chile is consistent with climatic niche

  8. Pleiotrophin Regulates the Retention and Self-Renewal of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in the Bone Marrow Vascular Niche

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather A. Himburg

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms through which the bone marrow (BM microenvironment regulates hematopoietic stem cell (HSC fate remain incompletely understood. We examined the role of the heparin-binding growth factor pleiotrophin (PTN in regulating HSC function in the niche. PTN−/− mice displayed significantly decreased BM HSC content and impaired hematopoietic regeneration following myelosuppression. Conversely, mice lacking protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor zeta, which is inactivated by PTN, displayed significantly increased BM HSC content. Transplant studies revealed that PTN action was not HSC autonomous, but rather was mediated by the BM microenvironment. Interestingly, PTN was differentially expressed and secreted by BM sinusoidal endothelial cells within the vascular niche. Furthermore, systemic administration of anti-PTN antibody in mice substantially impaired both the homing of hematopoietic progenitor cells to the niche and the retention of BM HSCs in the niche. PTN is a secreted component of the BM vascular niche that regulates HSC self-renewal and retention in vivo.

  9. Multi-user cognitive radio network resource allocation based on the adaptive niche immune genetic algorithm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zu Yun-Xiao; Zhou Jie

    2012-01-01

    Multi-user cognitive radio network resource allocation based on the adaptive niche immune genetic algorithm is proposed, and a fitness function is provided. Simulations are conducted using the adaptive niche immune genetic algorithm, the simulated annealing algorithm, the quantum genetic algorithm and the simple genetic algorithm, respectively. The results show that the adaptive niche immune genetic algorithm performs better than the other three algorithms in terms of the multi-user cognitive radio network resource allocation, and has quick convergence speed and strong global searching capability, which effectively reduces the system power consumption and bit error rate. (geophysics, astronomy, and astrophysics)

  10. Climatic niche conservatism and ecological opportunity in the explosive radiation of arvicoline rodents (Arvicolinae, Cricetidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Xue; Xia, Lin; Ge, Deyan; Wu, Yongjie; Yang, Qisen

    2016-05-01

    Climatic niche conservatism shapes patterns of diversity in many taxonomic groups, while ecological opportunity (EO) can trigger rapid speciation that is less constrained by the amount of time a lineage has occupied a given habitat. These two processes are well studied, but limited research has considered their joint and relative roles in shaping diversity patterns. We characterized climatic and biogeographic variables for 102 species of arvicoline rodents (Arvicolinae, Cricetidae), testing the effects of climatic niche conservatism and EO on arvicoline diversification as lineages transitioned between biogeographic regions. We found that the amount of time a lineage has occupied a precipitation niche is positively correlated with diversity along a precipitation gradient, suggesting climatic niche conservatism. In contrast, shift in diversification rate explained diversity patterns along a temperature gradient. Our results suggest that an indirect relationship exists between temperature and diversification that is associated with EO as arvicoline rodents colonized warm Palearctic environments. Climatic niche conservatism alone did not fully explain diversity patterns under density-dependence, highlighting the additional importance of EO-related processes in promoting the explosive radiation in arvicoline rodents and shaping diversity pattern among biogeographic regions and along climatic gradients. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. The vasculature as a neural stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuki, Leo; Brand, Andrea H

    2017-11-01

    Neural stem cells (NSCs) are multipotent, self-renewing progenitors that generate progeny that differentiate into neurons and glia. NSCs in the adult mammalian brain are generally quiescent. Environmental stimuli such as learning or exercise can activate quiescent NSCs, inducing them to proliferate and produce new neurons and glia. How are these behaviours coordinated? The neurovasculature, the circulatory system of the brain, is a key component of the NSC microenvironment, or 'niche'. Instructive signals from the neurovasculature direct NSC quiescence, proliferation, self-renewal and differentiation. During ageing, a breakdown in the niche accompanies NSC dysfunction and cognitive decline. There is much interest in reversing these changes and enhancing NSC activity by targeting the neurovasculature therapeutically. Here we discuss principles of neurovasculature-NSC crosstalk, and the implications for the design of NSC-based therapies. We also consider the emerging contributions to this field of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Prospects for Jatropha biofuels in Tanzania: An analysis with Strategic Niche Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eijck, Janske van; Romijn, Henny

    2008-01-01

    The paper reports on research in Tanzania about the scope for developing biofuels from an oil-seed bearing plant called Jatropha curcas Linnaeus. The plant is widely seen to have potential to help combat the greenhouse effect, help to stop local soil erosion, create additional income for the rural poor, and provide a major source of energy both locally and internationally. The principal analytic tool is Strategic Niche Management (SNM), an approach rooted in evolutionary innovation theory. We analyse how the scope for an energy transition is influenced by factors at three societal levels: the overarching 'landscape'; the sectoral setting or 'regime'; and the 'niche' level where the innovation develops and diffuses. Valuable niche processes were found in a few areas, especially in cultivation, but we conclude that there are still many obstacles in Tanzania's prevailing energy regime. The development of Jatropha biofuels is still in an early phase. We list policy recommendations and discuss some methodological issues arising from the use of SNM

  13. Proximity-based differential single cell analysis of the niche to identify stem/progenitor cell regulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberstein, Lev; Goncalves, Kevin A; Kharchenko, Peter V; Turcotte, Raphael; Kfoury, Youmna; Mercier, Francois; Baryawno, Ninib; Severe, Nicolas; Bachand, Jacqueline; Spencer, Joel; Papazian, Ani; Lee, Dongjun; Chitteti, Brahmananda Reddy; Srour, Edward F; Hoggatt, Jonathan; Tate, Tiffany; Celso, Cristina Lo; Ono, Noriaki; Nutt, Stephen; Heino, Jyrki; Sipilä, Kalle; Shioda, Toshihiro; Osawa, Masatake; Lin, Charles P; Hu, Guo-fu; Scadden, David T

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Physiological stem cell function is regulated by secreted factors produced by niche cells. In this study, we describe an unbiased approach based on differential single-cell gene expression analysis of mesenchymal osteolineage cells close to and further removed from hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells to identify candidate niche factors. Mesenchymal cells displayed distinct molecular profiles based on their relative location. Amongst the genes which were preferentially expressed in proximal cells, we functionally examined three secreted or cell surface molecules not previously connected to HSPC biology: the secreted RNase Angiogenin, the cytokine IL18 and the adhesion molecule Embigin and discovered that all of these factors are HSPC quiescence regulators. Our proximity-based differential single cell approach therefore reveals molecular heterogeneity within niche cells and can be used to identify novel extrinsic stem/progenitor cell regulators. Similar approaches could also be applied to other stem cell/niche pairs to advance understanding of microenvironmental regulation of stem cell function. PMID:27524439

  14. Keeping stem cells under control: new insights into the mechanisms that limit niche-stem cell signaling within the reproductive system

    OpenAIRE

    Inaba, Mayu; Yamashita, Yukiko M.; Buszczak, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Adult stem cells reside in specialized microenvironments called niches that maintain stem cells in an undifferentiated and self-renewing state. Despite extensive studies on the signaling pathways that operate within stem cells and their niches, the mechanisms that restrict niche signal exclusively to stem cells remained elusive: such a mechanism is crucially important to ensure that stem cells undergo self-renewal while their progeny, often located just one cell diameter away from the niche, ...

  15. 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.

  16. In vitro variation of glycogen content in three sheep nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premvati, G; Chopra, A K

    1979-06-01

    In vitro variation of glycogen content under aerobic conditions was measured on fresh weight basis in 3 sheep nematodes inhabiting different niches; Haemonchus contortus, Oesophagostomum columbianum and Trichuris ovis. The parasites were saparated into species and then sexes and starved for varying periods of time up to 24 h in glucose-free physiological saline. The differences between females and males and among the species with respect to glycogen content and its rate of change with time are discussed.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    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

  18. Ovarian Stem Cell Niche and Follicular Renewal in Mammals

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bukovský, Antonín

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 294, č. 8 (2011), s. 1284-1306 ISSN 1932-8486 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50520701 Keywords : ovary * stem cell niche * neo-oogenesis Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 1.473, year: 2011

  19. Branding Prince Edward County as a Gastronomic Niche Tourism Destination: A Case Study

    OpenAIRE

    Geneviève Brisson; Rocci Luppicini

    2015-01-01

    Increasingly, gastronomy is playing a role in people's motivation for travel, and destinations are making food and beverages their main attraction. This study explored the growing field of gastronomic tourism, a type of niche tourism, through the theoretical framework of destination branding theory. Using a qualitative case study research design, this research examined the branding of the emergent region of Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada as a gastronomic niche tourism destination from ...

  20. The neural crest is a source of mesenchymal stem cells with specialized hematopoietic stem cell niche function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isern, Joan; García-García, Andrés; Martín, Ana M; Arranz, Lorena; Martín-Pérez, Daniel; Torroja, Carlos; Sánchez-Cabo, Fátima; Méndez-Ferrer, Simón

    2014-09-25

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and osteolineage cells contribute to the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche in the bone marrow of long bones. However, their developmental relationships remain unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that different MSC populations in the developing marrow of long bones have distinct functions. Proliferative mesoderm-derived nestin(-) MSCs participate in fetal skeletogenesis and lose MSC activity soon after birth. In contrast, quiescent neural crest-derived nestin(+) cells preserve MSC activity, but do not generate fetal chondrocytes. Instead, they differentiate into HSC niche-forming MSCs, helping to establish the HSC niche by secreting Cxcl12. Perineural migration of these cells to the bone marrow requires the ErbB3 receptor. The neonatal Nestin-GFP(+) Pdgfrα(-) cell population also contains Schwann cell precursors, but does not comprise mature Schwann cells. Thus, in the developing bone marrow HSC niche-forming MSCs share a common origin with sympathetic peripheral neurons and glial cells, and ontogenically distinct MSCs have non-overlapping functions in endochondrogenesis and HSC niche formation.

  1. 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...

  2. PTEN Signaling in the Postnatal Perivascular Progenitor Niche Drives Medulloblastoma Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Guo; Rankin, Sherri L; Larson, Jon D; Zhu, Xiaoyan; Chow, Lionel M L; Qu, Chunxu; Zhang, Jinghui; Ellison, David W; Baker, Suzanne J

    2017-01-01

    Loss of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN exerts diverse outcomes on cancer in different developmental contexts. To gain insight into the effect of its loss on outcomes in the brain, we conditionally inactivated the murine Pten gene in neonatal neural stem/progenitor cells. Pten inactivation created an abnormal perivascular proliferative niche in the cerebellum that persisted in adult animals but did not progress to malignancy. Proliferating cells showed undifferentiated morphology and expressed the progenitor marker Nestin but not Math1, a marker of committed granule neuron progenitors. Codeletion of Pten and Trp53 resulted in fully penetrant medulloblastoma originating from the perivascular niche, which exhibited abnormal blood vessel networks and advanced neuronal differentiation of tumor cells. EdU pulse-chase experiments demonstrated a perivascular cancer stem cell population in Pten/Trp53 double mutant medulloblastomas. Genetic analyses revealed recurrent somatic inactivations of the tumor suppressor gene Ptch1 and a recapitulation of the sonic hedgehog subgroup of human medulloblastomas. Overall, our results showed that PTEN acts to prevent the proliferation of a progenitor niche in postnatal cerebellum predisposed to oncogenic induction of medulloblastoma. Cancer Res; 77(1); 123-33. ©2016 AACR. ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

  3. Bone marrow macrophages maintain hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niches and their depletion mobilizes HSCs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Ingrid G; Sims, Natalie A; Pettit, Allison R; Barbier, Valérie; Nowlan, Bianca; Helwani, Falak; Poulton, Ingrid J; van Rooijen, Nico; Alexander, Kylie A; Raggatt, Liza J; Lévesque, Jean-Pierre

    2010-12-02

    In the bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside in specific niches near osteoblast-lineage cells at the endosteum. To investigate the regulation of these endosteal niches, we studied the mobilization of HSCs into the bloodstream in response to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). We report that G-CSF mobilization rapidly depletes endosteal osteoblasts, leading to suppressed endosteal bone formation and decreased expression of factors required for HSC retention and self-renewal. Importantly, G-CSF administration also depleted a population of trophic endosteal macrophages (osteomacs) that support osteoblast function. Osteomac loss, osteoblast suppression, and HSC mobilization occurred concomitantly, suggesting that osteomac loss could disrupt endosteal niches. Indeed, in vivo depletion of macrophages, in either macrophage Fas-induced apoptosis (Mafia) transgenic mice or by administration of clodronate-loaded liposomes to wild-type mice, recapitulated the: (1) loss of endosteal osteoblasts and (2) marked reduction of HSC-trophic cytokines at the endosteum, with (3) HSC mobilization into the blood, as observed during G-CSF administration. Together, these results establish that bone marrow macrophages are pivotal to maintain the endosteal HSC niche and that the loss of such macrophages leads to the egress of HSCs into the blood.

  4. 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.

  5. Feeding niches of four large herbivores in the Hluhluwe Game ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Feeding niches of four large herbivores in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Natal. ... equus burchelli burchelli; feeding; grass; grasses; habitat; herbivores; hluhluwe game reserve; kwazulu-natal; large herbivores; ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  6. Supply Chain Development: Insights from Strategic Niche Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caniels, Marjolein C. J.; Romijn, Henny A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the study of supply chain design from the perspective of complex dynamic systems. Unlike extant studies that use formal simulation modelling and associated methodologies rooted in the physical sciences, it adopts a framework rooted in the social sciences, strategic niche management, which…

  7. Teen Fertility and Gender Inequality in Education: A Contextual Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Shannon Stokes

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies in developed countries have found a micro-level association between teenage fertility and girls' educational attainment but researchers still debate the policy implications of these associations. First, are these associations causal? Second, are they substantively important enough, at the macro-level, to warrant policy attention? In other words, how much would policy efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy among teens pay off in terms of narrowing national gender gaps in educational attainment? Third, under what contexts are these payoffs likely to be important? This paper focuses on the latter two questions. We begin by proposing a contextual hypothesis to explain cross-national variation in the gender-equity payoffs from reducing unintended teen fertility. We then test this hypothesis, using DHS data from 38 countries.

  8. 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

  9. Environmental niche divergence among three dune shrub sister species with parapatric distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chozas, Sergio; Chefaoui, Rosa M; Correia, Otília; Bonal, Raúl; Hortal, Joaquín

    2017-05-01

    The geographical distributions of species are constrained by their ecological requirements. The aim of this work was to analyse the effects of environmental conditions, historical events and biogeographical constraints on the diversification of the three species of the western Mediterranean shrub genus Stauracanthus , which have a parapatric distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. Ecological niche factor analysis and generalized linear models were used to measure the response of all Stauracanthus species to the environmental gradients and map their potential distributions in the Iberian Peninsula. The bioclimatic niche overlap between the three species was determined by using Schoener's index. The genetic differentiation of the Iberian and northern African populations of Stauracanthus species was characterized with GenalEx. The effects on genetic distances of the most important environmental drivers were assessed through Mantel tests and non-metric multidimensional scaling. The three Stauracanthus species show remarkably similar responses to climatic conditions. This supports the idea that all members of this recently diversified clade retain common adaptations to climate and consequently high levels of climatic niche overlap. This contrasts with the diverse edaphic requirements of Stauracanthus species. The populations of the S. genistoides-spectabilis clade grow on Miocene and Pliocene fine-textured sedimentary soils, whereas S. boivinii , the more genetically distant species, occurs on older and more coarse-textured sedimentary substrates. These patterns of diversification are largely consistent with a stochastic process of geographical range expansion and fragmentation coupled with niche evolution in the context of spatially complex environmental fluctuations. : The combined analysis of the distribution, realized environmental niche and phylogeographical relationships of parapatric species proposed in this work allows integration of the biogeographical

  10. Rates of change in climatic niches in plant and animal populations are much slower than projected climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezkova, Tereza

    2016-01-01

    Climate change may soon threaten much of global biodiversity. A critical question is: can species undergo niche shifts of sufficient speed and magnitude to persist within their current geographic ranges? Here, we analyse niche shifts among populations within 56 plant and animal species using time-calibrated trees from phylogeographic studies. Across 266 phylogeographic groups analysed, rates of niche change were much slower than rates of projected climate change (mean difference > 200 000-fold for temperature variables). Furthermore, the absolute niche divergence among populations was typically lower than the magnitude of projected climate change over the next approximately 55 years for relevant variables, suggesting the amount of change needed to persist may often be too great, even if these niche shifts were instantaneous. Rates were broadly similar between plants and animals, but especially rapid in some arthropods, birds and mammals. Rates for temperature variables were lower at lower latitudes, further suggesting that tropical species may be especially vulnerable to climate change. PMID:27881748

  11. Shifts in the ecological niche of Lutzomyia peruensis under climate change scenarios in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moo-Llanes, D A; Arque-Chunga, W; Carmona-Castro, O; Yañez-Arenas, C; Yañez-Trujillano, H H; Cheverría-Pacheco, L; Baak-Baak, C M; Cáceres, A G

    2017-06-01

    The Peruvian Andes presents a climate suitable for many species of sandfly that are known vectors of leishmaniasis or bartonellosis, including Lutzomyia peruensis (Diptera: Psychodidae), among others. In the present study, occurrences data for Lu. peruensis were compiled from several items in the scientific literature from Peru published between 1927 and 2015. Based on these data, ecological niche models were constructed to predict spatial distributions using three algorithms [Support vector machine (SVM), the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP) and Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt)]. In addition, the environmental requirements of Lu. peruensis and three niche characteristics were modelled in the context of future climate change scenarios: (a) potential changes in niche breadth; (b) shifts in the direction and magnitude of niche centroids, and (c) shifts in elevation range. The model identified areas that included environments suitable for Lu. peruensis in most regions of Peru (45.77%) and an average altitude of 3289 m a.s.l. Under climate change scenarios, a decrease in the distribution areas of Lu. peruensis was observed for all representative concentration pathways. However, the centroid of the species' ecological niche showed a northwest direction in all climate change scenarios. The information generated in this study may help health authorities responsible for the supervision of strategies to control leishmaniasis to coordinate, plan and implement appropriate strategies for each area of risk, taking into account the geographic distribution and potential dispersal of Lu. peruensis. © 2017 The Royal Entomological Society.

  12. 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.

  13. Umbilical cord mesenchyme stem cell local intramuscular injection for treatment of uterine niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Dazhi; Wu, Shuzhen; Ye, Shaoxin; Wang, Wen; Guo, Xiaoling; Liu, Zhengping

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background: Uterine niche is defined as a triangular anechoic structure at the site of the scar or a gap in the myometrium at the site of a previous caesarean section. The main clinical manifestations are postmenstrual spotting and intrauterine infection, which may seriously affect the daily life of nonpregnant women. Trials have shown an excellent safety and efficacy for the potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a therapeutic option for scar reconstruction. Therefore, this study is designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of using MSCs in the treatment for the uterine niche. Methods/design: This phase II clinical trial is a single-center, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled with 2 arms. One hundred twenty primiparous participants will be randomly (1:1 ratio) assigned to receive direct intramuscular injection of MSCs (a dose of 1∗107 cells in 1 mL of 0.9% saline) (MSCs group) or an identical-appearing 1 mL of 0.9% saline (placebo-controlled group) near the uterine incision. The primary outcome of this trial is to evaluate the proportion of participants at 6 months who is found uterine niche in the uterus by transvaginal utrasonography. Adverse events will be documented in a case report form. The study will be conducted at the Department of Obstetric of Southern Medical University Affiliated Maternal & Child Health Hospital of Foshan. Discussion: This trial is the first investigation of the potential for therapeutic use of MSCs for the management of uterine niche after cesarean delivery. Conclusion: This protocol will help to determine the efficacy and safety of MSCs treatment in uterine niche and bridge the gap with regards to the current preclinical and clinical evidence. Trial registration number: NCT02968459 (Clinical Trials.gov: http://clinicaltrials.gov/). PMID:29095305

  14. [Allelopathic effects of Artemisia sacrorum population in typical steppe based on niche theory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Xie, Yong-Sheng; Cheng, Ji-Min; She, Xiao-Yan

    2012-03-01

    By using modified Levins niche width index and Pianka niche overlap index, this paper analyzed the ecological competition between constructive and dominant species in a typical steppe. The stem- and leaf extracts from the constructive species (Artemisia sacrorum) were utilized to study their allelopathic potential on the seed germination and plant growth of the dominant species (Stipa bungeana, Thymus mongolicus, S. grandis, and Leymus secalinus), and the ecological position of A. sacrorum in the steppe succession. In the steppe, S. bungeana had the widest niche width (0.99), followed by T. mongolicus (0.94), A. sacrorum (0.82), S. grandis (0.76), and L. secalinus (0.73). The niche overlap value between A. sacrorum and S. bungeana, S. bungeana and T. mongolicus, T. mongolicus and S. grandis, and A. sacrorum and T. mongolicus was 0.90, 0.95, 0.94, and 0.86, respectively. The allelopathic effects of A. sacrorum extracts varied with their concentration. For the seed germination, root growth, and shoot growth of the dominant species, A. sacrorum extracts showed a trend of promoting at low concentrations and inhibiting at high concentrations. The extracts of A. sacrorum had a stronger promotion effect on the root growth of S. bungeana than on that of T. mongolicus, but a stronger inhibition effect on the shoot growth of T. mongolicus than on that of S. bungeana. Methanol extracts had stronger allelopathic effects than aqueous extracts. The high niche overlap between A. sacrorum and S. bungeana, and T. mongolicus and S. grandis indicated that the steppe community would continue succession to S. bungeana, while A. sacrorum population was only an important transitional stage during the succession. The allelopathic effect of A. sacrorum played a driving role in the succession process.

  15. Thematic Composition and Idiom Variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cserép Attila

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA has been studied to retrieve variant forms of semantically decomposable idioms that have no thematic composition for the purpose of determining whether thematic composition is a necessary criterion for idiom variation as claimed by Horn (2003. The syntactic variants searched for include passive, raising, tough-movement, relative clauses and wh-questions. Horn’s (2003 hypothesis is not fully confirmed, as some variation has been found.

  16. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells regulate the regeneration of their niche by secreting Angiopoietin-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Bo O; Ding, Lei; Morrison, Sean J

    2015-01-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are maintained by a perivascular niche in bone marrow but it is unclear whether the niche is reciprocally regulated by HSCs. Here, we systematically assessed the expression and function of Angiopoietin-1 (Angpt1) in bone marrow. Angpt1 was not expressed by osteoblasts. Angpt1 was most highly expressed by HSCs, and at lower levels by c-kit+ hematopoietic progenitors, megakaryocytes, and Leptin Receptor+ (LepR+) stromal cells. Global conditional deletion of Angpt1, or deletion from osteoblasts, LepR+ cells, Nes-cre-expressing cells, megakaryocytes, endothelial cells or hematopoietic cells in normal mice did not affect hematopoiesis, HSC maintenance, or HSC quiescence. Deletion of Angpt1 from hematopoietic cells and LepR+ cells had little effect on vasculature or HSC frequency under steady-state conditions but accelerated vascular and hematopoietic recovery after irradiation while increasing vascular leakiness. Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and LepR+ stromal cells regulate niche regeneration by secreting Angpt1, reducing vascular leakiness but slowing niche recovery. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05521.001 PMID:25821987

  17. Proximity-Based Differential Single-Cell Analysis of the Niche to Identify Stem/Progenitor Cell Regulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberstein, Lev; Goncalves, Kevin A; Kharchenko, Peter V; Turcotte, Raphael; Kfoury, Youmna; Mercier, Francois; Baryawno, Ninib; Severe, Nicolas; Bachand, Jacqueline; Spencer, Joel A; Papazian, Ani; Lee, Dongjun; Chitteti, Brahmananda Reddy; Srour, Edward F; Hoggatt, Jonathan; Tate, Tiffany; Lo Celso, Cristina; Ono, Noriaki; Nutt, Stephen; Heino, Jyrki; Sipilä, Kalle; Shioda, Toshihiro; Osawa, Masatake; Lin, Charles P; Hu, Guo-Fu; Scadden, David T

    2016-10-06

    Physiological stem cell function is regulated by secreted factors produced by niche cells. In this study, we describe an unbiased approach based on the differential single-cell gene expression analysis of mesenchymal osteolineage cells close to, and further removed from, hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) to identify candidate niche factors. Mesenchymal cells displayed distinct molecular profiles based on their relative location. We functionally examined, among the genes that were preferentially expressed in proximal cells, three secreted or cell-surface molecules not previously connected to HSPC biology-the secreted RNase angiogenin, the cytokine IL18, and the adhesion molecule Embigin-and discovered that all of these factors are HSPC quiescence regulators. Therefore, our proximity-based differential single-cell approach reveals molecular heterogeneity within niche cells and can be used to identify novel extrinsic stem/progenitor cell regulators. Similar approaches could also be applied to other stem cell/niche pairs to advance the understanding of microenvironmental regulation of stem cell function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Predicting fundamental and realized distributions based on thermal niche: A case study of a freshwater turtle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, João Fabrício Mota; Coelho, Marco Túlio Pacheco; Ribeiro, Bruno R.

    2018-04-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) have been broadly used in ecology to address theoretical and practical problems. Currently, there are two main approaches to generate SDMs: (i) correlative, which is based on species occurrences and environmental predictor layers and (ii) process-based models, which are constructed based on species' functional traits and physiological tolerances. The distributions estimated by each approach are based on different components of species niche. Predictions of correlative models approach species realized niches, while predictions of process-based are more akin to species fundamental niche. Here, we integrated the predictions of fundamental and realized distributions of the freshwater turtle Trachemys dorbigni. Fundamental distribution was estimated using data of T. dorbigni's egg incubation temperature, and realized distribution was estimated using species occurrence records. Both types of distributions were estimated using the same regression approaches (logistic regression and support vector machines), both considering macroclimatic and microclimatic temperatures. The realized distribution of T. dorbigni was generally nested in its fundamental distribution reinforcing theoretical assumptions that the species' realized niche is a subset of its fundamental niche. Both modelling algorithms produced similar results but microtemperature generated better results than macrotemperature for the incubation model. Finally, our results reinforce the conclusion that species realized distributions are constrained by other factors other than just thermal tolerances.

  19. To predict the niche, model colonization and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Yackulic; James D. Nichols; Janice Reid; Ricky Der

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists frequently try to predict the future geographic distributions of species. Most studies assume that the current distribution of a species reflects its environmental requirements (i.e., the species’ niche). However, the current distributions of many species are unlikely to be at equilibrium with the current distribution of environmental conditions, both...

  20. Stem Cell Niches in Glioblastoma: A Neuropathological View

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Schiffer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma (GBM stem cells (GSCs, responsible for tumor growth, recurrence, and resistance to therapies, are considered the real therapeutic target, if they had no molecular mechanisms of resistance, in comparison with the mass of more differentiated cells which are insensitive to therapies just because of being differentiated and nonproliferating. GSCs occur in tumor niches where both stemness status and angiogenesis are conditioned by the microenvironment. In both perivascular and perinecrotic niches, hypoxia plays a fundamental role. Fifteen glioblastomas have been studied by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence for stemness and differentiation antigens. It has been found that circumscribed necroses develop inside hyperproliferating areas that are characterized by high expression of stemness antigens. Necrosis developed inside them because of the imbalance between the proliferation of tumor cells and endothelial cells; it reduces the number of GSCs to a thin ring around the former hyperproliferating area. The perinecrotic GSCs are nothing else that the survivors remnants of those populating hyperproliferating areas. In the tumor, GSCs coincide with malignant areas so that the need to detect where they are located is not so urgent.

  1. Satellite Cells and the Muscle Stem Cell Niche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Hang; Price, Feodor

    2013-01-01

    Adult skeletal muscle in mammals is a stable tissue under normal circumstances but has remarkable ability to repair after injury. Skeletal muscle regeneration is a highly orchestrated process involving the activation of various cellular and molecular responses. As skeletal muscle stem cells, satellite cells play an indispensible role in this process. The self-renewing proliferation of satellite cells not only maintains the stem cell population but also provides numerous myogenic cells, which proliferate, differentiate, fuse, and lead to new myofiber formation and reconstitution of a functional contractile apparatus. The complex behavior of satellite cells during skeletal muscle regeneration is tightly regulated through the dynamic interplay between intrinsic factors within satellite cells and extrinsic factors constituting the muscle stem cell niche/microenvironment. For the last half century, the advance of molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics has greatly improved our understanding of skeletal muscle biology. Here, we review some recent advances, with focuses on functions of satellite cells and their niche during the process of skeletal muscle regeneration. PMID:23303905

  2. THE FRACTAL MARKET HYPOTHESIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FELICIA RAMONA BIRAU

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In this article, the concept of capital market is analysed using Fractal Market Hypothesis which is a modern, complex and unconventional alternative to classical finance methods. Fractal Market Hypothesis is in sharp opposition to Efficient Market Hypothesis and it explores the application of chaos theory and fractal geometry to finance. Fractal Market Hypothesis is based on certain assumption. Thus, it is emphasized that investors did not react immediately to the information they receive and of course, the manner in which they interpret that information may be different. Also, Fractal Market Hypothesis refers to the way that liquidity and investment horizons influence the behaviour of financial investors.

  3. Time-specific ecological niche modeling predicts spatial dynamics of vector insects and human dengue cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, A Townsend; Martínez-Campos, Carmen; Nakazawa, Yoshinori; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2005-09-01

    Numerous human diseases-malaria, dengue, yellow fever and leishmaniasis, to name a few-are transmitted by insect vectors with brief life cycles and biting activity that varies in both space and time. Although the general geographic distributions of these epidemiologically important species are known, the spatiotemporal variation in their emergence and activity remains poorly understood. We used ecological niche modeling via a genetic algorithm to produce time-specific predictive models of monthly distributions of Aedes aegypti in Mexico in 1995. Significant predictions of monthly mosquito activity and distributions indicate that predicting spatiotemporal dynamics of disease vector species is feasible; significant coincidence with human cases of dengue indicate that these dynamics probably translate directly into transmission of dengue virus to humans. This approach provides new potential for optimizing use of resources for disease prevention and remediation via automated forecasting of disease transmission risk.

  4. THE FRACTAL MARKET HYPOTHESIS

    OpenAIRE

    FELICIA RAMONA BIRAU

    2012-01-01

    In this article, the concept of capital market is analysed using Fractal Market Hypothesis which is a modern, complex and unconventional alternative to classical finance methods. Fractal Market Hypothesis is in sharp opposition to Efficient Market Hypothesis and it explores the application of chaos theory and fractal geometry to finance. Fractal Market Hypothesis is based on certain assumption. Thus, it is emphasized that investors did not react immediately to the information they receive and...

  5. A pursuit of lineage-specific and niche-specific proteome features in the world of archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy Chowdhury, Anindya; Dutta, Chitra

    2012-06-12

    Archaea evoke interest among researchers for two enigmatic characteristics -a combination of bacterial and eukaryotic components in their molecular architectures and an enormous diversity in their life-style and metabolic capabilities. Despite considerable research efforts, lineage- specific/niche-specific molecular features of the whole archaeal world are yet to be fully unveiled. The study offers the first large-scale in silico proteome analysis of all archaeal species of known genome sequences with a special emphasis on methanogenic and sulphur-metabolising archaea. Overall amino acid usage in archaea is dominated by GC-bias. But the environmental factors like oxygen requirement or thermal adaptation seem to play important roles in selection of residues with no GC-bias at the codon level. All methanogens, irrespective of their thermal/salt adaptation, show higher usage of Cys and have relatively acidic proteomes, while the proteomes of sulphur-metabolisers have higher aromaticity and more positive charges. Despite of exhibiting thermophilic life-style, korarchaeota possesses an acidic proteome. Among the distinct trends prevailing in COGs (Cluster of Orthologous Groups of proteins) distribution profiles, crenarchaeal organisms display higher intra-order variations in COGs repertoire, especially in the metabolic ones, as compared to euryarchaea. All methanogens are characterised by a presence of 22 exclusive COGs. Divergences in amino acid usage, aromaticity/charge profiles and COG repertoire among methanogens and sulphur-metabolisers, aerobic and anaerobic archaea or korarchaeota and nanoarchaeota, as elucidated in the present study, point towards the presence of distinct molecular strategies for niche specialization in the archaeal world.

  6. A pursuit of lineage-specific and niche-specific proteome features in the world of archaea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy Chowdhury Anindya

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Archaea evoke interest among researchers for two enigmatic characteristics –a combination of bacterial and eukaryotic components in their molecular architectures and an enormous diversity in their life-style and metabolic capabilities. Despite considerable research efforts, lineage- specific/niche-specific molecular features of the whole archaeal world are yet to be fully unveiled. The study offers the first large-scale in silico proteome analysis of all archaeal species of known genome sequences with a special emphasis on methanogenic and sulphur-metabolising archaea. Results Overall amino acid usage in archaea is dominated by GC-bias. But the environmental factors like oxygen requirement or thermal adaptation seem to play important roles in selection of residues with no GC-bias at the codon level. All methanogens, irrespective of their thermal/salt adaptation, show higher usage of Cys and have relatively acidic proteomes, while the proteomes of sulphur-metabolisers have higher aromaticity and more positive charges. Despite of exhibiting thermophilic life-style, korarchaeota possesses an acidic proteome. Among the distinct trends prevailing in COGs (Cluster of Orthologous Groups of proteins distribution profiles, crenarchaeal organisms display higher intra-order variations in COGs repertoire, especially in the metabolic ones, as compared to euryarchaea. All methanogens are characterised by a presence of 22 exclusive COGs. Conclusions Divergences in amino acid usage, aromaticity/charge profiles and COG repertoire among methanogens and sulphur-metabolisers, aerobic and anaerobic archaea or korarchaeota and nanoarchaeota, as elucidated in the present study, point towards the presence of distinct molecular strategies for niche specialization in the archaeal world.

  7. Learning-Related Changes in Adolescents' Neural Networks during Hypothesis-Generating and Hypothesis-Understanding Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jun-Ki; Kwon, Yongju

    2012-01-01

    Fourteen science high school students participated in this study, which investigated neural-network plasticity associated with hypothesis-generating and hypothesis-understanding in learning. The students were divided into two groups and participated in either hypothesis-generating or hypothesis-understanding type learning programs, which were…

  8. 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

  9. A novel hypothesis splitting method implementation for multi-hypothesis filters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bayramoglu, Enis; Ravn, Ole; Andersen, Nils Axel

    2013-01-01

    The paper presents a multi-hypothesis filter library featuring a novel method for splitting Gaussians into ones with smaller variances. The library is written in C++ for high performance and the source code is open and free1. The multi-hypothesis filters commonly approximate the distribution tran...

  10. Coalescent Simulation and Paleodistribution Modeling for Tabebuia rosealba Do Not Support South American Dry Forest Refugia Hypothesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warita Alves de Melo

    Full Text Available Studies based on contemporary plant occurrences and pollen fossil records have proposed that the current disjunct distribution of seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs across South America is the result of fragmentation of a formerly widespread and continuously distributed dry forest during the arid climatic conditions associated with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, which is known as the modern-day dry forest refugia hypothesis. We studied the demographic history of Tabebuia rosealba (Bignoniaceae to understand the disjunct geographic distribution of South American SDTFs based on statistical phylogeography and ecological niche modeling (ENM. We specifically tested the dry forest refugia hypothesis; i.e., if the multiple and isolated patches of SDTFs are current climatic relicts of a widespread and continuously distributed dry forest during the LGM. We sampled 235 individuals across 18 populations in Central Brazil and analyzed the polymorphisms at chloroplast (trnS-trnG, psbA-trnH and ycf6-trnC intergenic spacers and nuclear (ITS nrDNA genomes. We performed coalescence simulations of alternative hypotheses under demographic expectations from two a priori biogeographic hypotheses (1. the Pleistocene Arc hypothesis and, 2. a range shift to Amazon Basin and other two demographic expectances predicted by ENMs (3. expansion throughout the Neotropical South America, including Amazon Basin, and 4. retraction during the LGM. Phylogenetic analyses based on median-joining network showed haplotype sharing among populations with evidence of incomplete lineage sorting. Coalescent analyses showed smaller effective population sizes for T. roseoalba during the LGM compared to the present-day. Simulations and ENM also showed that its current spatial pattern of genetic diversity is most likely due to a scenario of range retraction during the LGM instead of the fragmentation from a once extensive and largely contiguous SDTF across South America, not supporting the

  11. Coalescent Simulation and Paleodistribution Modeling for Tabebuia rosealba Do Not Support South American Dry Forest Refugia Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Melo, Warita Alves; Lima-Ribeiro, Matheus S; Terribile, Levi Carina; Collevatti, Rosane G

    2016-01-01

    Studies based on contemporary plant occurrences and pollen fossil records have proposed that the current disjunct distribution of seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs) across South America is the result of fragmentation of a formerly widespread and continuously distributed dry forest during the arid climatic conditions associated with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which is known as the modern-day dry forest refugia hypothesis. We studied the demographic history of Tabebuia rosealba (Bignoniaceae) to understand the disjunct geographic distribution of South American SDTFs based on statistical phylogeography and ecological niche modeling (ENM). We specifically tested the dry forest refugia hypothesis; i.e., if the multiple and isolated patches of SDTFs are current climatic relicts of a widespread and continuously distributed dry forest during the LGM. We sampled 235 individuals across 18 populations in Central Brazil and analyzed the polymorphisms at chloroplast (trnS-trnG, psbA-trnH and ycf6-trnC intergenic spacers) and nuclear (ITS nrDNA) genomes. We performed coalescence simulations of alternative hypotheses under demographic expectations from two a priori biogeographic hypotheses (1. the Pleistocene Arc hypothesis and, 2. a range shift to Amazon Basin) and other two demographic expectances predicted by ENMs (3. expansion throughout the Neotropical South America, including Amazon Basin, and 4. retraction during the LGM). Phylogenetic analyses based on median-joining network showed haplotype sharing among populations with evidence of incomplete lineage sorting. Coalescent analyses showed smaller effective population sizes for T. roseoalba during the LGM compared to the present-day. Simulations and ENM also showed that its current spatial pattern of genetic diversity is most likely due to a scenario of range retraction during the LGM instead of the fragmentation from a once extensive and largely contiguous SDTF across South America, not supporting the South

  12. 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...

  13. Variability: A Pernicious Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noddings, Nel

    1992-01-01

    The hypothesis of greater male variability in test results is discussed in its historical context, and reasons feminists have objected to the hypothesis are considered. The hypothesis acquires political importance if it is considered that variability results from biological, rather than cultural, differences. (SLD)

  14. Rationality, practice variation and person?centred health policy: a threshold hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Djulbegovic, Benjamin; Hamm, Robert M.; Mayrhofer, Thomas; Hozo, Iztok; Van den Ende, Jef

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Variation in practice of medicine is one of the major health policy issues of today. Ultimately, it is related to physicians' decision making. Similar patients with similar likelihood of having disease are often managed by different doctors differently: some doctors may elect to observe the patient, others decide to act based on diagnostic testing and yet others may elect to treat without testing. We explain these differences in practice by differences in disease probability threshol...

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. Mercury accumulation in marine bivalves: Influences of biodynamics and feeding niche

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pan Ke [Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon (Hong Kong); Wang Wenxiong, E-mail: wwang@ust.hk [Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon (Hong Kong)

    2011-10-15

    Differences in the accumulation of mercury (Hg) in five species of marine bivalves, including scallops Chlamys nobilis, clams Ruditapes philippinarum, oysters Saccostrea cucullata, green mussels Perna viridis, and black mussels Septifer virgatus, were investigated. The bivalves displayed different patterns of Hg accumulation in terms of the body concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg) and total Hg (THg), as well as the ratio of MeHg to THg. Parameters of the biodynamics of the accumulation of Hg(II) and MeHg could reflect the species-dependent Hg concentrations in the bivalves. With the exception of black mussels, we found a significant relationship between the efflux rates of Hg(II) and the THg concentrations in the bivalves. The interspecific variations in the MeHg to THg ratio were largely controlled by the relative difference between the elimination rates of Hg(II) and MeHg. Stable isotope ({delta}{sup 13}C) analysis indicated that the five bivalve species had contrasting feeding niches, which may also affect the Hg accumulation. - Highlights: > Significant difference in Hg accumulation and MeHg:THg ratio in different bivalves. > THg concentrations in the bivalves were generally related to the efflux rates of Hg(II). > Elimination of Hg(II) and MeHg controlled the interspecific variation in MeHg:THg ratio. > MeHg and THg concentrations reflect the interaction of Hg biodynamics and food. - The species-specific body concentrations of MeHg and THg in bivalves reflect the complicated interaction between the biodynamics of Hg(II) and MeHg and the different food sources.

  18. Unveiling current Guanaco distribution in chile based upon niche structure of phylogeographic lineages: Andean puna to subpolar forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio; Marín, Juan Carlos; Estades, Cristián F

    2013-01-01

    Niche description and differentiation at broad geographic scales have been recent major topics in ecology and evolution. Describing the environmental niche structure of sister taxa with known evolutionary trajectories stands out as a useful exercise in understanding niche requirements. Here we model the environmental niche structure and distribution of the recently resolved phylogeography of guanaco (Lama guanicoe) lineages on the western slope of the southern Andes. Using a maximum entropy framework, field data, and information on climate, topography, human density, and vegetation cover, we identify differences between the two subspecies (L.g.cacsilensis, L.g.guanicoe) and their intermediate-hybrid lineage, that most likely determine the distribution of this species. While aridity seems to be a major factor influencing the distribution at the species-level (annual precipitation ecological and/or evolutionary processes are shaping the niche of guanacos in Chile, producing discrepancies when comparing range distribution at the species-level (81,756 km(2)) with lineages-level (65,321 km(2)). The subspecies-specific description of niche structure is provided here based upon detailed spatial distribution of the lineages of guanacos in Chile. Such description provides a scientific tool to further develop large scale plans for habitat conservation and preservation of intraspecific genetic variability for this far ranging South American camelid, which inhabits a diversity of ecoregion types from Andean puna to subpolar forests.

  19. A critique of statistical hypothesis testing in clinical research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somik Raha

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Many have documented the difficulty of using the current paradigm of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs to test and validate the effectiveness of alternative medical systems such as Ayurveda. This paper critiques the applicability of RCTs for all clinical knowledge-seeking endeavors, of which Ayurveda research is a part. This is done by examining statistical hypothesis testing, the underlying foundation of RCTs, from a practical and philosophical perspective. In the philosophical critique, the two main worldviews of probability are that of the Bayesian and the frequentist. The frequentist worldview is a special case of the Bayesian worldview requiring the unrealistic assumptions of knowing nothing about the universe and believing that all observations are unrelated to each other. Many have claimed that the first belief is necessary for science, and this claim is debunked by comparing variations in learning with different prior beliefs. Moving beyond the Bayesian and frequentist worldviews, the notion of hypothesis testing itself is challenged on the grounds that a hypothesis is an unclear distinction, and assigning a probability on an unclear distinction is an exercise that does not lead to clarity of action. This critique is of the theory itself and not any particular application of statistical hypothesis testing. A decision-making frame is proposed as a way of both addressing this critique and transcending ideological debates on probability. An example of a Bayesian decision-making approach is shown as an alternative to statistical hypothesis testing, utilizing data from a past clinical trial that studied the effect of Aspirin on heart attacks in a sample population of doctors. As a big reason for the prevalence of RCTs in academia is legislation requiring it, the ethics of legislating the use of statistical methods for clinical research is also examined.

  20. Physiopathological Hypothesis of Cellulite

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Godoy, José Maria Pereira; de Godoy, Maria de Fátima Guerreiro

    2009-01-01

    A series of questions are asked concerning this condition including as regards to its name, the consensus about the histopathological findings, physiological hypothesis and treatment of the disease. We established a hypothesis for cellulite and confirmed that the clinical response is compatible with this hypothesis. Hence this novel approach brings a modern physiological concept with physiopathologic basis and clinical proof of the hypothesis. We emphasize that the choice of patient, correct diagnosis of cellulite and the technique employed are fundamental to success. PMID:19756187

  1. Oxygen effect and intracellular oxygen content (adaptation hypothesis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yarmonenko, S P; Ehpshtejn, I M [Akademiya Meditsinskikh Nauk SSSR, Moscow. Onkologicheskij Tsentr

    1977-01-01

    Experimental data indicating that a radiomodifying action of hypoxia is dependent on the ''prehistory'' of the irradiated object are considered. This dependence manifests itself in a decreased protective action of acute hypoxia on the hypoxia-adapted objects. To explain this a hypothesis is proposed connecting a degree of cell radiosensitivity modification, determined by the oxygen effect, with the intracellular oxygen content. The latter, in accord with current ideas, is regulated by variations in the diffusion resistance to oxygen shown by the cytoplasmic membranes depending on the energy level of the cell and the degree of its oxygenation.

  2. Oxygen effect and intracellular oxygen content (adaptation hypothesis)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yarmonenko, S.P.; Ehpshtejn, I.M.

    1977-01-01

    Experimental data indicating that a radiomodifying action of hypoxia is dependent on the ''prehistory'' of the irradiated object are considered. This dependence manifests itself in a decreased protective action of acute hypoxia on the hypoxia-adapted objects. To explain this a hypothesis is proposed connecting a degree of cell radiosensitivity modification, determined by the oxygen effect, with the intracellular oxygen content. The latter, in accord with current ideas, is regulated by variations in the diffusion resistance to oxygen shown by the cytoplasmic membranes depending on the energy level of the cell and the degree of its oxygenation

  3. Sex ratios in the two Germanies: a test of the economic stress hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catalano, Ralph A

    2003-09-01

    Literature describing temporal variation in the secondary sex ratio among humans reports an association between population stressors and declines in the odds of male birth. Explanations of this phenomenon draw on reports that stressed females spontaneously abort male more than female fetuses, and that stressed males exhibit reduced sperm motility. This work has led to the argument that population stress induced by a declining economy reduces the human sex ratio. No direct test of this hypothesis appears in the literature. Here, a test is offered based on a comparison of the sex ratio in East and West Germany for the years 1946 to 1999. The theory suggests that the East German sex ratio should be lower in 1991, when East Germany's economy collapsed, than expected from its own history and from the sex ratio in West Germany. The hypothesis is tested using time-series modelling methods. The data support the hypothesis. The sex ratio in East Germany was at its lowest in 1991. This first direct test supports the hypothesis that economic decline reduces the human sex ratio.

  4. Phylogenetic climatic niche conservatism and evolution of climatic suitability in Neotropical Angraecinae (Vandeae, Orchidaceae) and their closest African relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolanowska, Marta; Grochocka, Elżbieta; Konowalik, Kamil

    2017-01-01

    In the present study we investigate the concept of phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) within the American species of angraecoid orchids ( Campylocentrum and Dendrophylax ) and their closest relatives in the Old World ( Angraecum ) using ecological niche modelling (ENM). The predicted niche occupancy profiles were matched with the outcomes of previous phylogenetic studies to reconstruct the evolution of climatic suitability within the orchid group studied and evaluate the role of niche differentiation in the speciation of Angraecinae. No correlation between preferred niches and taxonomic relationships within the orchid group studied was revealed. The climatic suitability of the majority of the species overlapped each other, either fully or partially. This pattern is also present in the species of other orchid genera. Our research confirms a significant level of PNC in Orchidaceae, even within taxa exhibiting a transatlantic disjunction. The analysis of the evolution of climatic suitability indicated that the adaptation to various climatic conditions is not a factor that has driven speciation within orchids studied.

  5. Phylogenetic climatic niche conservatism and evolution of climatic suitability in Neotropical Angraecinae (Vandeae, Orchidaceae) and their closest African relatives

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kolanowska, Marta; Grochocka, E.; Konowalik, K.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 5, may (2017), č. článku e3328. ISSN 2167-8359 R&D Projects: GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : campylocentrum orchidaceae * molecular phylogenetics * environmental niches * costa-rica * diversity * models * speciation * ecology * pollination * divergence * Angraecinae * Ecological niche modeling * Orchidaceae * Phylogenetic niche conservatism * Angraecum * Campylocentrum * Dendrophylax Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 2.177, year: 2016

  6. Unveiling current Guanaco distribution in chile based upon niche structure of phylogeographic lineages: Andean puna to subpolar forests.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benito A González

    Full Text Available Niche description and differentiation at broad geographic scales have been recent major topics in ecology and evolution. Describing the environmental niche structure of sister taxa with known evolutionary trajectories stands out as a useful exercise in understanding niche requirements. Here we model the environmental niche structure and distribution of the recently resolved phylogeography of guanaco (Lama guanicoe lineages on the western slope of the southern Andes. Using a maximum entropy framework, field data, and information on climate, topography, human density, and vegetation cover, we identify differences between the two subspecies (L.g.cacsilensis, L.g.guanicoe and their intermediate-hybrid lineage, that most likely determine the distribution of this species. While aridity seems to be a major factor influencing the distribution at the species-level (annual precipitation <900 mm, we also document important differences in niche specificity for each subspecies, where distribution of Northern lineage is explained mainly by elevation (mean = 3,413 m and precipitation seasonality (mean = 161 mm, hybrid lineage by annual precipitation (mean = 139 mm, and Southern subspecies by annual precipitation (mean = 553 mm, precipitation seasonality (mean = 21 mm and grass cover (mean = 8.2%. Among lineages, we detected low levels of niche overlap: I (Similarity Index = 0.06 and D (Schoener's Similarity Index = 0.01; and higher levels when comparing Northern and Southern subspecies with hybrids lineage ( I = 0.32-0.10 and D = 0.12-0.03, respectively. This suggests that important ecological and/or evolutionary processes are shaping the niche of guanacos in Chile, producing discrepancies when comparing range distribution at the species-level (81,756 km(2 with lineages-level (65,321 km(2. The subspecies-specific description of niche structure is provided here based upon detailed spatial distribution of the lineages of guanacos in Chile. Such description

  7. Discovery of fungus-mite mutualism in a unique niche

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roets, F; Wingfield, M J; Crous, P W; Dreyer, L L

    2007-01-01

    The floral heads (infructescences) of South African Protea L. represent a most unusual niche for fungi of the economically important genus Ophiostoma Syd. and P. Syd. emend. Z.W. de Beer et al. Current consensus holds that most members of Ophiostoma are vectored by tree-infesting bark beetles.

  8. Human cultures as niche constructions within the solar system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Vliert, Evert

    This commentary seeks to refine Kashima’s (2016) timely and topical but too-general call for embedding culture within the planetary ecosystem. My starting point is that cultures are to an underestimated extent ongoing niche constructions within the merry-go-round of the Sun’s radiation, the Earth’s

  9. Dental calculus indicates widespread plant use within the stable Neanderthal dietary niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Robert C; Salazar-García, Domingo C; Rubini, Mauro; Darlas, Andrea; Harvati, Katerina; Walker, Michael; Hublin, Jean-Jacques; Henry, Amanda G

    2018-06-01

    The ecology of Neanderthals is a pressing question in the study of hominin evolution. Diet appears to have played a prominent role in their adaptation to Eurasia. Based on isotope and zooarchaeological studies, Neanderthal diet has been reconstructed as heavily meat-based and generally similar across different environments. This image persists, despite recent studies suggesting more plant use and more variation. However, we have only a fragmentary picture of their dietary ecology, and how it may have varied among habitats, because we lack broad and environmentally representative information about their use of plants and other foods. To address the problem, we examined the plant microremains in Neanderthal dental calculus from five archaeological sites representing a variety of environments from the northern Balkans, and the western, central and eastern Mediterranean. The recovered microremains revealed the consumption of a variety of non-animal foods, including starchy plants. Using a modeling approach, we explored the relationships among microremains and environment, while controlling for chronology. In the process, we compared the effectiveness of various diversity metrics and their shortcomings for studying microbotanical remains, which are often morphologically redundant for identification. We developed Minimum Botanical Units as a new way of estimating how many plant types or parts are present in a microbotanical sample. In contrast to some previous work, we found no evidence that plant use is confined to the southern-most areas of Neanderthal distribution. Although interpreting the ecogeographic variation is limited by the incomplete preservation of dietary microremains, it is clear that plant exploitation was a widespread and deeply rooted Neanderthal subsistence strategy, even if they were predominately game hunters. Given the limited dietary variation across Neanderthal range in time and space in both plant and animal food exploitation, we argue that

  10. S100 chemokines mediate bookmarking of premetastatic niches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafii, Shahin; Lyden, David

    2010-01-01

    Primary tumours release soluble factors, including VEGF-A, TGFβ and TNFα, which induce expression of the chemokines S100A8 and S100A9 in the myeloid and endothelial cells within the lung before tumour metastasis. These chemokine-activated premetastatic niches support adhesion and invasion of disseminating malignant cells, thereby establishing a fertile habitat for metastatic tumours. PMID:17139281

  11. Behavioural environments and niche construction: the evolution of dim-light foraging in bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wcislo, William T; Tierney, Simon M

    2009-02-01

    Most bees forage for floral resources during the day, but temporal patterns of foraging activity vary extensively, and foraging in dim-light environments has evolved repeatedly. Facultative dim-light foraging behaviour is known in five of nine families of bees, while obligate behaviour is known in four families and evolved independently at least 19 times. The light intensity under which bees forage varies by a factor of 10(8), and therefore the evolution of dim-light foraging represents the invasion of a new, extreme niche. The repeated evolution of dim-light foraging behaviour in bees allows tests of the hypothesis that behaviour acts as an evolutionary pacemaker. With the exception of one species of Apis, facultative dim-light foragers show no external structural traits that are thought to enable visually mediated flight behaviour in low-light environments. By contrast, most obligate dim-light foragers show a suite of convergent optical traits such as enlarged ocelli and compound eyes. In one intensively studied species (Megalopta genalis) these optical changes are associated with neurobiological changes to enhance photon capture. The available ecological evidence suggests that an escape from competition for pollen and nectar resources and avoidance of natural enemies are driving factors in the evolution of obligate dim-light foraging.

  12. Etiology of Cesarean Uterine Scar Defect (Niche): Detailed Critical Analysis of Hypotheses and Prevention Strategies and Peritoneal Closure Debate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sholapurkar, Shashikant L

    2018-03-01

    There is an increasing incidence of cesarean scar (CS) defect/niche and its sequelae, probably not entirely explained by better diagnosis or rising cesarean rate. Discussion of possible etiological factors has received scant attention but would be important to formulate preventive strategies. Meaningful informative studies on long-term sequelae of cesarean section are very difficult and none are available for causation of CS defect. Hence, it is crucial to identify key areas in etiology of CS defect for focused research. This practical review proposes an "ischemia and mal-apposition hypothesis for CS niche", stating that the surgical technique of uterine incision closure is the most important determinant of CS defect formation. Other factors such as cervical location incision, adhesion formation and patient specific factors seem far less important in etiology. Rather than the headline theme of "single versus double-layer closure of uterus", the finer details of surgical technique which achieve good apposition without inducing tissue ischemia seem more important. Different techniques are discussed and it is proposed that continuous, non-locking absorbable sutures in two layers, without including much of decidua and without undue tight (constricting/devasculaizing) pulling of sutures are likely to result in good healing of uterine scar. Single-layer technique may be best reserved for thin myometrial edges especially during repeat cesareans. Adhesions between uterine isthmus and bladder/abdominal wall seem common associations but not causative for CS niche. It would be desirable to prove these surgical principles by good quality prospective randomized "quantitative" studies but the wait may be very long and this should not hinder the adoption of good surgical principles. Science is much cognitive and not just empirical. To consider a related example, the current recommendation of non-suturing of peritoneal layers during cesarean is mistakenly based on short

  13. Autoimmunity and asthma: The dirt on the hygiene hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannie, Mark D

    2010-04-01

    Self peptides shape T-cell development through selectional processes in the thymus and secondary lymphoid organs to promote a diverse and balanced repertoire of conventional and regulatory T cells. Foreign proteins and their derivative peptides permeate our mucosal tissues to constitute another diverse array of peptides that may specify and diversify the mucosal T-cell repertoire. Indeed, the distinction between self peptides and environmental foreign peptides may be academic if both are present constantly within the body. The premise here is that the plethora of foreign peptides, present ubiquitously in our environment and body, form homeostatic niches to foster highly diversified repertoires of conventional and regulatory T cells that recognize persistent environmental peptides as self. Highly diversified repertoires that recognize myriads of self and environmental foreign peptides as homeostatic ligands may be critical for adaptive distinctions of friend or foe in mucosal tissues. The change from our agrarian past to the highly sterile environments of today may adversely impact the diversity and concentrations of foreign peptides that shape the mucosal T-cell repertoire. Various hygiene hypotheses postulate that the lack of factors such as infectious pathogens, innate receptor engagement or Th1 bias is key to the marked increase in immunological disease in modern society. In this version of the hygiene hypothesis, highly diverse constellations of innocuous environmental peptides are postulated to be the critical factor for immune balance and homeostasis.

  14. Intraspecific ecological niche divergence and reproductive shifts foster cytotype displacement and provide ecological opportunity to polyploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunarathne, Piyal; Schedler, Mara; Martínez, Eric J; Honfi, Ana I; Novichkova, Anastasiia; Hojsgaard, Diego

    2018-05-11

    Niche divergence between polyploids and their lower ploidy progenitors is one of the primary mechanisms fostering polyploid establishment and adaptive divergence. However, within-species chromosomal and reproductive variability have usually been neglected in community ecology and biodiversity analyses even though they have been recognized to play a role in the adaptive diversification of lineages. We used Paspalum intermedium, a grass species with diverging genetic systems (diploidy vs. autopolyploidy, allogamy vs. autogamy and sexuality vs. apomixis), to recognize the causality of biogeographic patterns, adaptation and ecological flexibility of cytotypes. Chromosome counts and flow cytometry were used to characterize within-species genetic systems diversity. Environmental niche modelling was used to evaluate intraspecific ecological attributes associated with environmental and climatic factors and to assess correlations among ploidy, reproductive modes and ecological conditions ruling species' population dynamics, range expansion, adaptation and evolutionary history. Two dominant cytotypes non-randomly distributed along local and regional geographical scales displayed niche differentiation, a directional shift in niche optima and signs of disruptive selection on ploidy-related ecological aptitudes for the exploitation of environmental resources. Ecologically specialized allogamous sexual diploids were found in northern areas associated with higher temperature, humidity and productivity, while generalist autogamous apomictic tetraploids occurred in southern areas, occupying colder and less productive environments. Four localities with a documented shift in ploidy and four mixed populations in a zone of ecological transition revealed an uneven replacement between cytotypes. Polyploidy and contrasting reproductive traits between cytotypes have promoted shifts in niche optima, and increased ecological tolerance and niche divergence. Ecologically specialized diploids

  15. Niche separation in flycatcher-like species in the lowland rainforests of Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Ramli, Rosli

    2017-07-01

    Niche theory suggests that sympatric species reduce interspecific competition through segregation of shared resources by adopting different attack manoeuvres. However, the fact that flycatcher-like bird species exclusively use the sally manoeuvre may thus challenge this view. We studied the foraging ecology of three flycatcher-like species (i.e. Paradise-flycatcher Terpsiphone sp., Black-naped Monarch Hypothymis azurea, and Rufous-winged Philentoma Philentoma pyrhoptera) in the Krau Wildlife Reserve in central Peninsular Malaysia. We investigated foraging preferences of each bird species and the potential niche partitioning via spatial or behavioural segregation. Foraging substrate was important parameter that effectively divided paradise-flycatcher from Black-naped Monarch and Rufous-winged Philentoma, where monarch and philentoma foraged mainly on live green leaves, while paradise-flycatcher foraged on the air. They also exhibited different foraging height preferences. Paradise-flycatcher, for instance, preferred the highest studied strata, while Black-naped Monarch foraged mostly in lower strata, and Rufous-winged Philentoma made use of the lowest strata. This study indicates that niche segregation occurs among sympatric species through foraging substrate and attack manoeuvres selection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Wnt6 maintains anterior escort cells as an integral component of the germline stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaoxi; Page-McCaw, Andrea

    2018-02-07

    Stem cells reside in a niche, a local environment whose cellular and molecular complexity is still being elucidated. In Drosophila ovaries, germline stem cells depend on cap cells for self-renewing signals and physical attachment. Germline stem cells also contact the anterior escort cells, and here we report that anterior escort cells are absolutely required for germline stem cell maintenance. When escort cells die from impaired Wnt signaling or hid expression, the loss of anterior escort cells causes loss of germline stem cells. Anterior escort cells function as an integral niche component by promoting DE-cadherin anchorage and by transiently expressing the Dpp ligand to promote full-strength BMP signaling in germline stem cells. Anterior escort cells are maintained by Wnt6 ligands produced by cap cells; without Wnt6 signaling, anterior escort cells die leaving vacancies in the niche, leading to loss of germline stem cells. Our data identify anterior escort cells as constituents of the germline stem cell niche, maintained by a cap cell-produced Wnt6 survival signal. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. The Satellite Cell Niche Regulates the Balance between Myoblast Differentiation and Self-Renewal via p53.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flamini, Valentina; Ghadiali, Rachel S; Antczak, Philipp; Rothwell, Amy; Turnbull, Jeremy E; Pisconti, Addolorata

    2018-03-13

    Satellite cells are adult muscle stem cells residing in a specialized niche that regulates their homeostasis. How niche-generated signals integrate to regulate gene expression in satellite cell-derived myoblasts is poorly understood. We undertook an unbiased approach to study the effect of the satellite cell niche on satellite cell-derived myoblast transcriptional regulation and identified the tumor suppressor p53 as a key player in the regulation of myoblast quiescence. After activation and proliferation, a subpopulation of myoblasts cultured in the presence of the niche upregulates p53 and fails to differentiate. When satellite cell self-renewal is modeled ex vivo in a reserve cell assay, myoblasts treated with Nutlin-3, which increases p53 levels in the cell, fail to differentiate and instead become quiescent. Since both these Nutlin-3 effects are rescued by small interfering RNA-mediated p53 knockdown, we conclude that a tight control of p53 levels in myoblasts regulates the balance between differentiation and return to quiescence. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Mouse Incisor Stem Cell Niche and Myb Transcription Factors

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Švandová, Eva; Veselá, Barbora; Šmarda, J.; Hampl, A.; Radlanski, R.J.; Matalová, Eva

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 5 (2015), s. 338-344 ISSN 0340-2096 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP304/11/1418; GA ČR GCP302/12/J059 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : c-Myb * stem cell niches Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 0.615, year: 2015

  19. Osteoblastic and Vascular Endothelial Niches, Their Control on Normal Hematopoietic Stem Cells, and Their Consequences on the Development of Leukemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bella S. Guerrouahen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Stem cell self-renewal is regulated by intrinsic mechanisms and extrinsic signals mediated via specialized microenvironments called “niches.” The best-characterized stem cell is the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC. Self-renewal and differentiation ability of HSC are regulated by two major elements: endosteal and vascular regulatory elements. The osteoblastic niche localized at the inner surface of the bone cavity might serve as a reservoir for long-term HSC storage in a quiescent state. Whereas the vascular niche, which consists of sinusoidal endothelial cell lining blood vessel, provides an environment for short-term HSC proliferation and differentiation. Both niches act together to maintain hematopoietic homeostasis. In this paper, we provide some principles applying to the hematopoietic niches, which will be useful in the study and understanding of other stem cell niches. We will discuss altered microenvironment signaling leading to myeloid lineage disease. And finally, we will review some data on the development of acute myeloid leukemia from a subpopulation called leukemia-initiating cells (LIC, and we will discuss on the emerging evidences supporting the influence of the microenvironment on chemotherapy resistance.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Sustainable energy transitions in emerging economies: The formation of a palm oil biomass waste-to-energy niche in Malaysia 1990–2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, Ulrich Elmer; Nygaard, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    The economic development in emerging economies in Southeast Asia has significantly increased the use of fossil fuel based energy. This has severe implications for global climate change, and against this background, scholars within the sustainable transition tradition have taken an interest in addressing how transitions towards more sustainable development pathways in this region may be achieved. This paper contributes to the abovementioned literature by examining the conducive and limiting factors for development and proliferation of a palm oil biomass waste-to-energy niche in Malaysia during the period 1990–2011. Rising oil prices, strong pressure on the palm oil industry from environmental groups, and a persisting palm oil biomass waste disposal problem in Malaysia appear to have been conducive to niche proliferation, and on top of this national renewable energy policies and large-scale donor programmes have specifically supported the utilisation of palm oil biomass waste for energy. However, in spite of this, the niche development process has only made slow progress. The paper identifies reluctant implementation of energy policy, rise in biomass resource prices, limited network formation and negative results at the niche level, as the main factors hindering niche development. - Highlights: • We examine crucial factors for developing a biomass-to-energy niche in Malaysia. • In spite of interventions for policy support the niche has only made slow progress. • Oil prices, NGO pressure, waste problems and policy support were the enabling factors. • First, reluctant implementation of energy policy was hindering niche development. • Later, low performance level of implemented plants was hindering niche development

  2. Imaging-Based Screen Identifies Laminin 411 as a Physiologically Relevant Niche Factor with Importance for i-Hep Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Ong

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Use of hepatocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (i-Heps is limited by their functional differences in comparison with primary cells. Extracellular niche factors likely play a critical role in bridging this gap. Using image-based characterization (high content analysis; HCA of freshly isolated hepatocytes from 17 human donors, we devised and validated an algorithm (Hepatocyte Likeness Index; HLI for comparing the hepatic properties of cells against a physiological gold standard. The HLI was then applied in a targeted screen of extracellular niche factors to identify substrates driving i-Heps closer to the standard. Laminin 411, the top hit, was validated in two additional induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC lines, primary tissue, and an in vitro model of α1-antitrypsin deficiency. Cumulatively, these data provide a reference method to control and screen for i-Hep differentiation, identify Laminin 411 as a key niche protein, and underscore the importance of combining substrates, soluble factors, and HCA when developing iPSC applications. : Rashid and colleagues demonstrate the utility of a high-throughput imaging platform for identification of physiologically relevant extracellular niche factors to advance i-Heps closer to their primary tissue counterparts. The extracellular matrix (ECM protein screen identified Laminin 411 as an important niche factor facilitating i-Hep-based disease modeling in vitro. Keywords: iPS hepatocytes, extracellular niche, image-based screening, disease modeling, laminin

  3. Nest-niche differentiation in two sympatric columbid species from a Mediterranean Tetraclinis woodland: Considerations for forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanane, Saâd; Yassin, Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Studies of niche partitioning among Columbid species have mainly addressed food habits and foraging activities, while partitioning in relation to nest-niche differentiation has been little studied. Here we investigate whether two sympatric columbid species-Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) and Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur)-occupy similar niches. A total of 74 nests were monitored: 37 nests for each species. The study, conducted in June 2016, attempted to determine the factors that may play a role in nest-niche differentiation among the two sympatric columbid species in a Moroccan Thuya (Tetraclinis articulata) forest. We used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to test the relevance of nest placement, proximity of food resources, forest edge and human presence variables in the nest distribution of the two species. The results show substantial niche segregation in the T. articulata nest-trees selected by Woodpigeons and Turtle doves, with selection depending primarily on the tree size and nest height. Observed nest-niche partitioning may diminish the potential for competition between these species and enhance opportunities for their coexistence. Management policies and practices aimed at ensuring the presence of mixed-sized class of Thuya trees must be prioritized. We recommend additional studies designed to: (1) reproduce the same experimental approach on other Mediterranean Thuya forests to improve our understanding of the effects of different levels of anthropogenic disturbance on the breeding behaviour of these two game species; (2) better understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of Woodpigeon and Turtle dove coexistence in the region; and (3) better identify the spatio-temporal extent of the effect of forest management on Woodpigeon and Turtle dove site occupancy.

  4. Donor Satellite Cell Engraftment is Significantly Augmented When the Host Niche is Preserved and Endogenous Satellite Cells are Incapacitated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldrin, Luisa; Neal, Alice; Zammit, Peter S; Muntoni, Francesco; Morgan, Jennifer E

    2012-01-01

    Stem cell transplantation is already in clinical practice for certain genetic diseases and is a promising therapy for dystrophic muscle. We used the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy to investigate the effect of the host satellite cell niche on the contribution of donor muscle stem cells (satellite cells) to muscle regeneration. We found that incapacitation of the host satellite cells and preservation of the muscle niche promote donor satellite cell contribution to muscle regeneration and functional reconstitution of the satellite cell compartment. But, if the host niche is not promptly refilled, or is filled by competent host satellite cells, it becomes nonfunctional and donor engraftment is negligible. Application of this regimen to aged host muscles also promotes efficient regeneration from aged donor satellite cells. In contrast, if the niche is destroyed, yet host satellite cells remain proliferation-competent, donor-derived engraftment is trivial. Thus preservation of the satellite cell niche, concomitant with functional impairment of the majority of satellite cells within dystrophic human muscles, may improve the efficiency of stem cell therapy. Stem Cells2012;30:1971–1984 PMID:22730231

  5. The Need to Study, Mimic, and Target Stem Cell Niches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vishwakarma, Ajaykumar; Rouwkema, Jeroen; Jones, Peter Anthony; Karp, Jeffrey M.; Vishwakarma, Ajaykumar; Karp, Jeffrey M.

    2017-01-01

    Despite important advances in tissue repair and regeneration over the past few decades, complete functional repair of damaged or diseased human tissues has remained elusive. Recent discoveries in stem cell niche molecular biology and biomaterials engineering may hold the key to true regeneration.

  6. 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.

  7. Evolution under changing climates: climatic niche stasis despite rapid evolution in a non-native plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Jake M

    2013-09-22

    A topic of great current interest is the capacity of populations to adapt genetically to rapidly changing climates, for example by evolving the timing of life-history events, but this is challenging to address experimentally. I use a plant invasion as a model system to tackle this question by combining molecular markers, a common garden experiment and climatic niche modelling. This approach reveals that non-native Lactuca serriola originates primarily from Europe, a climatic subset of its native range, with low rates of admixture from Asia. It has rapidly refilled its climatic niche in the new range, associated with the evolution of flowering phenology to produce clines along climate gradients that mirror those across the native range. Consequently, some non-native plants have evolved development times and grow under climates more extreme than those found in Europe, but not among populations from the native range as a whole. This suggests that many plant populations can adapt rapidly to changed climatic conditions that are already within the climatic niche space occupied by the species elsewhere in its range, but that evolution to conditions outside of this range is more difficult. These findings can also help to explain the prevalence of niche conservatism among non-native species.

  8. The Haematopoietic Stem Cell Niche: New Insights into the Mechanisms Regulating Haematopoietic Stem Cell Behaviour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. Lilly

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The concept of the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC niche was formulated by Schofield in the 1970s, as a region within the bone marrow containing functional cell types that can maintain HSC potency throughout life. Since then, ongoing research has identified numerous cell types and a plethora of signals that not only maintain HSCs, but also dictate their behaviour with respect to homeostatic requirements and exogenous stresses. It has been proposed that there are endosteal and vascular niches within the bone marrow, which are thought to regulate different HSC populations. However, recent data depicts a more complicated picture, with functional crosstalk between cells in these two regions. In this review, recent research into the endosteal/vascular cell types and signals regulating HSC behaviour are considered, together with the possibility of a single subcompartmentalised niche.

  9. Relationships between morphology, diet and spatial distribution: testing the effects of intra and interspecific morphological variations on the patterns of resource use in two Neotropical Cichlids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Lúcia A. Sampaio

    Mantel test performed at inter and intraspecific levels. Therefore the hypothesis was accepted suggesting that analyses incorporating both intraspecific and interspecific morphological variations can contribute to a greater understanding about the ecological structure of fish assemblages by providing evidences on the niche characteristics of each species.

  10. Incremental by Design? On the Role of Incumbents in Technology Niches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hain, Daniel S.; Jurowetzki, Roman

    for the rate and direction of technological progress as an outcome. Literature on sustainability transitions outlines the significance of niches and protected space for the development of path-breaking technologies in early stages. They are said to offer firms an environment to experiment in joint learning...... activities on emerging technologies shielded from the selection pressure on open markets. The engagement of large incumbent actors in the development of emerging technologies, and especially joint research projects together with young SME's, is generally positively perceived, since their high resource...... ability to direct the trajectory of technological development can to a large extend be explained by their position in the niche network. If path-dependent and cumulative characteristics such as reputation, age or size of actors are main drivers of change in these networks, evolutionary processes...

  11. Isotope niche dimension and trophic overlap between bigheaded carps and native filter-feeding fish in the lower Missouri River, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianzhu; Chapman, Duane C.; Xu, Jun; Wang, Yang; Gu, Binhe

    2018-01-01

    Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values (δ13C and δ15N) were used to evaluate trophic niche overlap between two filter-feeding fishes (known together as bigheaded carp) native to China, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), and three native filter-feeding fish including bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) and paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) in the lower Missouri River, USA, using the Bayesian Stable Isotope in R statistics. Results indicate that except for bigmouth buffalo, all species displayed similar trophic niche size and trophic diversity. Bigmouth buffalo occupied a small trophic niche and had the greatest trophic overlap with silver carp (93.6%) and bighead carp (94.1%) followed by gizzard shad (91.0%). Paddlefish had a trophic niche which relied on some resources different from those used by other species, and therefore had the lowest trophic overlap with bigheaded carp and other two native fish. The trophic overlap by bigheaded carp onto native fish was typically stronger than the reverse effects from native fish. Average niche overlap between silver carp and native species was as high as 71%, greater than niche overlap between bighead carp and native fish (64%). Our findings indicate that bigheaded carps are a potential threat to a diverse and stable native fish community.

  12. Phylogeography and Ecological Niche Modeling Reveal Reduced Genetic Diversity and Colonization Patterns of Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus; Araceae From Glacial Refugia in Eastern North America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seon-Hee Kim

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Alternating glacial and interglacial periods during the Quaternary have dramatically affected the distribution and population genetic structure of plant and animal species throughout the northern hemisphere. Surprisingly, little is known about the post-glacial recolonization history of wetland herbaceous perennials that are widely distributed in the understory of deciduous or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests in eastern North America. In this study, we investigated infraspecific variation among 32 populations of skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, to test the hypothesis that the extant species diversity of skunk cabbage is the result of a post-glacial range expansion from southern refugia during the Quaternary Ice Age. A total of 4041 base pairs (bp of the chloroplast intergenic spacer region (cpDNA was sequenced from 485 individuals sampled from glaciated (18 populations, 275 individuals and unglaciated (14 populations, 210 individuals regions east and west of the Appalachian Mountains. Haplotype number, haplotype diversity, and nucleotide diversity were calculated, and genetic variation within and among populations was assessed by analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA. The geographic pattern of genetic differentiation was further investigated with a spatial analysis of molecular variance (SAMOVA. A total of eight haplotypes and three genetic groups (SAMOVA were recovered and a much higher haplotype number (eight haplotypes and haplotype diversity (0.7425 was observed in unglaciated compared to glaciated populations (five haplotypes, haplotype diversity = 0.6099. All haplotypes found in glaciated regions represented a subset of haplotypes found in unglaciated regions. Haplotypes of S. foetidus likely diverged during the Tertiary (mid-Miocene and late Pliocene, predating the last glacial maximum (LGM. Predictions based on ecological niche modeling (ENM suggested that there was considerably less suitable habitat for skunk cabbage during the LGM

  13. Mini-review: Strategies for Variation and Evolution of Bacterial Antigens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Janet

    2015-01-01

    Across the eubacteria, antigenic variation has emerged as a strategy to evade host immunity. However, phenotypic variation in some of these antigens also allows the bacteria to exploit variable host niches as well. The specific mechanisms are not shared-derived characters although there is considerable convergent evolution and numerous commonalities reflecting considerations of natural selection and biochemical restraints. Unlike in viruses, mechanisms of antigenic variation in most bacteria involve larger DNA movement such as gene conversion or DNA rearrangement, although some antigens vary due to point mutations or modified transcriptional regulation. The convergent evolution that promotes antigenic variation integrates various evolutionary forces: these include mutations underlying variant production; drift which could remove alleles especially early in infection or during life history phases in arthropod vectors (when the bacterial population size goes through a bottleneck); selection not only for any particular variant but also for the mechanism for the production of variants (i.e., selection for mutability); and overcoming negative selection against variant production. This review highlights the complexities of drivers of antigenic variation, in particular extending evaluation beyond the commonly cited theory of immune evasion. A deeper understanding of the diversity of purpose and mechanisms of antigenic variation in bacteria will contribute to greater insight into bacterial pathogenesis, ecology and coevolution with hosts. PMID:26288700

  14. [Application of land economic ecological niche in landscape pattern analysis at county level: A case study of Jinghe County in Xinjiang, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hai-yang; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Juan; Zhou, Mei

    2015-12-01

    The theory of land economic ecological niche was used to analyze the regional landscape pattern in this article, with an aim to provide a new method for the characterization and representation of landscape pattern. The Jinghe County region, which is ecologically fragile, was selected as an example for the study, and the Landsat images of 1990, 1998, 2011 and 2013 were selected as remote sensing data. The land economic ecological niche of land use types calculated by ecostate-ecorole theory, combined with landscape ecology theory, was discussed in application of land economic ecological niche in county landscape pattern analysis. The results showed that, during the study period, the correlations between land economic ecological niche of farmland, construction land, and grassland with the parameters, including landscape patch number (NP), aggregated index (AI), fragmented index (FN) and fractal dimension (FD), were significant. Regional landscape was driven by the changes of land economic ecological niche, and the trend of economic development could be represented by land economic ecological niche change in Jinghe County. Land economic ecological niche was closely related with the land use types which could yield direct economic benefits, which could well explain the landscape pattern characteristics in Jinghe County when combined with the landscape indices.

  15. Stereotypical architecture of the stem cell niche is spatiotemporally established by miR-125-dependent coordination of Notch and steroid signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yatsenko, Andriy S; Shcherbata, Halyna R

    2018-02-08

    Stem cell niches act as signaling platforms that regulate stem cell self-renewal and sustain stem cells throughout life; however, the specific developmental events controlling their assembly are not well understood. Here, we show that during Drosophila ovarian germline stem cell niche formation, the status of Notch signaling in the cell can be reprogrammed. This is controlled via steroid-induced miR-125 , which targets a negative regulator of Notch signaling, Tom. Thus, miR-125 acts as a spatiotemporal coordinator between paracrine Notch and endocrine steroid signaling. Moreover, a dual security mechanism for Notch signaling activation exists to ensure the robustness of niche assembly. Particularly, stem cell niche cells can be specified either via lateral inhibition, in which a niche cell precursor acquires Notch signal-sending status randomly, or via peripheral induction, whereby Delta is produced by a specific cell. When one mechanism is perturbed due to mutations, developmental defects or environmental stress, the remaining mechanism ensures that the niche is formed, perhaps abnormally, but still functional. This guarantees that the germline stem cells will have their residence, thereby securing progressive oogenesis and, thus, organism reproduction. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. Immunohistochemical characterisation of the hepatic stem cell niche in feline hepatic lipidosis: a preliminary morphological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valtolina, Chiara; Robben, Joris H; Favier, Robert P; Rothuizen, Jan; Grinwis, Guy Cm; Schotanus, Baukje A; Penning, Louis C

    2018-05-01

    Objectives The aim of this study was to describe the cellular and stromal components of the hepatic progenitor cell niche in feline hepatic lipidosis (FHL). Methods Immunohistochemical staining for the progenitor/bile duct marker (K19), activated Kupffer cells (MAC387), myofibroblasts (alpha-smooth muscle actin [α-SMA]) and the extracellular matrix component laminin were used on seven liver biopsies of cats with FHL and three healthy cats. Double immunofluorescence stainings were performed to investigate co-localisation of different cell types in the hepatic progenitor cell (HPC) niche. Results HPCs, Kupffer cells, myofibroblasts and laminin deposition were observed in the liver samples of FHL, although with variability in the expression and positivity of the different immunostainings between different samples. When compared with the unaffected cats where K19 positivity and minimal α-SMA and laminin positivity were seen mainly in the portal area, in the majority of FHL samples K19 and α-SMA-positive cells and laminin positivity were seen also in the periportal and parenchymatous area. MAC387-positive cells were present throughout the parenchyma. Conclusions and relevance This is a preliminary morphological study to describe the activation and co-localisation of components of the HPC niche in FHL. Although the HPC niche in FHL resembles that described in hepatopathies in dogs and in feline lymphocytic cholangitis, the expression of K19, α-SMA, MAC387 and lamin is more variable in FHL, and a common pattern of activation could not be established. Nevertheless, when HPCs were activated, a spatial association between HPCs and their niche could be demonstrated.

  17. The shared preference niche of sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in a tropical forest mosaic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Robert; Garshelis, David L; Chutipong, Wanlop; Seuaturien, Naret

    2011-01-20

    Ecologically similar species often coexist by partitioning use of habitats or resources. Such partitioning can occur through divergent or shared niches. We investigated overlap in habitat use and spatial co-occurrence by sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in three habitats in Thailand, and thereby assessed which niche model best accounts for their coexistence. We used density of species-specific signs to assess habitat use. Signs of both bear species occurred in all three habitats, and on >60% of sampling transects. Both species fed mostly on fruit; insect feeding signs were uncommon, and were mostly from sun bears. Significant differences in habitat use occurred only in montane forest, the habitat in which fruit was most abundant; incidence of black bear sign there was six times higher than that of sun bears. Habitat use was similar between the two species in the other habitats, which comprised 85% of the area. Of 10 habitat attributes examined, fruiting tree density was the best predictor of occurrence for both species. Models that included interspecific competition (fresh foraging activity of the other species) were less supported than the top models without competition. Bear species co-occurrence at both coarse and fine spatial scales and use of the same resources (fruit trees) indicated common niche preferences. However, their habitat use differed in ways expected from their physical differences: larger black bears dominated in the most fruit-rich habitat, and smaller sun bears used less-preferred insects. These results indicate broadly overlapping fundamental niches combined with asymmetric competition-features consistent with the concept of shared preference niches. This model of the niche has received little attention in ecology, but appears to be relatively common in nature.

  18. The shared preference niche of sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in a tropical forest mosaic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Steinmetz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Ecologically similar species often coexist by partitioning use of habitats or resources. Such partitioning can occur through divergent or shared niches. We investigated overlap in habitat use and spatial co-occurrence by sympatric Asiatic black bears and sun bears in three habitats in Thailand, and thereby assessed which niche model best accounts for their coexistence.We used density of species-specific signs to assess habitat use. Signs of both bear species occurred in all three habitats, and on >60% of sampling transects. Both species fed mostly on fruit; insect feeding signs were uncommon, and were mostly from sun bears. Significant differences in habitat use occurred only in montane forest, the habitat in which fruit was most abundant; incidence of black bear sign there was six times higher than that of sun bears. Habitat use was similar between the two species in the other habitats, which comprised 85% of the area. Of 10 habitat attributes examined, fruiting tree density was the best predictor of occurrence for both species. Models that included interspecific competition (fresh foraging activity of the other species were less supported than the top models without competition.Bear species co-occurrence at both coarse and fine spatial scales and use of the same resources (fruit trees indicated common niche preferences. However, their habitat use differed in ways expected from their physical differences: larger black bears dominated in the most fruit-rich habitat, and smaller sun bears used less-preferred insects. These results indicate broadly overlapping fundamental niches combined with asymmetric competition-features consistent with the concept of shared preference niches. This model of the niche has received little attention in ecology, but appears to be relatively common in nature.

  19. Hypothesis tests for the detection of constant speed radiation moving sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dumazert, Jonathan; Coulon, Romain; Kondrasovs, Vladimir; Boudergui, Karim; Sannie, Guillaume; Gameiro, Jordan; Normand, Stephane [CEA, LIST, Laboratoire Capteurs Architectures Electroniques, 99 Gif-sur-Yvette, (France); Mechin, Laurence [CNRS, UCBN, Groupe de Recherche en Informatique, Image, Automatique et Instrumentation de Caen, 4050 Caen, (France)

    2015-07-01

    Radiation Portal Monitors are deployed in linear network to detect radiological material in motion. As a complement to single and multichannel detection algorithms, inefficient under too low signal to noise ratios, temporal correlation algorithms have been introduced. Test hypothesis methods based on empirically estimated mean and variance of the signals delivered by the different channels have shown significant gain in terms of a tradeoff between detection sensitivity and false alarm probability. This paper discloses the concept of a new hypothesis test for temporal correlation detection methods, taking advantage of the Poisson nature of the registered counting signals, and establishes a benchmark between this test and its empirical counterpart. The simulation study validates that in the four relevant configurations of a pedestrian source carrier under respectively high and low count rate radioactive background, and a vehicle source carrier under the same respectively high and low count rate radioactive background, the newly introduced hypothesis test ensures a significantly improved compromise between sensitivity and false alarm, while guaranteeing the stability of its optimization parameter regardless of signal to noise ratio variations between 2 to 0.8. (authors)

  20. Strategic Niche Management and Transition Management: different but complementary approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.A. Loorbach (Derk); R. van Raak (Ronald)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractThis discussion paper sets out to compare two different, yet related, approaches to achieve sustainable development and (technological) innovation. Strategic Niche Management (SNM) (Kemp, Schot et al. 1998; Weber 1999) emerged as a novel concept by the end of the 1990’s and is presented

  1. The Income Inequality Hypothesis Revisited : Assessing the Hypothesis Using Four Methodological Approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kragten, N.; Rözer, J.

    The income inequality hypothesis states that income inequality has a negative effect on individual’s health, partially because it reduces social trust. This article aims to critically assess the income inequality hypothesis by comparing several analytical strategies, namely OLS regression,

  2. Lymphatic endothelial cells are a replicative niche for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerner, Thomas R.; de Souza Carvalho-Wodarz, Cristiane; Repnik, Urska; Russell, Matthew R.G.; Borel, Sophie; Diedrich, Collin R.; Rohde, Manfred; Wainwright, Helen; Collinson, Lucy M.; Wilkinson, Robert J.; Griffiths, Gareth; Gutierrez, Maximiliano G.

    2016-01-01

    In extrapulmonary tuberculosis, the most common site of infection is within the lymphatic system, and there is growing recognition that lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) are involved in immune function. Here, we identified LECs, which line the lymphatic vessels, as a niche for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the lymph nodes of patients with tuberculosis. In cultured primary human LECs (hLECs), we determined that M. tuberculosis replicates both in the cytosol and within autophagosomes, but the bacteria failed to replicate when the virulence locus RD1 was deleted. Activation by IFN-γ induced a cell-autonomous response in hLECs via autophagy and NO production that restricted M. tuberculosis growth. Thus, depending on the activation status of LECs, autophagy can both promote and restrict replication. Together, these findings reveal a previously unrecognized role for hLECs and autophagy in tuberculosis pathogenesis and suggest that hLECs are a potential niche for M. tuberculosis that allows establishment of persistent infection in lymph nodes. PMID:26901813

  3. Intestinal Stem Cell Niche Insights Gathered from Both In Vivo and Novel In Vitro Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolce Gjorevski

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Intestinal stem cells are located at the base of the crypts and are surrounded by a complex structure called niche. This environment is composed mainly of epithelial cells and stroma which provides signals that govern cell maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation. Understanding how the niche regulates stem cell fate by controlling developmental signaling pathways will help us to define how stem cells choose between self-renewal and differentiation and how they maintain their undifferentiated state. Tractable in vitro assay systems, which reflect the complexity of the in vivo situation but provide higher level of control, would likely be crucial in identifying new players and mechanisms controlling stem cell function. Knowledge of the intestinal stem cell niche gathered from both in vivo and novel in vitro models may help us improve therapies for tumorigenesis and intestinal damage and make autologous intestinal transplants a feasible clinical practice.

  4. A biphasic epigenetic switch controls immunoevasion, virulence and niche adaptation in non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atack, John M; Srikhanta, Yogitha N; Fox, Kate L; Jurcisek, Joseph A; Brockman, Kenneth L; Clark, Tyson A; Boitano, Matthew; Power, Peter M; Jen, Freda E-C; McEwan, Alastair G; Grimmond, Sean M; Smith, Arnold L; Barenkamp, Stephen J; Korlach, Jonas; Bakaletz, Lauren O; Jennings, Michael P

    2015-07-28

    Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae contains an N(6)-adenine DNA-methyltransferase (ModA) that is subject to phase-variable expression (random ON/OFF switching). Five modA alleles, modA2, modA4, modA5, modA9 and modA10, account for over two-thirds of clinical otitis media isolates surveyed. Here, we use single molecule, real-time (SMRT) methylome analysis to identify the DNA-recognition motifs for all five of these modA alleles. Phase variation of these alleles regulates multiple proteins including vaccine candidates, and key virulence phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance (modA2, modA5, modA10), biofilm formation (modA2) and immunoevasion (modA4). Analyses of a modA2 strain in the chinchilla model of otitis media show a clear selection for ON switching of modA2 in the middle ear. Our results indicate that a biphasic epigenetic switch can control bacterial virulence, immunoevasion and niche adaptation in an animal model system.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Socs36E Controls Niche Competition by Repressing MAPK Signaling in the Drosophila Testis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Amoyel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Drosophila testis is a well-established system for studying stem cell self-renewal and competition. In this tissue, the niche supports two stem cell populations, germ line stem cells (GSCs, which give rise to sperm, and somatic stem cells called cyst stem cells (CySCs, which support GSCs and their descendants. It has been established that CySCs compete with each other and with GSCs for niche access, and mutations have been identified that confer increased competitiveness to CySCs, resulting in the mutant stem cell and its descendants outcompeting wild type resident stem cells. Socs36E, which encodes a negative feedback inhibitor of the JAK/STAT pathway, was the first identified regulator of niche competition. The competitive behavior of Socs36E mutant CySCs was attributed to increased JAK/STAT signaling. Here we show that competitive behavior of Socs36E mutant CySCs is due in large part to unbridled Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK signaling. In Socs36E mutant clones, MAPK activity is elevated. Furthermore, we find that clonal upregulation of MAPK in CySCs leads to their outcompetition of wild type CySCs and of GSCs, recapitulating the Socs36E mutant phenotype. Indeed, when MAPK activity is removed from Socs36E mutant clones, they lose their competitiveness but maintain self-renewal, presumably due to increased JAK/STAT signaling in these cells. Consistently, loss of JAK/STAT activity in Socs36E mutant clones severely impairs their self-renewal. Thus, our results enable the genetic separation of two essential processes that occur in stem cells. While some niche signals specify the intrinsic property of self-renewal, which is absolutely required in all stem cells for niche residence, additional signals control the ability of stem cells to compete with their neighbors. Socs36E is node through which these processes are linked, demonstrating that negative feedback inhibition integrates multiple aspects of stem cell behavior.

  8. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

    Full Text Available The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  9. Community phylogenetics at the biogeographical scale: cold tolerance, niche conservatism and the structure of North American forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, Bradford A; Rueda, Marta; Rangel, Thiago F; Field, Richard; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre F; Linder, Peter

    2014-01-01

    associated with survivorship in cold climates indicate niche conservatism. Main conclusions Tropical niche conservatism in the face of long-term climate change, probably initiated in the Late Cretaceous associated with the rise of the Rocky Mountains, is a strong driver of the phylogenetic structure of the angiosperm component of forest communities across the USA. However, local deterministic and/or stochastic processes account for perhaps a quarter of the variation in the MFA of local communities.

  10. Neutral theory and the species abundance distribution: recent developments and prospects for unifying niche and neutral perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Thomas J; Whittaker, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Published in 2001, The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (UNTB) emphasizes the importance of stochastic processes in ecological community structure, and has challenged the traditional niche-based view of ecology. While neutral models have since been applied to a broad range of ecological and macroecological phenomena, the majority of research relating to neutral theory has focused exclusively on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Here, we synthesize the large body of work on neutral theory in the context of the species abundance distribution, with a particular focus on integrating ideas from neutral theory with traditional niche theory. First, we summarize the basic tenets of neutral theory; both in general and in the context of SADs. Second, we explore the issues associated with neutral theory and the SAD, such as complications with fitting and model comparison, the underlying assumptions of neutral models, and the difficultly of linking pattern to process. Third, we highlight the advances in understanding of SADs that have resulted from neutral theory and models. Finally, we focus consideration on recent developments aimed at unifying neutral- and niche-based approaches to ecology, with a particular emphasis on what this means for SAD theory, embracing, for instance, ideas of emergent neutrality and stochastic niche theory. We put forward the argument that the prospect of the unification of niche and neutral perspectives represents one of the most promising future avenues of neutral theory research. PMID:25360266

  11. Neutral theory and the species abundance distribution: recent developments and prospects for unifying niche and neutral perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Thomas J; Whittaker, Robert J

    2014-06-01

    Published in 2001, The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography (UNTB) emphasizes the importance of stochastic processes in ecological community structure, and has challenged the traditional niche-based view of ecology. While neutral models have since been applied to a broad range of ecological and macroecological phenomena, the majority of research relating to neutral theory has focused exclusively on the species abundance distribution (SAD). Here, we synthesize the large body of work on neutral theory in the context of the species abundance distribution, with a particular focus on integrating ideas from neutral theory with traditional niche theory. First, we summarize the basic tenets of neutral theory; both in general and in the context of SADs. Second, we explore the issues associated with neutral theory and the SAD, such as complications with fitting and model comparison, the underlying assumptions of neutral models, and the difficultly of linking pattern to process. Third, we highlight the advances in understanding of SADs that have resulted from neutral theory and models. Finally, we focus consideration on recent developments aimed at unifying neutral- and niche-based approaches to ecology, with a particular emphasis on what this means for SAD theory, embracing, for instance, ideas of emergent neutrality and stochastic niche theory. We put forward the argument that the prospect of the unification of niche and neutral perspectives represents one of the most promising future avenues of neutral theory research.

  12. Density Variations in Quartz As a Key for Deciphering Impact-Related Ultrasonic Sounding (Rajlich's Hypothesis)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestan, J.; Alvarez Polanco, E. I.

    2014-12-01

    Ultrasound is a form of mechanical energy with a frequency greater than ≈ 20 kHz (upper human hearing limit). It is used in many scientific as well as industrial fields. Most modern applications of ultrasound utilize sources which are either piezoelectric or magnetostrictive (Benwell et Bly 1987). A meteorite impact has been considered to be an ultrasound source during last years (Rajlich 2011). Rajlich (2014) is coming with a hypothesis that white planes made of microcavities in Bohemian quartz have their origin in an impact-related ultrasonic sounding. The Bohemian Massif has been considered to be one of the largest impact craters in whole of the world (Papagiannis et El-Baz 1988, Papagiannis 1989, Rajlich 2014). Rajlich's hypothesis implies a liquid behavior of quartz during the impact event. We state that then there have to exist planes of slightly higher density than their surroundings together with planes of microcavities. They should intersect each other without mutual influencing (as in a case of planes made of microcavities). Because physics of ultrasound during an impact event is a brand new and unknown field, we try to choose a simple way of its cognition. It is possible to take the sine wave and set 3 requirements. (1) There exist some surroundings of points of peak amplitudes. (2) These surroundings are of higher density (compression) or lower density (rarefaction) than the mean density of quartz. (3) The difference between the higher/lower and surrounding density is measurable. There was done an experimental study of Bohemian quartz using QCT bone densitometry at the Radiology Munich. Quartz with a size of ≈ 5 x 8 cm absorbed too much RTG radiation (kV 140, mAs 330), which made a picture of internal structure impossible. We propose another techniques and appeal to other scientists to face this challenge. If Bohemian quartz has a harmonically distributed density, we consider it to be a support for Rajlich's hypothesis. AcknowledgementsWe would like

  13. Invasion of Old World Phragmites australis in the New World: precipitation and temperature patterns combined with human influences redesign the invasive niche

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guo, Wen-Yong; Lambertini, Carla; Li, Xiu-Zhen

    2013-01-01

    niches. We suggest that an increase in precipitation in the 20(th) century, global warming and human-made habitats have shaped the invasive niches of the two lineages in the New World. However, as the invasions are on-going and human and natural disturbances occur concomitantly, the future distribution....... australis (Haplotype M and Med) in both their native and introduced ranges using environmental niche models (ENMs) to assess (i) whether a niche shift accompanied the invasions in the New World; (ii) the role of biologically relevant climatic variables and human influence in the process of invasion...... for temperature fluctuations and increased precipitation. The introduced Med lineage has enlarged its original subtropical niche to the tropics-subtropics, invading regions with a high annual mean temperature (> c. 10 °C) and high precipitation in the driest period. Human influence is an important factor for both...

  14. Signaling and molecular basis of bone marrow niche angiogenesis in leukemia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shirzad, R.; Shahrabi, S.; Ahmadzadeh, A.; Kampen, K. R.; Shahjahani, M.; Saki, N.

    2016-01-01

    Angiogenesis, the process of blood vessel formation, is necessary for tissue survival in normal and pathologic conditions. Increased angiogenesis in BM niche is correlated with leukemia progression and resistance to treatment. Angiogenesis can interfere with disease progression and several

  15. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe): the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Andrea G; Alò, Dominique; González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio

    2018-01-01

    The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe ), to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species ( L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe ). We used maximum entropy to model lineage's climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. We show that: (a) the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b) future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c) a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d) current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution area is expected, this may come with an important

  16. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe: the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea G. Castillo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco (Lama guanicoe, to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species (L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe. Methods We used maximum entropy to model lineage’s climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. Results We show that: (a the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Discussion Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution

  17. From genomic variation to personalized medicine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wesolowska, Agata; Schmiegelow, Kjeld

    Genomic variation is the basis of interindividual differences in observable traits and disease susceptibility. Genetic studies are the driving force of personalized medicine, as many of the differences in treatment efficacy can be attributed to our genomic background. The rapid development...... a considerable amount of the phenotype variability, hence the major difficulty of interpretation lies in the complexity of molecular interactions. This PhD thesis describes the state-of-art of the functional human variation research (Chapter 1) and introduces childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL...... the thesis and includes some final remarks on the perspectives of genomic variation research and personalized medicine. In summary, this thesis demonstrates the feasibility of integrative analyses of genomic variations and introduces large-scale hypothesis-driven SNP exploration studies as an emerging...

  18. Actor networks in strategic niche management : insights from social network theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Caniëls, M.C.J.; Romijn, H.A.

    2008-01-01

    This paper contributes to Strategic Niche Management (SNM), an analytical technique designed to facilitate the introduction and diffusion of radically new sustainable technologies through societal experiments. According to SNM, intensive networking among social actors is a crucial process for the

  19. Transitions and strategic niche management: Towards a competence kit for practitioners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raven, R.; Bosch, S. van den; Weterings, R.

    2010-01-01

    Structural problems in modern societies, such as climate change and congestion problems, require 'transitions' towards a more susTWNnable fulfilment of social needs. Recent research shows that experimenting in niches is crucial for learning about social challenges and stimulating transitions.

  20. Collision sensitive niche profile of the worst affected bird-groups at wind turbine structures in the Federal State of Brandenburg, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, Anushika; Dürr, Tobias; Klenke, Reinhard A; Henle, Klaus

    2018-02-28

    Biodiversity-related impacts at wind energy facilities have increasingly become a cause of conservation concern, central issue being the collision of birds. Utilizing spatial information of their carcass detections at wind turbines (WTs), we quantified the detections in relation to the metric distances of the respective turbines to different land-use types. We used ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA) to identify combinations of land-use distances with respect to the spatial allocation of WTs that led to higher proportions of collisions among the worst affected bird-groups: Buntings, Crows, Larks, Pigeons and Raptors. We also assessed their respective similarities to the collision phenomenon by checking for overlaps amongst their distance combinations. Crows and Larks showed the narrowest "collision sensitive niche"; a part of ecological niche under higher risk of collisions with turbines, followed by that of Buntings and Pigeons. Raptors had the broadest niche showing significant overlaps with the collision sensitive niches of the other groups. This can probably be attributed to their larger home range combined with their hunting affinities to open landscapes. Identification of collision sensitive niches could be a powerful tool for landscape planning; helping avoid regions with higher risks of collisions for turbine allocations and thus protecting sensitive bird populations.

  1. Role for Adhesion Molecules in the Spermatogonial Stem Cell Niche

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Rooij, Dirk G.; Repping, S.; van Pelt, Ans M. M.

    2008-01-01

    In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Kanatsu-Shinohara et al. (2008) show that beta 1-integrin participates in normal spermatogenesis and is required for spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) homing to the basal membrane niche. The methodology used provides a powerful tool to study the role of other factors in

  2. 40 Is the New 65? Older Adults and Niche Targeting Strategies in the Online Dating Industry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek Blackwell

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Niche dating sites have become a popular trend in the online dating industry; yet, little is known about the specialization strategies these sites use to cater to their users’ needs. Moreover, previous research alludes to the idea that many of these sites may be engaging in pseudo-individualization—a deceptive technique that creates an illusion of specialization. This study focuses on niche dating sites for older adults, one of the fastest growing niches in online dating. Through a qualitative content analysis and close reading of older-adult dating sites, I seek to determine how and to what extent online dating sites that target older adults actually customize their services to benefit this population. Three key findings emerge: (1 the use of mass segmentation, a strategy that combines elements of both mass marketing and market segmentation; (2 a strategic broadening of the boundaries of the older-adult niche; and (3 the use of deceptive advertising to attract users. These findings suggest that older-adult dating sites are, in fact, engaging in pseudo-individualization. They also highlight some of the unique aspects of online media that facilitate this practice. Implications for both online daters and site producers are discussed.

  3. 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

  4. Comparative and functional genomics of the Lactococcus lactis taxon; insights into evolution and niche adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelleher, Philip; Bottacini, Francesca; Mahony, Jennifer; Kilcawley, Kieran N; van Sinderen, Douwe

    2017-03-29

    Lactococcus lactis is among the most widely studied lactic acid bacterial species due to its long history of safe use and economic importance to the dairy industry, where it is exploited as a starter culture in cheese production. In the current study, we report on the complete sequencing of 16 L. lactis subsp. lactis and L. lactis subsp. cremoris genomes. The chromosomal features of these 16 L. lactis strains in conjunction with 14 completely sequenced, publicly available lactococcal chromosomes were assessed with particular emphasis on discerning the L. lactis subspecies division, evolution and niche adaptation. The deduced pan-genome of L. lactis was found to be closed, indicating that the representative data sets employed for this analysis are sufficient to fully describe the genetic diversity of the taxon. Niche adaptation appears to play a significant role in governing the genetic content of each L. lactis subspecies, while (differential) genome decay and redundancy in the dairy niche is also highlighted.

  5. What is 'protective space'? Exploring the politics of niche development in sustainability transitions : the case of solar electricity in the UK and the Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kern, F.; Raven, R.P.J.M.; Smith, A.G.; Veraart, F.C.A.; Verhees, B.

    2011-01-01

    Transitions theory emphasizes the important role of niches as sources of sustainable innovation. A defining niche characteristic is the provision of ‘protective space’. It is surprising that the concept of ‘niche protection’ has received little systematic attention to date. Drawing upon UK and

  6. On the Keyhole Hypothesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Kaare B.; Kidmose, Preben; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2017-01-01

    simultaneously recorded scalp EEG. A cross-validation procedure was employed to ensure unbiased estimates. We present several pieces of evidence in support of the keyhole hypothesis: There is a high mutual information between data acquired at scalp electrodes and through the ear-EEG "keyhole," furthermore we......We propose and test the keyhole hypothesis that measurements from low dimensional EEG, such as ear-EEG reflect a broadly distributed set of neural processes. We formulate the keyhole hypothesis in information theoretical terms. The experimental investigation is based on legacy data consisting of 10...

  7. NICHE MARKETS FOR TRADITIONAL TRAVEL AGENCIES IN CHINA

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Min

    2014-01-01

    Social media is becoming more and more important in our daily life as it influences the ways people live and how they think. For example, people no longer just rely on traditional travel agencies for travelling. Thus, how traditional travel agencies survive in such transformation is crucial. In order to find connections between social media and travel agencies marketing strategies, quantitative research was introduced to encourage and help the traditional travel agencies to find their niche m...

  8. Strategic niche management of social innovations : the case of social entrepreneurship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witkamp, M.J.; Raven, R.P.J.M.; Royakkers, L.M.M.

    2011-01-01

    Strategic niche management (SNM), a tool to understand and manage radical socio-technical innovations and facilitate their diffusion, has always departed from a technical artefact. Many radical innovations, however, do not revolve around such an artefact. Social entrepreneurship is a new business

  9. Strategic niche management of social innovation : the case of social entrepreneurship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witkamp, M.J.; Raven, R.P.J.M.; Royakkers, L.M.M.

    2010-01-01

    Strategic niche management (SNM), a tool to understand and manage radical socio-technical innovations and facilitate their diffusion, has always departed from a technical artefact. Many radical innovations, however, do not revolve around such an artefact. Social entrepreneurship is a new business

  10. Spatial patterns, ecological niches, and interspecific competition of avian brood parasites: inferring from a case study of Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin-Won; Noh, Hee-Jin; Lee, Yunkyoung; Kwon, Young-Soo; Kim, Chang-Hoe; Yoo, Jeong-Chil

    2014-09-01

    Since obligate avian brood parasites depend completely on the effort of other host species for rearing their progeny, the availability of hosts will be a critical resource for their life history. Circumstantial evidence suggests that intense competition for host species may exist not only within but also between species. So far, however, few studies have demonstrated whether the interspecific competition really occurs in the system of avian brood parasitism and how the nature of brood parasitism is related to their niche evolution. Using the occurrence data of five avian brood parasites from two sources of nationwide bird surveys in South Korea and publically available environmental/climatic data, we identified their distribution patterns and ecological niches, and applied species distribution modeling to infer the effect of interspecific competition on their spatial distribution. We found that the distribution patterns of five avian brood parasites could be characterized by altitude and climatic conditions, but overall their spatial ranges and ecological niches extensively overlapped with each other. We also found that the predicted distribution areas of each species were generally comparable to the realized distribution areas, and the numbers of individuals in areas where multiple species were predicted to coexist showed positive relationships among species. In conclusion, despite following different coevolutionary trajectories to adapt to their respect host species, five species of avian brood parasites breeding in South Korea occupied broadly similar ecological niches, implying that they tend to conserve ancestral preferences for ecological conditions. Furthermore, our results indicated that contrary to expectation interspecific competition for host availability between avian brood parasites seemed to be trivial, and thus, play little role in shaping their spatial distributions and ecological niches. Future studies, including the complete ranges of avian brood

  11. A GRFa2/Prop1/stem (GPS) cell niche in the pituitary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Lavandeira, Montse; Quereda, Víctor; Flores, Ignacio; Saez, Carmen; Diaz-Rodriguez, Esther; Japon, Miguel A; Ryan, Aymee K; Blasco, Maria A; Dieguez, Carlos; Malumbres, Marcos; Alvarez, Clara V

    2009-01-01

    The adult endocrine pituitary is known to host several hormone-producing cells regulating major physiological processes during life. Some candidates to progenitor/stem cells have been proposed. However, not much is known about pituitary cell renewal throughout life and its homeostatic regulation during specific physiological changes, such as puberty or pregnancy, or in pathological conditions such as tumor development. We have identified in rodents and humans a niche of non-endocrine cells characterized by the expression of GFRa2, a Ret co-receptor for Neurturin. These cells also express b-Catenin and E-cadherin in an oriented manner suggesting a planar polarity organization for the niche. In addition, cells in the niche uniquely express the pituitary-specific transcription factor Prop1, as well as known progenitor/stem markers such as Sox2, Sox9 and Oct4. Half of these GPS (GFRa2/Prop1/Stem) cells express S-100 whereas surrounding elongated cells in contact with GPS cells express Vimentin. GFRa2+-cells form non-endocrine spheroids in culture. These spheroids can be differentiated to hormone-producing cells or neurons outlining the neuroectoderm potential of these progenitors. In vivo, GPSs cells display slow proliferation after birth, retain BrdU label and show long telomeres in its nuclei,